AdSense Full Screen test

Friday, December 28, 2012

Raw chocolate date mousse

Probably the best chocolate mousse I've even had, perfect texture, a little nutty, super simple to make and you would never suspect it of being raw
Source: Vegan Magic blog

Taste: 5 (out of 5)
Difficulty: 2 (out of 5)

- 1 can (400 ml) creamy coconut cream (at least 75% fat, make sure the texture is very smooth) (1320 cal)
- 5 tbsp (1/3 cup) cocoa powder (60 cal)
- 1 cup (tightly packed) soft dried dates (18 in this case) (1200 cal)
- a few drops of vanilla extract
Total: 2 cups, 8 servings, 2580 cal, 320 cal/serving

1. Refrigerate the can of coconut cream overnight to solidify and separate. Carefully turn it upside down, open and discard the transparent liquid (or reserve it to add in a smoothie or curry).
2. Peel the dates. This will be the most time-consuming part, and is best done while watching your favorite TV show.
3. Place the dates with 2 rounded tbsp of coconut cream and blend on high.
4. Add the remaining coconut milk and cocoa powder and blend together until smooth, then finally add the vanilla (or your preferred flavoring). 

5. Can be served with whipped cream or whipped coconut cream.

- Since I saw this recipe for the first time I've made it twice, which means a lot, given how busy it's been for me. And it's because the recipe is amazingly delicious and amazingly simple.
- The first time I did not peel the dates, as suggested in the original recipes, and had 2 versions of this mousse: the non strained one with small pieces of date skin and the strained one. Both tasted great, but the silky texture of the strained one made it truly incredible and moussey. The problem was, I really hated straining. I find it extremely time consuming and probably I am doing it in the least efficient way. So the second time I decided to peel the dates upfront. It takes a lot of time but it is less strenuous than straining, and can be done while watching TV or talking about existential questions. And with the peeled dates and a powerful blender, you will have the best mousse ever in 3 minutes.

To Recipe...

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Hazelnut Snowball Cookies

Delicious melt in your mouth cookies for the Holidays and not just
Source: Cooking and Beer

Taste: 5 (out of 5)
Difficulty: 2 (out of 5)

- 1 cup granulated sugar (775 cal)
- 1 cup hazelnuts (470 cal)
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened at room temperature (1630 cal)
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour (795 cal)
- 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
- 1/2 cup confectioners sugar + extra for dusting (230 cal)
Total: 24 cookies, 3900 cal, 160 cal/cookie


1. In your food processor, pulse together the sugar and the hazelnuts until they reach ALMOST a fine powder. Slice the butter into 1/2 inch cubes and add to the food processor and add the vanilla extract. Pulse until the ingredients are smooth.
2. In a medium-sized bowl, sift together the flour and the salt. In 1/4 cup increments add the dry mixture to the food processor. Repeat this step until all of the flour is incorporated, and the mixture has formed a nice, soft ball of cookie dough.
3. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and 30 minutes. In my case, I refrigerated overnight.
4. Preheat the oven to 325F degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. No need to spray with a non-stick, there’s already a ton of butter in this recipe!
5. Remove the dough from the refrigerator, and with your CLEAN hands, start pinching of baby balls of dough from the larger. Roll into 1 inch balls and spread evenly on the baking sheets. The cookies will spread a little so leave at least 1 1/2 inches between them. Bake at 325F for about 25 minutes or until the tops just begin to brown.
6. Remove from the oven, let cool for 2-3 minutes to harden just a little so that they don't break, and place on a wire rack. Wait about 10 minuets for the balls to slightly cool. Meanwhile, pour the confectioners sugar in a bowl. After the balls have slightly cooled, toss them gently in the sugar. Place immediately back on the wire rack and let cool completely for about 2 hours.
7. Dust again with confectioners sugar, using a sifter. You can also dust with a touch of cocoa powder.
8. Will keep for a couple of weeks in an airtight container, stored in a cool place.


- Delicious, simple and very buttery cookies. I was surprised that the recipe did not contain eggs. The cookies are a brittle, but that's just part of their melt in your mouth texture.
- I bet they will also taste amazing with chocolate coating. To try next time.

To Recipe...

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Nutella Cheesecake

Love from the first sight and until the last bite
Source: Cheesecake adapted from Baker Street, crust adapted from The Heritage Cook, sauce adapted from Martha Stewart

Taste: 6 (out of 5)
Difficulty: 3 (out of 5)

For the crust (1125 cal):
- 1 cup ground hazelnuts (525 cal)
- 1/4 cup sugar (195 cal)
- 1/4 cup butter, melted (405 cal)
For the cream cheese layer (2330 cal):
- 12 oz / 350 g cottage cheese (305 cal)
- 1/4 cup sugar (195 cal)
- 3 eggs (210 cal)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract (10 cal)
- 1 cup Nutella (1600 cal)
- 2 tbsp instant coffee dissolved in 2 tsp boiling water
For the sauce (575 cal):
- 1/3 cup Nutella (535 cal)
- 1/3 cup milk (40 cal)
Total: 6 inch cake, 6 servings, 4030 cal, 670 cal/serving

1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a 6-inch springform pan with parchment paper and butter the paper.
2. For the crust: In a food processor, pulse the hazelnuts with the sugar until finely ground. Add the butter; pulse until the mixture resembles moist sand. Press the crumbs into the bottom of the prepared springform pan. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
3. For the cheesecake layer: While the crust is baking, in a very powerful food processor beat the cottage cheese until completely smooth and fluffy. Add sugar and process until well combined. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until light and fluffy. Lastly, add the Nutella and coffee mixture into cream cheese and beat to combine.
4. Prepare a bain-marie: When the crust finished baking, take it out of the oven (leave the oven on). Wrap the bottom and sides of the sprinform pan in one large sheet of aluminum foil. Place the 6 inch pan with the aluminum foil inside a larger non-springform cake pan. Fill the larger pan with about 1 inch of hot water. This is your bain-marie. Not too complicated, right?
5. Pour the batter over the crust and bake at 350F for about 1 hour. The center of the cheesecake should still be slightly jiggly.
6. Let the cake sit in the oven for one hour after it has been turned off.
7. Remove the cake from oven and cool completely before removing from the pan. Chill for 4 hours to overnight before serving.
8. For the sauce: In a small saucepan, combine 1/3 cup Nutella with 1/3 cup milk. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat and whisk until smooth.
9. Pour the warm sauce over the cake right before eating. Serve with whipped cream and savor every bite!

- This is one of the best cakes I've tasted. It is perfect in every way: great texture, amazing combination of flavors and it's extremely satisfying. It is so rich, that half a serving is more than enough (even for me).
- I fell in love with this cake from the moment I saw the Nutella Espresso Cheesecake recipe on Baker Street. I barely have any time to bake these days, but I simply had to make this recipe.
There was another cheesecake recipe that I was hoping to make, the Vanilla Bean Cheesecake with Walnut Crust from The Heritage Cook. So I decided to combine these two recipes and make a nut crust for the Nutealla cheesecake. To be consistent with the Nutella theme, I used hazelnuts and not walnuts for the crust.
Another great idea that I got from The Heritage Cook was making a sauce to serve with the cheesecake. But I was missing some of the ingredients for The Heritage Cook's sauce. So I did a quick online search and found Martha Stewart's Chocolate Hazelnut sauce. It was meant for pancakes, but it worked really well on this cake too.
- Some notes about the cheesecake batter. I was going to use cottage cheese instead of cream cheese to make the cake lighter. To compensate for the lighter texture I was going to use a little flour in the batter. But then I read Baker Street's very convincing advice against using flour in cheesecakes. I was still very hesitant, but eventually decided to skip the flour. And given that the cake was perfect, it must have been the right decision.
Another point that made me worried was adding coffee. I had tried several other coffee / chocolate recipes before where the addition of coffee ruined the final product. So I made the batter without the coffee, took out a teaspoon of the batter, added a couple of coffee drops, tasted, liked and added the coffee.
My conclusion from the points above: you can safely trust anything from Baker Street :-).

To Recipe...