D.I.Y – Do-it-Yourself! The following collection is Exotic chocolate Tasting’s owner, Roxanne Browning’s favorite recipes. She has made all of them at home. Thoughtful gifts or share for a special occasion. Enjoy!

Grand Marnier Truffles

truffles with Grand Marnier

Easy and rich chocolate truffles with Grand Marnier

By Baker by Nature

Ingredients:
10 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
2/3 cup heavy cream
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup Grand Marnier – or any other liquor will work
1/2 cup cocoa powder
5 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon vegetable or coconut oil
2 teaspoons flaky sea salt
Chop the dark chocolate into very tiny pieces and place in a large heat proof bowl.
Heat the heavy cream and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat until gently simmering. Remove from the heat and pour the mixture over the chopped chocolate ; stir well to combine, whisking until chocolate is completely melted. Gently stir in the grand marnier. Pour the mixture into a small glass baking dish and set in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
Using a melon baller, scoop small chocolate balls onto a parchment paper lined sheet pan lined and return to the pan back in the refrigerator for another 45 minutes.
Place the cocoa powder on a large clean plate; set aside.
While the chocolate is setting, combine the 5 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate and the oil into a microwaveable mixing bowl, and microwave for 15 seconds. Stir, and continue to heat on 15 second increments until the chocolate is completely melted and can be whisked smooth.
Remove the truffles from the refrigerator, roll each one in the cocoa powder, and shape into balls by rolling between the palms of your hands. Add more cocoa powder if they get too sticky.
Place truffles, 1 at time, on a small spoon or scoop and roll around in the melted chocolate until coated. Repeat until all truffles are coated. Place coated truffles back on the parchment paper lined baking sheet, and sprinkle with sea salt. Allow truffles to set in a cool dry place for at least 1 hour before serving, or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. If storing in the refrigerator, bring to room temperature before serving.

Homemade Power bars

By Dessert Lover

Easy to make, the ingredients are full of protein that will give you energy during all the work day, also this will keep you far from the vending machines.

Ingredients
1/2 cup natural peanut
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 tablespoons molasses
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoonsHomemade power bars unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup pecans
1/2 cup cashews
8 dates, pitted
1/2 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1 tablespoon flax seeds
1 tablespoon chia or hemp seeds
3 tablespoons cacao nibs
Instructions
1.    Mix the peanut butter, honey, vanilla, coconut oil, and molasses in a saucepan, simmer for 3 Minutes, gradually add the cocoa powder.
2.    Stir until combined and uniform
3.    Add almonds, walnuts, pecans, cashews, and dates to a Food processor process until crushed.
4.    Add the rest of ingredients a process for a few minutes until combined.
5.    Add the peanut butter mix to the crunched dried fruits.
6.    Stir until combined and uniform, place in a square pan. sprinkle some extra crunched dried Fruits and press them to the bars mixture.
7.    Freeze for 2 hours, cut into pieces with a sharp knife. Enjoy

Smoky Chocolate Mousse

By Megan Giller

Recently Evan LeRoy, the pitmaster at Freedmen’s Barbecue in Austin (my favorite spot), sent me a recipe for a smoked

Chocolate Dessert of the Month Smoky Chocolate Mousse by Megan Giller

Smoky Chocolate Mousse Photo by Robert J. Lerma

chocolate mousse where he actually SMOKED the chocolate. Like, ON A GRILL. He kind of reverse-engineered the drying process that they use in Papua New Guinea. I thought, well, why not just use PNG chocolate in it? So without further ado, here’s the recipe:

8 ounces smoky chocolate (Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, Java), chopped
1 C + ¾ C heavy cream, separated
4oz powdered sugar
1oz bourbon
Smoked salt, optional
1. Whip 1 C heavy cream with 4oz powdered sugar, and 1oz bourbon to stiff peaks. Simultaneously heat 3/4 C heavy cream to a low simmer.
2. Pour the warm cream in a blender and start on low. Slowly add the chopped chocolate. Add a heavy pinch smoked salt and blend covered on high for a few seconds until all combined to create a ganache.
3. Fold in the ganache to the whipped cream in three batches as to not deflate the whipped cream. Make sure everything is combined and the lumps are gone. Pour into serving vessels and chill to set. To serve, top with smoked salt.

How to Make Your Own Chocolate Bark

Recently I was asked how to do this. It’s so simple I didn’t think it required directions. Buy fine chocolate bars, if you like dark chocolate

Chocolate bark with nuts and dried fruit

Chocolate bark with nuts, coconut and dried fruit

as much as I do, choose a quality 70-75% cacao from a store like Whole Foods. Chop and melt it either in a double boiler or a microwave. If using a microwave, check it every 30 seconds till melted. If using a double boiler, be careful not to have any water mix with the chocolate, or you will have to start again with new chocolate.

Place a large piece of parchment paper on a cookie sheet.  Pour the melted chocolate on to the parchment paper, spreading it out with a spatula into the shape of a rough rectangle. Sprinkle a combination of nuts, dried fruit, coconut, sea salt, seeds, marshmallow, herbs, dried flowers, or spices evenly.  Allow to cool for at least two hours.  Cut into large pieces and serve, or store in an air tight container. Easy!

Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie

By David Lebovitz

All american chocolate pecan pie

Chocolate bourbon pecan pie

I often prefer to use chopped chocolate in place of standard chocolate chips in recipes because in this case, the chips work a little better because they have less cocoa butter and make the pie easier to slice. But feel free to use either.
I don’t pre-baked the pie dough before adding the filling—I like the way to sticky filling fuses to the crust during baking. The generous dose of bourbon cuts the sweetness of the pie and if you choose omit it, expect the pie to be denser. You can swap out another liquor in place of it if you wish.
The crust:
1 1/4 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar
4 ounces unsalted butter, chilled, and cut into 1-inch cubes
4 tablespoons ice water
The chocolate-pecan filling:
•    3 large eggs
•    3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
•    2/3 cup light corn syrup, rice syrup or golden syrup
•    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
•    1/2 teaspoon salt
•    2 tablespoons melted butter, salted or unsalted
•    2 tablespoons bourbon
•    1 2/3 cups toasted pecans, very coarsely chopped
•    3/4 cup bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips
1. To make the crust, mix together the flour, salt, and sugar in a bowl or in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. (Or use a food processor.)
2. Add the cubed butter and mix until the butter pieces are broken up and about the size of small peas.
3. Add the ice water and mix just until the dough comes together. Form the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic, and chill for at least 30 minutes.
4. Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface into a 12-inch  round. Transfer the dough into a 9-inch pie plate letting the dough ease into the pan, rather than pressing it in. Tuck the overhanging dough underneath the area above the rim of the pie plate, to create a double width of dough, then crimp the edges and refrigerate until ready to fill.
5. Preheat the oven to 375ºF and position the oven rack to the center of the oven.
6. In a large bowl, which together the eggs, brown sugar, syrup, vanilla, salt, melted butter, and bourbon.
7. Stir in the pecans and the chocolate chips then scrape the filling into the pie shell and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the filling puffs up slightly but still feels slightly jiggly and moist in the center.
Let pie cool completely before slicing.
Serving: Vanilla ice cream or whipped cream is a good accompaniment to pecan pie. Storage: Dough can be made ahead and refrigerated for up to three days, or frozen for up to two months. The pie is best eaten the same day although will keep for up to three days, at room temperature.

 

Chocolate Roulade

This recipe is from Wine Spectator Magazine, Dec.2014 / Jan.2015. A modern spin of the classic by Julia Child. I used a mix of 60-80% cacao for the cake, the ganache was made using dark milk chocolate and crushed hazelnut. I minor change from the recipe that called for just milk chocolate. This is a very rich and gluten-free heavenly dessert. I made it for Thanksgiving, everyone loved it! Contact Roxanne if you want the entire recipe.

Melted chocolate

Melted chocolate

Whipped egg whites

Whip 7 egg whites

Mix melted chocolate and egg whites till blended

Mix chocolate and egg whites till blended

Chocolate cake batter is spread in a buttered cookie shee

Chocolate cake batter is spread in a buttered cookie sheet and baked for 20 minutes at 350.

Ganache is made of dark milk chocolate and crushed hazelnuts, melted with hot heavy cream

Ganache is made of dark milk chocolate and crushed hazelnuts

Spread ganache over chocolate cake

Spread ganache over chocolate cake and then roll

Chocolate Roulade from Wine Spectator magazine

Chocolate Roulade

 

Chocolate Coconut Truffles

By Sarma Melngailis
 – Living Raw Food

No cooking required for these truffles with a completely smooth texture.  Yield: Makes about 40 truffles Equipment
: High-speed blender

chocolate coconut truffle-cocoa-coated

chocolate coconut truffle-cocoa-coated

  • 1/2 cup coconut butter/oil warmed to soften
  • 3/4 cup agave nectar
  • 
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup dried shredded coconut
  • 2 1/4 cups cocoa powder, preferably raw, sifted

In a high-speed blender, blend the warmed coconut butter/oil, agave nectar, vanilla, and salt. Add the shredded coconut, 1/2 cup at a time, and blend until smooth.
Transfer the mixture to a bowl and stir in 2 cups of the cocoa powder until thoroughly combined. Place the bowl in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes or more to set slightly. Place the remaining 1/4 cup cocoa powder onto a small plate. Spoon heaping tablespoons of the chocolate mixture and roll them into balls. Roll these in the cocoa powder. Store the finished truffles in the refrigerator.

Source Information
: Reprinted with permission from Living Raw Food by Sarma Melngailis, copyright © 2009. Published by William Morrow, an imprint of Harper Collins Publishers.

The Best Way to Temper Chocolate

Chocolate Tempering Method #1: Microwave

Advantages: Requires no special equipment other than a thermometer.

Disadvantages: Least foolproof. Requires a minimum of 12 ounces of chocolate. Lots of clean-up. Lots of wasted chocolate in the bowl

How to temper chocolate - The Food Lab

Tempering chocolate – The Food Lab

and on the spatula.

The Short Version: Melt at least a half pound of chocolate by stirring it in a bowl set over a pot of simmering water or by microwaving it in a bowl at 30 second intervals, stirring between each stint in the microwave. Once it hits 115°F, drop in chunks of un-melted fresh chocolate a few at a time, stirring vigorously after each addition until the chocolate drops back down to 81°F. Finally, reheat the chocolate to between 80 and 90°F, making sure that it never rises above 92°F. Dip or pour as desired.

For traditional methods visit The Food Lab

 

Panforte – A Tuscan Specialty

By David Lebowitz

Panforte is best served cut into thin wedges. You can use any kinds of nuts you like – I prefer a mix of hazelnuts and almonds. To skin

Traditional Italian Dessert from Tuscany

Traditional Italian Dessert

hazelnuts, rub the still-warm toasted nuts in a tea towel, to get off as much of the skins as possible. You can use another candied fruit, whatever is available.
5 tablespoons (40g) unsweetened cocoa powder (Dutch-process or natural)
2 1/2 cups (325g) nuts; any mix of walnuts, almonds, or hazelnuts, toasted and very coarsely chopped

  •  3/4 cup (110g) flour
  • 1 cup (200g) chopped candied citron or another candied citrus
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  •  pinch of grated nutmeg
  •  1/2 teaspoon red chile powder
  • 3 ounces (85g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup (200g) sugar
  •  3/4 cup (210g) honey
  • extra cocoa powder, for dusting the pan
  • powdered sugar, for dusting the panforte

1. Preheat the oven to 325ºF (162ºC.)
2. Line the bottom of a 9- to 10-inch (22-23cm) springform pan with parchment paper. Spray the pan with nonstick spray and dust the inside with cocoa powder, making sure to get it up the sides.
3. In a large bowl, mix together the cocoa powder, nuts, flour, candied citrus, cinnamon, ginger, black pepper, nutmeg, and red chile powder.
4. Melt the chocolate in a small bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Remove from heat and stir it into the nut mixture.
5. In a pan fitted with a candy thermometer, heat the sugar and honey until the temperature reads 240ºF (115ºC.)
6. Pour the hot honey syrup over the nut mixture and stir well. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. I start by using a spatula and as the mixture cools, once it’s cool enough to touch, I use a dampened hand to get it flat.
7. Bake the panforte for 35 – 40 minutes; the center will feel soft, like just-baked custard; if you touch it, your finger will come away clean when it’s done. (Do not overcook it, or it will be too firm once cooled.) Let the panforte cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes, then run a knife around the edge to loosen it from the pan. Remove the springform carefully (sticky edges might tear, so keep an eye out), then let cool completely.
Once cool, remove the bottom of the springform pan and peel away the parchment paper. Sprinkle the panforte with powdered sugar and rub it in with your hands.

Storage: Panforte can be kept for several months, well wrapped, at room temperature.

 

Chocolate Peppermint Bark

Peppermint bark is a Christmas classic. Who can resist dark chocolate, white chocolate, and crisp bites of minty candy canes? This

Peppermint chocolate bark with dark and white chocolate

Peppermint chocolate bark

delicious, easy peppermint bark makes a wonderful holiday gift.
Ingredients
12 ounces good-quality semisweet chocolate or 70-75% cacao
12 ounces good-quality white chocolate
1/2 cup crushed peppermint candy or candy canes

Directions
Line a 9×12 pan with parchment paper.
Melt the dark chocolate (use the method you prefer, either double

boiler, or microwave – cook 30 seconds in a heat-proof bowl, stir and repeat until you have a smooth consistency.
Pour the melted dark chocolate on the parchment paper, spread the chocolate out until it is about 1/3″ thick. You can do this by hitting the pan on the countertop repeatedly, or maybe you could use a spatula to spread the chocolate.
Melt the white chocolate, using the steps above. After the chocolate is smooth, pour it on top of the dark chocolate – trying to make the layers the same thickness. (it’s best to do this step while the white chocolate is still very soft — I’ve had them separate when I broke them into pieces, I think the layers “stick” together better if the white chocolate has not hardened).
Place peppermints into a heavy duty plastic bag. Using a hammer or meat tenderizer – crush the mints then, while the white chocolate is still melted sprinkle on top. Let the chocolates harden in the refrigerator for 2 hours, then break the candy into pieces.

Homemade Marshmallows

This is a tried-and-true no-fail recipe for classic marshmallows. You won’t believe how easy it is to make these soft, sweet treats at home.

  • Vegetable oil for brushing pan
  • About 1 cup confectioners’ sugar for coating pan and marshmallows
  • 3 (1/4-ounce) envelopes powdered unflavored gelatin
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Special Equipment: Pastry brush; 1 (9-inch) square baking pan; small, fine-mesh sieve; 4 1/2-quart or larger stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment; candy thermometer

homemade marshmallows easy recipe

homemade marshmallows

Preparation 
Brush the bottom and sides of a 9-inch square baking pan with vegetable oil. Using a small, fine-mesh sieve, dust the pan generously with confectioners’ sugar, knocking out any excess.
 Put 1/2 cup water in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Sprinkle the gelatin into the bowl and stir briefly to make sure all the gelatin is in contact with water. Let soften while you make the sugar syrup.
In a heavy 3- to 4-quart saucepan, combine the granulated sugar, corn syrup, salt, and 1/2 cup water. Place over moderate heat and bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Put a candy thermometer into the boiling sugar syrup and continue boiling (the mixture may foam up, so turn the heat down slightly if necessary), without stirring, until the thermometer registers 240°F (soft-ball stage). Remove the saucepan from the heat and let stand briefly until the bubbles dissipate slightly.
With the mixer on low speed, pour the hot sugar syrup into the softened gelatin in a thin stream down the side of the bowl. Gradually increase the mixer speed to high and beat until the marshmallow is very thick and forms a thick ribbon when the whisk is lifted, about 5 minutes. Beat in the vanilla.
Scrape the marshmallow into the prepared pan (it will be very sticky) and use wet fingertips to spread it evenly and smooth the top. Let stand, uncovered at room temperature, until the surface is no longer sticky and you can gently pull the marshmallow away from the sides of the pan with your fingertips, at least 4 hours or overnight.
Dust a cutting board with confectioners’ sugar. Use a rubber spatula to pull the sides of the marshmallow from the edge of the pan (use the spatula to loosen the marshmallow from the bottom of the pan if necessary) and invert onto the cutting board. Dust the top with confectioners’ sugar. Brush a long thin knife or a chef’s knife with vegetable oil and dust with confectioners’ sugar to prevent sticking; continue dusting the knife as necessary. Cut lengthwise into 8 strips, then crosswise into eighths, to form a total of 64 squares. (For larger marshmallows, cut lengthwise into 6 strips, then crosswise into sixths, to form a total of 36 squares.) Coat marshmallows, one at a time, in confectioners’ sugar, using a pastry brush to brush off any excess.

DO AHEAD: Marshmallows can be stored, layered between sheets of wax paper or parchment in an airtight container in a dry place at cool room temperature, for 1 month.
cook’s notes:
To flavor marshmallows: Replace the vanilla extract with a different flavor extract, such as peppermint, almond, or strawberry.
To color marshmallows: After adding the vanilla extract, add 1/2 teaspoon (about 45 drops) of food coloring and beat the marshmallow mixture until the color is fully incorporated. Add more food coloring, a few drops at a time, for deeper color.
To cut marshmallows into shapes: Use a 9- by 13-inch baking pan instead of a 9-inch square pan, so that the marshmallows are slightly thinner and easier to cut. Use 2 1/2- to 3-inch cookie cutters in simple shapes and dust the cookie cutters in confectioners’ sugar to avoid sticking. Cut the marshmallows into shapes the same way you would sugar cookies.
To add mix-ins: After adding the vanilla extract, fold in about 1/2 cup of mini chocolate chips, cocoa nibs, or your desired mix-in. Keep in mind that the marshmallows will still be warm so some mix-ins will melt slightly. You can wait a minute to allow the marshmallow to cool slightly but it will become stiffer and harder to stir as it cools.
To dip marshmallows in chocolate: In a dry metal bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, melt about 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, stirring until smooth. Working with one marshmallow at a time, brush the marshmallow again to remove any excess confectioners’ sugar then dip one smooth side about 1/8 inch into the chocolate to coat it, scraping any excess chocolate on the edge of the bowl. Transfer, chocolate side up, to a wire rack set over a baking sheet and let stand until the chocolate is set. Chocolate-dipped marshmallows can be stored, layered between sheets of wax paper or parchment in an airtight container in a dry place at cool room temperature, for about 2 days.

More Marshmallow recipes

Homemade Nutella

By David Lebovitz

nutella you can makea at home

homemade nutella

1/3 cup (40g) whole almonds
1 1/3 cup (160g) hazelnuts
1 3/4 cup (400g) whole milk (see Notes)
7/8 cup (60g) powdered whole milk
3 tablespoons (40g) mild-flavored honey
pinch of salt
6 ounces (170g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
5 ounces (140g) milk chocolate, chopped (use one that’s at least 30% cacao solids)

1. Spread the nuts on a baking sheet, keeping the almond separate, and toast the nuts in a 350ºF (180ºC) oven, stirring a few times, nutellafor 10 to 15 minutes, until the hazelnuts are browned.

2. While they are roasting, warm the whole milk and powdered milk in a small saucepan with the honey and salt just until it starts to boil. Remove from heat.

3. In a clean, dry bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, or in a microwave oven, melt the chocolates together until smooth.

4. Once the nuts are well-toasted, remove them from oven and use a spatula to place the warm hazelnuts in a clean tea towel, then fold them inside the towel and rub them vigorously to remove any loose skins. They don’t need to be pristine; just try to get as much off as possible.

5. In a food processor, grind the warm hazelnuts and almonds until they’re as fine as possible. You may not be able to get them completely smooth, depending on your food processor. (I have a brand new one and even after five minutes, there were little bits of nuts in mine, which is normal.)

6. Add the melted chocolate and continue to process the mixture, stopping to scrape down the sides of the work bowl, as necessary.

7. Once the mixture is smooth, add the warm milk mixture and process until everything is well-combined.

(The original instructions here said to strain the paste, which I didn’t do because I don’t mind the little bits of toasted nuts, but you can.)

9. Transfer the mixture into two jars and refrigerate until ready to use.

Storage: The Chocolate-Hazelnut Paste will keep in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Link to David Lebovitz full article on his blog

Hot Chocolate from around the world

Mayan Hot Chocolate

Have you seen the movie, Chocolat? This is like the hot chocolate that was served in the movie.

mayan hot chocolate

Mayan hot chocolate

2 cups boiling water
1 chile pepper, cut in half, seeds removed  (with gloves)
5 cups light cream or whole or nonfat milk
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1 to 2 cinnamon sticks
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate or
3 tablets Mexican Chocolate, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
2 tablespoons granulated sugar or honey, or to taste
l tablespoon almonds or hazelnuts, ground extra fine
Whipped cream

In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, add chile pepper to boiling water. Cook until liquid is reduced to 1 cup. Remove chile pepper; strain water and set aside.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine cream or milk, vanilla bean and cinnamon stick until bubbles appear around the edge. Reduce heat to low; add chocolate and sugar or honey; whisk occasionally until chocolate is melted and sugar dissolves. Turn off heat; remove vanilla bean and cinnamon stick. Add chile-infused water, a little at a time, tasting to make sure the flavor isn’t too strong. If chocolate is too thick, thin with a little more milk.

Serve in small cups and offer ground almonds or hazelnuts and whipped cream.

Hot Chocolates from around the world – Link to more recipes

 Healthy Vegan Coconut Chocolate Pecan Bars

By Vegan Divas Bakery

“Addictive” is the only way I can describe these gooey, rich dessert bars. Their pastry base is made from a combination of almond and spelt flour and sweetened with maple syrup. The topping is made from a reduction of coconut milk and Sucanat, with coconut, pecans and vegan chocolate morsels providing the chewy, melt-in-your-mouth goodness on top.

Makes 24 bars

Almond Crust:

Vegan and healthy Coconut chocolate pecan bar

Homemade Coconut chocolate pecan bars

1 3/4 cups (165 g/5.8 oz) almond flour
1/3 cup (41 g/1.4 oz) wholemeal spelt flour
Pinch of kosher salt
1/3 cup (98 g/3.5 oz) maple syrup
1/3 cup (74 g/2.6 oz) coconut oil

Coconut Filling:
One 14-ounce (397 g) can coconut milk (regular or light, as you prefer)
2/3 cup (102 g/3.6 oz) Sucanat
1 Tbsp (12 g/0.42 oz) vanilla extract
1 ½ cups (255 g/9 oz) vegan semisweet chocolate morsels
2 cups (180 g/6.3 oz) unsweetened desiccated coconut
1 cup (100 g/3.5 oz) pecans, chopped

Make the crust:
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Coat the bottom and sides of a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.

Place the almond flour, spelt flour and salt in a medium bowl and whisk to combine.  Combine the maple syrup and coconut oil in a small bowl or glass measure and fold the liquids into the flour mixture until blended. Press the almond mixture onto the bottom of the prepared pan, covering the bottom. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Cool the crust in the pan on a wire rack while you make the filling. Leave the oven on.

Make the filling:
Place the coconut milk and Sucanat in a medium saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and allow the mixture to simmer for 10 minutes, whisking occasionally, until slightly thickened.  Remove the pan from the heat and let the mixture cool slightly for 5 minutes.

Stir the vanilla extract into the coconut milk mixture. Scatter the chocolate morsels over the crust, then top with the desiccated coconut and pecans. Slowly pour the coconut milk mixture on top. Bake the bars for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown and bubbly. Cool the bars completely in the pan set on a wire rack. Refrigerate the bars for at least 3 hours before cutting into squares and serving.

Mousse au Chocolat – Julia Child,  The French Chef

This classic recipe incorporates several French cooking methods into one dessert. Master how to turn egg yokes into pale thick ribbons, beat egg whites properly and melt sugar so it’s not gritty. Fold all together with chocolate for a rich dessert. This video of Julia Child’s 1960’s The French Chef TV Show will be your guide. Julia Child The French Chef – Mousse au Chocolat

  • 6 ounces (170g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
    Julia Child classic Chocolate Mousse

    Chocolate Mousse – Julia Child classic recipe

    Chocolate, sugar, eggs, butter and rum

    Chocolate Mousse ingredients: Chocolate, sugar, eggs, butter and rum

  •         4 ounces (170g) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  •         1/4 cup (60ml) dark-brewed coffee
  •         4 large eggs, separated
  •         3/4 cup (170g) sugar
  •         1/4 cup tablespoons (30ml) dark rum
  •         pinch of salt
  •         Cream of tartar

 

 

 Spiked Mocha Truffle Brownies

Made using 70% dark chocolate topped with a decadent chocolate ganache. Don’t skimp on the quality, if you cannot find heirloom cacao, use Valrhona – a French premium chocolate. If you want more mocha flavor, add more Keulua Coffee Liqueur. I’ve made many brownies and this one is my favorite, perfect for a crowd.

For a crowd - Spiked Mocha Truffle Brownies

Spiked Mocha Truffle Brownies

Serves: 36 brownies
Ingredients
•    9 oz dark chocolate chips
•    11 Tbls (2/3 cup) butter
•    3 eggs, room temperature
•    1/3 cup Keulua Coffee Liqueur
•    1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
•    1 cup all purpose flour
•    1-2 Tbls cocoa powder to “flour” baking pan
Ganache Frosting
•    2 cups dark chocolate chips
•    2/3 cup heavy whipping cream

Instructions
1.    Melt chocolate chips and butter together in a microwave safe container on medium heat, 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until chocolate has fully melted.
2.    Pour Keulua coffee into melted chocolate and stir. Let cool to room temperature.
3.    Preheat oven to 325F.
4.    Grease and flour 9×13 baking pan with cocoa powder making sure to tap out all excess powder.
5.    Whip 3 eggs in a mixing bowl until light and frothy.
6.    Beat in sugar for two minutes on medium speed.
7.    Reduce speed to low and and beat in room temperature chocolate-coffee mixture.
8.    Stir in flour just until combined.
9.    Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 30 minutes or until brownies are set. Don’t overcook or worry if the top cracks. Cool completely.
Ganache Frosting
1.    Combine chocolate chips and whipping cream in small saucepan. Stir over low heat until chocolate has melted and cream is completely combined.
2.    Spread over cooled brownies. Refrigerate until ganache has set. Cut into bars and store in an airtight container.

 

Chocolate Pistachio Fudge

Chocolate Pistachio Fudge

Chocolate Pistachio Fudge

Ingredients

  1. 12 ounces 70% dark chocolate, chopped
  2. 1 (14-ounce) can condensed milk
  3. 
Pinch salt
  4. 
1 cup shelled pistachios

Directions

  1. Melt the chopped chocolate, condensed milk and salt in a heavy based pan on a low heat.
  2. Put the nuts into a freezer bag and bash them with a rolling pin, until broken up into both big and little pieces.
  3. Add the nuts to the melted chocolate and condensed milk and stir well to mix.
  4. Pour this mixture into a 9-inch square foil tray, smoothing the top.
  5. Let the fudge cool and then refrigerate until set. You can then cut into small pieces approximately 3/4 by 1 3/4 inches or cutting 8 by 8 lines in the tin to give 64 pieces. Once cut you can keep it in the freezer, no need to thaw just eat straight away.

 

Double Chocolate Pudding with Caramelized Cocoa Nibs

By David Lebovitz

Four to six servings

double Chocolate-pudding with cacao nibs

Double Chocolate pudding with caramelized cacao nibs

Cocoa nibs are available in well-stocked supermarkets, specialty food shops, and online. If you can’t get them, or would prefer, you could use an equal amount of lightly toasted, chopped nuts, in place of them for the cocoa nib brittle.
For the double chocolate pudding:
•    3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, natural or Dutch-process
•    3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (175g) sugar
•    3 1/2 tablespoons (30g) corn starch
•    1/8th teaspoon salt
•    2 1/4 cup (530ml) whole milk
•    3 large egg yolks
•    2 ounces (60g) unsweetened chocolate, chopped
•    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the cocoa nib brittle:

  • 1/4 cup (50g) sugar
  • 1/4 cup (25g) cocoa nibs

1. To make the double chocolate pudding, in a medium saucepan, whisk together the cocoa powder, 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of sugar, corn starch, and salt.
2. Gradually whisk in 1 cup (250ml) of the milk, stirring until it’s lump-free. Mix in the rest of the milk, as well as the egg yolks and cook the mixture over moderate heat, stirring constantly with the whisk, until the mixture starts to boil and thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon.
3. Once it starts to thicken, reduce the heat if necessary to keep the mixture at a very low boil, stirring constantly with the whisk or a heatproof spatula until the pudding is thick and holds its shape, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and scatter the chocolate over the top. Stir the chocolate in with a heatproof spatula, along with the vanilla, until the chocolate is fully melted and the mixture is smooth.
4. Divide the mixture into 4 or 6 glasses or bowls, and chill for at least two hours. Cover the tops if you wish to avoid a skin forming on the surface. (Which is my favorite part, but some don’t like it.)
If the mixture seems lumpy before you scrape it into the glasses, give it a couple of brisk stirs with a whisk, or press it through a mesh strainer to smooth it out.
5. To make the cocoa nib brittle, lightly oil a 12-inch (30cm) area on a baking sheet. Set aside.
6. Spread the 1/4 cup of sugar in a skillet, in an even layer. Heat over medium heat until the edges liquify, then begin to turn an amber color. Using a heatproof spatula, or other utensil, gently stir the liquified sugar in toward the center, stirring the mixture as gently as possible until the liquified sugar is a dark amber color and just begins to smoke.
7. Remove from heat and immediately stir in the cocoa nibs, just enough to that they are coated with the caramel. Scrape them onto the oiled part of the prepared baking sheet and spread as best you can, before it hardens. (If it gets too cool in the pan, you can rewarm the caramel with the nibs slightly over low heat, to make it spreadable.) Let the brittle harden at room temperature. When cool, crumble into little bits.
Serving: Serve the pudding with a dollop of lightly sweetened whipped cream, with crumbled brittle over the top.
Storage: The puddings will keep for up to four days in the refrigerator. The brittle can be made up to two weeks in advance and kept in an airtight container at room temperature. It can also be frozen, if well wrapped, for up to two months.

 

Triple Chocolate Tart

I’ve added 1/4 cup espresso to the filling and cut back 1/4 cup of heavy cream for an added kick. Top with raspberries with a side of whipped cream.

Triple chocolate tart

Triple chocolate tart with espresso

Serves 10

INGREDIENTS
For crust:
9 (5- by 2 1/4-inch) chocolate graham crackers (not chocolate-covered), finely ground (1 cup)
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar
For filling:
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
9 ounces bittersweet chocolate (not more than 65% cacao if marked), chopped
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
For glaze:
2 tablespoon heavy cream
1 3/4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 teaspoon light corn syrup
1 tablespoon warm water
Equipment:
a 9-inch round fluted tart pan (1 inch deep)

PREPARATION
Make crust:
Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle.
Stir together all ingredients and press evenly onto bottom and 3/4 inch up side of tart pan. Bake until firm, about 10 minutes. Cool on a rack 15 to 20 minutes
Make filling:
Bring cream to a boil, then pour over chocolate in a bowl and let stand 5 minutes. Gently stir until smooth. Whisk together eggs, vanilla, and salt in another bowl, then stir into melted chocolate.
Pour filling into cooled crust. Bake until filling is set about 3 inches from edge but center is still wobbly, 20 to 25 minutes. (Center will continue to set as tart cools.) Cool completely in pan on rack, about 1 hour.
Make glaze:
Bring cream to a boil and remove from heat. Stir in chocolate until smooth. Stir in corn syrup, then warm water
Pour glaze onto tart, then tilt and rotate tart so glaze coats top evenly. Let stand until glaze is set, about 1 hour.
Cooks’ note: Tart is best the day it is made but can be made, without glaze, 1 day ahead and chilled. Bring to room temperature before glazing.

Chocolate Hazelnut Dessert Pizza

I made this for a pizza party competition at a friends house. Eight savory pies came out of the ovens and all were eaten and judged. My pie was last to be cooked and judged. At that point everyone was ready for dessert. It won for best taste and crust! Not a slice was left.

Chocolate & Hazelnut Pizza Pie

Chocolate & Hazelnut Dessert Pizza Pie

INGREDIENTS
Pizza dough – buy or make yourself
2 tablespoons melted butter
1/4 cup chocolate – hazelnut spread (try an organic brand)
1/2 cup chopped dark chocolate, 70% is recommended
2 tablespoons chopped high quality white chocolate

3 tablespoons chopped toasted hazelnuts
Sea salt – large flaked is best
Olive oil – to drizzle on top

PREPARATION
Preheat oven to 450°F. Line large baking sheet with parchment. Roll out dough on lightly floured surface to 11-inch round. Transfer dough to prepared sheet. Make indentations all over dough with fingertips. Brush melted butter over. Bake until pale golden, about 20 minutes.
Smooth chocolate-hazelnut spread over hot crust. Sprinkle chopped dark chocolate and white chocolate over. Bake until chocolate begins to melt, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle chopped hazelnuts over, sprinkle sea salt and drizzle olive oil. Allow to cool at bit and cut into wedges, and serve.

Chocolate Panna Cotta Cake

From Epicurious.com

I made this for a friend’s birthday.  Of course, it tasted as good as it looks and not difficult to make. Just a little patience and don’t skimp on the chocolate. Only the best and you will get rave reviews! Tip: if you don’t

Chocolate Panna Cotta layer Cake

Chocolate Panna Cotta Cake

have two 10-inch-diameter springform pans, use one  and pour all the cake batter into it. After its baked and cooled, cut the cake horizontally. Yields 12 servings

INGREDIENTS
Cake:
•    Nonstick vegetable oil spray
•    4 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
•    3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
•    1/2 cup hot espresso
•    1/2 cup coffee liquor
•    1 cup plus 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
•    1 teaspoon baking powder
•    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
•    1/8 teaspoon salt
•    1/3 cup vegetable oil
•    1/2 cup sugar
•    1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
•    3 large eggs
•    1/2 cup sour cream
Panna Cotta:
•    1/2 cup water
•    5 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
•    7 1/2 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
•    5 ounces high-quality milk chocolate
•    2 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
•    2 1/2 cups whole milk
•    1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
•    1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
•    1 1/4 vanilla beans, split lengthwise
Chocolate Band:
•    2 16×3-inch strips waxed paper
•    5 ounces dark chocolate, chopped

PREPARATION
For cake:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray two 10-inch-diameter springform pans with 2 1/2-inch-high sides with nonstick spray. Place chocolate and cocoa in medium bowl. Pour hot espresso and coffee liquor over; whisk until smooth. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in another medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat oil and both sugars in large bowl 1 minute (mixture will be crumbly). Add eggs 1 at a time, beating to blend after each addition. Beat in sour cream. Mix in half of dry ingredients. Beat in chocolate mixture. Add remaining dry ingredients; beat on low speed just to blend (batter will be thin). Divide batter between pans (layers will be shallow).
Bake cakes until tester inserted into centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Cool in pans on rack.

For panna cotta:
Place 1/2 cup water in small bowl. Sprinkle gelatin over; let soften 10 minutes. Place both chocolates in large metal bowl. Combine cream, milk, sugar, and vanilla extract in large saucepan. Scrape in seeds from vanilla beans; add beans. Bring to boil, stirring until sugar dissolves; remove from heat. Add gelatin mixture; whisk to dissolve. Pour cream mixture over chocolates in bowl; whisk until completely melted. Place bowl over a larger bowl of ice water. Stir often until mixture thickens like pudding, draining off water and adding more ice to larger bowl as needed, about 30 minutes. Remove from over water.
Pour 1/2 of panna cotta over cake in 1 pan (mixture may drip down sides of cake). Freeze 45 minutes. Keep remaining panna cotta at room temperature.
Remove pan sides from second cake. Using large metal spatula, carefully slide cake off of pan bottom and place atop panna cotta in cake pan. Pour remaining panna cotta over, filling pan completely. Chill overnight. DO AHEAD: Can be covered and frozen for 2 weeks. Defrost overnight in refrigerator before continuing.

For chocolate band:
Line large baking sheet with foil; set aside. Place another large sheet of foil on work surface; place waxed paper strips atop foil, spacing apart. Stir chocolate in medium bowl set over pan of simmering water until smooth. Pour half of melted chocolate down center of each waxed paper strip. Using small offset spatula, spread chocolate to cover strips evenly, allowing some of chocolate to extend beyond edges of paper strips, making sure strips are completely covered. Using fingertips, lift strips and place on foil-lined sheet. Chill until chocolate just begins to set but is still completely flexible, about 2 minutes.

Cut around pan sides to release cake. Remove pan sides from cake. Using fingertips, lift 1 chocolate band from foil. Wrap band around cake, waxed-paper side out, lining up 1 long edge with bottom of cake (band will be higher than cake). Repeat with second band, arranging so ends just meet, pressing band onto uncovered side of cake. If bands overlap, trim any excess paper and chocolate. Using fingertips, press top edge of band in toward cake, forming slight ruffle. Chill until chocolate sets, 5 minutes. Gently peel off waxed paper. Chill cake. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Chill.

Tiramisu Cake

This no bake recipe is perfect for a summer dessert. Impressive and taste even better. (Serves 8-10) adapted from Gourmet

Tiramisu cake

Tiramisu Cake with chocolate curls

INGREDIENTS
3 cups very strong coffee (decaf is fine)
1/2 cup sugar
1 rounded TB sugar
4 TB Kahlua liquor
3 TB rum
4 large egg yolks
1/3 cup dry (not sweet) marsala
2 1/2 cups mascarpone cheese
1 cup chilled heavy cream
2 pkgs (about 14 oz total) crisp ladyfinger cookies
unsweetened cocoa powder for dusting, dark chocolate for chocolate curls, if desired

DIRECTIONS
Stir strong coffee, 1 TB sugar, Kahlua, and rum until sugar is dissolved.   Cool.
Beat egg yolks, Marsala, and 1/2 cup sugar in a metal bowl.  Set bowl over saucepan of barely simmering water.  Using a handheld electric mixer or whisk, mix until tripled in volume.  This takes about 8 min.  Remove from heat and beat mascarpone in until just combined.
Put heavy cream in a chilled bowl with chilled beaters.  Beat until stiff peaks. Fold whipped cream in mascarpone mixture gently, taking time to fully incorporate it.

One at a time, very gently dip both sides of each ladyfinger into the coffee mixture, lining bottom of a 9-10 inch Springform pan (I use a 9 inch).  Dip and line as you go.  The ladyfingers can break apart, so don’t dip them too long.  About a 2-second dip on each side.  Trim any ladyfingers as needed so that it fits comfortably in pan.  Split mascarpone filling in half.  Spread half of the filling on top of ladyfingers.  Repeat dipping and lining for second layer of ladyfingers.  Spread remaining mascarpone filling on top.  Dust with cocoa.  Sprinkle with chocolate shavings.  Chill overnight in springform pan to set. Carefully release sides of springform.  If your sides are slightly haphazard, no worries.  Take leftover ladyfingers, cut off about 1′ and dip one side into the coffee mixture to adhere to wrap around your Tiramisu.

Chocolate curls
Ingredients
3 ounces dark chocolate (usually 3 squares)
1 tablespoon butter

Directions
Place the chocolate into a microwave-safe bowl with the vegetable shortening. Throw it in the microwave until the shortening is melted and hot, 30 to 45 seconds. Stir with a fork to combine thoroughly.

Next, pour the melted chocolate over the underside of a clean cookie sheet. Then, with an offset spatula or a knife, spread the chocolate in a thin layer. Keep going until it’s very, very thin. Then…and this is the key…stick it in the freezer for a few minutes.

After a few minutes, check that the chocolate is ready by pressing it with your finger tip; it should leave the slightest mark, but not an actual depression.

Next, get a somewhat sharp-edged spatula and begin to scrape the chocolate from the bottom of the pan. When the chocolate is just the right temperature, it’ll curl instead of break. If it gets too soft, stick it back in the freezer for a minute. Pretty soon you’ll have a bunch of fun little chocolate curls.

Important: As soon as possible, transfer the curls to a cold pan or plate, and then stick them in the freezer to harden. Store in the freezer in a zip-top bag until you need them. Use them to adorn pies, cakes or platters of fruit. You’ll feel instantly fancy!

Meringue with Chocolate with red fruits

By Barbara Torresan

This looks complicated, don’t let the beauty frighten you! This reminds me of Pavlova. The classic dessert is believed to have been

Pavlova

Meringue with Chocolate with red fruits

created in honor of the Russian Ballerina either during or after one of her tours to Australia and New Zealand in the 1920s. A true Pavlova is not made with chocolate. This recipe from an Italian food stylist that kicked it up a notch. Excuse the EU measurements.

  • 6 egg whites
  • 
300g sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  • 
3 teaspoons lemon juice
    50g chocolate 70% cocoa
  • 
3 baskets of fresh raspberries
    500 ml Whipping Cream
  • 2 tablespoons orange liqueur
  • Preheat the oven to 190 degrees

Use the planet – or electric whisk – and whip the egg whites very firm with lemon and slowly add a tablespoon of sugar at a time. Finally cocoa. 
The meringue is ready when it will form on the tips of the peaks of the whips.
Line with parchment paper one or two bake pans. 
With a spoon form 3 circles of equal size with the meringue. If necessary, you can help yourself by using a plate as a template and passing around a marker. Then, using the paper backward to make the circle drawn in transparency.
When the meringues are cooked, you will notice that the edges will break slightly. 
Leave to cool in the oven with the door slightly ajar. It may take 2 or 3 hours
Once cooled, decorate layer by layer alternating meringue cream, previously mounted – keeping it soft – with 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar and orange liqueur, in chocolate curls and raspberries. Ending with raspberries and any other red fruits to taste.