Archive | chocolate

Greek Yogurt Chocolate Mousse

This dessert-turned-quick-experiment was brought to you by Jens’ chocolate mousse craving and his Greek yogurt substitution idea. I’m always happy to oblige his sweet tooth and even more so because we were both feeling under the weather, with him suffering most of the flu symptoms. After a trip out of town combined with the exhaustion from cycling over 100 kilometers, neither of us had any sense to check our dairy essentials for expiration dates. It turned out our heavy cream had gone bad, so he suggested using the only alternative we had left aside from milk: Greek yogurt. A quick online search proved that it was doable, so I trusted my kitchen instincts and went with it. Experience has shown that I do get good results when we collaborate on food this way, plus we had a chocolate bar on standby in case this produced an inedible pudding. I knew I had to add more sugar to counteract the sour yogurt, but when I tasted the whipped chocolate and yogurt mixture, it didn’t really need any more than a touch. An additional tablespoon was just the right amount of sweetness boost it needed.

As much as I love Greek yogurt, it doesn’t necessarily go with chocolate and I did cringe at the thought of combining them. Thankfully, my fears dissolved with my first spoonful of the mousse. It had a deep chocolate flavor with hint a of orange and vanilla. We couldn’t tell there was yogurt in it at all, unless we really tried to look for the taste. We shared the rest of it with his folks for dinner the following day and it tasted even better then!

Chocolate Mousse with Greek Yogurt

A rich chocolate mousse goes exceptionally well with sweet blueberries. We’re lucky to be able to enjoy fresh ones in the summer and we take advantage of that as much as we can. The ones I took home from a BC Blueberry Council event were ginormous and almost as big as quarters! Mmm…I love the pop of fruit with the decadent mousse.

Chocolate Mousse with Greek Yogurt

I was a tiny bit concerned that the thick yogurt would weigh down the mousse, but it didn’t affect its fluffiness at all. It was still light and smooth, and ridiculously good as can be. Here’s to another successful experiment and dessert–thanks to the beau for yet another wacky and awesome idea!

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Posted in chocolate, dessert, experiments, fruits, original Gourmeted recipe, quick & easy3 Comments

Nutella Bomb Brownies

I’m going to try this or this blog will never be updated ever again: tapping away on the iPad (mini, which is perfect for typing with my small hands) at 2am in the morning with what might turn out to be… a post! I already finished drafting the recipe on Evernote earlier, as a gift to myself instead of brownies, after clearing the dining table and cleaning the kitchen. This is the kind of busy I’m in now. I’ve never stopped cooking or baking, but producing content for the site is a different story altogether. And what about photos taken with the DLSR, you ask? I could take one tomorrow IF there’s any left by the time I get around to it. For now, iPhone 4S photos would do. Please bear with me as I return from my writing slumber.

Now these brownies.

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Do we need another one of these recipes, really? For Nutella Day, why not? It is, after all, the sweet and equally evil equivalent of bacon. I picked a drier and fluffier brownie from Alice Medrich’s book as the carrier of the gooey fudge “bombs” of Nutella, making sure to decrease the amount of sugar to accommodate the spread’s sweetness.

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The resulting brownie has pockets of Nutella in every bite.

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While the “Nutella bombs” were just enough for me, my partner still needed an extra kick and he smeared more of it on top before devouring. I could only imagine how sweet that was. But then again, he’s our resident Nutella monster, known to empty a jar if left unsupervised. [Hi, love, I outed you.]

We did agree on one thing the other evening: to top the brownies with amarena cherry and salted caramel gelato from Bella Gelateria (our favorite).

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I’ve included instructions for adjusting the Nutella content, as well as baking instructions when using a turbo broiler. The latter is a recent consideration after discovering that some friends in Manila use it.

Nutella Bomb Brownies

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, roughly chopped
8 tablespoons / 4 ounces / 1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons / 2.75 ounces unbleached all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
3 large eggs
1 cup / 7.5 ounces white granulated sugar **
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1/4 cup / 4 tablespoons Nutella **

** Guide to adjusting the Nutella and sugar content: you can add more Nutella but make sure to decrease the sugar. I suggest subtracting a tablespoon of sugar for every tablespoon of Nutella added. I wouldn’t add more than 7 tablespoons of Nutella to this recipe, though.

Preparation

Line an 8-inch square metal baking pan with aluminum foil on the bottom and sides (a single sheet cut from a regular sized roll would do).

Preheat oven to 350F, position rack in the lower middle section of the oven. [For convection oven or turbo broiler: preheat to 335F]

Melt butter and chocolate in a heatproof glass bowl set over a pan with simmering water. Stir until smooth and free of clumps. Remove bowl from the water and set on the counter to cool at room temperature.

Whisk flour and baking powder together in a separate bowl using a fork or a whisk.

Beat eggs, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer or a regular mixing bowl (if using a handheld mixer) on high for 2 minutes (longer with a handheld mixer), or until the mixture is thick, pale yellow, and double in volume. Fold in the melted chocolate using a rubber spatula until partially incorporated with the egg mixture. Sift the flour mixture over it and fold until the chocolate and flour are blended together.

Save a scant 1/4 cup of the batter and pour the rest over the lined pan, levelling the top with the spatula.

Combine the remaining 1/4 cup batter with Nutella. Notice that the batter will seize up and will look like coarse textured dough (not mushy), firm enough to hold. Using your clean hand, distribute marble-sized Nutella “dough bombs” on top of the batter in the pan. Press lightly into the batter to even out the top.

Bake for 25 to 28 minutes [For convection oven or turbo broiler: baking time would be 20 to 25 minutes and you should start checking the brownie for doneness starting at 20 minutes.], until a toothpick or cake tester come out clean when poked in a non-Nutella area; a few crumbs might cling to it, but it shouldn’t be wet. [The Nutella areas will be gooey.]

Set pan on a rack to cool completely. Carefully lift out the foil with the brownie from the pan and place on a cutting board. Use a long metal spatula to separate the brownie from the foil. A straight plastic dough scraper is the best non-sticky tool to use for cutting into them, but any knife would do. For super clean cuts, cool the unsliced brownie in the fridge for 2 hours and slice with a lightly oiled metal dough scraper.

Storage: Brownies will keep at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days. If sliced, use parchment paper between layers when stacking.

Posted in baking, cakes, chocolate, dessert, snacks0 Comments

Triple Chocolate Cookies with Cherries & Cashews

Between us two, Jens & I consume a fair amount of chocolate on a daily basis. When they’re not in the form of bars, truffles or chunks, they are in something baked. These brownies have certainly been on rotation to help keep up with our quota, but there’s always room for more.

Triple ChocolateCookies with Cherries & Cashews

I had my heart set on this cookie recipe since I got Alice Medrich’s book last year. What’s stopped me from making them was the need to refer to another page in another section of the book for the chocolate wafer recipe. This stresses me so.

One evening a couple of weeks ago, the need to bake something chocolate-y overruled my cookbook pet peeve. I just wish it happened sooner. The original recipe called for pecans and sour cherries, but I stuck to what we had on hand at midnight: cashews and dried bing cherries. J would have preferred hazelnuts, but we were out of them, too.

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I debated about making my favorite homemade Oreos instead of trying something new–but this fruit and nut chocolate cookie might have just stolen my comfort cookie spot. Heck, they could even substitute for brownies.

Triple Chocolate Cookies with Cherries & Cashews

They keep well for 2 weeks, but tend to disappear. Just saying.

Give them a try this weekend. I already saved you the agony of having to go to another page to begin the recipe. [There must be someone else out there who doesn't like this.] I have it all right here. Ha.

This recipe was adapted from Alice Medrich’s “Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-In-Your-Mouth-Cookies“. It’s my go-to cookie baking book.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Triple Chocolate Cookies with Cherries & Cashews
Author: 
Recipe type: Cookies
Active prep time: 
Cooking/Baking time: 
Total hands-on & cooking/baking time: 
 
These moist, chewy and brownie-like cookies with fruits and nuts make for an indulgent snack. Warm, these cookies go really well with vanilla ice cream. Milk “dunkability” tested, it will not get soggy and disintegrate. These pair surprisingly well with red wine, too.
Ingredients
  • 1 ½ cups (6.75 ounces) unbleached all purpose flour
  • ¾ cup (2.4 ounces) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (7.8 ounces) sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 14 tablespoons (1 ¾ sticks) unsalted butter, slightly softened, cut in 12 pieces
  • 3 tablespoons whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 6 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, cut in small chunks (chocolate chips or chunks would work, too)
  • 1⅓ cups (5.25 ounces) chopped toasted cashews (toasted at 325°F for 8 to 10 minutes)
  • 1 cup (6 ounces) dried cherries, chopped (I used bing)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F, with racks on the upper and lower third of the oven. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Add flour, cocoa powder, sugar, salt, and baking soda in a food processor and pulse. Add butter and pulse several times. Combine milk and vanilla in a small bowl and add through the feed tube. Process until the thick paste clumps together on the blade or around the bowl. Transfer into a large bowl and fold in the chocolate pieces, cherries and cashews with a sturdy spatula or wooden spoon.
  3. Drop half dome mounds of dough using a tablespoon measure, about 2 inches apart, on the lined cookie sheets. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the cookie tops look dry but are soft (not mushy) when touched lightly with a fingertip. Rotate pans after 8 minutes, top to bottom and front to back. Transfer the cookies on parchment paper on racks. Cool completely before storing. These cookies are best stacked with wax or parchment paper in between cookies; will keep in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
Notes
Notes: These cookies break easily when they first come out of the oven. They will become crispy on the outside and softer inside once they cool. This recipe was adapted from Alice Medrich’s book, “Chewy Gooey Crunchy Melt-In-Your-Mouth-Cookies” [http://gourmeted.com/chewygooeycrispycrunchy]

Posted in baking, chocolate, cookies, quick & easy4 Comments

Easy Fudge Brownies

While it’s a no-holiday-rush week for us Canadians this week (unless you’re getting ready to shop in the US like me!), I feel the “pain” of my friends in the US as Turkey Day approaches. Been there, done that last month. I love the holiday shared with friends and family, but it could be so stressful and tiring when you forget to come up for air and remind yourself that everything will turn out fine.

Speaking of coming up for air, if you won’t be one of the busy bees who will be knee deep in the kitchen for hours, why not make this for your Thanksgiving dinner host?

Fudge Brownies

Drop it off a day or two before the big day and tell them you appreciate all their efforts. Trust me, these babies and a glass of wine are better than a dehydrating dose of Red Bull. And the best thing about this recipe is that you have brownies in under an hour — including a prep time of less than 15 minutes! Using just one bowl and wooden spoon!

Even if you’re not celebrating Thanksgiving, I mean really…who needs a reason to bake brownies?

Fudge Brownies

EASY FUDGE BROWNIES
Adapted from the book, Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-in-Your-Mouth Cookies by Alice Medrich (Artisan 2010)

This has to be my favorite effortless brownie recipe: it takes less than 15 minutes to prepare by hand with just a bowl and a wooden spoon, and bakes in 25 minutes or so. It comes out perfect every time – a thin top and bottom crust that complements a smooth fudge middle layer. Now this may or may not be due to the special “ice bath” quick-cooling method of this particular recipe, but I’ve done it each time and it works!

Yields: one 9”x13” pan of chocolaty goodness

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 8 ounces (226.8 grams) unsweetened chocolate chopped (or use chips)
  • 2 ½ cups (17.5 ounces) white granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon table salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup (4.5 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/3 cup (4.66 ounces) walnut or pecan pieces (optional)

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven at 400°F with the rack positioned in the lower third of the oven. Line a 9″x13″ metal pan with aluminum foil.
  2. Place butter and chocolate in a large glass bowl and melt in the microwave twice for about 45 seconds, and for 20 seconds each thereafter. Stir with a wooden spoon after each interval until chocolate is completely melted and smooth.
  3. Stir in vanilla, sugar and salt. Add each egg separately; making sure it is incorporated in the mixture before the next addition. Fold in the flour and beat vigorously until the batter is smooth and glossy. Stir in the nuts (optional).
  4. Pour the batter into the pan and level. Bake for 25 to 28 minutes, until brownies begin to darken along the sides of the pan and pulls away from it. Insert a toothpick in the middle of the pan to test for doneness (only a fine crumb will stick to it). After 20 minutes of baking, prepare the “ice bath”: Fill a roasting pan or jellyroll pan with ice cubes and water.
  5. Once the brownies are done, remove from the oven and immediately place in the ice bath to cool completely. Lift the brownies in foil and transfer onto a cutting board.

Storage: Keep in an airtight container for 2 to 3 days.

Posted in baking, chocolate, dessert9 Comments

Wordless Wednesday | Sipping Chocolate

Posted in chocolate, wordless Wednesday1 Comment

Chocolate Donuts and a Donut Pan Giveaway!

Oh, boy. There are no excuses. I didn’t have time. The holidays just crept up on me and I didn’t even get a chance to do my annual holiday mail signup! I’ll set up a New Year’s one — that’s the plan. :) What little extra time I have, here it is…in Vegas before my flight back in the cold north.

I love my donut pan that’s about the size of a quarter baking sheet. I’ve always wanted to bake donuts, but my prior experience with a popular recipe I found online was a complete disaster. A bread is NOT a doughnut. These ones though were cake-y (my preference). They dry up after a day, BUT if you enjoy it the day of, it’s a pleasure to eat.

Baked Chocolate Donuts with Mocha Frosting

And I did mention it’s baked, right? No need to deep fry!

Baked Chocolate Donuts with Mocha Frosting

I have to “blame” my fellow Leo, Tracy of Shutterbean.com for luring me with her donuts a few months ago. Hey, no regrets, I’m baking these babies again soon for the holidays. Perhaps I’ll try a more fruity version since I already have so much chocolate in mind.

Baked Chocolate Donuts with Mocha Frosting

The recipe came from the packaging of the donut pan, and I’m glad it worked out for me. Hope it does for you, too!

And I know what you’re thinking: “But I don’t have that pan, Joy!” So here’s what I’ll do: I’m giving a pan each to TWO lucky winners. ‘ll keep the rules simple: just leave a comment or (re)tweet this post, and I’ll be picking the 2 winners on the 27th of December. This is only open to those with US and Canada mailing addresses because shipping would be too expensive outside of North America. I feel so bad about this, but next time I’ll have something else for international readers.

Oh, and if you think the donut pan will be rarely used in your kitchen aside from donuts, fear not! Make donut shaped rice crispies, small portion donut-shaped brioche french toast with the hole filled up with fruits, donut-shaped granola bars, and so much more. I love “playing” with food, and this is no different. It won’t be a white elephant in your kitchen, I promise.

Hopefully I’ll post again before Christmas. :) HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Chocolate Cake Donuts
Adapted from the Norpro recipe

  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  1. Pre-heat oven to 325°F with the rack in the middle. Spray a small donut pan with cooking oil.
  2. Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.
  3. Mix eggs, sugar and vanilla in a large bowl, until thick, scraping the sides at least once.
  4. Combine milk and butter in a small bowl. Pour and combine with the egg mixture alternately with the flour mixture in 3 increments, until smooth and soft.
  5. Fill donut pan 2/3 full for each donut. Bake for 8 minutes until the donut tops dome up. Cool in the tray propped on a cooling rack and carefully remove after 5 minutes. Repeat with the rest of the batter.
  6. Frost with your choice of icing or sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar for a lightly sweet treat.

Posted in baking, chocolate, coffee buddy, dessert, giveaways, snacks25 Comments

Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies

Imagine this: It’s the middle of the night. The windows and door leading to the patio are open, the air is crisp, and you’re leisurely reading a book (the only time you have to do so is at odd hours of the eve) while you wait for something baking in the oven. Chocolate laced with summers of your childhood eating spoonfuls of peanut butter wafts in the air; something good’s almost ready. The timer beeps and you make your way to the kitchen to shush the persistent timekeeper. You open the oven door and the aroma of warm peanut butter cups makes you smile, and pause, before reaching out your mitt-covered hands. Helpless, you cross the fine line of reason and stupidity, immediately dunk a spoon — not even a knife — into the hot baking pan and taste it. Curses of euphoria and a shot back to reality ensues.

Hmm. That may or may not have been me. The tip of my tongue is  also not slightly numb right now. {big grin}

I could blame it all on this: A few weeks ago, I sat in the makeshift large conference hall at Theo Chocolate in Seattle for IFBC on a Sunday morning, listening to Shauna of Glutenfreegirl.com as she talked about blogging for specialized diets. Even from afar you can tell that this woman lives with her half glass full. Instead of soliloquies of I-can’t’s, her approach to celiac disease is inclusive: What can I eat? That talk was huge for me and I was drawn to learn more about gluten-free cooking and baking. I just started and I’m hooked.

Say hello to these peanut butter brownies. I would devour a whole pan of it if I knew I could live after such gluttony.

You know you want some. Wink, wink.

Clearly, as someone who can choose not to be on any special diet, I was the one missing out! These are insanely good. Will you forgive me if I keep baking GF brownies like this for a while?

I have Shauna (Gluten Free Girl) and Danny (the Chef) to thank for generously sharing the recipe for this. I’m happy in the belly. :-) Their 2nd book is just hot off the press and I highly recommend you check it out, whether you’re on a GF diet or not. Take a look at Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef: A Love Story with 100 Tempting Recipes and if you pick up a copy you’ll find these brownies!

I’m eagerly awaiting for my package from Amazon so I can try more recipes and tell you about them. For now, this Wordless Wednesday turned out to be very wordy. Ah!

Posted in baking, books and publications, chocolate5 Comments

Recipe for German Chocolate Cake and our Olympic Mitts Winner

Olympic Mitts

Remember about our Olympic giveaway last month? After compiling all entries from comments, Facebook fans, and (mostly) newsletter subscribers, we ended up with 442 entries. Whew!

So what I did to randomize the process in the fairest manner I could make it, is to have all entries on a spreadsheet.

There were double entries for the subscribers and fans, and single ones for the comments–as stated in the ‘rules’.

I added an additional column for the randomized sequence, which I generated through the Sequence Generator. Then I copied the resulting list into the new column, so that each entry will have a random number assigned to it. Sounds fancy, but it’s really simple.

I picked one random winner through Random.org again…and the winner is — Shawna, a longtime newsletter subscriber!

You will receive an email from me. :) Congratulations!!!

- – - – - – - – -

Now let’s move on to the German Chocolate Cake that doesn’t have anything to do with Germany, but has everything to do with chocolate and caramel decadence.

German Chocolate Cake

I'm sorry if I just met you! Clearly it's a sign that I should make up for all the lost years and make you every month. (Good thing my doctor doesn't read this blog.)

Hail be to Samuel German who created Baker’s German’s Sweet Chocolate for the Baker’s Chocolate brand, for which this recipe was created. Got it? Eventually the ‘s was dropped. [This convolution reminds me of none other than Ruth's Chris Steakhouse. Mmm...]

So you see friends, if you are like me, you can stop wondering why in the world Germans have some coconut in their cake. Excuse my ignorance. The first time I ate this cake was right after I baked it. No joke.

German Chocolate Cake

It might not look like much, that light brown on dark brown action. I have to say, I have mistakenly underestimated this cake before I took a bite.

Was I the last person to discover this cake? It’s okay. You can tell me the truth. I’m totally fine with that. As long as you think it’s completely alright that I make this several times a month to make you jealous until you make it yourself. If not, head over to Bakery Nouveau in West Seattle which, according to @Lovelylanvin, makes a really good one!

Because. What could be better than moist and fluffy chocolate cake layers with custard-y caramel filling with coconut and pecans?

German Chocolate Cake

Four of my most favorite things in the world--chocolate cake + condensed milk cooked with eggs + coconut + pecans--in one life-altering bite.

I just could not stop eating it. I blame the cake entirely. I haven’t been on a scale since this cake was baked, but I’ve gone back to running regularly. That’s how guilty I feel, but oh so good! It’s a required indulgence.

The recipe for this cake was adapted from this lovely, lovely book:

Rose’s Heavenly Cakes by Rose Levy Beranbaum (she blogs!)

I love Rose’s meticulously detailed recipes that hold your hand through the whole process of preparing, baking, and assembling the cakes. I’ve made a few already from this book and I highly recommend it! No, this is not your last-minute go-to cake book. You need to plan ahead, not only to read the recipe carefully and check that you have all the ingredients, but also for making the cakes. They’re not quick fixes, but you will be rewarded with cakes that you didn’t think could possibly come from your own kitchen. They are indeed heavenly…amazing! cakes.
Go get it if you really want to bake cakes that impress.

Get the recipe for the German Chocolate here (PDF download included)

Posted in baking, books and publications, cakes, chocolate, coffee buddy, contest, dessert13 Comments

Chocolate Easter Eggs

I’m not the type to post about Easter ‘food’. It’s not that I don’t celebrate it, it’s just…wow, I can’t even explain why there hasn’t been an Easter post in all of the 2+ year history of this website. I think things just get got too busy. However, things took a different turn. I got so inspired by Megan’s post yesterday that I postponed sleep for another day just to make, and post about, these:

Chocolate Easter Eggs

Because I’m a complete sucker for Kinder Surprise Eggs. I used to mail them to friends in the US, because apparently they’re banned there. [Fact: It is still banned and the US authorities urged Canadians to stop sending them as gifts last holiday season.]

Somewhere in one of my bins in the garage lies my Disney World of Kinder Surprise Toy collection.

….

….

Happy April Fool’s!

Who am I kidding? That toy collection does exist and I amassed them in my ’20s. I can’t believe I just told you that.

For a period in my life I dreamed of being a Kinder Suprise Toy designer. What? No, I wasn’t on something, I promise. I wasn’t kidding when I said I have so many of the toys. Love ‘em. And the chocolate? Milk chocolate and white chocolate egg “shells” get gobbled up in seconds. So when I saw that Megan made Kinder-esque eggs, there was absolutely no way that I can wait to try my hand at that. Even for one night. So I did what any food-crazy person would do: Labor. Until. Four. In the morning. So that I could somehow be a step closer to that dream (kind of).

Chocolate Easter Eggs

I always seem to want to make things at hours past midnight, so I had no choice but to use whatever chocolate I had because of the time. I had dark, milk and white Callebaut bars, and decided to go with dark and white so the shell won’t be too sweet. SO, SO YUMMY.

The Road to Pink and Green

It felt like the joke was on me last night. I was trying to formulate a way to make Martha and Not Martha‘s methods (I love saying both in one sentence) easier.

Do you know why there aren’t any plastic eggs chocolate egg tutorial? Because they don’t work. Imaginary varicose veins popped up after standing up to wash, wipe, and grease a dozen plastic eggs of different sizes, and then coat and cool four sets of them with chocolate, only to find out that the only way I was going to get them out is to scrape them. That kind of defeats the purpose of having the mold, doesn’t it? Boy, oh boy.

Eight of the plastic eggs (which were purchased ever so dutifully by my dear brother, who will go to stores if he isn’t busy doting on his two boys) came in plastic egg cartons. Even if I did say, Why the heck did you have to buy all those? I am grateful for that plastic tray. It was a lifesaver for the next “plan”.

So I got to Plan B, which wasn’t really part of the plan because I was trying to find the easy button, remember? After midnight, when you decide to take on a project like this: DON’T be like me! I didn’t have the gadget to semi-cleanly cut the egg’s butt (I call it that, no foolin’ around). I did what any self-respecting crafter would do: improvise.

To illustrate how I do it the rudimentary way, which I think is my punishment for looking for a way out of the well-known path, here is a little video for you:

Preparing an egg to make chocolate (Easter) eggs from Gourmeted on Vimeo.

It’s the best way to separate the whites from the yellows.

I’m. just. kidding.

After emptying out the raw egg, you wash the egg shells and boil them in water for about 10 minutes. I added about a teaspoon of vinegar. Make sure each shell is submerged by putting water inside it. To fish them out of the water after boiling, use a slatted spoon to carefully empty out the water from each, and rinse with warm water. At this point, you might want to (ok, stay with me here, don’t get grossed out) stick your pinkie finger in the egg and scratch off the white membrane that lines the egg shell. It takes some patience. Let the shells dry or put back in the pan with fresh water with food color, a little vinegar, and then boil. I attempted to use beets to color it, but it didn’t work for me. Maybe if I just painted it with the beet juice it would have been better, I am not sure. Suggestions, eggsperts? [Hah, corny.]

I dried out the egg shells, hole side down and propped on chopsticks held in a standing glass. Once dried, I put about 2 tablespoons of melted Callebaut dark chocolate into each egg shell, and turned it around to coat the insides. I drained the extra liquid chocolate back into my bowl of melted chocolate, and immediately placed the coated egg in the freezer. After coating and cooling chocolate, I proceeded for the 2nd coating of white chocolate. Same procedure as with the dark, but you may experience some dark chocolate melting. it’s ok.

** Before you proceed, I should warn you now that the photos you are about to see are awful. I used my point and shoot camera, without flash and hand-held to quickly shoot stuff as I go. Oh…and my method? It’s not neat at all. I need to find another solution next time.

Making the "grass"Melting the chocolate. I went for easy: I chopped the chocolate, placed half a cup in a small bowl and heated that in the microwave for 30 seconds before stirring. Place back for another 20 seconds. And then added another half a cup of chocolate to melt in the bowl. I made cup-batches at a time because it gets thick. Megan used another kind of chocolate and used thinners as well (which I have never heard of until I read her post (learn something new!)). Use what your preferred chocolate method is.

As soon as I finished dumping the excess chocolate, I put each egg shell again in the freezer. While the chocolate solidifies, I added green food coloring to white chocolate. Green = grass. To imitate the texture of grass, I placed parchment paper in the plastic egg holder and poured chocolate. I put it in the freezer for about 5 minutes to let it harden a little, but still soft enough to manipulate.

Basically, the concept is to use this molded “grass” to seal the holes at the bottom of the shells, glued by more green white chocolate:


Easter egg toupee

Then cap off with the chocolate “grass”. You can carefully sculpt it if you like. You can also add more melted green chocolate for some artistic effect. To clean up messes, use a clean damp cloth or paper towel.

The "grass"

Place the eggs again in the freezer, and once solid, place at room temperature to “dry”. The egg shells might be initially moist due to the temperature change and humidity.

In the end, after all that hard work, it really is so pretty to look at them!

Chocolate Easter Eggs

These eggs were hard to crack! I don’t think it’s that suitable for kids. It’s more for adults.I was initially going to put wine candies inside but I accidentally burned the batch I made last night. Whoopsie. Next time!

Until then… Hope you all have a fun (extended/long/Easter) weekend!

Posted in chocolate, experiments, sweets4 Comments

Strawberry Ganache Fudge Cake: How to Have Your Cake and Eat It Too

I love you more than rainbows.” – Ryan Bingham (best original song, Crazy Heart) When I heard that, I went “AWWW”. How cute was that speech at the Oscar’s?! [I'm a total sap!] I’m watching it as I type, can you tell?

This (raw) fudge cake might just be more lovable than those colorful arches.

Strawberry Ganache Fudge Cake: the indulgent-tasting cake that looks good and makes you feel good

The oh-so-decadent-looking ganache–would you believe me when I say it’s made of dates, agave syrup, avocado, and cacao powder? Grins. No, it’s not April Fool’s Day yet. This total eye candy is good for you!

In the beginning I wasn’t sure it would be as good as Elle said it would. It’s not that I don’t trust her, or Ani Phyo (the cookbook author). It’s just that the ingredient combination was a bit foreign to me. Really? Avocado?! I grew up eating avocados as dessert topped with powdered milk and sugar, so the sweet part I got. But…with chocolate? You’re kidding!

My apprehension disappeared as soon as I prepared and tasted it. Oh…my…god!

Chocolate ganache

Raw ganache: the stuff of raw dessert heaven!

This chocolate frosting is UNreal in flavor. Wow. You wouldn’t think it has avocado in it. It is as good-no even better-than it looks.

Each cake layer is made of ground walnuts, cacao powder, medjool dates and salt. The major challenge for me when I made this was shaping the cake into 2 stackable layers. My smallest springform pan was 8 inches, and that produced a layer too thin to hold its shape. I ended up using a smaller-diameter fondue pot that I lined with aluminum foil tso I can easily pop out the layer once it’s compressed into a compact disc.

Pressing the cake into one compact disc

This is my low-tech solution to shaping the cake layers. It works.

I was eager to devour it after putting on the first layer of ganache, especially after tasting it with some leftover cake crumbs. I love eating tasting everything while making stuff.

First cake layer

First cake layer frosted with ganache

The original recipe called for fresh raspberries. I had strawberries at the time, so I sliced and macerated them in agave syrup for extra softness and moisture.

First layer of the strawberry ganache fudge cake

Mascerated sliced strawberries

After much fussing around with the frosting to make it look decent (I’m not good with icing at all), I had to wait 2 hours for the cake to firm up before cutting it.

Strawberry Ganache Fudge Cake

A piece of chocolate heaven.

It was love at first bite. I know I say that about a lot of desserts, but wow, this was on its own level of chocolate goodness. If I was to make a list of 100 Things To Eat Before You Die, this will definitely make the cut. Ultra smooth and creamy ganache on two layers of nutty cakes and a soft layer of macerated strawberries in the middle – what could be better? It’s raw and it’s healthy for you, that’s what! This is pure indulgence without the guilt.

Don’t even entertain second thoughts, just make this now. This is pure indulgence without the guilt.

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Posted in books and publications, cakes, chocolate, dessert, fruits, healthier choices17 Comments