Archive for Desserts & Sweets

Banana Chocolate Soft-Serve Ice Cream


1 frozen banana, diced
2-3 tbsp coconut milk
2-3 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp mini chocolate chips (optional)

Place all ingredients into a small food processor and mix until the bananas are fluffy.

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Chocolate Mousse


From The Healthy Chef website, courtesy of Shaylee.

½ c. organic  maple syrup
2 large ripe avocados
1 tsp. vanilla paste or extract
½ c. raw cacao

Put the maple syrup into a high speed blender, then add the avocado, vanilla, and cacao, in that order.  Blend for about 30 seconds until smooth and creamy.  Add a splash of water or coconut milk to make a lighter mousse.

Spoon into a bowl and allow to set in the fridge.  The mousse is delicious by itself, or use as a topping for cakes and cupcakes (add 2 tbsp. melted coconut oil to firm it up).

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Peanut Butter Cookies


Mom’s peanut butter cookie recipe, from a very well used Betty Crocker cookbook. She said she doubles the recipe, and always uses Skippy crunchy peanut butter; unfortunately it’s not available in Australia.

Peanut butter cookies

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Chocolate Pavlova


For the meringue:

4 large egg whites at room temperature
¼ c. dark brown sugar
¾ c. superfine sugar
Pinch of salt
½ tsp. vanilla
2 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder

Dark chocolate cream:

4 large egg yolks
¼ c. sugar
½ c. plus tbsp. heavy cream
½ c. whole milk
¼ tsp. coarse salt
8 oz. dark chocolate (70% cacao), finely chopped

Milk chocolate curls:

4 oz. milk chocolate, coarsely chopped

Make the meringue:  Preheat oven to 300º; line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.  Draw an 8-inch circle on the parchment, then flip.  Mix egg whites, sugars, and salt in a mixing bowl set over a pan of simmering water; whisk constantly until sugars dissolve and mixture is warm, about 3 minutes.  Remove from heat, and whisk on medium high speed until stiff peaks form, about 8 minutes; beat in vanilla.  Sift cocoa powder over meringue and fold until barely any streaks remain.  Spread meringue onto the parchment, using the circle as a guide (meringue will spread during baking).  Bake until dry to the touch, about 1 hour; let cool on wire rack.

Make the dark chocolate cream: Prepare an ice water bath.  Whisk egg yolks and 2 tbsp. sugar in a medium bowl.  Bring cream, milk, salt and remaining sugar to a simmer in a medium saucepan.  Pour a third of the hot cream mixture into the yolk mixture, whisking until combined.  Pour yolk mixture into pan with hot cream.  Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture coats the back of a spoon, about 6-7 minutes.  Place the chocolate in a large heatproof bowl.  Pour the hot mixture over the chocolate and whisk until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth.  Strain through a sieve into a medium bowl, then set in an ice-water bath, stirring often, until cold.

Make milk chocolate curls: Melt chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, stirring occasionally.  Spread evenly onto an upside-down rimmed baking sheet; refrigerate until set, about 15 minutes.  Using a sturdy metal spatula, scrape chocolate at a 45-degree angle to form curls.

To assemble pavlova:  Spread dark chocolate cream evenly in the center of the meringue, leaving a ½ inch border from the edge.  Spread whipped cream over chocolate cream, if desired.  Garnish with chocolate curls and serve immediately.

 

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Cocoa Snowcaps


These can be made with or without the espresso powder.

⅔ c. sugar
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 large egg
1 large egg white
1 oz. unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
1 tbsp. instant espresso powder (optional)
2 tsp. vanilla
1 c. flour
¼ c. cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
½ c. powdered sugar

Add sugar and oil to a medium bowl.  Beat on medium until combined.  Add the egg and egg white and beat until light and lemon colored.  Blend in melted chocolate, espresso powder (if used), and vanilla.  Set aside.

In another bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt.  Gradually add to the chocolate mixture, blending on low until just combined.  Divide south in half and scrape onto two pieces of waxed paper (dough will be soft).  Wrap completely and freeze for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350°.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.  Place powdered sugar in a wide container.  Working with one batch of south at a time, pinch off several bits (about six at once to work quickly), roll into 1-inch balls, and drop into the powdered sugar.  Shake vigorously to completely coat the balls (no dough should show through).  Transfer to prepared baking sheets.  Bake for about 7 minutes until they are cracked on top but still soft in the center.

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Strawberry, Lime and Black Pepper Popsicles


This recipe is from smitten kitchen.com, and is delicious almost beyond description!

4 slightly heaped cups fresh strawberries, quartered
2/3 – ¾ c. sugar
½ c. water
4 tbsp. lime juice
¼ – ½ tsp. freshly cracked black pepper
Pinch of sea salt

Combine the berries and sugar in a bowl, and let set for 15-30 minutes.  Pour into a saucepan and add the water; bring to a boil, then reduce the temperature and simmer for 5 minutes.  Cool to room temperature, then transfer to a blender and add the lime juice, pepper, and salt.  Puree and pour into popsicle molds.

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Homemade Marshmallows


Hannah would probably like this one!

¾ c. plus 1 tbsp. water
2½ tbsp. unflavored gelatin (about 3 pkgs of Knox gelatin)
2 c. granulated (caster) sugar
1 c. light corn syrup
¼ c. mild honey
¼ tsp. salt
2 tbsp. vanilla
Powdered sugar for dusting

In a large mixing bowl, sprinkle gelatin over ½ cup plus 1 tbsp. water; let stand to soften.

Meanwhile, combine sugar, corn syrup, honey, salt, and remaining ¼ c. water in a large heavy pot.  Cook over medium heat for a few minutes until combined.  Increase heat and bring to a full boil for about 30 seconds, string frequently. Reduce heat and stir in gelatine and vanilla, and stir for another 30 seconds until all the gelatine has dissolved. (Be careful when adding the flavouring as the alcohol sometimes causes it to splatter.)

Transfer the mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer and whisk for about 5 minutes at high speed, until white and fluffy and very stiff peaks form.

Spray a 9×13 inch baking pan with lots (and lots) of cooking spray.  Line the pan with parchment and spray the parchment. Spray a rubber spatula with more cooking spray, and use it to transfer the marshmallow goo into the pan.  Flatten the top using the sprayed spatula.  Let cool, cover with plastic wrap and let stand overnight.

Turn out the marshmallows onto a cutting surface.  Spray a knife with cooking spray, and cut the marshmallows into squares; toss with confectioner’s sugar, shaking off the excess.  Set aside to dry completely, and store in a plastic container.

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