Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Recipe Finds - Move Over Cupid, I'm in Love with Chocolate!

What's better than a surprise party with all of your friends before you deploy?  A chocolate-themed suprise party! 

You should have seen our apartment this weekend.  The chocolate overraneth for sure: brownies, truffles, drinks, no-bake cookies, baklava, dipped potato chips.  A few waistlines may have expanded from our indulgences!  

To honor Valentine's Day, here's a sampling of chocolate-laced dishes. 

Chile con Carne

This all started because I got a chocolate cookbook for Christmas. Amid the pages of breads, pies, bars, and sauces was this intriguing recipe for chili.  I've had chili-infused dark chocolate before so I knew this was workable.

This is first and foremost a serious chili.  You skip any notion of using chili powder and rehydrate dried ancho and New Mexico chilis, which can be found in the produce section or the Hispanic aisle.  You then blend them into a velvety sauce before adding cumin, allspice, beef, onions, tomatoes, and 70% dark chocolate.

I made a double batch for our party, pureed the onion with the chilis, and added a can of black beans instead of an additional pound of beef.  It was gobbled up within the first hour! 

It's not a chili you would have often, but it's got a wonderfully deep flavor with the chocolate.  It only needs a touch of cheese and the flavors intensify the longer it sits.  Give this a try if you want something different! 

I actually think it would be better without the beef and just using black beans.  It was a tad sharp so the next time I might add the 60% chili-infused chocolate instead of 70% dark.

4.5 out of 5 forks

Chocolate-Chip Pumpkin Bread

Chocolate and pumpkin?!  Oh yes, it's completely awesome together.  You eat bananas, strawberries, and raspberries with chocolate, why not pumpkin?

This is a fantastically easy quick bread recipe.  It's probably perfectly fine as is, except I just can't leave recipes alone :)

For a slightly healthy makeover, consider the following:
  • Sub half of the flour for wheat flour.  It won't overpower and you'll be adding in a touch more fiber.  You may need to increase the baking time by a few minutes so be mindful toward the end.
  • Instead of 1.5 cups of oil, use 1 cup unsweetened applesauce + 1/2 cup oil.  You could use all applesauce, but the texture will turn a little gummy.  Leaving in some oil will help perserve the fluffliness.
  • Due to a shortage at the time, I originally used only 3/4 mini chocolate chips.  It was really nice and I fear going to the full 1.5 cup would drown out the pumpkin flavor.  Reducing the chocolate also reduces calories and fat.   
5 out of 5 forks

Bacon Chocolate-Chip Cookies

The chocolate-bacon craze has been gathering steam the last few years. I recently tried a bacon chocolate bar and it was decent. It's not so much the bacon flavor that's being imparted, but smoky, salty goodness.

A friend of mine brought these delightful morsels over for our party and they were a hit. She used regular bacon instead of maple but followed the recipe otherwise. This is a very flat cookie that's soft in the middle but crispy on the edges - my favorite texture.

The taste is mostly chocolate with little spikes of bacon throughout. Don't be weirded out by putting meat in a cookie!  If you've ever drizzle pancake syrup on bacon, it's the same idea.

4.5 out of 5 forks, only because I'd have to resist making these often!

Malted Fudge Brownies

Malt powder, brownies, and whoppers.  I can never make this recipe again.  I'm serious, it's that addicting!

I don't think I could go back to plain brownies after this dish either. Omitting the walnuts and underbaking these bars turned it into a glorious concoction of malted goodness. Soft, fudgy brownie topped with crunchy, salty whoppers.  OMG!!!

Move over Cookie Monster!  Nom, nom, nom, nom, nom!

5 out of 5 forks 

What foods are your favorite for Valentine's Day?

No comments:

Post a Comment