Saturday, February 11, 2012

Delicious Chocolate Ideas for Valentine’s Day VI

I have more Valentine’s desserts for you and your loved ones if you couldn’t decide what to make! No worry…

check them out!

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Chocolate Caramel Brownie Hearts

Ingredients:

150g butter, chopped

180g dark chocolate, chopped

1/2 cup caster sugar

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 1/4 cups plain flour

2 tbsp. cocoa powder

220g-block Caramello chocolate, frozen, chopped (see tip)

Cocoa powder, to decorate

Method:

Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C fan-forced. Grease a 18cm x 28cm rectangular slice pan. Line base and sides with baking paper, allowing a 2cm overhang a long ends.

Place butter and dark chocolate in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring for 3 to 5 minutes or until smooth. Remove from heat. Stir in sugar. Set aside for 5 minutes.

Whisk eggs into chocolate mixture until combined. Add sifted flour and cocoa. Whisk to combine. Fold in Caramello chocolate. Spread mixture into prepared pan. Bake for 20 minutes or until top is firm to touch.

Set aside to cool completely.

Using a 5cm heart-shaped cutter, cut brownie shapes. Serve dusted with cocoa powder.

Makes 12

Tip: Freezing the chocolate makes chopping the chocolate into squares easier and ensures whole chunks of caramel in the brownies.

 

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Chocolate-Cinnamon Heart Cookies

Ingredients:

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter

1 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1 tsp. ground cinnamon (use a little more if you really like cinnamon)

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

Optional:

4-6 oz. bittersweet chocolate

1 tsp. vegetable shortening

Method:

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each one.

Whisk together dry ingredients. Add the dry ingredients in several additions to the creamed mixture. Be careful not to overmix. Chill the dough several hours, or overnight.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Roll dough out on a lightly floured surface--1/8 to 1/4" depending on how thick you want them. Cut into desired shapes and place on baking sheets. Bake for 5-6 minutes, more if the cookies are thicker. Let cool completely.

Melt bittersweet chocolate and shortening on 50% power in the microwave or use a double-boiler. Dip half of the each cookie into the chocolate and lay on parchment or waxed paper and let the chocolate harden.

Store in an airtight container between layers of waxed paper in a cool, dry place.

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Raw Organic Chocolate Torte

Ingredients for the Crust:

3 Cups Pecans

1 Cup Raisins, roughly chopped

1/2 Cup Rapadura (optional)

4 TB (60ml) Virgin Coconut Butter, liquidised

2 Tsp. (10ml) Vanilla Extract or 1/2 a Vanilla Pod

2 Tsp. Cinnamon

1/8 Tsp. Himalayan Salt

Method:

Process all the dry ingredients in a processor (funnily enough!), then add coco butter and vanilla extract. Be sure not to over-process nuts as they will release their oil and become ‘sludge’!

Press all the ingredients into a 9" springform pan. If you have a different size springform, don’t worry, just use what you have and see how thick the base becomes. For example an 8" will produce a thicker base, it’s really no problem! :-)

Ingredients for the Torte Filling:

2 Cups (1 16oz jar) Cashew Butter

2 Cups Water

2 Cups Cacao Powder (or 1 1/2c milled cacao nibs + 1/2c carob powder if no cacao powder)

1 1/2 Cups Grated Cacao Butter

1 Cup Agave Nectar

2 Avocados

2 TB Vanilla Extract or 2 Vanilla Pods

Note on the Vanilla: If using a Vita Mix you can use the whole pod. If using a different blender use only the soft insides of the pod, removed with a spoon.

Method:

The first thing we need to do is liquidise the cacao butter and coco butter so put them in separate containers and place in a warm dehydrator. If you don’t have a dehydrator then you can do this on a stove (if you haven’t sold it yet!) but you have to be really careful not to let it get too warm. You can also do it in a glass bowl over another bowl of hot water, you know, like your Mum used to do when she made a cake with chocolate!

Next make sure your cashew butter is out of the fridge as it will be easier to work with at room temp.

Mix the water, cacao powder and avocados in a blender. In a large bowl add this mixture to the cashew butter and stir well by hand. If you have a Vita Mix you don’t need to mix by hand, you can do this first step and the next step in the VM but do remember to add the cacao butter last, after everything has been blended.

Add remaining ingredients – melted cacao butter, vanilla extract and agave to the bowl and mix again.

When thoroughly mixed, pour the heavenly chocolate mixture on to the base in the springform and then use a spatula to even out the top.

Lick the bowl.

Place torte in the fridge over night to set. It tends to get better every night it’s in the fridge, if it lasts that long without you eating it all! Seriously though, this will make a very big torte so there’ll be plenty to go round :-) You can put it in the freezer for a couple of hours to set if you’re short of time as well.

Before removing the springform, run a knife around the edge of the torte to separate it from the pan.

Serve, eat, love.

A Little Bit Saucy

Here are 2 sauces that go really well with a slice of Schnuggle!

Ginger Cream:

1 Cup Cashews

4 TB Cashew Butter

1/2 Cup Agave

1/4 Cup Virgin Coconut Butter

1 TB Fresh Ginger

1/8 Tsp. Ground Clove

2 Tsp. Vanilla Extract

Blend all ingredients together.

Strawberry Sauce:

2 cups Strawberries

1/4 Cup Maple Syrup

1/2 Cup Agave

2 TB Lemon Juice

1 Tsp. Cinnamon

1/4 Tsp. Nutmeg

Blend all ingredients together.

Makes 1 9-inch Torte

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Chocolate Desserts for Two ~ Mocha Pots de Crème

Ingredients:

3/4 cup(s) heavy cream

3 tablespoon(s) sugar

1 1/2 ounce(s) unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon(s) instant espresso powder

2 large egg yolks

1 teaspoon(s) vanilla extract

Whipped cream, for garnish

Chocolate shavings (optional), for garnish

Directions:

Heat oven to 300 degrees F. Put on a kettle of water to boil. In a medium saucepan, bring cream and sugar to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; add chocolate and espresso powder. Let stand 1 minute; stir until chocolate melts and coffee dissolves. Whisk in yolks and vanilla until mixture is blended and smooth.

Pour chocolate mixture into 2 (6-ounce) heart-shaped or round ramekins or custard cups. Place ramekins in an 8-inch-square baking pan. Pour hot water into pan so that it comes halfway up sides of ramekins.

Bake 25 minutes or until almost set in centers. Remove ramekins to a wire rack; cool slightly. Serve warm and soft, or refrigerate up to 1 day. Garnish with dollops of whipped cream and chocolate shavings, if desired.

Nutritional Information (per serving): Calories 556, Total Fat 50g, Saturated Fat –, Cholesterol –, Sodium –, Total Carbohydrate 28g, Dietary Fiber –, Sugars –, Protein 7g, Calcium –

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Devilish Valentine’s Cake

Ingredients:

1 package (9 ounces) devil's food cake mix

3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chunks

1/2 cup hot fudge ice cream topping

1-1/2 cups fresh raspberries

Directions:

Grease a 9-in. heart-shaped baking pan. Line with waxed paper; grease and flour the paper. Set aside. Prepare cake batter according to package directions; stir in chocolate chunks. Pour into prepared pan.

Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before inverting onto a serving platter. Spread warm cake with hot fudge topping. Arrange raspberries over the top. Yield: 6-8 servings.

Serve this with coffee, milk, or Prosecco for a sweet ending to the meal!

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Silly Valentine

It’s Valentine’s day,

And it’s really quite silly;

My feelings are switching around

Willy-nilly.

I’m happy, SO happy!

Then I’m feeling SO sad;

I’m gloomy, I’m joyful

Oh man, this is bad!

My body is clammy,

Then I’m in a deep sweat;

Sometimes I’m giddy,

Sometimes I fret.

I’m looking for comfort food

Deep in the frig;

Often I think

I could jump off a bridge.

What is the reason

For all the above?

It’s Valentine’s Day,

And I’m SO in love!

By Joanna Fuchs

Red heart

A Valentine to a Little Child

Dear heart, on this thrice-blessed day,

An thou my sweetheart be,

The rose of love shall bide always

Upon the red-rose tree.

And in the garden of my heart

So ceaselessly shall shine,

The little birds will know thou art

Mine own true Valentine.

And I will bid them wing and sing

To all good winds that blow,

That to thy little feet they bring

All blessings, even so.

And o'er thy cradle I will coax,

By every lucky charm,

The friendship of the fairy folks

To fold thee from all harm.

So may they hover round thy head

And gently there upon,

As doth the April sunshine, shed

Most gracious benison.

And all fair gifts that Fortune hath,

I'll pray she promise these,

And that she loose about thy path

All sweet influences.

Then here's a kiss! and there's a kiss!

And kisses, one, two, three!

I seal them in the folds of this,

And speed them unto thee!

Compiled by Evaleen Stein

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I have a list of Valentine’s Specials just for YOU!

Red heartGodiva Chocolatier Coffee has $2.00 Coupon

Red heartGodiva Presents The Sweetest Story Ever Told Sweepstakes

Red heart10% Discount Delicious Chocolate Covered Strawberries and Chocolate Gifts… Shari’s Berries.com

Red heartLindt Chocolate has free shipping for Valentine’s Day chocolate gifts!

Red heartM&M’s has the cutest ideas for your love ones, Turn Sweet Nothings Into Sweet Somethings with My M&M’s

Red heartRussell Stovers and Whitman’s has Save 25% on select Valentine’s Day chocolate & candies

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That’s it for now… don’t forget, I do have more Valentine’s Day ideas in my index!

From me to you…

Hppy Vlentine’s Dy!

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