Showing posts with label chocolate. Show all posts
Showing posts with label chocolate. Show all posts

Monday, October 27, 2014

Chocolate Hazelnut Muffins #MuffinMonday

Ground hazelnuts add richness to these chocolate muffins and perfectly complement the surprise Ferrero Rocher hazelnut candy baked in the center of each.

Sometimes when I am at the grocery store, I browse the candy/sweetie aisle for muffin inspiration. There are such a lot of great combinations of flavors on every shelf, some classic like chocolate-covered cherries, others a little more “out there” like chocolate and lime or chili peppers. At first I was just planning to bake chocolate hazelnut muffins and then I thought to myself, “I wonder what would happen if I stuffed an entire Ferrero Rocher chocolate-covered hazelnut candy in the batter” and then I had to try it. There was always the possibility that the chocolate surrounding the hazelnut would get molten and cause 12 mini explosions in the oven, sending muffin batter everywhere. Some part of me was hoping for that result, but the better part of me was counting on the candy staying intact and creating a lovely surprise at the center of each muffin. I’m pleased to tell you that, as you can see from the photos, my better part won! The other part was just slightly disappointed but these great muffins are sweet consolation. Clearly I need to get out more.

1 1/2 cups or 190g flour (or an equivalent amount Dove Farm’s gluten-free flour mix)
1 cup or 110g coarse hazelnut meal or ground hazelnuts (I did mine in the food processor.)
3/4 cup or 170g golden caster sugar (Normal white sugar can be substituted.)
1/4 cup or 25g extra dark cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s Special Dark.)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup or 120ml milk
1/2 cup or 125g sour cream
1/2 cup or 115g unsalted butter, melted then cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
12 Ferrero Rocher chocolate-covered hazelnut candies

Preheat oven to 350°F or 180°C.   Put liners in muffin cups or grease well with butter or non-stick spray.

Whisk together your flour, ground hazelnuts, sugar, cocoa, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.

Whisk together milk, butter, sour cream, eggs and vanilla in another bowl until combined well.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and, if using normal flour, fold until just combined. If you are using the gluten-free mix, stir well until no flour is showing.

Divide the batter among muffin cups. Decorate each with a Ferrero Rocher chocolate and push it down gently into the batter.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the muffin alongside the chocolate candy center comes out clean.

Allow to cool for a few minutes in the pan and then remove the muffins to a wire rack to cool completely.


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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Passover Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars #SundaySupper

These delicious cookie bars are so simple to make – just four ingredients - and are perfect as a snack or sweet treat during Passover when wheat flour and leavening agents are on the prohibited list. Or anytime of the year! 

This week Sunday Supper is celebrating with recipes for Passover and Easter. Since I already posted two Easter treats last week, I decided to step out of my comfort zone, do a little research and find a recipe that would be welcome at a Passover feast. The restrictions seem to be the same as keeping kosher, with the added prohibition of wheat, barley, rye, oats, and spelt flours. Almond flour, on the other hand, is just fine, not to mention nutty and delicious. I found this recipe on, a great resource for kosher recipes and general advice. I wasn't about to start substituting or adapting in case I unwittingly messed up its Passover-friendly status!

2 cups or 200g ground almonds
1 cup, well-packed, or 200g dark brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup or about 190g semi sweet chocolate chips, plus about 1/8 cup or 30g extra for topping

Preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C and grease your pan (9x9in or 23x23cm) or line it with parchment paper.  I almost always choose the parchment paper option because the cookie bars lift out so easily which makes cutting them a breeze.

Mix all of the ingredients together until they form a thick dough. You can do this by hand but it takes some arm power to get them to a good dough stage, so I used my stand mixer and just let that baby run on medium speed for a couple of minutes.

Spread the dough out in your prepared pan, making sure to fill in the corners.

It's a pretty stiff dough. 
Sprinkle the top with the extra chocolate chips.

Bake in your preheated oven for 23-28 minutes or until the edges and top are a light golden color. I was amazed by how tender and chewy these turned out. The original recipe called them miracle bars and I have to agree! They are absolutely wonderful not just for Passover, but any time of the year.

Let the cookie bars cool for a few minutes and then cut them into squares.


If you are looking for Easter and Passover meal inspiration, check out these great links from my fellow Sunday Supper friends. This week our host is the lovely Alaiyo of Pescetarian Journal.

Savory and Sweet Breads:
Sides and Salads:
Main Dishes:

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7 p.m. ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Chocolate-filled Chocolate Cookies

This recipe comes from a cookbook I haven’t picked up in ages, Jamie Oliver’s Happy Days with the Naked Chef. Of course, Jamie called them Chocolate Biscuits with Soft Chocolate Centres. I’m sharing these for Belleau Kitchen’s Random Recipe Challenge merged this month with the Chocolate Log Blog’s We Should Cocoa challenge, cohosted this month by both Dom and Choclette.

The rules are the same as normal Random Recipe Challenges. Choose a cookbook at random, make the first recipe you open to, except this month, it is make the first chocolate recipe you open to. I like to make my life simple, so I used Eat Your Books to choose both. Click on the graphic for full details.

2/3 cup or 145g butter, softened at room temperature
3/4 cup or 145g sugar
1 whole egg
2 cups or 250g flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Scant 1/3 cup or 30g cocoa powder
3 1/2 oz or 100g chocolate bar (milk, white or dark) I used chocolate mint.

Grease a large baking sheet or line it with baking parchment. Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy.

Whisk your flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in another mixing bowl.

Beat the egg into the butter/sugar mixture.

Add in the cocoa powder and the flour to make a soft dough. Beat until completely combined.

Wrap it in cling film and put it in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.

When the dough is ready, preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C.

Roll the dough into small balls about 1 inch or 2 centimeters across and break your chocolate bar into small squares.

Press them out into circles on your prepared cookie sheet, making sure to leave a good space between them for rising while baking.

Top each circle with a piece of chocolate.

Add another dough ball on top and press out to cover the chocolate.

Bake for 10 minutes in your preheated oven. These cookies are delicious as is but would also be great for ice cream sandwiches!


***This post has an affiliate link, which means I earn some small change if you click on the Amazon link and buy.**
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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Chocolate Peanut Butter Braid #TwelveLoaves

Chocolate yeast dough and peanut butter yeast dough, braided together, make a wonderful loaf. Two very different flavors that complement each other, intertwined so each bite contains a piece of both. 

In many cultures, braids are a sign of unity, symbolic of a bond that is not easily broken. After all, what is a braid but the weaving in and out of three or more strands that become one and are generally stronger for the weaving? You can see where I am headed here. This month’s theme for #TwelveLoaves is chocolate but I decided that chocolate would not stand alone. This is a loaf of love. Chocolate with peanut butter chips and peanut butter with chocolate chips. Because we are all a little sweet and all a little salty and it’s the combination of the two that makes life interesting.

The chocolate dough has been slightly adapted from David Lebovitz’s Chocolate Bread and the peanut butter dough has been adapted from Celine Steen’s Peanut Butter Bread.

For the chocolate dough:
6 tablespoons or 90ml milk, heated until just tepid
1 envelope active dry yeast (1/4 ounce or 7g)
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 ounces or 45g bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 egg - yolk and white separated
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 1/2 cups or 190g flour
1/8 cup or 2 scant tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (I used the special dark.)
1/3 cup or 60g real peanut butter chips

For the peanut butter dough:
1/2 cup or 120ml milk
1 envelope active dry yeast (1/4 ounce or 7g)
1/4 cup or 65g smooth peanut butter
1 1/2 cups or 190g flour
3 tablespoons, packed, dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup or 65g semi-sweet chocolate chips

First we’ll make the chocolate dough.

In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the warm milk. Add one tablespoon of the sugar and it set aside in a warm place for 10 to 15 minutes or until it gets foamy.

Put your butter and chocolate in a microwaveable bowl and give it a few quick zaps of 20 seconds, stirring in between, until both are just melted and form a smooth chocolate syrup.

Add the remaining sugar, the egg yolk, vanilla, and sea salt to the yeast bowl and mix well. (Reserve your egg white for glazing the loaf before baking.)

Stir in half the flour and cocoa powder.

Add the chocolate syrup and stir again.  Now add the remaining flour and stir until completely incorporated.

Beat for five minutes with the dough hook in your mixer or knead by hand.  The dough will be quite moist but I found that the butter kept it from being too sticky.

Cover the bowl and let rise in a warm place for two hours.

Now we’ll make the peanut butter dough.

In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the milk. Add one tablespoon of the sugar and it set aside in a warm place for 10 to 15 minutes or until it gets foamy.

Add the remaining sugar, vanilla, and sea salt to the yeast bowl and mix well.

Stir in half the flour.

Now add the peanut butter and the remaining flour and stir until completely incorporated.

Place dough on a clean, lightly floured surface and start kneading until the dough is smooth and elastic.  Add extra flour if the dough is too sticky. I tried to knead in my mixer with the bread hook but this dough was just too soft.  Kneading by hand worked best.

Cover and let rise for 1 – 1 1/2 hours in warm place.

The two doughs. The chocolate has risen a little and the peanut butter is just ready for rising.

When both of your doughs have done their rising, it’s time for the braid!

Punch down both doughs, adding in the chocolate chips to the peanut butter dough and the peanut butter chips to the chocolate dough, reserving a few to poke on top for decoration before baking. Knead a little bit to work them in.

Now break or cut each ball in half and roll the pieces out into dough snakes about 16 inches or cm long. The chips will keep wanting to fall out. Just poke them back in.

Now lay all four “snakes” out on your baking pan which has been lined with a sheet of parchment. In order to get the best braided look, start with the two chocolate ones and the two peanut butter ones next to each other. I took photos of every step of the braiding but I have to admit, they are hard to follow. So I am going to send you to the link I used to make the braid where the illustrations are clear and the instructions are easy to follow: How to braid challah. Go ahead, I’ll wait here.

Okay!  Now put the braid in a warm, draft-free place to rise again for another hour. My house is still quite chilly, so I covered the loaf with a big plastic container and set the whole thing over the sink filled with hot water.  Then I put a pan on top that was filled with hot water. You do what you need to!

About 10 minutes before the rising time is finished, preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C.

When the rising time is finished, whisk your egg white and brush it gently on the loaf. Add the reserved chips if desired.

Bake in your preheated oven for about 30-35 minutes or until it sounds hollow when you tap it.  Mine got a little too dark because somehow my oven shot up to 375°F or 190°C while the bread was baking. Don’t let this happen to yours! The chips got quite dark as well, but fortunately, they didn’t taste any different. Mr. Lebovitz offers the useful tip that you can insert an instant read thermometer in the middle (I poked mine in from the side so the hole wouldn’t show.) and a ready loaf will read 180°F or 82°C when it’s done.)

Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing.


The perfect bite, with some of each flavor!

The first warm slices were excellent with the dark chocolate perfectly complementing the rich peanut butter. If you really want to take this over the top, toast slices the next morning for breakfast and spread them with a little more peanut butter while still warm.

Looking for more chocolately bread goodness? You have come to the right place!

Would you like to join us this month? Choose a recipe featuring chocolate. (It could be a bread accented with chocolate chips, baked with cocoa powder, chocolate spreads, whatever you love!). Whatever you bake (yeasted, quick bread, crackers, muffins, grissini, braids, flatbreads, etc) have fun and let's have a delicious month of bread with chocolate. Let's get baking!

If you’d like to add your bread to the collection with the Linky Tool this month, here’s what you need to do!

1. When you post your Twelve Loaves bread on your blog, make sure that you mention the Twelve Loaves challenge in your blog post; this helps us to get more members as well as share everyone's posts. Please make sure that your bread is inspired by the theme!

2. Please link your post to the linky tool at the bottom of my blog. It must be a bread baked to the Twelve Loaves theme.

3. Have your Twelve Loaves bread that you baked this February, 2014, posted on your blog by February 28, 2014.

#TwelveLoaves is a monthly bread baking party created by Lora from Cake Duchess. #TwelveLoaves runs so smoothly thanks to the help of the lovely Renee from Magnolia Days.

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