Merry Christmas to all, and happy birthday to me!
I’ve met kindred souls at the DMV while waiting for license renewal, exchanging the usual (painful) stories and knowing nods with others born at Christmas time. Tiny violins for us. Next time, I’ll survey my fellow forgotten ones by asking what foods they turn to when their birthday is once again forgotten. I’ll bet there’s a fair amount of chocolate involved; there is for me. Besides the deep, dark, silky richness that instantly brings a sigh of contentment as it spreads on my tongue, the news that chocolate’s antioxidants are actually good for me….well, that justifies second helpings.
As the year ends, I’m keeping my chocolate recipes simple, easy, and ready for instant gratification. Come to think of it, that’s not a bad resolution for everything in the new year. Cheers!
Instant Chocolate Mousse Fix
Unless you consider 5 minutes to be an eternity, you’ll want to keep this recipe handy for midnight cravings. And if you think that ricotta is only for that other comfort food, lasagna, you will be pleasantly surprised. Recipe from “Chocolate on the Brain” by Kevin Mills &Nancy Mills; makes 4 servings.
2 cups skim milk ricotta cheese
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon milk + more if needed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (can substitute Kahlua or Grand Marnier if desired)
Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender; process for several minutes or until smooth. Add another tablespoon of milk if the mousse is too thick. Divide mixture evenly among four small dishes or pour into one serving bowl. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate until needed,
Hot Chocolate by the Bowlful
In 15 minutes, you can have a hot, delicious start (or end) to your day. Recipe from Better Homes and Gardens magazine. Makes 8 servings; scale down as needed or refrigerate extras for tomorrow.
4 cups half &half or light cream
3 to 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
3 to 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 tablespoon dark corn syrup
Combine the liquid and the chocolates in a heavy, 2-quart saucepan. Stir in the corn syrup. Cook, stirring, over medium heat until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth. Serve in warmed bowls or mugs.
Chocolate Chip Pecan Pie
This is so very easy, it’s almost sinful. Serve slightly warm, topped with whipped cream. Recipe from “365 Great Chocolate Desserts” by Natalie Haughton; makes 6 servings.
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup dark corn syrup
1-1/3 cups chopped pecans
6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips (1 cup)
9-inch unbaked pastry crust (store bought or homemade)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, salt, melted butter and corn syrup until well mixed. Stir in pecans and chocolate chips. Turn into unbaked crust. Bake 40 to 50 minutes or until browned. Serve warm.
This simple recipe, courtesy of Kailua Candy Company, uses chocolate from the Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory for a most decadent sauce. Try it over your favorite ice cream, or use as a dip for cookies, cake, pretzels or fingers.
Use equal amounts:
Original Hawaiian Dark Chocolate (or other premium, high-quality chocolate)
Heat cream in a microwave oven until hot, approximately 1 minute. Melt chocolate in a double boiler. Slowly pour cream into melted chocolate and stir gently with a whisk until smooth. Refrigerate any unused portion.