Showing posts with label chocolate. Show all posts
Showing posts with label chocolate. Show all posts

Greek Almond Macaroons with Chocolate Mousse Filling

I've been wanting to make my Greek Almond macaroons, or amygdalota as they are called in Greece, with some type of a filling.  In Greece I had them with mastic filling (resin from the mastic trees on Chios island).  It's a sweet spoon dessert that's served on a spoon over ice cold water, mostly during the summer hot months.  It's chewy and very sweet. That's why you need a glass of cold water to accompany it and wash it down.  Unfortunately, I didn't think of bringing a jar of the sweet mastic dessert back with me.  And so far, I haven't figured out how to make that mastic spoon dessert ... well not yet any way.  

Since everyone in my family loves chocolate including my granddaughter -- she is over a year old and has become my newest taste tester in my kitchen -- I thought of making my chocolate mousse filling and use that.  Also, this time I thought of using almond meal instead of grinding almonds for the  cookies.  I used Bob's Red Mill almond meal.  It's a little easier and it doesn't make any difference in the cookies, either you use almond meal or finely ground almonds (if you'd rather use fine ground almonds, here is the link for that recipe: http://greekfusioncuisine.blogspot.com/2013/12/greek-almond-macaroons-ergolavi-or.html).  Also, both recipes are gluten free. 
And voila -- the cookies came out tasting chewy, as that is their trademark, and the chocolate mousse filling came out creamy.  So here is my take on Greek almond macaroons filled with chocolate mousse.  Enjoy! 

Ingredients (Makes 23 sandwiched servings – approx. 1.5 oz each )

3 cups almond meal
1 2/3 cups sugar
3 egg whites
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/4 cup sliced almonds

Chocolate mousse filling
1 envelope  dream whip
6 tbsp. icing sugar
3 tbsp. cocoa powder

Directions:
Melted butter for the cookie sheets and the palms of your hands to roll the cookies -- about 3 tbsp.

Beat the egg whites with the sugar. Add the almond meal, and vanilla. Mix well together. Grease 3 cookie sheets generously with butter. Also, grease your palms with butter while shaping the cookies. Shape them into 1 1/4" balls. Roll in slivered almonds. Place on cookie sheet far apart. Cookies will spread.

Bake at 325 degree oven for 20-25 minutes till the edges are brown and they are firm to the touch. Remove from the oven. Let them cool and place them in an airtight container or they will dry out. 

This recipe will make about 46 cookies.  Sandwiched together with the chocolate mousse you get about 23 cookies.

Chocolate mousse:
Beat 1 envelope of dream whip topping according to package directions. When soft peaks form, add the cocoa powder and icing sugar. Beat well till it's all incorporated. Refrigerate.

When the cookies are cooled take one tablespoon (approx.) of the chocolate mousse and spread on bottom of cookie. Take another cookie and sandwich together. When done, refrigerate them in air tight containers.

Nutrition Facts (the nutritional value is per sandwiched cookie--each cookie alone is about 80 cal)
Serving Size 1 serving (40.2 g)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 174
Calories from Fat 84
Total Fat 9.3g
Saturated Fat 1.1g
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 6mg
Potassium 155mg4%
Total Carbohydrates 21.3g
Dietary Fiber 2.4g
Sugars 17.9g
Protein 4.4g





Chocolate Orange Swirl Cake

This is an easy and tasty coffee cake that you can make in an afternoon. It's also a nice after school snack for kids coming home from school. My mother used to make this cake not only on special occasions but to have as an everyday snack, with an afternoon coffee or even later in the evening. What can go wrong with a bit of chocolate anyway. Enjoy!

Ingredients (Makes 30 servings appr. 1.5 oz each)
2 ¾ cups flour
3 ½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
2/3 cup canola oil
2 cups sugar
1 ½ tsp. vanilla
1 tbsp. orange rind
3 eggs
1 cup skim milk
2 tbsp. cocoa powder

Directions
Sift together the flour the baking powder and the salt. Set aside.
In a bowl beat together the canola oil, sugar and vanilla till blended. Add the eggs one at a time and beat well after each addition.
Add the dry ingredients alternately with the skim milk. Mix well.
Preheat oven at 350° F.
Butter and flour a Bundt cake pan.
Separate 1 cup of the cake batter in another bowl. Add the cocoa powder and mix well together. That's for the swirl of the cake.
Pour half of the yellow batter in the greased and floured Bundt pan. Pour the chocolate batter over it. Don't swirl it just let it take its own shape. Pour the rest of the yellow batter over the chocolate batter. Bake at 350° F oven for one hour and 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1.534 oz (43.5g)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 146
Calories from Fat 49
Total Fat 5.4g
Saturated Fat 0.6g
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 16mg
Sodium 50mg
Potassium 99mg
Total Carbohydrates 23.1g
Dietary Fiber 0.5g
Sugars 13.8g
Protein 2.1g




Gluten Free Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake with Almond Chocolate Crust and Chocolate Mousse topping

I made this cheesecake at Christmas time. Since my daughter has to have gluten free food, and I can't have any soy products (they are usually in graham crackers/crumbs) I decided to come up with something different that will be tasteful and we can all have. In Greek cuisine there are quite a few cakes and cookies that are made with ground almonds; like my almond macaroons (Gluten Free Greek Almond Macaroons - Ergolavi) and the Greek almond cookies (Kourabiedes or Greek Almond Cookies in Icing sugar). So I thought: "why don't I try to make the crust from ground almonds." And honestly the texture turned out like any other crust I might have used, but more tasteful. The cake came out delicious, rich and creamy and very decadent. It tasted like the ones you have at Cheesecake Factory, but healthier and with a lot less calories. I also made a chocolate whip topping to spread on top of the cheesecake. That is absolutely optional. But the topping came out so thick and velvety that I couldn't resit. It's a perfect cake to make for your honey this Valentine Day. Enjoy!

Makes 18 servings (about 3oz each serving)

Ingredients for almond chocolate crust:
1 ½ cups ground almonds
2 tbsp. butter
1 oz. Baker's chocolate
¼-cup sugar

Ingredients for the cake:
16 oz. cream cheese
¾-cup sugar
½-cup sour cream
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
6 oz. Baker's chocolate
½-cup sugar

Directions for the crust:

Melt the 1oz Baker's chocolate over a double boiler. In the meantime, pulverize the ground almonds as fine as you can get them in a food processor. Melt the butter. In a bowl, mix together the ground almonds, sugar, and melted chocolate. With a pastry blender, mix the crumbly mixture together. The chocolate will harden as soon as you pour it in the almond mixture. With the pastry blender you will be able to evenly spread the chocolate. Like making a pie crust. Add the melted butter and mix well together. In a 9" spring form pan, spread the ground almond/chocolate/sugar/butter mixture evenly. Set aside.

Directions for the cake:
Melt the 6 oz Baker's chocolate over a double boiler along with the 1/2 cup sugar. Stir continuously till completely melted and smooth. Turn off the heat, remove the double boiler from the hot element, and let the chocolate sit over the hot water, while you are mixing the cream cheese mixture.

In a mixing bowl, beat the 16 oz (2-8oz packages) of cream cheese till soft. Add the 3/4 cup sugar and mix well. Add the 1/2 cup sour cream and 1tsp vanilla. Mix well together. Add the 4 eggs one at a time, blending after each addition. Separate the cheese mixture in half. In the one-half add the melted chocolate/sugar mixture and mix well together.

Pour the chocolate mixture  in the pan over the almond crust and spread evenly (the chocolate mixture will be thick in comparison to the cheese mixture). Pour the cream cheese mixture on top of the chocolate mixture. With a knife swirl around in the pan, till you see a bit of the chocolate mixture to the top. (You can omit the step altogether, if you’d like. I ended up making a chocolate whip topping so the swirl really didn’t show).

Bake at 325 degree oven for 45 to 50 minutes, till the top is firm to the touch.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 serving (78.8 g)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 290
Calories from Fat 196
Total Fat 21.8g
Saturated Fat 11.3g
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 70mg
Sodium 101mg
Total Carbohydrates 22.6g
Dietary Fiber 2.5g
Sugars 17.2g
Protein 6.6g

The almond crust with the pastry blender
The crust in the springform pan
The cheesecake out of the oven

Chocolate Mousse

Makes 18 servings (about 2 tbsp.)

Ingredients

6 oz baker's unsweetened chocolate
1 envelope Whipped Topping Mix (like Dream Whip)
1 cup skim milk
6 heaping tbsp. icing sugar

Directions

Melt the unsweetened chocolate over a double boiler. Remove from heat. In a bowl whip together the envelope of whip topping with the icing sugar and the 1 cup skim milk. Add the melted chocolate gradually. Beat well together. Spread over cheesecake, or use as  icing for any other cake.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 serving (25.8 g)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 62
Calories from Fat 42
Total Fat 4.7g
Saturated Fat 3.0g
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 6mg
Total Carbohydrates 6.1g
Dietary Fiber 1.3g
Sugars 3.4g
Protein 1.8g

Note:  I was able to freeze this cake with the chocolate whip topping.  And when I took it out it still tasted as if I had just made it.  


Covered with the chocolate mousse


You can see the layers of the almond crust, chocolate cheesecake, cheesecake and chocolate mousse. This picture and the one below, were taken after I froze the cake for about a month and took it out.  I let it defrost in the fridge overnight.  

Truly decadent and delicious. 
Enjoy!

Chocolate Rum Balls/Truffles

I’ve been making these chocolate rum balls for many years. Another Canadian recipe that I had to convert from the metric system to the American system. After many trials and tribulations and before the internet, I was able to convert this recipe to the American standard system of measurements. So for many years now I use the recipe measurements below.
 
These chocolate rum balls are quite unique. The rum gives them that extra punch. Even though it’s a ¼ cup you can taste it in them. It’s not enough though to get you drunk. So enjoy them…with the rum.   

Chocolate Rum Balls/Truffles

Makes 34-50 rum balls (approximately 1” in diameter; 0.7 oz each)

4 squares unsweetened chocolate -- 4 oz (like Baker’s cooking chocolate)
8 oz Philadelphia cream cheese at room temperature
1 ½ cups ground almonds
1 ½ cups icing sugar
¼ cup rum*
1 tsp instant coffee

Melt chocolate over a double boiler. Let it cool. In the meantime, blend together the cream cheese, the ground almonds, the icing sugar, the rum and the instant coffee. Add the melted chocolate and mix. Refrigerate for a couple hours so that you will be able to form the mixture into a ball.

Once cooled take a melon scooper, dip it in water and scoop a bit of the mixture. Shape it into 1” balls and set them aside. You can dip them in your favorite coatings like icing sugar, ground almonds, chopped walnuts, cocoa, green sugar, chocolate sprinkles. 

*Note: You can omit the rum altogether if you would like, and add 2 tsp. of vanilla

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 0.653 oz (18.5g)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 76
Calories from Fat 45
Total Fat 5.0g
Saturated Fat 2.0g
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 7mg
Sodium 19mg
Total Carbohydrates 6.5g
Dietary Fiber 0.7g
Sugars 5.1g
Protein 1.5g

Merry Christmas! Enjoy!

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