Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake

IMG_9279

You may know me for my healthy meals and desserts. But with this recipe here I’m finding it really hard to find something healthy I could say about it. Maybe dark chocolate could qualify as healthy? Or maybe that it’s gluten free? Or as my friend put it really nicely: “Chocolate makes you happy. Happiness is healthy. There you go.” So yes, this recipe is chocolate with some chocolate and with some more chocolate. But it’s really delicious and that’s just what we all need from time to time. It’s all about balance so in order to prevent my page from being to healthy, I was obliged to post this recipe. And also, this cake looks so good it would be a crime not to share it, right? Continue reading

Outrageous Chocolate Cookies

IMG_0217One thing is for sure – Martha Stewart was right when she named these cookies outrageous. They really are outrageous. Outrageously good that is! If you love chocolate, you just have to bake these sweet treats and if you follow my version of the recipe you can feel just a bit less guilty after eating them.

Ingredients:

230g quality dark (75%) chocolate

4 tbsp unsalted butter

2/3 cup spelt flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 package semisweet chocolate chunks

Instructions:

1. Preheat the oven to 175 degrees Celsius. Heat chopped chocolate and butter in a pan over a pot of boiling water until almost melted. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.

2. In a mixing bowl, beat eggs, brown sugar, and vanilla on high speed until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low; beat in melted chocolate (make sure the chocolate has cooled down completely). Mix in flour mixture until just combined. Stir in chocolate chunks.

3. Drop heaping tablespoons of dough 2 to 3 inches apart onto baking sheets. Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until cookies are shiny and crackly yet soft in centers, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool on baking sheets 10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

IMG_0096

Chocolate Coffee Cupcakes

IMG_9941

OK, these cupcakes might not be the healthiest thing I’ve posted on my blog but hey, it’s December and it’s nearly Christmas and I think we should all have a rich chocolaty dessert from time to time and just enjoy ourselves. But hey, that’s just me, a hopeless chocoholic. If you agree with me, here is a perfect recipe for you. I’ve been looking for a perfect recipe for the perfect combination of chocolate and coffee and found this one from Dulce Dough. I “healthfied” it by using spelt flour and brown sugar (you could also use Xylitol in the same amount) and made the coffee flavor more intense by adding instant coffee and adding my own frosting.

IMG_9942

Ingredients (makes 12 cupcakes):

Cupcakes:

1 1/2 cups spelt flour

1/3 cup raw cocoa

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

¾ cup brown sugar

1/2 cup brewed coffee, cooled

1/2 cup oil

2 eggs

3 teaspoons cider vinegar

3 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 tsp instant coffee (I used Nescafé Gold)

40g chocolate chips

Frosting:
250ml whole cream

200g quality dark chocolate (70%)

3 – 4 tsp instant coffee

Instructions:

1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, soda, and salt.

2. In a separate bowl, beat together the sugar, coffee, oil, eggs, vinegar, and vanilla with an electric hand mixer until well blended.

3. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and beat with an electric hand mixer until combined. Add the instant coffee and chocolate chips and whisk until evenly distributed.

4. Fill paper-lined muffin cups (mine are from Trgovina Popolna dekoracija and give the cupcakes a really Christmasy look) three-fourths full and bake at 175 degrees Celsius for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean.

5. Cool for 10 minutes then remove cupcakes from pan to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.

6. To make the frosting, bring the cream to a boil and pour over the chocolate. Let sit for a few minutes then add the instant coffee and mix carefully to make the chocolate ganache. Place in the fridge (or on the balcony if it’s winter) and let cool. You are looking for a thick texture of the ganache to be able to pipe it on the cupcakes. Frost and decorate as desired and serve immediately or store in the fridge.

FullSizeRender

Dark Chocolate and Coffee Cake

IMG_9736

It’s no secret that chocolate is one of my favourite ingredients. Dark, quality chocolate that is. The other thing I simply adore is the combination of chocolate and coffee. Interesting, since I don’t drink coffee because I don’t like the taste of it. But there is something about the chocolate coffee combination that I just can’t resist. The moment I saw the recipe for this rich dark chocolate cake by Jamie Oliver I knew I had to make it. The fact that it is gluten free is just a bonus! This cake is perfect for any occasion, quick and simple to make and will be adored by all your friends and family.

IMG_9723

I modified the original recipe a little by replacing regular caster sugar with a combination of brown sugar and xylitol, so you can easily use regular sugar, just brown sugar or just xylitol. I also added some instatnt coffee just to add to that amazing coffee flavour in the chocolate. It’s best if you just taste the melted chocolate and add instatnt coffee to your taste. The flavour of coffee will be a bit more intense after baking, though.

Ingredients:

200g almonds

200g dark chocolate (75%)

175g unsalted butter

35g brown sugar, grinded

35g Xylitol, grinded

4 eggs (separated)

20ml strong espresso

2 tsp instant coffee

Instructions:

1. Pre-heat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius and grease and line a 20cm loose-bottomed cake tin.

2. Blitz the almonds in a food processor until just finely ground – don’t over-pulse as they will start to become sticky.

3. Melt the dark chocolate and butter together with the espresso in a bowl over a pan of simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water, stirring occasionally. Once completely melted, add the instant coffee and stir well in order for it to dissolve in the melted chocolate.

4. Meanwhile, whisk together the egg yolks, the brown sugar and the xylitol until thick and pale – about 5 minutes with a handheld electric whisk.

5. Fold the chocolate mixture into the egg and sugar mixture and then fold in the ground nuts.

6. In a separate clean bowl, whisk the egg whites in to stiff peaks and then fold this in to the cake mixture.

7. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes. If you prefer a gooey chocolate pudding then feel free slightly undercook it.

IMG_9730

Zotter Schokoladen Manufaktur GmbH

I’ve been doing some random browsing on the internet the other day and I came across this interesting offer – a visit to a chocolate factory with a chance to try all the different kinds of chocolate they produce. All-you-can-eat of course! Like every other chocoholic, I didn’t have to think twice before I bought the tickets.IMG_8488Zotter is known for two things: its chocolate being organic and fair trade. The inventor Josef Zotter has constantly invested in his products. He has been involved in fair trade since 2004, in 2005 his company converted to organic and in 2006 he opened his own Chocolate Factory. For this reason he is throughout Europe the only manufacturer who produces chocolates starting from the bean (bean-to-bar) exclusively in organic and fair quality. You can read more about Zotter on their official website.

Fair trade has just recently become a hot topic, talked about all around the world. Fair trade is an organized social movement whose stated goal is to help producers in developing countries achieve better trading conditions and to promote sustainability. Members of the movement advocate the payment of higher prices to exporters, as well as higher social and environmental standards.

 

IMG_8427

Due to their fair trade policy, Zotter offers chocolates at a price, slightly higher than most chocolates. But I believe it’s a price worth paying, not only because of its social aspect but also because their chocolates taste amazing. A trip to their chocolate factory gives you the opportunity to try unlimited amounts of chocolates in all forms and the opportunity to taste the difference from the other chocolates.

IMG_8425

Your trip starts at the Cocoa Cinema  where you can see where Mr. Zotter gets the cocoa and understand what “fair trade” means. Your trip then continues through the so-called Bean-to-Bar-Manufacture where you  get to know all the production steps from the roasting, via the fine milling up to the conching. Next stop is Cocoa Roasting Facility where you can taste freshly roasted cocoa beans from many different countries of origin.

One of the best parts for me was the Nougat-Spoon Fountain – where liquid nougat jumps from spoon to spoon and you get to taste as much of it as you want. I personally preferred the hazelnut version. Conching Time Machine is next– you get to taste dark chocolates with an increasing cocoa content, up to 100%! The later is a bit to bitter for my taste, but you should have a try yourself. Springing chocolate fountains are next – all amazing but the coffee flavored one was a winner for me. Labooko Cracker or as I like to call it “Chocolate Slot Machine” is by far the best part of the visit since you get to taste high-percentage cocoa blends and colourful fruit chocolates by cutting the chocolate bars by pulling on a slot machine like handle. Beware, this was already the point at which I was too full to have any more chocolate!

FullSizeRender (2)

A Lollytop-Stairway to Heaven leads you to the drinking Chocolate online – the smallest cable car of the world which serves you drinking chocolate. You have to try all the different flavors before deciding which one you like the most and getting a full size serving of it. At this point, I really suggest you have a short break and have some water if you wish to continue with the tasting. Your trip is far from over at this point!

Mitzi-Blue Turntables are next – record players present the round chocolate bars in the mix. The trip continues with a Sake Bar for Creative Ones, nougsus-Paternoster – the exceptional nougat variations and balleros Roulette – nibbling wonders are rolling in copper kettles. Last but not least comes the Running Chocolate – hand-scooped chocolates wind themselves around a glass panorama.

IMG_8410You will end up at a chocolate store. You might feel really sick from all the chocolate and, like me, not even think about buying or eating any chocolate for at least a year. Big mistake! You should buy all the chocolates that you loved during tasting, otherwise you will regret it the next day! Like I did! But at least I have an excuse to go back again soon.

IMG_8489

Chocolate Omelette with Greek Yogurt and Raspberries

IMG_8339

Who says omelettes have to be savory? Who says your breakfast must be unhealthy if you have a sweet tooth? This recipe here proves omelettes can be sweet and healthy at the same time! Still don’t believe it? See the list of ingredients – all healthy foods, some even the so-called superfoods. So enjoy this guilt free and healthy breakfast alternative to crepes and savory omelettes and thank me later.

Ingredients (serves 1):

2 eggs, whisked

¼ tsp vanilla extract

1 tbsp dark agave syrup

1 heaping tbsp raw cacao powder

½ tsp butter, for the pan

Greek yogurt, for serving

Frozen raspberries, for serving

1 tsp powdered xylitol, for serving

Instructions:

1. Heat a medium non-stick pan to medium heat. Add ½ tsp butter and allow it to melt completely. Make sure your pan is really hot before adding the egg mixture.

2. In the meantime, whisk 2 eggs, vanilla extract, agave syrup and raw cacao powder. You might find the cacao powder to be a little “resistant”, not wanting to mix with the eggs, if you are using a fork to whisk them together, but be persistent and you will soon get a nice smooth mixture.

3. Pour the mixture in the heated pan and cook for about 2 minutes. Cover the pan for about a minute to allow to cook from the top as well. Slide the omelette on a plate and flip in back into the pan to cook from the other side as well. This should only take about a minute.

4. Transfer to a plate, fill with frozen raspberries and a few teaspoons of greek yogurt and fold. Sprinkle with powdered xylitol and serve immediately.

Homemade Raw Chocolate

photo 2 (6)

What if I told you that you could enjoy these amazing chocolate bites completely guilt free? Not only that, they are good for you (in moderation, of course)!

Making your own chocolate could, however, almost be called science. If you wish to achieve the perfect texture of a chocolate bite and want it to melt in your mouth like it should, the process you will need to go through is the so called “chocolate tempering”. It requires heating and cooling your ingredients to three different temperatures. But trust me, it’s worth it!

The recipe I used is by Barabrella – Green Chef.

Ingredients (makes about 22 chocolate bites):

(cacao butter and cacao powder amounts in grams because exact amounts are required; like I said – science!)

80 g cacao butter

30 g raw cacao powder

1/4 cup liquid sweetener (mixture of dark agave syrup and maple syrup)

dash of vanilla extract

pinch of Himalayan salt

Instructions:

1. Prepare two dishes. Pour boiling water in one and place the second one on top.

2. Add 40 g cacao butter and 30 g raw cacao powder into the top bowl and stir until cacao butter melts. Use a hend-held thermometer and heat the mixture to 46 degrees Celsius. Once heated, add the remaining cacao butter and stir at 46 degrees Celsius until all the ingredients have melted and the mixture is completely smooth.

3. Remove from heat and add the remaining ingredients. Stir the mixture continuously and let the temperature drop to 28,8 degrees Celsius.

4. Place both bowls back on the heat and heat the mixture to 31 degrees Celsius. Your chocolate is now properly tempered.

5. Pour the mixture in silicone chocolate or praline moulds (or mini muffin liners) and place in the fridge for 3 hours to cool.

6. You can add your choice of nuts or superfoods in the moulds prior to pouring in the mixture or sprinkle some on top.

photo 1 (6)