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Cook MacEwan's Dark Chocolate Treats
Well Christmas is just around the corner and traditionally it’s a time for indulgence. So this month I have decided to give you recipes for three Dark Chocolate Treats that are all easy to make and sumptuous and hopefully you won’t feel that you are missing out on anything. Dark Chocolate with 70% cocoa solids and above has also been proven to be good for us as its rich in cell-protecting antioxidants, studies have shown its good for the heart. Like any plant-based food, chocolate naturally contains an array of minerals. It improves our mood it’s a natural antidepressant and improves our brain function. Despite its sweet reputation, dark chocolate also has a low glycemic index similar to that of oatmeal — meaning it does not send your blood sugar spiking.
DARK CHOCOLATE BROWNIES
I have been making these Brownies for years. I don’t always add walnuts or sugar as I find the Chocolate sweet enough for my palate. They also freeze well and can be eaten straight from the freezer.
225gm dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids)
2 tsps. vanilla extract
200gm caster sugar (optional)
3 medium eggs (beaten)
150gm ground almonds
100gm broken walnuts ( optional )
Preheat the oven to 170°C/gas mark 3
• Melt the chocolate and butter gently over a low heat in a heavy-based saucepan.
• Take the pan off the heat, mix in the vanilla and sugar, and let it cool a little.
• Beat the eggs then add the mix along with the ground almonds and chopped walnuts. Turn into a 24cm square baking tin
• Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes.
• Cool, cut with a sharp knife into bite size pieces.
I love this recipe it takes 10 minutes to make and they have a smooth velvety texture that will have you licking your lips for more. I do variations of these by adding different types of alcohol or by adding some ginger or raspberries giving them a completely different twist
Makes 6 Espresso Cups
450ml Double Cream
200gms of Dark Chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids) use your favourite brand broken into pieces
4 large Egg Yolks
3 tbsps. of Dark Rum (optional)
50gms of unsalted butter
• In a medium saucepan, heat the cream until bubbles appear around the edge.
• Remove the pan from the heat, add the chocolate and let stand for 1 minute, and then stir until smooth.
• Whisk the egg yolks in a small bowl, then whisk in some of the hot chocolate cream, mix thoroughly.
• Scrape this mixture into the saucepan and whisk constantly until smooth.
• Stir in the rum and butter.
• Pour the mix into ramekins or espresso cups and refrigerate until chilled, at least 4 hours.
DARK CHOCOLATE MOUSSE CAKE
This is one to impress your guest with and ideal sweet to use for Christmas Day. I love it just warm straight out the oven.
1 tbspn ground almonds plus extra for dusting tin
300g dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids)
300g good-quality dark orange chocolate broken into pieces
275g caster sugar
165g unsalted butter
pinch of sea salt
5 large eggs
icing sugar or why not try gold leaf or dust
Preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4.
• Brush the tin with a little melted butter and dust with the ground almonds, shaking off any excess.
• Melt the chocolate, caster sugar, butter and salt in a heatproof bowl suspended over a saucepan of barely simmering water, then remove from the heat.
• Whisk the eggs with the ground almonds and fold into the chocolate mixture. The mixture will thicken after a few minutes.
• Pour into the cake tin and bake for 35-40 minutes.
• Remove the sides of the tin and leave the cake on the base to cool, then dust using a fine sieve with icing sugar or brush with edible gold dust, serve with double cream.