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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Dark Chocolate Fudgsicles


Fudgsicles are summer. I was never big into ice pops of ANY kind growing up. I even hated snow cones (truth be told I'm still not sure I get the whole fascination about shaved ice with brightly colored syrup poured over it). But, fudgesicles? Fudgsicles, I got. Choclately. Drippy. Yummy. Messy.

Making fudgsicles is really rather easy. I don't know why, but I had in my head that making these delicious treats would be hard. Like solve for "x" hard. I know I've talked about this before, but sometimes you just expect a recipe to give you a hard time in the development phase. This was easy. The hardest thing? Removing them from the silly mold.

I like store-bought fudgsicles well enough. I mean, they're good. Great in a pinch. But something I've come to know about myself is I like BOLD and INTENSE flavors. If you're gonna taste like something, than you'd better TASTE like it. Which is how I ended up creating a fudgsicle that is bold, uppercase, and underlined: CHOCOLATE. Because really: why do anything by halves.

Note: these are kiddo approved; like chocolate ALL over the face of my precious adopted toddler niece who professed several times that it was YUMMY.


Dark Chocolate Fudgsicles

Ingredients:

1 cup heavy cream
1 1/3 cup whole milk
2 tsp corn starch
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Dutch processed powder)
scant 1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
3 ounces dark chocolate; chopped (75% or higher)

Directions:

Whisk corn starch and 1 TBSP of milk together in small bowl, set aside.

Combine heavy cream, milk, cocoa powder, sugar and salt together in pot and heat over medium high, stirring constantly. Bring to a boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

Put chopped dark chocolate in a bowl or large measuring cup. Pour milk mixture over the chocolate and let rest (the heat from the mixture will melt the chocolate).

After chocolate-milk mixture has cooled for three minutes, stir in vanilla. Make sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl when mixing to work in melted dark chocolate.

Carefully poor mixture into ice pop molds. Let cool for at least 20 minutes. Insert sticks and freeze for at least eight ours, or overnight.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Dark Chocolate & Macadamia Nut Biscotti


Or ... if Ross Poldark were a baked good, he'd be a biscotti. Also: henceforth these particular crisp cookies of delight shall be known as Rosscotti (aren't portmanteaus fun?). And if you happen to be wondering who in tarnation Ross Poldark is, sit back and relax - Imma educate you:

Ross Poldark is a literary character from a set of books written by Winston Graham, but more importantly he's a sassy, dark-haired, broody Englishman played by Aidan Turner in BBC One / Masterpiece Theater's "Poldark" (Sunday's 9/8 Central on your local PBS station for those of you in the U.S.). Intrigue. Drama. Romance. Dramatic coastal scenes of Cornwall. Cravats. Basically: EVERYTHING YOU COULD WANT IN A HISTORICAL DRAMA AND MORE.

And now, he's also a biscotti. 

A few notes about this recipe: use dark chocolate that is over 65% cocoa for a more intense chocolate flavor (and come on, we all know Ross in INTENSE), even though I used imitation rum extract you are more than welcome to just use vanilla, and lastly: I used dry roasted and lightly salted macadamia nuts because that's what I had on hand. Also - if you want to bump up the rum flavor you can brush a bit of rum onto the biscotti after they come out of the oven for the last time ... if you do let me know what you think!


Rum-Infused, Dark Chocolate & Macadamia Nut Biscotti

Ingredients:

2 cups flour
1 stick butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 TBSP rum extract
6 ounces dark chocolate chips (over 65% for maximum chocolate flavor)
3/4 cup dry roasted and salted macadamia nuts

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350.

Using the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, mixing until fully incorporated. Add rum extract, mix to incorporate.

In a separate bowl mix together flour, baking powder, and salt. Slowly add flour mixture to creamed butter and sugar mixture. Continue to mix until a dough has formed.

Stir in chocolate chips and macadamia nuts until thoroughly mixed.

Scoop dough out onto a Silpat covered baking sheet and form into a roughly 15x4 inch block. Dust the top of the block with a bit of sugar. Bake until a light golden color (approx. 30 minutes). Remove from oven and cool for 20 minutes.

Carefully remove log from baking sheet to cutting board. Using a long knife (serrated if you prefer) slice log into 1/2 inch wide pieces. Return pieces to baking sheets, and return to oven. Bake for additional 15-18 minutes.

Remove biscotti from oven, and place on a cooling rack, they will continue to "crisp" as they cool (this is where you'd brush the biscotti with rum if you want to punch up the flavors - be careful you don't want to brush on too much). Once completely cool seal biscotti in an air tight container.