Chocolate Hazelnut Brownies

Ingredients

1 cup rice malt syrup
1 cup dried pitted dates, chopped coarsely
1/4 tsp sea salt flakes
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp baking soda
6-1/2 oz butter, chopped
3 eggs
3/4 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cup ground hazelnuts
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup whole roasted peeled hazelnuts, halved
1-1/2 tsp cocoa powder extra

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 18oºC/35oºF. Grease a 8-inch x 12-inch slice pan. Line base with baking paper, extending the paper 2-inches over long sides.
  2. Place syrup, dates, salt and the water in a small saucepan over low heat. Simmer for 5 minutes or until dates are soft.
  3. Stir baking soda into date mixture, transfer to a food processor. Process until smooth.
  4. Return date mixture to pan. Add butter, stir over medium heat until butter melts. Pour mixture into a large bowl to cool for 5 minutes.
  5. Whisk in eggs, one at a time. Stir in sifted cocoa, ground hazelnuts, flour, sour cream and chopped nuts. Spread mixture into pan and level top.
  6. Bake brownie for 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out with moist crumbs attached.
  7. Cool in pan. Dust with extra cocoa, then cut into squares.

Makes 24 servings (1 square per serving).

Source: The Australian Women’s Weekly

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Layer Dessert with Mango and Two Sauces

Ingredients

13 oz semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
1-2/3 cups whipping cream
9 Tbsp Kahlua chocolate liqueur
4 mangos, peeled and cut from seed
juice of 2 oranges
2 Tbsp sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
dash ground cloves
cocoa powder

Method

  1. Melt 8 oz chocolate. Beat until shiny. Spread 1/8-inch thick on wax paper-lined baking sheet. Chill 2 hours.
  2. Combine 2-1/2 oz chocolate and 2/3 cup cream, heat to boil.
  3. Add 4 Tbsp Kahlua, chill 1 hour.
  4. In blender, puree flesh from 2 mangos with orange juice, sugar and 1 Tbsp Kahlua. Strain and chill.
  5. Combine 1/2 cup cream, 2-1/2 oz chocolate, cinnamon and cloves. Heat to boiling. Chill 20 minutes.
  6. Stir in 1/2 cup cream and 4 Tbsp Kahlua.
  7. Thinly slice remaining mangos.
  8. Cut 8 3-inch rounds from chilled chocolate.
  9. Whip first cream mixture until thick. Pipe through pastry bag equally onto 4 chocolate rounds.
  10. Arrange mango slices on top. Top with remaining rounds. Pour mango and chocolate sauces onto 4 plates. Set desserts over sauces. Dust with cocoa powder before serving.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Chef Patricia Quintana

Chocolate Avocado-Chia Pudding

Ingredients

2 medium ripe avocados (peeled, pitted)
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/4 cup fat-free, plain Greek yogurt
3 Medjool dates (pitted)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 Tbsp chia seeds
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted chopped almonds or walnuts (optional)

Method

  1. n a food processor or blender, process all the ingredients except the almonds until smooth.
  2. Transfer the pudding to serving dishes. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to allow the chia seeds to thicken.
  3. Just before serving, sprinkle with the almonds if desired.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: American Heart Association

Chocolate Lava Cake

Ingredients

2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 stick unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs, plus 2 egg yolks
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Orange Compote

1 large orange, peeled and segmented
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 cup muscat wine

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease four 2/3-cup individual dessert molds, then coat with the cocoa powder, tapping out any excess. Transfer the molds to a baking sheet.
  2. Melt the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, making sure the surface of the water does not touch the bowl, stirring until smooth. Let cool for a few minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, beat together the sugar, eggs, and egg yolks, using an electric handheld mixer, until thick, pale, and fluffy and doubled in volume. Gently stir the cooled chocolate into the mixture, then fold in the flour.
  4. Divide the batter between the prepared dessert molds, filling them three-quarters full. Cook in the oven for 12 minutes.
  5. To make the orange compote, put the orange segments into a skillet and heat gently, then stir in the sugar and cook gently until the mixture starts to sizzle.
  6. Mix the cornstarch with a little water to a paste, then add with the wine to the oranges and cook until the compote has reduced by half.
  7. Remove the lava cakes from the oven and use a sharp knife to slide around the edge of each dessert mold to release.
  8. Turn out onto four plates and carefully remove the molds. Serve immediately with the orange compote.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Chocolat

Easy Flourless Chocolate Cake

Ingredients

16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, plus additional for greasing pan
12 ounces fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (70% cacao), coarsely chopped
5 large eggs
1 cup sugar
7 tablespoons water
mascarpone or whipped cream to serve

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 300°F, with rack in middle. Butter a cake pan and line bottom with a round of parchment paper, then butter parchment.
  2. Melt chocolate with butter in a large metal bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, stirring occasionally. until just smooth, then remove from heat.
  3. Beat together eggs and 1/3 cup sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at high speed until tripled in volume and thick enough to form a ribbon that takes 2 seconds to dissolve when beater is lifted, about 5 minutes in a standing mixer or 10 minutes with a handheld.
  4. Heat remaining 2/3 cup sugar and 7 tablespoons water in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring, until sugar is dissolved and syrup is clear, about 2 minutes.
  5. Pour hot syrup into melted chocolate, stirring to combine, then cool 10 minutes.
  6. Add chocolate syrup, a little at a time, to egg mixture, beating at medium speed, and continue to beat until just incorporated, then pour batter into cake pan.
  7. Put cake pan into a roasting pan lined with a kitchen towel, then add enough boiling-hot water to reach about three quarters of the way up side of cake pan. Bake until just set, 50 minutes to 1 hour.
  8. Cool cake completely in water bath before unmolding, at least 2 hours.
  9. To serve, run a thin knife around edge of cake pan to loosen if necessary, then invert a flat platter over pan and flip cake onto platter. Carefully peel off parchment. Serve with mascarpone or whipped cream.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: Gourmet Italian