Thursday, December 23, 2010

7 Decadent Chocolate Recipes

Who doesn’t love chocolate? It’s a rich, sinful treat that can melt away the stress of a long day or ignite a night of steamy romance with its aphrodisiac properties. Plus, eating moderate amounts of flavanol-rich dark chocolate can improve cardiovascular health and reduce inflammation. A dessert that also boosts your physical health? Double score…
Mini Molten Chocolate Cakes with Mocha Sauce Some molten-cake recipes call for simply underbaking the batter so the middles stay lava-like, but mini cakes get done so quickly it's best to give them a filling that won't set up. These rich, mocha-flavored morsels are guaranteed to stay moist and gooey, owing to a simple mocha ganache in the middle.

Serves: 6
Preparation time: 45 minutes


4 ounces dark or bittersweet chocolate (60-75% cacao), coarsely chopped 
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1-1/2 tablespoons light cream
2 teaspoons instant espresso powder, or granules dissolved in 1 tablespoon hot water, divided
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1 large egg
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1-3 teaspoons very hot water


1. Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 350°F. Generously coat the mini muffin pan with cooking spray.

2. Place chocolate and butter in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on High for 1 minute. Stir well, then continue microwaving on Medium, stirring every 20 seconds, until the remaining chocolate melts completely.

To prepare filling:
1. Stir together granulated sugar, cream and half the espresso mixture in a small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on High just to steaming, 20-40 seconds. (Alternatively, combine in a small saucepan and heat over medium-low heat until just steaming.) Stir until the sugar dissolves. Add corn syrup and half the melted chocolate (reserve the other half for the batter); stir until completely smooth. Cover and transfer to the freezer until cold and firm, about 30 minutes.

To prepare batter:
1. When the filling has been chilling for 20 minutes, whisk egg, oil, vanilla, salt and the remaining espresso mixture in a medium bowl until very smooth. Return the remaining chocolate mixture to the microwave. Microwave on Medium, stirring every 20 seconds, until just warm again (do not overheat). In two batches, whisk the egg mixture into the warm chocolate until well blended. Sift confectioners' sugar, flour and cocoa over the batter and whisk in just until smoothly incorporated.

To assemble cakes:
1. Remove the filling from the freezer. Spoon half the batter into the mini muffin cups, about 1 rounded teaspoon per cup. Spoon 1/2 teaspoon filling onto the center of each (reserve the rest for the sauce). Divide the remaining batter evenly among the muffin cups, about 1 rounded teaspoon per cake. Smooth out the batter to cover the filling.

2. Bake the cakes on the middle rack until the edges look dry and puffed but the centers still look very underdone and pudding-like, 6-9 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack until firm, about 2 minutes. Place a cutting board on top of the pan and invert the mini cakes out onto it. If the cakes are stuck to the pan, run a knife around and under them to loosen.

To prepare sauce & serve:
1. Thoroughly stir very hot water into the reserved filling, 1 teaspoon at a time, until very smooth and slightly fluid. Serve the warm cakes drizzled with the sauce.


Nutrition Facts

Per serving:
244 calories
17 g fat (7 g sat, 3 g mono)
49 mg cholesterol
27 g carbohydrates
3 g protein
2 g fiber
64 mg sodium
30 mg potassium

Chocolate, Cherry & Almond Bread Pudding

This pudding's rich vanilla flavor plays perfectly with the luscious chocolate, cherries and almonds.

Serves: 8
Preparation time: 25 minutes


For the custard:
4 large egg whites
4 large eggs
1 cup skim milk

For the seasonings:
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

For the bread & filling:
4 cups whole-grain bread, crusts removed if desired, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 1/2 pound, 4-6 slices)
2 cups pitted cherries, fresh or frozen (thawed)
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips, preferably mini
1/4 cup sliced almonds, lightly toasted

For the topping:
1/4 cup sliced almonds, lightly toasted


1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat an 11” x 7” glass baking dish or a 2-quart casserole with cooking spray.

To prepare custard:
1. Whisk egg whites, eggs and milk in a medium bowl. Add sugar, vanilla and cinnamon: whisk to combine.

2. Toss bread, cherries, chocolate chips and 1/4 cup almonds in a large bowl. Add the custard and toss well to coat. Transfer to the prepared baking dish and push down to compact. Cover with foil.

3. Bake until the custard has set, 40-45 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle with 1/4 cup almonds and continue baking until the pudding is puffed and golden on top, 15-20 minutes more. Transfer to a wire rack and cool for 15-20 minutes before serving.


Nutrition Facts

Per serving:
317 calories
12 g fat (4 g sat, 5 g mono)
106 mg cholesterol
45 g carbohydrates
11 g protein
4 g fiber
219 mg sodium
348 mg potassium

Nutrition Bonus
: magnesium (16% Daily Value), fiber (15% DV)

Bev’s Chocolate Chip Cookies 

EatingWell reader Beverley Rosenber of Santa Barbara, Calif., contributed this recipe. She updated a favorite treat by cutting back on sugar and incorporating whole grains. To increase protein, Ms. Rosenber replaces the rolled oats with 1 cup almond meal.

Serves: 30
Preparation time: 10 minutes


3/4 cup rolled oats
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup canola oil
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips


1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat 2 baking sheets with cooking spray.

2. Grind oats in a blender or food processor. Transfer to a medium bowl and stir in flour, baking soda and salt. Beat butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add oil, granulated sugar, brown sugar, egg and vanilla; beat until smooth and creamy. With the mixer running, add the dry ingredients, beating on low speed until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips.

3. Drop the dough by heaping teaspoonfuls, at least 1 inch apart, onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake cookies, 1 sheet at a time, until firm around the edges and golden on top, about 15 minutes. Cool the cookies for 2 minutes on the baking sheets, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.


Nutrition Facts

Per cookie:
99 calories
5 g fat (2 g sat, 2 g mono)
11 mg cholesterol
12 g carbohydrates
1 g protein
1 g fiber
64 mg sodium
55 mg potassium

Dark Chocolate Meringue Drops 

These meringue cookies have a puffy, fragile exterior and a moist, soft interior. They deliver an enticingly bold, knock-your-socks-off bittersweet chocolate experience.

Serves: 40
Preparation time: 30 minutes


5 ounces bittersweet chocolate (60-75% cacao), divided
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch-process), sifted after measuring if lumpy
3 tablespoons cocoa nibs, optional
1/3 cup egg whites (about 3 large), at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 cup sugar, divided (use 1-1/2 teaspoons less if cocoa nibs are omitted)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


1. Position racks in upper and lower thirds of oven; preheat to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and coat the paper with cooking spray.

2. Coarsely chop 3 ounces of chocolate and place it in a small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on Medium for 1 minute. Stir, then continue microwaving on Medium, stirring every 20 seconds, until mostly melted. Stir until the remaining chocolate melts completely.

3. Chop the remaining 2 ounces chocolate into pieces the size of mini chocolate chips. Combine in a small bowl with cocoa and cocoa nibs (if using).

4. Combine egg whites and cream of tartar in a clean medium mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on low for 30 seconds, then at medium speed until soft peaks start to form. Immediately add about 2 tablespoons sugar; beat for 1 minute. Slowly, about a tablespoon at a time, add the remaining sugar, then vanilla, continuing to beat on medium speed until the mixture is smooth, opaque, glossy and thickened, about 2 minutes longer. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, raise the speed to high, and beat for 30 seconds more. Lightly fold in the chocolate-cocoa mixture and the melted chocolate just until evenly incorporated and no streaks remain; do not overmix. Immediately drop the batter by rounded teaspoonfuls about 1 inch apart onto the prepared baking sheets.

5. Bake the cookies, switching the pans back to front and top to bottom halfway through, until just firm when gently pressed on top but still soft inside, 8-12 minutes. Transfer the pans to wire racks and let stand for 1-2 minutes. Then slide the paper from the pans to a flat surface and let the cookies cool completely, about 15 minutes. Gently lift the cookies from the parchment paper using a wide-bladed spatula.


Nutrition Facts Per cookie:
28 calories
1 g fat (1 g sat, 0 g mono)
0 mg cholesterol
5 g carbohydrates
0 g protein
0 g fiber
4 mg sodium
10 mg potassium

Chocolate Walnut Cake 

This decadent, omega-3-rich cake was inspired by flourless Passover nut cakes. It's better if it sits overnight so the marmalade or jam can mellow with the chocolate and soak into the cake.

Serves: 12
Preparation time: 1 hour


8 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar, divided
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1-1/2 cups toasted ground walnuts
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder, sifted
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup orange marmalade, or other jam, such as apricot or raspberry
1 teaspoon confectioners’ sugar


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly oil and flour a 9-inch springform pan, tapping out any excess flour.

2. Crack 2 eggs into a large bowl. Separate 2 more eggs, placing the whites in a second large bowl and adding the yolks to the bowl with the whole eggs. Separate the remaining 4 eggs, adding the whites to the other whites (reserve the 4 yolks for another use.) You should have 6 whites in one bowl, 2 whole eggs plus 2 yolks in the other bowl.

3. Beat the egg whites with an electric mixer at high speed until foamy. Add 1/3 cup granulated sugar and continue beating until soft peaks form. Set aside.

4. Clean and dry the beaters. Add brown sugar and the remaining 2/3 cup granulated sugar to the eggs and yolks and beat with the mixer at medium speed until thick and light in color, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula; beat in the toasted ground nuts and vanilla until combined. Beat in flour, cocoa powder, salt and cinnamon just until combined, scraping down the sides as needed. Fold in 1 cup of the beaten whites with a rubber spatula until smooth, then fold in the remaining whites with very gentle arcs, just until incorporated (some white streaks may still be visible). Gently pour the batter into the prepared pan.

5. Place the pan in the oven and reduce heat to 325 degrees F. Bake the cake until set, puffed and spongy but nonetheless firm, 40-45 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely, about 2 hours. As it cools, the cake will shrink away from the sides of the pan.

6. Remove the pan's side. Release the cake from the pan's bottom using a long, thin, metal spatula and carefully transfer it to a serving plate. Slice the cake horizontally into two layers with a long, thin knife. Gently lift off the top. Spread the marmalade (or jam) over the bottom layer and replace the top. Do not press down. Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar just before serving.


Nutrition Facts
Per serving:
285 calories
10 g fat (2 g sat, 2 g mono)
141 mg cholesterol
45 g carbohydrates
7 g protein
2 g fiber
159 mg sodium
170 mg potassium

Nutrition Bonus: selenium (19% Daily Value) 

Grilled Dark Chocolate Sandwich

Both simpler and more decadent than a chocolate croissant, a grilled chocolate sandwich is a marriage of bread and chocolate in which the two components are evenly matched.

Serves: 8
Preparation time: 20 minutes


1/4 cup fat-free evaporated milk
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1-1/2 tablespoons butter, softened
8 slices thin whole-wheat or white sandwich bread
3 tablespoons bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons chopped toasted hazelnuts, (optional)


1. Heat evaporated milk just until boiling. Add chocolate, let stand for 1 minute, then whisk until smooth. Let cool slightly.

2. Spread butter on one side of each slice of bread. Divide the chocolate mixture on the unbuttered side of 4 slices, leaving a little border. Press chocolate chips and nuts, if using, into the chocolate. Cover with the remaining slices of bread, buttered-side up, and press lightly.

3. Cook the sandwiches in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat for 1-2 minutes. Turn over, press with a spatula, and cook until nicely browned and the chocolate is barely melted, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Serve warm.


Nutrition Facts

Per serving:
151 calories
7 g fat (4 g sat, 1 g mono)
6 mg cholesterol
21 g carbohydrates
4 g protein
2 g fiber
131 mg sodium
28 mg potassium

Chocolate Fudge Pudding Cake 

When you have a craving for a comforting dessert, try this pudding cake, which forms its own rich-tasting sauce as it bakes. The coffee flavor is subtle, but it adds complex depth to the cake's flavor.

Serves: 8
Preparation time: 20 minutes


1/2 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar or 3 tablespoons Splenda Sugar Blend for Baking
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1/2 cup 1% milk
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips (optional)
1-1/3 cups hot brewed coffee
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar or Splenda Granular
1/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans, toasted
Confectioners' sugar for dusting


1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 1-1/2 to 2-quart baking dish with cooking spray. Whisk whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, sugar (or Splenda Sugar Blend), cocoa, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.

2. Whisk egg, milk, oil and vanilla in a glass measuring cup. Add to the flour mixture; stir with a rubber spatula until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips, if using. Scrape the batter into the prepared baking dish. Mix hot coffee and brown sugar (or Splenda Granular) in the measuring cup and pour over the batter. Sprinkle with nuts. (It may look strange at this point, but don't worry. During baking, cake forms on top with sauce underneath.)

3. Bake the pudding cake until the top springs back when touched lightly, 30-35 minutes. Let cool for at least 10 minutes. Dust with confectioners' sugar and serve hot or warm.


Nutrition Facts

Per serving:
220 calories
7 g fat (1 g sat, 3 g mono)
27 mg cholesterol
20 g carbohydrates
4 g protein
2 g fiber
237 mg sodium
105 mg potassium


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coryzalia said...

There are various ways to include chocolate in your recipe.