Water Chocolate Mousse

Water Chocolate Mousse

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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I’m particularly particular about my chocolate mousse. Chocolate mousse should showcase just that, the chocolate that goes into making it. Chocolate-flavoured whipped cream just isn’t going to cut it. For that reason, I’ve always omitted dairy fat from my mousse recipes. Typically I use all of 3 ingredients: chocolate, eggs, and a pinch of sugar. Well and salt too. Chocolate and salt are like two peas in a pod.

I’m happy to report that I’ve managed to simplify matters even further. Goodbye eggs, hello water. You heard right, water. The immortal enemy of chocolate. Yet despite the fact that even a whisp of steam from a double boiler can cause chocolate to split, somehow pouring boiling hot water over it and whisking like a mad man (or woman), does not. In fact it leads to quite the opposite; a silky smooth mousse that is pure chocolate to boot. I won’t blame you for not believing me, but it’s the whole-hearted truth. If you don’t try and see for yourself, I’m sorry to say you’re missing out.

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Water Chocolate Mousse
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 3-4 servings
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tbsp. boiling water
  • 2-3 tbsp. white sugar (depending on how sweet you want the mousse to be)
  • 1 bar 85% Green & Black's Organic Chocolate
  • Maldon salt, to garnish
Instructions
  1. Bring the water to a boil.
  2. Whisk in the sugar until dissolved. If the mixture cools drastically microwave it briefly to bring it back to a boil.
  3. Break the chocolate into a bowl.
  4. Prepare an ice bath and have 2-3 ramekins ready to portion the mousse in to. It sets up quickly so you want to have everything you need ready to go.
  5. Pour the boiling water/sugar mixture over the chocolate. Whisk until melted and homogeneous.
  6. Place the bowl with your chocolate mixture in it into your prepared ice bath. Continue to whisk until the mixture cools and thickens. It should be the texture of stiff whipped cream.
  7. Portion into ramekins.
  8. Chill and service garnished with Maldon salt.

DSC_0021**Thank you to Green & Black’s Organic Chocolate for supplying the chocolate for this post.

5 gift ideas for chocolate lovers

5 gift ideas for chocolate lovers

As the holidays approach, it’s time to start thinking about what to get all of the special people in your life. Here are 5 gift ideas for chocolate lovers (or anyone really), because what’s a better gift than chocolate? Nothing? That’s what I thought.

Pana

1. Pana Chocolate

If you are looking for raw, organic, handmade chocolate, Pana has got you covered. They offer creative flavours from hemp and cacao nibs, to rose, to fig and wild orange. Or for the chocolate purists out there, they also make both 60% and 80% unflavoured raw chocolate. Also, all of their bars are made with coconut oil so they melt on the tip of your like no other.

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2. Chaleur B Chocolat

This artisanal chocolate producer operates out of Quebec, Canada, producing single origin bars from Uganda and Madagascar to name a few. Their Ugandan milk chocolate is creamy and caramely beyond belief. If you can stop without eating the entire bar, power to you.

Sirene 2

3. Sirene Chocolate

Sirene’s bright yellow packaging alone is enough to perk up anyways day as we enter the wintery months. Sourcing beans primarily from Madagascar and Ecuador, this Canadian company produces a variety of single origin, bean-to-bar, award-winning chocolate. You could buy it for someone else, but I won’t judge if you save it for yourself.

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4. Spencer Cocoa 

Spencer offers only 2 bars; 42% milk chocolate and 72% dark chocolate, but it is a classic example of producing a limited amount of product and producing it really, really well. All of their beans are sourced from Vanuatu, a collection of islands in the South Pacific, so if you’ve got someone in your life that appreciates the unique, this is the chocolate for them.

Montezuma

5. Montezuma’s

This UK company is making flavoured chocolates that are well worth crossing the pond for (or if you can’t do that, order them online). From British flavours like eton mess, and treacle tart, to citrusy offerings like sea salt and lime, and white chocolate with lemon and sour cherry, Montezuma’s makes eating chocolate even more fun than it already is.

Double Chocolate Mint Cookies

Double Chocolate Mint Cookies

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Ask anyone and they will tell you I’m not a huge fan of mint chocolate. More often than not it ends up tasting like cheap chocolate mixed with toothpaste, and I just can’t endorse that. However, I do like cookies. Especially chewy double chocolate cookies laden with an almost overwhelming amount of chocolate chunks. And if said chocolate chunks happen to have a subtle, natural (read: non-toothpastey) mint flavour, then I can be ok with that. Green & Black’s Organic Mint Dark Chocolate is ideal in this situation. It has just a hint of real peppermint oil so that the chocolate doesn’t get lost in the mix. Plus, if you’re ok with the fact that it *may contain* dairy, but milk isn’t listed as one of the ingredients, then these double chocolate mint cookies are totally vegan as well. I’m not sure you can call me a convert quite yet but these cookies make a convincing case for the viability of GOOD mint chocolate.

Double Chocolate Mint Cookies
 
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Serves: 9-12 cookies
Ingredients
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. baking powder
  • ⅓ cup coconut oil
  • ⅔ cup brown sugar
  • 1 bar Green & Black's Organic Mint Dark Chocolate, chopped
  • 2-3 tbsp. water, as needed
Instructions
  1. Cream together the brown sugar and coconut oil until smooth.
  2. Add in the flour, cocoa power, salt, and baking powder. Mix to combine. If the dough is too dry and doesn't hold together when you squeeze a clump of it in your hands, add water to reach the desired consistency.
  3. Lastly, mix in the Green & Black's Organic Mint Dark Chocolate.
  4. Portion onto a parchment or Silpat lined sheet tray and bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes. The tops of the cookies will lose their sheen once cooked.
  5. Cool and enjoy.

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Vegan Nanaimo Bars

Vegan Nanaimo Bars

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What scrooge of a person doesn’t love a holiday bake sale, especially when the proceeds are all going to charity? This past weekend I participated in the annual Calgary Food Blogger’s Bake Sale in support of Brown Bagging for Kids, a local charity that provides school lunches to underprivileged kids. People got delicious sweets and the money went to a great cause – it was a win-win situation.

I made two offerings, vegan ginger cookies based on this recipe and even better yet, these vegan Nanaimo bars. Now don’t go running to your mommy at the sound of the word “vegan.” You seriously cannot tell that these squares don’t have a hint of butter or eggs in them. In fact, I think they taste better than normal Nanaimo bars because the use of coconut oil instead of butter just amps up all of the coconut flavour. Make these for dessert at your next holiday gathering and they are sure to be a hit. I won’t tell anyone they’re vegan if you don’t.

Vegan Nanaimo Bars 2

For recipes from other bloggers at the bake sale, check out the following links:

Food Mamma, Candy Cane Bark
Scrumptiously Fit Food, Spicy Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies
Dish N The Kitchen, Salted Pistachio Sables
Heather’s EATS, Butter Tarts
Miss Foodie, Hazelnut Shortbread

Vegan Nanaimo Bars
 
Serves: 1 9x13 pan
Ingredients
  • Base
  • ¾ cup coconut oil
  • 6 tbsp. brown sugar
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • 3 tbsp. almond milk
  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 1.5 cups shredded coconut
  • Middle Layer
  • 6 tbsp. coconut oil, softened
  • ¼ cup almond milk
  • 3 tbsp. custard powder
  • 3-4 cups icing sugar
  • Top Layer
  • 300g dark chocolate
  • 3 tbsp. coconut oil
Instructions
  1. To make the base, combine the coconut oil, brown sugar, cocoa and almond milk in a large saucepan. Heat to melt the coconut oil, stirring until smooth.
  2. Remove and add in the graham cracker crumbs, ground almond and coconut. Stir until well incorporated and pack into a parchment lined or greased 9×13” pan. Bake at 325F for about 10 minutes. Once it is out of the oven, put it in the freezer to cool for 5 to 10 minutes.
  3. To make the middle layer, beat together the coconut oil, almond milk, custard powder and icing sugar until smooth. Spread this on top of the base and chill.
  4. Melt together the chocolate and coconut oil in the microwave for the top layer. Allow it to cool slightly. Pour this over the first 2 layers, spreading it evenly across the top.
  5. Refrigerate until everything is set, 30-60 minutes. Slice and serve.

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Dark Chocolate Tart – A Guest Post from Farm on Plate

Dark Chocolate Tart – A Guest Post from Farm on Plate

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Today’s guest blogger is Medha from Farm on Plate. I first discovered her blog back in October of last year and as she will share shortly, I was smitten from the get-go. With the plethora of food blogs out there, she still manages to offer something different. First of all, her photography is outright fantastic. Look at these pics, they are brilliant, right? More importantly though, she shares some incredible stories about her life and all that she has learned and discovered along the way. In other words, Farm on Plate is more than just a pretty, it actually has some substance to it which I really appreciate. I’m just going to shut up now and let Medha take the stage because I’m not sure I could ever do her work justice, and surely not in a single intro paragraph.

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When I started my blog farmonplate.com last fall, I felt like it was my first day at a new school. No one knew who I was and I had no friends. I was very nervous how I was going to fit in. All I needed was a smile or a hello letting me know that I was okay, that I belonged here. That first friend, someone who smiles and says hello to you, leaves a mark on your soul. In that moment, that person seems like your own guardian angel.

Mallory was the first one to walk up to me and say hello on my first day at school! Well, I actually got an email from her, but the emotions I felt were exactly the same. The fact that she took the time to tell me I was doing okay, that I shouldn’t self doubt, tells a lot about who Mallory is as a person.
Here is a short version of that email Mallory had sent to me last fall:

“I came across your blog this morning and I just wanted to let you know how impressed I was (and still am) with the content of your site. Nowadays, food blogs are nothing new. I tell people that I have one and it hardly evokes a reaction anymore. But finding a blogger that actually cares about food, now that is another story. Coming across Farm on Plate this morning was really refreshing. You mentioned in your tweet about being full of self doubt and I will be the first to say that you don’t fit the “food blog” stereotype. But don’t let that cause you to question whether or not you are doing the right thing. I think what you are doing is truly passionate and inspired.

You clearly care about food; good food and that comes across in your writing, recipes and pictures. And hey, if you are ever in Calgary, feel free to look me up and I can show you around our food scene. – Mallory” 

Mallory, I want you to know that your friendship means a lot to me! May be its because you like chocolate, but you definitely add to the sweetness in the world! When Mallory asked me to a guest post for her blog, I knew I had to use chocolate. I wanted to make something that was decadent but healthy and simple to make. This vegan and gluten free dark chocolate tart takes less than 30 minutes to make, leaving you plenty of time socialize and chat with your friends! 

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Dark Chocolate Tart - A Guest Post from Farm on Plate
 
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Makes 1 7 inch tart
Recipe type: vegan, gluten free, dessert
Ingredients
  • 2 cups raw almonds
  • 15 dates – pitted
  • ¼ cup coconut flakes
  • ¼ cup hemp seeds
  • 1½ tbsp coconut oil
  • pinch of salt
  • 6 oz good quality dark chocolate, I have used 70% dark
  • 1 cup coconut milk unsweetened - cold refrigerated
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean pastee
Instructions
  1. To make the crust:
  2. Place almonds, dates, coconut flakes, hemp seeds, sea salt and coconut oil in food processor. Pulse until chopped, to chunky/sticky mixture. Add couple of tbsp of cold water if needed. Place mixture in a springform pan, you can also use regular cake pan covered with saran wrap. Flatten out with your fingers or back of a spoon.
  3. To make the filling:
  4. Melt chopped chocolate in a double boiler (heatproof bowl set over saucepan of simmering water). Stir occasionally until chocolate melts. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
  5. In another bowl, mix vanilla bean paste and coconut milk. Now add melted chocolate and mix well with spatula. Use a hand mixer on lower speed and beat the mixture for 3 to 4 minutes. Pour the mixture over the crust and tap the pan gently on the counter to release any air bubbles. Put the pan in the freezer for at least an hour to set. Before serving, take the pan out of the freezer and thaw for 15 minutes. Top the tart with your choice of fresh fruit or berries before serving.

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