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Chocolate-recipes

National Cookie Weekend: An Excuse To Ditch The Diet

If you’re looking for an excuse to indulge this Friday, it’s International Choc Chip Day! To celebrate all things chocolate, Mrs Fields Cookies is hosting their annual National Cookie Weekend, May 15-17, and is encouraging Aussies to get involved.

RELATED: Classic Choc Chip Cookies Recipe

Maybe you want to dust off that apron and get creative in the kitchen with this banana oatmeal chocolate chip cookie recipe? Or if baking isn’t your forte perhaps a trip to your local store to pick up some freshly baked goods is on the cards (drool!)? Either way, you’ve got yourself a damn good reason to ditch the diet for a few days – well, sort of – so take it, sister!

“National Cookie Weekend is about making a moment better by treating yourself or someone else to one of our delicious signature soft baked cookies,” said Andrew Benefield, managing director of Mrs. Fields Australia.

To make it even more of an experience – because let’s face it, cookie weekend only happens once a year – Andrew says Mrs Fields is encouraging customers “to upload the funniest photo of them enjoying one of our signature chocolate chip cookies to Instagram, tag @mrsfieldsau and #nationalcookieweekend.”

Just because we’re getting into the spirit of International Choc Chip Day this year, and in case you yourself needed more of an incentive to take part, here are some fun and delicious facts about choc chip cookies:

  • Chocolate chips were initially invented to use in cookies after accidentally being created by adding broken pieces of a chocolate bar to cookie batter.
  • The world’s biggest chocolate chip cookie weighed 18,144 kg and had a diameter of 30.7 metres. It was baked in 2003 by Immaculate Baking Company in the US.
  • The creator of the choc chip cookie was paid for her recipe with a lifetime supply of chocolate.
  • National Cookie Weekend 2014 saw over 15,000 cookies sold across its network of stores in Australia.

Share your cookies with us on Instagram: @shesaid

Strawberry Filled Dark Chocolate Easter Eggs Recipe

It’s easy to overindulge during the Easter break, but with these dark chocolate Easter eggs you won’t have to feel guilty for having one too many.

RELATED: Saucy Chocolate Pudding Recipe

Provided by fitness guru Lauren Hannaford, the recipe is made with healthy substitutes including protein powder, oats and coconut flour and are covered with sugar-free dark chocolate, meaning they’re super low in calories, too!

Serves 10

Ingredients

1/4 cup IsoWhey Strawberry Smoothie protein powder

2 tbsp coconut flour

1/4 cup ground oats

1/4 cup ground almonds

1/2 cup milk (or milk substitute)

55g (6 squares) of sugar-free 70 per cent cocoa dark chocolate

Method

  1. In a large bowl, mix the IsoWhey protein powder, coconut flour, oats, almonds and milk. Set aside.
  2. Melt 3 squares of chocolate and divide it between 10 egg moulds (use ice cube tray if necessary). Smooth chocolate around the edges of the mould so it covers all the sides and the bottom.
  3. Put the moulds in the fridge for 20 minutes or until chocolate has set.
  4. Remove the moulds once set and fill each mold with the protein mixture.
  5. Once you fill each mould, melt another 3 squares of dark chocolate and smooth over the filling until it is all covered.
  6. Put the moulds back in the fridge to set (approximately 20 minutes).
  7. Remove chocolates from Easter egg mold and enjoy!

Make Your Own Healthy Nutella

You may not have realized, but hazelnut spread is so easy to make at home. Not only is it healthier that the sugar-filled versions available in supermarkets, but it will also be cheaper in the long-run. This quick and easy recipe is a great for kids and adults, and is a killer cure for those sweet-cravings.

RELATED: Home made muesli bars recipe

Ingredients

2 cups roasted hazelnuts

1/2 cup maple syrup

1/2 cup cashew milk

1/4 cup cacao powder

2 tbsp coconut oil

1 tsp vanilla essence

1/4 tsp sea salt

Method

  1. Put hazelnuts into a food processor and blend for a few minutes.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and keep blending at medium speed, scraping down the sides if need be. It should take up to 10 minutes before it turns into a smooth, delicious butter.

TIP: The key to making the best spread is to blend it well – unless, of course, you enjoy a bit of texture.

No-Bake Nutella Sushi Rolls Recipe

Looking for a way to indulge after a long and stressful week at work? This delicious Nutella recipe is perfect for anyone with a sweet tooth, and offers a modern twist to a classic recipe. Made with fresh banana and crepes, simply roll-up and enjoy as an occasional treat.

Serves 2

Ingredients

2 leftover room temperature crepes

2 ripe bananas

Nutella

Instructions

  1. Lay the crepe on a flat surface and spread a generous amount of Nutella in the centre. Leave a small border around the outer corners.
  2. Peel and chop a banana, then place it on the top of the crepe. Roll it up and secure it well.
  3. Cut the roll in half with a short knife, or your own preferred size. Serve with chopsticks!

Image and Recipe via Laura Fuentes 

Mocha Brownies Recipe

This is a unique brownie recipe that combines rich dark chocolate, espresso (Gloria Jean’s Coffee Nicaragua RA Certified) and nuts (any variety will work), making for a delicious indulgence for the whole family.

Makes 10-20 

Ingredients

200g dark chocolate

250g butter

4 eggs

125g brown sugar

125g castor sugar

1 short black (30 ml Gloria Jean’s Coffee Nicaragua RA certified)*

1 tsp salt

100g plain flour

150g hazelnuts or pecans, roughly chopped

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 170C. Melt chocolate and butter in a bowl over gently simmering water. Stir to combine heat until just melted.
  2. Beat eggs and sugars together, incorporating as little air as possible. Stir in chocolate, coffee, salt and flour.
  3. Fold through nuts and pour into a lined and greased 28cm x 18cm tin. Bake for about 45 minutes or until just cooked and a little gooey in the centre.
  4. Allow to cool and turn out onto a board. Cut into squares and serve with coffee.

Gloria Jean’s Coffees has a range of whole bean coffee available for purchase through any one of their coffee houses nationally or via http://www.gloriajeanscoffees.com.au/ 

Nutella Crepe Cake Recipe

How good does this chocolate hazelnut crepe cake with chocolate sauce look? It’s actually much easier to make then you think, and is ready to serve in 30 minutes!

Serves: 4
Preparation time: 10 minutes, cooking time: 20 minutes

Ingredients
Crepes
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
125g plain flour
300ml milk
1/2 tbsp castor sugar
oil spray
250g Nutella or other chocolate hazelnut spread
2/3 cup thickened cream, whipped

Chocolate Sauce:
1/2 cup thickened cream
1 tbsp brown sugar
100g dark chocolate, roughly chopped or broken into pieces

Method
1. Place eggs, yolks, flour and milk in a bowl and using a whisk, mix to a smooth batter.

2. Heat a non-stick frying pan, and spray lightly with oil.

3. Pour in some batter and swirl the pan around to evenly and thinly cover the base. Cook until lightly browned before turning, then cook other side until lightly browned and cooked through. Set aside and repeat the process until all of the batter is used.

4. For the chocolate sauce, place cream and sugar into a saucepan and bring to a simmer.

5. Add chocolate, then remove from heat and stir until smooth. Place into a jug and set aside to cool

6. Place one crêpe onto a cake stand or plate, spread with hazelnut spread and whipped cream. Spread another crêpe with chocolate hazelnut spread and whipped cream, then place on top of the first crêpe and repeat this process until the last layer of crêpe.

7. Before serving, pour the chocolate sauce over the crêpes. Serve with fresh strawberries, raspberries or blueberries.

Tip: Add one tablespoon of hazelnut or coffee liquor to the chocolate sauce for that special indulgence.

What’s your all-time favourite dessert?

Jamie Oliver’s White Chocolate Fondants Recipe

Jamie Oliver’s wickedly gooey puds will score you top marks for an indulgent end to your romantic meal. Make them in advance and keep in the fridge until you’re ready to cook them so you can kick back, relax and concentrate on working your magic.

Serves 2

Ingredients
50g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
100g quality white chocolate, broken into chunks
2 large free-range eggs
50g caster sugar
1 tablespoons plain flour

To serve
crème fraîche
a handful of seasonal berries

Method
1. Grease 2 small individual pudding moulds. Melt the butter over a low heat, then stir in the chocolate. Meanwhile, beat the eggs with the sugar until pale and thick. Lightly mix this into the chocolate, then fold in the flour. Divide between the moulds and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

2. Preheat your oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4. Place the moulds on a baking tray and bake for exactly 14 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for a few minutes, loosen with a knife, then place a small plate on top of each mould and tip upside down. Leave for a minute, then remove the moulds. Serve with berries and crème fraiche on the side.

View more Jamie Oliver recipes developed for Woolworths here!

Valentine’s Day Desserts: Flourless Chocolate Puddings Recipe

TV chef Dominique Rizzo shares the perfect Valentine’s Day dessert: a decadent flourless chocolate pudding recipe that will win the heart – and tastebuds of your honey!

Serves: 10-12

Ingredients
2/3 cup water
1 cup sugar
3 cup butter
680g semi or bitter sweet chocolate, in small pieces
12 eggs
2/3 cup espresso coffee or your favourite liquor, orange juice or softened berries
1 tbsp Gourmet Garden Basil
500g strawberries, washed and sliced
1 tbsp icing sugar
¼ cup orange juice
Double cream

Method
1. For the basil and strawberry salad, combine Gourmet Garden Basil, strawberries, icing sugar and orange juice in a bowl.  Toss together and sit in the fridge until ready for use.

2. Preheat the oven to 160C.

3. Grease and flour 10 ramekins with butter and cocoa, or if using a spring-form tin, line with alfoil and baking paper.

4. Place the water and sugar into a saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Take off the heat and add in the butter and the chopped chocolate and stir gently to melt the chocolate.  Add in the eggs one by one whisking as you add each egg until the mixture is thick and glossy. Once the eggs have been whisked in pour the chocolate batter into the tin or ramekins (2/3 full) and place in a water bath and cook for 25-30 minutes until slightly wobbly in the centre.

5. Once cooked, remove the tin or ramekins from the water bath and allow to cool just enough to invert the puddings from the moulds, a few minutes. Serve with double cream and the basil and strawberry salad.

What are you cooking for Valentine’s Day?

Fluffy Mocha Mousse Recipe

This fluffy mocha mousse recipe is easy to make and is an elegant choice for an after-dinner treat. Make sure you use the best espresso, as it will really effect the flavour of the mousse.

Serves: 4

Ingredients

8 eggs
1 cup chocolate chunks
1 cup vegetable shortening
2 shots (120mL) espresso
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
4 tablespoons caster sugar

Method

1. Place eggs in a food processor and pulse for 3-4 minutes or until the eggs are fluffy.

2. Add the chocolate chunks to the eggs and mix until the chocolate chips are well ground.

3. Thirdly, add in the espresso, vanilla, cinnamon, shortening and coconut sugar and mix for 1 minute.

4. By this stage, the mixture should have taken on the thick consistency of mousse and is ready to serve.

Tip: The DéLonghi PrimaDonnaXS coffee machine, with its fully automatic function and its ability to produce two shots simultaneously, will help make the preparation both quick and easy.

What’s your favourite chocolate dessert?

Healthy Chocolate Cake Recipe

This recipe for sugar, dairy and gluten-free chocolate cake is packed with superfoods and is a piece of cake to make (pun intended!).

This healthy chocolate cake recipe is an adaption from a Nigella recipe, but changed to suit the parameters of my diet: soy, dairy, sugar and gluten free – and organic where possible. It also has a low glycemic index.

My favourite thing about this recipe is the amount of good things in it; particularly the coconut oil, cocoa powder and almond meal.

Pure, virgin coconut oil is nature’s best source of lauric acid, high in vitamins K and E which is great for your heart and cholesterol, fights bugs to keep you healthy, and has amazing properties for your skin and hair.

Cocao powder is super high in antioxidants (flavonoids), has phenethylamine which works as a mood elevator and has the ability to reduce the risk of blood clots, boost cognitive performance and lower high blood pressure.

Almond meal is packed with protein, antioxidants, monounsaturated fats (the good ones), and vitamin E, magnesium and potassium and is great for digestion.

This makes a small cake, so double the quantities if you’re using a regular cake pan.

Ingredients

1/3 cup coconut oil
3 tablespoons cocao powder
1/4 cup boiling water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup almond meal
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
Small pinch salt
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1 egg
Small shake desiccated coconut

Method

1. Preheat oven to 170°C, oil and paper a small (11cm) cake tin.

2. Sift cocoa and whisk with boiling water, add vanilla extract and leave to the side to cool (not in the fridge, if the mixture is too cold it will affect the coconut oil later).

3. Combine almond meal, salt and baking power in a small bowl.

4. In a separate bowl, combine sugar, oil and egg, and beat with an electric mixer. Make sure the coconut oil is liquid. Whisk until creamy. With the beater on a low setting, slowly add the cocoa mix and almond mix. If too runny, add a dash of desiccated coconut.

5. Pour into the cake tin and bang the tin on the tabletop to even out the mixture. Bake for about 25 minutes (or an hour for a larger cake). I find the best way to check if the cake is ready is to see if the sides of the cake have come away from the tin slightly, and to skewer the centre, it should still be slightly moist. Just try not to open to oven unless you have to – it makes the centre of the cake sink.

6. Remove from oven, leave to cool in the cake tin for 10 minutes, and then remove from tin and leave to cool on wire rack.

What’s your favourite healthy dessert recipe?

Kate Jones blogs about writing and pop culture at Calvicle Capitalism.

Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

We’ve tried a lot of chocolate chip cookie recipes, and believe us, this really is the ultimate recipe. The cookies have that perfect chewy texture and smell divine. Adding chopped nuts is optional, but serving with a glass of milk is a must! A great baking recipe for the kids too.

Ingredients

3/4 cup white sugar

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1 cup butter, softened

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 egg

2 1/4 cups plain flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1-2 cups chocolate chips

1 cup pecan or walnut pieces (optional)

Method

1. Preheat oven to 190C. Line a baking tray with baking paper.

2. Mix the sugars, butter, vanilla extract and egg in a large bowl.

3. Sift the flour, baking soda and salt together. Stir it into the sugar mixture, followed by the chocolate chips and nuts if using. Do not over mix.

4. Scoop rounded tablespoonfuls of dough and place them 5cm apart on the baking tray. You can also use an ice cream scoop (flatten the top before baking for flat, round cookies).

5. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until lightly brown. The cookies will still be a little soft, which makes them chewy when cool. Allow to cool slightly then cool on a wire rack.

Note: if you like crispy chocolate chip cookies cookies, leave them in the oven for 10-12 minutes, keeping an eye on them so they don’t get too dark.

What’s your favourite chocolate chip cookie recipe?

Raw Cacao Balls Recipe

Nutritionist and author of 10-days to a Healthier You Kathleen Alleaume gives us the low-down on raw cacao, how to eat it and why it’s better than chocolate – and shares her raw cacao protein balls recipe.

We all have experienced the positive feelings associated with eating chocolate, but have you tried unprocessed chocolate in the form of raw cacao (pronounced ka·cow) – which essentially is the same bean as cocoa, but in its raw state.

Compared to traditional cocoa found in traditional store-bought chocolate, raw cacao has very little sugar or additives making it a great way to consume something nutritious while still feeling decadent.

Due to its minimal processing, raw cacao retains a potent mineral content and nutrient dense properties, including a rich source of chromium (to help balance blood sugar), magnesium (to help maintain normal muscle and nerve function), and contains nearly twice the antioxidant content of red wine and up to three times the antioxidant content of green tea. Research also shows that cacao promotes cardiovascular health by helping reduce blood clotting, improve circulation, regulate heartbeat and blood pressure, lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol, and reducing your risk of heart attacks or stroke.

Too much of a good thing
Cacao is very powerful on the central nervous system and over-indulging can inhibit calcium absorption. The recommendation is to have no more than 40g (or four to six heaped teaspoons) of raw cacao a day.

How to eat it
Good quality raw cacao powder is available in most supermarkets and health food shops. Although the taste is very bitter, it’s advised to add a sweetener to it such as honey, stevia or agave. Add 1 tablespoon of cacao to your  morning smoothie, make decadent desserts using avocado, or enjoy cacao protein balls as a guilt-free energy-boosting snack.

Recipe: Raw Cacao Protein Balls
Makes about 10 balls

Ingredients

½ cup LSA (linseed, almond and sunflower) meal
¼ cup chia seeds
2 tbsp raw cacao
½ cup tahini
6 dried dates, pitted
1 tbsp honey
coconut flakes

Method

1. Combine all ingredients into a food processor and process until well combined and in a crumbly, paste-type consistency. Add a splash of water to make a smoother consistency (optional).

2. These delicious bite size pieces of heaven surely hit the spot. Not only are they jammed packed in protein and good fats, they’re a fantastic grab and go snack that will satisfy that longing for something sweet.

For more nutritious meal ideas, shopping lists and lifestyle tips to help you look feel great and look beter, download a free 3-day sample plan at www.therightbalance.com.au.

Saucy Chocolate Pudding

Sometimes, only a hot saucy chocolate pudding will do, served with a shock of cold vanilla ice cream of course! We love this no-fail recipe from chocolate cookbook 50 Shades of Chocolate.

Ingredients
90g butter
120g dark chocolate callets
¼ cup caster sugar
1 cup milk
2 eggs
1 tbsp vanilla essence
¾ cup self-raising flour
60g milk chocolate callets
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 cup boiling water
1 tsp vanilla essence

Method
1. Melt butter and chocolate over low heat and allow to cool. Add sugar, milk, eggs and vanilla essence and stir. Slowly add flour and stir until smooth.

2. Pour mixture equally into ramekins and sprinkle with chopped milk chocolate callets.

3. Bring water up to boil, take off heat and add sugar cocoa powder and vanilla essence until all have dissolved. Gently pour chocolate sauce over the back of a spoon on top of the mixture into the ramekins.

4. Bake for 20-25 minutes in 180C oven. Serve hot pudding with deliciously cold ice cream.

Recipe from www.50ShadesOfChocolate.com.au by Claire Preen, RRP $14.95.

2-Ingredient Chocolate Mousse

Can you believe you can make the fluffiest, most decadent chocolate mousse with only 2 ingredients – chocolate and water? And it’s ready in 5 minutes!

Because this 2-ingredient chocolate mousse recipe uses only chocolate and water, use the best quality 70% chocolate you can find. If you find 70% chocolate too bitter, feel free to add a little sugar.

Ingredients
265g 70% dark chocolate, chopped
1 cup water
4 Tbsp sugar, optional

Method
1. Place a large mixing bowl on top of slightly smaller mixing bowl, filled with ice and cold water (the bottom of the large bowl should touch the ice).

2. Put the chocolate and water in a medium-sized pan and melt the chocolate over medium heat, stirring occasionally.

3. Pour the melted chocolate into the large mixing bowl sitting on top of ice and water, and start whisking with a wire whisk (or an electrical hand mixer) until thick. This will take 3-5 minutes.

Note: Watch the texture as you whip and be careful not to over-whip as this will make the mousse grainy. Only whip until it begins to thicken and hold soft peaks (like whipped cream). If the mousse becomes grainy (which is possible on your first try), transfer it back into the pan, reheat until half of it is melted, pour it back to the mixing bowl and whisk again briefly.

4. Chill for 1 hour or enjoy as is.

Tip: This is a rich, dark chocolate mousse. Add a dollop of freshly-whipped cream to lighten the richness. Top with seasonal berries. Or serve over poached pears in individual bowls.

What’s your favourite chocolate mousse recipe?

Best-Ever Chocolate Cake

Looking for the ultimate chocolate cake recipe? Look no further. This recipe gives you a chocolate cake that is the perfect mix of being fudgy without dense, rich but not cloying. You’ll love it!


Serves 8

Ingredients

180g 60-70% dark chocolate, chopped

3 tablespoons very strong coffee or Kahlua

140g butter, diced

5 eggs, separated

200g caster sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 Tablespoons cocoa powder

90g plain flour, sifted

Method

1. Preheat oven to 175C. Line the base of a 22cm round springform cake pan with baking paper

2. Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. When the chocolate begins to soften, add the coffee or Kahlua and stir very gently until the chocolate has completely melted. Add the butter and stir until the butter has melted.

3. Meanwhile, beat the egg whites until stiff, then fold in the sugar. Mix the baking powder with the cocoa powder and flour.

4. Remove the chocolate from the heat and quickly stir in the egg yolks, then gently fold the melted chocolate into the egg whites.

5. With a light touch, add the cocoa flour mix to the liquid and stir with a large metal spoon – making sure you don’t knock the air out of the egg white. Don’t overmix, just stir until the flour is combined.

6. Carefully scoop into the lined pan and bake for 35 minutes. Remove and leave to cool in the pan, then serve. The top of the cake will crack a little as it cools, this is normal.

What’s your favourite chocolate cake recipe?

No Bake Chocolate Cheesecake

I’ve been craving chocolate cheesecake lately and this no bake recipe is perfect for the warm weekend. Just leave to set in the fridge and you’ve got a creamy, indulgent cheesecake.

Ingredients

210g chocolate biscuits (you can also use oat biscuits or digestives), crushed

4 tablespoons cocoa powder

¼ cup butter, melted

450g cream cheese at room temperature

100g icing sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

280g chocolate (between 50-72% cocoa)

235ml whipping cream

Method

1. In a medium mixing bowl, stir together biscuit crumbs, cocoa powder and butter. Press firmly into the bottom of a springform pan. Set aside.

2. In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese for 1 minute until smooth. Add icing sugar and beat again. Add vanilla extract and mix again.

3. Melt chocolate over a double boiler or in the microwave. Let cool slightly. With your mixer on slow speed, add the chocolate into the cream cheese mixture, pouring slowly.

4. Whip the cream until stiff peaks form. Fold in gently to chocolate and cheese mixture.

5. Pour the filling over the crust. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight. When the cheesecake is set, run a sharp knife around the edge to loosen from the pan. Gently open the latch and release the cheesecake.

Chocolate? Ricotta? What’s your favourite cheesecake?