Dark Chocolate for BREAKFAST! :D

This is a very adjustable recipe, since it’s basically just melt shit in pot of chocolate and call it ‘breakfast’ so feel free to make adjustments!

  • 1 lb good dark chocolate (preferably chips or chunks, not a solid brick)
  • 8-10 slices bacon, cooked crispy and chopped/crumbled
  • 1.5 c. plain granola, gluten-free and so forth
  • 1/2 c. “sweet-spicy” pecans or almonds – make your own or try Trader Joe’s
  • 1/2 c. chocolate-covered espresso beans
  • 1/8 c. cocoa nibs
  • 1/3 c. dried fruit of choice (raisins, cranberries, etc. – or chop larger dried fruit, like apricots or dates)
  • 1/4 tsp hickory smoke flavoring (can use own spice blend for this, or a bottle)
  • 1/8 tsp chipotle powder (or more to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • sea salt to sprinkle on top

Sub-Steps:

For good, baked bacon: (the problem with this is that is uses the oven, and your kitchen should be cool when working with the chocolate, not warm, so do this step ahead of time if possible)

  • Line a baking tray with foil; place bacon in a single layer.
  • Put in cold oven; set temperature to 380 F; set timer for 20 minutes.
  • Remove tray and drain fat.  If desired, sprinkle bacon with seasonings (ex. cumin, chipotle powder, etc), then flip each piece over.
  • Return to oven for another 10-15 minutes, or until crispy.
  • Drain fat again if necessary – bacon must be crisp!  Set slices on paper towels & dab off excess fat.  Let cool completely, then crumble.

For DIY flavored nuts: See my post about “rosemary roasted nuts” and just replace the rosemary with other spices, like some brown sugar and paprika or cumin or cinnamon or allspice or whatever strikes your fancy.

For DIY ‘plain’ granola: You can get some premade at the store, but if you want to make your own…

  • 2 c. oats
  • 1/3 c. honey
  • 1/3 c. vegetable oil of choice
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Combine all ingredients in a bowl; mix until all oats are moist.  The whole mixture should be a bit clumpy and wet.  If you like clusters, add a splash of water (1-2 tsp) to help some of the oats clump together.   Spread into a thin layer on a baking tray lined with foil; bake about 20 minutes (stir halfway through baking to ensure none of it gets too dark).  It will harden as it cools, so don’t dry it completely in the oven.

For good, tempered DARK chocolate: (the temperatures are a bit different for milk chocolate)

  • Use microwave method to melt chocolate, rather than a double-boiler, to eliminate any chance of getting water in your good chocolate!
    1. Put chocolate in glass bowl; microwave on high 30 seconds; stir & wipe down sides with clean spatula.
    2. Microwave another 30 seconds, stir, 30 seconds, stir (total of 3x).
    3. Microwave another 15 seconds, stir, 15 seconds, stir, repeat until chocolate reaches 100 F.
    4. Microwave another 10 seconds, stir, and repeat until chocolate reaches 115 F (about 5x).
    5. Remove from microwave and cool by stirring occasionally, until chocolate cools to 95 F.
    6. Add other ingredients until chocolate cools to 90 F.
    7. Test the temper of the chocolate by spreading a small amount in an even layer on a metal surface over an ice pack.  It should set within 3 minutes, and be shiny and streak-free.
    8. If necessary, use a hair dryer to keep the chocolate at 90 F while working with it.

Actual Directions: 

  • Lightly butter bottom and sides of 8×8 square pan.  With one long-ish strip of parchment paper, line the bottom and two sides, creating a makeshift sling.  Re-grease top of parchment paper.
  • Follow directions 1-5 for tempered dark chocolate.
  • In step 6, add all the other ingredients; mix well.  Keep chocolate at 90 F while incorporating the other ingredients.
  • Pour / Spoon mixture into pan.  Let sit on counter until solid (or, if necessary, place in refrigerator 10-20 minutes).
  • When set, loosen sides with a butter knife and lift out the chocolate with the ‘sling’ handles.  Cut into desired pieces with a sharp knife.

OTHER TIPS:

  • Cover your work area for easy clean-up. 
  • Make sure everything you will need is already out and easily accessible.
  • Make sure the ambient temperature of the room is a bit chilly.  Wear a sweater; don’t turn the heat or the oven on. 
  • Use a larger bowl lined with a dish towel to place chocolate bowl in while working (the ‘snuggle’ effect helps it keep warm).
  • Only put chocolate in refrigerator if necessary, for a max of 10-20 minutes (to prevent condensation).
  • Keep finished items in an airtight container in the coolest room of the house.

Final Note: To make this fructose-free, use dried blueberries instead of other fruit, and make sure the granola you use doesn’t have any hidden fructose!

Chocolate Bar Source: http://julesfood.blogspot.com/2013/10/dark-chocolate-breakfast-bar.html
Granola Source: http://www.tinyurbankitchen.com/2010/04/homemade-granola.html

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Brownies! (w/ apples, bananas, zucchini)

“Healthy” Brownies… can it be done?  Ehh, not really, because this still has a cup and a half of sugar in it, but it’s all relative, right?  I mean, if I eat a medium-healthy thing instead of some ultra-unhealthy crazy confectionery from a store, then I’m still doing better health-wise; that has to count for something, right?

Anyway, this is a recipe for a “very moist, low-fat chocolate brownie alternative” … so I’m a bit suspicious, to be honest, but the ingredients sound like it’s worth a shot.  I already like zucchini as a vegetable, so I doubt I’m going to notice the flavor, and having applesauce and bananas contribute some of the sweetness is good, while still having enough sugar that I won’t mentally dismiss it as ‘health food pretending to be tasty food’ – so we’ll see what happens. 🙂

  • 1/2 c. applesauce
  • 2 small-medium bananas, mashed
  • 1.5 c. sugar (1 + 1/2 c.)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 c. cocoa powder
  • 1.5 tsp baking soda (1 + 1/2 tsp)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 c. finely shredded zucchini
  • 2 c. flour
  • 1/2 c. nut pieces (walnut is recommended, but I’ll probably substitute pecans)

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Grease and flour a 9×13″ baking pan.

In large bowl, combine applesauce, mashed bananas, and sugar.

Add vanilla and cocoa; mix well.

Add baking soda and salt; mix well.

Add zucchini; mix well.

Add flour and walnuts; mix well.

Spread evenly into prepared pan.

Bake 25 minutes, or until brownies spring back when gently touched.

Source:  http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detail.asp?recipe=474935  Normally, I recommend going to the source website for pictures and stuff, but not this website; it’s full of pop-ups and it re-loads unexpectedly (and the re-loading of the page re-triggers the pop-ups) and there’s only one picture, so really, I can’t think of any reason to encourage you to check out that site. :/

Rich Chocolate Cake

Another cake recipe that I want to try… there’s a lot of places here where I think I could shortcut, but I’m going to try it their way and then try it “my” (quicker and lazier) way and see if there’s really a noticeable difference.

  • 1 c. freshly brewed hot coffee
  • 1/2 c. Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 3/4 c. packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 c. plain whole-milk yogurt
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 8 Tbs (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 & 1/4 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 & 1/4 c. flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1.5 tsp kosher salt (optional)
  • 1/2 c. dulce de leche (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Prepare 10-inch round cake pan by greasing with cooking spray and lining the bottom with parchment paper.

In medium bowl, combine hot coffee and cocoa powder until fully dissolved.  Incorporate brown sugar, then add yogurt and vanilla.  Stir until completely homogenized.

In electric mixer with paddle attachment, cream together the butter and granulated sugar until light yellow and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Add eggs and mix well, about 2 minutes.

In medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt.  With mixer on low speed, add 1/3 flour mixture and 1/2 coffee mixture.  Scrape down bowl of mixer, mix until homogenized.  Add another 1/3 flour mixture and remaining coffee mixture, mix, scrape down, remix.  Remove bowl from electric stand and fold in remaining flour mixture with rubber spatula.  Stir until all ingredients are thoroughly incorporated.

Pour batter into prepared cake pan, then bake 25 minutes.  Rotate pan; bake another 20 minutes, or until cake passes toothpick test.

Remove pan from oven and allow to cool for 20 minutes.  Turn cake out onto clean plate, remove parchment, and turn cake back over onto a wire cooling rack.  Allow cake to cool completely.

If desired, melt dulce de leche in microwave until just barely liquid, and drizzle on cake.  Sprinkle with kosher salt.

Note:  There is supposed to be hazelnut brittle on here too, but the recipe already looks quite rich, and I refuse to put anything on this site that lists pure corn syrup as an ingredient, so I’m omitting that whole section of the recipe.  If you think that what this cake really needs is more butter, corn syrup, sugar, and hazelnuts, then check out the source:

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/29/rich-chocolate-cake-with-_n_1310887.html

Apple Pumpkin Butter (Cups)

  • 6 apples, cored, peeled, and sliced
  • 1/2 c. pumpkin puree (one ingredient)
  • 1/2 c. coconut milk
  • 1/2 c. chopped pecans
  • 1 Tbs vanilla
  • 1/2 Tbs cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cloves

Line bottom of crockpot with apples.

In mixing bowl, combine pumpkin, coconut milk, pecans, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.  Mix well.

Pour pumpkin mixture over apples in crockpot.

Set on low and let cook for 6 hours (or cook on high for 3 hours).

If desired, use immersion blender to make a smooth butter, or just eat it as-is! 🙂

 

BONUS RECIPE:  Chocolate Pumpkin Butter Cups!!!

  • Chocolate
    • For lazy people, melt 1 c. chocolate chips in double-boiler
    • For homemade chocolate, whisk together following ingredients:
      • 3 Tbs cocoa powder
      • 1/4 c. virgin coconut oil
      • 1 Tbs sweetener of choice (honey, maple syrup, etc.)
      • 1 tsp vanilla extract
      • pinch of salt
  • Apple Pumpkin Butter (for filling)

Once chocolate is prepared (either whisked homemade or melted store-bought), line a muffin tray with muffin cup liner thingies.

Spoon chocolate in each muffin liner to fill the bottom.  Using a brush, paint chocolate around the sides and bottom to make a cavity to fill with pumpkin butter.

Place in refrigerator and chill for 30 minutes.

Using small spoonfuls, fill chilled chocolate cups with Apple Pumpkin Butter.

Using remaining melted chocolate, cover the filling so the chocolate touches the sides you “painted” earlier to completely encompass the filling.

Place back in refrigerator for 45-60 minutes until set.

After serving, if any remain, store in ziploc bag or airtight container in the fridge.

Source: 

http://civilizedcavemancooking.com/crockpot/apple-pumpkin-butter/

http://civilizedcavemancooking.com/grain-free-goodies/pumpkin-butter-cups/

This blog also has other fillings you can make, so go check it out!

Chocolate Almond Angel Food Cake

OMG this is fantastic…”chocolate” “almond” and “angel food” are all things I like separately…so this is amazing!

  • 3/4 c. flour (3 and 1/8 oz)
  • 1/3 c. cocoa (3/4 oz)
  • 1.5 c. sugar (10.5 oz)
  • 12 large egg whites
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1.5 tsp cream of tartar

Preheat oven to 325 F.

In medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, and 3/4 c. sugar; set aside.

In bowl of stand mixer, beat egg whites until frothy.  Add salt, vanilla, almond extract, and cream of tartar.  Continue beating until whites form stiff, glossy peaks.

Add remaining sugar, 1/4 cup at a time.  Fold in the dry ingredients, also 1/4 cup at a time.  A wire whisk is best to not deflate the egg whites.

Scoop batter into ungreased tube pan.  Bake 40-45 minutes.  Remove cake from oven.  If your tube pan has legs, invert cake onto those and cool for an hour and a half.  If your tube pan does not have legs, invert it over a bottle to cool.

Once cake is THOROUGHLY cooled, loosen the edges with a knife, including around the center tube. Turn cake back over and shake gently onto serving plate.

To serve cake, take two forks and pry pieces apart (cutting downwards with a knife just squishes the cake).

Source: King Arthur Flour http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/chocolate-almond-angel-food-cake-recipe

Double Chocolate Banana Bread

This is the second banana & chocolate bread recipe from King Arthur Flour.  I can’t see any real reason these aren’t muffins… why aren’t these muffins?  I think I’m going to make this recipe into muffins…. mmmmmmmm muffins……

Yields one 9″x5″ loaf, or two mini loaves, or ?? muffins

  • 1 c. flour (unbleached all-purpose)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbs cocoa (Dutch-process)
  • 1/2 c. (8 Tbs) soft unsalted butter (seriously, who ever buys salted butter?  What’s the point?  I’ve never seen any recipe demand salted butter…)
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp+ vanilla extract
  • 1 c. mashed banana
  • 1/2 c. cold sour cream
  • 1 c. semisweet chocolate chips (mini size preferred)

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Lightly grease baking container (two 3-and-a-quarter-inch by 5-and-three-quarters-inch mini loaf pans, or one 9×5″ pan, or MUFFIN PAN).

In large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, and cocoa.

In stand mixer bowl, cream together the butter and sugar.  Then beat in the egg, vanilla, banana, and sour cream.

Gently mix in the dry ingredients.  When well-incorporated, add chocolate chips.

Pour the batter into the container(s) and bake

  • 60 minutes for one large loaf
  • 45 minutes for 2 mini loaves
  • ?? for muffins (will edit recipe after I try it and find out)

Remove from oven, and allow to rest in pan(s) for 10 minutes (maybe less for the muffins??).  Turn out onto a wire rack and allow to cool completely.  (Ha!  Eating it while it’s still warm is, like, 70% of the fun.)

Source: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/double-chocolate-banana-bread-recipe

Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

Here come two AMAZING-SOUNDING banana & chocolate recipes from King Arthur Flour…

  • 1/2 c. butter
  • 2/3 c. sugar
  • 1 c. mashed banana
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/3 c. milk
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 c. flour (unbleached all-purpose)
  • 1 c. whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 c. chocolate chips
  • (optional) 1 c. chopped walnuts, pre-toasted in a 350 F oven for 8 minutes
  • (optional) 1/8 – 1/4 tsp coconut or butter rum flavor

Preheat oven to 350 F (and toast walnuts if desired).  Lightly grease 12-14 standard muffin cups.

In stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together.

Beat in the mashed banana, then the egg, milk, and optional flavorings.

Add baking powder, baking soda, salt, and flours, stirring until smooth.  Increase speed if necessary to remove lumps.

Stir in chocolate chips and walnuts, if using.  Do not use high speed for this part, moron, or you’ll just pulverize the chocolate and nutty bits.

Heap batter into prepared muffin cups, mounding them quite full.  If desired, sprinkle the tops with coarse white sugar.

Bake 20-23 minutes, until it passes a toothpick test.

Remove the muffins from the oven, and tilt them in the pan to cool a bit in order to prevent the bottoms from becoming soggy.  As soon as they are a handle-able temperature, transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

Source: I already told you, King Arthur’s Flour 😛
http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/banana-chocolate-chip-muffins-recipe

I should probably note that they include directions for adding cinnamon bits, also, but I didn’t include that in my re-typing.  And they say the chocolate chips are optional.  HAH!

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