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Natural Cocoa Powder vs. Dutch Process: What’s The Difference?

Cocoa powder vs. dutch process

Depending on what kind of recipe you’re baking, using the wrong type can majorly mess up the chemistry. Cocoa powder is an essential baking ingredient. Our brownies, cakes and cookies would be nothing without it. The thing is, though, cocoa powder also can be kind of confusing. There are two types on the shelves of most groceries stores, natural and Dutch process, and are they sometimes interchangeable ― but sometimes not! Cocoa powder is the dry, solid remains of cacao beans that have been fermented, roasted and pressed. The shade and flavor of the cocoa powder can be different based on where it’s sourced from. There’s also variation in the quality of cocoa powder depending on the beans brands use. Hershey’s, although a classic, won’t be as high quality as, say, Valhrona, which is used by professional pastry chefs. Dutch process cocoa powder is different from its natural counterpart because it’s been alkalized. Potassium carbonate is added to change the pH. The pH can deepen the flavor and mitigate some of the acidic notes that are inherent in natural cocoa powder. As a result, Dutch process cocoa powder is typically a darker hue with richer. To learn more, click HERE.

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The Step You Should Always Take Before Freezing Chocolate

freezing chocolate

It’s hard to fathom, but it can happen — having more chocolate than you can eat. This can often occur around holidays when sweet treats are involved. Don’t worry about the chocolate getting old and wasted; there is a way to freeze the chocolate so it doesn’t go bad. There is no hard and fast timeline for when chocolate goes bad, per The Pioneer Woman. Before biting into chocolate of an unknown age, test it to see if it smells, tastes, and looks normal. If it hits all three marks, then go ahead and eat it, explains The Pioneer Woman. You can also check the chocolate’s “best by” date in order to eat it when it still tastes the best. Another rule of thumb is the more dairy a piece of chocolate contains, the shorter its short life. If the chocolate has developed white splotches, which could be a fat or sugar bloom, it’s safe to eat but just might not taste as good, per MyRecipes.com. Fat blooms occur when the temperature changes around the chocolate, and the milk fats or butter in the chocolate crystallizes. When sugar crystallizes in chocolate, sugar blooms are created. According to MyRecipes.com, the best way to store your chocolate to prevent the blooms from occurring and keep your chocolate tasting good is to freeze it, but there is a trick to doing it right.

Freezing chocolate can be done, but it’s best if done slowly. According to Taste of Home, before you even think about storing chocolate, it needs to be prepped properly. First, make sure it is wrapped tightly. Then, according to Taste of Home, the chocolate should be kept in either an airtight container or a freezer bag. To make sure chocolate freezes properly, it should first be kept in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours before it’s moved into the freezer for long-term storage. When the chocolate is needed, simply do the same process in reverse, advises Taste of Home. Remove the chocolate from the freezer and place it in the fridge to thaw and then take it out and allow it to warm up to room temperature. If you skip this step, and the chocolate could develop sugar blooms, per Nestlé. Another reason that warming the chocolate should be done gradually is because chocolate becomes brittle and hard when it is cold.

 

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How to make 3-ingredient chocolate ice cream (with no machine!)

making chocolate ice cream

This homemade chocolate ice cream recipe is so yummy and super easy to make. If you love ice cream, give this easy recipe a try!

Ingredients:

2 cups of heavy whipping cream (16oz or 473ml)
1 – 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk (396g)
1/2 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder (50g)

Tools/Equipment:

Bowls
Mixer
Spatula
Container for ice cream, with lid if possible
Plastic wrap

Step 1: Whip That Cream!

Add all the heavy whipping cream to a large bowl. Mix for several minutes until you have light fluffy whipped cream with stiff peaks. The little peaks created when you pull the beaters out of the cream will not curl over.

Step 2: Mix That Cocoa Powder

Now add all of the sweetened condensed milk into a separate bowl along with the cocoa powder. Mix until well combined. It will resemble thick chocolate.

NOTE: If you add the cocoa powder a little at a time, it will mix in without spraying a cloud of cocoa powder.  A larger bowl also helps so dust of cocoa powder doesn’t fly out of the bowl while mixing.

Step 3: Fold and Fold

Now pour the chocolate condensed milk mixture over the whipped cream and use a spatula and fold them together. Don’t use the mixer and don’t use a whisk or stir like crazy, that will ruin the fluffy air you got into the whipped cream. Keep folding until there are no streaks of white from the whipped cream.

And just like that, the chocolate ice cream base is done and ready.

Step 4: Freeze!

Pour the ice cream into a container that has a lid. Place plastic wrap on top making sure it touches the top of the ice cream, this will help prevent freezer burn and ice crystals from forming. Then add the lid. If you don’t have a lid you can use use the plastic wrap by itself.

Freeze for 4 to 6 hours or overnight. If you like it more soft serve consistency, you can remove it a little sooner.

Step 5: Serve!

Now time to eat that ice cream! Remove the lid and plastic wrap and then scoop out the ice cream. You may need to set it out for 10 to 15 minutes first to soften it before scooping. You can also dip your scoop in hot water.

Enjoy!

This makes about 32 ounces of ice cream.

Matt Taylor has a YouTube video and instructable recipe that shows you how to make it, click HERE.

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What’s The Difference Between Baking Chocolate And Chocolate Chips?

baking chocolate vs. chips

Whether your tastes run more towards sweet milk chocolate or you prefer dark chocolate with its bitter edge, one thing almost everyone can agree on is that chocolate is delicious. It gives us a warm fuzzy feeling unlike any other snack. And when we’re craving it, nothing else comes close to satisfying that feeling. Even for chocolate lovers, though, the majority of chocolate on grocers’ shelves can present a problem in the kitchen. So, how do you choose what chocolate to buy for your recipes? Which chocolates can you substitute for which, and how will it affect a dish? Baking chocolate and chocolate chips are the two most commonly found chocolates in American kitchens (per Food Network). But not all chocolates are created equal, and these two forms of chocolate will render different results in your baked goods.

For true chocolate lovers, baking chocolate is the ultimate thrill. According to the Confectionary Foundation, in its unsweetened form, it is entirely pure and unadulterated in any way. Chocolatiers create it by roasting, shelling, and grinding cocoa beans. The resulting slurry, often called chocolate liquor or chocolate mass, is then pressed into blocks. This results in a very bitter and brittle slab of chocolate. Baking chocolate contains 51 to 53% cocoa butter, and this high-fat content makes it so hard. The complete lack of sugar or other sweet compounds accounts for its bitterness. Chocolate chips are a little more complicated. They come in a wide variety of flavor profiles, depending on their exact formulation. Common chocolate chip offerings include semi-sweet, bittersweet, dark, and milk chocolate chips. The ingredients most of these chips have in common are chocolate mass, sugar, vanilla, and some type of stabilizers and emulsifiers, per the Fine Chocolate Industry Association. The chemicals make it possible for chocolate chips to hold their shape, even after baking. Unfortunately, they also compromise the natural flavor of the cocoa.

Which style of chocolate will work best for you depends on what you’re making (and possibly your health goals). The Cleveland Clinic explains that if you’re using chocolate to boost your antioxidant intake, then you want to use the product with the highest cocoa content. Because baking chocolate is pure chocolate liquor, it is the obvious choice, while milk chocolate, with only 10-12% cocoa, is the least desirable. If you simply want to create stunning dishes, there are a few other factors to consider. Chocolate chips keep their shape because of the emulsifiers they contain, per King Arthur Baking. For baked goods, this means that when you use them in classic recipes for Toll House cookies, brownies, or other baked goods, they will maintain their shapes and not run or spread out as much as baking chocolate would. On the other hand, if you’re going to be melting chocolate as a topping, using chocolate chips can be problematic. Because of the emulsifiers, they are harder to melt. In contrast, baking chocolate melts smooth and flows more easily. This makes it possible to create wonderful drizzle effects and creamy pools of chocolate goodness.

 

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Healthy Recipe for Hot Chocolate

healthy hot chocolate

Making delicious, thick, velvety hot chocolate at home is easy. Unsweetened cocoa powder is the key. It has a richer, deeper, more chocolatey taste than commercial sweetened drinking chocolates. It can also be used for baking. Although hot chocolate can be made in the microwave, it tastes more delicious when it is made on the stovetop. The extra 1-2 minutes of cooking allows the chocolate to fully bloom. Recipes usually ask for equal amounts of sugar and unsweetened cocoa, but it’s really a matter of taste. Adjust the amounts if you prefer it richer or sweeter. Any other type of milk can be used, such as almond or soy milk — have fun with it!

Ingredients:
4 teaspoons sugar (turbinado or raw), or to taste
2 tablespoons cocoa powder, unsweetened
2 tablespoons milk
1 cup milk
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
Pinch of ground cinnamon (optional)

Directions:
Mix sugar, cocoa, and the 2 tablespoons of milk in a mug until smooth. Set aside.
On the stovetop, heat the remaining 1 cup of milk in a small saucepan over medium heat. If using a microwave, heat in a glass measuring jug until steaming hot but not boiling.
Gradually stir the hot milk into the cocoa mixture, stirring, until well blended. Pour back into the pan. Add the vanilla. Cook, stirring, for 1 to 2 minutes or until almost boiling again. Remove from heat.
To froth the hot chocolate, buzz with an immersion blender in the saucepan or jug, or beat it with a balloon whisk. Pour it back into the mug and sprinkle with cinnamon, if using. Alternatively, pour the hot chocolate into a blender, cover with the lid and a kitchen towel, and blend until frothy.

Nutrition Facts (per serving):

Calories 130 cals

Fat 5 g

Saturated Fat 3 g

Polyunsaturated Fat 1 g

Monounsaturated Fat 2 g

Carbohydrates 18 g

Sugar 16 g

Fiber 2 g

Protein 6 g

Sodium 60 mg

Chef Tips
For a deep chocolatey taste, use Dutch-processed unsweetened cocoa powder.

For a Mexican twist, try adding adding a pinch of chili powder instead of the cinnamon.

In some countries, hot chocolate is made with water and not milk, so for lactose intolerants, experiment to find the unsweetened, nondairy milk that works best. Don’t hesitate to up the chocolate content if the taste seems thin. When using a milk with added vanilla flavor, no need to add any extra.

As posted on CookForYourLife.org

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Cocoa vs chocolate: where does your chocolate cake reside?

cocoa vs. chocolate in cake

Chocolate cake is always a good idea. But does it matter whether you’re using real chocolate or the tinned powdery stuff that’s kept somewhere in the back of your pantry? First of all, the powdery stuff that tastes a lot like eating coffee straight from the jar is just as ‘real’ as the yummy stuff you’d happily eat a block of. Cocoa powder is one of the raw ingredients used in making chocolate. It’s made by roasting ground cacao beans at high temperatures. To make chocolate, you add cocoa powder to cocoa butter, additional fats and sugar. To achieve smooth, even chocolate, there are often other emulsifiers added as well. Milk chocolate will also have milk added as the main ingredient. Chocolate can vary in cocoa butter solids and other things. With cocoa, you’re getting the same product each time. As cocoa is a ‘raw’ chocolate ingredient, it also means you can better manipulate the flavor of your cake by adding sugar and fat to result in your desired texture and flavor. More fat will create a denser cake, more sugar will dilute the natural bitterness of cocoa. You can also experiment by using different fats and sugars to create your own unique flavor. Science aside, it really comes down to texture. A recipe using cocoa will usually be a lighter cake with a large crumb. Chocolate will result in a fudgier cake with a smaller crumb and a denser texture. Read more, HERE.

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3 INGREDIENT CHOCOLATE YOGURT CAKE (NO FLOUR, BUTTER OR OIL)

chocolate yogurt cake

This chocolate yogurt cake is incredibly light and fluffy and has a unique texture. It is just 3 ingredients and doesn’t need any flour, butter or oil. This yogurt cake is so soft and fluffy. It is very similar to a Japanese style cheesecake, which is like a cross between souffle and cake. The cake can be made ahead of time so it’s great for gatherings and parties.

INGREDIENTS
Milk Chocolate Chips
Greek Yogurt
Eggs
Milk chocolate chips: For this recipe, I used milk chocolate chips. You can make it with semisweet chocolate chips but the cake might not be sweet enough. Even using milk chocolate, the cake is not super sweet.

Greek yogurt: You must use Greek yogurt. Regular yogurt will not work. I have only tested it with plain greek yogurt. I don’t know if a flavored one will work. The added sugar in flavored yogurt could affect the recipe. I think this recipe works best with whole milk Greek yogurt, however it does also work with fat free. The whole milk version has a richer flavor and isn’t as tangy.

INSTRUCTIONS
Preheat oven to 325°F (163°C). Grease the inside of a 7 inch round cake pan with a cooking oil spray. Use a solid one-piece cake pan (no removable bottom). Line with parchment paper. You will want to create handles first and then line the bottom and sides. See notes for how to line the cake pan.
Separate egg yolks and whites. Place eggs whites into fridge until ready to use. Let the egg yolks sit out.

Add chocolate chips to a large microwave safe mixing bowl. Melt either in the microwave or on the stove (using the double boiler method). I used the microwave. If using microwave, heat chocolate in 15 second intervals, stirring in between with a spatula, until chocolate is completely melted and smooth.
Whisk in yogurt. Make sure your yogurt is not cold to the touch before adding it. If bringing it to room temperature is not enough, you can warm up the yogurt for a few seconds in the microwave. If your yogurt is cold it will make your chocolate seize. Mix in the yogurt with a whisk until fully incorporated and the batter is smooth.
Whisk in egg yolks until batter is smooth and no egg streaks remain.
Remove egg whites from fridge. Place them into a separate clean large mixing bowl. Beat at highest speed until stiff peaks form. I prefer to use a stand mixer but you can also use a hand mixer.

Add one third of the egg white mixture to your egg yolk batter. Fold it in gently with a spatula until no egg white lumps remain (it’s okay if there are a few streaks of white in your batter). Make sure you scoop up batter from the very bottom of the bowl each time you fold to make sure all of the batter gets incorporated with the egg whites. Repeat with the next 1/3 and then remaining 1/3.
Pour batter into prepared baking pan. The cake will be baked in a water bath. To do this, place your cake pan into a slightly larger baking pan. I used a 9 x 9 inch baking pan. Place your cake pan into the bigger pan. Pour just enough cold tap water into the outer pan so that the water level reaches 1/2 inch. Make sure to add the water to the outer pan after you’ve put the cake in. If you add 1/2 inch of water before, the added weight of the cake pan and cake batter will push up your water level more than 1/2 inch. I recommend using a ruler to measure the water level. If your water level is too high, the bottom of your cake will cook too much, causing a dense bottom layer.
Place cake with water bath into your oven. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until cake looks done. (Check on the cake through the oven window and don’t open the oven door. You just want the top of the cake to look cooked.) Turn off the oven but do not open the oven door and leave the cake in the oven for one hour. It is important to leave the cake in the oven (unopened) because this allows the cake to finish cooking and the gradual drop in temperature prevents the cake from suddenly collapsing. The cake will shrink down, but it shouldn’t completely collapse. After one hour, you can remove the cake from the oven. Use the cake handles to lift the cake from the pan and transfer it to a plate. Let the cake cool to room temperature for a few hours. If desired, dust top with powdered sugar before serving.
NOTES
It’s important not to open the oven door during baking or during the one hour after. To know when to turn off the oven, take a look through your oven window. The cake should look done (it should be puffed up, the middle should not be sunken in). If you don’t have an oven window, I would just turn it off after 45 minutes.
Don’t eat the cake until fully cooled (at least a few hours). The texture will not be set and will taste a little eggy and wet before it is fully cooled.
This cake can be made a day ahead of time. If making it ahead of time, store cake in fridge and then bring to room temperature before serving.
This cake is best made in a solid one-piece round cake pan that does not have a removable bottom. A springform cake pan or a cake pan with a removable bottom results in the bottom layer of the cake cooking too fast, which will produce a dense bottom layer.
Lining the cake pan: Before lining the cake pan, you want to create some handles so that you can easily lift your cake out of the pan. First, grease the interior of your cake pan (I used an oil spray). Then place two long strips of parchment paper across the cake pan. Each strip should run from one side of the cake pan to the other with some overhang and should overlap and form an “X” at the bottom of your cake pan. See photo in post for reference. Then, line the cake pan as you normally would (bottom round parchment paper and parchment paper for the sides). You’ll want to either regrease the cake pan after adding the handles or grease the bottom round and side parchment strips so that they stick to the cake pan. If you use a nonstick pan, you don’t need to line the sides but you will need to make sure the sides are thoroughly greased. Most one piece 7 inch round cake pans I’ve seen sold in the US are not nonstick, so if you aren’t sure if it’s nonstick, I would line the sides just in case.
I used US standard large eggs. You should have approximately 142 grams of egg whites and 75 grams of egg yolks.

As posted on KIRBIECRAVINGS.COM

 

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Chocolate Chess Pie

chocolate chess pie

Chess pie is similar to buttermilk pie, but it includes cornmeal, which adds texture and rises to the top to create a great crust. While chocolate isn’t traditional for chess pie, it’s added here as a delicious twist.

Ingredients:
8 servings
2 cups sugar
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
2 tsp. vanilla extract
5 large eggs
¼ cup whole milk
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 Tbsp. yellow cornmeal
1 Tbsp. distilled white vinegar
1 (9″) store-bought or homemade pie crust, chilled

Step 1
Preheat the oven to 325°F.

Step 2
In a large mixing bowl, whisk the sugar, butter, and vanilla until well combined. Add the eggs, milk, cocoa, cornmeal, and vinegar and whisk until well combined. Pour the filling into the pie crust.

Step 3
Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the center of the pie is almost set. Let the pie cool on a wire rack for about 45 minutes before serving.

Excerpted from Super Soul Food with Cousin Rosie and posted on EPICURIOUS.COM.

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Make Your Ice Cream Sundae Super Delicious With This Chocolate Fudge Sauce

chocolate sauce

Chef Guntas Sethi has come up with a drool-worthy recipe for a perfect chocolate sauce.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup sugar
2/3 cup milk
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 cup unsweetened chocolate, (chopped)
3 tbsp butter

Method:1)Start by heating some sugar along with some milk. Bring it to a boil until the sugar is well dissolved.2) Now, lower the heat and add some salt and cocoa powder and whisk it until the powder is well incorporated.3) Add some chocolate as well as vanilla extract along with butter and cook it on low to medium heat until it thickens.

A wonderful drool-worthy sauce is ready to be savoured. The chef also mentioned the following points in the post:- All those who wish to store the sauce, can do so. Chef Guntas stated that you can freeze the chocolate sauce for up to 2 months and reheat it whenever you wish to use it.- You can garnish your sundae with some chopped chocolate, roasted almonds and whatever other toppings of your choice.

As posted on FOOD.NDTV.COM

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HOW TO BAKE CHOCOLATE CAKE

chocolate cake

Chocolate is a favorite snack for most people, but when chocolate and cake mingle, it’s a different ball game. The bitter-sweet taste and moist feeling that elevates the senses is a secret reserved for the taste buds – it’s unexplainable. Here’s a recipe that’s easy and can be baked at home every day, anytime.

INGREDIENTS
4 pieces of eggs
3 cups of flour
2 satchets of Coffee
2 cups of water
1 tin of milk
2 caps of chocolate flavor
2 caps of vinegar
1 tbsp of baking powder
1 tbsp of baking soda
1 tsp of salt
1 cup of cocoa powder
3 cups of sugar
1 cup of groundnut oil.

Method
1) Sieve your flour and all the dry ingredients inside the flour and set aside.

2) In your mixing bowl , add eggs and sugar together, mix for about 10 minutes.

3) Then add 1 cup of groundnut oil. Adding in oil, let it mix for about 5 minutes.

4) Then, add your flour little by little.

5) Mix your Nescafe with warm water, then pour into the mixture.

6) Mix well and add your buttermilk which is milk and vinegar and mix well.

7) Add your water (put one cup first). Then, take your spatula and scrape the side of the bowl to see if the batter is thick.

8) If thick, add another 1 cup of water (warm) and mix well.

9) Grease pan and pour batter into pan. Place in the pre heated oven.

10) Insert a toothpick into the middle of the cake. If it comes out wet, wait a little more.

If it comes out clean and dry, it’s ready to be served.

11) Allow to cool. Serve with ice cream, fruit juice and any drink of your choice.

As posted on GUARDIAN.NG

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MEXICAN CHOCOLATE PIE

Mexican chocolate pie

Mexican Chocolate Cream Pie is made with a graham cracker and almond crust filled with Mexican chocolate cream filling and topped with fresh whipped cream. This Mexican Chocolate Pie recipe is from the famous Elote Cafe in Sedona Arizona.

INGREDIENTS:

Graham Cracker Almond Crust:
7 Whole Graham Cracker Sheets
¾ cup Sliced Almonds
6 Tablespoons Melted Butter
Chocolate Filling:
1 cup Heavy Cream
3 ounces Mexican Chocolate (or Milk Chocolate)
9 ounces Semi-Sweet Chocolate
½ to 1 teaspoon Cinnamon * (optional)
Whipped Cream:
1 ½ cups Heavy Cream
½ cup Powdered Sugar
Topping:
4 ounces Caramel Sauce or Dulce de Leche, slightly warmed

INSTRUCTIONS:

Chocolate Filling:
Heat the 1 cup of heavy cream over medium heat until it is warmed. Reduce to lower heat and add chocolate (in small pieces) and allow to completely melt. Whisk the mixture to ensure it it completely smooth. Set aside and let cool to room temperature.
Graham Cracker Crust:
Add the graham crackers and almonds to a food processor. Grind to form a coarse meal. Add melted butter and mix together. Press into the bottom of a 9-inch pie plate.
Whipped Cream:
Whip the chilled heavy cream and powdered sugar until stiff peaks form. Once the chocolate filling has cooled to room temperature, fold the whipped cream (reserving ½ cup for decorating the pie) into the chocolate filling mixture until no white streaks appear.
To Assemble Pie:
Pour the chocolate cream filling into the pie shell. Refrigerate for at least two hours or overnight. When ready to serve, pipe the remaining whipped cream around the sides of the pie.
Drizzle with slightly warmed caramel or dulce de leche. Serve with extra whipped cream, if so desired.

NOTES
Mexican chocolate has cinnamon in it so if you are using regular milk chocolate, you will want to add some cinnamon to the filling. Add ½ to 1 teaspoon, depending on taste preference. Start with ¼ to ½ teaspoon and add more as desired.
What type of chocolate to use in this pie?
I would suggest using high-quality chocolate bars, if at all possible. I use the Trader Joe’s Pound Plus Bar. You can also use semi-sweet chocolate chips.
* Recipe adapted from Elote Cafe Cookbook, posted on MODERNHONEY.COM

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This Is How Long Chocolate Chips Take To Go Bad

chocolate chips go bad

It’s probably been a while since you relied on your oven for therapy time, but let’s be honest: You kind of miss it. You miss being distracted by the step-by-step routine of the recipe. From kneading and melting to serving the first ooey-gooey slice of whatever you felt like having, nothing gets you feeling better than baking something delicious in the oven. If you do it regularly or like to have your shelf ready for dessert inspiration, you probably have any number of clever ingredients that elevate your baking game stacked in your pantry. There is a bag of flour somewhere and baking powder leftovers you used on the recent holiday. You may also have a bag of chocolate chips from your last brownie-craving night — you remembered they were so good you need to give it a try all over again. But, are the chocolate chips good to go? It’s been months since you last used them, and the expiration date says to use them before a day that passed a long time ago. You try one, they don’t taste bad … but could something happen to you? In fact, there is a more important question you need to ask yourself before using your chocolate chips: How were they stored? Chocolate chips can last years if stored properly (read more, HERE).

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This pastry chef has made chocolate molds of everything from Ferris wheels to the Eiffel Tower. Get his tips for at-home candy-making.

making chocolate sculptures

Executive pastry chef Joshua Cain’s passion for creating dramatic molded chocolate sculptures and desserts with molded chocolate elements is well-known. He previously created chocolate masterpieces like an 11-foot Saturn V rocket to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 1969 moon-landing, which was comprised of 4,000 total pounds of chocolate. His biggest tip for those who want to try molding at home? “Get the best quality chocolate you can find,” he says. Read more, HERE.

 

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The Ingredients You Should Never Add To Chocolate Bark

chocolate bark

According to The Nibble, chocolate bark (or “Mendiants” in French) was made to be a traditional Christmas candy that would appeal to followers of several Christian orders as a variety of colors and flavors were available to represent the various groups. Today this versatility means chocolate bark can appeal to a wide variety of palates as any number of nuts, berries, seeds, and other yummy goodies can be studded into bars of chocolate which are then broken into small “bark-like” pieces. It is a relatively easy candy to make at home and so many families that celebrate Christmas have folded it into their culinary traditions, especially since it is a treat even kids can help make. But, despite its delicious simplicity, your chocolate bark recipe can still go wrong if you incorporate the wrong ingredients (click, HERE).

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Why It’s A Bad Idea To Can Homemade Chocolate Sauces

homemade chocolate sauce

For certain, there are home recipes that are not well suited for canning. Homemade chocolate sauce is one of them. The temptation to whip up a large batch of your favorite ice cream topping and can it to save for special occasions is a misguided notion. The process of canning does not lend itself to chocolate in a way that would make the sauce safe to consume. And while this may be disappointing, understanding the rationale against canning your homemade chocolate sauce is important for your health and well-being. CLICK, HERE, FOR MORE DETAILS.

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Amarachi Clarke’s ultimate chocolate brownies

Amarachi Clark chocolate brownies

After teaching herself how to make chocolate in her North London flat, Amarachi Clarke now sources cocoa beans direct from Ghana and Belize to produce bean to bar chocolate at her company Lucocoa (Loo-cocoa). She’s in the kitchen showing us how to make her indulgent chocolate brownies.

Brownies
Serves: 4

Ingredients:

150g unsalted butter (and a little bit for greasing the tin)

300g chocolate

50g cocoa powder

200g flour

180g coconut sugar (or brown sugar)

1 tsp sea salt (grind to a powder)

¼ tsp baking powder

4 medium eggs

Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 180 (gas 4). Place the butter and chocolate in a bowk and place over a pan of simmering water and allow to melt, stirring occasionally until melted and leave to cool..

2. Whisk the sugar and eggs together until smooth.

3. In a separate bowl, sieve the cocoa powder, flour, baking powder and salt and mix together before pouring into the whisked egg mixture. Mix until fully combined. Add the melted butter and chocolate and mix well.

4. Pour the mixture into a greased and lined 20cm square baking tin. Lightly tap the tin onto the table a few times to release any air bubbles. Use a palette knife to smooth the top of the mixture.

5. Bake for 15 minutes until set, then remove from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack.

6. Slice and serve with ice cream.

As posted on ITV.COM.

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Chocolate Dessert Lasagna

chocolate lasagna dessert

As far as pudding cakes go, this no-bake, Chocolate Dessert Lasagna is one of the best. Who can resist a bite into these layers of creamy, dreamy, chocolatey-ness? Serve this cake anytime you need a chilled dessert to keep you feeling cool and satisfied!

What You’ll Need:
1 (14.3-ounce) package of cream-filled chocolate sandwich cookies (about 36)
6 tablespoons butter, melted
1 (8-ounce) package of cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 (12-ounce) container of frozen whipped topping, thawed, divided
2 (4-serving-size) packages of instant chocolate pudding and pie filling
3 cups cold milk
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

What to Do:
Place cookies in a resealable plastic bag; using a rolling pin, finely crush cookies. Place in a medium bowl, add butter and mix well. Press mixture into the bottom of a 9- x 13-inch baking dish; chill until ready to use.
In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese, vanilla, and confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Stir in 2 cups of whipped topping. Lightly spread the mixture evenly over the cookie crust.
In a large bowl, whisk together chocolate pudding and milk until thick. Evenly spread over the cream cheese layer. Refrigerate for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the pudding is set.
Spread the remaining whipped topping over the pudding layer and sprinkle with chocolate chips. Refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours, or until set.

As posted on KOAMNEWSNOW.COM

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How to Use Every Type of Chocolate Chip in Your Baking

using chocolate chips in baking

Which chips (or chunks) should you choose for your holiday baking and beyond? ’Tis the season for holiday baking, which, is a season that stretches across most of the year. And if you’re craving a simple, classic chocolate chip cookie, you might head to the baking aisle and be greeted with an abundance of choices. There are many chocolate chips from which to choose; which one is best? Here are seven leading types and the ideal baking scenario for each one (click HERE).

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A single-serving chocolate chip cookie recipe for dessert emergencies

single serving chocolate chip cookie

When you need nothing other than a warm chocolate chip cookie, here’s a quick and easy recipe that makes just the right number: one. This picture-perfect cookie from “Great British Bake Off” champion Edd Kimber will be on your plate in about half an hour. The chilling time is optional, but if you prefer a thick, chewy cookie, we highly recommend it. Unchilled dough will bake up thinner and slightly crispy. The amounts are so small here and the recipe is so forgiving that you don’t need to worry about weighing your ingredients. It’s also the perfect small bake for your toaster oven. Feel free to change the add-ins to your choice of chocolate or nuts.

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons milk
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
Pinch baking powder
Pinch baking soda
Pinch fine salt
2 tablespoons roughly chopped dark chocolate
Flaky sea salt, for sprinkling (optional)

Step 1

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet (any size, but a quarter- or eighth-sheet is perfect) with parchment paper.

Step 2

In a small bowl, combine the butter, light brown sugar and granulated sugar and stir with a spatula until well combined. Pour in the milk and mix until creamy. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda and fine salt and mix until a soft but not sticky dough forms. Add the chocolate and stir to combine. If needed, mix in a little extra flour, 1 teaspoon at a time, adding just enough to make the dough lose its stickiness but not become stiff.

Step 3

Shape the dough into a ball and place on the prepared baking sheet. If you prefer a thick and chewy cookie, pop the pan into the freezer to chill for 5 to 10 minutes. Bake for 16 to 20 minutes, or until golden around the edges and a little paler in the center. If you have chilled the dough, you may need the higher end of the time range. Sprinkle with the flaky salt, if using, and let cool on the pan. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Nutrition Information
Per cookie

Calories: 386; Total Fat: 21 g; Saturated Fat: 13 g; Cholesterol: 31 mg; Sodium: 401 mg; Carbohydrates: 52 g; Dietary Fiber: 3 g; Sugar: 31 g; Protein: 5 g

This analysis is an estimate based on available ingredients and this preparation. It should not substitute for a dietitian’s or nutritionist’s advice.

Adapted from “Small Batch Bakes” by Edd Kimber (Kyle Books, 2022), as posted on WashingtonPost.com.

 

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I’ve been a chef for 15 years. Here are my 9 tips for making the best chocolate chip cookies.

Tips for making cc cookies

As a professional chef, Alissa Fitzgerald knows that classic chocolate-chip cookies taste a whole lot better with a few key ingredients and techniques. The best cookies are slightly chewy and a little bit gooey with a crispy edge, and there are simple ways to achieve those results in your own kitchen. To discover her 9 tips for baking the best chocolate chip cookies, click HERE.

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The ultimate chocolate cake

Ultimate chocolate cake

A birthday cake should look as amazing as it tastes, so let your creativity loose and go for gold! Topped with rosebuds, petals, berries, meringues, frozen raspberries and gold pearls. This cake is perfect to celebrate a birthday or any special occasion!

Ingredients:

Melted butter, to grease, plus extra 400g, chopped, softened

½ cup Dutch cocoa

1 cup brown sugar

400ml boiling water

1 cup caster sugar

4 free-range eggs, lightly beaten

3 cups plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

2 Tbsp Callebaut dark chocolate crips pearls

Pinch of edible gold dust or chocolate polish

Rosebuds (for decoration only, not for eating), rose petals, cornflower petals, dianthus petals, raspberries, blueberries, gold speckled mini meringues and crushed freeze-dried raspberries, to decorate

Rich chocolate ganache frosting
250ml thickened cream

400g dark chocolate (45% cocoa), chopped

Method
To make frosting, put cream in a medium saucepan over low heat. Bring to a gentle simmer, remove from heat and stir in chocolate. Set aside for 10 minutes, then briefly stir again until silky-smooth. Set aside at room temperature for 2 hours, stirring occasionally, until it’s a spreadable consistency.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 160 degrees C fan-forced (180 degrees C conventional). Grease two 20cm round cake tins with butter and line bases and sides with baking paper.

Step 2

Put cocoa and brown sugar in a large heatproof jug and pour in boiling water. Use a whisk to stir until smooth, then set aside to cool for 15 minutes.

Step 3

Meanwhile, put extra butter in a large bowl, add caster sugar and beat with an electric hand beater on high speed until light and fluffy.

Step 4

Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Step 5

Sift in flour, baking powder and bicarb, then add about ½ cup of cocoa mixture. Stir with a whisk to roughly combine. Continue to add cocoa mixture, ½ cup at a time, whisking until a smooth speckled batter forms.

Step 6

Divide batter into thirds, using a cup measure for accuracy, dividing between 2 tins and one large bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside. Bake 2 cakes for 35 minutes, or until cooked when tested with a skewer, swapping positions in oven halfway through. Cool cakes in tins for 15 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Step 7

Regrease and line 1 tin, then pour in remaining batter. Bake for 35 minutes, or until cooked when tested with a skewer. Cool completely.

Step 8

To assemble, put 1 cake on a stand. Spread with 1/3 of the frosting. Repeat layering, finishing with frosting.

Step 9

Put pearls in a small zip-lock bag. Add a pinch of gold dust. Seal bag and shake well to coat completely.
Decorate cake with rosebuds, petals, berries, meringues, frozen raspberries and gold pearls. Serve.

As posted on BHG.COM.AU

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Chocolate Shortbread

Chocolate shortcake

If you’re looking for an easy and classic addition to your holiday cookie repertoire, chocolate shortbread should be your next bake. Slightly crisp with a meltingly tender texture, they’re perfect served with a cup of milky tea or—for intense chocoholics out there—a steaming mug of hot cocoa. Shortbread gets its name from its crumbly textured dough that uses no leaveners and has a high fat content. The addition of cocoa powder here brings this traditional cookie in a whole new direction.

INGREDIENTS
1 1/2 c. (180 g.) all-purpose flour
1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 c. (115 g.) powdered sugar
1/2 c. (40 g.) Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1/4 c. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 c. (170 g.) semisweet or white chocolate chips
Sugar pearl sprinkles, for decorating (optional)

DIRECTIONS
In the large bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat flour, butter, powdered sugar, cocoa powder, cornstarch, salt, and vanilla on medium speed until a thick, smooth dough forms, about 1 minute. Scrape down sides of bowl and continue to beat until there are no pockets of unmixed flour, about 30 seconds more.
Using a rubber spatula, scrape dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap. Pat to a disk, then tightly wrap. Chill at least 2 hours or up to 2 days.
Arrange racks in top and bottom third of oven; preheat to 300°. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Place another large piece of parchment paper on a work surface. Unwrap dough, place on parchment, then top with another large piece of parchment. Using a rolling pin, roll dough to 1/4″ thick. Using a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut dough into diamond shapes about 3″ long and arrange on prepared sheets, spacing about 1 1/2″ apart (or you can use a 2″ round cookie cutter and cut into rounds). Reroll scraps and cut out more diamond shapes to make 14 to 16 total.
Bake cookies, rotating pans top to bottom halfway through, until firm to the touch, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool on baking sheet 5 minutes. Using a metal spatula, transfer cookies to a wire rack and let cool completely.
In a small microwave-safe bowl, microwave chocolate chips in 30-second intervals, stirring between each, until melted and smooth. Using a spoon or a piping bag, drizzle chocolate over cooled shortbread. Top with sugar pearls (if using). Refrigerate until set, 15 to 20 minutes.
Make Ahead: Cookies can be made 1 week ahead. Store in an airtight container and refrigerate.

As posted on DELISH.COM.

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Gordon Ramsay’s Chocolate Rule You Should Never Break

different roles for chocolate

While people at every corner of the earth seem enamored with chocolate, there are regional differences to this sweet. For instance, the chocolate found in America has traits that make it different from European chocolate. According to Gourmet Boutique, those on this side of the Atlantic prefer their chocolate to have less actual cocoa, more sugar, and less fat and cocoa butter. Even with less cocoa and more sugar, Americans enjoy a love affair with chocolates of all types. But some chocolate varieties reign supreme — according to a YouGov survey, 49% of U.S. citizens prefer milk chocolate, while 34% like to nosh on dark chocolate. A mere 11% contend that white chocolate is best. Chef Gordon Ramsay, however, believes that all chocolate varieties bring something special to the culinary world. You just need to know how to best use each type. To find out, click HERE.

 

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What’s the Difference Between Regular Chocolate and Baking Chocolate?

Baking chocolate

Wander down the baking aisle of any grocery store and you’ll notice several boxes labeled baking chocolate. Some say unsweetened, others bittersweet or semi-sweet, another labeled German’s sweet chocolate. Have you ever wondered what this chocolate is used for and how it’s any different than the chocolate over in the candy aisle? There’s actually quite a big difference. For baking, it’s important to understand the difference between regular chocolate and baking chocolate—plus, know how to select the right kind of chocolate for every recipe. We’ve broken it all down for you, from types of chocolate to how to use it (click HERE).

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How Cocoa Powder Affects The Moisture Of Your Cakes

cocoa powder. moisture of cakes

If you love chocolate, we’re willing to bet that chocolate cake is up there among your favorite desserts. Whether the treat in question is a chocolate-iced death by chocolate cake, a cream cheese-rich chocolate gooey butter cake, or a towering, coconut-frosted German chocolate cake, chocolate cake is widely beloved by those who enjoy sweets. Perhaps one of the most diverse dessert categories out there, a good chocolate cake — no matter what variety — should be super-moist, with a deep, rich chocolate flavor.

But as anyone who has sampled their fair share of chocolate cakes knows, this ubiquitous dessert is, all too often, way too dry. According to Better Homes & Gardens, some of the reasons a cake might turn out too dry include baking it for too long, not using precisely measured ingredients, and overmixing the batter. But with chocolate cakes specifically, there’s one factor that you may not have considered that directly affects the cake’s moistness, and that’s the type of cocoa powder you select at the store. Learn more, HERE.

 

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12 Types Of Baking Chocolate And What Makes Them Unique

types of baking chocolate

Popular opinion: chocolate might be the perfect food — and yes, we know we’re not going out on much of a limb with this declaration. Sweet, bitter, and complex, chocolate has been the culinary object of desire of cultures around the world for millennia. In its highest-quality forms, chocolate can be one of the most stimulating, nutritious, and heart-healthy foods available. And, as many home cooks know, many types of chocolate are essential to baking.

Today, high-quality chocolate is an essential ingredient in pastry kitchens worldwide. It comes in many forms, from cocoa-rich dark chocolate to sweet and creamy milk chocolate. White chocolate has no cocoa at all, while newcomer ruby chocolate is made using a rare cocoa bean varietal. Cacao nibs and cocoa butter, the building blocks of chocolate, are also being used by pastry chefs and chocolatiers in new and inventive ways. That said, if you’re a baker, it is important to learn about all the different varieties and forms of chocolate used when baking, how they’re made, and their best applications. To learn more, click HERE.

 

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2 INGREDIENT NO BAKE CHOCOLATE BANANA CAKE (NO FLOUR, EGGS OR OIL)

chocolate banana cake

This easy no bake chocolate banana cake is just 2 ingredients. It is very rich and full of chocolate and banana flavor. It doesn’t contain any flour, eggs, or oil. It is best served chilled and can be made ahead of time, making it an especially great dessert in the summer, though it can be enjoyed year-round.

INGREDIENTS
Bananas
Semisweet Chocolate Chips
Bananas: This recipe works best with ripe bananas. They do not need to be overripe, though overripe bananas will also work. The bananas will need to be mashed until no lumps remain.

Semisweet Chocolate Chips: If you prefer a less sweet dessert, you can also use bittersweet or dark chocolate. The chocolate will need to be melted either on the stove or in the microwave. The microwave is faster, but either way will work.

NO BAKE BANANA CAKE TEXTURE
This cake is creamy, almost like a cheesecake texture. It is very rich and decadent.

When the bananas are mixed with the melted chocolate, it prevents the chocolate from turning back into its solid form. Instead, the chocolate stays in a semi-solid state. So you end up with a rich, fudgy cake that is similar to a flourless chocolate cake.

INSTRUCTIONS
Grease the interior of a 6 or 7 inch springform baking pan. Line the bottom and inner sides with parchment paper.
Mash bananas with a fork, whisk or potato masher until no lumps remain. Set aside.
Add chocolate chips to a large microwave-safe bowl. Heat at full power in 1 minute intervals, stirring in between with a spatula, until chocolate is fully melted and smooth. (I needed 2 minutes total cooking time). Alternatively, you can melt the chocolate on the stove using the double boiler method.
Once you have a smooth chocolate batter, add in the mashed bananas. Stir with a whiks until bananas are fully incorporated and no banana streaks remain.
Pour batter into prepared cake pan. Place into fridge until set. I recommend refrigerating for at least 1 hour though it may be ready in less time. You can also let it sit in the fridge overnight. If you are decorating the cake, wait for it to set before adding the frosting.

NOTES

For a taller/thicker cake, use a 6-inch cake pan. If you don’t mind that the cake is not that tall, you can use a 7-inch cake pan.
I find this easiest to make in a springform pan but it can be made in a regular round cake pan. It will just be more difficult to remove the cake from the pan.
If you want to make the cake less sweet, you can use dark chocolate instead of semisweet chocolate.
You will need approximately 3 bananas to yield 1 cup of mashed banana.
Make sure you mash the bananas and don’t puree them. Pureeing them in a food processor or blender will make them too liquidy. While the recipe will still work with banana puree, your cake will not be as set.
Mash the bananas before measuring them if you are using a measuring cup.
This recipe does not work well with frozen bananas because frozen bananas contain more liquid.
I decorated the cake with a chocolate ganache frosting and some shaved chocolate on top.
Optional Frosting: To make the chocolate ganache frosting you will need 2 oz heavy cream and 1/2 cup chocolate chips. Place chocolate chips in a mixing bowl. Heat heavy cream until it reaches a simmer. Pour the heavy cream over chocolate. Immediately start stirring until chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Pour ganache over cake and spread it over the cake.

Cake can be made 1-2 days ahead of time. Keep cake in the fridge until ready to serve.

As posted on KIRBIECRAVINGS.COM

 

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This easy 10-minute chocolate cake can be made in the microwave

microwave chocolate cake

The rich cake includes cocoa powder and dark chocolate, and it doesn’t require any eggs. The recipe can easily be made vegan-friendly as well.

Ingredients:

For the cake:

150 grams all-purpose flour
100 grams granulated sugar
90 grams unsalted butter (melted)
60 grams cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
380 milliliters warm water

For the chocolate ganache topping:

150 grams dark chocolate
150 milliliters heavy cream
If you want to make this dish vegan-friendly, you can swap the melted butter for vegetable oil and use a dairy-free chocolate icing for the top instead.

Directions:

First, add the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, and baking powder into a bowl and whisk together until they’re combined. Then add the melted butter and warm water and whisk until the mixture is smooth.

Pour the mixture into a 7-inch microwave-safe dish, and microwave the batter for five to six minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Head recommends checking on the cake when you have one minute left to go. Let your cake cool fully in the dish before removing it.

“There should be no wet batter visible, if there is, continue to microwave in 30-second bursts until a toothpick comes out clean.”

Let your cake cool fully in the dish before removing it.

While your cake is cooling, mix your dark chocolate and heavy cream together and microwave for one minute. Stir the ganache topping until it’s smooth.

Carefully flip the cake upside down onto a plate. Pour your ganache topping over the cooled cake, and smooth it out to the edges. And just like that, you’re ready to eat!

As posted on INSIDER.COM.

 

 

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Easy Chocolate Milkshake

Chocolate milkshake

Nothing says “carefree” quite like a frosty, creamy, chocolate milkshake. Way back in the late 1800s, a milkshake was a whiskey drink thickened with cream and egg yolks. Thankfully the whiskey got replaced with syrup and the thickener became ice cream in the 1920s to make the best drinkable dessert known to humankind. Upgrade this summertime staple, swapping the milk for heavy cream and adding homemade chocolate sauce to get the creamiest, chocolatey-est shake imaginable. The secret ingredient is just a pinch of salt. Feel free to double, triple, or quadruple this recipe if you’re feeding a crowd. Heavy cream does add undeniable creaminess, but you don’t have to use it. You can try half-and-half, whole milk, or your favorite vegan milk and still make a delicious milkshake (including the chocolate sauce!). If you do opt for something other than heavy cream, feel free to use your favorite store-bought whipped cream. Finding the target temperature for the ice cream is key for achieving a milkshake that has the right thickness: not too thick and not too thin. For the best results, the ice cream should be firm but still scoopable. Keep the ice cream stored in the main part of your freezer to help avoid temperature fluctuations, which can lead to ice crystal formation and a weird texture. Sometimes you want a little more than just chocolate. This recipe is a perfect base for adding your favorite chocolate-adjacent flavors. You can even throw in a little whiskey like they did back in the day. Here are a few combos to get you started:

– Nutella + orange zest

– Peanut butter + frozen bananas

– Almond butter + toasted coconut flakes

– Ground cinnamon + cayenne pepper

Top a chocolate milkshake with anything your sweet tooth desires. Cookie crumbles, chocolate candies, rainbow sprinkles, chopped pecans, salty caramel, chopped strawberries…

Recipe:

INGREDIENTS:
1/2 c. semisweet chocolate chips
1 c. cold heavy cream, divided
2 tsp. granulated sugar
1 1/2 c. vanilla ice cream
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
Chocolate sprinkles, for garnish

DIRECTIONS:
In a small heatproof bowl, microwave chips and 1/4 c. cream on High for 30 seconds. Stir until chips are melted and a glossy sauce forms.
In a blender on high speed, blend granulated sugar and 1/2 c. cream until whipped cream forms, 1 to 2 minutes. Using a rubber spatula, transfer whipped cream to a small bowl.
In blender on high speed (no need to wipe out), blend ice cream, salt, remaining 1/4 c. cream, and all but 2 tbsp. chocolate sauce until smooth but still thick, about 30 seconds.
Divide milkshake between glasses. Top with whipped cream, reserved chocolate sauce, and sprinkles.

As posted on DELISH.COM.

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Chocolate Flourless Cupcakes

Flourless chocolate cupcakes

Chocolate Flourless Cupcakes

Ingredients:

4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup butter

2/3 cup packed brown sugar

3 eggs, beaten

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 F. Butter or spray muffin tin cups with baking spray. In a microwave safe bowl, heat butter and chocolate for 30 to 45 seconds. Stir. Heat another 30 or until just melted. Whisk in brown sugar. Whisk in eggs. Next, whisk in cocoa powder until combined. Fill each muffin cup about half full of batter. Bake about 10 to 14 minutes. Check them at 10 minutes. Do not over bake. They should be fudgy. Cool completely. Great served with fresh whipped cream and berries on top! Makes about a dozen.

As posted on Dayton247now.com.

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This cacao-rich oatmeal promises to satisfy anyone’s chocolate obsession

Chocolate oatmeal

The dates lightly sweeten the oatmeal, and the chia seeds pack a punch of energy-boosting power.

Yield: 2 servings

What You’ll Need:
2 cups unsweetened plant-based milk, divided
5-6 pitted dates
¾ cup rolled oats
1 ½ Tbsp cacao powder (or cocoa powder)
½ tsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp chia seeds
Fresh or frozen strawberries or dark cherries
Chocolate Obsession Oatmeal

How to Make It:
Blend 1 cup of plant-based milk with dates in a blender until smooth.
In a medium saucepan, combine dates and plant-based milk mixture with the remaining milk and rest of the ingredients, except the berries.
Bring to a low boil and cook on medium-low until thickened, about 15 minutes.
Top with thawed dark sweet cherries or fresh strawberries.

Tips:
Add more milk if you prefer a thinner oatmeal.
You can double or triple the recipe and store the leftovers in the fridge for the rest of the week.
You can also use ground flax seeds instead of chia seeds.
Top with your favorite fresh or frozen fruit of your choice.

As posted on GreenVilleOnline.com.

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Vegan Chocolate-Chipotle Ice Cream

Vegan chocolate ice cream

This recipe is 100% vegan, but you would never know it: It’s rich and decadent, like frozen ganache, with a bit of smoky tang from the chipotles. Nondairy ice cream is typically made with alternative milks or nondairy yogurt to achieve the creaminess of regular ice cream. Chef and ice cream maker Fany Gerson opts for a combination of both, calling for unsweetened oat milk or rice milk as well as coconut yogurt. The finished product is as creamy as it gets for being made without dairy, and the flavor combination of chocolate and chipotle, which is smoky and a bit hot, adds personality.

Ingredients:

6 medium-sizes dried chipotle chiles (about 1 1/4 ounces)
1 cup hot water
14 ounces vegan dark chocolate (70% cacao), chopped (about 2 1/2 cups)
1 ½ cups plain unsweetened oat milk or rice milk
¾ cup organic granulated sugar
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa (about 2 ounces)
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
½ cup plain coconut yogurt (such as Anita’s)

Directions:

Step 1
Toast chiles in a dry, heavy skillet over medium, turning occasionally, until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Remove and discard chile stems, seeds, and ribs. Place chiles and 1 cup hot water in a small heatproof bowl; let soak until softened, about 30 minutes. Drain, reserving soaking liquid. Process chiles in a mini food processor or a blender until a smooth paste forms, about 1 minute, adding 2 to 3 tablespoons reserved soaking liquid as needed and stopping to scrape down sides of bowl as needed. Set aside. (Mixture can be stored in an airtight container in refrigerator up to 6 days.)

Step 2
Whisk together chopped chocolate, oat milk, sugar, cocoa, and salt in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium, whisking constantly, until chocolate is melted, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat; let mixture cool to room temperature, about 1 hour. Whisk in yogurt and 2 tablespoons chile paste, or more to taste. (Reserve remaining chile paste in freezer for another use.) Cover and refrigerate chocolate mixture until chilled, at least 3 hours or up to 12 hours.

Step 3
Spoon chilled chocolate mixture into frozen freezer bowl of an ice cream maker, and proceed according to manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer ice cream to a container; cover and freeze until firm, about 3 hours. Ice cream can be stored in an airtight container in freezer up to 1 week.

Make Ahead
Chipotle paste can be frozen up to 1 month. Thaw before using.

As posted on FoodandWine.com.

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Salted Dark Chocolate Chunk Brownies

Salted dark chocolate brownies

Why you will love this recipe: 3 words, chocolate, chocolate, chocolate. And you don’t even have to get out the mixer! Try using white chocolate chips for an extra shot of sweetness.

INGREDIENTS:
1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup 1 stick unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 eggs at room temperature
1/2 cup bitter sweet chocolate chunks
1 teaspoon flake salt
2 teaspoons turbinado sugar

INSTRUCTIONS:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray an 8 inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder and salt. Set aside.
Melt the butter in a medium bowl using the microwave in 20 second increments until just melted, about 40 seconds. Whisk in the sugar and vanilla until incorporated. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, until smooth.
Using a rubber spatula fold in the flour mixture until a few streaks of dry ingredients remain. Add the chocolate and fold a few more strokes to incorporate. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle with the flake salt and turbinado sugar. Bake for 28 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs. Allow to cool completely in the pan.

As posted on GIADZY.COM

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One-Bowl Chocolate Cake Recipe!

1 bowl chocolate cake

This easy-to-make chocolate cake is dark, moist, rich–and only dirties one bowl!

Servings: 12

Ingredients:

3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole-wheat pastry flour
½ cup granulated sugar
⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1/2 cup nonfat buttermilk
½ cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup hot strong black coffee
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

Directions

Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9-inch round cake pan with cooking spray. Line the pan with a circle of wax paper.
Step 2: Whisk flour, granulated sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Add buttermilk, brown sugar, egg, oil and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add hot coffee and beat to blend. (The batter will be quite thin.) Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
Step 3: Bake the cake until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes; remove from the pan, peel off the wax paper and let cool completely. Dust the top with confectioners’ sugar before slicing.

As posted on PRAGATIVADI.COM

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Why You Should Use Warm Ingredients When Cooking With Chocolate

warm ingredients for chocolate

Having success with chocolate doesn’t require a trip to culinary school or tutelage from a master chocolatier living high in the Swiss Alps. You simply need to understand a few basic rules. Cooking with chocolate typically involves melting it, and often, other ingredients are added to the melted chocolate. For example, adding cream to melted chocolate creates a sauce called ganache. Ganache can also be made with a number of other ingredients, including liqueurs, fruit purees, nut butters, and spices (via Handle the Heat). Before other ingredients are added, however, chocolate must go through a melting process called tempering. This process, which is used to give melted chocolate a desirable consistency, is sensitive to both temperature and moisture. If the chocolate reaches temperatures above 130 degrees Fahrenheit, it will burn and be unusable. If even a small amount of water or liquid is added to chocolate before it is tempered, it can cause the chocolate to seize (via Ghiradelli). Read more about tempering HERE.

 

 

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Why Cocoa Percentage Is Important When Cooking With Chocolate

cocoa percentage

One of the first things you notice on the label of a chocolate bar these days is a number, often in a prominent bold font and hard to miss when staring down your array of options at the grocery store. This number doesn’t refer to calories or price but to the percentage of cocoa the bar contains. More specifically, the number describes how much of the chocolate actually came directly from cacao beans (via Bar and Cocoa). From creamy 33% milk chocolate-peanut butter blends or 55% dark chocolate raspberry, all the way to intense 72% bars of bliss, the variety of chocolate available seems to grow constantly. When it comes to late-night bites or a shared movie theater snack, your selection really comes down to personal preference. But cooking requires a slightly more calculated approach as far as cacao percentage is concerned. From a favorite chocolate birthday cake to ganache-topped delicacies, delicious baked goods often call for specific types of chocolate in the recipe — so keep your pantry prepared by having a variety on hand. To discover why cocoa percentage is important when cooking with chocolate, read HERE.

 

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What You Should Know Before Melting Chocolate In The Microwave

melting chocolate

If you’re baking a dessert with chocolate, incorporating some chocolate into candy, or making a dip for fresh strawberries, then you’ll need to melt some chocolate. And while using a double boiler may be the traditional method of choice for professional bakers, many home bakers find it easier to use their microwave instead. And while the microwave may seem to be the easiest method for melting chocolate, a lot can go wrong if you’re not careful. As Good Housekeeping explains, microwaves do not usually heat food evenly, which means there is a risk of overheating and potentially burning the chocolate if you try to melt it in a microwave, which would be a real shame indeed. Burnt (or “seized”) chocolate is thick and dull, and pretty much useless to dip or coat anything with, and really should either be tossed out entirely or used in a recipe where you’re meting chocolate with a liquid like butter or cream, warns Food52. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to mitigate the risk of ruining your chocolate in the microwave. To avoid burning chocolate in the microwave, read more, HERE.

 

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Purim: Chocolate hamantashen recipes for cheaper, slightly healthier holiday

Chocolate and poppy seed hamantashen

Hamantashen have not been spared the general rise in the cost of food prices. But here’s a solution: Make your own.

Makes about 20 hamantashen.
Prep. time: 25 minutes, plus cooling and chilling
Cook time: 30 minutes

For the filling:
1 cup poppy seeds
½ cup whole milk or water
2 Tbsp. (¼ stick) unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
¼ cup soft brown sugar
1 Tbsp. maple syrup or runny honey
2 Tbsp. sultanas or raisins
30g. good-quality dark chocolate, finely chopped, or dark chocolate chips
½ cup ground almonds
1 tsp. vanilla extract a pinch of fine sea salt

For pastry:
1¾ cups plain flour, plus extra for dusting
A pinch of fine sea salt
⅔ cup (1¼ sticks) unsalted cold butter, cut into small cubes
2 Tbsp. cold water
1 Tbsp. orange blossom
Water, or 2 tsp. lemon
Juice and 2 tsp. extra cold water
1–2 Tbsp. icing sugar, for dusting

First, make the filling. Grind the poppy seeds in a nut– or coffee-grinder, then place in a saucepan with all the other filling ingredients and heat gently, stirring constantly, until a very thick paste is formed that leaves the bottom of the pan clean when stirred, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, transfer to a bowl and leave to cool.
Meanwhile, make the pastry. Put the flour and salt into the bowl of a food processor with the well-chilled butter. Pour the cold water and orange blossom water or lemon juice/water mixture into the bowl, pulsing until the mixture looks like a moist crumble, then tip it into a bowl and gather it together to form a dough. Press the dough into a slightly flattened disc, then wrap it in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge until the filling is cold and you’re ready to make the hamantashen. To make the pastry without a food processor, simply sift the flour and salt into a bowl, then lightly rub in the cubes of butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the cold water and orange blossom water or lemon juice/water mixture and mix to a dough, then shape, wrap and chill as above.
Preheat the oven to 190°C or 170°C with fan. Line two baking sheets with non-stick baking paper.
Unwrap the chilled dough and roll it out on a lightly floured work surface to a thickness of 3mm. Cut the pastry into approx. 20 circles, each about 7.5cm. in diameter (an empty, well-washed tuna makes for an ideal cutter, or just use a round cookie cutter).
Put a heaping teaspoonful of the cooled filling in the center of each pastry circle, then bring the edges of each up and over the filling to form a triangle, pinching them together with your fingers to ensure a tight seal but leaving a gap in the center of each to allow steam to escape. Place on the prepared baking sheets, leaving a space between each one.
Bake for 25 minutes or until firm when gently touched, but uncolored. Remove from the oven, transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool for 10 minutes, then lightly dust with icing sugar. When quite cold, lightly dust them again, then serve.
Store any leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week, or freeze for up to 3 months (defrost before serving).

By LAHAV HARKOV as posted  on JPOST.COM.

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Tahini chocolate chip hamantaschen

Chocolate chip hamantashen

Chocolate and tahini are a perfect pairing for Purim.

Ingredients:

For the dough:

2 eggs
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup tahini paste
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups plain flour
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup finely chopped dark chocolate

For the filling:

½ cup tahini
1 cup icing sugar
½ cup dark cocoa powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 Tbsp milk (can also use
non-dairy milk or water)
1 tsp sesame oil

For the egg wash:

1 large egg + 1 Tbsp water

For the ganache:

½ cup bittersweet chocolate
2 tablespoons sesame oil
For decorating: (optional)
Flaky sea salt
Toasted sesame seeds

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees C. Prepare two baking sheets with silicone baking mats or baking paper sprayed with cooking spray.

2. In a mixing bowl, combine eggs, oil, tahini and sugar and whisk together until smooth.

3. Sift flour and baking powder into the wet ingredients. Add chopped chocolate, and mix with a rubber spatula until a dough forms.

4. Work the dough briefly with your hands to form a ball. Set aside.

5. Combine all of the ingredients for the chocolate filling, and whisk until smooth.

6. On a floured surface, roll out the dough to just over 1/2 cm thickness. Use a 8cm cutter to cut circles out of the dough.

7. Place about a teaspoon of filling in the center of each circle. Brush the edges lightly with egg wash and pinch the corners together to form triangles.

8. Place on baking sheets about 4cm apart. Brush the tops lightly with egg wash. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown around the edges. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.

9. To prepare the ganache: Over a double boiler, add chocolate and sesame oil. Heat until melted. (Or, use a microwave, heating the oil and chocolate in 20-second intervals and stirring between each turn until the chocolate is melted.)

10. Pour toasted sesame seeds into a shallow dish. Dip hamantaschen in the ganache and then in the sesame seeds, and place on a wire rack to cool. You can also sprinkle dipped hamantaschen with flaky sea salt. Once dipped, store in an airtight container at room temperature for two to three days.

Recipe by Stephanie Ganz for The Nosher as posted on AUSTRALIANJEWISHNEWS.COM.

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This swoon-worthy chocolate dessert begins with a box of cake mix — the rest is culinary magic

Chocolate dessert

Like the hot fudge cake or the St. Louis gooey cake, the Sicilian love cake is a little bit of culinary magic. A cheesecake-ish filling is spooned atop a regular old chocolate cake mix batter. The filling sinks as the cake bakes, transforming the entire dessert into something new and amazing. What’s more, it gets topped with a chocolate pudding frosting. The end result is a sheet cake guaranteed to make any crowd swoon.

Ingredients:

Cake:

1 box chocolate cake mix, plus the ingredients in the directions
Additional oil, for greasing the pan

Filling:

1 32-ounce tub ricotta cheese
3 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon sea salt

Frosting:

2 cups whole milk
1 box instant chocolate pudding mix

Directions:

Preheat the oven according to the directions on the box of cake mix. Coat a 9-by-13-inch pan with oil. In a large bowl, prepare the cake batter (per the directions), pour it into the pan and set the pan aside.

Combine the ricotta, eggs, sugar and salt in the same bowl and mix until smooth.

Pour the filling onto the cake pan over the chocolate batter.

Bake until the cake is firm and the chocolate layer has risen to the top, about 40 minutes. Let the cake cool completely.

In a bowl, blend the pudding mix and milk until smooth, then frost the cake. Serve it straight out of the pan.

From Valerie Bertinelli’s book, “Enough Already: Learning to Love the Way I Am Today” as posted on Salon.com

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Chocolate Cream Puffs

chocolate cream puffs

It goes without saying that classic treats like brownies or cookies, or even a favorite candy bar, will always cure a chocolate craving. But what about when you’re looking for something just a bit elevated from the norm? Cream puffs are a traditional dessert, but they can sometimes feel a bit too intimidating to tackle at home. Of course, a French bakery is always a great spot to grab a beautiful cream puff filled with luscious whipped cream. But what if you could pull off making them yourself? Certainly, it would be an impressive treat to serve for dessert, whether you’re hosting guests or simply gathering the family around the table. Cream puffs may seem like a challenging recipe, but this chocolate cream puffs recipe can be made in just 45 minutes and is easier to make than you think.

TOTAL TIME: 40 MINUTES
Ingredients:
½ cup water
½ cup milk
8 tablespoons salted butter
1 cup flour
3 eggs
2 cups heavy whipped cream, divided
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
4 ounces semi-sweet baking chocolate
Optional Ingredients
Powdered sugar, to taste

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
In a small saucepan, add the water, milk, and salted butter. Turn the stove to medium heat to melt the butter.
When the butter is completely melted, turn the heat down to low. Stir in the flour, stirring rapidly until it’s entirely incorporated.
Continue to stir and cook the dough for one minute. It will begin to pull away from the sides of the pot and resemble mashed potatoes.
Transfer the beginning of the choux dough to a stand mixer. Fit the mixer with the paddle attachment and beat the dough for a few minutes to cool it down.
Once the dough has cooled, add in the 3 eggs one at a time. Allow each egg to fully incorporate before adding the next. If the mixture seems too thick and won’t be pipeable, add another egg.
Scoop the choux dough into a piping bag. Pipe mounds of choux dough on a greased baking sheet or a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake the choux for 20 minutes until the tops are lightly golden brown. Do not open the oven while baking.
Remove the cream puff shells from the oven and poke them with a toothpick or skewer to create a small hole in the side to allow them to vent. Set aside to cool.
While the cream puff shells cool, make the chocolate topping. Heat ½ cup heavy whipping cream until boiling. Chop the baking chocolate and put it in a bowl. Pour the hot cream over top, allow it to sit, and then stir or whisk until smooth.
Once the cream puff shells are cool, cut them in half horizontally. Dip the tops in the prepared chocolate topping, and allow them to set at room temperature.
While the chocolate sets, make the chocolate whipped cream. Pour the remaining 1 ½ cups heavy cream into a mixing bowl. Use a hand mixer to whip the cream until stiff peaks form, about 8 minutes. Mix in the cocoa powder. Add powdered sugar, if desired, to taste.
Pipe the bottom shells with chocolate whipped cream and carefully place the top back on. Serve immediately.

As posted on TastingTable.com.

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5-minute recipe: End your day with this decadent eggless chocolate cake

eggless chocolate cake

The texture of this microwave cake is a little different than a regularly baked cake; but in terms of taste it is simply delicious.

Ingredients for the cake:

Plain flour (maida) — 2 cups
Baking powder — 2 tsp
Instant coffee powder — 1 tsp
Cocoa powder (unsweetened) — ¼ cup
Castor sugar (alternatively powdered sugar can be used) — ¾ cup
Oil (odorless) — ½ cup
Warm water — 2 cups
Dark chocolate (melted) — 200 gm
Fresh cream (at room temperature) — 100 gm
Strawberries — 12-15
Blueberries — 8-10

Method for the cake:

*Take a bowl and add 2 cups of plain flour, 2 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp instant coffee powder, 1/4 cup cocoa powder. Mix well.

*Take another bowl and add the castor sugar and half a cup of odorless oil. Mix well.

*Now strain and add dry ingredients into the wet ingredient batter. Whisk well to avoid getting lumps.

*Take a microwave safe plate or tray and grease with oil. Place a parchment paper on it and bake for 5 minutes in a microwave.

*Rest the cake for 10 minutes after taking it out of the microwave.

*Melt 200 gms of dark chocolate and mix in 100 gms of fresh cream with the melted chocolate to make ganache.

*Demould the cake onto the plate and set aside.

*Pour ganache in a piping bag and proceed to spread evenly on the cake in concentric circles.

*Decorate the cake with fresh strawberries, blueberries and a mint leaf.

As posted on IndianExpress.com.

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12 Types of Chocolate That Every Baker Should Know

12 types of chocolate

Next time you’re in the baking aisle, spend an extra minute or two in the chocolate section—the possibilities are endless! Want to know how to melt chocolate for dipping fruit? Cocoa powder for Ree Drummond’s sheet cake? How about a rich chocolate for brownies? Or chocolate chips for cookies? There’s a chocolate for everything! But how do you know what to use? Click HERE and read on for 12 of the most popular types of chocolate—and the best ways to try them.

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Chocolate Gravy Is a Thing and Better Yet, It’s for Breakfast

Chocolate gravy

Your biscuits will never be the same. If you like Nutella spread on bread, or love your pudding warm, this combo will blow your mind. And biscuits are the perfect foil. Chocolate gravy on biscuits has long roots in Appalachia, and because is it essentially a pantry recipe, using cocoa powder for the chocolate, it is one of those things that can be made almost any time on a whim. It is super easy to make, you can hold it in a slow cooker on warm, and it is always that surprising bonus special dish that makes guests excited.

Ingredients:

1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons instant flour or all-purpose flour
Pinch of kosher salt
2 cups whole milk, warmed
4 tablespoons butter, cubed and chilled
Hot biscuits for serving

Directions:

Step 1
Sift together the cocoa, sugar, flour, and salt into a large skillet.

Step 2
Whisking continuously, add the warm milk in a slow, steady stream and whisk until smooth.

Step 3
Cook over medium heat, stirring continuously with a heatproof spatula until the gravy thickly coats it, about 8 minutes.

Step 4
Remove the skillet from the heat, add the butter, and stir until melted.

Step 5
To serve: Split the hot biscuits in half and divide among serving plates. Top with warm gravy and serve straightaway.

Sheri Castle’s recipe, posted on MyRecipes.com.

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You only need 3 ingredients and 15 minutes to bake this magical chocolate cake

3 ingredient chocolate cake

The flourless chocolate cake is one of the greatest feats of baking magic ever invented. It’s a chic little showstopper, the kind of thing that makes people go, “It’s so rich, I can only have a teensy slice,” but you’re like, “I’ll be the judge of that, thank you.” It’s exactly the right dessert to chase away the winter blahs, a cake that feels festive when the weather says otherwise. One word of warning: This is a very simple recipe, but it’s also very ingredient and technique specific. There are only 3 ingredients, so pick out the butter, chocolate and eggs you really love. Yes, you really have to whip the eggs for 5 minutes; you really have to use a bain-marie; and you really have to cover it in foil and then remove the foil.

Recipe: 15-Minute Chocolate Cake

Inspired by “Italian Easy: Recipes from London’s River Cafe

Yields: 12 servings (or maybe 8, no judgment)
Bake Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

1 pound of chocolate with at least 70% cocoa solids, broken up into pieces (I like Lindt.)
2 1/2 sticks of butter (I’m fond of Kerrygold.)
6 eggs, organic if possible

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 425°F.
Generously butter a 10-inch springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. (No springform pan? You can do this in a cake pan of the same size, but it will be trickier to release.)

Set a medium pan of water to simmer. You’ll be whipping your eggs in a bowl over this water, so fill it about halfway.
In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt the chocolate and butter in the microwave for 1 minute. Stir, then microwave in 15 second intervals until completely melted. (You can do the melting over a simmering bowl of water thing, if you’re inclined; but I never have, and I wouldn’t ask you to try.)
Break all of the eggs into a bowl large enough to fit over the pan of water. Place the pan over the water and beat the eggs until they just start to thicken, about 1 minute or so.
Remove the pan from the heat and beat the eggs another 4-5 minutes, until they’re very light and foamy.
Meanwhile, pour your hot water into a roasting pan.
Fold half of the eggs into the chocolate mixture to combine, then fold in the remainder.
Pour the batter into your springform pan, then cover with a lightly buttered sheet of foil. Gently place the springform pan in the roasting pan, so the water comes about halfway up the sides.
Bake for 5 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for another 10 minutes.
Remove everything from the oven. The cake should be a little wiggly in the center. Remove it from the roasting pan and allow it to cool completely.
Unmold and dust with confectioners sugar, or serve with whipped cream and fruit.

As posted on SALON.COM by Mary Elizabeth Williams.

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How to make ONE ingredient chocolate mousse

1 ingredient chocolate mousse

A cookbook author and pilates instructor has shared how to make a mouthwatering chocolate mousse using one ingredient. Amy from Melbourne, who goes by Amy Lee Active online, uses her favorite block of quality chocolate and boiling water to create the tasty dessert.

Amy begins by breaking up a block of her favorite quality chocolate and placing it into a heat proof bowl. The chocolate must have a cocoa content of 60% or more. Next she pours three quarter cups of boiling water directly on top of the chocolate, then begin whisking the water and chocolate together. Continue whisking until all of the chocolate has melted and the consistency resembles ‘thickened cream’. Next she whips the mixture with an electric mixing device over a bowl of ice until it is thick and creamy, this will take eight to 10 minutes. Finally Amy pipes the chocolate mousse into a glass and tops it with dark chocolate shavings and strawberries.

As posted on DAILYMAIL.CO.UK. Click HERE to watch the video of how it’s made.

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5 CREATIVE HOT CHOCOLATE UPGRADES TO TRY THIS WINTER

5 hot chocolate upgrades

Hot chocolate is a cozy cold-weather favorite. While the traditional beverage is always a tasty option, hot chocolate is capable of so much more. From baked goods to frozen treats, there are many sweet ways to put those hot cocoa packets to work. Enjoy hot chocolate’s versatility with these five unique recipes for Baileys slow cooker hot chocolate, hot chocolate with cheese, hot chocolate dip, Ferrero Rocher hot chocolate, and Tahini hot chocolate, with recipes HERE.

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These Chocolate Desserts Won’t Mess With Your Blood Sugar (At Least, Not As Much)

chocolate treats

While any sweet will cause some blood sugar rise, picking strategic recipes (like these five) can mean enjoying your dessert knowing your body’s response won’t be quite as dramatic—which is a good thing for your health. Click, HERE, for recipes for 5 delicious recipes: 3-Ingredient Chocolate Truffles, One-Bowl Brownies, Seeded Chocolate-Tahini Bark, Collagen Chocolate Mousse, and Choco-cado pudding pops.

 

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Difference Between Hot Cocoa and Hot Chocolate

hot chocolate vs hot cocoa

Try the following recipes to see!

Hot Chocolate Recipe

Ingredients:

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate at least 70%, chopped (Godiva or Trader Joe’s is suggested)
1.5 cups whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon espresso powder

Method:

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the whole milk, heavy cream, powdered sugar, and espresso powder until small bubbles appear around the edges. Do not allow the mixture to boil.
Remove from saucepan from the heat and stir in the chopped chocolate until melted, returning the sauce to low heat if needed for the chocolate to melt completely. Serve warm, topped with lots of whipped cream.

Hot Cocoa Recipe

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 to 2 tablespoons sugar
pinch of salt
1 cup milk or any combination of milk, half-and-half, or cream
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method:

Whisk together the cocoa, sugar, salt, and about 2 tablespoons milk in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until cocoa and sugar are dissolved. Whisk in the rest of the milk and heat it over medium heat, whisking occasionally, until it is hot. Stir in the vanilla and serve.
If you like it frothy, blend it in the blender. Add salt to taste.

As posted on TheManual.com.

 

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Jamika Pessoa’s melty chocolate peppermint ‘Grinch’ cookies

Chocolate peppermint grinch cookies

Inspired by “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” these peppermint cookies have a green hue and a melty chocolate-hazelnut center.

Makes: 24 cookies

Ingredients:

1/2 cup hazelnut spread (preferably Nutella) 2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar + 1/4 cup for rolling
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Several drops of green food coloring
1/4 cup crushed peppermint candies or candy canes

Directions:

Spoon hazelnut spread into a plastic piping bag. On a sheet of parchment paper, pipe 1 teaspoon (nickel sized) rounds about 1 inch apart. Pipe approximately 24 rounds. Place in the freezer. Freeze hazelnut spread for at least 1 hour until firm.

In a bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside.

In a separate bowl, beat softened butter and sugar until fluffy, approximately for 2 minutes, on medium high-speed using a stand mixer paddle attachment or electric hand mixer.

Add in one egg at time, followed by vanilla extract. Add enough food coloring until desired bright green color is achieved. Mix until well combined.

Reduce speed to low and pour in flour mixture. Mix just until flour is well incorporated into dough. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine remaining sugar and crushed peppermint candies in a bowl.

Remove firm hazelnut spread rounds from freezer. Working swiftly, scoop 1 ½ tablespoons of chilled dough from bowl. Place hazelnut round in the center of portioned dough and wrap around dough around until it is completely covered. Shape cookie dough into ball using your hands. Then roll cookie dough in candy mixture. Place cookie dough balls about 2 inches apart on parchment paper (or silicon baking mat) lined baking sheet.

Bake for 10-12 minutes. Cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes. Serve warm.

As posted on GoodMorningAmerica.com.

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Anthony Underwood’s perfect chocolate chip cookies

Anthony Underwood chocolate chip cookie

Inspired by the hit Christmas movie “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” Anthony Underwood shares a special recipe nearly a decade in the making. Underwood said this recipe delivers a chewy cookie with a crispy edge has a soft and melty center.

Ingredients:

2 cups (260g) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
14 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 ¾ sticks; 198g), divided and cut into 1 tablespoon pieces
1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
3/4 cup (150g) dark brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt (Diamond Crystal)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1/2 cup (87g) semi-sweet chocolate chips (like Guittard)
1/2 cup (80g) cark chocolate (70%) discs (can substitute chopped chocolate from a bar)
3/4 cup (87g) chopped, toasted walnuts or pecans (optional)

Directions:

Whisk together flour, baking soda, and espresso powder in a medium bowl and set aside.

In a saucepan over medium-high heat, melt 1 stick of butter (8 tablespoons or115 g). Continue cooking until butter begins to brown. Swirl pan constantly until butter has foamed and takes on a dark golden brown color and smells nutty. Watch carefully, as it can quickly go from dark to burnt. Carefully pour browned butter into a large heat-proof bowl, scraping all the browned bits from the pan by using a heat-proof spatula.

Immediately whisk the remaining butter pieces into the browned butter, until melted. Add sugars, salt, and vanilla to the bowl, and whisk to fully incorporate.

Add egg and egg yolk and whisk until smooth with no lumps remaining, about 30 seconds. Let mixture stand for 2-3 minutes to let the sugars melt, then whisk for another 30 seconds. Repeat this rest-and-whisk process 3 times, total. Mixture should seem thickened, smooth, and shiny.

Using a spatula, stir in dry ingredients until just combined (and a few flour streaks still remain). Stir in chocolate chips, discs, and nuts (if using) until evenly distributed and no flour pockets remain. Refrigerate dough for at least 2 hours, or overnight.

Once dough has chilled, scoop into balls that are slightly bigger than a golf ball. (At this point, I put them on a quarter sheet tray in the freezer, once frozen solid, I transfer them to a resealable freezer bag, so I always have homemade dough at the ready!).

Place cookies 2 inches apart on lined baking sheets (or a nonstick cookie sheet).

Bake at 375 degrees for 10 to 14 minutes until cookies are golden brown and puffy in center, but edges are darker and fully set. Transfer cookie sheet to a rack to cool completely (or at least 10 minutes).

NOTE: If baking from frozen, I let dough balls sit out for 20-30 mins while the oven preheats to 350 degrees and bake for 16 to 20 minutes.

As posted on GoodMorningAmerica.com.

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The Best Boozy Hot Chocolate

boozy hot chocolate

Few drinks embody happiness in a mug like hot chocolate. There are countless ways to make it, from instant packs of cocoa powder to double-boiler setups used to carefully melt down chocolate bars or chips. While there’s something to be said for the convenience of premade mixes, if you’re truly looking to soak in the decadence of drinking melted chocolate, opt for a from-scratch recipe that uses both cocoa powder and semisweet chocolate for added body and flavor. This yields a true hot chocolate, rather than simply hot cocoa.

Prep time – 5 min.
Cook Time – 5 min.
Total Time – 12 min.
Serving Size – 4

INGREDIENTS:

4 cups whole milk
4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
4 tablespoons fine granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
6 ounces rum
1 cup heavy cream

DIRECTIONS:

Heat milk in thick-bottomed saucepan over low heat, stirring continuously. When warm, whisk in cocoa powder, 3 tablespoons sugar, salt and chopped chocolate. Continue to whisk vigorously until all ingredients are fully melted and incorporated. Remove from heat and whisk in 4 ounces rum.

In separate mixing bowl, add heavy cream, vanilla extract, 1 tablespoon sugar and 2 ounces rum. Whisk vigorously for 2–4 minutes, until thick enough to firmly coat spoon but before solid peaks begin to form.

To serve, add chocolate mixture to heat-proof mug, leaving room for cream. Float 2 ounces of cream atop the drink by gently pouring it over the back of a spoon.

As posted on WINEMAG.COM.

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Gingerbread Hot Chocolate

gingerbread hot chocolate

During the wintertime, there are several warm drinks that can keep you nice and toasty, but a lot of them involve coffee. There’s no doubt that lattes are great, but every once in a while, a nice cup of hot chocolate just hits the spot. This gingerbread hot chocolate not only tastes amazing, but it is sure to be popular with everyone from kids to grownups.

4 servings

Ingredients:
2 (13.5-ounce) cans unsweetened coconut milk
6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon molasses
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon cloves
Optional Ingredients
whipped cream, for topping
cinnamon, for topping

Directions:
Add the coconut milk, cocoa powder, maple syrup, molasses, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, vanilla, and cloves to a medium-sized pot.
Warm on medium heat, stirring with a whisk to blend for about 5 minutes.
When it starts to bubble, reduce the heat to low.
Pour the hot chocolate into mugs and top with whipped cream and additional cinnamon if desired.

As posted on MASHED.COM.

 

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Chocolate-Dipped Cookies

chocolate dipped cookies

Ingredients:

3 cups butter-flavored shortening (she prefers Crisco)
4-1/2 cups sugar
6 eggs
6 tablespoons milk
3 teaspoons vanilla
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
7-1/2 cups flour

Directions:

Mix ingredients. Bake at 375 F for 7-9 minutes or longer. Brush with melted butter. Cool. Dip 1/2 the cookie in melted chocolate.

Recipe by Jenica Zimmerman, Annville, Pennsylvania as posted on LANCASTERFARMING.COM.

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Chocolate-covered bourbon cherries for Christmas dessert

chocolate bourbon cherries

Enjoy your holiday season with this easy and delicious dessert recipe. These chocolate covered bourbon cherries from Southern food blog, Quiche My Grits, are “quick and easy to make,” blog creator Debi Morgan says in her post. “You’ll love the explosion of bourbon flavor followed by the bitterness of semi-sweet chocolate,” Morgan says, adding that a glass of red wine pairs perfectly with the adult-only treat.

Ingredients:
1 – 16 oz. jar maraschino cherries with stems

1 cup bourbon (or liquor of your choice)

12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 Tbsp. coconut oil

Instructions:
1. Drain cherry juice from jar. Place cherries in a bowl or airtight container.

2. Pour bourbon over cherries until they are covered. Refrigerate overnight.

3. Drain bourbon from cherries. Pat cherries with a paper towel to dry.

4. Melt chocolate chips and coconut oil in a microwave at 30-second intervals, stirring each time. Chocolate is ready when it is completely smooth.

5. Holding the stem of one cherry at a time, dip it into the chocolate. Use a spoon to help cover the cherries with chocolate.

6. Transfer the chocolate-covered cherries to a parchment-lined baking sheet to cool. Refrigerate cherries for one hour so chocolate will set.

As posted on FOXNEWS.COM

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Chocolate-Chess Mini Pies Will Make the Chocolate Lovers In Your Life So Happy

chocolate mini pie

Kids and adults alike will love Chocolate-Chess Mini Pies for the holidays! These personal-size pies start with a time-saving refrigerated pie crust and have a classic, creamy chocolate filling. Instant espresso powder adds deep, rich flavor to this mini dessert. Dust with a mix of cocoa and espresso powder and top with a dollop of whipped cream before serving for a perfectly portioned, indulgent treat.

INGREDIENTS
For the crust:
2 (14.1-oz) packages refrigerated pie dough (4 sheets total)
Chocolate chess filling:
2 oz dark unsweetened baking chocolate
⅔ cup butter
½ cup evaporated milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 large egg
1 cup sugar
4 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder, divided
1½ Tbsp flour
1 Tbsp instant espresso powder

Directions:

For the crust:
Coat a standard-size 12-cup muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray. Allow pie dough to come to room temperature.

On a lightly floured surface, use a rolling pin or your hands to slightly thin out dough.

Using a 4-inch cookie cutter or glass (or 5-inch cutter, to have excess for a fluted edge, as pictured with Cranberry- Pecan Crumble Pie), cut three circles from each dough sheet to make 12 circles total.

Fit circles into the muffin-tin cups. Trim excess or pinch into a fluted edge. Refrigerate until ready to fill.

Chocolate chess filling:
Preheat oven to 350°F. In a microwave safe bowl, melt together chocolate and butter. Heat at 30 second intervals, stirring until fully melted and well blended. Cool 5 minutes.

In a large bowl, whisk together milk, vanilla and egg. Stir in cooled chocolate-butter mixture until well blended. Add sugar, 2 Tbsp cocoa powder and flour, whisking until combined. Pour equal amounts of the filling into chilled crusts.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes. Filling may be slightly jiggly. Remove from oven and cool 15 minutes. Carefully remove pies from muffin tin and cool completely on a wire rack.

In a small bowl, combine espresso and remaining 2 Tbsp cocoa powder. If desired, top each pie with whipped cream and a dusting of the cocoa-espresso mixture.

As posted on PARADE.COM.

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Mint Chocolate Chip Cake

no bake chocolate mint cake

Fresh mint leaves, not mint extract, make the flavor of this layer cake truly special. Because the flavor of the mint is so natural and subtle, we added it to the rich devil’s food-like cake layers and the fluffy buttercream frosting. The trick to extracting the most fresh mint flavor is to bruise the mint leaves by slapping them a few times between your hands. This helps the oils in the leaves come out more easily. Then, steep the mint sprigs in hot water (for the cake layers) and cook them in butter (for the frosting). The flavor of this cake can’t be beat. If you’re a fan of mint chocolate chip ice cream, this might become your new favorite dessert.

Ingredients:
Cake
Baking spray with flour
Parchment paper
1/2 cup boiling water
4 mint sprigs, bruised
2/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup canola oil
1/3 cup sour cream
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups (about 5 3/4 oz.) all-purpose flour
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Frosting:
2 cups (16 oz.) unsalted butter
12 large mint leaves, bruised
4 cups (about 12 oz.) powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 to 4 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
Mint green liquid food coloring
Garnish
Mint sprigs, mini chocolate chips

Directions:
Step 1
Prepare the Cake: Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat 2 (8-inch) round cake pans with baking spray and line with parchment paper.

Step 2
Place boiling water and mint sprigs in a heatproof bowl. Let steep 10 minutes. Discard mint, and stir in chocolate chips; let stand 2 minutes. Stir until chocolate is melted, about 1 minute. Whisk in oil, sour cream, eggs, and vanilla until smooth.

Step 3
Stir together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, salt, and baking powder in a large bowl. Stir in wet ingredients. Pour batter evenly (about 2 cups per pan) into prepared pans.

Step 4
Bake in preheated oven until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool in pans 10 minutes. Remove cake layers to wire racks, and let cool completely, about 1 hour.

Step 5
Prepare the Frosting: Place butter and mint leaves in a small saucepan over low. Cook, stirring often, until butter is melted and begins to foam, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat; discard mint. Transfer mint butter to a heatproof bowl, and refrigerate until re-solidified but still soft, about 1 1/2 hours.

Step 6
Beat mint butter in bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to low, and add powdered sugar, vanilla, salt, and 2 tablespoons of the cream until combined. Increase speed to medium-high, and beat until fluffy, about 2 minutes, adding remaining cream, 1 teaspoon at a time, to reach desired consistency if needed. Beat in 1 drop liquid food coloring, adding more, if necessary, until desired color of pale green is reached.

Step 7
Spread 1 cup frosting between cake layers; spread a thin layer on top and sides of cake, smoothing with a spatula. Chill cake and remaining frosting 30 minutes. Spread remaining chilled frosting on top and sides of cake. Chill cake until firm enough to cut, about 1 hour. Garnish with mint sprigs, if desired.

As posted on SOUTHERNLIVING.COM.

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No-Bake Dark Chocolate-Peppermint Sandwich Cookies Recipe

no bake chocolate cookies

Christmas cookies just got a whole lot easier. Sure, we love to go all-out with homemade layer cakes and pies, but sometimes, you just don’t want to turn on the oven. When you’ve got a family to feed and cookie tins to fill, these No-Bake Dark Chocolate-Peppermint Sandwich Cookies will be your holiday hero.

Ingredients:

1 cup unsifted powdered sugar
½ cup unsalted butter
1 tablespoon whole milk
¼ teaspoon peppermint extract
Red food coloring gel
54 chocolate wafer cookies (from 2 [9-oz.] pkg., such as Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers)
2 (12-oz.) pkg. bittersweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon plus 1 tsp. coconut oil
Crushed hard peppermint candies

Directions:
Step 1
Beat powdered sugar, butter, milk, and peppermint extract with a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment on medium speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Using a wooden pick, add 1 small drop of food coloring to mixture. Beat until color is evenly distributed, about 1 minute. Beat in additional food coloring until desired color is reached. Transfer frosting to a piping bag or a ziplock plastic bag with a ½-inch corner snipped off.

Step 2
Arrange half of wafer cookies upside down on a clean work surface. Pipe a 1-inch dollop (about 2 teaspoons) frosting onto each cookie; top with remaining cookies facing right side up. (Reserve any remaining frosting for another use.) Gently press sandwich cookies to push filling almost to outer edges.

Step 3
Place chocolate and coconut oil in a microwavable bowl. Microwave on HIGH until fully melted and smooth, 3 minutes, stopping to stir every 30 seconds. Dip 1 sandwich cookie into melted chocolate mixture using a fork, coating completely and letting excess drip back into bowl. Transfer dipped sandwich cookie to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and immediately sprinkle with crushed peppermint candies. Repeat procedure with remaining sandwich cookies, melted chocolate mixture, and crushed candies.

Step 4
Chill dipped sandwich cookies until set, about 30 minutes. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator up to 5 days.

As posted on SOUTHERNLIVING.COM.

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Only 2 Ingredient Chocolate Cookie Recipe – Without Milk, Flour, Cocoa, Butter!

2 ingredients chocolate cookies

Here’s an amazing and incredible recipe to share with you! Sure you have tried many cookie recipes but this one is super easy and delicious. You only need 2 ingredients. ONLY 2! You will love this cookie dessert and surprise everyone! For specific directions check out the YouTube demonstration HERE.

Ingredients;
2 Egg Whites
80 gr bitter chocolate

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Chocolate Tassies

chocolate tassies

These tiny pies get their name from the Scottish and French words for small cup or glass. A tender, buttery crust encases a dark chocolate, brownie-like filling. Add a pinch of flaky sea salt to the top of each one to bring out the sweetness of the dark chocolate. Tassies are best the day they are baked, but the dough and filling may be made up to 3 days in advance. You’ll need a mini muffin tin to make these. If your tin has 24 cups, you can double the recipe, or make another filling flavor. It’s not necessary to grease the tin.

Active time: 20 mins; Total time: 40 mins, plus 1 hour for chilling dough

Make Ahead: The dough must be refrigerated for 1 hour. Dough and filling can be made up to 3 days in advance. Bring the filling back to room temperature before portioning it into cups and baking.

Storage Notes: Leftover tassies may be covered and refrigerated for up to 2 days.

SERVINGS:
12

INGREDIENTS:
FOR THE CRUST
4 tablespoons (2 ounces/60 grams) unsalted butter, softened, but still cool to the touch
1 1/2 ounces (40 grams) cream cheese, softened, but still cool to the touch
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon (70 grams) all-purpose flour
FOR THE FILLING
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably Dutch processed
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup (65 grams) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
1 large egg white (see NOTE)
1/8 teaspoon fine sea or table salt
1/4 cup (45 grams) chopped dark chocolate (60 to 70 percent) or chocolate chips, chopped
Flaky sea salt, for garnish (optional)

DIRECTIONS:
Make the crust: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment — or, if using a hand mixer, in a large bowl — beat together the butter and cream cheese until smooth, about 2 minutes. Stop the mixer and add the flour. On low speed, mix until no streaks remain and the dough starts to come together, about 1 minute. Scrape any stray dough from the sides of the bowl, gather into a ball and flatten into a smooth rectangle or disc. Cover tightly and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Cut the cold dough into 12 equal pieces, about 1-inch cubes, and, using your fingers, evenly press each piece into the bottom and up the sides of 12 mini muffin cups, making sure there are no holes. Refrigerate, uncovered, while you make the filling.

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees.

For the filling: Place the cocoa powder in a small, heatproof bowl. In a small skillet over medium-high heat, heat the butter just until it’s melted. Immediately pour it over the cocoa, and stir until smooth. Stir in the sugar, flour, egg white and salt just until combined. Stir in the chopped chocolate until the mixture is combined, but still chunky.

Retrieve the muffin pan from the refrigerator, and using a soup spoon, fill each dough cup about 3/4 of the way.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the filling is puffed and set. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool completely before removing the tassies. Top each with a pinch of flaky sea salt, if desired, before serving.

NOTE: If doubling this recipe, you can use 2 egg whites or 1 whole egg.

Scott Suchman for The Washington Post; styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post, as posted on WashingtonPost.com.