Monday, January 22, 2018

HOME-MADE ALMOND ROCA: National Buttercrunch Day!

The other day was National Buttercrunch Day. Buttercrunch and English Toffee are the same, and I've posted recipes for English Toffee over the years, including this one for Chocolate Almond Buttercrunch Toffee.  

Almond Roca is also known as Almond Buttercrunch. I first had Almond Roca as a young girl. A neighbor who drove us to school always had Almond Roca on the coffee table in the recreation room. This neighbor didn't have the same rules as in my household (No Candy until after dinner--not to mention before school!). So I always had Almond Roca when this neighbor was driving. So for the other day's holiday--Buttercrunch Day, I suggest you make the following recipe for Home Made Almond Roca. No time to cook? Pick up a bar of Almond Roca. It's not too late. This recipe for Home-made Almond Roca is adapted from Elizabeth LaBau on AboutFood.com

Home-Made Almond Roca

Ingredients 
4 ounces unsalted butter
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp light corn syrup
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups toasted whole almonds, coarsely chopped
8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate

Directions
Prepare 8 x4 loaf pan by lining with aluminum foil and spraying foil with nonstick cooking spray.
In small saucepan over medium-high heat, melt butter. Add brown sugar, corn syrup, and salt, and stir until brown sugar dissolves.
Once brown sugar melts, start timer and cook candy for exactly 6 minutes, stirring constantly with wooden spoon. If you use a candy thermometer, stir and boil toffee until it reaches 290 degrees.
After six minutes, take toffee pan off heat and stir in 1/2 cup chopped toasted almonds. Scrape toffee into prepared loaf pan—it should be in a layer about 1/2-inch thick.
Let toffee set for about 3 minutes, then use pizza cutter or paring knife to cut toffee into thin bars about 1/2-inch by 2 -1/2 inches. They will look small, but once they're dipped in chocolate and rolled in nuts, they'll be bigger. After another 2 minutes, go over your cuts again as toffee continues to harden.
As you wait for toffee to set, chop remaining 1 cup of toasted almonds very finely, or put them in food processor and pulse for several seconds until they are in very small pieces. Pour finely chopped almonds into shallow bowl.
Once toffee is completely cool and set, break into pieces along lines you made, and trim off any jagged edges with knife.
Melt chocolate. Dip each piece of Almond Buttercrunch in melted chocolate, then place in bowl of nuts. Roll pieces around until coated with nuts on all sides, then take out of nuts with fork and place on baking sheet. Repeat until all toffee pieces are coated with chocolate and nuts.

Optional: To make it 'really' look like Almond Roca, wrap individual pieces in gold foil.
Refrigerate tray to set chocolate (about 10 minutes).
Store in airtight container in refrigerator for up to two weeks.
Bring to room temperature before serving.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Chocolate Coconut Granola Bars: National Granola Bar Day

Today is National Granola Bar Day! Yes, always a holiday to celebrate! I've posted recipes for Granola Bars in the past (Chocolate Cranberry Granola Bars, and Dark Chocolate Cherry Granola Bars), but I really like this recipe. Don't be overwhelmed by the number of steps. These bars are really quite quick to make. I'm organized, and I suggest you be, too. Just have all your ingredients ready, and go to work! The following Chocolate Coconut Granola Bar recipe produces terrific, tasty, and healthy bars that are great in the kids' lunchboxes or as a pick-me-up at work! This is a 'copycat' Kashi recipe. No time to make this today? Then buy yourself a Kashi Chocolate Coconut Granola Bar.

CHOCOLATE COCONUT GRANOLA BARS

Ingredients 

Bars 
1 cup whole almonds, divided
1 cup walnuts, divided
1 1/2 cup old fashion oats, divided
1/4 cup ground flax
2 Tbsp chia seeds
1/2 cup coconut flakes
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbsp almond butter

Chocolate Glaze 
1 Tbsp coconut oil
10 ounces dark chocolate (about 1 1/2 cups chopped)
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup chopped coconut flakes

Directions 
In food processor, add 1/2 cup of almonds, 1/2cup of walnuts, and 3/4 cup of oats. Process until  turns into fine powder, about 1 minute. (Do not over process)
Chop  remaining almonds and walnuts. Add to large bowl along with remaining 3/4 cup oats and processed powder. Add to bowl: ground flax, chia seeds, and coconut flakes. Toss together.
Heat small pan on stove over medium heat. Add honey, coconut oil, vanilla bean paste, cinnamon, and almond butter. Stir constantly until fully melted and begins to foam. Allow to foam and bubble for about a minute before immediately pouring over nuts and oats mixture.
Using rubber spatula, stir everything together until evenly distributed.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 13 x 6’’ pan with parchment paper, enough to hang over two of the sides.
Pour granola mixture into pan and spread evenly. Using metal spatula, begin pressing down really hard all along edges and through middle. (Tip: If you don’t press down tightly, they will fall apart when cut)
Bake in oven for 10-15 minutes, until firm. Remove and allow to cool completely.

Chocolate glaze:
Melt 1 Tbsp coconut oil in small saucepan over medium-low heat.
Add chopped chocolate. Stir until you have smooth glaze.
Pour over Baked mixture and using spatula, spread to edges and even out.
Sprinkle top with additional walnuts and coconut flakes.
Allow top to set (several hours)
Once totally set, pick up both sides of overhanging parchment paper and remove from pan.
Cut into small rectangles.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE TRUFFLES: Cheese Lovers Day

Today is National Cheese Lovers Day, and I immediately thought of Cheesecake! I've posted recipes for a variety of of chocolate cheesecakes,  from Pumpkin Cheesecakes to Double Chocolate Cheesecakes, so for today's food holiday, I thought I'd take a different approach. I love truffles, so here's a simple recipe for Chocolate Cheesecake Truffles. Easy and delicious! As always, use the very best chocolate. There are three different ways to coat these.. It's up to you!

CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE TRUFFLES

Ingredients 
8 ounces cream cheese
4 cups powdered sugar
5 ounces bittersweet dark chocolate, melted (I use 70% cacao)
1 tsp good quality vanilla

Coatings for truffles:
toasted pecans, chopped (or other nuts)
pulverized graham crackers (gives you a true cheesecake taste)
cocoa powder

Directions
Using mixer, slowly add powdered sugar to cream cheese, mixing well after each addition.
Add melted chocolate and vanilla and mix until smooth.
Chill several hours.
Shape into 1-inch balls. Roll in coatings.

How easy is this?

Friday, January 19, 2018

Happy Nine Year Blogiversary: Anniversary Chocolate Cake!

It's been nine years since I started blogging at DyingforChocolate.com. Over these past nine years I've had 3500+ posts: Chocolate Recipes, Reviews, and News. That's a post a day! Always something to say about chocolate!

You know I love Retro Ads, so here's a Baker's Chocolate Cake to Celebrate! OK. it's a 175th Anniversary Cake, but it works for me! "If I knew you were coming, I would've baked a cake!"

Thanks to all who have contributed and commented over these past nine years--and to all the chocoholics out there.
Happy Ninth Blogiversary to DyingforChocolate.com