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

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Gin Lime Coconut Truffles #GalentinesDay

Tart and sweet with the zip of a little gin, these white chocolate and lime truffles are rolled in coconut for a little trip down the islands.

Happy Galentine’s Day! Yep, you read that right. Galentine’s Day: The day women celebrate women, breakfast style, inspired by this scene in Parks and Recreation.

Our smart and lovely organizer, Nancy from gotta get baked, is in charge once more this year, along with her co-host, Courtney from Neighborfood. Their invitation to join the fun said we must also write about a woman who inspires us. I’d like to write about 43,990,000. Give or take a few.

Many years ago, when I was living in Brunei with my father, we had a sweet lady from the Philippines working for us. She cooked, she cleaned and she helped look after my little baby half sister. I was surprised to learn that she had been a schoolteacher in her home country but could make more working as a housekeeper in Bandar Seri Begawan than she could teaching school in her village. So she applied for a job through a maid service, left her own children behind with their grandparents and moved to a foreign country to raise other people’s children.

Lirio was one of an estimated 83 percent of 53 millions domestic workers worldwide, who are women. (Source: International Labor Organization) Millions of whom leave their own families behind, to make a better living elsewhere, so that their own children will have better lives. The sacrifices they make, living with strangers, in strange lands, caring for families other than their own, are deemed worthwhile, because the support money they send home each month is crucial to the wellbeing of their families.

Here in the UAE, it is common practice to hire maids from overseas. I see them in flocks at bus stops on Friday morning, often their only day off, headed to the malls or beaches, to spend time with friends. They are laughing and smiling, enjoying their freedom and a day of rest and recreation. But I know they must miss their children, all the day-to-day milestones of skinned knees and spelling tests, afterschool snacks and goodnight kisses. I admire their work ethic, their dedication and their sacrifice. It’s never an easy job but they are doing what mothers the world over want to do, care for their children, in the best way they know how.

To read about the women who inspire the rest of our Galentine’s Day group and to check out the other wonderful recipes, make sure to scroll down to the link list below.

For the truffles:
10 1/2 oz or 300g good quality white chocolate – I use Lindt bars.
6 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
2/3 cup or 150g butter
Zest 1 lime
2 tablespoons lime juice
5 tablespoons gin

For rolling the truffles:
1 cup or 85g desiccated coconut (Not sweetened coconut flakes)
Zest 1 lime

Zest your limes and then juice them, keeping the zest and juice separate.

Add the cream and the white chocolate, broken up into squares, to a heat resistant mixing bowl. Place the bowl on top of a pot about one quarter filled with water. Bring the pot of water to a slow boil, stirring the chocolate and cream in the bowl above, until the chocolate is completely melted.

Add in the butter, cut into pieces and stir until it is melted.

Remove the bowl from the heat and add in the zest of one lime, 2 tablespoonf of lime juice and the gin. Stir until completely combined.

Leave the mixture to cool and then place it, covered, in the refrigerator until it turns solid.

Mix the zest from the second lime with the desiccated coconut.

Use a teaspoon to scoop out small amounts of the firm mixture and roll them into balls between your clean palms. Place the balls in the dry coconut and roll them around until they are well covered.

Place them directly on a serving plate or use little paper candy cups. If you are living in a warm climate, keep the truffles refrigerated until you are ready to serve. These also freeze beautifully!

This made 33 truffles but you would probably get more if you can control yourself and make them all as small as the first ones. Mine tend to get bigger and bigger as I go along.


And now, as promised, the other Galentine's Day recipes with inspiring stories. Make one for a special woman in your life! 


Thursday, November 19, 2015

Orange Pisco White Chocolate Bundt #BundtBakers

Pisco, the national drink of Peru, dates back more than 250 years and was created distilling the grapes grown in the area, reducing the need for imported alcohol from Spain. While purists says good Pisco is best savored neat, it is also the main ingredient of the national cocktail of Peru, the Pisco Sour, as well as other mixed drinks, like this hot chocolate recipe from Serious Eats, the inspiration for today’s Bundt.

If you’ve been reading along here for a while you know that I spent some time as a child in Peru. I shared some of my fondest memories in my ceviche post, speaking of closing my eyes while eating ceviche and being transported back to the beaches and the desert were I roamed pretty free.

But almost more effective for bring back evocative memories than taste is smell. When I close my eyes and sniff an open bottle of Pisco, I remember the parties where we children ran around under foot, dancing on our own or in groups, sneaking sips of their drinks when the parents weren’t looking, way too young to be drinking at all. Pisco makes powerful cocktails, with the potential to bring back whole sandy summers of music filled memories for me. Without even a sip.

After finding that hot chocolate recipe online, I couldn’t resist using Pisco in my hot chocolate inspired Bundt cake although I changed it up to use white chocolate. I am not a huge fan of white chocolate but I am pleased to report that persistence has paid off. I have finally created a recipe with white chocolate that I love! Perhaps it’s the Pisco and Cointreau that make the difference.

For the cake batter:
2 1/2 cups or 315g flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups or 250g sugar
1 orange
6 oz or 170g good quality white chocolate chips. (I use Ghirardelli. See note below.)
2 tablespoons Cointreau
2 tablespoons Pisco
1 cup or 227g butter, softened
3 eggs
1 cup or 240ml buttermilk

For the glaze:
3 oz or 85g good quality white chocolate chips (A generous 1/2 cup - See note below.)
2 tablespoons Cointreau
2 tablespoons Pisco
Pinch salt

For decoration: candied orange peel from this recipe or use store-bought

See what I mean?
Note: Six oz or 170g is just shy of 1 1/4 cup of chips but keep in mind that the Ghirardelli white chocolate chips are almost flat so more fit in a cup than would the typical triangular chips. As with most baking ingredients, using a scale is most accurate.)

Preheat oven to 350°F or 180°C and prepare your 10-cup Bundt pan by greasing and flouring it or spraying it with non-stick baking spray.

Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, grate the zest of your orange into the sugar. Mix well. Juice the orange.

In small saucepan, melt 6 ounces white chocolate with 1/4 cup or 60ml orange juice, Cointreau and Pisco over low heat. Stir until smooth, and allow to cool to room temperature while you get on with making the batter.

Slowly, slowly! 

Add in the butter to the sugar. Cream until light and fluffy.

Add the eggs one at a time, beating well with each addition.

Beat in the half the flour mixture, then half the buttermilk. And repeat.

Pour in the cooled, melted white chocolate mixture and beat until just combined.

Spoon the batter into your prepared Bundt pan, making sure to get batter into all the little nooks and crannies. Smooth out the top.

Bake for 50-55 minutes in the preheated oven, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Or if you are an instant thermometer using type, until the internal temperature reaches 210°F or 99°C. If the top is darkening too fast, before the cake is cooked through, cover it with foil.

Leave the Bundt in the pan for abut 10 minutes before removing it to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the glaze
When your cake is completely cooled, put all the glaze ingredients into a small pan and heat over a very low flame until the chocolate is melted. Use a small whisk to get the lumps out, if you have one.

Remove from the heat and drizzle over the cooled Bundt. If the glaze gets too thick to drizzle as it cools, add a few drops of water and warm again, very gently, stirring constantly.

Chop your candied orange peel up into small pieces and dot them around the cake for decoration.


Many thanks to Tara from Noshing with the Nolands for hosting this very creative Hot Chocolate inspired Bundt Baker theme! What a great bunch of Bundts we have for you this month!

#BundtBakers is a group of Bundt loving bakers who get together once a month to bake Bundts with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page.

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.


Monday, April 6, 2015

Coconut White Chocolate Muffins #MuffinMonday #CandyBarSeries

Start with a white chocolate bar crunchy with bits of coconut, add more coconut and coconut milk powder, then all the usual muffin ingredients like eggs and oil and flour. What you get is one delightfully coconutty muffin with bits of sweet white chocolate. Perfect for breakfast or snack time.

This week everyone is using Easter leftovers for recipes (myself included, if you count the savory tart I posted yesterday) but shocking through you might find it, I don’t have any leftover Easter candy. I did buy plenty, of course, but I made up gift bags for my girls while I was visiting the US and left almost all of it behind. My husband got a small basket – my Bread Bakers will appreciate this because I used my new banneton meant for proofing dough – and I imagine he’ll eat it all before long.

Yes, we do own Easter baskets. And, yes, I do crack myself up.

So I am dipping back into my secret stash of candy bars for these muffins, the fourth in what I am calling my Candy Bar Series, made with a white chocolate bar full, and I mean, so very full of coconut that there is no square millimeter of the chocolate that doesn’t have bits of coconut in it. I’m actually beginning to like white chocolate now. Alone it is cloyingly sweet, but with lemon and now coconut, it’s good. And it makes a tender, fabulous muffin.


1 1/2 cups or 190g flour
2 1/8 oz or 60g coconut milk powder
1/2 cup or 100g sugar
1/2 cup, packed, or 60g freshly grated coconut plus extra for decorating
3 1/2 oz or 100g white chocolate coconut candy bar
2 eggs
3/4 cup or ml milk
1/2 cup or 120ml canola or other light oil

Preheat the oven to 350°F or 180°C and either grease your 12-cup muffin tin or line it with paper liners.

Chop your candy bar up into bits.

In one big mixing bowl, combine your dry ingredients: flour, coconut milk powder sugar, grated coconut, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.

In another small bowl, whisk the eggs with the milk and oil.

Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture, stirring until just combined.

There should still be some dry flour showing.  Separate out 12 pieces of candy bar to put on top the batter when baking.

Fold the rest of the chocolate into the batter.

Divide the batter between your 12 prepared muffin cups.

Top with a sprinkle of fresh coconut and one piece of white chocolate bar.

Bake in your preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

Remove from the oven and cool on a rack for a few minutes. Take the muffins out of the pan and continue cooling on the rack.


What’s your favorite candy bar? Which candy bar would you like to see made into a muffin?

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Liquid Cocaine (Espresso-White Chocolate) Cookies #CreativeCookieExchange

Modeled after the secret menu drink from Starbucks called Liquid Cocaine, these crispy-edged chewy-inside cookies are full of espresso and white chocolate. 

This month’s Creative Cookie Exchange ingredient is white chocolate, which I must admit is not my favorite. I find it rather sweet without the essential bitterness of the cacao. But matched with the strong espresso in the dough, this cookie balances that sweetness out beautifully.

A couple of years ago, for Muffin Monday, our ingredient was coffee so my younger daughter suggested that I research alternative Starbucks recipes and then turn one of them into a muffin. It was an excellent suggestion! I chose one called Liquid Cocaine, with four shots of espresso and four pumps of white chocolate. I couldn’t resist recreating it in cookie for this white chocolate challenge, sans the wild party pics, although I did add a little alcohol to the actual cookie.

Party down with muffins: Liquid Cocaine (Espresso and White Chocolate) Muffins

Ingredients for about two dozen cookies (I got 27.)
4 teaspoons espresso powder
1 tablespoon Kahlua
1 cup or 200g sugar
1/2 cup or 115g butter, at room temperature
1 egg, room temperature
2 cups or 250g flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 oz or 170g good quality white chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli.)

Preheat your oven to 350°f or 180°C and prepare your cookie sheet by lining it with parchment or a silicone liner.

In a small bowl or measuring cup, mix your espresso powder in with the Kahlua till it dissolves.

In another larger bowl, measure out your dry ingredients and stir well.

Cream the butter with the sugar using an electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy. Beat in the egg.

Then add the Kahlua/espresso syrup  and mix again until thoroughly combined.

Sift your dry ingredients into your batter and mix well.

Stir in the white chocolate chips.

Drop the dough in scoops on your prepared cookie sheet and bake for about 18-20 minutes. With the first pan to go in the oven, I pressed all but one of the balls down to flatten them. I wanted to see what that one ball would do.

Turns out, it makes a more interesting and pretty cookie to leave them in a ball and let them flatten out themselves, so the second pan to go in were all left in balls.

These guys are crispy around the edges and chewy in the middle, which is pretty much my perfect cookie.


Many thanks to our organizer, Laura of The Spiced Life for this month’s white chocolate challenge. If you are a blogger and would like to join us for future challenges, scroll down after the link list to see how.

Check out all the great white chocolate cookie recipes we have for you this month!

If you are a blogger and want to join in the fun, contact Laura at thespicedlife AT gmail DOT com and she will get you added to our Facebook group, where we discuss our cookies and share links.

You can also just use us as a great resource for cookie recipes--be sure to check out our Pinterest Board and our monthly posts. You can find all of them at The Spiced Life. We post a new cookie on the first Tuesday after the 15th of each month!

Monday, March 9, 2015

White Chocolate Lemon Muffins #MuffinMonday

The third in my candy bar series, a white chocolate lemon bar from Movenpick was the inspiration for these fluffy, lemon muffins flavored with yogurt, lemon zest and said white chocolate lemon bar. 

I’ve been experimenting lately with some gluten-free baking because one of my friends here is gluten-intolerant. What I have found is that I can pretty much replace the normal flour with a gluten-free mix, (I like the Dove Farms White Bread Flour because it has a little added natural gum.) if I weigh the flour and use 125g per needed cup. It seems that the flours used to make up the gluten-free mix, in this case rice, potato and tapioca, must be lighter than wheat so a cup of the flour mix is just not enough flour. By weight, it's perfect.

One last change in the recipe involves method. In most muffin recipes, one adds the wet ingredients to the dry and folds until they are just combined. With gluten-free flour blend, you need to make sure no flour still shows. In other words, mix well.

I made these muffins with the gluten-free bread flour today and they were light and fluffy and, frankly, one of the best sweet muffins I’ve ever eaten.

2 cups or 250g flour (If subbing gluten-free flour mix, please use the weight measurement.)
2/3 cup or 130g sugar
For creative minds only!
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
7 oz or 100g white chocolate (with lemon, if you can get it)
Grated zest one medium lemon
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup or 185g yogurt
1/4 cup or 60ml milk
2 large eggs
1/2 cup or 120ml canola or other light oil

Optional glaze
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
About 4-5 heaping tablespoons powdered sugar

Preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C.  Butter your muffin pan or line it with paper liners.

Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt to a large mixing bowl. Grate in the lemon zest and mix.

Juice your lemon.

Chop your white chocolate bar roughly with a knife. I separated out 12 pieces of white chocolate to poke in the top of each muffin before baking.  They turned brown while baking, which is not attractive, so never mind that step. Fortunately, the glaze covered them up mostly.

In another smaller bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, milk, yogurt, juice and canola oil.

Let your helper clean out the yogurt pot for recycling.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ones and stir until just mixed through. Or mix thoroughly if you are using a gluten-free flour blend.

Fold in your chopped white chocolate/lemon bar.

Divide the mixture between the muffin cups in pan.

Bake in your preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden.  Allow them to cool for a few minutes then remove the muffins to a wire rack to cool completely.

Ignore the chocolate bits I put on top, as previously discussed. Those should be inside the muffins.

If you want to add glaze, put your tablespoon of lemon juice in a small bowl. Add powdered sugar a couple of tablespoons at a time and stir well, until the glaze is a good drizzling consistency.  When your muffins are cool, drizzle on the glaze.


The Candy Bar Series

1. Dark Chocolate Toasted Sesame Muffins using Lindt Dark Chocolate Roasted Sesame

2. Pecan Caramel Chocolate Muffins using Frey Pecan & Caramel