Tag Archives: cocoa powder

Chocolate Macaroons are Full of Taste Yet Free (of Gluten, Dairy & Cane Sugar)

Chocolate MacaroonsMacaroons always look very pretty, delicate and light, yet I rarely eat them because they do not have my favorite dessert ingredient, chocolate. I assume that many other people have snubbed a macaroon when deciding what treats to eat from a dessert table since the majority of us agree that chocolate is our favorite dessert flavor.

dessert_flavors_tableThe most recent SensitiveEconomist poll shows that 63% of the 112 respondents would choose a chocolate dessert over any other flavor, with mint coming in a distant second place with 11% of the responses. These survey results mean that when given the choice between a light and flaky macaroon and a slice of chocolate cake, most of us turn to the delicious cocoa. Until now – where we can have both.

Most of you will share in my excitement for Kay Stepkin’s recipe for chocolate macaroons that I read in my newspaper a few weeks ago. What a great way to combine a light and delicate treat with my favorite dessert flavor, chocolate. Plus, this recipe is free of gluten, cane sugar and dairy – and it’s vegan! This is a delicious treat for so many people. I made the dessert for a dinner party and they were an absolute hit! I will definitely be making these again right through the summer.

Speaking of summer, what is your favorite summertime food? Please share your opinion with a simple poll right on my home page. Just click your answer and then click “vote” and you will see the up-to-the minute results. The food with the most responses will probably find itself highlighted as a main ingredient sometime soon on this blog. Thanks for participating!

Ingredients:
3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
1 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon almond extract
3 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
1½ cups cocoa powder
½ cup almond meal/flour (or ground almonds)
1/4 teaspoon sea (or kosher) salt
Coconut sugar, optional

Preparation:
1. Heat oven to 325 degrees. Pour coconut oil, maple syrup, almond extract, coconut, cocoa powder, almond meal and salt into a bowl; stir until well combined.

2. Using a large tablespoon of dough per cookie, shape into mounds, packing mixture firmly. Distribute cookies onto a parchment-covered baking sheet. Do not press down.

3. Bake for 15 minutes. When cool, dust with a little coconut sugar.

Makes about 22 cookies.

Additional Notes:
(1) For the almond meal, you can substitute with almonds ground up in a food processor.
(2) If you would like this recipe to be nut free, substitute the almond extract with vanilla extract, and replace the almond meal with brown rice flour.
(3) Since the coconut oil will be solid in the jar to start, microwave until melted and then spoon out the liquid oil for the recipe. After the coconut oil cools it will return to its solid state.

I am sharing this recipe with Simply Sugar and Gluten Free and Food Trip Friday.

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Minding the Vitamix – Part 4/Finale: Chocolate Ice Cream

Chocolate Ice CreamThe alternate title for this blog post is: See you soon, old friend.

MIL and FIL returned from their trip and wanted to tell us about their travels…along with seeing their new Vitamix blender! I kept it good company while they were away by making turnip and potato soup, strawberry muffins, and spinach hummus. But I knew I had to try my hand at one more item before handing the appliance over…and that was a recipe for chocolate ice cream. The Vitamix cookbook had a recipe that looked fairly easy, and it only required me to substitute the sugar with maple syrup. There are only six ingredients needed and the time between measuring the ingredients and trying a spoonful of dessert is about five minutes. The result is what I would describe as a cross between a frozen ice and a gelato. It’s a refreshing treat that you can garnish any way you choose.

So now the Vitamix blender has been delivered to MIL and FIL’s house. Although I will offer to keep it company the next time they travel so I can try some new concoctions. See you soon, old friend.

Ingredients:
1 cup milk
1/2 cup unsweetend cocoa powder
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup nonfat dry milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups ice cubes

Preparation:
Place all ingredients into the blender in the order listed and secure lid.
Turn machine on and slowly increase speed to High. You may need to use a tamper to press the ingredients into the blades.
In about 45 seconds, the sound of the motor will change and four mounds should form.
Stop machine. Do not over mix or melting will occur. Serve immediately.

I am sharing this recipe with Simply Sugar and Gluten Free…and am happy to be featured too!

Free! One-Bowl Chocolate Agave Peanut Butter Cups!

Good day, everyone! I am delighted by the weather we are having in the Northeast this week – temperatures are in the high 70s with low humidity and sunshine peeking through puffy, white clouds. The nights are cool, allowing us to abandon the air conditioners and listen to the birds and bugs outside our windows. The dress code is long-sleeved t-shirts and shorts – this is late summer at its finest. And our farm share is rewarding us with all sorts of fruits and vegetables…which I’ll talk about later because today I must share with you a recipe that MaryAnn discovered – for chocolate peanut butter cups that are free! They are free from gluten, yeast, dairy and refined sugars – and absolutely decadent!

MaryAnn found the original recipe for Healthy Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge and made a batch that we tried. They were so melt-in-your-mouth good that I decided to make them soon after for a picnic. I made a few minor changes. First of all, I doubled the recipe. These treats are too good to just make a small batch. Plus you can freeze them and pull them out whenever you get a craving for that fabulous combination of chocolate and peanut butter. I used agave nectar instead of honey, but as I have noted below you can use either interchangeably. And lastly, the directions mention either using a food processor or bowl and whisk to mix the ingredients together – I just stirred them for great results – why bother pulling out the appliances if you don’t need to? This is a fabulous concoction using only five ingredients, no baking or cooking is necessary, and the results are fantastic!

Ingredients:
1 cup coconut oil (slightly melted, but not hot)
1 cup cocoa powder
1 cup natural peanut butter, softened
1/2 cup agave nectar (or honey)
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preparation:
Prepare muffin pans with 24 muffin liners.

Put all ingredients in a bowl. Whisk until the mixture is smooth and nicely combined. (It will be very liquidy.)

Pour the liquid fudge into the prepared muffin liners dividing evenly between them (about two tablespoons of mixture in each).

Place the muffin pan in the refrigerator for 30 minutes (or in the freezer for 10 minutes) until hardened.

Remove the muffin liners from the pans and enjoy! Store in the refrigerator or freezer.

I am sharing this recipe with Simply Sugar and Gluten Free…and am happy to be featured too!

Chocolate Avocado Mousse

You might be thinking, “Did I read that title correctly?” You certainly did. Below is a recipe from my colleague/friend Kristi, who makes a delicious mousse that looks like a dark pudding. No one will know there is avocado in the dessert unless you tell him or her!

I love chocolate (who doesn’t), so when I started modifying my diet to include more clean foods, I was excited (and amazed, as will you) to find a wonderful chocolate mousse recipe made from…. wait for it….. avocados!! Not only is the recipe easy to make, but you will also easily fool any guests because it doesn’t look like or taste like avocados.  Enjoy!

In a food processor, blend:
4 avocados
1 cup agave
1 tablespoon vanilla (I used a homemade version from SensitiveEconomist)
1 cup raw cacao (or unsweetened cocoa powder for baking)

options: add 1 tablespoon coconut or 2 teaspoons cinnamon

I am sharing this recipe with Simply Sugar and Gluten Free, Cybele Pascal Allergen-Friendly Cooking and Sweet as Sugar Cookies.