Tag Archives: chocolate

Easy Easter Egg Chocolate Chip Cookies

Every family kitchen needs a go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe. One day, a couple of years ago, the kids and I decided to add some leftover mini chocolate eggs to our chocolate chip cookie dough.

We were pleasantly surprised at how well they turned out — and it was so easy! It has now become our family’s Easter tradition. They are perfect for an Easter potluck or as a bright addition to your own Easter table.

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Chocolate Easter Egg Cookies

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Makes: 36 cookies

Ingredients:
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
½ cup brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
1 Tbsp vanilla
2¾ cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp salt
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 to 2 cups Cadbury Mini Easter Eggs

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Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.
2. In a large bowl beat together butter and both sugars until smooth. Mix in your eggs and vanilla.
3. In a smaller bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Stir into wet ingredients. Pour in your chocolate chips and mix well.
4. Drop rounded teaspoonfuls of mixture onto parchment lined baking sheets about 1 to 2 inches apart. Next gently press 2 chocolate eggs on each cookie.
5. Bake in oven for 8 to 9 minutes, turning and rotating pans half way through until edges are lightly browned.
6. Let cool completely on racks. Can be frozen for up to two weeks.

The Ultimate Canadian Kitchen Sink Cookie

If there’s one cookie that will both satisfy your cravings and fill you with Canadian pride, it’s this one. A twist on the classic chocolate chip cookie, this wacky recipe combines uniquely Canadian junk food, like Hickory Sticks and Coffee Crisp, with good old-fashioned maple fudge, so you get a bit of Canada in every single bite.

The result: a cookie that’s so Canadian, it can only be made here.

Canadian Compost Cookie

Canadian Kitchen Sink Cookie

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Makes: 14 cookies

Ingredients:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup Hickory Sticks
1/2 cup Coffee Crisp Bites, halved or 1 Coffee Crisp bar, roughly chopped
1/2 cup maple fudge, roughly chopped

Directions:
1. Arrange oven racks in top and bottom thirds. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment. Set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, stir flour with salt, baking soda and baking powder.
3. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter with sugars until creamy, about 2 minutes. Beat in egg. Using a wooden spoon, gradually stir in flour mixture until just combined. Mix in remaining ingredients.
4. Roll dough into balls about 2 Tbsp in size and place on prepared sheets, spacing 3 inches apart. Bake cookies, rotating and switching sheets halfway through, until edges are just golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool slightly, about 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Looking for more Canadian treats? Discover 10 Iconic Canadian Foods You Can Make at Home.

Oreo Chocolate Salami

This chocolate salami is by far the easiest and most delicious no-bake dessert you’ll ever make. Despite its name, this popular sweet doesn’t contain any meat, but is named as such for its resemblance to salami. Traditionally, this tasty treat is packed with tea biscuits, tons of butter, eggs and some sort of port or alcohol, but this recipe needed a modern face-lift.

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My version eliminates the eggs and alcohol, swaps out some of that butter for sweetened condensed milk, and packs in Oreos and pretzels for lots of good crunch. After chilling out for a bit, it’s rolled in icing sugar so that it really gets that cured meat appearance.

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Truffle-like with tons of crunchy cookies and pretzels, it’s actually easy enough to make with the kiddies. Make it a topic of conversation by wrapping it neatly in parchment and tying the ends with butcher twine. Go that extra mile by making a pretty handwritten label for it. It would be a wonderful hostess gift!

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooling Time: 3 hours
Makes: 10-12 servings

Ingredients:
200 g good quality dark chocolate (85% cocoa)
½ cup sweetened condensed milk
3 Tbsp unsalted butter
Pinch of salt
1 heaping cup roughly chopped Oreos (about 10)
½ cup roughly chopped salted pretzels
¼ cup roughly chopped tea biscuits or graham crackers
Icing sugar

Directions:
1. Melt the chocolate, sweetened condensed milk and butter in a heat-proof bowl over a pot of lightly simmering water. Mix often to be sure the chocolate is melting evenly. It may start look like it’s separating, but that’s OK. Season with a pinch of salt and mix.

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2. As soon as the chocolate is melted, combine with the Oreos, pretzels and tea biscuits.

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3. Transfer the mixture to a long piece of plastic wrap and form it into a salami-shaped log. Wrap super tightly with plastic wrap and place it in the fridge for about 3 hours to set.

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4. Unwrap and dust with icing sugar or roll in sifted icing sugar. Keep wrapped in the fridge until ready to serve. This will keep, if wrapped well, for up to 5 days.

Spooky Eyes Chocolate Bark

When I was a kid, I stretched trick or treating for as many years as I could. It wasn’t until I was verging on my late teens before I finally felt too old. There was nothing better than getting free candy, munching on it all night long, and having a huge stash at your disposal to enjoy for weeks to come.

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Now that I’ve grown way past the acceptable age of trick or treating, I look for other ways to get my candy fix.

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This year, I’m making Halloween chocolate bark, combining my love for Halloween treats and chocolate into one delicious treat. The tiny eyes are super easy to make and add a touch of spookiness to this tasty chocolate bark.

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Ingredients:

The chocolate:
3 cups chocolate chips
½ cup–1 cup assorted Halloween chocolates (depending on size)

The eyes:
1 egg white
1 ½ cups icing sugar
Black gel food colouring

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Directions:
1. Place the chocolate chips in a heat-resistant bowl. Place bowl over top of pot of simmering water to create a double broiler. Let chocolate melt, stirring occasionally.
2. Pour melted chocolate on a parchment lined baking sheet. Using a spatula, spread chocolate evenly into a large rectangle of even thickness. Place Halloween candy all over melted chocolate.
3. In a medium-sized bowl whisk egg white until frothy. Whisk in icing sugar until a smooth, white icing is formed. Place half of icing into a Ziploc bag or piping bag. Cut off a small corner of the bag or tip of the piping bag. Pipe two dots, for eyes all over the Halloween chocolate bark. Dip a q-tip into black gel food colouring and dot eyes on the white dots of icing.
4. Let set in the fridge for 30 minutes. Break bark into small pieces for eating, sharing or giving as gifts for Halloween!

Chocolate Pumpkin Truffle Pops

It’s much easier than you think to eat clean leading up to Halloween, and still satisfy your sweet tooth.

Try making these easy chocolate pumpkin truffle pops for your Halloween party and watch them disappear right before your eyes — without any tricks! Filled with natural peanut butter, shredded coconut, dates and vegan chocolate chips, these waist-friendly pops are also great for an afternoon snack or after-dinner treat.

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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Makes: 10

Ingredients:
¼ cup coconut flour
¼ cup canned organic pumpkin pie mix
5 medjool dates, pitted
2 Tbsp natural peanut butter (or substitute another nut butter)
¼ tsp vanilla powder (optional)
Pinch sea salt
¾ cup vegan chocolate chips
½ Tbsp coconut oil
¼ cup chopped pecans
¼ sweetened shredded coconut

Directions:
1. In a food processor, combine coconut flour, pumpkin pie mix, dates, peanut butter, vanilla powder and sea salt until it forms a ball of dough.
2. With your hands, roll balls approximately 1 ¼” in size and poke truffle pop sticks into each ball. Set them on a dish or baking sheet lined with parchment paper while you melt the chocolate coating.
3. Melt chocolate chips with coconut oil in a double boiler or mixing bowl over a pot filled with a small amount of boiling water. 4. Stir until just melted and smooth, and remove from heat.
5. Dip the truffle pops in the melted chocolate and swirl to coat evenly. Use a spoon to get chocolate coating near the base of the ball. Allow excess to drip off before standing them upright.
6. Sprinkle coconut and/or pecans all over the chocolate, and using a piece of Styrofoam, place the truffle pop sticks in the 7. Styrofoam to stand upright in the fridge.
8. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to let the chocolate set. Keep truffle pops in the fridge until serving.

See more from hot for food on their YouTube channel.

A Chocoholic’s Dream: Chocolate Hazelnut Cake

By Mardi Michels

Growing up, I was a huge fan of Nutella. I was 11 years old when I discovered it for the first time at our local Italian deli. The chocolate spread, with a hint of toasted hazelnuts, tasted quite sophisticated to my young palate.

While I still have that sweet tooth, these days I’m more interested in satisfying my cravings with something like flourless chocolate cake. This cake has long been one of my favourite desserts and I have wonderful memories of my mum’s version. Over the past few years, I’ve made a number of flourless cakes and this one – combining my favourite childhood flavours of chocolate and hazelnuts – is one of the most popular. It’s light, not overly dense and fudgy, and sophisticated in its simplicity. Enjoy it plain or dress it up with a little fruit coulis, whipped cream or ice cream.

This cake is a crowd-pleaser that’s also perfect for a romantic dîner à deux. In fact, a colleague asked me to bake one for Valentine’s Day dessert for his sweetheart. It’s that good.

Flourless Chocolate Hazelnut Cake, Courtesy of Mardi Michels, eatlivetravelwrite.com, Toronto

Rich, moist and incredibly delicious, it’s hard to believe this heavenly dessert is made without a hint of flour.
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Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 45 mins
Serves: 8-10

Ingredients
6 oz (170 g) dark chocolate (64 or 70%), roughly chopped
4 oz (115 g) butter, chopped
6 eggs, separated
3 oz (75 g) granulated sugar
4.5 oz (130 g) hazelnut meal (ground hazelnuts)
whipped cream, to serve

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180ºC). Grease 8-inch (2 L) springform pan.
2. Combine chocolate and butter on top of double-boiler over barely simmering water. Stir until melted and combined. Remove from heat; cool slightly.
3. In medium bowl, use electric mixer to beat egg whites until glossy and soft peaks form. Set aside.
4. In separate bowl, beat egg yolks and sugar until thick, creamy and light in colour.
5. Using rubber spatula, stir chocolate mixture into egg yolk mixture.
6. Add hazelnut meal to chocolate mixture, gently folding until the hazelnut meal is completely combined.
7. Stir egg whites into chocolate mixture one-third at a time, gently folding until no more streaks of white show.
8. Scrape batter into prepared pan. Bake for 45 minutes or until skewer inserted into middle of cake comes out mostly clean with some crumbs clinging.
9. Cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove side from pan and cool cake completely on cake rack. Serve with whipped cream.

Tip: This cake keeps well overnight, at room temperature, covered with plastic wrap or foil.

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Eat.Live.Travel.Write.
Mardi Michels teaches French and cooking to elementary school boys. She writes eat. live. travel. write, a blog about culinary adventures near and far. She was a founding member of Food Bloggers of Canada, is a Food Revolution Day Ambassador for Toronto, contributes to JamieOliver.com and hosts adult cooking and baking classes in Toronto.

Chocolate Chip Banana Pancakes

This is the easiest brunch ever because nothing here is made from scratch. Just get your favourite vegan pancake mix and add non-dairy milk, plus whatever add-ins you like — fresh blueberries, peaches, cranberries, or chocolate chips and banana slices!

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Ingredients (makes 8):
1 cup Coyote Flaxseed Pancake & Waffle Mix
1 1/2 cups non-dairy milk
1 banana, sliced into rounds
1/4 cup chocolate chips or raw cacao nibs
2-3 Tbsp vegan butter for frying

Directions:
1. In a mixing bowl combine the pancake mix with non-dairy milk. It should be a runny consistency if you want nice, thin, evenly cooked pancakes. If you want them fluffy by all means leave out the extra 1/2 cup of liquid. I just find they’re never cooked in the middle when you do this. Then fold in chocolate chips and banana slices.
2. Heat a non-stick pan to medium heat and when it’s hot use a paper towel to spread a small amount of vegan butter on the bottom surface of the pan. It should sizzle.
3. Take a 1/4 cup of pancake batter and pour it in the centre of the pan. Once the surface starts to bubble a lot then you can flip the pancake over and cook on the other side for 1-2 minutes. Continue until all the pancakes are made.

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Tips:
– I like to keep them warm by placing the finished pancakes on a baking sheet in the oven heated to 200°F.
– We also tried Yves Veggie Breakfast Links and fried those in 2 teaspoons of maple syrup so they tasted restaurant style and… Voila! Breakfast is served.

See more from hot for food on their YouTube channel.

Vegan Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Sometimes you just have to stick to a classic! I had the urge to make the banana bread I remember eating as a kid at my grandma’s house. But I definitely don’t have her recipe lying around and it certainly wouldn’t have been vegan, so I figured it out. This is a moist and delicious chocolate chip banana bread you can bake up on the weekend or give to someone special.

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Ingredients:
1 Tbsp ground flax
3 Tbsp water
1 1/2 cups spelt flour (or whole wheat flour)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 ripe bananas
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
3/4 cup coconut sugar
1/3 cup non-dairy milk
1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips
1/2 tsp coconut sugar, for topping (optional)

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Directions:
1. Pre-heat your oven to 375°F.
2. Whisk together ground flax and water. Let it sit in the fridge for 15 minutes to thicken.
3. Meanwhile in a large mixing bowl, combine flours, baking powder, sea salt and cinnamon. Stir with a fork until well combined.
4. In a separate mixing bowl mash the ripe bananas to a puree. Then add in vanilla extract, melted coconut oil, non-dairy milk, coconut sugar, and the thickened flax mixture. Stir together until well combined.
5. Add the wet mixture to the bowl of dry ingredients and gently fold together until just combined, careful not to over mix. Fold in the chocolate chips.
6. Transfer the mixture to an 8 x 4″ bread pan greased with a small pea size amount of coconut oil. Sprinkle 1/2 tsp coconut sugar on the top (optional).
7. Bake at 375°F for 50-55 mins. Stick a long skewer or toothpick in the centre to check if it’s done. It should come out relatively clean. Allow the banana bread to cool out of the pan on a rack before cutting into slices or wrapping.

See more from hot for food on their YouTube channel.

Ice Cream Tacos

A fun summer treat that is great for the whole family, these crunchy ice cream tacos will be a guaranteed hit with kids! Get creative with this recipe and add in your garnish of choice.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

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Ingredients:
Smallest tortilla shells you can find (white or whole wheat)
1 Tbsp cinnamon
¼ cup white sugar
3 Tbsp melted butter
Tinfoil (create small tubes to use as spacers when baking tortillas)
Any flavour ice cream or frozen yogurt
2 cups chocolate melting wafers (or chocolate chips)
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp corn syrup
Decorating items (nuts, sprinkles, smarties, etc.)

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Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Brush the melted butter onto one side of the tortilla shells.
3. Combine cinnamon and sugar together and generously sprinkle over the buttered tortilla shell.
4. Using the tinfoil tubes, fold the tortillas in half, with the cinnamon sugar side to be on the inside, creating the taco shell.
5. Place in oven for 10-15 minutes until golden brown and stiff to touch.
6. Allow your taco shells to cool.
7. Melt chocolate, butter and corn syrup until a nice dipping consistency has been achieved.
8. Take taco shell, pack full with ice cream and smooth around the edges with a spoon or knife.
9. Quickly dip in chocolate and sprinkle with choice of decorations.
10. Place in freezer for 15-20 minutes to allow the ice cream to set.

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S’mores Stuffed French Toast

As I was relaxing on my couch after a particularly long day at work, I had s’mores and sandwiches on my mind. Initially I was thinking s’mores sandwich, but that was too strange. But then, the obvious came to mind: S’mores Stuffed French Toast. What you’ll get is the gooiest, most chocolatey, belt-busting French toast you’ve ever tried.

S'mores Stuffed French Toast

Ingredients:
2 Slices of Bread (French, challah or brioche)
4 graham crackers
2 squares Lindt milk chocolate
4-5 marshmallows
Butter
2 eggs
1/8 cup half & half cream
1/2 Tbsp vanilla
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
Pinch of salt

S'mores Stuffed French Toast

Directions:
1. Start off by slicing your bread and crushing up your graham crackers.
2. Then toast your marshmallows by whatever means necessary. I used a blowtorch but you could probably get away with using a gas stovetop, barbecue on high, wood fire or any open flame.
3. Once you’ve toasted your marshmallows, remove the toasted outer layer to put in your French toast. Using just the outsides gives you optimal gooeyness and maximizes that delicious roasted marshmallow flavour.
4. After this is done, whisk your eggs, cream, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a bowl large enough to dip your bread in.
5. Dip your bread into the mixture, allowing it to soak for a few seconds, then place it in the crushed graham crackers, coating each side.
6. When you’ve crusted all your bread with the crushed graham crackers, place your chocolate and marshmallows and top it with the other slice of bread.
7. In a pan on medium heat, add a knob of butter and once properly melted, cook the French toast for 3-4 minutes per side, until golden brown.
8. Now slice it open and enjoy the pure decadence.

S'mores Stuffed French Toast

100x100_BS Carlene and Bob Deutscher are the dynamic sibling duo behind BS’ in the Kitchen. While Carlene leans towards the sweeter side of things, baking up delicious desserts, you can count on Bob to cook up something savoury! Aside from blogging on BS’ in the Kitchen, Carlene works in marketing & communications, and sidelines as a lifestyle & wedding photographer, while Bob operates his own media company, with a focus on food photography, and videography!

Carlene and Bob Deutscher are part of the Lifestyle Blog Network family.

Raw Vanilla Cheesecake with Chocolate Almond Crust

This recipe has been in the bank for a long time and I’ve just never divulged my secret. I keep it in my arsenal and always make it for dinner parties to wow my non-vegan friends! It totally works plus they all feel good after eating it. This healthified dessert is definitely a fan favourite and now I’m sharing this little piece of vegan love with you too. Enjoy!

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Makes: 4 x 4 1/2″ cheesecakes

Ingredients:

Chocolate Almond Crust
1 cup raw almonds (soaked at least 3 hours)
1/2 cup raw walnuts
1/3 cup shredded coconut
8 medjool dates, pitted
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1/3 cup coconut oil
2 Tbsp raw cacao powder
1/4 tsp sea salt

Vanilla Cheesecake Filling Ingredients
1 1/2 cups raw cashews (soaked at least 3 hours)
1/3 cup agave nectar (or 1/2 C maple syrup for non-raw version)
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup coconut oil
1/2 tsp vanilla powder (or the inside of 1 vanilla bean)

Topping
1 cup frozen mixed berries

Directions:

Chocolate Almond Crust
1. Place the almonds and walnuts in a food processor and blend them into a coarse meal. Add remaining ingredients and blend until well combined.
2. Using your hands, press the dough in an even layer into mini tart pans with removable bottoms. Freeze the crusts for 30 mins and make the cheesecake filling.

Tip: If you don’t care about eating a strictly raw dessert, you can poke a few holes in the bottom of the crust with a fork and then bake them for 8-10 minutes at 325°F. The nuts toast up nicely and it gives a yummy overall flavour to the cheesecake that might be more palatable to people who aren’t accustomed to raw food and desserts. Allow the crusts to cool completely before filling them.

Vanilla Cheesecake Filling
1. In a vita-mix or high powered blender, combine all the ingredients until smooth.
2. Remove your crusts from the freezer and pour the filling into them just below the top edge of the crust. Place them back in the freezer for 1-2 hours to set.
3. Before serving the cheesecake allow them to sit out at room temperature for 10 minutes. They can keep for a while in the freezer as well.

Topping
For an easy topping you can just thaw frozen mixed berries at room temperature while you wait for the cheesecakes. Alternatively, you can place fresh mixed berries in a bowl with a mixture of 2 parts lemon juice and 1 part raw agave nectar and let this mixture sit for 30 minutes until it becomes soft and juicy.

See more from hot for food on their YouTube channel.

S’Mores Bark for the Long Weekend

Oh, May long weekend…the unofficial start of summer. The first gloriously warm long weekend of the year, spent at a cottage enjoying morning hikes, afternoon tanning on the dock, and evening huddles around the campfire.

As lovely as that sounds, it’s not the case for most of us, and we’ll be settling for a little stay-cation in our own ‘hood.

But don’t give up on your lakeside fantasies just yet, because we’ve got a recipe for everyone’s campfire favourite that will totally make your long weekend — we’re talking about s’mores. Well, s’mores bark, to be exact. Think graham crackers, melted milk chocolate, and soft, roasted marshmallows all in one delectable bite.

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With only four ingredients required (and no bonfire needed), you’ll be able to whip up this new take on everyone’s ultimate fireside treat — in under 15 minutes and for under $12!

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Ingredients:
12 graham crackers (broken into quarters)
1 bag milk chocolate chips
1 cup mini marshmallows
¼ cup Skor bits

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Directions:
1. Preheat oven to broil on high, line baking sheet with parchment paper, and lay graham crackers on baking sheet.
2. Pour about 1/3 of chocolate chips into a bowl, and microwave for about 60 seconds. Mix chocolate until smooth and lump free.

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3. Working in sections, pour the chocolate sparingly on top of the graham crackers, and carefully spread it out with a spatula. Repeat steps 2-3 to finish off the bag of chocolate chips, and evenly cover all graham crackers with a layer of chocolate.

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4. Sprinkle the marshmallows on top of the chocolate. Try to keep them within the cracker lines, so it’s easy to separate the pieces at the end.

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5. Place in oven on a rack that is on the third notch from the top. Roast the marshmallows until golden, about 30-60 seconds.

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6. When chocolate is still hot, sprinkle Skor bits sparingly on top.

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7. Refrigerate until hard, about an hour. Break into pieces and serve.

Gluten-Free White Chocolate Cake with Coconut

This flourless, white chocolate cake is rich, moist and custardy — and the crunch of the coconut makes the perfect complement in terms of taste and texture. Perfect for anyone with a sweet tooth who’s avoiding gluten — or who just loves a deliciously decadent cake.

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Gluten-Free White Chocolate Cake with Toasted Coconut

Ingredients:

300 grams good quality white chocolate
8 eggs, whites and yolks separated
1/4 cup (60 ml) butter, melted
1/4 cup (50 grams) sugar
1/3 cup (40 grams) coconut flour
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the icing:
1 1/2 cup (200 grams) icing sugar
1 can coconut milk, refrigerated
1/4 cup (60 ml) butter

For the topping:
2 1/2 cups large flake coconut

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Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 325F°. Grease a 9-inch (22 cm) springform pan and line it with parchment paper. Mold aluminum foil on the bottom and up the sides to prevent possible leaks. Melt the white chocolate in a double boiler. Allow to cool.
2. Beat egg whites in a large bowl with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Beat in sugar, one tablespoon at a time; continue to beat until thick and glossy.
3. Beat egg yolks in a large mixing bowl until creamy; add salt and vanilla extract. Slowly beat in the melted butter, followed by the melted chocolate.
4. Fold egg whites into the egg yolks and chocolate with a rubber spatula until incorporated; take care not to overblend.
5. Place springform pan in the middle of a roasting pan and fill the pan with boiling water until it reaches halfway up the side. Place in the oven and bake for 55 to 60 minutes, until a toothpick placed in the centre comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.
6. To make the icing, separate the coconut cream from the water and beat it together with butter and icing sugar.
7. Toast coconut at 300°F for about 15 to 20 minutes until lightly golden. Turn cake upside down onto a cake stand and peel off parchment. Spread icing over top and sides of cake and top with coconut.

Darina Kopcok Darina Kopcok is a food writer and photographer based in Vancouver, BC. She writes the blog Gratinée, for which she also develops, styles and shoots each recipe. In addition to photographic training from Langara College, she holds an MFA from the University of British Columbia. She has a passion for Italian cuisine and French culinary technique.

Darina Kopcok is part of the Lifestyle Blog Network  family.

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Dairy-Free Double Chocolate Cookies

These cookies are seriously amazing. They’re chewy, chocolatey, and honestly, we think baking vegan treats turns out a lot better than “regular” baked goods.

Give these treats a try and get a big glass of almond milk ready for dunking.

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Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour (or whole wheat flour)
1/2 cup unsweetened dutch process cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 cups earth balance butter
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 Tbsp unsulfured molasses
1/4 cup non-dairy milk
1 cup vegan chocolate chips

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Directions:
1. Pre-heat the oven to 350°F.
2. Sift together flour, cocoa, salt, baking soda and set aside.
3. In a separate bowl cream together earth balance, sugar, vanilla, and molasses until fluffy. Then add in non-dairy milk and mix until well combined.
4. Add your wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well. Stir in chocolate chips.
5. Scoop 1/4 cup of cookie dough and roll it into a ball, then flatten the cookie slightly with your hand onto un-greased cookie sheets.
6. Bake for 10 minutes.
6. Cool cookies on baking sheet for about 5 minutes or so and then transfer to a cooling rack for another 10-15 minutes.

Now just try not to eat the whole batch yourself!

See more from hot for food on their YouTube channel.

Homemade Chocolate Éclairs with Banana Cream Filling

At a recent trip to Paris, I fell in love with éclairs all over again. These delicate treats offered in Parisian patisseries were far from the chocolate-coated cream filled ones I’ve had in the past. These were next-level, and filled with all kinds of creative ingredients and topped with incredible glazes. They were a feast for the eyes as well as the mouth!

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It may come as a surprise, but making choux pastry couldn’t be easier. Yes, it requires a bit of muscle to constantly mix the batter but these éclairs, featuring banana pastry cream and chocolate topping, are worth the effort.

Ingredients:

Choux Pastry
1 cup water
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 tsp granulated sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 large eggs

Banana Cream Filling
2 cups whole milk, separated
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup granulated sugar, separated
4 large egg yolks
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 brown bananas, mashed (about ¾ cup)

Chocolate Topping
1/4 cup chocolate chips
2 Tbsp butter
11/4 cup icing sugar
3 Tbsp hot water
Banana chips to top (optional)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Cover two baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. In a medium sized pot combine the water, butter, sugar and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and add the flour. Continue to mix with a wooden spoon until the mixture comes together. Cook the flour mixture, while continually stirring, for 1 minute.

3. Add the eggs, one at a time. The mixture may look like it won’t mix together once you’ve added an egg, but keep on mixing and it should become glossy. Once you’ve added all the eggs, put the mixture into a piping bag fitting with a 1-inch round tip.

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4. Pipe 3-inch lines, spaced 1-inch apart onto the prepared baking sheets. Place the baking sheets on the top and bottom thirds of the oven for 25 minutes, switching the sheets half way through cooking.

5. After 25 minutes, turn the oven off and leave the éclairs in the oven to cool completely. This ensures the éclairs are perfectly crisp on the outside. You can crack the door of the oven slightly to let out some of the heat.

6. While the éclairs are cooling make the banana pastry cream filling. In a medium sized bowl combine 1 cup milk, cornstarch and 1/4 cup sugar and set aside.

7. In a medium pot combine 1 cup milk, 1/4 cup sugar and the butter. Bring to a boil and turn off the heat. Whisk 1/4 cup of the warm milk mixture into the cold milk mixture. Continue to whisk in the remaining warm mixture, 1/4 cup at a time. Add the egg yolks and whisk until yolks are broken up and the mixture looks smooth. Once the mixture has been combined put it all back into the pot and add the vanilla. On medium heat, bring the mixture to a simmer, whisking constantly. If the mixture looks like it has curdled, continue whisking until it becomes smooth. Mix in the mashed bananas. Let cool.

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8. Put the pastry cream into a piping bag fitted with a ½-inch round tip. Poke a hole in the bottom of the éclairs with a small knife and fill each éclair.

9. For the chocolate topping, combine all ingredients in a small pot and melt together on low heat. Dip each éclair into the chocolate mixture and place on a rack to set.Banana-chocolate-eclair-recipe-4