Chocolate

Chocolate Specials


Chocolate Specials Recipe
Chocolate Specials Recipe

I recently applied to “the Great Canadian Baker,” just for fun! They called me yesterday and asked me a couple follow up questions. On the same day, I made some pretty big changes to my Master’s thesis. And the next day I was put on a new exciting research project where I work. So, I have a lot going on! I instantly feel the need to finish my thesis, bake a million goodies to practice (just in case I get a call!), and work super hard on the project at my job.

Chocolate Specials Recipe

For me, times like these are very exciting, but I should also think about balance, just so that I can keep it all together. I usually go to my mum for advice; she is very grounded and keeps me in check! When I moved to Kingston to start my Master’s she gave me a book by Pema Chordon called “When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times.” I read the title and couldn’t help but think, “does my mum think my life is falling apart?” But I knew I shouldn’t be offended because of that rule we learn in junior school, never judge a book by its cover!

My favourite chapter is “The Path is the Goal.” It might sound hokey, but it’s a simple reminder that life is lived in the chaotic moments, the happy moments, the crazy stressful days, etc. The journey is what it’s about and it should be enjoyed! So, even though I want to stay up all night to check off everything on my to-do list, just to be done, writing this is my conscious reminder to slow down and enjoy it!

Chocolate Specials Recipe
Chocolate Specials Recipe

Chocolate Specials

3 cups rolled oats

6 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted

1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

2 cups sugar

½ cup milk

½ cup butter

1 tsp vanilla

Stir together oats, cocoa, and coconut in bowl and set aside.

Bring sugar, milk and butter to boil in saucepan; pour over oats and mix well. Stir in vanilla.

Drop by the teaspoonful onto waxed paper lined baking sheet.

When cool, store in covered container at room temperature. Best eaten within 3 days.

Makes 36 cookies.

Chocolate Specials Recipe
Chocolate Specials Recipe

*Recipe from The Farm and City Cookbook

Hot Fudge Pudding


Chocolate Pudding Cake Recipe
Chocolate Pudding Cake Recipe

I am so, so, so excited to share this recipe! This is by far the most used recipe in the Farm and City Cookbook, and the colour of the page (a mix of cocoa and brown sugar) proves it. I call this cake "birthday cake" because it's what I remember asking for my birthday every February. I've always been a chocolate lover. My oldest brother's birthday is the day after mine, and he is allergic to chocolate. So, growing up, the chocolate cake was mine and the vanilla cake was his.

Which brings me to my next point, I don't really like "cake". I find most cakes a bit dry and spongy and unflavourful too (there are, of course, a few exceptions to this rule!). I blame growing up with Hot Fudge Pudding, which is how I developed my baseline expectation for what I think cake is and should be. I feel very spoiled! To me, this recipe is exactly what cake should taste and look like. It is chocolatey and saucy and super easy to make. Eat it hot with whipped cream, ice cream, or just on its own. It also re-heats very nicely in the oven or microwave. Simple, tasty, and impressive!

Chocolate Pudding Cake Recipe
Chocolate Pudding Cake Recipe

I have decorated one or two cakes in my life - I am not that great with a pastry bag and decorating tip. Yet! My mum on the other hand, is great. She can make pretty little roses and squeeze out the smoothest most even line for letters. I don't know how she does it! She says practice (so there is hope for me!). Two years ago I tried my hand at making and decorating a cake for a co-worker's son's birthday. It was more or less the most stressful baking experience I've had. In the realm of cakes and decorating, I have a lot to learn. But for now, this cake will be my slam dunk!

Chocolate Pudding Cake Recipe

Hot Fudge Pudding

1 cup flour

3/4 cup white sugar

6 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder, divided

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup milk

2 Tbsp oil

1 tsp vanilla

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 3/4 cups hot water

Sift together flour, white sugar, 2 Tbsp of the cocoa, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.

In another bowl, beat milk, oil, and vanilla; stir into dry ingredients. Pour into greased 8 inch (2L) square pan.

Stir together brown sugar, remaining 4 Tbsp cocoa, and hot water; pour over batter.

Bake at 350°F (180°C) for 40-45 minutes.

Note: My mum usually makes this in a glass dish (I find the cake to be saucier in a glass dish, but that could be my imagination). You can leave this cake covered on the counter, and re-heat it in the microwave.

Chocolate Pudding Cake Recipe

*Recipe from The Farm and City Cookbook

Carob Peanut Butter Balls


Carob Peanut Butter Ball Recipe

It was only a few years ago that I first tried an "energy ball". I made "goji berry bliss balls" from the Confidence Kitchen's blog and loved them! Since then I've realized there are hundreds of energy ball recipes with unique flavours and ingredients. I enjoy them because they are a great between-meal snack, easy to make, and they satisfy my sweet tooth! Other reasons to enjoy them include the fact that most recipes are free from refined sugars and you can control the ingredients for gluten or nut allergies. Also, there are no preservatives that you would normally find in a granola or energy bar from the grocery store.

When I was flipping through The Farm and City Cookbook, I saw the recipe for Carob Balls and thought that was so interesting! What I thought was a recent fad in "energy balls" has been around since before 1994. I guess this was me being a little bit ignorant, thinking that all of these energy ball recipes were a result of the organic/gluten-free/vegan/green food movement. And also being ignorant to think this movement just started, when in reality my Grandmother's cookbook revolves around ideas like shopping at your local fruit stand or market, eating what's in season, baking from scratch, and canning food when it is plentiful and the cost is low. All very practical and conscientious.

If you have never tried energy balls, or you already know why they are so nice to have as a snack in the fridge, you should definitely try this recipe! These energy balls fall more on the "dessert" side of the sweet-savory spectrum. They are so yummy! Enjoy :)

Carob Peanut Butter Ball Recipe
Carob Peanut Butter Ball Recipe

Carob

Carob powder is made from drying and grinding the pods of a Tamarind-like tree, that grows in the Mediterranean. It is often used as a substitute for chocolate which comes in handy if you are allergic or are monitoring your caffeine intake, as carob is naturally caffeine free. You can also mix 1/4 carob with 3/4 cup flour to replace 1 cup of flour in recipes. Carob is readily found in grocery and health food stores (the brand Red Mill makes small packages of carob powder).

Carob Peanut Butter Ball Recipe
Carob Peanut Butter Ball Recipe
Carob Peanut Butter Ball Recipe
Carob Peanut Butter Ball Recipe

Carob Peanut Butter Balls

¾ cup peanut butter

¼ cup maple syrup or honey

1 Tbsp coconut or sunflower oil

½ tsp vanilla

½ cup carob

1 cup quick-cooking rolled oats

2-4 Tbsp water or almond milk

Mix the ingredients together, one at a time, in the order listed. Add water, one tablespoon at a time until the dough comes together. Shape into balls and roll to coat in sesame seeds or coconut.

Notes: You can chill the dough if you add too much water, or to make it easier to roll into balls. If you want to make sure the balls are gluten free, make sure to use “gluten free oats” because most oats are contaminated with wheat unless otherwise stated.

Makes 10-12 balls. Store in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Carob Peanut Butter Ball Recipe

*Recipe adapted from The Farm and City Cookbook