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Archive for the ‘chocolate’ Category

Chocolate Boxes

In case you ever wondered what 772 chocolate truffles look like… wonder no more 🙂

As I told you in my previous post, my sister and I were pretty busy last week making these as Christmas Gifts for all our relatives. Every year we do something (usually some kind of cookie) to bring to family gatherings, but this year we decided to step it up a notch and, well, the result was awesome!

My sister, Cristina, spent her whole summer at a pastry campus at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure de la Pâtisserie in France, and is now working as an apprentice in a Pastry shop in Milan, so most of the recipes we used (and some equipment) were kindly borrowed. We had a few hectic days, but I had tons of fun: I learned how to temper chocolate, fill the moulds, cover coconut in chocolate…I had a blast, and am kind of sad it’s all over! But I did take a few pictures for you to enjoy 🙂

        

  

We put 2 of each truffles in cardboard boxes with a note on each and an “instruction sheet”, explaining what was in each truffle, and this was the final look

  

I’m happy to say they were a success!

On a different note, I would like to thank Kristina, editor at Be @ Home, for giving me a “Creative Chef Award”; I never thought someone would appreciate my blog so much, and this award made for one happy girl!

 

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Chocolate Spread

Nutella has nothing on me.

You wanna know why? because my chocolate spread is easy to make, and has only 2 ingredients: hazelnuts and chocolate.

Okay, technically it has more than two, because chocolate is make of cocoa paste, cocoa butter and etcetera, but we’ll simplify and say chocolate is one ingredient 😉

My chocolate spread has no sugar, no added soy, no milk. Just pure chocolate and hazelnut goodness.

Chocolate Spread

145 g (5.1 oz) bittersweet chocolate

2 cups hazelnuts

Melt the chocolate. Meanwhile with a food processor process the nuts for 5-10 minutes until you obtain a nut butter, stopping every now and then to scrape down the edges. Combine and mix well!

Voilà, done! serve on toast, pancakes, oatmeal…I’m salivating just thinking about it! Guess what this gal is having for breakfast 😉

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It’s that time of the week! And I even managed to take a picture at everything! shocking, I know :).

For a start, breakfast was peanut-butter oats with half a wacky cupcake and a glass of orange juice served in a fancy Shrek glass.

Lunch (yesterday’s dinner left overs) was enjoyed in between classes, cold because the cafeteria microwave is broken 😦

Thankfully, pesto pasta isn’t that bad cold! Along with the pasta I had 2 clementines

Which I also enjoyed, along with a piece of chocolate, as a pre-swim snack (more on the swim tomorrow!).

Finally, dinner was mexican style, my favourite!

In the tortillas went salad, beans, tomatoes and mexican salsa. As you can probably tell, I had some difficulty with closing my wrap, but the messier the better I think!!

And that’s all I had! I’m off to bed because exhausted, see y’all tomorrow!

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I don’t know about you guys, but my older sister and I loved to play with mr. Potato Head.

source

What was especially fun was trying to place everyone of his body parts in his…back compartment?

That and misplacing is body parts…don’t try and tell me you never put an arm where is nose goes 😉

Unfortunately, Mr. Potato, tired of being mistreated, moved on to a better home, but today my sister was able to find a decent substitute:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He’s not as versatile as Mr. Potato Head was, but he’s still a charmer 🙂

So cute in fact that he was rescued from becoming our dinner, which consisted of this

Which, my dear friends, is how true pesto pasta should be! Pasta with boiled potatoes, string-beans and, obviously, pesto! It’s really good, you should try it!

Dessert was what my mom called “wacky cupcakes”, vegan! My sister made them, and they weren’t bad!

What was left of them 😀

 Tonight I had ballet lessons but i skipped again – sort of bugs me – because my tailbone has been aching. Thank’s to it my activity levels have been extreemely low, so I’ve decided that, starting tomorrow, I’ll start swimming once a week! I love swimming but am terrible at it, which is the main reason I never go; I’m a bit afraid of judgement, you see :). But I was once terrible at running and afraid of exposing myself and feared what other runners might have thought about me; but I conquered my fear and now love it and am not that terrible anymore…or was, at least, thanks to you tailbone! Plus actually writing on my blog that I’ll be swimming tomorrow and every following wednesday…I can’t back out now!

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A few days ago my younger sister asked me if I would help her make a sacher-torte: a friend of hers had a birthday coming up and Elisa wanted to give her the cake as a present.

While I was searching for a recipe for Elisa’s cake, I thought it would be nice if I made one for me and Mattia for dessert; lately I’ve been trying to veganize most of my dessert recipes, or at least take out eggs and butter; the deserts then appear to be healthier…or at least that’s what I tell myself ;). Making a vegan version of a sacher seemed like quite a challenge: a sacher-torte, after all, is mainly made with eggs.

The chocolate cake that resulted was a bit different from an original sacher, but I think it came pretty close, all things considered.

Vegan Sacher-torte/ Chocolate Cake

Inspired by Chocolate cupcakes (OhSheGlows)

1 cup milk (almond, rice, soy, cow…whatever you have!)

1 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup oil

6.4 oz ( 180 g) dark chocolate

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

2 cups whole wheat flour (or whatever you have)

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

In a mixing bowl, whisk together milk, sugar and oil.

Melt the chocolate and add it to the bowl along with the vanilla extract and stir well.

In a separate bowl, combine flour and baking soda, then add to the liquids.

Oil a baking pan (mine was aprox 23 cm in diameter) and cook in the oven at 350 F for 35 minutes circa. Once you take it out of the oven, allow it to cool for a while and then transfer upside-down on to a dish.

What you have right now is an excellent chocolate cake!

To turn it into a sacher, cut it in half and spread the desired amount of apricot jelly on the bottom. Quickly heat up the jelly to make it more easily spreadable.

Flip the top part of the cake back on.

As much as I love the cake in itself, I’m not entirely sold on the chocolate glaze I used: it was good, perhaps too sweet for my liking, but it didn’t really resemble the true icing of a sacher-torte. I’ll post the recipe anyhow, and in the future will try to come up with a better and truer version. Unfortunately I only have the recipe in grams.

Chocolate Glaze

100 ml

100 g sugar

100 g dark chocolate

In a sauce pan dissolve the sugar in the water and bring to a boil. Allow the mixture to boil for a few minutes, the add the chocolate, stirring. Allow the chocolate sauce to boil for 5 minutes stirring often, then lower the flame for some time and bring back to a boil for a few minutes, stirring all the time to avoid clumps. Turn off the heat and allow the sauce to cool off and reach the desired density.

The sauce should be dense enough for you to pour on the cake and not have it soak through it, but you should still be able to pour it on the cake and spread it just by tipping the dish. Otherwise you can use a knife and it should still come out smooth.

Refrigerate the cake for a few hours so the glaze can solidify.

After that….enjoy!!

I might not look happy in this picture, but the truth is I was caught in a moment of chocolate adoration…those can last quite a while!

 

 

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