We recently ran a chocolate decadence recipe contest that gave our readers the chance to share their favorite chocolate recipe. We received some delicious recipes, and picked the following three as our top picks. For your convenience, these recipes will be listed in our Spring 2010 issue of Indulge Magazine, which will be on the shelves on February 11th. Enjoy!
First place winner:
by Gareth L. Mark
3 C water
1 C sugar
1½ C Dutch Process Cocoa Powder
2 oz. Scharffen Berger Bittersweet 70% Cacao Chocolate
Pinch Australian pink flake sea salt
1 t. cinnamon
1 t. Mexican vanilla extract
1/3 C honey
¼ t. ancho chile powder
3/8 t. chipotle powder
1) Mix the water, sugar, and cocoa powder in a saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. As soon as the sugar and cocoa powder are completely absorbed into the water, remove from heat and stir in chocolate.
2) Once chocolate is melted, stir in remaining ingredients. The mixture will thicken as it cools so strain while still somewhat hot.
3) Refrigerate at least six hours, or overnight, to let the flavors develop completely. Process in an ice cream freezer according to the manufacturer’s directions.
Second place winner:
Ancho Chile Spiced Raw Truffles
by Lisa Paris and Lizzie Karuna
1¼ C raw cacao powder
1/3 C virgin coconut oil
1½ C raw almonds
6 t. raw agave nectar
1½ t. pure vanilla extract
1 pinch of sea salt
2 pinches of ancho chile powder
½ C dried, shredded coconut
1) With a nut chopper, chop almonds into a powder. Place almond powder in a food processor. Add the cacao, sea salt, and ancho chile powder. Pulse in processor until mixed and set 2 T of the mixture aside.
2) Add coconut oil and continue mixing, adding vanilla and agave slowly. Once the mixture begins to ball up, your truffles are ready to be rolled.
3) In a small bowl, mix reserved cacao/almond powder with the dried coconut. Roll chocolate mixture into 1½” balls. Roll and press into the dried coconut to coat evenly.
4) Store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to five days.
Third place winner:
Chocolate Hazelnut Cheesecake Spread
by Lisa Feather
1 T coffee liqueur
¼ t. ginger
1 t. espresso powder
½ C hazelnuts, chopped and lightly toasted
6 T sugar
2 T water
1⁄8 t. fine sea salt
1 T butter
3 T chocolate wafer crumbs
8 oz. package cream cheese
5 oz. container non-fat Greek yogurt
¼ C sugar
1 t. vanilla
2 oz. dark chocolate, melted
½ C heavy whipping cream
2 t. coffee liqueur, if desired
½ t. espresso powder
8 oz. bittersweet chocolate chips, or other dark chocolate broken into bits
To prepare the praline:
1) Lightly oil or butter a 12″ square of aluminum foil. In a small bowl mix together 1 T coffee liqueur, ¼ t. ginger and 1 t. espresso powder. Microwave on high for 15 seconds and stir to dissolve the espresso powder. Stir in the hazelnuts, mixing until well coated.
2) In a small saucepan, stir together 6 T sugar and 2 T water. Cook over medium high heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture begins to turn a light golden color (approx. 4 minutes). Stir in the hazelnut mixture from Step 1 and cook until coated and golden brown, (approx. 1 minute).
3) Remove from heat and immediately pour onto the prepared foil, sprinkling the sea salt evenly over the candy and spreading the candy with a spoon as thinly as possible. Let set until completely cool.
4) Break into pieces. Set aside a few fragments for garnish and a few whole nuts. Place the rest in a food processor and process into small bits.
To prepare the filling:
1) Preheat oven to 375˚. Use 1 T butter to generously grease the bottom and sides of a 6″ springform pan. Add the chocolate wafer crumbs, tilting and tapping until the crumbs thoroughly cover the bottom and sides of the pan.
2) In a small mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the yogurt and egg, beating until well combined. Add ¼ C sugar, vanilla, and the 2 oz. of melted dark chocolate. Continue mixing until smooth. Pour filling mixture into the prepared pan.
To prepare the ganache:
1) Scald the cream over low heat in a small saucepan until hot but not boiling. (Small bubbles should form around the edge of the pan).
2) Stir in 2 t. coffee liqueur, if desired, and ½ t. espresso powder. Remove from heat.
3) Pour mixture over the chocolate chips and allow it to sit for a few minutes until the chocolate is very soft. Stir until smooth. Stir in the processed hazelnut praline bits.
4) Randomly drop 1/3 C of the ganache on top of the Chocolate Cheesecake batter with a tablespoon. Tap the pan on the countertop to settle the batter. Insert a butter knife straight down into the batter, not quite touching the bottom of the pan, and drag it back and forth at 1-2″ inch intervals front to back then side to side. Repeat as necessary to achieve a marbled effect in the batter. Bake at 375˚ for 30-35 minutes or until done.
To assemble Chocolate Hazelnut Cheesecake Spread:
1) Remove sides of spring form pan. Settle cheesecake onto a serving plate. Re-warm the remaining ganache in the top of a double boiler or carefully microwave on high, at 15 second intervals, stirring each time until soft.
2) Pour 1/3 C of the ganache on top of the cheesecake, smoothing to the edges and allowing it to drizzle down the sides slightly. Garnish with reserved pieces of Hazelnut Praline.
If you’d like to see more recipes from our winners, visit their blogs: