Friday, July 29, 2016

Chocolate Avocado Pie

Avocados seem to be popping up everywhere lately. Now, if you're like me, you like guacamole, and you may even favor avocado toast (but not at $15 a serving at your local cafe). Avocados have always in my fruit/vegetable bowl and have been for many, many years. Avocados are very versatile. They contain a lot of fat, so they're great in Chocolate Avocado Mousse and Puddings.

The following is a great Chocolate Avocado Pie because although you can make a chocolate cookie crust, you can also elevate the crust by making it with Oreos. And, if you're glucose intolerant, there's coconut milk instead of cream (you can substitute cream, if you'd prefer). Make sure your coconut milk is the very best and contains only coconut milk and water. Emulsifiers will 'gum' up the works and prevent the fat from separating.

Chocolate Avocado Pie

Ingredients
35 Oreos
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 cans (13.5 oz) full-fat coconut milk (or cream equivalent), chilled overnight
2 Tbsp sugar
7 ounces dark chocolate (70% cacao), chopped
5 ripe avocados
1/2 cup Dark cocoa powder
1/2 tsp Madagascar vanilla extract
Dash of salt

Directions
In food processor, pulse Oreos into coarse crumbs. Mix with melted butter and press into bottom of pie pan and up the sides. Put in refrigerator.
Being careful not to shake coconut milk cans, remove from refrigerator and open. The thick coconut cream will have separated to the top. Scoop out dense cream, leaving water. Whip coconut cream with electric mixer for a few seconds, until smooth and creamy. Fold in 2 Tbsp sugar and set in refrigerator. (If you're using cream, whip it up and add sugar).
Melt chocolate in double boiler.
In food processor add melted chocolate, avocados, cocoa powder, vanilla, and salt. Blend until smooth.
In large bowl, gently fold together avocado chocolate and coconut whipped cream (or regular whipped cream).
Pour into prepared pie crust, cover, and refrigerate for 3 hours to set.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

One Bowl Milk Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Caramel Frosting

I've posted lots of chocolate cake recipes over the years, including Milk Chocolate Cakes, but mostly they use only cocoa as the main chocolate ingredient. Since today is National Milk Chocolate Day, I thought I'd post this awesome recipe from Rhoda Boone at Epicurious,  that uses both cocoa and milk chocolate bars. I'm not much for making chocolate layer cakes, and this One Bowl Milk Chocolate Cake is awesome. The Chocolate Caramel Icing is pretty great, too! I sprinkle the icing with a bit of sea salt. Yum.

ONE BOWL MILK CHOCOLATE CAKE WITH CHOCOLATE CARAMEL FROSTING

Ingredients

Cake: 
1 cup unsalted butter, plus more for pan
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, divided
6 ounces high-quality milk chocolate, chopped
3 large eggs
2 tsp Madagascar vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt

Frosting:
9 ounces high-quality milk chocolate, divided
1 tsp Madagascar vanilla extract
1/4 tsp kosher salt
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup store-bought dulce de leche or caramel sauce

Directions

Cake:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 13x9" pan and dust with 2 Tbsp. cocoa powder, tapping out excess.
Melt remaining 1 cup butter in small saucepan over medium heat. Add chocolate and remaining 1/2 cup cocoa powder; cook, whisking constantly, until smooth. Let cool slightly.
Whisk eggs and vanilla in large bowl. Add sugar and whisk until smooth, lightened in color, and slightly aerated, about 2 minutes. Stream in buttermilk while whisking, then stream in chocolate mixture while whisking until smooth.
Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into chocolate mixture. Whisk until batter is mostly smooth (there will be a few small lumps). Transfer to prepared pan.
Bake cake until tester inserted into  center comes out clean, 35–40 minutes. Transfer pan to wire rack and let cake cool completely.

Frosting: 
Slice 2 ounces chocolate into long, thin shards; reserve for decorating. Coarsely chop remaining 7 oz. chocolate and transfer to a medium bowl. Add vanilla and salt.
Heat cream in  small pot over medium until just starting to simmer. Pour over chocolate mixture and let sit 3 minutes. Whisk until chocolate is melted and smooth. Whisk in dulce de leche. Chill until firm, at least 1 hour.
Whisk frosting to lighten and loosen, then use spatula to spread over cake. If it's too stiff to work with, let it sit out on the counter for a few minutes. Sprinkle with reserved chocolate shards.  (I sprinkle with sea salt, too!
Cut into thirds lengthwise, then into fifths crosswise (you should have 15 pieces).

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Single Malt Scotch Whisky Peanut Chocolate Truffles

I've been a judge at several Scotch and Chocolate pairings. It's a hard job, but someone has to do it.

It's often difficult to decide which chocolates pair best with which Scotch, but since today is National Scotch Day, I thought I'd post a recipe for Single Malt Scotch Peanut Chocolate Truffles. It's the ultimate pairing of not two but three distinct flavors. You can decide on your own chocolate and your own Scotch. Keep the chocolate semi-sweet, so you have some sugar in there. I tend to go very dark, but not in this recipe. Recipe is adapted from one by Florence Fabricant that appeared in the New York Times in 2008.

I love truffles. They're easy to prepare and look and taste great!

Single Malt Scotch Peanut Chocolate Truffles

Ingredients
1 pound--12 ounces dark chocolate (55-65% cacao-needs to be semisweet to offset the salted peanuts & Scotch)
2/3 cup heavy cream
1-1/2 tsp honey (original recipe calls for floral honey)
3 Tbsp Single Malt Scotch Whisky
6 Tbsp salted peanuts, coarsely chopped
1/2 tsp Madagascar vanilla extract

Directions
1. Break 8 ounces chocolate into small pieces and place in metal bowl. Heat cream to a simmer and pour over chocolate. Stir until chocolate has melted and is smooth. If necessary, place bowl briefly over low heat to finish melting.
2. Stir in honey, Scotch, peanuts, and vanilla. Chill until firm, 2 hours.
3. Use small ice cream scoop to scoop small amounts of chocolate mixture. Quickly roll into 1 inch balls. Place on platter or baking sheet lined with parchment. Put in freezer to firm up (about 30 minutes).
4. Break up remaining chocolate and place 16 ounces in microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on full power 2 to 3 minutes, stirring a few times, until melted. Remove from oven. Stir in remaining chocolate until melted. With two forks hold truffles and gently dip in melted chocolate to coat. Place on parchment-lined baking sheet at room temperature 15 minutes. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Irish Coffee Chocolate Milkshake: National Coffee Milkshake Day

Today is National Coffee Milkshake Day, and, of course, I would make it a Chocolate Coffee Milkshake, but I decided to take it one step further and add some Irish Whiskey, making this a very special way of celebrating this food holiday. Love this adult version. Don't want alcohol in your drink? Scroll down for an easy non-alcoholic Coffee Chocolate Milkshake.

Irish Coffee Chocolate Milkshake

Ingredients
4 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
6 scoops coffee ice cream
2 Tbsp milk
1 ounce Irish Whisky

Directions
Peel chocolate to have some shavings to garnish milkshake.
Combine ice cream, milk, and whisky in blender. Process until smooth
Stir in chopped chocolate.
Garnish with chocolate curls.

Non-Alcoholic Chocolate Coffee Milkshake

Ingredients
1-1/2 cup chocolate ice cream
1/4 cup strong coffee or espresso (already made)
1/4 cup milk
Pinch cocoa powder

Directions
Put all ingredients except cocoa in blender. Blend on high until smooth and frothy. Pour into glasses. Sprinkle with cocoa.