So, I got all kinds of confident after my layer cake success for my last post and decided, “what the heck! – I’m going to make pretty chocolate eggs with some kind of super yummy filling in them for Easter”! Keep in mind that I had never tempered chocolate, nor had I ever used a candy or chocolate mold. We’ll call it a learning experience…. At the end of a full day, I completed this delicious White Chocolate Mousse in Chocolate Eggs treat.
I have to say, that I’m really happy to have learned the process for tempering chocolate and know that it’ll be valuable in my future candy making adventures. If you don’t feel like you’re up to the challenge of molding chocolate and filling it with mousse, you can just make the super easy and wonderfully delicious white chocolate mousse and serve it in pretty glasses with a few raspberries and/or shaved chocolate on top. It looks elegant and tastes like you spent hours on it. Happiest of Easters, everyone!!
- 12 ounces dark chocolate (I used Guittard bittersweet) Do NOT use chocolate chips.
- 6 ounces white chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream, cold
- Using a large, sharp knife, chop the chocolate into small pieces, about the size of a pea. Divide the chocolate; 8 ounces into a medium glass bowl, and 4 ounces in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Put the medium bowl of chocolate (8 oz.) into the microwave and melt on high in 20 to 25 second increments, stirring until it is melted and with a temperature of 115° to 118° F. When the chocolate is almost melted, reduce your microwave time to as little as 5 seconds so the chocolate doesn’t burn.
- Begin “seeding” the melted chocolate by adding the chocolate pieces in the small bowl (4 oz.), a little at a time, gently stirring until they are completely melted. Stir and seed until the temperature of the chocolate is 88° to 91° F, and the seeding pieces are fully melted.
- Your chocolate has now been tempered. Use the chocolate in its tempered range. If it begins to cool, you can microwave it at half power to bring it back up to temperature. Alternatively, you can place the pan of chocolate on a heating pad turned to low; place a towel on top of the heating pad. Check the temperature of the chocolate frequently to insure that it stays in the recommended temperature range.
- To “build” the chocolate eggs, simply follow the instructions on the mold package. I found mine here, but you can find all kinds of chocolate molds on-line that will work just as well.
- Using a sharp knife, cut “holes” in the top of each chocolate egg half, so that when you glue them together with more chocolate it leaves a hole in the top of the egg for the mousse to be piped into.
- Place white chocolate in a large glass bowl. Add ⅓ cup heavy cream and microwave until melted and smooth. Heat in 20-30 second intervals, stirring in between. Allow to cool until it reaches room temperature.
- In a large, chilled bowl beat the remainder of the heavy cream with either a stand or hand mixer until soft peaks form. Add 2 tablespoons of the whipped cream to the white chocolate mixture and whisk by hand until smooth. Add half of the remaining whipped cream, folding gently until combined. Add the remaining whipped cream and fold until combined and smooth. Chill the mousse for about 2 hours, or until set.
- Fill a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle with the mousse and carefully fill each chocolate egg through the hole you left on top.
- Sprinkle with chocolate shavings or top with a couple of raspberries.
So, I have something a little different for you with this post; I’ve been busy gathering an amazing collection of maple syrup-sweetened treats that I thought you all might want to check out and try some time. Of course, if you’ve been following Dreaming Dessert for a while, you’ll have noticed that I use maple sugar or maple syrup almost exclusively to sweetened the desserts and treats I bring to you. In my wanderings on the net and Pinterest, I discovered such a selection of incredible maple sweetened treats that I had a heck of a time choosing from all of the awesome-looking options; the photography is so amazing, I want to eat them off the screen!
If you are a lover of chocolate, then you are, no doubt, familiar with Chocolate Truffles and for some of us chocoholics, there are times when only a truffle will satisfy. There’s a reason why they’re a go-to gift at so many holidays and well…any time, really.
There are so many outstanding flavor options to try with a chocolate truffle base, that I had a hard time narrowing it down to just the three flavors featured here. There’s hazelnut, raspberry balsamic (this one’s soo good!), and the ever popular mint. I’m not just saying this – I love them all! As an experiment, I added a sprinkle of matcha powder on top of the mint truffles and a pinch of cinnamon on the raspberry balsamic; both were very complementary to their primary flavors.
I should mention that the chocolate mixture ingredients make enough ganache for one flavor of truffle. If you want to make each flavor you’ll need to start the recipe from the beginning each time. If you’re like me and running a wee bit behind at this crazy-busy time of the year, truffles make wonderful last minute holiday gifts… Happiest of holidays, everyone!
- 6 ounces dark chocolate chips (I used Guittard)
- 1/3 cup whipping cream
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- Pinch of sea salt (I used Fleur de Sel)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons honey
- 1 tablespoon hazelnut, peppermint, and raspberry liqueur (for each flavor of truffle)
- ¾ teaspoon hazelnut extract
- ½ teaspoon peppermint extract
- ⅛ teaspoon raspberry extract
- 4 tablespoons finely chopped, roasted hazelnuts (skins removed)
- 6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon matcha powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- In a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan over low heat, melt together the chocolate chips, whipping cream, butter, and salt, stirring constantly until melted. Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the honey. Add liqueur and extract in the amounts noted in the ingredient list above for each flavor of truffle.
- Pour the ganache into an 8-inch square baking pan and transfer to the refrigerator for about 1 hour.
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment or wax paper.
- Remove the ganache from the refrigerator and with a teaspoon, scoop/scrape out balls.
- With your hands, roll the chocolate into round shapes and place them on the lined baking sheet.
- After you have formed all the ganache into spheres, return them to the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- Place the cocoa powder and chopped hazelnuts in separate shallow bowls.
- For the hazelnut truffles: Simply roll the chocolate round in the chopped nuts until completely covered, then roll between your hands until the shape becomes more uniformly round. Place on a serving plate or seal in a plastic storage container.
- For the mint truffles: Roll the chocolate ball in the cocoa powder, covering completely; shake off the excess, then roll between your hands until you have a more uniform ball shape. Place truffle on your serving plate or in a storage container and sprinkle the tops with a pinch of matcha powder.
- For the raspberry balsamic truffles: Roll the chocolate round in the cocoa until completely covered; shake off excess cocoa powder, then roll between your hands until the shape becomes more uniformly round. Place on a serving plate or in a storage container and sprinkle tops with a tiny pinch of cinnamon.
- Once done, chill the truffles until set, about 30 minutes, before eating.
Many of us have favorite things we look forward to at Christmas: Family and friend gatherings, the music, decorations, and favorite holiday foods. Twinkling or not, multi-colored or sparkley white, one of the things I enjoy most are all of the lights on trees and houses. I love the brightness and warmth they add to the otherwise colorless landscape during a northern Rockies winter. Another favorite would have to be all of the cookies and candy that appear at this time of the year. Did someone say fudge?!
I found these gems on Veggie and the Beast’s site and I’m so glad I did; these Easy Fudge Cups are definitely going to be added to my list of chocolate yummies shared during the holidays! Made with coconut milk and coconut oil; with no added sugar (the only sugar is in the semi-sweet chocolate chips used), this has to rank up there as the most healthful fudge recipe I’ve tried. And for those of you who don’t care for the flavor of coconut – I promise there isn’t even a hint of it (yeah, I was surprised too!).
I hope you enjoy this simple fudge recipe! Maybe it will make it onto your list of favorite holiday things!
- 3 cups semisweet chocolate chips
- 3/4 cup full-fat coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil (I used the liquid form, which you can find at most natural/organic food stores)
- 1 – 1 1/2 teaspoons extract for each flavor of fudge (orange, hazelnut, and coconut), using the whole recipe amount.*
- Chopped nuts
- Flaked coconut
- Finely grated orange peel
- Sea Salt
- Crushed peppermint candies
- Place the chocolate chips in a large bowl.
- Combine the coconut milk and coconut oil in a small sauce pan; whisk until it comes to a boil.
- Pour the hot coconut milk/oil mixture over the chips and let sit for 2 minutes. Whisk until totally smooth.
- Divide the melted chocolate-coconut mixture in half or thirds into additional bowls (depending upon how many flavors you want). Add an extract into each separate bowl of chocolate and stir well to combine.
- Put candy sized, paper liners in a mini muffin pan. Fill each liner almost to the top with the liquid fudge.
- Sprinkle on the toppings listed above or any others that you might want to add. Freeze (1 hour) or refrigerate (2-3 hours) until set.
- Store chocolates in a waxed paper lined plastic container until ready to serve.
Its my birthday this week and I tend to prescribe to the idea that, most times, the best gifts we receive are the one’s we give ourselves.
My gift(s) to me this year are these Mocha Carmel Chocolate Cups. The two flavors of mildly sweet chocolate and buttery caramel with just a hint of coffee flavor are simple perfection! I love caramel and coffee so much that I start every day with it in the form of a caramel macchiato made with my beloved Baby Gaggia espresso machine. The day my espresso machine dies will be a sad, sad day my friends! Let’s not even go there…
So its a bit decadent, so there’s a pound or three gained. Its my birthday…those calories won’t count. Right?! I hope you’ll find an excuse to make these lovelies because everyone deserves a caramel-wrapped-in-chocolate morsel now and again!
- 3 ½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 ¾ cups Kraft caramels bits (11 oz. bag)
- 2 ½ tablespoons whole milk or heavy cream
- 1 ½ teaspoons instant espresso or instant coffee
- coarse sea salt
- Place chocolate chips in a large glass or other microwave safe bowl. Microwave on full power for 2 minutes. Remove and stir. Microwave twice more on full-power for 15 seconds at a time, stirring after each until chocolate is smooth.
- Spoon about 1/2 tablespoon of the melted chocolate into each cupcake paper. Leave about ¾ cup of the chocolate in the bowl for the tops of the chocolate cups. Using a small craft or pastry brush “paint” the melted chocolate onto the bottom of the cupcake paper and up the sides (don’t go all the way up the wrappers, leave about a ¼” at the top). Place each painted muffin cup into the muffin pan. Place pan in the freezer for 5 minutes.
- In another microwave safe bowl (preferably with a spout) combine caramels and milk or cream. Microwave on high power for 2 minutes, add instant espresso or coffee, then stir. Continue to microwave on high power for 15 seconds at a time, stirring between each until smooth. Pour caramel into a plastic squeeze bottle (you can find them wherever Wilton baking supplies are sold).
- Remove muffin pan from freezer. *Squeeze caramel into chocolate cups, again leaving a ¼” space at the top. Return to the freezer for about 5 minutes.
- Remove muffin pan from freezer again. Use pastry brush to “paint” melted chocolate over the top of the caramel being sure to cover all of the caramel. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt. Return to the freezer for about 15 minutes.
- Remove muffin tin from freezer. Carefully peel away the cupcake wrappers from the chocolate cups. Or you can leave them in the wrappers, if preferred. Store chilled (in the fridge) or at room temperature in an airtight container.
Such an easy, super delicious candy recipe! It’s perfect if you need a quick something yummy to take to a neighborhood or holiday party or if you just have a chocolate-peanut craving to satisfy. My mom gave me this recipe for chocolate peanut clusters many years ago; it’s the one I reach for when I need something quick and fool-proof (I don’t think it’s possible to mess this one up).
I’ve substituted cashews for the peanuts with good results and one of these times I’d like to try toasted hazelnuts. I’ll let you know how that turns out. If you don’t happen to have the candy cups, you can just put a dollop (tablespoonful) on a wax-paper lined baking sheet and pop them in the frig. Also, in case you were wondering, once the clusters have firmed in the refrigerator you don’t have to worry about them getting soft and gooey when you put them out on a serving or candy dish. If it’s salty/sweet-smoothly-crunchy-chocolate-y-super-easy-goodness you’re looking for-you just found it!
- ½ cup milk chocolate chips
- ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 tablespoon shortening
- 1 cup roasted and salted, spanish peanuts, skins removed
- Pour both of the chocolate chips into a microwave safe bowl. Add shortening.
- Microwave on high for 1 1/2 minutes; stir until smooth.
- Add peanuts and stir until combined.
- Spoon chocolate mixture into petit fours cups (candy cups)
- Chill in refrigerator until firm.