Tag Archives: chocolate

Mexican chocolate pudding

Man, was I skeptical when I first read about this recipe. First of all it’s vegan. Yes, vegan. Secondly, it’s basically made in a blender. Weird, huh? But, the cinnamon and pinch of chile caught my eye. Also, I love dishes like this that aren’t exactly “healthy” but are much healthier versions of the original.

Anyway, I made it and could not have been more pleased. It’s creamy and subtly spicy with cinnamon and a little heat. The chocolate has a tropical tartness. All in all, a winner. I think it’d be great for kids too with the extra protein. I had it plain in the picture above, but also served it with a Khalua-spiked whipped cream. Yum.

Courtesy of Mr. Mark Bittman

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 pound silken tofu
  • 8 ounces high-quality semisweet chocolate, melted (click this for melting options)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder, or more to taste
  • Optional whipped cream or chocolate shavings for garnish
  1. Combine sugar with 3/4 cup water in a small pot; bring to a boil and cook until sugar is dissolved, stirring occasionally. Cool slightly.
  2. Put all ingredients except for optional garnishes in a blender and purée until completely smooth, stopping machine to scrape down its sides if necessary. Divide among 4 to 6 ramekins and chill for at least 30 minutes.


Turtle brownies

I just made 3 humongous pans of turtle brownies for my niece’s wedding and they were seriously yummy.  Let me be clear, I did NOT make homemade brownies. I only believe in homemade brownies if someone else is making them. Otherwise, I believe in a) Ina Garten’s brownie mix, b) Ghiradelli’s brownie mix, or c) Trader Joe’s truffle brownie mix. Let some other superstar baker spend their time making something that is only marginally more delicious than a mix, but far more time consuming. If you disagree, try to convince me with samples of your homemade goodies. I will try to remain open-minded.

On to the goodness, I adapted a recipe from the Joy of Baking that transformed my Ghiradelli mix into a salty, chewy, sweet, crunchy brownie delight.  Use the following topping on any brownie recipe you like, but try to make the brownie on the thinner side. Just use the largest pan option given (I used 13×9).

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated white sugar

1/2 cup light corn syrup

5 tablespoons water

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

2 cups pecan halves, well toasted and salted**

  1. Prep ingredients while brownies bake. You should start the process the minute you pull the brownies out of the oven.
  2. In a three quart heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup, water, and salt. Over medium heat, stirring constantly, bring the mixture to a boil.
  3. Once it boils, stop stirring and cook the mixture until it turns a golden caramel color, about 10 – 12 minutes. (Swirl the pan as needed so the caramel cooks evenly.)
  4. Remove from heat and carefully add the cream and vanilla (the mixture will sputter and steam so be careful). Stir in the pecans and immediately pour over the still warm brownie layer, spreading evenly.
  5. Let cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate brownies for 2-3 hours until the brownies are firm.
Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Toss 2 C pecan halves with 1/4 C veggie oil or melted butter. Roast on low heat, stirring every 30 minutes for about 90 minutes, or until dark and toasty. Immediately sprinkle with salt (~1-2 T).

Salty Redneck Toffee

There are so many versions of this recipe floating out there in cyberspace, that I can’t even begin to imagine who to credit for this insanely delicious/addictive treat. A lot of recipes use Matzoh and I have served that during Passover. My favorite version, however, is with Saltines. Lordy, lordy.

Approximately 40 Saltine crackers (enough to cover one rimmed baking sheet)
2 sticks unsalted butter
1 cup packed light brown sugar
A big pinch of kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon good vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups semi- or bittersweet chocolate chips
1 cup toasted sliced almonds
Extra kosher salt for sprinkling

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 11-by-17-inch baking sheet completely with foil, and then line the base of the foil with parchment paper, cut to fit. A pain, but it will be worth it when you end up with foil-less crackers

Fully line the bottom of the baking sheet with Saltines, covering all parts. You may need to cut crackers to fill gaps- it’s better if they don’t overlap.

In a medium heavy-duty saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar together, and stir it over medium heat until it begins to boil. Once it has begun boiling, let it bubble for three more minutes, stirring it well. It will thicken a bit as it cooks. Remove from the heat and add the salt and vanilla. Quickly pour it over the crackers and spread evenly. Be ready to move quickly here, because it starts to set FAST.

Bake the caramel-covered crackers for 15 minutes, watching carefully as it will bubble and the corners might darken too quickly and/or burn. Reduce the heat by 15 degrees if this starts to happen.

Remove from oven and immediately cover with chocolate chips. Let stand five minutes, and then spread them evenly across the caramel with an offset spatula. Occasionally my chocolate chips got wonky and wouldn’t spread right. I just put the whole tray back in the off (but warm) oven for 3 minutes and it melted better.

Sprinkle chocolate-covered caramel crackers with your toasted nuts and then a bit of Kosher salt. Not much salt, as the Saltines are already pretty salty. God help you if you used salted butter too.

Set aside to cool. You may want to do this in another room of the house, outside or in the fridge. My kitchen gets too hot for anything to actually “cool.” Break it into pieces (Saltines break nicely) and store it in a container.