Posts Tagged ‘Chocolate’

Gluten-Free!

February 5, 2017
In the course of my bringing treats (baked goods and sweets) to the office from time to time, it became apparent that not every one could enjoy the desserts I was making (gluten-free, lactose intolerant, allergies, etc.). So, I’ve begun exploring other “options” and found a couple of delicious gluten-free cookie recipes (below).  Enjoy!
Chocolate Pistachio
3/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons of almond flour
2 Tablespoons of cocoa
3 Tablespoons of softened butter
3 Tablespoons of Confectioners’ sugar
1/8 teaspoon of espresso powder
1/8 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/3 cup of chopped pistachios
Beat the first seven (7) ingredients together on low speed until a “dough” forms.  Mix in the 1/3 cup of chopped pistachios.  Place a piece of plastic wrap on the counter.  Transfer the dough to the plastic wrap and form it into a log shape (about 7-8″ long and 2″ in diameter).  Wrap the log in the plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator to chill (for at least 60 minutes).
When the dough feels firm and chilled, remove it from the fridge and place it on a flat working surface.  Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Unwrap the cookie dough and slice it into 1/4″ slices (a very sharp knife really makes a difference). You could slice them a little thicker and adjust your cooking time accordingly.  Place the cookies on the baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes or until they start to brown (but watch them closely after 10 minutes or so to ensure you don’t burn them).  Remove them from the oven and allow them to cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before transferring the cookies to a rack to cool completely.
Orange Cranberry — same instructions as above, add the orange zest and cranberries at the same point you added the pistachios above.
1 cup of almond flour
3 Tablespoons of softened butter
3 Tablespoons of Confectioners’ sugar
1/8 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon of orange zest
1/4 cup of dried cranberries
Happy baking!
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Chocolate, Brownie, and Mousse!

September 20, 2016

What’s not to like?  This sounds like a truly decadent dessert that I will just have to give a whirl one of these days.   I don’t remember where I ran across this recipe (so my apologies for not  providing proper attribution).

Triple Chocolate Brownie-Mousse

BROWNIES
Cooking spray
¾ cup of butter
1 (4-oz) bittersweet dark chocolate baking bar, chopped
1-1/2 cups OF sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
4 large eggs
1 cup of all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon of baking powder
¼ teaspoon of salt

MILK CHOCOLATE MOUSSE
1/2 a package (12-oz) of milk chocolate morsels (1 cup)
¼ cup of creamy peanut butter
1 cup of heavy cream

WHITE CHOCOLATE MOUSSE
1 cup of white chocolate morsels
1-1/4 cup of heavy cream, divided

ADDITIONAL INGREDIENTS
8 large paper clips
Heavy-duty aluminum foil
Garnish: shaved chocolate

DIRECTIONS
1. To prepare the brownies: preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom and the sides of a 13×9-inch pan with aluminum foil (allowing 2-3 inches to extend over the sides); lightly grease the foil with cooking spray. Microwave the butter and the bittersweet chocolate in a large bowl on high for 1-1/2 to 2 minutes or just until melted and smooth, stirring every 30 seconds.  Whisk in the sugar and vanilla.  Add the eggs, one at a time whisking just until blended after each addition.  Stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl.  Whisk the flour mixture into the chocolate mixture until blended.  Pour mixture into your prepared pan.

2. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs. Cool completely on a wire rack (about 1 hour).  Lift the brownies from the pan using the foil handles.  Cut 8 circles using a 3” round cutter.

3. To prepare the milk chocolate mousse: microwave the milk chocolate morsels and the peanut butter in a small glass bowl on medium power for 1-1/2 to 2 minutes or until melted and smooth, stirring every 30 seconds.  Cool 5 minutes.

4. Beat 1 cup of heavy cream at medium speed with an electric mixer until soft peaks form; fold the whipped cream into the milk chocolate mixture. Chill while you make the white chocolate mousse.

5. To prepare the white chocolate mousse: microwave the white chocolate morsels and ¼ a cup of cream in a small glass bowl on medium power for 1-1/2 to 2 minutes or until melted and smooth, stirring every 30 seconds.  Cool 5 minutes.

6. Beat the remaining 1 cup of cream at medium speed with an electric mixer until soft peaks form; fold the whipped cream into the white chocolate mixture. Chill while you prepare the foil molds for step 7.

7. To assemble the stacks: wash and dry your paper clips.  Cut heavy-duty aluminum foil into 8 strips (6 x 10-inch each) .  Fold each piece in half to form a 3 x 10-inch strip.  Wrap each strip around a 3-inch diameter can (this helps create a smooth curve).  Wrap 1 curved strip around each brownie and secure with a large paper clip.  Immediately spoon the milk chocolate mousse into a ziplock bag (do not seal).  Snip 1 corner of bag to make a small hole (about ½ inch).  Pipe the mousse onto brownies, dividing the mixture evenly.  Use a small spoon to gently level them.  Repeat the procedure with the white chocolate mousse.  Chill for at least 2 hours before removing the foil and serving.

Cheesecake of the Month – June 2016!

June 14, 2016

I tried a new recipe this week and discovered that it is a keeper!   You start with an Oreo crust and then your basic cheesecake batter with maraschino cherries and mini chocolate chips.  Heavenly — and super easy!

Chocolate Chip Cherry Cheesecake

24 Oreo cookies, crushed
6 Tablespoons of butter, melted
1 jar (12 ounces) maraschino cherries
2 packages cream cheese (8 ounces each), softened
1/2 cup of sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup of mini-chocolate chips
extra chocolate chips
1 Tablespoon of pure vegetable shortening

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix cookie crumbs and butter; press onto bottom and 2 inches up side of 9-inch springform pan.  Bake for 8 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.

2.  Drain the maraschino cherries (reserve 2 teaspoons of the juice).  Cut the cherries into quarters and set aside.

3.  In a small bowl, combine the cream cheese, sugar, and reserved cherry juice until smooth.  Add eggs and beat just until combined.  Fold in the chocolate chips and cherries.

4.  Pour into your crust and bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until the center is almost set.  Cool on a wire rack.  Refrigerate until you are ready to serve.

5.  Prior to serving, remove the sides and bottom of the springform pan.  Slice the cheesecake.  Microwave chocolate chips and vegetable shortening until melted.  Drizzle chocolate over the top of slice and serve.

Cheesecake of the Month — April 2016!

April 15, 2016

This month I will highlight a cheesecake for all of the chocolate lovers out there.  This one has two separate chocolates and is sure to be a hit.

Double Chocolate Almond Cheesecake

Ingredients
CRUST
1 package (9 ounces) chocolate wafer cookies, crushed (about 2 cups)
1/4 cup of sugar
1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1/4 cup of butter, melted

FILLING
2 packages (8-ounces each) cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled
1/2 teaspoon of almond extract
2 eggs, lightly beaten

TOPPING
1 cup (8 ounces) of sour cream
1/4 teaspoon of baking cocoa
2 Tablespoons of sugar
1/2 teaspoon of almond extract

Directions
1.  In a small bowl, combine the crust ingredients (reserve 2 Tablespoons for the garnish).  Press the remaining crumbs on the bottom and up the sides of a 9″ springform pan.  Chill.

2.  For the filling, in a large bowl beat the cream cheese and the sugar until smooth.  Beat in the sour cream, chocolate, and extract.  Add the eggs and beat on low speed just until combined.  Pour into the crust.

3.  Place the pan on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes (the filling will NOT be set yet).  Remove from the oven and allow to stand for 5 minutes.

4.  Meanwhile, combine the topping ingredients and gently spread over the filling.  Sprinkle with the reserved crumbs and bake for 10 minutes longer.

5.  Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes and then carefully run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen.  Cool on the wire rack for an additional hour before refrigerating overnight.

Have Your Cake, and Drink it Too!

April 3, 2016

Now that’s a concept I can get behind!  Below is a recipe for a chocolate cake, which technically speaking is pretty good in and of itself.  However, when you add Guinness (stout beer), what’s not to like!  Chocolaty, moist, mmmm, can’t wait to try this one.

Chocolate Guinness Cake

Ingredients
1 cup of Guinness beer
1/2 cup of butter, cubed
2 cups of sugar
3/4 cup of baking cocoa
2 eggs, beaten
2/3 cup of sour cream
3 teaspoons of vanilla extract
2 cups of all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons of baking soda
1 package (8 ounces) of cream cheese, softened
1-1/2 cups of confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream

Directions
1.  Grease 9″ springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper; set aside.

2.  In a small saucepan, heat the beer and butter until the butter is melted.  Remove from the heat; whisk in the sugar and cocoa until blended.  Combine the eggs, sour cream and vanilla; whisk into the beer mixture.  Combine the flour and baking soda; whisk into the beer mixture until smooth.  Pour the batter into your prepared pan.

3.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.  Cool completely on a wire rack.  Remove the sides of the pan.

4.  Prepare the topping: in a large bowl, beat the cream cheese until fluffy.  Add the confectioners’ sugar and cream; beat until smooth (do not over beat).  Remove the cake from the pan and place on a platter.  Ice the top of the cake.

Source: Taste of Home (Marjorie Hennig)

Chocolate Cake, With a Twist!

February 26, 2016

Happy Friday!  Looking for something to do this weekend?  Here is a recipe that I recently encountered that I can’t way to try out.  And, while they may be slightly labor-intensive, I have always found that the time spent is usually well worth the effort.

Chocolate-Buttermilk Snack Cakes

Cake
1 cup of buttermilk
1 cup of brewed coffee, cooled
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
2 cups of all-purpose flour
2/3 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
1 Tablespoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon of salt
1-1/3 cups of granulated sugar
3/4 cup of canola oil
1 large egg

Filling and Frosting
3/4 cup of mascarpone cheese
3/4 cup of heavy cream
1/2 cup of confectioners’ sugar
3/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon of instant espresso powder
Pinch of salt
12 ounces of chopped bittersweet chocolate, melted and slightly cooled
Assorted sprinkles

Make the cake
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Generously coat your muffin tins with nonstick spray.  In a small bowl whisk the buttermilk with the coffee and vanilla.  In a medium bowl, sift the flour with the cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.

2. In a large bowl, using a hand mixer, beat the granulated sugar with the oil at medium-high speed until blended; beat in the egg.  At low speed, beat in the dry ingredients  and the buttermilk mixture in three alternating batches.  Spoon about 2 tablespoons of the batter into each muffin cup.

3.  Bake the cakes for about 12 minutes, until risen and a toothpick  inserted in the centers comes out clean.  Let cool in the pans for 3-5 minutes.  Carefully invert the cakes onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet (this will help them flatten slightly).  Let cool completely (about 30 minutes).

Make the filling and the frosting
4. In a large bowl, beat the mascarpone, cream, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, espresso, and salt at medium speed until smooth and thick.

5. Spread the mascarpone filling onto the flat sides of half the cakes.  Top with the remaining cakes and press down to spread the mixture.  Dip one half of each cake sandwich in the melted chocolate and coat with sprinkles.  Refrigerate until set (at least one hour or up to three days).  Serve the cakes cold.

Cheesecake of the Month — February 2016!

February 15, 2016

Do you like coffee?  Do you like chocolate?  Then you will love this super simple cheesecake.

Layered Mocha Cheesecake

Crust
1-1/2 cups Oreo cookie crumbs
1/4 cup of butter, melted
Filling
2 Tablespoons plus 1-1/2 teaspoons instant coffee granules
1 Tablespoon hot water
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 packages (8-ounces each) cream cheese, softened
1-1/2 cups of sugar
1/4 cup of all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups (12-ounces) semisweet chocolate chips, melted and cooled
Glaze
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
3 Tablespoons of butter
Chocolate-covered coffee beans (optional)

Directions
1.  Wrap a greased 9-inch springform pan in heavy-duty foil.

2.  In a small bowl, mix the cookie crumbs and butter; press onto the bottom of the pan.  In another bowl mix the coffee granules, hot water, and cinnamon and set aside.

3.  In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar, flour, and vanilla until smooth.  Add the eggs and beat on low speed just until combined.

4.  Divide the batter in half.  Stir the melted chocolate into one portion and pour over the crust.  Stir the coffee mixture into the remaining batter and spoon over the chocolate layer.  Place the springform pan in a large baking pan and add one inch of hot water to the larger pan.

5.  Bake at 325 degrees for 60-65 minutes or until the center is just set and the top appears dull.  Remove the springform pan from the water bath and remove the foil.  Cool the cheesecake on a wire rack for 10 minutes.  Loosen the sides of the pan and cool one hour longer.  Refrigerate overnight.

6.  Remove from the pan and prepare the glaze: in a microwave, melt chocolate chips and butter and stir until smooth.  Spread over the top of the cheesecake.  Top with coffee beans (if desired).

Are You a Chocolate Lover Too?!

December 18, 2015

Most true chocolate lovers consider chocolate to be a major food group.  I am no exception.  So when I found this definition of chocolate in my copy of The Cynic’s Dictionary, I just had to share it.

“What, according to research, is liked by fourteen out of every ten individuals.”  (Sandra Boynton)

And this also reminded me of a poster I once saw that stated “Nine out of ten people like chocolate, the tenth person always lies.”  (Unknown)

Cheesecake of the Month — September 2015!

September 15, 2015

In my repertoire I already have a chocolate caramel truffle torte dessert, so when I found a related cheesecake-version of this decadently rich dessert, well, what can I say, it was a no-brainer.

Chocolate Truffle Toffee Cheesecake

1-1/3 cups shortbread cookie crumbs (about 22 cookies)
1/4 cup of butter, melted
1/4 cup of sugar
2 packages (8-ounces each) of cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup of sugar
8 squares (1-ounce each) of semi-sweet chocolate baking bars, melted
2 eggs
1 teaspoon of vanilla
3/4 cup of milk chocolate toffee bits
3/4 cup real semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup of milk chocolate toffee bits

1.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

2.  Combine the first three ingredients in a bowl.  Press this mixture onto the bottom of an ungreased 9-inch springform pan.  Bake for four (4) minutes.

3.  Beat the cream cheese and 1/4 of sugar in a bowl until creamy.  Add the melted chocolate, the eggs, and the vanilla and beat until mixed well.  Stir in the 3/4 cup of toffee bits.  Spread the cream cheese mixture over the crust.  Continue baking for 50-55 minutes (or until the center is set).  Cool for one (1) hour in the pan.  Remove from the pan and place onto a serving plate.

4.  Place the chocolate chips in a bowl.  Place the whipping cream in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat (2-3 minutes) until the cream comes to a boil.  Pour the whipping cream over the chocolate chips.  Let this stand for about five (5) minutes and then stir until smooth.  Cool for about an hour (until the mixture falls in ribbons off the spoon).  Spread this mixture over the top of the cheesecake and sprinkle the outer rim of the cheesecake with the toffee bits.  Cover and refrigerate.

Tantalizing Tart!

March 8, 2015

Okay, all of you chocolate lovers (and bacon lovers) . . . here’s a recipe that is sure to please.  And, a very versatile recipe (you could actually substitute all sorts of things for the bacon: candied orange peel, raspberries, etc. — but why would you want to?).  Enjoy!

Chocolate Tart with Candied Bacon

Candied Bacon
3 Tablespoons of brown sugar
6 slices of bacon (only six?)
1/2 teaspoon chili powder

Tart Shell
1-1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
1/4 cup of granulated sugar
1/2 cup of cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
3/4 cup of butter, cubed
1 egg yolk
2 Tablespoons of cold water

Filling
6 ounces of bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup of whipping cream
3 Tablespoons of sugar
1 Tablespoon of cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
1 large egg, slight beaten

Directions
1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Place brown sugar and chili powder in a bowl.  Add bacon slices and run sugar mixture into the meat.  Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.  Sprinkle any remaining sugar mixture over the bacon.  Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the bacon is crisp and candied.  Remove from the pan with tongs (while still hot) and place on a  greased plate or wire rack to cool.  Do NOT put on paper towels as the sugar will stick to the paper as it cools.

2.  Combine the flour, sugar, cocoa powder and salt in a bowl.  Mix in the butter with your fingers until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.  In a separate bowl, beat together the egg yolk and water.  Stir the egg mixture into the flour mixture and squeeze it together into a ball.

3.  Grease an 8- or 9-inch pie plate or tart tin.  Pat in pastry in a thin, even layer.  Prick with a fork and freeze for 30 minutes.

4.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Place the chopped chocolate in a medium heat-proof bowl.  In a snall pot over medium heat, combine the cream, sugar, and cocoa powder.  Bring to a boil, whisking to dissolve the cocoa and sugar completely (about 2-3 minutes).  Pour the mixture over the chopped chocolate and allow it to rest for 30 seconds before whisking it together to form a smooth consistency.  Add the vanilla and stir in the egg until well blended.

5.  Bake the tart shell for 10 minutes (or until fully cooked).  Remove from the oven.  Pour the chocolate mixture into the tart shell and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the edges are set and the middle is slightly jiggly.  Do not over-bake.  Chill for 3 hours until set.

6.  Crumple the candied bacon into small pieces and scatter over the tart.  Serve with a dollop of sweetened whipped cream.