Category Archives: Chocolate

Valentine’s Day Deep and Dark Chocolate Mousse with Heath Bar Crunch

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Did I make it in time for Valentine’s Day?! I know that I missed posting a Super Bowl recipe (I made this recipe for stuffed shells on Super Bowl Sunday… you should make it too, it was a hit in my house).  I also made a Caesar salad using a new ingredient—silken tofu.

Caesar salad and chocolate mousse made with tofu?!! [GASP] I know, it’s so anti-dairy of me. I’m actually embarrassed to admit it. I think that I made up for it though by eating my weight in cheese last Saturday at a French Cheese & Wine class at Artisanal Premium Cheese Center (highly recommend).  I’m still salivating over the fondue and the Fleur de Marquis, a soft sheep’s milk cheese that is encrusted with rosemary, fennel seeds and juniper berries. Our instructor assured us that eating cheese, especially sheep’s milk cheeses, will flatten our bellies. Needless to say, I’m planning to eat a lot more of it within the next few weeks and probably for the rest of my life until I reach my goal weight.

Where were we? Oh, silken tofu. My husband adores chocolate pudding and chocolate mousse but it took me awhile to warm up to it, I never liked it as a child. I think it might have been a texture thing, but I never got excited when other kids would bring in mud pots for their birthdays (you know, the kind with the chocolate pudding, worms and Oreo crumbles). I know, I’m weird…

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Thankfully, I now like chocolate pudding, although I still don’t like anything with the work JELL-O in it. I don’t typically make a lot of mousse, but I’ve made quite a few variations of chocolate pudding in the past, typically using a combination of milk (2%), cocoa powder, chocolate, cornstarch, and sometimes eggs.

Now this recipe is great because it doesn’t take the typical 3 to 4 hours to cool in the refrigerator before you can eat it. I don’t know about you, but I am impatient and I also have an intense aversion to ice baths (I’m so over it after culinary school where we filled entire sinks to cool down stocks, day after day). Unlike traditional chocolate pudding, this chocolate mousse is ready to be eaten immediately!!! It will firm up considerably after a brief refrigeration period, but it’s not necessary. It’s also incredibly simple and quick to prepare, and relatively nutritious. It’s ready in less than 15 minutes, I promise.

So, if you are like me and haven’t planned an elaborate dessert in advance for your pudding-loving, chocolate-adoring Valentine this year, you can fall back on this recipe. It’s intensely chocolaty and sure to please (I mean really rich, I almost couldn’t finish my serving.. and this is coming from someone who has no problem polishing off 3 large slices of pizza followed by ice cream on occasion). It’s difficult to believe, but I may never go back to the dairy version.

Happy Cooking,
Pippa

Chocolate Tofu Mousse

Valentine’s Day Deep and Dark Chocolate Mousse with Heath Bar Crunch
Serves 2
Approx. cooking time: 15 minutes, start to finish

  • 2 ounces dark chocolate (I used 63% semisweet chocolate chips)
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons non-fat milk (or soy milk if you don’t use dairy milk)
  • 4 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • tiny pinch of sea salt or kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons dark rum (optional, could be replaced with Grand Marnier (orange liqueur), vanilla or almond extract)
  • 8.5 ounces silken tofu, drained (make sure to by the silken variety, firm or extra firm tofu will not work here)
  • 2 tablespoons HEATH English Milk Chocolate Toffee Bits (optional, but definitely great if you like texture)
  1. Fill a small to medium sized saucepan half way up with water and bring to a simmer. Turn the heat down to low.
  2. Break chocolate into small pieces and place the chocolate in a glass or metal mixing bowl that can fit over the saucepan without touching the water.
  3. Place the bowl over the saucepan. Allow the chocolate to melt, stirring frequently with a rubber spatula.  Note: The water should never come to a boil, use very low heat and allow the chocolate to melt slowly.
  4. When the chocolate has melted, add the cocoa powder, milk, granulated sugar and a very small pinch of sea salt and stir continuously until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture looks shiny and smooth (at first the mixture will look pasty, but be patient because it will get to the correct consistency after a few minutes over the heat).
  5. Remove the bowl from the heat and mix in the dark rum with a spatula.
  6. Place the drained tofu in a food processor. Add the melted chocolate mixture and process until the mixture is smooth and homogenous.
  7. Transfer the pudding to a mixing bowl or individual serving bowls. Serve immediately or cover tightly with plastic wrap and store in a refrigerator until ready to serve, or up to 3 days.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies

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Do you like crunchy and thick cookies? Whenever I think of a chunky cookie, I remember the Pepperidge Farm Nantucket Chocolate Chip Cookies that my grandmother used to buy (I would surreptitiously take one or 2 from the package every time we visited her house). If you do like that, this recipe is definitely for you. And if not, well, it still may be worth a try. Let me explain.

I am actually a member of the chewy cookie fan club. In an ideal world, every cookie that I eat would be a warm, just-baked soft and chewy chocolate chip cookie. BUT, these cookies may be the exception to my chewy cookie rule.

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This recipe is from Macrina Bakery’s newest cookbook, More from Macrina: New Favorites from Seattle’s Popular Neighborhood Bakery. I adapted the recipe slightly by using melted butter, and by ever-so-slightly reducing the sugar and butter content. I’ve seen a number of recipes that recommend using melted butter and resting cookie dough overnight before baking, so that’s what I tried here.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies in Oven

The result? Initially, I was slightly disappointed. I had not expected a crispy cookie (see above. I ♥ chewy cookies). But, as I kept nibbling away at my cookie, my disappointment quickly faded. The peanut butter, oat, and chocolate combination kept enticing me back for bite after bite. It was slightly salty, but also sweet, and sufficiently chocolatey (I increased the amount of chocolate chips in the recipe…what can I say, I love chocolate). I even grew to like the crispy texture, it was somehow more satisfying than its chewy counterpart, allowing me to indulge in one or two cookies without feeling the need to gobble up the entire tin of cookies in one or two sittings (you know what that means….more cookies for later in the week!).

Happy Cooking,
Pippa

Cookies with Clementine

Question of the Day? Do you prefer chewy or crispy cookies? What is your favorite type of cookie, homemade or store bought?

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies
Makes about 30, 2-inch wide cookies

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • A dash of cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 ½ cups rolled oats (not the quick-cooking type, although those would probably work if that is all that you have on-hand)
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chip cookies (I used Trader Joe’s brand, they are my favorite).
  • 2/3 cup natural chunky peanut butter (I used Whole Foods 365 brand peanut butter)
  • 1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, melted (the original recipe called for 1 ¾ sticks)
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar (the original recipe called for light brown sugar)
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar (the original recipe called for 1 cup)
  • 1 large egg (brought to room temperature)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  1. Combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a medium-sized mixing bowl and using a fork, quickly mix the dry ingredients (I do this instead of sifting the flour and other dry ingredients because I am often too lazy, and it’s always worked with cookies).
  2. Add the oats and chocolate chips to the flour and mix with fork until combined.
  3. In a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, or using a hand mixer, beat the sugars and melted butter on medium speed until the sugar is dissolved, about 3 minutes.
  4. Add the peanut butter and beat for an additional minute or two, or until the peanut butter is fully incorporated.
  5. Add the egg and vanilla and beat on medium speed until well mixed, about 1 minute.
  6. Add the flour mixture and beat on very low speed, until just combined (using high speed or overmixing will activate the gluten in the flour and make your cookies tough).
  7. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight (I refrigerated my dough overnight). You can also freeze the cookie dough at this point.
  8. Take the dough out of the refrigerator 30-40 minutes before you are ready to bake your cookies.
  9. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
  10. Form the cookies using your hands into 1-inch wide balls. Flatten the cookie dough on the baking sheet with your palm and place cookies about 2 inches apart.
  11. Bake for 16-18 minutes, or until cookies are just barely beginning to turn golden. Remove from oven and transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool.
  12. Store cookies are room temperature in an air-tight container for one week (you can also freeze the baked cookies in a zip-lock bag if you are worried about them going stale).