Holiday time is approaching, and this year things are a bit different. Depending on where you are in the world, they're a lot different! But that doesn't mean we can't enjoy some of the most delicious parts of the season. Good food always brings people together, whether in body or spirit. If you're unable to get your favorite people together this holiday season, then you can at least share some decadent chocolate recipes with them.
Chocolate has been enjoyed for centuries around the world, in many different forms and for many different reasons. In contemporary times, we mostly just like to eat it, as a bar, truffles, hot cocoa, and of course, cakes and tarts. Below are five of our favorite chocolate recipes, and they suit just about any chocolate lover's craving. These aren't just basic recipes though, they're a veritable luxury for your tongue and tummy.
Beyond Heaven Chocolate Lava Cake
Just when you think you've died and gone to chocolate heaven, you'll side-fork into this dome of perfection and discover that the flowing mahogany molten at the core might be the very reason we're alive. This cake is pure decadence––prepare yourself for the thrill. Supremely rich dark chocolate veritably spills from its center, like a built-in sauce. The whole thing pairs nicely with vanilla ice cream, but it's bold enough all on its own so it doesn't require it. A high-quality bittersweet chocolate will ensure chocolate's pleasure and reward signals in the brain are sharp!
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter
6 ounces good-quality bittersweet chocolate
2 egg yolks
¼ cup white sugar
1 pinch of sea salt
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
Preheat the oven to 450°F. Butter four 6-ounce ramekins and lightly coat with flour, tapping to remove excess. Place the ramekins on a baking sheet.
Melt the butter and chocolate together in a double boiler with simmering water below. Beat the eggs with the egg yolks, sugar, and salt in a medium sized mixing bowl at high speed until thick and slightly pale.
Whisk the chocolate and butter until smooth. Then add the flour and quickly fold it into the egg-sugar mixture. Divide the batter equally between the four ramekins and bake for 12 minutes. The sides of the cakes should be firm with soft centers.
Allow them to cool for one minute, then cover each one with a plate and gently turn them over, one at a time. Allow them to stand for 10-15 seconds, then remove the cakes from the ramekins. Serve immediately.
Irresistible 5-Minute Chocolate Fudge
Your mother-in-law just called and invited you to dinner tonight and put you in charge of dessert. Between laundry, meetings, and kids, you're strapped for time. The solution? Fudge, obviously––no one can resist it. This chocolate fudge is a definite crowd-pleaser, and it whips up in just five minutes. Make it with or without nuts, and choose a high-quality brand of semi-sweet chocolate chips to achieve an authentic and rich flavor.
Note: evaporated milk and condensed milk are not equals. Condensed milk contains sugar, so if you choose it over evaporated milk, reduce the sugar by about 50%.
2 tbsp butter
⅔ cup evaporated milk
1 ⅔ cups white sugar
½ tsp salt
2 cups miniature marshmallows
1 and ½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 tsp vanilla
½ cup pecans or walnuts, chopped
Combine the butter, milk, sugar, and salt in a saucepan and cook over medium heat until it reaches boiling. Cook 4-5 minutes longer while stirring constantly.
Remove the saucepan from heat, and stir in the marshmallows, chocolate chips, vanilla, and chopped nuts (optional).
Beat the fudge, either by hand or with a handheld mixer for about a minute, until the marshmallows melt and the mixture is thoroughly combined.
Butter an 8-inch pan and pour the fudge batter into it. Allow to cool and set before cutting into squares.
Badly Behaved Brownies
No dessert is quite as naughty (or impressive) as these skillet brownies, infused with Frangelico and textured with chopped Ferrero Rocher chocolates. They're not difficult or time-consuming to make, but the ingredients may require a special shopping trip. As with any baked chocolate recipe, be sure to choose a selective dark chocolate and either pure cacao or cocoa (learn about the difference here).
80 gr unsalted butter
2 tbsp cocoa powder
100 gr dark chocolate, chopped
150 gr (about 12) Ferrero Rocher chocolates, roughly chopped
2 tbsp grapeseed oil
100 gr brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
120 gr plain flour
½ tsp baking powder
⅓ cup (110g) condensed milk, warmed
2 tbsp Frangelico
1 egg yolk
Preheat your oven to 180ºC, and butter four skillets, each 8 cm or 200 ml capacity.
Melt the butter, cocoa, dark chocolate, and 100 grams of Ferrero Rocher (8 individual pieces) in a double boiler. Allow to cool.
Whisk the oil, Frangelico, eggs, egg yolk, sugar, and vanilla paste in a large mixing bowl.
Sift the flour and baking powder in a separate bowl, and then gently fold the above mixture into the flour.
Equally divide the batter between the skillets and sprinkle the remaining pieces of Ferrero Rocher over top of each one.
Bake for 10 minutes. It should rise slightly and be soft in the center. Drizzle with warm caramel and serve.
Crave-Worthy Classic Chocolate Cake
You may think you've had the best chocolate cake ever until you try this one. This is the ideal classic chocolate cake for birthdays, showers, and the spontaneous Tuesday-night surprise dessert for the family. We could all use a bit up chocolate cheering up these days, and good ole' fashioned chocolate cake is never refused. Substitute buttermilk for plant-based milk, vegetable oil for coconut oil, and choose an unsweetened cocoa powder. Unite these double stacks of moist dark chocolate cake with your favorite creamy, fudge-like icing. It's lip-smacking delicious and even better with a little rainbow-sprinkle ice cream on the side.
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
1 ½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp espresso powder homemade or store-bought
1 cup milk buttermilk, almond, or coconut milk
½ cup vegetable oil or melted coconut oil
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water
Preheat your oven to 350º F.
Whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and espresso powder in a large mixing bowl until well combined.
Add the milk, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla to the flour mixture and use your mixer to blend until well combined. Reduce the speed and slowly add the boiling water until well combined.
Butter and lightly flour two 9-inch cake pans, and divide the cake batter evenly between them. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
Allow the cakes to cool for about 10 minutes, then gently remove from the pans and allow them to cool completely. Frost and stack as desired.
Chili Chocolate Tart
Some like it sweet. Others like it spicy. We think the combination delivers the best of both! Be careful if you make this one for friends or family because they'll expect you to pony it up every time! (It might just be easier to share the recipe).
1 ⅔ cups plain flour, sifted
2 tbsp icing sugar, sifted
125 gr unsalted butter, chilled & chopped
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tsp vanilla bean paste
Salt flakes, fresh raspberries and creme fraiche, to serve
150 gr dark (70%) chocolate, chopped
⅔ cup caster sugar
½ cup dark cocoa powder, plus extra to dust
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp chili powder
2 ½ cups hazelnut meal
200 gr unsalted butter, chilled & chopped
1 tsp finely grated orange rind
Put the flour, sugar, butter, and a pinch of salt into a food processor and pulse to achieve a crumb-like texture. Add the egg and vanilla paste and pulse until a dough forms. Turn the dough onto a clean surface and make a disc. Wrap in plastic and chill for 15 minutes until firm.
For the filling, place the chocolate, sugar, cocoa, cinnamon, chili, and hazelnut meal into a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Add the butter and orange rind and continue mixing until combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, blending in between until combined. Chill.
Roll the firm, chilled dough out until ¼ inch thick and place in a 26 cm loose-bottomed tart pan. Trim the edges and place in the freezer for 30 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 200°C. Place parchment paper on top of the rolled dough, place pastry weights, and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the weights and paper immediately and bake for an additional 2-3 minutes.
Gently pour the filling into the tart shell to ensure its surface is level. Place the tart pan on a baking tray and bake for 35-40 minutes. The pastry should be golden and the filling firm. Place on a wire rack to cool.
Once cooled, remove the tart from the pan and dust with cocoa powder and a gentle sprinkling of salt. Serve with fresh berries, ice cream, or creme fraiche.
Before You Go…
We devoted this whole month to chocolate, but we could easily devote two more! If you haven't checked out our recent posts, start with How Chocolate Is Made to learn where chocolate comes from and how the bean-to-bar process actually works.
From our kitchen to yours, we wish you fun and chocolatey times in the kitchen this month!