Tag Archives: chocolate

The Holidays Have Landed…

And so has holiday food. The weather turned cold, we got a little rain, so the Christmas spirit finally hit me. I even got out and did a little shopping.

I also did a little baking. I made one of my favorite cookies and loaded them up with white chocolate chips, dried cherries and fresh pecans. I thought that sounded festive. They turned out fine.   …..  The price of dried cherries and this year’s fresh pecans just about left me gasping, but then you’ve heard me whine about the price of food before. I calculate those cookies must have cost more than 50-cents apiece to make. And they aren’t very big cookies, either.  😦

 

After that, I took a recipe for one of Emeril’s cakes off the Food Channel website and made it. It’s called Chocolate Swirl Bundt Cake with Nutty Topping. It’s a fluffy marble cake accented with praline liqueur and fresh pecans pieces. I haven’t tried a piece of it yet, but the recipe sounded so good, I know it will be larruping. Emeril’s receipe called for walnuts and walnut liqueur, but I had fresh pecans on hand rather than walnuts, so I rushed to the liquor store and bought the praline liqueur  stuff. If you want the recipe, you can go here:  http://www.foodnetwork.com/search/delegate.do?fnSearchString=bundt+cakes&fnSearchType=site

 

If you make it with the walnut liqueur as he recommends, let me know how it turns out.

(On a side note, that praline liqueur is very good on ice cream.) 🙂

(On another side note, I read somewhere that chocolate is going to nearly double in price in 2012! That is pure evil!)

I will probably make more cookies. I always do. So how about you? What are you baking for the holidays?

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When my daughter comes to visit, we always make things. This year she brought a recipe called Chocolate Eclair Icebox Dessert. Believe it or not, this is kind of low-cal. And it’s so light, delicious and easy, you don’t feel guilty if you have more than one piece. Guilt-free. That’s the ticket. So here’s the recipe.

CHOCOLATE ECLAIR ICEBOX DESSERT

22-1/2 sheets low-fat honey graham crackers (enough to make 2 or 3 layers in a 9×13 pan), 3 cups fat-free milk, 2 (3.4 oz.) packages vanilla or cheesecake instant pudding mix, 1 (8-oz.) pkg. reduced fat cream cheese at room temperature, 1 (8-oz.) tub frozen light cook whip, thawed

Arrange graham cracker sheets to cover the bottom of 13×9 pan coated with cooking spray. In a large bowl, combine 3 cups milk, pudding mix and cream cheese and beat at low speed 1 minute, or until thick. Fold in shipped topping. Spread half the pudding mixture over graham crackers and top with another layer of graham cracker sheets. Repeat with the remaining pudding mixture and another layer of graham crackers. (You can cut out the middle layer of graham crackers if you like.)

TOPPING

1/4 cup fat-free milk, 2 tbsp. margarine or butter, softened, 2 tbsp. honey, 2 oz. unsweetened chocolate, melted, 1-1/2 cups powdered sugar (We doubled the topping.)

Combine 1/4 cup milk, softened butter, honey and melted chocolate in medium bowl. Beat well with mixer. Gradually add powdered sugar and beat well. Spread chocolate over graham crackers. Cover dessert and chill 4 hours. Make sure your cover doesn’t touch the chocolate topping. It’s okay to leave it uncovered if necessary.

There you go. Let me know how you like it.

 

 

 

 

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Chocolate! Who Doesn’t Love it?…

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Yum!

The dictionary’s definition of chocoholic is “someones who craves chocolate.” That’s simple enough and pretty much applies to me and most of the people I know. Probably most of the people *you* know. Chocolate is one of the most popular food products in the world. And at this time of year, with it all around us to be part of the holiday enjoyment as well as gifts to be given to friends, we just think more about it.

Chocolate is made from the partial fermentation of beans from cacao trees. The trees are small evergreens that originated in the Amazon basin. They have to grow near the equator because they need a great deal of rainfall and can’t survive temperatures below about 60 degrees. Nowadays, more than three-fourths of the world’s trees are grown in Africa.

The trees were cultivated in Mexico, Central and South America more than a thousand years BC. The Aztecs brewed a bitter drink from thebeans and chili peppers, which was favored by their kings and used as an offering to their gods. Chocolate found its way to Europe after the Aztecs introduced it to the Spaniards.

Hard, durable chocolate didn’t come into existence until the early 1800s when a Dutchman patened a process whereby cocoa butter could be removed from the chocolate. Now, cocoa butter is added back in varying amounts.

More recently, research has revealed potential health benefits from eating chocolate. Limited amounts of dark chocolate appear to help heart disease in that ingredients in dark chocolate appear to inhibit oxidation of LDL cholesterol and might even lower blood pressure in some people.

So! We just drew names at my job for our Christmas gift exchange. The person whose name I drew is someone I like a lot, so I was thinking and thinking about what I could give her. Then I hit upon the perfect thing. Gourmet chocolates.

Fudge Love Truffle

I used to have some retail stores, in which I sold gourmet candies and chocolates. The brand of chocolate I chose to feature was The Sweet Shop and its handmade truffles that are manufactured in Fort Worth, Texas. Here’s a picture of one of their signature truffles. ….  I can’t even describe how delicious this candy is. It has that smooth ganache center that melts in your mouth. It’s robed with two layers of chocolate. It does not leave a residue on your tongue and floods your mouth and senses with goodness. (If you want to know more about The Sweet Shop candy, you can go here:  https://secured.keysql.com/sweetshopusa/shop.asp?site=&kpage=aboutus     Or you can go here:  www.sweetshopusa.com)

Come on, everyone. Indulge yourselves. Make some fudge. Eat a box of truffles. It’s Christmas!

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