Category Archives: Chocolate Lovers

Out-of-This-World Fresh Ground Mexican Hot Chocolate

Hot chocolate is a chocolate-lover’s favorite usually anyway, but I recently had a cup of hot chocolate – or cocoa in some regions – that was out-of-this-world! What made it the best I ever had was the fresh-ground ingredients with a special, spicy, smoked twist with the chipotle.

 

1 coffee cup 95% filled with milk (almond milk is good and soy will do)

1 tsp fresh ground cinnamon chips or sticks

1 Tbsp honey

1 heaping Tbsp fresh ground cocoa nibs or fresh cocoa powder.

Dash or two of fresh ground chipotle pepper – amount depends on how spicy you like your Mexican Hot Chocolate

Pour the milk from your favorite coffee cup into a pan and heat the milk until steaming. In the same coffee cup, mix the ground cinnamon, chipotle and cocoa with just enough water to make a paste while the milk is heating up. When the milk is hot, pour it into the cup and add the honey. Let is steep for about a minute before drinking. Awesome and the chipotle pepper is good for digestion and circulation.

 

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Chocolate French Truffles

Makes 2 dozen.

3 squares unsweetened chocolate

1/3 cup butter

1 1/4 cups confectioner’s sugar

4 egg yolks

1 tsp vanilla

Cocoa powder or ground nuts

Melt chocolate in a saucepan on very low heat or in a double boiler. Cool slightly. Combine butter and confectioner’s sugar (to make your own mix 50% Sucanat evaporated cane juice and 50% organic cornstarch) in a medium bowl. Beat until smooth. Beat in egg yolks, one at a time. Stir in the chocolate and vanilla. Chill until mixture is firm enough to handle with your hands.

Shape dough into balls about 1 inch in size. Roll in cocoa powder,coconut or ground nuts. Place on a plate until set. Store in a covered glass container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

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Chocolate Chai Pudding

chai pudding

Makes a yummy light dessert, lunch snack or breakfast alternative. Add bananas just before eating.

Makes 4 servings.

2 cups almond or soy milk

4 teabags of chai tea

3 Tbsp cornstarch (organic is non-gmo)

1/3 cup evaporated cane juice or 1/4 cup honey

1/8 tsp salt

1/2 cup semi-sweet organic chocolate chips

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup whipped cream (optional)

Heat 1 1/2 cups of the milk until simmering but not boiling. Remove from heat. Place tea bags in the milk, cover and let steep 5-6 minutes. Remove tea bags, squeeze out excess milk. Mix cornstarch, salt and sweetener and remaining 1/2 cup milk. Whisk out any lumps. Stir in chocolate chips and warm milk tea mixture.

Cook uncovered until thick and bubbly, stirring occasionally.  Stir in vanilla. Cool and serve with sprinkle of cinnamon on top and whipped cream.

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Homemade Chocolate Covered Cherries

Makes about 40.

dipping-cherriesHomemade chocolate covered cherries make an excellent gift for  Christmas and people will be so impressed when you tell them you made them from non-processed ingredients. Unlike the store-bought, highly processed version.

20 ounces or 40 maraschino cherries or sweet cherries with the stems on.

About 15 ounces of Fondant (or make your own, recipe follows)

6 ounces milk chocolate chips or a chocolate candy bar

1/2 tablespoon butter

Clean cherries if using fresh sweet ones. Drain them or maraschino cherries very well. Dry them on paper towels. Line a baking sheet with wax paper, foil or parchment paper
.

If using pre-packaged fondant, wrap the fondant around the cherries and allow a few minutes for it to dry. They need to be dry to the touch. Or dip them in your homemade fondant from the recipe below and let them dry.

Meanwhile melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler over warm water or in a saucepan over very low heat. Let cool to room temp or it will melt your fondant coating. Taking the fondant cherries by the stems, dip in chocolate, let drip over the bowl and place on wax paper. Let stand till the coating is firm. Stored in the refrigerator they will keep for up to 1 month. The longer you keep them the more the mixture around the cherries will soften and liquefy.

Tips: If you use pre-packaged fondant to wrap the cherries, take about ¾ teaspoon of fondant, flatten it with your fingers till thin enough to wrap around the cherry. Just wrap it up making sure that you are around the stem if using long stemmed cherries. Then they have to dry till the fondant is dry to the touch. This only takes a few minutes with fondant.


fondantHomemade Fondant:
Makes 1 pound.

2 cups Sucant or Rapadura evaporated cane juice.

1/8 tsp salt

2 Tbsp honey

1 1/4 cups water

Combine cane juice or Stevia, honey and water in a heavy saucepan. Heat, stirring constantly until sweeteners dissolve and mixture comes to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook without stirring to 240º on a candy thermometer or soft ball stage.

Pour syrup onto a large platter dampened with water. Do not scrape the pan because you don’t want the crystals that form on the sides. Cool to 110º or until lukewarm to the touch.

Beat mixture with a broad bladed butter knife or spatula until it is white and creamy by scraping and lifting the mixture with the knife or spatula from the edge toward the center to fold it back on itself occasionally.
Knead fondant this way until it softens and is smooth but do not over-knead it.

Refrigerate for 2 days to ripen. (Now you know why most people buy the prepackaged fondant. It’s a lot less work, but usually made with refined white sugars and packaged in plastic.)

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