Tag Archives: Chocolate

Chocolate Banana Zucchini Muffins

Muffins

Chocolate, banana, and zucchini muffins.

  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate cocoa
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp real vanilla extract
  • 2 cups zucchini, shredded and patted dry
  • 2 medium very ripe bananas, mashed (about 1 cup)
  • 1 cup chocolate chips, preferably mini dark chocolate
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease muffin tin with butter or spray; set aside.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together cocoa, flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine oil, vanilla, and both sugars.  Stir in eggs, bananas, and shredded zucchini.
  4. Fold dry ingredient mixture into wet ingredient mixture, just until combined.  Gently fold in the chocolate chips.
  5. Scoop batter into prepared muffin tin and bake in the preheated oven for about 45 – 60 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean with a few moist crumbs sticking to the toothpick.  Cool completely before storing.

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Salted Toffee-chocolate Squares

From the PBS program “Everyday Food”, these really are yummy!

Ingredients

  • 13 graham crackers (or enough to line the sheet)
  • 1 1/2 cups toffee bits
  • 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped toasted natural almonds
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup (4 ounces) bittersweet chocolate, chopped, or chocolate chips
  • 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.
  2. Place graham crackers in a single layer on sheet, edges touching. You want to cover the entire baking sheet with graham crackers.
  3. Sprinkle toffee bits and almonds over graham crackers.
  4. In a small saucepan, bring sugar and butter to a boil over medium-high. Reduce heat and cook at a rapid simmer, swirling pan occasionally, until mixture is syrupy, 2 minutes. If desired, pour the hot mixture into a 2-cup glass measuring cup to make pouring easier.  Immediately pour evenly, and slowly over graham crackers.
  5. Bake until sugar topping is bubbling, 12 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle chocolate and salt over graham crackers.
  7. With a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut into 2-inch squares.
  8. Let cool completely on sheet on a wire rack.

(Store in an airtight container, up to 1 week.)

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Low Fat Chocolate Cake

Not a cake lover — at all — but this is really delicious served with a scoop of ice-cream (which I also don’t like!).  This recipe produces a dense texture, rather than being a light and airy cake.

Preheat oven to 350F and grease an 8” springform pan.

  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ cup hot strong coffee (or use water or orange juice)
  • 1/3 cup low fat yogurt or buttermilk

In a large bowl, beat together brown and granulated sugars, butter, eggs, and vanilla until well blended.  Add cocoa and mix until well incorporated

Combine flour, baking soda, and baking powder; add to bowl along with coffee and yogurt.  Mix just until combined, being careful not to overmix.  Pour into pan, and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until tester inserted into centre comes out dry.  Let cool completely.

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Fraser’s Birthday Brownies (for Fraser and Prasanth)

Preheat oven to 350F.  Line an 8”x8” pan with 2 pieces of parchment paper, leaving overhangs on each side (one piece going each direction across the pan).  Have 3 eggs at room temperature.

NOTE:  Each layer needs to be completely cooled before the next layer is added!

Brownie Layer:

This is extremely fudgy, and great on its own.

  • 8 Tbsp butter ( ½ cup)
  • 8oz/227g bittersweet chocolate, chopped into pieces
  • ½ cup brown sugar, packed
  • ½ cup white granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs at room temperature
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  1. In a large saucepan, melt the butter and cook it until it is fragrant and light brown.  Remove from the heat, and cool for 5 minutes or so.
  2. Add the chocolate and melt.  Stir until smooth.
  3. Add the sugars and mix well.  The mixture will have a grainy texture.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until the batter is glossy and thick.
  5. Add the vanilla, and then the salt and flour, mixing only long enough to incorporate the flour.
  6. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for about 30 minutes; the edges should be firm, but the centre slightly soft, yet puffed.  Remove from oven and chill completely in pan (if you want to hurry it along, put it in the fridge or freezer until just firm).

Peanut Buttery Layer:

  • ¾ cup smooth peanut butter (the regular store-brand kind works well – save the organic for toast)
  • 8 Tbsp butter, room temperature ( ½ cup)
  • ½ cup icing/confectioner’s sugar
  • ½ tsp kosher salt

Place all ingredients into a food processor, then process until smooth.  Spread evenly onto cooled brownie bottom, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until cold and set.

Ganache Layer:

I use about half of this recipe, and store the remainder in the fridge or freezer for a few weeks.  If it firms up before you get a chance to spread it, just pop it into the microwave for about 5 seconds, or warm it in a bowl over some hot water.

  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 10 oz/280g bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp corn syrup (not usually part of ganache, but it works for these brownies)
  1. Place chopped chocolate into a medium mixing bowl.
  2. In a small heavy saucepan, heat cream until almost at a boil.  Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and add the corn syrup.
  3. Let the mixture sit for about 10 minutes.
  4. Gently whisk the mixture until completely smooth, trying not to add any air in the form of bubbles.
  5. Pour ganache into the brownie/peanut butter pan, making the layer as thick as you want it.  Let it set in the fridge.

Finishing:

Lift out the three-layer brownie by the parchment “handles”, and place on a cutting board.  Slice the slab into 16 squares, wiping the knife clean after every slice.  Wrap each piece very well, put into a container, and store in fridge for up to a month, or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

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Oatmeal Cookies II (Niall’s favourite, chewy)

Dry Ingredients:

  • 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose (or whole wheat) flour
  • ½ cup wheat germ
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch to ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt

“Wet” Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (not imitation!)
  • 1  ½ cups chocolate chips OR chopped apricots OR raisins
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Whisk together all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, cream together butter and both types of sugar until pale and fluffy; it will take about 5 minutes on medium speed.  You can also do this by hand with a wooden spoon, or with a hand mixer if you don’t have an electric mixer.
  4. Reduce speed of electric mixer to low, and beat in the eggs and the vanilla.
  5. Gradually add oat mixture; mix until just combined.
  6. Slowly mix in chocolate chips (or other options).
  7. Using a 1 ½” ice cream scoop, drop dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper, spacing 2” apart.
  8. Bake until golden and just set, about 14 minutes.  For even browning, turn the sheets 180 degrees after 7 minutes.
  9. Let cool on the sheet for 5 minutes, then finish cooling on a wire rack.

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Niall’s Chocolate-barry Squares

  • 1 tablespoon butter (not margarine)
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup
  • 2 cups Rice Crispies
  • 1/2 teaspoon real vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup roasted peanuts, chopped (salted is fine)
  • 1/2 cup “processed” smooth peanut butter, such as Kraft  (organic just doesn’t work here — it’s the wrong texture)
  • 1/2 cup good chocolate chips

Topping:

  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter (see above)
  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  1. In a large saucepan, put butter, corn syrup, brown sugar, peanut butter, and chocolate chips.  On low-medium heat, stir until mixture is smooth and just comes to a slow boil.
  2. Remove from heat, and quickly stir in nuts and Rice Crispies.
  3. Dump mixture evenly into a greased 9″x13″ pan, and press with a buttered spatula or hands (careful, it’s hot!) until evenly distributed.

Topping:

  1. In a small saucepan over low-medium heat, melt peanut butter and chocolate chips until smooth.
  2. Spread evenly over base layer.  Refrigerate until firm, and cut into squares.*

*to easily remove squares, line the bottom and two sides of the pan with parchment paper.

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Mud Pie (Niall’s birthday cake)

for Akilah 🙂

INGREDIENTS

Crust

  • ½ cup butter
  • 2 cups chocolate wafer crumbs (other cookie crumbs will work, too, or one could use a pre-made chocolate cookie crust)

Filling

  • Good quality ice cream of your favourite flavour (vanilla is very good for this)

Topping

  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder, not sweetened
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Garnish

  • 1 cup Slivered almonds, toasted (more if you really like them)

For Serving

  • Whipped cream
  • Shaved chocolate curls

DIRECTIONS:

Crust:

Melt butter in a medium saucepan.  Stir in crumbs.  Press into bottom and sides of a 9” pie plate.  Bake in 350F oven for 10 minutes.  COOL.

Filling:

When crust is completely cool, spoon softened ice cream into the shell, spreading carefully and leaving about ¼” space at the top for the topping sauce and the nuts.  Place in freezer until firm.

Topping:

When the ice cream filling is firm, make topping.  Put all five ingredients into saucepan.  Heat and stir over medium heat until boiling.  Remove from heat.  Cool for about 10 minutes, then smooth carefully over ice cream filling.  Sprinkle with toasted almonds, and very gently press them down.  Return to freezer until very firm; the topping will remain slightly gooey.  This can take several hours, or even over night, depending on your freezer!

Serving:

To serve, either top entire Mud Pie with whipped cream and sprinkle with shaved chocolate, or serve each individual piece with a dollop of whipped cream and a garnish of shaved chocolate  (use a potato peeler to shave the chocolate from a square or bar of chocolate).   The Mud Pie can be cut up into individual slices and then popped back into the freezer to take out and enjoy whenever one feels like having a treat!

* For a deeper pie, just use a spring form pan and use more ice cream

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Chocolate Chip Walnut Bars

We often call these “Bob Dunn’s Sweet Marie Bars”, as every time I make them, I can hear his voice saying “These taste just like a Sweet Marie Bar!”; he was a big fan.

Makes about 30 squares

Preheat oven to 350F

Crust:

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter

Topping:

  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup corn syrup
  • 2 Tbsp corn syrup
  • 2 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 cup excellent quality semi-sweet, or bitter-sweet chocolate chips
  • ¾ cup chopped walnuts*

Directions:

Crust:

Combine all crust ingredients, mixing until crumbly.  Press firmly into a greased 9” square cake pan.  Bake at 350F for 12 to 15 minutes, or until light golden.

Topping:

Beat eggs sugar, syrup, and butter together until blended.  Stir in chocolate chips and nuts.  Pour evenly over crust.  Bake 25 to 30 minutes longer, or until set and golden.  Cool completely in pan on wire rack.  Cut into bars.

*NOTE:  Pecans or almonds also taste very good in this recipe in place of the walnuts

Freezes well

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Lower Fat Chocolate Cake

One layer, a little heavier than most chocolate cakes.  Not even remotely like a boxed-style cake.

  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee granules
  • 1/3 cup hot water
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup milk

Preheat the oven to 350F.  Grease a 9” spring form pan with butter or oil.  Mix together coffee granules and hot water, and set aside.  When it’s cool, add the milk.

In a bowl, using a whisk (or use a mixer) beat together sugar, oil,  and eggs until everything is blended.

In another bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda (sifted), and salt.

Pour the dry mixture, and the coffee/milk mixture on top of the wet ingredients, and mix gently just until everything is combined.  Pour the mixture into the prepared pan.  Bang the pan on a flat surface a couple of times to remove large air bubbles from the cake.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.  Let the pan cool on a wire rack.  Remove the spring form side.

This is very good plain with a scoop of good vanilla ice cream.

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Chocolate Crackles

This is a recipe that I used to make with my childhood friend Shari Hart — it was from Grade 7 Home Economics cooking class.

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons cocoa powder (unsweetened)
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup
  • 4 cups Corn Flakes (dry cereal)

In a heavy bottomed saucepan or top of double boiler, mix together sugar, cocoa powder, butter, and corn syrup.  Heat over medium heat until boiling; boil for one minute.  Remove from burner.  Stir in cornflakes until well mixed, but try not to break up too much.  Spread out on to buttered cookie sheet into an 8″ x 16″ shape, or drop into cookie-sized pieces.  Cool completely; cut large piece into small squares.  Store in tightly sealed container.

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Black Forest Torte

  • 1 1/3 cups flour
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2/3 cup butter (only butter will work)
  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 large eggs

Chocolate Filling:

  • 8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup butter (only butter)
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Cream Filling

  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 1 Tablespoon confectioners sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

In a mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, and baking powder.  In a saucepan, melt butter and chocolate.  Cool.  Pour chocolate mixture, water anad vanilla into flour mixture.  Beat on low for one minute, then on medium for 2 minutes.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each.  Divide batter between two 9 inch round cake pans that have been greased, floured, and lined with waxed paper.  Bake at 350F for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.  Cool in pans for 10 minutes, then remove and place on wire racks to cool completely.

For chocolate filling, melt 12 ounces of the chocolate chips over low heat.  Stir in butter and nuts.  Watching closely, cool filling just until it reaches spreading consistency.  For cream filling, whip cream with sugar and vanilla until stiff peaks form.

To assemble, slice cooled cake layers in half horizontally.  Place one bottom layer on a serving platter; cover with half of the chocolate filling.  Top with a second cake layer; spread on half of the cream filling.  Repeat layers.  Grate remaining semi-sweet chocolate;sprinkle on top.  Refrigerate until serving.  Serves 12 to 16.

NOTE:  I don’t like cake, but this is truly delicious!!!

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