Category Archives: Chocolate

Coconut Hot Chocolate and Favorite Recipes from 2015

coconuthotchoc3_dec2015

Now, I know what you’re thinking. Another hot chocolate recipe? But you posted one last year and said it was the best?! You’re right. I did. And it is the best hot chocolate recipe! So why another recipe? Because that recipe is the best for everyone. This one is for coconut-lovers specifically. (And it’ll probably convert non-coconut lovers, too; yeah, it’s that good!)

I made this hot chocolate a couple weeks ago while studying for finals. I photographed it as part of a “study break” (my study breaks > average study breaks). And now I finally get to share it with you all! Especially since the weather is finally cooperating and below 70°F

coconuthotchoc4_dec2015

This recipe ‘process’ is very similar to my other hot chocolate recipe. First heat up the milk; next mix the dry ingredients + coconut oil in a mug and then stir in about a teaspoon of the hot milk. Add in the rest of the milk, sprinkle with coconut flakes, grab your favorite book, and enjoy!

coconuthotchoc5_dec2015

Talking about books, I have five books and counting that I’m hoping to read (and finish!) during Christmas break.  Oh, and I need to work on a few essays for a summer program I’m applying for. And they call it Christmas “break.”

Anyways, find the recipe for this hot cocoa below (hot chocolate vs hot cocoa, is there a difference….?) and then keep scrolling to find some of your favorite recipes from this year!

Coconut Hot Chocolate
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 1 mug
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup coconut milk
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 4 tsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • dash of vanilla
  • 2 tsp coconut oil
  • coconut flakes (optional)
Instructions
  1. Heat the coconut milk and milk until it begins to boil.
  2. In a mug add the cocoa powder, honey, cinnamon, vanilla, and coconut oil.
  3. Once the milk is heated, remove it from the stove and add a teaspoon of it into the mug. Mix well.
  4. Add the rest of the milk into the mug and stir. Add coconut flakes on top (optional) and enjoy!

 

And now, let’s highlight a few of your (and my!) favorite recipes from 2015!

sweetpotatocrust3_april2015

I’ve used this sweet potato crust in so many recipes and, trust me, it does not disappoint!

crepecake7_feb2015

Crepe cakes are definitely staying on my menu in 2016!

brownieswhippedcoconutcream18_may2015

You guys LOVED these brownies! And so did I :) Especially since they’re sweetened with maple syrup and we skipped the butter and used coconut oil!

roastedchickenandveggies4_nov2015

Forget boring, tasteless salads. This salad takes salads to a whole new level of yum! So much love <3

almondjoysmoothie2_august2015

And last, but certainly not least, smoothies. Specifically this almond joy smoothie bowl. What’s not to love? It’s like dessert for breakfast. But the dessert is healthy. And delicious. And chocolatey. And coconuty. And beautiful. (Yeah, smoothies can be beautiful)

So now that we’ve reminisced about deliciousness, sip your coconut hot cocoa and ponder the meaning of life.

Or what your next meal will be.

coconuthotchoc7_dec2015

Almond Joy Smoothie Bowl {Vegan, Gluten-Free, and No Refined Sugar}

almondjoysmoothie2_august2015 You know what’s really embarrassing? Planning on posting a recipe in August before college starts and then two months later you still haven’t posted it. And add to that the fact that you only shared one recipe in summer…But summer was amazingly busy–visiting family and friends all over Europe (Serbia, Croatia, Germany, and Greece), making road trips with my family, and going to a leadership camp–  now that’s my kinda busy, even though it also kept me away from food blogging. But now with college in full-swing  I’m turning back to food and photographing it in a desperate attempt to forget the fact that I actually have assignments due soon.

almondjoysmoothie1_august2015 Oh,  and back to our discussion of how awkward I can be, I’m posting a smoothie recipe in October (in my defense, it was totally applicable in the August-summer heat).

Even though I don’t think smoothies can ever be outta place. There’s nothing better than waking up in the morning and looking forward to starting the day with a tastes-like-dessert-but-it’s-healthy smoothie.

almondjoysmoothie3_august2015 And this smoothie bowl fits the bill. It’s my new favorite smoothie–EVER. Toasted coconut: check. Almonds: check. Chocolate:check. No sugar: check (yes!!). Tastes like dessert but it’s healthy and filling: double check!! It’s like your hopes and dreams in a bowl–and you can eat it. Which is always a major plus :)

You seriously can’t go wrong with this recipe. Add more or less of the ingredients based on your taste (this goes especially for the milk: I used 3/4 cup because that yielded the consistency I like. If you like thicker smoothies, try adding 1/2 cup; if you’re more into thinner smoothies, add 1 cup)

almondjoysmoothie4_august2015 Can we just take a moment to admire TOASTED COCONUT through an insanely-close-up shot? It’s life-changing. I’m not sure I’ll ever go back to untoasted coconut.

(You don’t HAVE to toast the coconut, but, you guys, it takes like 5 minutes and it adds so much YUM to the smoothie. If you’re really against it, though, fine. Be like that 😉

almondjoysmoothie5_august2015 So, since you absolutely cannot go wrong with this AMAZINGLY DELICIOUS dessert-breakfast-in-a-bowl, what are you waiting for?? Nothing, that’s what!

Almond Joy Smoothie Bowl {Vegan, Gluten-Free, and No Refined Sugar}
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
The best of almond joy in a smoothie--without any of the regrets! Crunchy toasted coconut, almonds, and chocolate prove that you don't need much to make a healthy, delicious, and filling breakfast!
Author:
Serves: Serves 1
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup almonds
  • 2 pitted dates
  • ½ cup coconut
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder*
  • ¾ cup milk of choice
  • dash of vanilla extract
  • dash of cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp ground flax (optional)
  • 1 frozen banana**
  • toppings:oats***,chia seeds, cinnamon, etc
Instructions
  1. Soak the almonds and dates overnight (or for at least 30 minutes). ****
  2. Toast the coconut on broil in a non-greased baking pan until lightly browned, stirring frequently. Let cool.
  3. In a blender add the drained almonds and dates, ½ of the toasted coconut, cocoa powder, milk, vanilla, cinnamon, ground flax (optional), and frozen banana. Blend on high until smooth.
  4. Top with the rest of the toasted coconut and any other toppings you enjoy!
Notes
*If you're not a dark chocolate fan, I would suggest adding only 1 tbsp
**Cut the banana into fourths (or so) and freeze overnight (or for at least 3 hours)
***If gluten-intolerant, check that your oats are gluten-free
****Soaking the almonds overnight not only softens them but also makes it easier for them to be digested. Soaking the dates makes it easier for them to blend into the smoothie.

 

 

Brownies with Whipped Coconut Cream {Vegan, No Refined Sugar)

brownieswhippedcoconutcream14_may2015

Have you ever just wanted brownies? Like  I-need-I-want-brownies-right-now-no-questions-asked. I’ve had that feeling quite a few days recently.  But the making-brownies part just wasn’t happening.

But then it happened.

Aaaaaand I didn’t have enough eggs. Of course. But the  I-need-I-want-brownies-right-now-no-questions-asked feeling wasn’t going away. So I turned vegan. For the moment.

brownieswhippedcoconutcream4_2_may2015_edited-1

And, guys, these brownies are better than any other brownie, vegan or (*gulp* am I seriously making this confession??) non-vegan, I have ever tried. So moist and rich and easy-to-make! These are a few of my favorite things

And you get brownie points if you didn’t read/sing that last sentence in Maria’s voice

(Get it? Brownie points?) 😉

brownieswhippedcoconutcream17_may2015

But seriously, these brownies are sooo easy to make. And the batter is so….glossy.

Yeah, what a strange word to describe batter. But, as I was spreading it in the pan with my handy-dandy spatula, I couldn’t help but notice. “Glossy” just totally describes what was in that pan. Was it because of the flax eggs? Maybe. But whatever the reason, it was beautiful. *wipes tear*

I get emotional with my baking.

So eat a brownie and stop judging.

brownieswhippedcoconutcream18_may2015

5.0 from 1 reviews
Brownies with Whipped Coconut Cream {Vegan, No Refined Sugar)
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Decadent brownies topped with a light coconut cream; need I say more? Get baking!
Author:
Serves: 12-18 brownies
Ingredients
  • For Brownies:
  • 1⅓ cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 4 flax eggs*
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • For Whipped Coconut Cream:
  • 1 can coconut cream**, refrigerated overnight (or for at least three hours)
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
Instructions
  1. To make the brownies:
  2. Heat the oven to 350F.
  3. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl.
  4. Stir the cocoa powder into the melted coconut oil. Blend in the sugar, eggs, and vanilla.
  5. Blend in the flour mixture until well combined.
  6. In a greased 8x11inch baking pan pour and evenly spread the brownie batter; bake for about 15 minutes and let cool.
  7. To make the whipped coconut cream:
  8. Take the coconut cream out of the fridge and turn it upside down. Open it, drain the liquid on top (save this for another recipe; it goes great in smoothies!) and scoop the cream into a tall bowl.
  9. Using an electric mixer at medium-high speed, whip up the cream (about a minute). Add in the maple syrup and whipped to combine.
  10. Spread the whipped coconut cream on the cooled brownies. Cut and serve (or cover and refrigerate until serving)
Notes
*1 flax egg = 1tbsp ground flax + 2½ tbsp water + mix + let sit for five minutes
**I found cans of coconut cream at Trader Joe's. If you can't find a can of coconut cream, you can use a can (or two) of coconut milk (just use the cream on top and save the milk for another recipe)

 

 

 

THE Best Hot Chocolate

Hot Choco 5

*belts out “It’s the MOST WONDERFUL TIIIME OF THE YEEEEAR”* Am I the only one who’s ECSTATIC about the fact that it’s only TWO MORE WEEKS till CHRISTMAS!? Yeah, I didn’t think so; maybe I just have a harder time keeping it in.

Over the years I’ve become quite the hot chocolate connoisseur (I admit it: I had to look up the spelling of that word…) Cinnamon, oh yeahh. Nutmeg, yes please! Cloves, bring it on. Ginger, just a tad. Vanilla, can’t leave that out! Hot chocolate is sooo much more than just the usual cocoa, sugar, and milk (don’t get me started on what I think about using water instead; it’s a big no no) Those three ingredients are just the base, the starting point. And then you add in all the spices you like! The result: true comfort food (er, drink)

Hot Choco 2

Last week (the week before finals) I made myself a cup of hot chocolate (almost) every day. I mean, seriously, how do you except me to get through studying without my hot chocolate or tea? You don’t, that’s what. (Speaking about school: I have my last final tomorrow and BAM! I’m done with this fall semester *happy dance*)

Anyways….

Hot Choco 3

Not only is this hot chocolate a party for your tastebuds, it’s also dangerously easy to make! Just mix up all the ingredients (except the milk); then stir in the hot milk and that’s that! Whipped cream goes really well with it, just sayin’ (it also melts very quickly, as evidenced in the above photo)

Hot Choco 1

And one last random thing: is this or is this not the cutest Christmas napkin! It’s very comforting, too 😉

THE Best Hot Chocolate
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Not only is this hot chocolate a party for your tastebuds, it's also dangerously easy to make! Top with whipped cream and enjoy!
Author:
Serves: 1-2 mugs
Ingredients
  • 4 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • pinch of ground ginger
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • dash of cloves
  • dash of nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp honey (or sugar), more to taste
  • 1½ cups milk
Instructions
  1. Heat the milk on medium-low heat until it begins to simmer.
  2. Mix the rest of the ingredients together in a mug.
  3. Add a teaspoon of milk to the mug and stir until smooth and creamy.
  4. Add the rest of the milk and stir.
  5. Serve with whipped cream and sip on this deliciousness!
Notes
*If making two mugs, just divide the dry ingredients between the two mugs and add ½ tsp of hot milk to each, stir, and then add in the rest of the milk

 

Chocolate Tart

Chocolate Tart 12 Along with  eclairs I made this chocolate tart for my birthday two weeks ago! Rich, creamy and chocolaty, it was a great way to start the first day of my new year! Whether it’s for a birthday, a family-gathering, a rainy day, a holiday, a back-to-school treat, to satisfy a chocolate-craving, or to spice up a bland day, this tart will be a winner for everyone!

Chocolate Tart 2

These recipes are adapted from Sherry Yard’s The Secrets of Baking: Simple Techniques for Sophisticated Desserts. It has now become my favorite baking book. I love the way she presents recipes: a Master Recipe begins each chapter and that recipe is tweaked to create new recipes. So instead of memorizing 35,683,500,671 different recipes, learn the Master Recipe, understand the techniques behind it, and you’re ready to make chocolate souffles, chocolate sauces and chocolate fillings from the same Master Recipe with the same basic techniques!

Chocolate Tart 3 This crust recipe, like all of the recipes in the book, stems off of a Master Recipe for pie dough. In her book, Ms. Sherry describes in detail the differences between and processes behind flaky and mealy pie doughs. 

Chocolate Tart 4

The recipe makes enough dough for two 9-inch pie crusts. I only wanted to make one chocolate tart, so I used the extra dough to make tartlets (isn’t that a cute name?) which I filled with whipped cream and topped with fresh blueberries. You can use the extra pie dough for anything your heart desires (if your heart desires two chocolate tarts, double the ganache recipe).

Chocolate Tart 7

Before reading Sherry Yard’s book, ganache seemed like a mystical treat. But after reading through the Master Recipe (and memorizing it) I was stunned by its simplicity: boil heavy cream, add to cut up chocolate, tap bowl, let sit for a minute, gently stir, and BAM! That’s all! (I was also shocked to find out how easy it actually is to make souffles; that should be my next adventure in the kitchen!)

Chocolate Tart 11

After pouring the ganache into the crust, I topped it with whipped cream in the middle and refrigerated it before serving.

I must give one warning before giving you the recipe: the filling is very rich and creamy; better to slice it thinly and get two (or three–if no one’s watching) slices then to slice it thickly and have to throw away half-eaten slices.

Just sayin’

Chocolate Tart

Prep Time: 50 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Yield: About 16 slices

Chocolate Tart

Ingredients

    Almond Crust
  • 6 oz. cold butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1 egg
  • a pinch of salt
  • Ganache Filling
  • 9oz bittersweet chocolate
  • 2 cups heavy cream

Instructions

    Almond Crust
  1. Sift together the flour, almond flour, and sugar.
  2. Add in the butter and combine until the dough resembles coarse walnut-sized pieces.
  3. Mix together the egg and salt. Add to the flour and butter mixture and mix until the dough just starts to come together.
  4. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour. (The dough can stay in the fridge for up to 3 days)
  5. Preheat oven to 350F.
  6. Take the dough out of the fridge and on a lightly floured surface roll it out in a circle with a diameter an inch or two larger then the pan it will be baked in.
  7. Place the dough in a lightly greased baking pan. Using a fork poke a few holes in the bottom of the dough. Place parchment paper over the dough and fill the bottom with a faux filling. Bake at 350F for 10 minutes, then lower the temperature to 325F and bake for another 10 minutes.
  8. Take out the faux filling and bake for another 10 minutes at 325F. Once the crust is golden brown, take it out of the oven and cool before using.
  9. Ganache Filling
  10. Cut up the chocolate into small pieces (about 1/4 inch). Place in a heat-proof bowl.
  11. Bring the heavy cream to a boil.
  12. Immediately pour the heavy cream over the chocolate and tap the bowl on the kitchen surface to settle the chocolate.Let sit for one minute.
  13. Gently stir the mixture with a spatula, careful not to add too much air to the mixture while stirring. Keep slowly stirring until the chocolate and heavy cream have been combined into a thick ganache.
  14. Pour the ganache into the cooled crust and refrigerate for at least ten minutes before decorating (optional).

Notes

Recipes adapted from Sherry Yard's The Secrets of Baking Almond Pie Dough recipe and Master Ganache recipe

http://www.mateamilojkovic.com/?p=695

Disclosure: this post was not sponsored by Sherry Yard or affiliates; all opinions are my own

Dark Chocolate Coconut Brownies

Dark Chocolate Coconut Brownies 7 Brownies are a classic dessert; who doesn’t like them? Whether they’re fudgey, loaded with peanut butter or nuts, have a crackled top, or topped with frosting, it’s hard to go wrong with brownies. And this recipe isn’t about to break that trend!

Dark Chocolate Coconut Brownies 2 This brownie batter is super thick (the above picture was taken before the dry ingredients were added, just so you know), but don’t worry–it’s all part of the delicious-brownie-making-process. Trust me.

Oh, and that random green leaf in the background is from our aloe vera plant

Why is it there? I would love to know that answer, too

Dark Chocolate Coconut Brownies 5 And remember–these are dark chocolate brownies, which is why I don’t add a lot of sugar.

Because that would defeat the dark chocolate purpose

And then these wouldn’t be dark chocolate brownies

And then life as we know it would end

Ok, so maybe that last statement was a little too extreme, but you get the point.

Dark Chocolate Coconut Brownies 6 And now, without further ado here is this delicious brownie recipe!

Dark Chocolate Coconut Brownies

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: Makes 18 brownies

Dark Chocolate Coconut Brownies

Ingredients

  • 1 1/3 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup butter,melted
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • chocolate chips (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl.
  3. Stir the cocoa into the melted butter; then blend in the sugar, eggs, and vanilla.
  4. Blend in the dry ingredients, coconut, and chocolate chips.
  5. In a greased baking pan (9x11inch)evenly spread the batter. Top with more coconut and chocolate chips if desired.
  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes.

Notes

Recipe adapted from HERSHEY'S Best Brownies Recipe

http://www.mateamilojkovic.com/?p=596

 

 

 

 

https://www.hersheys.com/recipes/recipe-details.aspx?id=98