Showing posts with label dark chocolate. Show all posts
Showing posts with label dark chocolate. Show all posts

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Chewy Vegan Gluten-Free Brownies

Last night after a full day of surfing and our weekly family grill night, Rich said he was craving brownies. I love having a stocked pantry that allows me to whip up whatever sounds yummy at the moment. Good quality cocoa powder is a must. My favorite is Equal Exchange Baking Cocoa, which is fair trade and has such a profound impact on all of my baked goods. A baking cupboard full of gluten-free flours is helpful, too.

The foundation for this recipe came from my much loved (and smeared with lots of chocolate) copy of Babycakes by Erin McKenna. However, I changed the recipe substantially, skipping the applesauce, chocolate chips, and xanthan gum. I also used palm shortening instead of coconut oil and used brown sugar in place of white sugar because the complexity of brown sugar complements chocolate so beautifully, which I learned about 10 years ago from Nigella Lawson in How to Be a Domestic Goddess.

These brownies are crispy on the edges and decadently chewy on the inside. We ate them straight out of the pan while they were still so hot they burned our mouths and crumbled everywhere. Hey, surfing burns a lot of calories. We were hungry! They are even better once they cool off a bit.

Yields 15 small squares 
1 cup garbanzo (chickpea) flour
1/4 cup potato starch
2 tablespoons tapioca flour
1/2 cup good quality cocoa powder
3/4 cup brown sugar* or coconut palm sugar  
2 teaspoons double-acting, aluminum free baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 scant teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup palm shortening
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup hot water
1 tablespoon powdered sugar* (optional)

  1. Preheat the oven to 325F. Line a 6x8-inch baking dish with parchment paper. 
  2. Combine the garbanzo flour, potato starch, tapioca flour, cocoa, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium mixing bowl. 
  3. Add the palm shortening, vanilla extract, and hot water and stir until just combined. 
  4. Spread the mixture into the baking dish and smooth with a spatula. Bake for 27 minutes. The top will still be slightly jiggly. 
  5. Allow to rest for at least 30 minutes before sifting powdered sugar over the top, slicing and serving. 

*Note: If you are vegan, look for a vegan brown sugar and powdered sugar. Alternately, use coconut palm sugar and skip the powdered sugar.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Paleo Chocolate Almond Butter Cups

I made these yummy chocolate almond butter cups yesterday with no intention of putting them here on the blog (the recipe is based on Practical Paleo's primal fudge recipe) but I posted a picture to Instagram and received a lot of interest.

Halloween is tomorrow and I am that mom who doesn't take her children out to trick or treat, so I thought I should make something delicious for them that resembles one of my favorite candies, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. So here's a paleo version that's healthy enough for breakfast. What? No, of course I didn't feed it to them for breakfast this morning. Psshhh.

yields one dozen
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1 cup creamy almond butter, divided
1/4 cup honey 
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt, divided
  1. Pour the coconut oil, 1/2 cup of almond butter, and the honey into a blender. Pulse to combine. 
  2. Add the cocoa powder and 1/4 teaspoon of the sea salt. Blend until thoroughly combined.
  3. Divide about half of the mixture between 12 lined muffin cups. An easy way to do this is to use measuring spoons to dole out about 2 tablespoons per cup. Place in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes to firm slightly. 
  4. Divide the remaining almond butter between each of the chocolate cups. If you use a measuring spoon, it will be about 2 teaspoons. Sprinkle each with a small pinch of sea salt, then pour the remaining chocolate over the top. 
  5. Refrigerate until set, about 30 more minutes. Store in the refrigerator in a covered container.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Vegan Paleo Collision Chocolate Chip Cookies

What do you get if you cross a vegan and a paleo recipe? No eggs or grain. What's left? Pure bliss! 

I have made these cookies half a dozen times since I stumbled upon a similar recipe on Real Sustenance. I have also gained about three pounds since then. Coincidence? Probably not. My husband knows that all of my puritanical abstinence from junk food is no match for chocolate chip cookies. The salty chewiness of the dough married with the hard pieces of dark chocolate is a religious experience. 

Since I went gluten-free about two years ago, I have searched for a suitable chocolate chip cookie recipe. I made this version last year, but they're nutritionally void, especially when compared to this recipe based on almond meal. They're vegan friendly too, if you want to swap the butter and milk for earth balance spread and almond milk. 

makes 1 dozen

1/2 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons milk 
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 cups almond meal
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup dark chocolate pieces

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Cream the brown sugar, butter, milk, and vanilla. In a separate bowl, whisk together the almond meal, salt, and baking powder. Stir together the dry and wet ingredients until thoroughly combined. Stir in the chocolate pieces.

Place rounded tablespoon-fulls of dough onto the cookie sheet. The dough will have a somewhat pasty consistency.

Bake for about 10 minutes, or until the edges are slightly browned. Cool on a cooling rack and then store in a covered container in the refrigerator. In my opinion, these are at their absolute best after cooling completely, even the next day if you can wait that long.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Sea Salt & Dark Chocolate Vegan Truffles

I love sea salt. I don't care about the plethora of scientists who argue that salt causes hypertension. It doesn't. (Unless by that they mean salt accompanied by 3,000 calories of takeout consumed every day until you tip the scales at 400 pounds, in which case, fine, it does.) 

But if you're like me and really enjoy the way salt brings out or contrasts the flavor of some of your favorite foods you will love, love, love these truffles. Seriously, they're simple and delicious and perfect as a dessert at your next dinner party or, well -- who am I kidding -- they're perfect all the time.

yields 36 truffles

1 cup dark chocolate (either chips or a good-quality chocolate bar 70% or more cacao) 
1/4 cup brewed coffee 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 tablespoons vegan butter spread (I use Earth Balance Soy Free) 
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

Melt the chocolate in a heavy sauce pan over low heat along with the coffee and vanilla. In my mind, the double boiler is just a huge waste of time making people think that cooking is more complicated than it is. Just make sure you remove the pan from the heat when the chocolate is almost melted, stir regularly with a spatula and keep the heat low. 

Whisk in the vegan butter one tablespoon at a time until smooth. 

Refrigerate for one hour. If you keep it in for longer, the mixture will thicken so much that forming the truffles will be difficult and it will need to warm at room temperature slightly before making them. 

Sprinkle the chocolate with about 1/4 teaspoon sea salt. Form each truffle into a small ball then swirl in the cocoa powder. Set in a muffin paper or wherever you wish to keep them. Store in the refrigerator for up to a week or freeze for a month. 

*I am a cook, not a doctor. So seek qualified medical advice before making dietary changes and definitely don't go against the recommendation of your doctor. Duh. 
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