Category Archives: Chocolates

Caramel Brownies

Compared to many parts of Canada, our winter in Vancouver has been very mild…..until 2 days ago ! A snow pile just dumped onto us in a matter of hours ! Seriously, I was still jogging in the morning at 9 am, it was cold, but no snow. Three hours later, everywhere was covered in white ! I guess it’s our turn to experience this cold snowy winter ! And what does a baker do when it snows ? Bake of course ! So I made these brownies and also had time to decorate a whole bunch of Valentine’s cookies ! The snow has made me more productive !

I like my chocolate desserts very chocolaty, and I mean VERY……And this brownie is not only chocolaty, but also soft, fudgy and chewy ! Who can say no to that ? Especially if you are making it for your Valentine’s ! Make sure you don’t overbake, in fact, a good brownie is often slightly underbaked. It’s best to serve them warm, reheat in the oven for a few minutes if you need.

Happy Valentine’s Day !

Makes about 10 – 12 brownies
For the batter

  • 180 g unsalted butter
  • 180 g semi-sweet chocolate
  • 40 g unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 240 g granulated sugar
  • 5 ml vanilla extract
  • 135 g all-purpose flour
  • 2 g baking powder
  • 2 g salt
  • 10-12 caramel candies

For the caramel sauce

Melt together 30 caramel candies (about 240 g) and 1/2 cup of whipping cream in a non-stick pot over low heat until well blended, stirring frequently

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF
  2. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt
  3. Melt butter, chocolate and cocoa powder in a bowl over a pot of simmering water, let cool for about 5 minutes
  4. Whisk together eggs, sugar and vanilla until pale
  5. Mix in chocolate mixture
  6. Add flour mixture and mix until blended, the batter can be quite thick
  7. Spoon half the batter into lightly-greased silicone molds, place a caramel candy in the middle, cover with remaining batter and bake for about 20 minutes
  8. Cool slightly, drizzle with caramel sauce and serve warm
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Dark Chocolate Granola

Happy New Year ! My first post of 2019 ! Do you have any new year resolution ? I am sure eating healthier is on everyone’s list, especially after the holiday indulgence…..but wait…..I still like my chocolates ?! So……let’s start with a recipe that has chocolate but also healthy and good for you ! How about granola ? It is easy to make and you can pretty much put whatever you like in there, nuts, seeds, dried fruits…..and yes, CHOCOLATES ! Use darker chocolate if you don’t mind the bitterness as it’s healthier. I used 85%, but if that’s too dark, you can use 60-70 %. Normally, I weigh all the ingredients in my recipe, but granola is very flexible, you can easily adjust the amount to your taste. 

I hope everyone is off to a good start this year ! Stay healthy and be happy !    

Makes about 2 cups     

  • 1 cup quick oats
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 50 g dark chocolate, coarsely chopped (I used 85 %) 
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons melted coconut oil 
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 
  1. Preheat oven to 300ºF
  2. Mix together all dry ingredients 
  3. Add maple syrup, coconut oil and vanilla extract, mix well
  4. Place a thin and even layer on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper
  5. Bake for about 20 minutes, stirring once
  6. Cool and store in air-tight container for up to 2 weeks

 

 

Baked Nutella Churro Nests 

​We love churros ! Well, who doesn’t ? I have been hoping to make some for a long time. But personally, I cannot eat too much fried food. Not that they don’t taste good, my very sensitive stomach just can’t handle a lot of oil. I guess that’s both a good thing and a bad thing……

I remembered watching a video in which people make churro ice-cream bowls, what a great idea ! So I thought, since Easter is coming up, why don’t I bake some churro bowls and turn them into little nests ! I decorated mine with some feuilletine that I have, which is a crispy crumb mixture of crepes. You may be able to find them in some specialty kitchen store. I got mine from the Gourmet Warehouse in Vancouver. Or you can just use cookie crumbs, pretzel sticks, even some popcorns. With some chocolate eggs on top, they look exactly like little nests ! And I am sure the kids are going to love them ! Have a Happy Easter ! 

Makes about 8-10 nests 

For the nests (choux paste)

  • 200 mL water
  • 90 g unsalted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 30 g demerara or brown sugar
  • 120 g all-purpose flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 2.5 mL pure vanilla extract

For the fillings

  • 7.5 g ground cinnamon
  • 45 g granulated sugar
  • 30 g unsalted butter, melted
  • Nutella spread
  • Cookie crumbs, pretzel sticks or feuilletine
  • Easter chocolate eggs
  1. To make the cinnamon sugar, mix together ground cinnamon and granulated sugar, set aside 
  2. To prepare the choux paste, heat together water, butter, salt and demerara or brown sugar in a pot over medium heat until just starting to boil
  3. Turn heat down to low, add flour all at once
  4. Stirring constantly, cook until a thin film of paste formed at the bottom of the pot, about 5 minutes
  5. Transfer paste to a heat-proofed mixing bowl and cool down
  6. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375ºF and prepare piping bag with large star piping tip 
  7. Add vanilla, then eggs to paste, one at a time and mix well after each addition
  8. Transfer to piping bag and pipe into domes on back of oiled muffin tins
  9. Bake for about 25 minutes until starting to brown, turn heat up to 450°F at broil setting and bake until top is golden (about 2 -3 minutes, watch closely, as they can burn very easily)
  10. Take puffs out, let cool
  11. Brush outside with melted butter then sprinkle with cinnamon sugar
  12. Fill inside with about a tablespoon each of Nutella
  13. Decorate with crumbs and chocolate eggs, best to serve immediately 

Tools that I used

Wilton Decorating Tip 6B

 

DayMark IT112793 18″ PipingPal Plus Disposable Pastry Bag with Dispenser (Roll of 100)

You can get the piping tip and bags the Amazon website by clicking the above link. I will receive a small compensation if you purchase the item. 
 

Matcha (Green Tea) Chocolate Chips Cookies 

Few weeks ago, my daughter and I found a matcha latte mix in a local grocery store. We really wanted to try it but were a little skeptical at first. My daughter thought we could just get a small amount, so that’s what we did. To our surprise, it was very tasty ! And all you need is to do is add hot water or milk ! This has also given an idea to make this matcha chocolate chip cookies ! They are not the best looking cookies, but they sure taste good ! And don’t worry, you won’t turn into The Incredible Hulk after you eat them ! I actually had to make them twice to get the right taste, and as my daughter said, this second time is “matcha better” ! 

Makes about 24 cookies 

  • 120 g unsalted butter, softened 
  • 75 g granulated sugar 
  • 75 g demerara or brown sugar 
  • 1 egg
  • 5 mL pure vanilla extract 
  • 200 g all-purpose flour
  • 7.5 g matcha (green tea) powder 
  • 2 g baking powder
  • 2 g baking soda 
  • 1 g salt 
  • 90 g chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF
  2. Sift together flour, matcha powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt, set aside 
  3. Using an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugars until light and fluffy 
  4. Add egg and vanilla 
  5. Add flour mixture in 2 to 3 parts, mix until blended 
  6. Stir in chocolate chips 
  7. Scoop into one inch balls and place on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper, about 2 inches apart (Alternatively, you can roll them into balls, and flatten them slightly, they will have a smoother surface) 
  8. Bake for about 10 to 12 minutes 

 

 

No Bake Chocolate Cheesecake 

Baking is one of my favourite things to do. But when it’s so hot outside, even the most devoted baker needs a break ! So I made these no bake cheesecake jars the other day. They are creamy, chocolaty, yummy and super easy to do ! 

As a food blogger, I am constantly looking for props that I can use without spending too much. Plates, cups, cutlery, baking tools, towels, etc. So, kitchenware stores, thrift stores, dollar stores and garage sales have become my favourite places to hang out. And I get super excited when I can reuse or recycle ! It’s like doing a makeover ! These cute little jars were containers of some petit pot yoghurts that I bought. They are perfect for individual desserts ! My only complain…..they’re too petit ! Cause these cheesecakes are so delicious and one is not enough !  

Makes about 8 servings

  • 12-15 graham crackers (or other cookies of choice)
  • 45 g unsalted butter,melted 
  • 120 g semi-sweet or dark chocolate, plus more for garnish 
  • 200 g cream cheese 
  • 120 g icing sugar, sifted  
  • 5 mL pure vanilla extract 
  • 240 mL cold heavy whipping cream 
  1. Crush graham crackers into crumbs and mix in melted butter 
  2. Spoon into containers, press down gently and refrigerate for later use 
  3. Melt chocolate in a double boiler or the microwave, cool slightly 
  4. Place one small mixing bowl in the freezer for about 20 minutes (for making whipped cream)
  5. In another mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese, icing sugar and vanilla until smooth
  6. Add in melted chocolate, set aside
  7. In the cold mixing bowl, beat 120 mL of the cream until medium peak 
  8. Gently fold into the chocolate cream cheese until just combined 
  9. Spoon or pipe on top of graham cracker base (refrigerate if not serving right away)
  10. Just before serving, whip remaining cream to garnish, top with chopped chocolate 

Baked Double Chocolate Doughnuts 

My daughter has been asking me to make doughnuts for a while. I love doughnuts,  just not too crazy about frying. I tried frying doughnut holes a couple of times, but they came out like burnt fritters. The only doughnuts I had successfully done were my Baked Honey Crullers. So this time, I decided to bake them again. I figured I would have a better chance of success. And voilà! I made it in one try ! The more exciting part is my son loves them ! He doesn’t have a sweet tooth and it’s not often that he likes my goodies (at least me and my daughter think they are !) He even asked me to make it again and I did ! It’s so easy when you have a doughnut pan. You can actually transform any of your muffin or quick bread recipes into doughnuts !  Just dress them up with a glaze or some sprinkles ! 

Makes 12 -14 doughnuts

For the doughnuts 

  • 270 g all-purpose flour
  • 40 g unsweetened cocoa powder 
  • 120 g granulated sugar 
  • 60 g demerara or brown sugar 
  • 3 g baking powder 
  • 3 g baking soda 
  • 2 g salt 
  • 2 large eggs
  • 60 mL vegetable oil 
  • 250 mL buttermilk (adjust if needed)
  • 5 mL pure vanilla extract 
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F
  2. Sift together flour,cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt
  3. Add in both sugars 
  4. In another bowl, mix together eggs, oil, buttermilk and vanilla 
  5. Add wet ingredients into dry ingredients 
  6. Mix until just blended 
  7. Spoon/pour batter into lightly greased doughnut trays 
  8. Bake for 10-12 minutes 
  9. Cool completely on rack 

For the chocolate glaze 

  • 120 g semi-sweet or dark chocolate, finely chopped 
  • 120 mL whipping cream
  • 2.5 mL pure vanilla extract 
  1. Heat whipping cream over medium heat until just starting to boil 
  2. Pour it over chopped chocolate 
  3. Wait 30 seconds, add vanilla and stir until smooth 

When doughnuts are cooled, dip one side into chocolate glaze, place on rack to dry 

Tools that I used

Wilton Nonstick 6-Cavity Donut Pan

You can get this doughnut pan through the Amazon website by clicking the above link. I will receive a small compensation if you purchase the item. 


Spring Chocolate Pudding 

Spring is finally finally here ! It’s been a long time ! Even the cherry blossoms think so, they’ve been waiting to bloom and shine !  I used to garden a lot more, but ever since I have kids, I’ve been too busy growing two little humans and kind of abandoned my garden. This year, I want to at least plant some herbs, so I got some basil and cilantro seeds the other day and just put them in a couple of small pots. Well, I have to wait a while before my herbs grow.  So meanwhile, I made these cute little pudding pots to enjoy. They look very realistic !  And I was so happy that I could shoot the pictures in my backyard with some sunshine ! They would make a fun little snack for the kids at Easter ! Try to pick strawberries that are smaller and longer in shape so they would look more like little carrots.  

Makes about 6-8 servings 

For the candy coated strawberries

  • 180 g orange candy melts 
  • 5-10 mL vegetable oil
  • 8-10 strawberries (at room temperature)
  1. Wash and dry strawberries leaving the stems on 
  2. Melt candy melts in the microwave or over a double boiler according to package instructions 
  3. Add 5-10 mL of vegetable oil to achieve desired consistency if needed 
  4. Coat strawberries with candy melts, tap off excess, be careful not to break the stems 
  5. Place on a tray lined with parchment paper 
  6. Pour remaining candy melts into a piping bag 
  7. Cut a small hole at the end of piping bag 
  8. Drizzle over dried, coated strawberries 

For the chocolate pudding 

    • 30 g unsweetened cocoa powder 
    • 75 g granulated sugar 
    • 30 g cornstarch 
    • Pinch of salt 
    • 500 mL milk (whole or 2%)
    • 120 g semi-sweet chocolate chips 
    • 5 mL pure vanilla extract 

You would also need 8 regular-sized Oreo cookies for topping

      1. In a non-stick pot, mix together cocoa powder, sugar, cornstarch, salt
      2. Gradually stir in milk 
      3. Place over medium heat, stirring continuously until starting to bubble   
      4. Add chocolate chips, stir until thickened and chocolate all melted
      5. Remove from heat, mix in vanilla extract 
      6. Spoon into containers, let cool and refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours (a skin will form on top of pudding, but that’s OK, as we will put crushed Oreo on top)

To assemble pudding, crushed Oreo into small pieces, put on top of pudding, place a coated “carrot” on top 

Candy coated strawberries recipe adapted from lifemadesimplebakes.com