Last month during the Tennessee ICES Day of Sharing one of the demonstrators was a lady who has been catering weddings and special events for years. She set up a table with a generous selection of handmade chocolate candies and kindly shared her recipes.
I love frozen bananas dipped in chocolate, and I tend to make them often during the summer. They’re a fantastic dairy-free alternative to ice cream popsicles, and a healthier option, too. I can’t believe I still haven’t done a blog post featuring this treat, especially since they’re fairly easy to make.
In the past I’ve added coconut milk to the melted chocolate. This is to help thin the consistency for easier dipping, and also to keep the chocolate from setting up too firm when frozen. I’ve also used coconut oil for this, and both work quite well. The coconut milk will give you a softer, more ganache-like coating, whereas the coconut oil makes it harder and more like the outside of a Klondike Bar.
You guys will probably think I’ve lost my mind, posting a back-of-the-box recipe like this. The reason I’m sharing it is because it’s quick, easy, and can be made gluten free. And there just might be one or two of you out there who haven’t tried it. Sure, it’s technically junk food, but it’s not all THAT bad. I even made it with coconut oil instead of butter so it’s vegan. Points for that, right? Plus, this recipe is very child-friendly, which is ideal for anyone who has young budding chefs eager to help out in the kitchen. Not to mention, it’s pretty dang yummy.
Here’s a list of my top 5 favorite recipes I’ve posted this year. I really wanted to do a top 10 of 2010, but I didn’t feel that was being selective enough since I lagged most of the year and only shared 23 recipes. These are favorites because they’re gluten-free, delicious, and easy to make or worth the effort. If they’re somewhat healthier that also counts to their advantage.
Whew, that’s a mouthful, isn’t it? You guys remember the peanut butter cookie recipe I posted not too long ago? Well, what I didn’t tell you then was that I only baked half the recipe as cookies. The rest I baked in a 8-inch loose-bottomed tart pan, thinking it might make a good crust for the right pie.
All I did was press the cookie dough thinly, yet evenly into the base of a loose-bottom tart pan. If I had enough dough, I would have gone up the sides, but I barely had enough to cover the bottom. I baked it for around 10 minutes. Since the dough was thinner than the cookies I kept my eye on it so it wouldn’t burn. It came out of the oven looking fine and smelling awesome.
As I searched the internet looking for a filling, thinking that gluten-free banana cream might be nice on a peanut butter cookie crust, but really wanting to dump a bunch of chocolate all over it, I stumbled upon a recipe for Banana Ganache on the Kitchen Unplugged blog. Only she calls it “Choco-ban-nache” which is a name I love, but won’t steal. Her recipe was more traditional, with heavy cream and corn syrup, so I put in my usual substitutions.
This tart tastes a lot like my chocolate-dipped frozen bananas, but considering it’s essentially the same ingredients in slightly different proportions and arranged differently, I guess that’s no shock.
I discovered these peanut butter cookies thanks to the Whole Foods Recipes app. That’s easily one of my favorite apps, and it’s free! I have it on my iPhone, but it may be available for other mobile devices. You can also access these recipes on the website here: Whole Foods Recipes.
Anyway, this recipe is incredibly awesome. Not just because it’s for peanut butter cookies, which I love, but also because it takes so few ingredients and is so easy. I can’t believe I haven’t posted it on here before now. Very much my bad, sorry.
How can I not be totally in love with a blog called Legalize Frostitution? I first heard about the Cupcake Royale bakery while listening to The Splendid Table. As the Sterns described the Velvet Elvis cupcake, I thought it sounded like a genius idea, only I needed it to be gluten-free.
I had grand plans to make these as healthy as possible by substituting unsalted, pureed garbanzo beans with 1 cup of the flour, using agave nectar or maple syrup instead of sugar, and replacing the butter with coconut oil. Unfortunately, when I made that batch I forgot to add the maple syrup. The inedible result took the fast track to the trash.
With my only can of unsalted garbanzo beans gone, I had to go with a gluten-free baking mix for round two. I also went ahead and used raw sugar because I was afraid maple syrup would make the batter too runny, and I didn’t want another disaster.
I’m much happier with these, but I do apologize for the out of season baking cups. I kinda had to go with what I had on hand for the second batch. And hey, Halloween is only 6 months away. Just around the corner, really.
I iced half of the cupcakes with the peanut butter icing and poured chocolate ganache over top. This was messy. If I decide to do these again I think I’ll unwrap the cupcakes, turn them upside down, frost the top, then glaze the whole thing like a petit four. You can tell it took me a few goes to get it right.
With the other half, I waited for the ganache to firm up and then used it as a filling for the cupcakes before icing the tops.
What? You don’t believe there’s really chocolate filling in there? Very well. Oh, ye of little faith. Sorry it’s blurry. The sky was darkening due to severe weather moving in at the time, so the lighting was all off. Hey, I’ll take my excuses anywhere I can find them.
Remember those chocolate truffle filling I made? I used the same ganache recipe for these cupcakes, only I left out the vanilla.
I think the filled cupcakes look better, but that’s a big glob of chocolate ganache filling to bite into! For taste, I prefer the chocolate glazed cupcakes as they’re not quite so rich. Next time I think I’ll try making them as mini-cupcakes and see what happens. Want tips on how to fill and frost cupcakes? Check out my Chocolate Cupcakes post. They have Spider-Man baking cups.