Creamy Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

Yields: 24 bars

Crust:
2 c graham cracker crumbs
1/2 c sweet ground chocolate and cocoa
1/2 c butter, melted
2 TBS sugar

Topping:
16 oz. cream cheese
1 c sugar
1/2 c creamy peanut butter
3 TBS flour
4 eggs
1/2 c milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 bar (2 oz.) milk chocolate baking bar, broken into 1″ pieces
1/2 tsp vegetable shortening

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Crust:
1. Combine the graham cracker crumbs, ground chocolate, butter, and sugar in a large mixing bowl until well blended.
2. Press the mixture onto the bottom of an ungreased 9″ x 13″ baking pan.
3. Bake 8 minutes, and then transfer to a wire rack and let cool.

Topping:
1. In large bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar, peanut butter, and flour until well blended.
2. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixture well after each addition.
3. Blend in the milk and the vanilla extract.
4. Pour the topping into the crust and bake 40 minutes.
5. Let cool completely in pan on wire rack.
6. Melt the chocolate pieces and vegetable shortening in a double boiler over hot, but not boiling, water.
7. Stir occasionally until smooth.
8. Spread the melted chocolate evenly over the cooled bars.
9. Chill approximately 10 minutes, just until the chocolate layer is partially set.
10. Score the chocolate layer with a sharp knife, forming squares, and return the pan to the refrigerator.
11. Chill 30 minutes, or until firm. Ct through the bars and serve. Store tightly covered in the refrigerator.

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Yield: 1 loaf

1 1/4 c sugar
1 c vegetable oil
1/2 c water
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 c flour
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt (optional)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 c shredded zucchini
2 bars (8 0z.) milk chocolate baking bar, broken into 1/4″ pieces

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Grease a 9″x5″ pan.
3. In a large bowl, mix the sugar, oil, water, eggs, and vanilla extract until blended.
4. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, and baking powder.
5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients gradually, stirring until moistened.
6. Stir in the zucchini and chocolate pieces.
7. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, spreading it evenly.
8. Bake 1 hour 20 minutes or until a tester comes out clean when inserted into the center of the loaf.
9. Cool the bread in pan for 15 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
10. To store, wrap tightly in aluminum foil and keep at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze.

Pecan and Caramel Chocolate Clusters

(Yield: 24 pieces)

Ingredients:
1 c pecan halves
1 c sugar
1 c dark corn syrup
1 c butter
1 c heavy whipping cream
1 1/2 bars (6 oz.) milk chocolate baking bars, melted

Directions:
1. Line a baking sheet with waxed paper.
2. Cut the pecans in half lengthwise and arrange to form small circles (about 1 1/2″ in diameter).
3. Cook the sugar, dark corn syrup, butter and 1/2 c of cream in a saucepan.
4. Stir occasionally over low heat, until the sugar has dissolved.
5. Increase heat to medium and stir continuously until the temperature reaches 240 degrees F.
6. Remove the pan from heat and stir in the remaining cream.
7. Heat again and stir continuously until the temperature reaches 245 degrees F.
8. Pour the caramel mixture into a 9″ pan lined with foil and let it cool approximately 2 minutes.
9. Spoon caramel mixture over each pecan circle.
10. Melt chocolate according to melting instructions.
11. Spread melted chocolate over each cluster.
12. Chill 10 minutes, then let stand at room temperature until the chocolate is firm.
13. Store tightly covered at room temperature.

Creamy Milk Chocolate Truffles

Yield: 30 truffles

Ingredients:
2 bars (8 oz.) milk chocolate baking bars, chopped
1/3 c + 2 TBS heavy whipping cream
1/2 TBS unsalted butter, chopped into small pieces

Coating:
1/3 c unsweetened cocoa or 3/4 c finely chopped almonds or pecans

Directions:
1. Bring the cream to a simmer in a small saucepan.
2. Add butter and stir until melted.
3. Add chocolate to saucepan.
4. Stir until completely melted and smooth.
5. Remove from heat and pour the chocolate mixture into a shallow bowl.
6. Cool, cover, and refrigerate until firm, at least two hours.
7. Roll mixture into 1″ balls. Roll each ball in coating.

Chocolate Melting Instructions

Note: Melt chocolate carefully. Overheating or addition of moisture may cause chocolate to thicken.

Double Boiler Method: Break chocolate into small pieces and place in top pan of double boiler over hot, but not boiling water (you may also use a glass or metal mixing bowl on top of saucepan 1/2 full with water). Allow chocolate to melt, stirring occasionally.

Direct Heat Method: This method may be used if chocolate is to be added to a batter (do not use for dipping or molding). Use very low, even heat. Stir constantly to avoid scorching. Remove from heat when small lumps remain and stir to complete melting.

Microwave Method: Using microwave safe container, place chocolate in microwave oven at medium power (50%) for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Remove and stir. If not melted, return to microwave and repeat heating step, stirring every 30 seconds, as scorching can occur. When small lumps remain, remove and continue to stir to complete melting.

Molten Chocolate Lava Cake

Ingredients:
1 stick (4 oz.) unsalted butter
6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, preferably Valrhona
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
1/4 c sugar
pinch of salt
2 TBS all-purpose flour

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Butter and slightly flour four 6 oz. ramekins. Tap out the excess flour. Set the ramekins on a baking sheet.
2. In a double boiler, over simmering water, melt the butter with the chocolate. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs, with the egg yolks, sugar, and salt at a high speed until thickened and pale.
3. Whisk the chocolate until smooth. Quickly fold it into the egg mixture along with the flour. Spoon the batter into the prepared ramekins and bake for 12 minutes, or until the sides of the cakes are firm but the centers are soft. Let the cakes cool in the ramekins for 1 minute, then cover each with an inverted dessert plate. Carefully turn each one over, let stand for 10 seconds and then unmold. Serve immediately.

Eggless Chocolate Banana Cake

DRY INGREDIENTS:
  • 2 cups Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
  • 1 and 1/3 cup Granulated Sugar (See My Notes #2)
  • 2/3 cup Cocoa Powder
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
WET INGREDIENTS:
  • 1/4 cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1 and 1/2 cups Hot Water
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 cup Mashed or Pureed Bananas
PROCEDURE:
  1. Preheat the oven at 350F/180C for 15 minutes. Spray a bundt pan with non stick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl mix together the dry ingredients and keep it aside.
  3. I pureed 2 small size bananas with little water to measure 1 cup of puree.
  4. To the flour mixture add the canola oil, hot water and vanilla extract; mix well.
  5. Now add the pureed bananas and blend thoroughly.
  6. The cake batter is quite “water-y”. Pour the batter in the prepared pan and bake for approximately from 45-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. The original recipe mentions 55-60 minutes, but mine was done after 45 minutes itself.
  7. At this stage I did see some cracks on the cake. Move the bundt pan to a cooling rack and let it cool for 10-20 minutes. Place a baking sheet on the pan and slowly invert the pan holding the sides of the sheet to remove the cake from the pan. Then carefully transfer the cake to the wiring rack and let it cool completely before you frost. I didn’t frost mine.
MY NOTES:
  1. The original recipe used all purpose flour but we did not realize that the cake was made with whole wheat pastry flour. The cake had a wonderful texture; moist but not sticky and not gritty. This can very well be a birthday cake; but I would use butter in that case.
  2. You could also increase the quantity of sugar to 1 and 1/2 cups if you are not frosting thischocolate banana cake. You could also sprinkle some chocolate chips instead. Since I wanted to make a vegan cake I did not add any. I prefer mild sweetness so the 1 and 1/3 cup was perfect.
  3. The cake was surely moist but I felt that it did not taste rich. The original recipe uses 1/2 cup of melted butter for the fat which I replaced with 1/4 cup canola oil and some mashed bananas. So I think we could use 1/4 cup of melted butter or margarine instead to give that richness. If you want to use entire 1/2 cup butter, you can reduce the quantity of mashed bananas to 3/4th cup.
  4. Update:I did try this recipe once again with all purpose flour and melted butter and it was definitely rich and good enough to qualify for a birthday cake.
  5. The next time I try this recipe I’m going to use cooked beet puree instead of mashed bananas. I’m pretty sure that its going to be so good.

Read More:http://www.egglesscooking.com/vegan-chocolate-banana-cake/