chocolates and cakes

Chocolate Dessert

 

Nothing gets more festive than chocolate itself. Given its versatility, the creative scope with this luscious ingredient is endless. Besides what is more apt during Christmas time than a chocolate dessert to tie up your gorgeous dinner menu Chocolate is celebration by itself. Drown your senses in chocolate this season and watch your family wow your culinary aptitude! What better harkens the spirit of Christmas than having the house whiffed with the delicate aroma of

hot chocolate brewing up on your stove-top to keep the hearts warm this winter This wicked brown is a universal favorite and it is hard to go wrong with a recipe that puts this ingredient at its helm. Holidays are synonymous with entertainment and entertaining can be stressful. Take out the stress once in a while by cooking a fabulous meal for your family this season. Sit back and relax with these easy to prepare chocolate dessert recipes that your family will thank you for, for years to come.

Chocolate Macaroon Bars:

These are small bites of heavenly delight. What complements this recipe besides the ease of preparation is that, it is a wonderful finger food. Pop this into your mouth whole or nibble at it. Either ways it gives a burst of flavor and is an instant pleaser.

Procedure:

Making the bar: Line a 9-inch square pan with aluminum foil; grease with butter to prevent sticking. Set it aside. Melt 1 stick of butter over a bowl of simmering water. Add 6 doz. of chopped semisweet chocolate and 2 oz. chopped unsweetened chocolate. Remove bowl from water. Whisk in 1 cup of superfine sugar, 2 tablespoons of rum, one pod of vanilla slit lengthwise, a teaspoon of coconut extract and 3 lightly beaten eggs. Fold in 3/4 cup of sifted flour and 1 1/2 cups of unsweetened flaked coconut. Pour mixture into the pan and thrust it into the oven. Bake at 350 degrees F, for 25 minutes.

Frosting: Pulse 3 oz. semisweet chocolate in a food processor. Heat heavy cream until it starts to simmer. Add this to chocolate and let stand for a minute. Pulse this mixture four times until the chocolate melts. Let it stand for a minute. Then add 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract and pulse few more times. Frost cake and cool before slicing it into 1x2 inch bars. This recipe yields 32 bars.

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Chocolate Chunk Brownies:

Chocolate chunk brownies are easy to make and versatile for various applications. Dress up this basic recipe with chopped candy bars swirled into the batter.

Procedure: Grease a 9x9x2-inch baking pan and set aside. In a medium saucepan melt 1/3 cup butter or margarine and 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate over low heat stirring constantly to prevent burning. Stir in 1 cup of granulated sugar, 2 large eggs, and a teaspoon of vanilla. Using a wooden spoon beat lightly by hand until just combined. Stir in 2/3 cup all-purpose flour. Whisk in a 2.2 ounce chocolate bar, coarsely chopped and 1/3 cup white baking pieces. Spread batter in prepared pan. Bake it in a 350 degree F oven for 20 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Cut into bars. Decorate it with sprinkled powdered sugar for that festive look. This recipe makes 16 bars.

Make-ahead tip: Store brownie bars in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze it up to a month. Thaw for an hour before serving.

Raspberry Chocolate Cake:

This luscious decadent dessert is eye-catching enough to drool over. Besides serving as a wonderful centerpiece for your dining table this cake could easily be a party favorite. So get on with your baking equipment and impress your friends and family with this 4-layered decadence.

Procedure: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and lightly flour, two 9x1, 1/2-inch round baking pans so as to prevent sticking. Set aside. Stir together 2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon of baking powder, 3/4 teaspoon of baking soda and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a mixing bowl. Beat 2/3 cup butter in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add 1 3/4 cup sugar and stir until well-mixed. Add 2 large eggs, one at a time and beat after each addition. Stir in 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled previously into the mixture. Add the dry flour-mix and 1 1/4 cup water alternately into the egg and sugar mix, beating on low speed after each addition until just combined. Pour batter into the prepared pans. Spread evenly.

Bake in a preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted at the center comes out clean. Cool cake layers in pans inverted over wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove cakes from pan when cool.

Layering: Place one cake layer cut side up, on serving plate; spread with 1/4 cup seedless raspberry jam. Top with second layer, cut side down. Spread with about 2/3 cup raspberry-chocolate frosting. Place another cake layer, cut side up, on top of frosting; spread with another 1/4 cup of raspberry jam. Top with the last cake layer, cut side down. Frost the top and sides with the remaining 3/4 cup of raspberry-Chocolate frosting. Pipe the remaining frosting on top of cake.

Garnish with raspberries on top. This recipe makes 14 servings.

Serving suggestions: Prior to serving, place desired quantity of sauce in a microwaveable bowl and run it on high for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Stir once between the reheating process to distribute heat evenly throughout the mixture. Serve sauce warm over ice cream, clairs or fresh berries.

Chocolate Custards:

Chocolate custards served in individual cups make a pretty presentation. Wake up your taste buds this numbing winter with a burst of espresso flavor.

Procedure: Place 8 ounces of chocolate in a large bowl. Heat 1/3 cup of heavy cream, 2 cups milk, and 1 split vanilla bean in a heavy saucepan over medium heat, until just simmering. Whisk 6 large eggs and 6 tablespoons sugar together in a large bowl. Whisk the hot milk mixture into the eggs in a slow and steady stream taking care not to scramble the eggs in the process. Return the mixture to the saucepan. Cook over low heat until the custard thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and pour it over chocolate. Stir until the chocolate has melted completely. Stir in the espresso and divide the custard-mix in custard cups or tea cups and chill for an hour before serving.

Garnish with whipped cream and remaining chocolate. This recipe yields 16 servings.

Bittersweet Hot Fudge Sauce:

Bittersweet hot fudge sauce is a tasty accompaniment to most dessert recipes. A dollop of ice cold vanilla ice cream topped with hot fudge is a gratifying taste bud experience. This sauce can be treated as a sweet condiment that can spike up any dessert dish both in taste and appearance.

Procedure: In a 4-quart Dutch oven combine 24 ounces coarsely chopped semi-sweet chocolate, 8 ounces of coarsely chopped unsweetened chocolate, 3 1/2 cup half-and-half or light cream with 1 3/4 cup sugar. Bring to boiling and follow it by a slow simmer at a lower temperature for 2 minutes until the concoction looks creamy and delicious. Stir frequently to prevent sticking. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Storage: Pour the hot sauce into 7 or 8 hot, clean 16, 4 ounce jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Secure and seal with metal lids. Refrigerate immediately. This recipe yields eight 1/2 pint or sixteen 1/2 cup jars.

Talk of the decadent brownie or this simplest bittersweet hot fudge sauce: these recipes are accomplished enough to adorn any party spread or a small family gathering. Create these recipes with a douse of your imagination and they can be a show-stealer. Try different mix and matches with these recipes and surprise yourself for being the author of another decadent delicacy. Lay a scoop of vanilla ice cream over a bed of delectable warm brownies and shower generous spoonfuls of fudge sauce right on top and Eureka! There you have your version of a hot fudge sundae! Have fun with these recipes and spread the joy around; nothing can get more Christmassy than that.