Healthy chocolate, coconut overnight oats

This recipe comes from a food blog called ‘Back to her roots” and being a coconut fanatic, that is what first attracted me, then I read the ingredients and fell hook, line and sinker.
Make these in wide mouth mason jars, leave them in the fridge until you have one for breakfast or take one to work. If you want a snack size, make them in a smaller jar.

Screen Shot 2015-08-30 at 8.32.39 AMMakes one serving

½ cup rolled oats
1 cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almondmilk Coconutmilk Almond Breeze
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
⅛ tsp almond extract
1 tbsp chia seeds
2 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut
2 tbsp maple syrup
Pinch of salt (important)
Shredded coconut, almonds, and dark chocolate chunks for garnish

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, stirring until well-mixed. The mixture will look liquidy.
Transfer to a serving bowl or jar, cover and refrigerate for at least four hours, or preferably, overnight.
Before serving, stir, and top with additional coconut, almonds, and dark chocolate.

Easy meringue gelato cake with chocolate sauce

This must be one of the easiest recipes I have seen for something that looks so elegant and complicated. Thanks to Nigella Lawson for this gem.
You don’t spend long making it, can do it it ahead of time and everyone thinks you’re a genius! I’ll take it!

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For the meringue gelato cake
1 ¼ cups heavy cream
1 oz bittersweet chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids)
1 tbsp coffee liqueur (and/or rum)
4 oz shop-bought meringue cookies
8 oz raspberries (to serve, optional)

For the chocolate sauce
1 cup heavy cream
⅔ cup bittersweet chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids), finely chopped
2 tbsp coffee liqueur (and/or rum)

For the Meringue Gelato Cake:
Line a 450g / 1lb loaf tin with clingfilm, making sure you have enough overhang to cover the top later.
Whip the cream until thick but still soft.
Chop the chocolate very finely so that you have a pile of dark splinters, and fold them into the cream, along with the liqueur.
Now, using brute force, crumble the meringue cookies and fold these in, too.
Pack this mixture into the prepared loaf tin, pressing it down with a spatula as you go, and bring the clingfilm up and over to seal the top, then get out more clingfilm to wrap around the whole tin. Freeze until solid, which should take around 8 hours, or overnight.

To serve, unwrap the outer layer of plastic wrap, then unpeel the top and use these bits of long overhanging wrap to lift out the ice-cream brick. Unwrap and unmould it onto a board and cut the frozen meringue cake into slabs to serve. I like to zig-zag a little chocolate sauce over each slice, and sprinkle a few raspberries alongside on each plate.

For the Chocolate Sauce:
Pour the cream into a saucepan and add the tiny bits of chocolate.
Put over a gentle heat and whisk as the chocolate melts, taking the pan off the heat once the chocolate is almost all melted. If the mixture gets too hot, the chocolate will seize, whereas it will happily continue melting in the warm cream off the heat.
Add the liqueur, still off the heat, and whisk again to amalgamate the sauce completely. Pour into a jug, whisking every now and again until it cools to just subtly warm.

Baileys Irish Cream tiramisu

Do you have that bottle of Baileys Irish Cream lurking at the back of the booze cupboard you occasionally stumble upon, think about, then return to the back of the cupboard?
Well get it out because here is the best use I know for it.


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9 teaspoons instant espresso powder dissolved in 1½ cups water (cooled)
1 cup Baileys Irish Cream
14 oz Savoiardi cookies
2 large eggs
⅓ cup superfine sugar
1 lb mascarpone cheese
2 ½ teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder

Mix the coffee with ¾ cup of the Baileys in a shallow bowl. Dip the cookies into this liquid; let them soak on each side enough to become damp but not soggy. Line the bottom of an 8½ inch square glass dish with a layer of cookies.

Separate the eggs, but keep only one of the whites. Whisk the two yolks and the sugar together until thick and a paler yellow, then fold in the remaining ¼ cup of Baileys, and the mascarpone to make a mousse-like mixture.

Whisk the single egg white until thick and frothy; you can do this by hand with such a little amount. Fold the egg white into the “yolky” mascarpone, and then spread half of this mixture on top of the layer of cookies.

Repeat with another layer of soaked savoiardi, and then top with the remaining mascarpone mixture.

Cover the dish with clingfilm and leave in the fridge overnight. When you are ready to serve, push the unsweetened cocoa through a small tea strainer to dust the top of the tiramisu.

Dark chocolate and coconut truffles

As you have probably gathered by now, coconut is one of my most favorite ingredients. This is a recipe from several years ago from a food magazine that I resurrected and am so glad I did.

The higher the percentage of cocoa in the chocolate, the better for you it is. Go between 72% and 85%. Any higher than that is just way too bitter.

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This recipe yields 12 truffles.

1/2 cup of unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup lite coconut milk
3 1/2 tbsp Truvia Natural Sweetener or other natural sweetener
Dark Chocolate (72 % or higher)

In a bowl blend the coconut oil, lite coconut milk and Truvia with a hand mixer. Next, add the shredded coconut and mix well. Roll mix into 1” balls, set on waxed or parchment paper and place in fridge until they are firm. In the meantime, melt the dark chocolate very gently in a double boiler or in a bowl sitting over (but not touching) simmering water, stirring continuously.

Next, dip the coconut balls in the melted chocolate, coat well and place back on the waxed paper. I use either a fork or toothpick to dip.

You may also add some of the shredded coconut on the truffles before the chocolate hardens. Place the truffles in the refrigerator, they will taste better when eaten cold.

No-bake chocolate, fig and date slice

I adore slices, or as they say in New Zealand and England, “traybakes” There are so many easy recipes for them, and many of them like this one, are no-cook recipes. This is another one that reminds me of Christmas, and is especially nice as it is chocolatey as well as fruity.
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1lb dried figs
3/4 lb (12 oz) good plump, moist Medjool dates, preferably pitted
4 oz pitted prunes (or in the US they call them dried plums)
1 orange, grated zest and juiced
1/4 cup Grand Marnier
1 tbsp liquid honey
8 oz good quality dark chocolate, 72% or over
4 oz roasted hazelnuts, skins removed and halved (or buy them already toasted)
Cocoa powder for dusting at the end

Line a Swiss roll tin with baking parchment, making sure there is an overlap so it’s easy to remove the slice.
Thinly slice the figs. Pit the dates and slice the flesh, then slice the pitted prunes.
Place these in a large bowl with the orange zest, juice, Grand Marnier and honey.
Cover and leave to stand in a cool place for at least one hour.

Place the chocolate pieces in a small bowl over simmering water or in the top of a double boiler, ensuring the bottom of the bowl the chocolate is in does not touch the simmering water below.
Allow the chocolate to melt, Take it off the heat when almost melted (there will be a few lumps still in it) then gently stir until it’s completely smooth.

Stir the hazelnuts and melted chocolate into the fruit mixture and mix well. Spoon the mixture into the lines tin and spread, leaving the mixture at about 1 inch thickness. (You may not fill the tin)
Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge to firm up.

To serve, cut into about 40 small squares and dust with cocoa.
This slice will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week – if you are lucky!

White chocolate, cranberry and pistachio fudge

This is so pretty and tastes even better than it looks.

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16 oz. good white chocolate, chopped (chips will work, too)
1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp pure vanilla essence
2/3 cup chopped dried cranberries, divided
1/2 cup dry roasted, unsalted pistachio pieces, divided

Line an 8″ square baking dish with parchment or wax paper.
Combine the white chocolate and sweetened condensed milk in a double boiler or a glass/stainless bowl over some simmering water.

Heat until the mixture melts together, whisking occasionally. Stir in the vanilla extract and remove from the heat.
Add all but about 2 Tbsp. each of the cranberries and pistachios to the white chocolate mixture, stirring to combine.
Spread the mixture into the baking dish in an even layer. Top with the remaining pistachios and cranberries, pressing them in slightly with a spatula if necessary.
Allow the fudge to set in the fridge and then cut into 1.5″ squares.

The ultimate rocky road, sticky toffee, crispy cakes

I would only make these around Thanksgiving or Christmas as they go in a flash. They are little cakes of one’s fantasies that you don’t even need to bake!

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3 x boxes (14 oz) Cadbury’s Chocolate Fingers (For US friends, you can get these at Costplus World Market or online)     Here is a picture of what they look like.
8 oz pitted Medjool dates
11 oz Green and Black’s 72% chocolate
11 oz Green and Black’s white chocolateScreen Shot 2014-11-08 at 10.24.54 AM
7 oz butter
4 oz mini marshmallows
4 oz Rice Krispies

Line a 8” by 12” cake pan with baking parchment, leaving flappy bits hanging over the sides to use as handles for pulling the cake out of the pan.
Chop fingers into small, bite-sized pieces (the Cadbury’s chocolate fingers that is – not your own).
Whizz the dates in a food processor until they turn into a smooth paste.
Melt the chocolates and butter in a bowl set over a pan of warm water.
Stir in the dates and mix until combined.
Add the chopped fingers, marshmallows and crispies. Stir to incorporate evenly.
Scrape into the prepared cake pan and spread with a spatula. Leave the cake to set in the fridge for an hour or so, or for as long as you can put off eating it (whichever comes sooner).
Unmold and cut into squares.

White chocolate gingerbread blondies

It’s that time of year when baking for Thanksgiving and Christmas is utterly therapeutic. This was originally a Martha Stewart recipe and I found it on the wonderful food blog called “The view from Great Island”  The combination of gingerbread and white chocolate is divine!

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2 & 3/4 cups plus 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 & 1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
2 & 1/2 sticks (1 & 1/4 cups) unsalted butter at room temperature
1 & 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp granulated sugar
2 large eggs, plus 1 large egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup molasses
10 oz white chocolate chips

Set the oven to 350 F
Spray a 17″ by 12″ baking sheet (the kind with a rim) with cooking spray and line with parchment paper.
Cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and extra yolk, one at a time.
Blend in the vanilla, molasses and spices.
Whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Add to the bowl and blend just until combined.Fold in the chocolate chips
Spread the batter evenly in the baking sheet. Take a few moments to spread it out and get an even layer from side to side and end to end.
Bake for about 25 minutes until the edges are browned. let the gingerbread cool in the pan before slicing, and dust with a little powdered sugar, if you fancy

Ginger chocolate oat bars

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Anything with ginger is wonderful, but this combination is terrific, besides being very easy to make.
3 1/2 oz butter
3 1/2 oz jumbo oats
3 1/2 oz rolled oats
1 lb 72% dark chocolate
5 fl oz heavy cream
5 1/2 oz dried cranberries
5 1/2 oz dried cherries
5 1/2 oz crystallized ginger, chopped

Melt the butter in a pan. Add both types of oats and cook for three minutes. Transfer to an oven dish that will fit in your fridge.
Place a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Add the chocolate and cream to the bowl and leave to melt for 15 minutes without stirring.
Add the cranberries, cherries and ginger to the oats and stir.
When the chocolate has fully melted, give it a little stir and then pour over the oats and fruit. Fold the chocolate through and then refrigerate for 30 minutes.
When set, break into pieces by hand and serve


Mocha chocolate refrigerator cake

I just love making these sort of desserts, especially in the summer and they are so easy when you can make them several days before and have them hanging out in the refrigerator.
This one is divine and a must to make. Also a great party cake.


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Serves 8
2 cups cold heavy cream
12 oz Italian Mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup Kahlua liqueur
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder, such as Pernigotti . (make sure it’s a good brand)
1 tsp instant espresso powder
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Three 8 oz packages Tate’s Bake Shop chocolate chip cookies (Sorry non USA  friends, I don’t know what thin, chocolate chip cookie of about 3″ diameter would work!)

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Shaved semisweet chocolate, for garnish

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the heavy cream, Mascarpone, sugar, Kahlua, cocoa powder, espresso powder and vanilla. Mix on low speed to combine and then slowly raise the speed until it forms firm peaks.
To assemble the cake, arrange chocolate chip cookies flat in an 8-inch springform pan,covering the bottom as much as possible. (You can break some cookies to fill in the spaces)
Spread a fifth of the mocha whipped cream evenly over the cookies. Place another layer of cookies on top, lying flat and touching, followed by another fifth of the cream.
Continue layering cookies and cream until there are five layers of each, ending with a layer of cream.
Smooth the top, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Run a small sharp knife around the outside of the cake and remove the sides of the pan.
Sprinkle the top with the chocolate, cut in wedges and serve cold.