12 Weeks Of Christmas | Week 12: Chocolate Pots

20141223_092715I couldn’t possibly finish this series without a nod to Nigella. And chocolate pots are easy to prepare, intensely rich and decadent. Of course, you must use the best quality dark chocolate you can find- minimum 70% cocoa solids- and the rest is just a matter of pulsing everything together in the food processor, coupled with patience as the pudding sets.

Mine came out with one too many air bubbles, but no matter. It was gobbled up in seconds!

NIGELLA LAWSON’S CHOCOLATE POTS ( From Nigella Bites.)

INGREDIENTS

  • 175 grams dark chocolate, 70% cocoa solids ( I used Lindt,)
  • 150 ml double cream
  • 100 milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 6-8 ramekins, depending on the size

METHOD

  • In a food processor, blitz the chocolate to shards.
  • Heat the cream and milk together until it almost boils. Pull off the heat, add the vanilla and pour this liquid over the chocolate in the food processor. Allow the mixture to rest for 30 seconds so that the chocolate melts somewhat.
  • Blitz for 30 seconds, then add the egg and process for 45 seconds more.
  • Pour the mixture into ramekins and set for a minimum of 6 hours to overnight.
  • Take them out of the fridge and allow them to rest at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving.

 

12 Weeks Of Christmas | Week 12: Double Chocolate Crunchies {Recipe Redux}

Today I’m sharing an old post that fits perfectly with the Christmas theme. No-bake chocolate candy that can be customized to your liking. It’s a Dorie Greenspan recipe, and I first made it over two years ago, with my own twist: more chocolate!

I doubled the chocolate by adding it once with the dry ingredients, and coating the candy mounds in more melted chocolate. After all, for Christmas, more is more 😀

My version of Dorie's chocolate crunchies!

My version of Dorie’s chocolate crunchies!

The original post, along with the recipe, can be found here, dated November 2011.

12 Weeks Of Christmas | Week 9 : Vegan Amazon Chocolate Cake

I’ve always maintained that one can never have too many chocolate cake recipes. And this one, apart from being super simple, is also dairy and egg-free: yes, a vegan chocolate cake that is actually very good.

I found this via  Food52’s Genius Recipes column, and I have to admit, it is pretty genius. I’ve tried my hand at vegan cakes before, but many recipes I’ve found online require ingredients that aren’t easily available here, like almond milk. And I don’t want to make almond milk from scratch just for a cake. This cake requires none of the above, and is really economical, too. Just flour-sugar-cocoa-water-vinegar and baking soda, with a touch of vanilla.

So I read through the recipe notes and it says that this isn’t “the richest, most chocolatey cake,” and adds that you can add some coffee instead of water. So I took 1 tablespoon of water from the 1 cup and dissolved 1 tsp of instant coffee in it. And I added another ingredient- almond meal, because I’m a sucker for almond meal.

Like the recipe notes says, it’s not a decadent, rich, Nigella-like cake. But it’s pretty good, and great for those times when you are craving a piece of cake with no eggs or milk in sight. Plus, it’s a great option if you need to bake a cake for someone who follows a vegan diet or is allergic to dairy and eggs.

MARGARET FOX’S VEGAN AMAZON CHOCOLATE CAKE (Adapted slightly from Food 52.)1

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • teaspoon baking soda
  • cup castor sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • tablespoons neutral oil (like corn, canola, or vegetable)
  • cup cold water
  • 1/2 teaspoon instant coffee powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • tablespoon cider vinegar or white vinegar
  • 1/8 cup almond meal (optional)
  • Powdered sugar for dusting (optional)

METHOD

  • Heat the oven to 180 c. Grease a 9-inch round cake tin and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, mix all the dry ingredients: flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, sugar and salt. Sift everything once to ensure there are no lumps.
  • From the one cup of water, remove one tablespoon. Dissolve the instant coffee powder in this one tablespoon of water in a small bowl and set aside.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining water, oil, vanilla, vinegar, and coffee mixture.
  • Pour the wet ingredients into dry and whisk well. If the batter is lumpy, whisk until smooth, or pour through a strainer in to a bowl and break up lumps.
  • Fold in the 1/8 cup of almond meal, and mix well.
  • Pour the batter into the cake pan. Tap the edge of the pan against the edge of the counter several times to pop air bubbles.
  • Bake at 180 C for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the top springs back when pressed gently/toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  • Cool before removing from the pan and dusting with powdered sugar if desired.