Category Archives: Chocolates

Espresso Truffles 

2016 has been a pretty busy blogging year for me….Trying new recipes, participating in recipe round-ups, collaborative posts, Gastroposts, etc.  I also took a few pastry courses to improve my knowledge and skills. It’s been fun and rewarding. To treat myself and write my last post for the year, I made these Espresso Truffles with two of my favourite things, coffee and chocolate ! These little balls are so yummy, just one bite can already put a smile on my face and they are surprisingly easy to make ! Looking ahead, I hope to continue to learn, create and share more recipes.  Have a Happy New Year ! Espresso Truffles

Makes about 16 truffles

    • 180 g semi-sweet chocolate (finely chopped)
    • 60 g dark chocolate (70%, finely chopped)
    • 120 mL whipping cream
    • 3 g French Vanilla or other flavoured coffee beans (coarsely crushed)
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    • toppings of choice : unsweetened cocoa powder, melted chocolate for dipping (about 8 oz for 16 truffles), sea salt, crushed nuts, shredded coconut, etcEspresso Truffles
  1. Pour whipping cream and crushed coffee beans in a non-stick pot over medium heat until simmering
  2. Pour hot cream through a fine mesh and over chopped chocolate, let sit for about 30 seconds, add vanilla
  3. Stir until smooth
  4. Cool, then put in fridge for about 2 hours
  5. With the help of a melon scooper or a teaspoon, shape about 2 teaspoons each into balls
  6. Roll over desired toppings or dip them in melted chocolate 
  7. Keep in fridgeEspresso Truffles
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Marble Chocolate Bark 

This is probably one of the easiest homemade Christmas treats that you can give to your friends and relatives. And there are so many different ingredients you can use.  All you need are three basics :

  1. chocolate, dark, milk, white or a mix
  2. something chewy, like dried fruits
  3. something crunchy, like nuts, seeds,toffee bits, crushed candy canes

I like mine very simple because I still like to enjoy the chocolate.  So here is my creation !

  • 240 g dark chocolate
  • 120 g white chocolate 
  • 30 g pistachios (remove shells and crush into small pieces)
  • 30 g dried cranberries 
  1. Melt chocolates in a heat-proof bowl over a pot of simmering water.
  2. Pour dark chocolate on a baking tray lined with parchment paper, spread evenly with a spatula
  3. Drop spoonfuls of white chocolate over dark chocolate
  4. Swirl with a skewer or handle of a spatula to create marble effect
  5. Sprinkle dried cranberries and pistachios 
  6. Refrigerate until firm
  7. Break into pieces

 

 

Double Chocolate Cranberry Cookies 

I was craving for some chocolate cookies yesterday. Not just a plain chocolate chip cookie. But the decadent kind that is loaded with chocolate, and all you want to say after taking a bite is Mmmmm…..Mmmmmm and Mmmmmm ! So here they are ! Rich, chocolaty and soft…. I had to quickly shoot a few photos before they were all gone !
This is my first time using coconut sugar. Its taste and sweetness are very similar to brown sugar. I do find it gives the cookies a slightly drier texture. The cranberries are optional, but I thought it’s nice to add some tanginess. I hope you enjoy them as much as we do ! 

Makes about 16 cookies

  • 150 g all-purpose flour
  • 25 g unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 100 g unsalted butter
  • 60 g coconut sugar (or brown sugar)
  • 60 g granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 50 g dark chocolate, 70%, (chopped into small chunks)
  • 50 g semi-sweet chocolate (chopped into small chunks)
  • 60 g dried cranberries
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF
  2. Sift together flour,cocoa powder, baking soda and salt, set aside
  3. Cream together butter and sugars using either an electric mixer with the paddle attachment or by hand with a wooden spoon (I just did it by hand)
  4. Add egg and vanilla, mix until blended
  5. Mix in flour mixture in two parts
  6. Stir in chocolate chunks and dried cranberries
  7. Drop about 1 tablespoon each of dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper, about 2 inches apart
  8. Bake for about 12 minutes
  9. Cool on baking sheets for about 5 minutes, then completely on rack

Double Chocolate Cranberry Cookies

Halloween Cake Pops

My daughter borrowed a book about Halloween treats from the library last week, there were so many great ideas we want to try. After looking through the book and “researching” on the internet, we decided to make cake pops !  So we went to the store and bought all we need…..cake pop sticks, chocolate, coating wafers, licorice sticks, sprinkles…..and we also picked up some sour candies, dried fruits, peppermint paddies….. oops, I guess we got a little too much ! Oh well, we had a lot of fun shopping and making them, that’s all that matters, right?! The coating wafers tend to be very sweet, so I used less sugar for the cake and dark chocolate for the frosting. They turned out really tasty and fudgy like brownies. My son, who doesn’t have a sweet tooth, said these cake pops are “boss” !

For the cake

  • 135 g self-rising flour (about 3/4 cup)
  • 25 g unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 60 g unsalted butter
  • 60 g granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2  teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 90 mL boiling water

For the chocolate frosting 

  • 60 g unsalted butter
  • 100 g icing sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 60 g dark chocolate (70%)

For the coating

  • Chocolate or candy moulding wafers (You will need about 300 g of wafers to coat 6 cake pops)
  • Sprinkles, licorice, and or other decorations of choice 

Makes about 20 cake pops 

To make the cake

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF
  2. Sift together self-rising flour and cocoa powder
  3. Using an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until fluffy
  4. Add egg and vanilla
  5. Add flour mixture in 2 parts, mix until blended
  6. Gradually stir in boiling water, batter will be slightly runny
  7. Bake in a 9 inch x 5 inch loaf pan, lined with parchment paper, for about 20 minutes 
  8. Let cake cool completely

To make the frosting

  1. Melt dark chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water, let cool slightly
  2. Using an electric mixer with paddle attachment, cream butter and icing sugar
  3. Add in vanilla and melted chocolate, mix until smooth

To prepare the cake balls

  1. When the cake is completely cooled, break the cake into fine crumbs with hands
  2. Gradually add frosting, a couple of tablespoons at a time, mix until you can roll mixture into balls
  3. Roll cake mixture into small balls, place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, cover with plastic wrap and put in fridge for at least about 30 minutes

Halloween Cake Pops



 To assemble the cake pops

  1. Melt candy melts or chocolate in a bowl over a pot of simmering water 
  2. Dip cake pop sticks into coating about 1 inch deep
  3. Insert coated sticks into cake balls 
  4. Dip into coating, covering the whole cake pop (since it’s a chocolate cake, you may need to do 2 coatings if using white coating)
  5. Gently tap off excess coating
  6. Decorate while coating is still wet, then let dry (alternatively, you can draw on them when they are dry using edible markers)

Roasted Beet Chocolate Brownies

I get so excited whenever I can put vegetables in my desserts. Perhaps it makes me feel healthier and less guilty?!  I picked the beautiful beets this time.  They are sweet, colourful and very nutritious.  (My batter came out purple, which is my favourite colour!  Can’t “beet” that! ) You can make them into soup, salads, desserts, even their leaves are edible !  With their sweetness, I managed to use a little less sugar.  My son doesn’t normally like sweets, but he loves my brownies. He was a little skeptical when I told him I used beets. But after he had one, he said he couldn’t even taste them!  I guess that’s a success for me! My daughter?  No problem, she eats everything I make ! 

Roasted Beet Chocolate Brownies

Makes about 16 squares 

  • 200 g beet puree (about 2 -3 medium beets)
  • 180 g all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder 
  • 50 g unsweetened cocoa powder 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • 2 eggs
  • 180 g  granulated sugar 
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
  • 120 mL melted coconut oil 
  • 180 g semi-sweet chocolate 
  1. To prepare the beet puree, preheat oven to 375°F
  2. Cut stems and roots off, leave skin on 
  3. Wrap with aluminium foil and bake for about 60 minutes until fork tender 
  4. Cool, peel skin off and puree using a blender or food processor 
  5. To make the brownies, preheat oven to 350ºF
  6. Melt chocolate in a heat proof bowl over a pot of simmering water, cool slightly 
  7. Sift together flour, baking powder, cocoa powder and salt, set aside 
  8. In a large mixing bowl , whisk together eggs and sugar until pale (you can use an electric mixer, I just hand-whisked mine)
  9. Mix in vanilla extract, coconut oil and melted chocolate
  10. Add flour mixture in 2 parts, mix until blended 
  11. Add beet puree 
  12. Bake in a square baking pan lined with parchment paper for about 30 minutes 
  13. Cool completely before cutting 

Fresh Beets

I am so glad to be part of the The Canadian Food Creatives.  This month, our topic is “Fresh from the Garden”.  Be sure to check out the links below for other great recipes. They can also be found on social media using the hashtag #CDNFoodCreatives. Many thanks to Cassie Hendry at The Crumb Kitchen for hosting.

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Chocolate Zucchini Cake with Chocolate Ganache Glaze

My daughter said “zucchini is my worst enemy ! ” But with this yummy cake, I have successful converted her enemy into her new friend ! Yes, zucchini is definitely chocolate cake’s best friend. It makes the cake moist and soft. And you can eat your vegetable right inside a dessert !

Makes one 9 inch round cake

For the cake

  • 200 g grated zucchini
  • 2 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1+3/4 cups cake and pastry flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup demerara or brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the ganache

  • 1 cup whipping or heavy cream
  • 8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped

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  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF
  2. Lightly grease 9 inch spring-form cake pan with oil, then dust with flour
  3. Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt, set aside
  4. Add lemon juice into milk, let sit for a few minutes
  5. Using an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, beat oil and sugars at medium speed until blended
  6. Mix in eggs, milk with lemon juice and vanilla
  7. Add flour mixture in 2-3 portions, scraping sides and bottom of mixing bowl
  8. Add grated zucchini, mix until just blended
  9. Stir in 2 ounces of chopped chocolate 
  10. Pour batter into pan and bake for about 30 minutes (toothpick should come out clear when inserted into middle of cake)
  11. Meanwhile, prepare the ganache by heating cream in a non-stick pot over medium heat
  12. Turn heat off when cream just starting to bubble
  13. Pour over chopped chocolate, let sit for 1 minute
  14. Stir until smooth, let cool at room temperature
  15. When cake is ready, cool in pan for about 10 minutes, then completely on rack
  16. Cover cake with chocolate ganache, smooth with a spatula
  17. Let chocolate set, keep in refrigerator

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Tools I used and you may like

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KitchenAid K45SSWH Classic 4.5-Quart Bowl Stand Mixer, White

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Wilton 409-7716 Angled Icing Spatula, 13-Inch, Black

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

Earl Grey Orange Truffles

I am mostly a coffee drinker, but I love tea too, especially after meals. Tea contains antioxidants and has many health benefits. Studies have shown that some teas may help with cancer and heart disease. Besides drinking, tea can be used in many recipes, both savory and sweet. These Earl Grey truffles are infused with a subtle tea flavour.  They taste scrumptious and are so easy to make!

Makes about 24 

  • 2 Earl Grey tea bags
  • 3/4 cup heavy or whipping cream
  • Zest of one medium orange (about 1 teaspoon)
  • 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate or dark chocolate
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder for coating
  1. Heat cream in a non-stick pot over medium heat until just starting to bubble
  2. Remove from heat, put in tea bags and orange zest, let steep for about 1 hour (You can cover the pot with a dry tea towel but not the lid of the pot, otherwise condensations will drip into mixture)
  3. Finely chop chocolate, set aside in a large mixing bowl
  4. After 1 hour, remove tea bags, squeezing the tea out into the cream
  5. Strain out orange zest with a mesher
  6. Reheat cream mixture in a non-stick pot over medium heat until just starting to bubble
  7. Pour over chopped chocolate, let sit for 1 minute
  8. Add vanilla, stir until smooth
  9. Cool, then put in fridge for about 3 hours
  10. With the help of a melon scooper or a teaspoon, roll 2 teaspoons each into balls
  11. Roll in unsweetened cocoa powder
  12. Keep in fridge

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Easy Chocolate Croissants

If you have kids at home, this would be a great recipe for them to do. It’s easy, tasty and fun to make!

Makes about 16 croissants

  • 1 box frozen puff pastry (two 10 inch x 10 inch squares), thawed
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • icing sugar for dusting
  1. Preheat oven to 375ºF
  2. Lightly beat egg and water together to make egg wash, set aside
  3. On a floured surface, roll out pastry sheets (if you pastry comes in a block, cut and roll into two square sheets, about 1/8 inch in thickness)
  4. Cut each pastry sheet into a big circle about 8 inches in diameter (you can use a plate to help)
  5. Cut into 8 triangular wedges (like a pizza)
  6. Put chocolate chips at bottom of wedges and roll towards the tip 
  7. Seal ends with egg wash
  8. Place on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper (seam-side down), brush top with more egg wash 
  9. Bake for about 15-16 minutes until golden
  10. Melt remaining chocolate chips in a double boiler or microwave oven
  11. Drizzle croissants with melted chocolate, dust with icing sugar

Easy Chocolate Fudge

Happy Valentine’s Day ! I got a Valentine’s card before I even got out of bed this morning from my daughter, how sweet !  And here is a sweet treat that I made last night, yummy chocolate fudge ! Classic chocolate fudge requires the chocolate to be heated to a precise temperature which can be tricky. This recipe is much easier and it tastes just as good.

Makes about 16 ounces

  • 8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup condensed milk
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  1. Put chocolate, cocoa powder, butter, condensed milk and salt in a large heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water
  2. Cook and stir until all melted
  3. Turn heat off, stir in vanilla extract
  4. Spread evenly in a container lined with slightly greased parchment paper or aluminum foil
  5. Refrigerate for about 3 hours until firm
  6. Cut into squares
  7. Store in refrigerator

Chocolate Molten Lava Cake

This dessert is definitely for chocolate lovers like me !  It is simple, yet very yummy and looks amazing.  It makes a great Valentine’s dessert.  Try it with vanilla ice cream, it’s divine with the warm chocolate “lava” ! I don’t think anyone can resist that.   

Makes about 4 servings

  • 4 oz dark or semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1/4 cup cake and pastry flour, sifted
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 50 g unsalted butter at room temperature, more for coating ramekins
  • 1/4 cup demerara or brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 400ºF
  2. Melt chocolate in a glass bowl over a pot of simmering water, cool slightly
  3. Generously coat ramekins with butter
  4. Using an electric mixer, cream 50 g of butter and sugar until fluffy
  5. Add eggs and vanilla extract
  6. Slowly pour in melted chocolate, mix until blended
  7. Mix in flour and salt
  8. Pour batter into ramekins, about 2/3 full 
  9. Bake for about 10-11 minutes
  10. Cool for about 5 minutes, invert ramekins over plates, cakes should come out fairly easily
  11. Dust with icing sugar, serve warm