Bitter chocolate coconut milk truffles

Bitter chocolate coconut milk truffles

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Happy January! The last thing you probably need is more chocolate, but I’m going to lay this recipe on strong. If you’re like me, you’ve already severed all New Year’s Resolutions.

Truffles are inevitably simple, but how you serve them and what you serve them with makes all the difference. These pair well with coffee and clementines. And though you wouldn’t guess it, replacing the cream in this recipe with full-fat coconut milk, makes these truffles vegan.

Ingredients

  • 225 g bittersweet chocolate, chopped (use vegan chocolate if desired)
  • 1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk (if using canned coconut, make sure to stir well to incorporate the cream)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • Pinch salt

Method

Chop the chocolate and place in a heatproof bowl. Heat the coconut milk and vanilla extract on medium until it first starts to boil and small bubbles appear. Immediately remove from heat and pour over the chocolate. Stir until chocolate pieces are fully melted. If the coconut milk is not hot enough to completely melt the chocolate, fit the heatproof bowl over a small saucepan of boiling water to make a double-boiler, and heat the mixture to break up any unmelted chocolate.

Refrigerate ganache for at least two hours. Once firm throughout, use a melon baller to form truffles, roll in cocoa or chopped nuts and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Place back in the fridge until right before serving.

Vegan mocha chocolate chip sheetcake

Vegan mocha chocolate chip sheetcake

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Veganism is a tough gig. Butter and ice cream are far too alluring, and you’ll never see anyone writing home about nut-based cheese. But consuming fewer animal products is absolutely a good thing and some vegan desserts can be better than their dairy-based counterparts. This cake is an example. It’s stark, rich, and hits all the notes of a traditional chocolate cake; you wouldn’t immediately guess that it’s vegan. Slather on a generous amount of fluffy mocha buttercream and you have a perfect November snack. Pairs well with an espresso or almond milk latte.

Ingredients

Cake
Makes 1 13×9″ sheetcake

  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/4 cups unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup brewed coffee
  • 2/3 cup canola oil
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 cups + 2 tbsp pastry flour (can substitute regular all-purpose flour)
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Vegan mocha buttercream

  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 cup vegan butter (Earth Balance)
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon instant espresso
  • 2 tablespoons boiling water

Method

For the cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, lightly spray a 13×9″ sheetpan, dust with flour, and set aside.
  2. Combine the almond milk and cider vinegar in a large mixing bowl of a stand mixer. Wait two minutes, and then add the oil, coffee, vanilla and applesauce. Beat until foamy.
  3. Sift flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and baking soda and stir until combined. Add slowly to the wet mixture as it continues to beat on medium. The batter should have no lumps and be creamy.
  4. Pour the batter into the sheetpan and bake for 25–30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  5. Cool, preferably overnight.

For the buttercream

Add the espresso powder to 2 tablespoons of boiling water and stir until dissolved. Using a stand mixer, mix the confectioners’ sugar with the Earth Balance and vanilla, until well blended add the coffee and blend briefly until incorporated.

Spread the buttercream over the sheetcake and top with chocolate chips or jimmies. Chill the cake at least 30-60 minutes before cutting and serving…enjoy!

Dark chocolate chunk fleur de sel cookies

Dark chocolate chunk fleur de sel cookies

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September is back to school month, and I needed something quick and delightful to add to my daughter’s lunches. I tried bananas, but she strongly dislikes those and would hide them in secret pouches of her knapsack until I unearthed them a few days later, brown and withered. There had to be a better way. That’s where these cookies came in. They are so simple to make, and chances are very slim I will find leftovers in my daughter’s school accroutrements. She still has to eat fruit and vegetables, but perhaps they will seem less daunting alongside cookies.

There’s no good reason you shouldn’t make these tonight! They are the perfect start to Fall.

Makes about 20 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 and 1/3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup + 1 tablespoon packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 300 grams semi-sweet chocolate, 250 grams roughly chopped and 50 grams grated

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda and salt and set aside.
  3. In a stand mixer on medium, cream together the butter, sugars and vanilla until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time and beat for about 10-15 seconds after each addition. Turn off the mixer and use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  4. Slowly fold in the dry ingredients using a wooden spoon. Do not overmix. Add the grated chocolate and 2/3 of the chopped chocolate.
  5. Line two baking sheets with parchment. Form the dough into small balls, about 2.5 tablespoons each. Keep in mind there should be enough dough to make roughly 20 cookies.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes or until edges are just slightly golden but the centre is still soft
  7. Let cool for 10 minutes. Press the remaining 1/3 of the chopped chocolate onto the cookies while they cool, so the chocolate will be only slightly melted. Transfer to a wire rack.

Mint chocolate stracciatella ice cream pops

Mint chocolate stracciatella ice cream pops

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I’ve been making a lot of ice cream this month, partly to beat the heat, and partly to celebrate National Ice Cream Day, which every year falls on my birthday weekend (some things are kismet). It turns out these are the perfect post-dinner snack for children, if only to satiate them so you can watch Netflix. Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh mint leaves
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • Pinch salt
  • 5 ounces dark chocolate
  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil
  • Trace amount green food colour (optional)

For the chocolate drizzle

  • 6 ounces dark chocolate, melted
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil, melted

Method

Bring whipping cream and milk to a near boil in a medium saucepan. Remove from heat, adding mint leaves and steep for two hours.

After nearly two hours is over, start beating the egg yolks and sugar until thick and pale yellow. Set aside. Pass the cream mixture through a sieve into a large saucepan, pressing on the mint leaves to release flavour. Add the egg yolks and sugar.

Whisk ingredients over medium heat until the temperature reaches 170°F, then remove from heat. A thick custard should form on the back of a spoon. If you’re a purist, you can skip the green food gel, but it never killed anyone, or if it did we’d never know. Do add salt.

Store custard in an airtight container in the fridge for about 4 hours. Churn according to manufacturer’s instructions, piping in the melted chocolate combined with coconut oil during the last couple minutes.

Pour custard into 6 popsicle molds and freeze overnight. Right before serving, drizzle with melted chocolate combined with coconut oil, using a piping bag or cornet to draw thin lines that are hopefully smoother than the ones my 5-year-old made.