Serious Chocolate Announcement

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chocolate

Here’s the answer to one of life’s most burning questions.

It’s probably been keeping you awake nights, too…

“How to make gluten-free, dairy free, sugar-free, low carb chocolate?”

(I knew you were agonising over it!)

The search for the holy grail of chocolate recipes has taken me down some stoney paths, friends, but today.. it was all sweetness.  Here’s what you need:

1/3 cup xylitol (or natvia, or truvia, or erythritol) ground in blender, food processor, or coffee grinder. You want it as fine as possible, or just use your favourite un-crunchy sweetener.

xylitol

Despite the blender treatment and a go grinding by hand, the xylitol gives a crunchiness that doesn’t sit well with me, but the rest of the house voted the crunchiness was actually desirable. (No accounting for tastes!)

xylitol

I cup cacao butter

This beautiful stuff is the reason your chocolate will set firm, and stay firm, and not need to live in the freezer as it would if made on coconut oil or regular dairy butter.

cacao butter

I  cup cacao powder  This is very taste-yourself-y, depending how strong and chocolately you like it.  Start with a cup, and add more until it tastes chocolately enough. Don’t feel guilty about being liberal.  As a source of antioxidants raw cacao leaves berries, regular dark chocolate, and drinking chocolate for dead.

cacoa powder

nunaturals powdered stevia  a few hefty shakes – also have to keep tasting and adding until it tastes right.  Hard work, all that chocolate tasting..  Naturally if you have a favourite sweetener you’re happy with, there is no need to add the extra stevia.  I use it to add extra sweetness while keeping the carb count low. (Xylitol is low carb, stevia is carb free)

Melt your cocao butter in a double boiler, or a bowl over hot water.  Don’t get any water into your cocao – water and chocolate don’t love each other.

Under no circumstances, ever, add the xylitol now, thinking it will melt.  It won’t.  I know this to be true. 😛  (It will go back to even bigger crystals than before you ground it up, and if you’re not real quick to notice, it will turn into toffee right there in your cocao butter.  It’s safe to trust me on this.)

cocao butter melted

I transferred the melted cacao to a food processor (because, ahem.. of the, ah.. crystal toffee issue I mentioned) but feel free to make your chocolate right there in the bowl you melted the cacao butter in after taking it off the heat.

Add a cup of cacao powder and half of the xylitol and whisk! Whisk!

Have a bit of a taste.

Not sweet enough? Not chocolately enough? Add more cacao powder, and more sweetener until you reach the point that you try the mix, and have to restrain yourself from taste testing right to the bottom of the bowl.  When you reach that point, ADD MORE SWEETENER.

Yes, you read that right.  Add a bit more.  Because without being able to give you an explanation, my chocolate experiments have been consistent in this one thing: it tastes much sweeter before it sets.

Add any flavourings you fancy: peppermint oil, orange oil, cinnamon, vanilla, nuts.. whatever moves you.  I was going for straight up, but you be as creative as you like.

Now, friends, if you prefer MILK chocolate (“though goodness knows why you would?!” says the Lindt 75% dark girl) you can add coconut cream at this point.  It will turn your mix kind of fudgy, but it will still set firm – though with an ever so slightly less smooth texture and without the gloss of the dark chocolate.  Of course, if you don’t care about gloss on your chocs go right ahead and toss in the coconut cream.  The Bluestocking household is evenly divided on the for/against adding coconut cream, so I recommend if in doubt, pour half your mix in as dark, then add the coconut cream to the rest of the mix.  Hedge your bets.

Pour into moulds, and wait ten mins.  Then….

Ta dah!

chocolate buds

Have fun experimenting!

chocolate logs

Oh. And I wouldn’t be being responsible if I didn’t warn you.. if you eat a lot of this late at night (strictly in the interests of health, of course) you may have trouble sleeping.  Packs quite a punch.  If you can eat Lindt 75% with impunity at night, disregard this little heads up.  But if your mind buzzes and your eyes pop after a leeetle too much Lindt, expect the same with this!

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Chocolate: not just for breakfast anymore!

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Yes, Bloggy friends, it’s a chocolate so good for you, that you can eat it regularly, and guilt free.

You can!  Honest! 😀

I have to thank my Mama ♥ for this new addiction recipe: she is a great experimenter!

Now.. before we go any further, I must preface this with saying I am a heavy Lindt dark chocolate user.  If you’re a milk chocolate fan, you may want to try some of the tamer recipes out there using condensed milk to sweeten.  Or you could play around with this one and add more sweetener than I have.

I regularly use coconut oil and am happy with that taste, but if you and coconut oil are not well acquainted, try it with mostly butter first.  It won’t be as good for you (don’t get me raving on the benefits of coconut oil!) but you can build up to it.

Here’s the list of so-spanking-good-for-you ingredients that even your weirdest, most alternate, sugar hatin’ , barley green eatin’, homeschooling friends won’t grimace at.

Ready? 😀

3/4 cup honey ( I use raw.. because it’s good for you! But any honey with a mild taste will do.)

stevia to taste (it’s not necessary: you can add more honey, but stevia adds a big punch of sweetness with zero calories.  AND it contains nothing artificial. It’s a herb. 🙂 )

125 grams butter

1/2 cup coconut oil (now remember… if you don’t normally use it, add a couple of tablespoons, and make the rest of the measurement up with extra butter.)

1/2 cup cacao powder  (you can use more if you want a more chocolately taste, and this friends, is the beauty of this recipe: the amount of times you have to taste test it while making.  Glory!)

Almond meal. I used 125 grams, but you could add more.  It gives the mixture body, and almonds are yummy.

Mix the whole lot together.  There is no need to warm it, even, if room temperature has your coconut oil runny and your butter soft.  If it’s cold, or you are impatient, then warm in a double boiler enough that you can blend the ingredients.  It doesn’t need to cook in any way, it’s only necessary  to make the ingredients blend.

And now for the fun part…  (um… that would be more taste testing! 😛 )

Here you add whatever grabs your fancy.  I *adore* peanut butter.  So, if I have it on hand, I add great wads of peanut butter to the mix.  Oh, but not that stuff you buy in the supermarket that has no taste.  If you go to the health food shop (unless you are a REAL die-hard homeschooler and have your own super juicer that makes nut butters..  or you can just go to the health food shop as I do) they will grind it fresh while you wait, to the texture you specify.

Toasted, flaked almonds tossed in at the end are great, too.

What is truly, ruly, delectable if you have no peanut butter, is throwing a large handful of macadamias into your food processor and adding those along with macadamia halves, to your glorious, chocolately, experiment.  Then…taste, of course! You know, just to make sure there isn’t something else it needs…

You could try shredded coconut, dried fruit, any kind of nuts you fancy.

When you’re all done, pour it into a greased tray or Pyrex dish to set in the fridge.  The texture will depend on what your ingredient choices were, and it will come out more like a fudge than a hard commercial chocolate.  If it is not perfect for you, if it needs more sweetening, or less sweetening, or to have more texture, melt it down in a double boiler (or a bowl over hot water) until it is liquid again, and adjust!

Friends, experiment with me! 😀

Truly Delightful Truffles

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chocolate-truffles

Perfect  after dinner with coffee  or as a gift for someone special, these handcrafted truffles are the epitome of chocolate indulgence.

You will need:

  • 400 grams of quality dark chocolate
  • 1 tbs butter
  • 1 x 400gm tin of sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 x 200gm packet of crushed nuts
  • 125 grams roasted hazelnuts for centre (optional)*
  • 300 grams extra chocolate to coat (milk or dark, depending on preference)
  1. Melt chocolate by preferred method (over steam or in the microwave)
  2. Add butter and condensed milk, mix.add-condensed-milk
  3. Allow to chill until a manageable consistency.
  4. Form into balls (a 1/2 tbls measure is a perfect size) and press nut into centre.
  5. Roll in crushed nuts. roll-in-crushed-nuts
  6. Dip in melted chocolate, place on trays lined with baking paper.**                         two-spoons-to-coat-with-chocolate
  7. Place in the refrigerator to cool.

*To roast hazelnuts, place on a tray in medium oven (180) for about 10-15mins, shaking occasionally. Roll in clean cloth to remove skins.

** If working in warm conditions, place trays in freezer before starting work

The recipe was created by my sister, a worthy gastronome, and will make approximately 70 truffles.

Enjoy!

Chocolate Chip Biscuits

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double-choc-biscuits

These are easy, fast and super yummy!

You’ll need:

  • 125gms butter, at room temp
  • 1/3 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1 cup lightly packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg at room temp
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 1/2 cup plain flour
  • 3/4 cup self raising flour
  • 250gms dark choc chips

Here’s how:

  1. Preheat oven to 180c and line two baking trays with non-stick paper.
  2. Cream butter, peanut butter, and brown sugar in a large bowl until combined.
  3. Add egg, mix well.
  4. Stir in sifted flours and cocoa, add choc bits and mix well.
  5. Roll into tablespoons sized balls, allowing room for spreading.
  6. Bake for 12mins, stand for 5 mins on tray before moving to rack to cool.

Makes about 24 delicious, extra chocolately biscuits.

Chocolate Cherry Ripe Mud Cake

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Famous. If you make this cake, you will become famous.  It is just that good.  I sampled this cake on two occasions, made by a different lady each time, and it is truly one of the most glorious indulgences a chocoholic could dream up.

Due to the extreme generosity of one southern Down Under homeschooling mother, I offer you…..Cherryripe mudcake

Ingredients;
250g butter, chopped
1 Tbs instant coffee powder
400ml can coconut milk
200g dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 cups caster sugar
3/4 cup SR flour
1 cup P flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 eggs
2 ts vanilla
2 x 85g Cherry Ripe bars, chopped into small pieces

Method;
Grease & line base & sides of deep 22cm round tin.
Melt butter in a large saucepan.
Add coffee, coconut milk, chocolate & sugar.
Stir over heat until choc melts & sugar dissolves.
Cool to room temperature.
Whisk in sifted dry ingredients, then eggs & vanilla.
Stir in half of the Cherry Ripes.
Pour mixture into prepared pan.
Top with remaining Cherry Ripe.
Bake at 160C for about 1 3/4 hours.*
Stand 10 mins, then turn, top-side up, onto wire rack.

* I find that it often takes longer than the time set out in the recipe – even up to 2 1/2 hours sometimes!

Enjoy!