Happy 4th of July!

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Chocolate Almond Peanut Butter Cups

Chocolate Almond Peanut Butter Cups

Chocolate Almond Peanut Butter Cups

Quick and Easy: Chocolate Almond Peanut Butter Cups

Who can resist?!

Use honey to sweeten, dark cocoa powder  and nut butters, that’s about it.

Remember Reese’s? Same concept, only much more healthy!

Nutrition notes:

Use fresh ground nut butters, if you can. Certainly do not use any that have added sugars! The labels should read ground peanuts or ground almonds.

Read the labels on your cocoa, it should be pure raw cocoa for best benefits

Toast your own nuts, it’s easy and you are doing the process.

Add dry milk powder or protein powder for added nutritional boost. I like to use maca powder for this.

Using dry milk powder will also help them hold shape better when at room temperature.

Extra virgin coconut oil please. Or grass-fed butter, but that’s a lot and it would be decadent but certainly not vegan.

Chocolate Almond Peanut Butter Cups

  • Servings: 24 small cups
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Before you begin, line a mini-muffin tin with pleated paper liners. It is important to use paper liners as you’ll need it to hold them while eating.

Make two layers, chocolate first as it needs to firm up before adding the top layer.

Use mini-muffin tins. Fill cups half way with chocolate mixture

Use mini-muffin tins.
Fill cups half way with chocolate mixture

Chocolate Almond Layer:

  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup local honey (use maple syrup if vegan)
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup maca powder, if desired
  • 2 Tablespoons toasted almonds, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt

Using a double boiler, melt the coconut oil, honey and almond butter until smooth. Realize that it won’t be totally smooth due to the nuts you may choose to use.

Rub the cocoa powder and maca powder through a mesh strainer to remove any lumps. Add a pinch of salt to the dry ingredients.

Fold the almonds into the dry ingredients

Fold melted coconut oil mixture into the cocoa powder mixture, stir to totally incorporate; add vanilla and salt and stir well.

Fill each of the paper-lined muffin tins half way up with the chocolate mixture. Be careful not to dribble along the edges so the final product has a clean appearance. Work carefully.

Once filled half way, pop the tray into the freezer to firm up while you make the next mixture.

Add the peanut butter layer, top with toasted nuts before freezing

Add the peanut butter layer, top with toasted nuts before freezing

Peanut Butter Layer

  • 1/2 cup smooth or chunky peanut butter (I love the chunky kind!)
  • 1/4 cup local honey
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Sliced toasted almonds to garnish the tops

Melt everything over a double boiler until everything has melted. Depending on the texture you chose, it may be smooth or lumpy.

Remove the chocolate cups from the freezer, fill each cup with the peanut butter mixture to the rim of the paper.

Sprinkle the top of each cup with toasted almonds and a piece of Maldon salt if desired.

Freeze for a couple of hours before serving.

These are best served frozen or extremely cold. if serving as finger food, leave the paper on, if plating a dessert with them, remove the paper. They will become rather soft as they remain in room temperature.

If a firmer room temperature texture is desired, add 1/2 cup dry milk powder to each mixture. This will boost nutritional value as well.

Irresistible Chocolate Almond Peanut Butter Cups

Irresistible Chocolate Almond Peanut Butter Cups

Chocolate Almond Peanut Butter Cups

Chocolate Almond Peanut Butter Cups

 

#vegandessert #peanutbuttercups #healthypeanutbuttercups #chocolatealmondpeanutbuttercups #honey #honeydesserts #nutbutter #chocolatealmond

#glutenfree #musteatnow #healthytreats #healthydesserts

 

 

Chocolate Pate and the Premio Cake Blog di Qualità

My dear friend Barbara at My Italian Smorgasbord, surprised me with this lovely award:

Premio Cake Blog di Qualità

Thank you So much!

I have been in a quandary as to what to post for this award. I have taken far too long to celebrate the honor. For that, I apologize.

Just as I figured out what to make, we went out-of-town to visit friends for a weekend get away.

Lucky them, they got to eat the vast amount of Chocolate Pate I made for this post.

Barbara at My Italian Smorgasbord has a lovely blog full of warm delightful recipes. I encourage all of you to go read her blog and make one of her recipes. You will be back for more!

The “rules” of the game is to share a sweet recipe, tell 7 things where sweet has influenced your life and then pass it along to 3 other fellow bloggers.

I thought long and hard about what to make for this award. Barbara’s Swedish buns were amazing.

What could I make that would be deserving of this award?

Not being much of a cake baker, I looked at other desserts I was known for at my restaurant. It was a toss-up between Chilled Key Lime Souffle and Chocolate Pate with Raspberry Coulis.

Chocolate won. I’ll make the souffle another time.

Chocolate Pate

  • 12 ounces  dark chocolate: get the best you can buy, chunks or chips
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup raspberry coulis (recipe follows)
  • 2 ounces butter
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • pinch salt

NOTES:

    •  Do not get any water into the chocolate. Even one drop will seize it up and makes it very hard to get a smooth melt. Make sure your bowl is dry!
    • To make a double boiler, simply place a heat proof bowl (Stainless steel bowl is best) over a pot with boiling water. Make sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the top of the water.
    • Check and make sure the flame from a gas stove is not reaching around the bottom of the pot and touching the sides of the bowl. This will burn the chocolate. Use a towel or pot holder to hold the edge of the bowl. It will get hot during the process.
Method:

Melt until smooth

In a double boiler, add the chocolate. If the chocolate is in bar form, break it up into bits for easier melting.

Bring the cream to a boil, add to chocolate. Stir to melt smooth.

Add the raspberry coulis, vanilla, salt, and butter. Stir to  incorporate and ensure everything has melted smooth.

Line your chosen molds with cellophane wrap. Give the wrap a light spray with a pan release spray. This allows the chocolate to be removed from the pan easily once it has chilled.

Line the molds with cellophane wrap

Pour the lined molds with chocolate to the top. Fold the cellophane wrap edges over the chocolate and chill at least 12 hours.

Fill and cover with cellophane. Chill

The chocolate pate will become firm but not hard. Remove from the mold, unwrap, and slice to serve.

You can serve it with Creme Anglaise (Vanilla Sauce) and Raspberry Coulis accented with fresh berries and mint (or basil!) for garnish.

Crème anglaise made from milk, eggs, sugar and...

Creme anglaise made from milk, eggs, sugar and vanilla (in beans) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

raspberry coulis

raspberry coulis (Photo credit: thepinkpeppercorn)

Raspberry Coulis

Use fresh or frozen berries

  • 1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup of granulated sugar or simple syrup

Place 1 cup of raspberries into a blender or food processor.

Add the sugar or syrup and blend until liquified – 1-2 minutes.

Adjust the sugar content to your taste. You may want more, others less.

Using a fine wire mesh strainer, strain the mixture through, rubbing the seeds with the back of a spoon to extract as much pulp as possible.

The bright pink seedless result is coulis. You can use almost any fruit to make a coulis.

Coulis  is simply pureed fruit or vegetables, strained so it is smooth and full flavored.

Imagine savory coulis . . . with roasted vegetables . . . the possibilities!
Plate set up:

Plated Pate

Spoon a small amount of Creme Anglaise onto a plate; spoon Raspberry Coulis beside the Anglaise. If desired, draw a toothpick, skewer or knife tip through the anglaise and coulis to create a swirled design.

Add fresh berries and a mint leaf to the plate and serve.

Please excuse the quality of the photos; I didn’t have the lighting equipment with me.

7 Sweet Things That Influenced My Life

1) Dulche de Leche – the first time I ever tasted it in Little Havana in Miami, I knew it would be in my life forever. It is one of the reasons I love Miami.

2) Fireball Jawbreakers – As a kid these were my ‘go to’ candy. My molars suffered and have had required dental treatment. My advice is to stay away from jawbreakers and dentist chairs. They go hand in hand.

3) As I love Miami, I love France for their Fleur de sel caramel. ’nuff said. I learned to make them which is a dangerous skill. It means I can have them available ALL the time. oops 😉

4) Short breads are another weakness, especially freshly made ones, with lemon glaze, and a cup of tea. This makes me a very happy girl!

5) Anything with puff pastry or pie dough. I like making them both, making things with them, eating things made with them. There is never a scrap thrown away.

6) Ice cream and sorbet especially home-made ones. Fun thing to do with gatherings of people. I love having just a small “amuse bouche” between hot courses of a meal.

7) This isn’t a like, but really a dislike: cake. I hate cake; making them, frosting them, the way they look, smell, even the sound of the word. Cake, ew. If I had to use a word, ‘gateau’ would work much nicer that ‘cake’.
The last cake I made I punched it down to the ground. Then kicked it. Cake murder. I vowed then never to make another cake. So far, I haven’t had to. YAY!

(Hum, will they take the award away now? The award name has ‘cake’ in it!)

This is where I pass it along!

The Premio Cake Blog di Qualità Now Goes to:

Choco chip Uru

This young lady’s blog is full of fun and delicious creations. She shares what works and what doesn’t with a great sense of humor. Check her out!

Mandy at The Complete Cookbook

Mandy presents interesting foods and beautiful photography. Her new cookbook is also available, ask her about it. Her posts are delightful.

Frugal Feeding

Everything Frugal does is mouth-watering. From his breads, to his desserts and he also estimates how much the dish cost to put on your table. Drop in and see what is on his table today.

Thank you again Barbara, I am flattered.