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Category Archives: Chocolate

Recipes with chocolate

Chocolate Banana Muffins w/ Choc. Peanut Butter Icing

My 4 year old has decided that she no longer likes bananas so I had a couple lying around that didn’t get eaten. I poked around in Pinterest and found this recipe that I thought would be a nice change from plain banana bread. I was about 3 spoonfuls shy of 1.5 cups of mashed banana so I topped it up with apple sauce and it worked really well. The muffins are very soft and moist with a hint of banana and lots of chocolate flavour, especially with the icing. To make them a little more decadent I added Chocolate Peanut Butter Icing from Chocolate Covered Katie. So freakin’ good! And a bonus – my daughter likes them! I highly recommend these.

Tip: a whisk makes for quick banana mashing.

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Chocolate Banana Muffins

INGREDIENTS
1½ cups mashed bananas (about 2 1/2 large)
⅓ cup oil
1 egg
1 cup sugar
1½ cups flour
¼ cup cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon baking powder
1 cup mini chocolate chips
Sugar for sprinkling on tops

INSTRUCTIONS
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large bowl, combine bananas, oil, egg large mixing bowl.
In a separate large bowl, sift together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder. Add to banana mixture. Stir in chocolate chips.
Spoon batter into greased or lined muffin tins. Sprinkle the tops of each muffin with 1 teaspoon of sugar.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes at 350 degrees F. (Mine took 21 minutes)

Makes about 16-17 muffins if measuring with an ice cream scoop.

Source: http://www.chef-in-training.com

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2 Minute Chocolate Chip Cookie (no egg)

I had the worst craving for chocolate chip cookies last week – the kind of cookies that are still soft and gooey on the inside but crispy/crackly on the outside. I skimmed through Pinterest and found this recipe for an eggless chocolate chip cookie you can make in the microwave. It’s so simple to make that I have since memorized the recipe. It turns out a little uneven in the microwave and it took longer than a minute to make. I kept zapping it for an extra 15 seconds or so until I thought the edges were cooked but the centre got a little too crispy on one occasion. The taste was still great. If you can wait an extra 18 minutes, this recipe bakes up beautifully in a 6-8 oz ramekin the oven at 350F degrees. Totally worth it!

(I added two pinches of baking soda to the mix).

Microwave version

Microwave version

deep dish chocolate chip cookie

Oven baked deep dish version

Individual Chocolate Chip Cookie

3 Tbsp All-purpose flour
2 Tbsp light brown sugar
1 pinch salt
2 Tbsp semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/8 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
2 tsp whole milk

2 pinches of baking soda

In a cup add in light brown sugar and melted unsalted butter and whisk to combine. Then add in pure vanilla extract, a pinch of salt, and whole milk and stir to combine.
Add all-purpose flour and fold until homogeneous. Finally fold in semi-sweet chocolate chips. Also dark or special dark chocolate chips are wonderful for this recipe.
Transfer to a microwavable plate and form one big round cookie. For successful microwaving, the center should be thicker than the edges.
Now microwave the cookie for 30 seconds at 700W. And again microwave for 20 seconds. Finally microwave for 10 seconds. The power of individual microwave oven varies, so take a look and stop microwaving when the center is set and the edges look still uncooked. The cookie should continue being cooked and get firmer out of the microwave oven.

Source:http://eugeniekitchen.com/microwave-chocolate-chip-cooki/  Thanks for sharing!

Rum-Chocolate Truffles

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and it’s inspired me to try my hand at making one of the most delectable desserts – chocolate truffles! I have made truffles before but it was quite a while ago. This book that I got for Christmas, “Baking with Less Sugar” had a great recipe in it for Chocolate-Orange Truffles, but I’m not a huge fan of that combination so I adapted it by skipping infusing the orange flavour and substituting with a Tbsp of Jamaican Rum! The flavour isn’t terribly intense, it just a little something lurking in the background that makes the truffles that much more delicious. Don’t be intimidated by this at all – it’s super easy to make and quite fun to roll the little chocolate balls before refrigerating.

I also had fun playing around with Steve’s Canon Rebel. I’ve really missed having a proper camera – one that I can adjust manually and doesn’t completely distort the proportions of the food the way most handhelds or cellphone camera’s do. And because I didn’t plan on eating the truffles right away I had time to set up a little scene and adjust the lighting as well. The process combines two of my greatest loves – food and art! 🙂

Note: If made as directed, these truffles have only 4 grams of sugar per truffle. 

Handmade truffles with rum

It’s my own painting and my hand drawn mug in the background. 🙂

Chocolate-Orange Truffles

Truffle Filling:
2265g / 8 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (about 70% cocoa)
249g/ 1 cup heavy cream (35%)
1 Tbsp. finely grated orange zest
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 tsp kosher salt

Finishing the truffles:
About 140g/ 5 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finally chopped (optional)
about 120g / 1 cup cocoa powder

Directions:

1. To make the filling: Put the chocolate in a medium bowl and set aside. Heat the cream and orange zest in a small saucepan over medium heat until the cream is scalded – that is , there are small bubbles on the surface of the cream and it almost, but not quite, comes to a boil. Turn off the heat and let the cream sit for at least 1 hour or up to 3 hours. After the cream has infused with the orange, reheat the cream over medium-high heat until it is piping hot again.

2. Rest a fine-mesh strainer on the bowl of chocolate. Pour the cream through the strainer over the chocolate. Using a rubber spatula or a wooden spoon (not a whisk, which will introduce bubbles  into your chocolate and make for a less-smooth truffle), slowly stir the chocolate and cream together using small circles in the middle of the bowl. You’ll want to stir all around the bowl to try to get everything to mix together. The more you stir, the more the chocolate will blend into the cream until finally all of the chocolate and cream will be one smooth mixture. When you take the time to stir the cream gently into the chocolate, you’ll get a smoother , silkier final product.

3. Once the chocolate and cream are well blended, stir in the butter and salt, again taking your time to stir-stir-stir until the butter is blended in. This is the base for the truffles, called ganache.

4. Refrigerate the ganache in a covered container overnight until it firms up. The next day, with a small spoon, scoop out rounded 1-Tbsp-size balls of ganache and roll them around in your hands until they are round balls. Place on a platter and refrigerate for about 10 minutes.

5. Meanwhile, to finish the truffles, if you want to coat your truffles in melted chocolate before you roll them around in cocoa, bring a saucepan filled partway with water to a very gentle simmer over medium-high heat. Place the bittersweet chocolate in a medium metal or glass bowl. Place the bowl over (not touching) the barely simmering water in the saucepan and heat, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Alternatively, microwave the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl in 30-second intervals, stirring after each interval, until melted and smooth. Remove the truffles from the refrigerator and, one by one, dip them carefully in the chocolate by resting the truffle on the tines of the fork, lowering it into the chocolate, and using the fork to gently roll them around to fully coat. With the fork, lift up and remove the truffle from the melted chocolate and place back on the platter. Continue with all of the truffles until they are coated with a think coating of chocolate. Place the cocoa powder in a bowl. When the chocolate on the truffles is no longer shiny (it takes about 30 seconds for the chocolate to start setting) and is matte, carefully pick up each truffle one by one with a fork, place in the cocoa powder, and roll it around until coated. Remove the truffle from the cocoa powder and place back on the platter. Let the chocolate and cocoa firm up and serve.

6. Alternatively, you can skip the outer chocolate layer and simply place the  truffles as they are directly in the cocoa powder and roll them around until coated. This variation is by far simpler and neater, and the results are still impressive and delicious.

7. The truffles can be stored in an airtight container at cool room temperature for up to 3 days.

Healthier Blondies

We have soooo much candy and chocolate leftover from Halloween baking that I don’t know what I’m going to do. I have gummies galore plus a ton of M&M mini’s leftover from making monster cupcakes so I decided I would do something fun, but not quite as terrible for us. Inspired by the Becel Buttery commercial I decided to try substituting some of the butter in my favourite blondie recipe with Becel, and some of the sugar with Splenda. Creaming the butter and sugar/splenda didn’t really happen. It mixed together but it was definitely a different consistency. And the final batter was very thick and difficult to spread. I baked them for 19 minutes and they turned out very cake-like. They were still moist but not gooey and sweet like a blondie is supposed to be. Taste wise they were fine. I think I would call them squares of some sort instead of blondies to temper any disappointment for anyone expecting that signature gooey goodness. Kids would still gobble them up, no problem. I have a new found respect for the cooks that develop lower fat or lower sugar recipes. It takes a lot more than a simple substitution to make a recipe a success. Hats off to you!

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Healthier Blondies (or M&M Squares / Chocolate Chips Squares?)

1/4 cup butter

1/4 cup Becel Buttery

1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup Splenda granular (measures cup for cup like sugar)

1 large egg

2 teaspoons vanilla

Pinch salt

1 cup (4 3/8 ounces or 125 grams) all-purpose flour

1 cup M&M minis or chocolate chips, divided

1.Line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper.
2.Mix butters with sugars until pale. Beat in egg and then vanilla.
3.Add salt, stir in flour. Add half the candies or chocolate chips. Stir until just mixed together.
4.Pour into prepared pan. Sprinkle the remaining candies or chocolate chips on top. Bake at 350°F 20-25 minutes, or until set in the middle. (I baked mine for 19 minutes)

Microwave Brownie!

I just realized that if you make with melted margarine instead of butter, you can make this recipe vegan. My sister bought me this mug two years ago and I finally got around to making the recipe. It’s quite good, but I needed an extra minute cooking time.

mugbrownie

No-Bake Nutella Cheesecake

Nigella Lawson’s recipe for Nutella cheesecake couldn’t be simpler or yummier! I actually messed it up a little and it still worked out. I put in half the amount of powdered sugar but it’s still sweet so I think I’ll do it on purpose next time! I didn’t bother with the crust or the hazelnuts on top and made a kind of mousse type thingy with it, as the filling is always the best part of the cheesecake, and it cuts down on carbs and fat a little (at least that’s what I tell myself). lol The only thing it’s missing is some fresh whipped cream. Definite keeper.

nutellacheesecake

Nutella Cheesecake (no bake)

INGREDIENTS
250 grams (10oz) digestive biscuits
75 grams (5 Tbsp) soft unsalted butter
1 x 400 grams (13 oz) jar nutella (at room temperature)
100 grams (3/4 cup) chopped toasted hazelnuts
500 grams (1 lb or 2 pks) cream cheese (at room temperature)
60 grams (1/2 cup) icing sugar (sifted)

DIRECTIONS:

Break the digestives into the bowl of a processor, add the butter and a 15ml tablespoon of Nutella, and blitz until it starts to clump. Add 25g/3 tablespoons of the hazelnuts and continue to pulse until you have a damp, sandy mixture.
Tip into a 23cm/9inch round springform and press into the base either using your hands or the back of a spoon. Place in the fridge to chill.

Beat the cream cheese and icing sugar until smooth and then add the remaining Nutella to the cream cheese mixture, and continue beating until combined.

Take the springform out of the fridge and carefully smooth the Nutella mixture over the base. Scatter the remaining chopped hazelnuts on top to cover and place the tin in the fridge for at least four hours or overnight. Serve straight from the fridge for best results.

Additional information – for vegetarians make sure the cream cheese does not contain rennet.

Low-fat Chocolate Icing + Homemade Icing Sugar

As I mentioned in my previous post, I made an awesome chocolate zucchini cake. Unfortunately, I ran out of icing sugar so I tried a homemade version in this recipe for low-fat chocolate icing. I don’t think I was able to grind my sugar enough using my blender. I’ve had it for a few years so maybe I need to sharpen the blades or something. I used the first recipe I came across but I should have known better. America’s Test Kitchen has  video on YouTube which used this formula – 1 cup of white sugar to 1 tsp cornstarch and after grinding, strain through a sieve. I’ve included this recipe below. Texture wise, in the sugar I made you could feel a few of the larger sugar granules. You can see the graininess in the cake pic. 😦 Taste wise, the resulting chocolate icing was pretty decent. A little sweet but a nice compliment to the not too sweet cake. I would definitely make it again, using store bought icing sugar!
Low fat chocolate icing

Low-fat Chocolate Icing

Yield: 2 cups
Ingredients:
  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 7 tablespoons one-percent milk
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 ounce bittersweet chocolate, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions:

Combine the powdered sugar and cocoa together in the food processor and pulse a few times to combine. Add the milk, butter, melted chocolate, and vanilla, and process until smooth.

homemade icing sugar

Homemade Icing Sugar

(powdered sugar/confectioners sugar)

1 cup of granulated sugar
1 tsp of cornstarch
Grind in a blender or spice grinder until it is transformed into a fine powder, at least one minute. Pass the mixture through a fine sieve to remove any larger sugar granules. Measure and use as needed.
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