Feb 10

Simple Chocolate Turtle Pie

Chocolate PieChocolate turtle pie is based upon the candy. Chocolate turtles are a dollop of caramel with pecans stuck in it that is then covered in chocolate. They are delectable and a frequent holiday gift. The pie is also a decadent treat that is perfect for holidays or special occasions. Some recipes call for a chocolate cookie crust on top of everything else, but a baked pie shell works just as well. Use what you like best. The baked shell will lower the richness factor by a little bit. The caramel dessert topping is the same kind you would pour over ice cream. You could also make a homemade caramel sauce, but the kind in a jar works just fine for this pie. Save a little to decorate the top of the pie at the end. Just drizzle it from the end of a spoon in a back and forth pattern to make your pie look nice.

Bring this pie to potlucks if you want to be inundated by people asking for your recipe. You will become very popular. It is also perfect for birthdays, parties and many other occasions. You will be the toast of the evening if you serve this rich, delicious pie. Watch the size of the slices because it is very rich. This is a great dessert to share with the one you love. Cut a big slice and serve it with two forks for the end of a romantic evening.

You can use instant pudding with this recipe, but the cooked pudding has a chocolaty flavor you cannot get with the instant variety. Take the extra time and make the cooked pudding for the best results. It is creamier and richer, too. If you really want to make your pie special, make your chocolate pudding from scratch, though the cooked boxed type will work just fine.

Recipe for Chocolate Turtle Pie

This classic will have everyone asking for more.

What You Need

  • 1/4 cup caramel or butterscotch flavored dessert topping
  • 1 baked pie shell (8 or 9 inches), cooled
  • 3/4 cup pecan halves
  • 1 package (4 servings) chocolate pudding
  • 1-3/4 cups milk
  • 1-3/4 cups whipped topping, thawed

How to Make It

Heat up the caramel topping in a small saucepan over medium heat until it just comes to a boil; stir constantly. Pour the topping into a pie shell. Arrange the pecans on top of this layer and let it chill in the refrigerator.

In a medium pan, mix the pudding and milk together until well blended. Cook, stirring frequently, over medium heat until the mixture comes to a boil. Let it cool for 5 minutes, stirring twice. Pour the pudding over the nuts in the pie shell.

Cover the surface with plastic wrap and let the pie chill for 3 hours. Remove the plastic wrap. Fill a piping bag with whipped topping and decorate the edge of the pie. Drizzle lightly with leftover caramel topping and garnish with pecans if you wish.

Serves 8

 

Christine Szalay-Kudra is an author, food expert and mom of four boys. She is the owner of the Recipe Publishing Network a group of sites dedicated to fine food and information for cooks. When not busy with her business you can find her sharing on one of these social networks at her own URL: http://www.recipepublishingnetwork.net/

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

Oct 20

Sweeten the Holidays Naturally

Chocolate Walnut Fudge

Chocolate Walnut Fudge

From rich chocolate fudge to creamy caramels and sweet lollipops — candy is always a crowd-pleaser. This season, serve up a few of your favorite confections, sweetened the natural way, using pure honey.

Using honey in a candy recipe not only provides a mild, naturally sweet flavor, it also dissolves and blends well and delivers a smoother candy texture. Candy making can be tricky, so keep the following tips in mind:

* For a candy making surface that can take the heat, use a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil. Cool the candy at room temperature and then gently remove from the foil.

* Use pure honey, which is already in a liquid form, to help avoid the hassle that comes with large sugar crystals forming during the candy-making process.

* Bringing the candy mixture to the correct temperature is essential A candy thermometer is the most accurate and efficient way of testing the temperature.

* Only use real butter in candy making.

The following candy recipes are easy to make and feature scrumptious, seasonal ingredients such as cinnamon, walnuts, vanilla, almonds, and of course chocolate. Friends and family will be delighted to savor these tasty treats at holiday parties, as hostess gifts, or even as stocking stuffers.

Visit www.honey.com for more delicious holiday candy recipes.

Chocolate Walnut Fudge
Makes 25 squares.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup pure honey
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup (4 ounces) coarsely chopped walnuts

Directions:
Line an 8-inch by 8-inch pan with foil; butter and set aside. In a medium saucepan, combine honey, sweetened condensed milk and salt. Mix well. Bring mixture just to a boil, stirring frequently. Lower heat to a simmer. Add chocolate chips and bittersweet chocolate, stirring constantly, until chocolate melts completely and mixture is smooth. Stir in walnuts. Pour immediately into pan and smooth top. Let cool, then refrigerate until cold. Cut into 25 pieces.

Honey Pops
Makes 15 to 20 lollipops.

Ingredients:
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup pure honey
1/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon candy flavoring (or 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon)
red paste food coloring, optional

Directions:
In a heavy pan, combine sugar, honey, and water. Over high heat, bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to medium-high and continue to boil until honey mixture reaches 300F on candy thermometer (hard-crack stage), about five to six minutes, stirring frequently. Add flavoring and color. Mix well. Pour into prepared lollipop molds (greased with lollipop sticks inserted), following manufacturer’s directions. Cool completely. Remove from molds and wrap in plastic wrap. Store in a cool, dry place.

Cinnamon candy flavoring is an oil-based flavoring, which can be found where candy-making supplies are sold. You may substitute 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, if desired.

Tip: Candy may be molded in buttered, wax-coated paper drinking cups.

Holiday Honey Caramels
Makes 30 caramels.

Ingredients:
2 cups pure honey
2 cups whipping cream
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
finely chopped almonds, optional
1 cup butter (no substitutions)

Directions:
Line bottom and sides of 9-inch square pan with plastic wrap and set it aside. Melt butter in medium-sized heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Add honey, cream and brown sugar. Mix well. Cook over medium-high heat until mixture comes to boil, stirring frequently. Continue boiling, stirring frequently, until candy thermometer registers 250 F, about 45 to 60 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Pour into prepared pan.

Let cool completely in refrigerator before cutting into individual caramels with very sharp knife. Roll in chopped nuts or coconut, if desired, and wrap each individually in clear plastic wrap. Store tightly wrapped in refrigerator up to one month. Caramels will be soft at room temperature and firm if kept chilled.

Serving Suggestions:
Drop one into a cup of hot coffee or tea or enjoy this delicious treat on its own.

Courtesy of ARA Content

Sep 14

Chocolate: A True American Tradition

Chocolate A True American TraditionYou’ve probably heard the saying, “As American as baseball, mom and apple pie.” Well, the original author of that famous phrase left something out. Chocolate is all-American too. So as you celebrate the holidays over a meal with friends and family this year, take a moment to consider how chocolate has helped to shape the American experience for more than three centuries.

People tend to associate chocolate with European culture, yet the confection’s roots are actually a whole lot deeper in the Americas. The trees that grow the cacao beans, ultimately made into chocolate, actually originated in the tropical regions of the Americas. Chocolate didn’t find its way to Europe until Christopher Columbus brought the cacao bean back to Spain from his “New World” adventure. So, to eat and drink chocolate is to share a common connection throughout American history from before the Revolutionary War into the 21st century.

Here are some other interesting facts about chocolate in the Americas:

* Chocolate was a military ration during the American Revolutionary War.

* In 1768, John Hancock, protesting Britain’s decision to tax the colonies without representation in Parliament, organized a boycott of tea from China sold by the British East India Company. As it was unpatriotic to drink tea, colonists breakfasted on coffee and chocolate instead.

* George and Martha Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin all drank chocolate.

* Chocolate was drunk for its purported medicinal benefits during the Lewis and Clark Expedition and on the Overland Trails by California Gold Rush miners.

* Amelia Earhart had a cup of chocolate during her record-setting flight over the Pacific from Hawaii to the U.S. mainland on Jan. 11, 1935.

Chocolate making is an art as well as a science. The modern chocolate making process is finely calibrated to consistently produce a smooth texture. In Colonial America, chocolate was either ground by hand or with stone mills. Sometimes chocolate makers, or “chocolate millers” as they were called, were diversified and also made ginger, mustard and pepper in their mills. As a result, early American chocolate often carried hints of these flavors.

Want to experience some “authentic Americana” for yourself? Try sampling American Heritage Chocolate (www.AmericanHeritageChocolate.com), which Mars manufactures. This chocolate is sold exclusively through and at the following historical sites: Colonial Williamsburg, Historic Deerfield, the Fortress of Louisbourg in Canada, Monticello, Mount Vernon, the Smithsonian and Fort Ticonderoga.

Here’s a recipe for chocolate ice cream with an old-world flair:

Ingredients:

  • 1 5-oz. American Heritage Chocolate Bar
  • 1 package of American Heritage Chocolate Spice Drink
  • 1 quart of whole milk
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 vanilla bean or 1 tsp. of vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sugar

Directions:

  1. Grate the chocolate bar into a bowl. Add the entire contents of the spice drink package, and set aside.
  2. Separate the egg yolks from the whites. Whisk the egg yolks until smooth. Save the whites for another recipe.
  3. Split the vanilla bean in half down the entire length of the pod and scrape out the seeds from both halves. Put the seeds and scraped pods into the milk.
  4. Pour all the milk and the chocolate into a sauce pan and heat to a boil, stirring continuously. Add the sugar and cook until both the sugar and the chocolate are melted.
  5. Take a quarter of a cup of the hot mixture and slowly add to the egg yolks, stirring constantly with a whisk, to prevent scrambling.
  6. Stir the warmed egg yolk mixture into the saucepan and bring all the ingredients to a boil for about a minute or until slightly thickened. Strain the hot custard through a sieve into another bowl. Set aside and allow the mixture to cool to room temperature.
  7. Cover and refrigerate the mixture for 4 hours or overnight.
  8. Freeze the cooled chocolate mixture in an ice cream freezer according to the manufacturer’s directions

You may also want to try an old-world recipe for a chocolate tart:

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp. rice flour
  • 3 Tbsp. white sugar or to taste
  • 5 medium egg yolks or 4 large eggs
  • 1 Tbsp. whole milk
  • 1 pint heavy cream
  • 1 5-oz. American Heritage Chocolate Bar
  • 1 prepared frozen 9-inch pie shell
  • Pinch of salt

Directions:

  1. Grate the chocolate into a bowl and set aside.
  2. Combine salt, egg yolks, rice flour and milk in a separate bowl and set aside.
  3. Pour all the cream and the chocolate into a sauce pan and heat to a boil, stirring continuously. Add the sugar and cook until both the sugar and the chocolate are melted.
  4. Take a quarter of a cup of the hot mixture and slowly add to the egg yolk and rice flour mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk, to prevent scrambling.
  5. Stir the warmed egg yolk mixture into the sauce pan and bring all the ingredients to a boil for about a minute. Set aside and allow it to cool to room temperature. While the mixture is cooling, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  6. Pour the chocolate mixture into the frozen pie shell, set it upon a cookie sheet to prevent spillage and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until set. Remove from oven and let it cool to room temperature. Refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours or overnight.

Courtesy of ARAcontent

Aug 23

Cookie Dough Truffles

Cookie Dough Truffles

Cookie Dough Truffles

The truffle has come a long way since the 1920s. Legend says it was created by a pot of hot cream accidentally poured into a bowl of chocolate chunks. This delicious chocolate and cream mixture, known as ganache, formed the centre of the original cocoa encrusted chocolate truffle.

Today, a variety of tasty truffle fillings offer a perfect match for any taste bud. Take a look at this new Cookie Dough Truffle recipe. It puts a delicious twist on the traditional, and surely smiles on cookie dough lovers from coast-to-coast. Featured in the Robin Hood 30th anniversary holiday recipe collection, this easy-to-make treat will win over the entire family:

Cookie Dough Truffles

Prep: 45 minutes + 60 minutes freezing
Makes: 60 truffles

1/2 cup (125 mL) butter, softened
3/4 cup (175 mL) brown sugar, packed
1 tsp (5 mL) pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups (300 mL) graham cracker crumbs
1 1/2 cups (375 mL) Robin Hood oats
1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
1 can (300 mL) Eagle Brand regular or low fat sweetened condensed milk
1 cup (250 mL) semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 lbs (680 g) milk, white or dark chocolate, melted

First, line baking sheets with parchment paper. Then, in a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together using an electric mixer until the mixture is light and fluffy, for about 1-2 minutes. Stir in the vanilla and then mix in the graham cracker crumbs, oats and salt. Once it’s all combined, add in the sweetened condensed milk, mixing well. Next, stir in the chocolate chips and then freeze the dough for 30 minutes, or until firm. When ready, roll the dough into 1” (2.5 cm) balls and freeze these for 30 minutes, or until firm. Dip cookie dough balls into melted chocolate to cover, allowing excess chocolate to drip off. Return to baking sheet and chill in refrigerator or freezer until set. Serve cold.

Additional recipes and baking tips are available online at www.robinhood.ca.

Source: www.newscanada.com

Aug 23

Chocolate Cinnamon Cha-Cha Smoothie

Chocolate Cinnamon Cha-Cha Smoothie

Chocolate Cinnamon Cha-Cha Smoothie

Blend banana and protein-rich soy milk to give this smoothie an extra nutrition boost, while satisfying those undeniable chocolate cravings. And then, add cinnamon for a unique and sensational spin. Additional recipes can be found at www.sogoodbeverage.com.

Chocolate Cinnamon Cha-Cha Smoothie

Makes 2 to 3 servings

Ingredients:

2 cups (500 ml) So Good Chocolate Supreme frozen dessert

1 cup (250 ml) So Good Original soy beverage

1 banana, sliced

¼ tsp (1 ml) cinnamon

Cinnamon sticks, for garnish

Directions:

Blend all ingredients in blender until smooth. Garnish with cinnamon stick, sprinkle with cinnamon or garnish glass with banana slice.

www.newscanada.com

Aug 23

Choco Almond Granita

Choco Almond Granita

Choco Almond Granita

Looking for an easy summer dessert to help beat the heat? The combination of chocolate and almond in this granita is a refreshing change from traditional ice cream flavours, and will leave any chocolate lover wanting more. Additional recipes can be found at www.almond-fresh.com.

Choco Almond Granita

Makes 6 servings

Ingredients:

3 cups (750 ml) Almond Fresh Chocolate

4 tbsp (60 ml) agave nectar

4 tbsp (60 ml) agar powder (vegetarian substitute for gelatin)

½ cup (125 ml) sliced almonds

Directions:

In a blender on high speed, blend Almond Fresh, agave nectar and agar powder.

Transfer to an ice cream machine and mix for 20 minutes.

Add sliced almonds and mix for another 5 minutes. Best served within 4-6 hours of preparation.

www.newscanada.com

Nov 22

Quick and easy Raspberry Coulis with Molten Lava Truffle Cakes

Raspberry Coulis with Molten Lava Truffle Cakes

Raspberry Coulis with Molten Lava Truffle Cakes

(NC) — Raspberry coulis is an easy way to pretty up freshly baked molten lava cakes for company. Don’t drain the raspberries- you want all that raspberry juice in the sauce. You can use frozen strawberries if you prefer strawberry coulis.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 9 minutes

Stand time: 5 minutes

Ingredients

2 cups (500 mL) whole frozen red raspberries, thawed

½ cup (125 mL) icing sugar

1 tsp (5 mL) fresh lemon juice

1 pkg (300 g) President’s Choice The Decadent Molten Chocolate Cake Baking Mix

2 eggs

¼ cup (50 mL) unsalted butter, melted

Instructions

In blender, purée raspberries and their juices, sugar and lemon juice until smooth. Pour through a fine-mesh sieve set over a bowl. Using rubber spatula, press purée through sieve. Discard solids. Refrigerate coulis.

Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C). Generously butter six ¾-cup (175 mL) ramekins.

In bowl, combine cake mix, eggs and melted butter. Using wooden spoon, stir for 30 seconds to moisten. Scrape side of bowl. Stir for 1 minute. Batter will be very thick. Spoon evenly into prepared ramekins. Place ramekins on baking sheet. Bake in centre of oven for 8 to 9 minutes or until edges are set but centre is still soft. Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes.

Spoon 2 tbsp (25 mL) coulis onto each of six dessert plates. Carefully invert one cake onto each of the plates. Dust with icing sugar and garnish with a mint sprig, if desired. Save remaining coulis to drizzle over ice cream or yogurt.

Makes 6 servings.

Visit pc.ca for more recipe ideas.

www.newscanada.com

Oct 20

Easy and Elegant Holiday Chocolates

Easy and Elegant Holiday ChocolatesWant to take an impressive dessert to your next holiday party? Chocolate is a contender but, combine chocolate and hazelnuts and you have a champion. Elegant and delicious Hazelnut Butter Cups will dazzle the crowd.

Looking for easy gift ideas for friends, neighbors and co-workers? A selection of Hazelnut Butter Cups in dark and white chocolate is sure to be a hit. They look great in a clear cellophane bag tied with a festive ribbon. They also make excellent homemade hostess and Valentine’s Day gifts!

Here are some easy-to-follow recipe ideas:

Crunchy Hazelnut Butter Cup

Hazelnut Butter Cups will make it seem as though you have been toiling in the kitchen for days, but they are actually simple to create. All it takes is a little patience to make this delightful hazelnut treat. Beautifully wrapped in alluring chocolate, these treats can be topped with a touch of edible gold dust to complete the package! These are sure to be the star dessert at your next gathering.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups hazelnuts, blanched, toasted and chopped
  • 1/3 cup hazelnut liqueur
  • 16 ounces (16 squares) Semisweet or white baking chocolate, coarsely chopped, divided
  • 3/4 stick paraffin wax, shaved, divided into 1/2-stick and 1/4-stick portions
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch, divided
  • 2 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Stir hazelnuts and liqueur together in medium bowl. Spread onto parchment or foil-lined baking sheet. Bake at 325 degrees F for 15 to 20 minutes until nuts are dry and toasted, stirring occasionally. Cool.
  2. Place 10 squares of chocolate and 1/2 stick shaved wax in a microwave-safe bowl.
  3. Microwave on high 1 to 1 1/2 minutes, stirring every 20 seconds, until most of chocolate is melted. Do not overheat; chocolate lumps will melt when stirred.
  4. Place 1 teaspoon melted chocolate in paper candy cup. Spread chocolate on inside of cup with butter knife, working on 1 cup at a time. Set in cool area until firm, 1 to 2 hours.
  5. Place hazelnuts and 1 tablespoon cornstarch in food processor. Process to fine texture (meal), scraping occasionally. Remove 3/4 cup to medium bowl.
  6. Add remaining tablespoon cornstarch, confectioner’s sugar, salt and oil to mixture in food processor. Process 5 to 8 minutes until mixture becomes shiny, liquid paste, scraping occasionally. Add to bowl of reserved hazelnut meal; stir until blended.
  7. Press 1 teaspoon hazelnut mixture into chocolate coated cup, forming flat top. Place remaining 6 ounces of chocolate and 1/4 bar shaved wax in microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high 1 to 1 1/2 minutes, stirring every 20 seconds, until just melted.
  8. Spread melted chocolate over hazelnut filling to edge of cup, working 1 cup at a time. Garnish tops with whole hazelnuts, chopped nuts or chocolate drizzle. Set in cool area until firm, 1 to 2 hours. Makes about 3 dozen.

Sherry Cherry Hazelnut Cups

Prepare as directed above, except substitute cream sherry for hazelnut liqueur and increase confectioner’s sugar to 1/4 cup. Stir in 1/4 cup dried, diced cherries and 3 tablespoons cream sherry.

Berry Chocolate Hazelnut Cups

Prepare as directed above, except substitute berry flavored liqueur for hazelnut liqueur, increase confectioner’s sugar to 1/3 cup and do not add cornstarch. Stir in 1/2 cup cocoa.

To keep things interesting, try arranging dark, milk, and white chocolate cups on a tray, and vary the toppings a bit. Put whole hazelnuts on some, chopped hazelnuts on others, or use drizzle of chocolate. Don’t limit your creativity — the combinations are endless, like a semi-sweet chocolate bottom, Frangelico crisp inside and white chocolate top.

If you plan to give them as gifts, you can add variety to the gift bag with the addition of Hazelnut Cappuccino Cookies. Recipes for these and other hazelnut treats can be found at www.hazelnutcouncil.org.

Courtesy of ARA Content