LOVE for CHOCOLATE desserts {3 recipes}

Embrace a café latté chocolate caramel chilled cake.
Indulge with easy made chocolate walnut cookie crackles.
Treat yourself to decadent chocolate torrone truffle bites.

In the past years, I’ve become an obsessive seeker of fabulous, premium chocolate.
I’ll avoid encounters of chocolate with soy lecithin...I just don’t care for this additive. 
I experiment with chocolate any chance I get...all for your benefit of course ;o)

Dazzle your loved ones with a slice of this flavourful and mouth-watering ice-box cake:
‘Café Latte’ Chocolate Caramel cream cake
No-Bake ice-box cake

serves 8 persons

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(American / Metric measures)

. 1 Tbsp. (15ml) instant espresso coffee (or 2 times in regular instant coffee)
. 2 Tbsps. (30ml) cocoa powder (dutch-processed)
. 1/2 cup (120ml) Dulce de Leche (or 'lite' Caramel spread) 
. 1-1/2 cups (375ml) whipping 35% cream
. 28 Savoiardi cookies (or Ladyfingers)
. 1/4 cup (60ml) Maple syrup liquor *
. 1-3/4 cups (425ml) water

* Maple syrup liquor is a specialty which is not always found easily.  Therefore, it can be replaced with either Maple syrup or a light honey substitute with some added Cognac if desired.

...Café latté caramel chocolate Cream:   
1. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the first 3 ingredients until smooth.  Set aside.
2. In another pre-chilled bowl, whip the cream until thickened to medium stiff peaks.   
3. Afterwards, gently fold the whipped cream into the thicker café latté caramel chocolate mix.  
4. Cover and place into the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before assembly with cookies.
5. In a shallow dish, blend both the water and liquor which will be used to pour over cookies.
6. In a rectangle 8x11inch (20x28cm) shallow dish, place the first 14 cookies to make the bottom layer.  Then, pour half the prepared liquid.  Afterwards, also spread half the prepared cream over top.  Repeat with the remaining 14 cookies, liquid and last layer of cream.  
7. Sift some extra cocoa powder on top and make a stencil design if desired.  Enjoy.


Let’s continue tickling your chocolate palate with:
Chocolate Walnut cloud cookie crackles
Flourless and easy to make last minute cookie.
Based on Alice Medrich's Chocolate Soufflé Cookies

. Showcase a premium selection of chocolate with this very light and addictive cookie.  
. A slightly moist and gooey inside is encased with a protective crunchy and desired exterior.

Yields about 20 cookies
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(American / Metric measures)

6 oz. (180g) bittersweet 65-70% chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 xLarge (90ml) egg whites (room temperature)
1/8 tsp. (0.5ml) cream of tartar *
1/2 tsp. (2.5ml) pure Vanilla extract
6 Tbsps (85g) granulated sugar
3/4 cup (100g) walnuts, finely ground

(*) Cream of tartar can be either replaced with a dash of lemon juice or white vinegar or pinch of salt


1. In a small bowl, melt the chocolate over a double boiler on a very low simmer.  Remove the bowl from the heat and set aside.  

. Line 1 large baking pan with parchment paper.
. Position the rack on the second level from the bottom of the oven.   
. Pre-heat the oven to 350F/180C/Gas4 

2. Within a very clean bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until just frothy.  After a few seconds, add the cream of tartar (*) and continue beating until soft peaks form.
3. Afterwards, while still beating, gradually add the vanilla and the sugar until the egg whites hold stiff peaks but don’t look dry. 
4. Now, while trying not to deflate the egg whites, gently fold in the nuts and melted chocolate.
5. Onto the prepared baking sheet, immediately drop 20 cookies with the aid of a very small #60 ice-cream scoop.  Leave about 1 inch between each cookie. 
6. BAKE for about 14 minutes or until the cookies have a shiny appearance with its necessary cracks.  This will render a firm outer shell with a slightly gooey inside.
7. Transfer the cookies onto a metal rack and let them cool completely. 
. Serving:  Cookies are best eaten the same day or no later than 2 more days if left in an airtight container.   These cookies do not freeze* well.

* My note: Although I've experienced much success with freezing cookies...this particular one does not do well after thawing...the texture is just not the same.

Here’s my sinful way of dressing up the light cloud cookies...
A loving finale will ease you into making these decadent chocolate torrone truffle bites. 
Chocolate - Italian (Nougat) Torrone truffles

Makes between: 
30-36 small sized truffles

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(American / Metric measures)

Italian 'Torrone' - Chocolate interiors:
. 5 oz. (150g)  bittersweet (70%) chocolate, coarsely chopped
. 5 oz. (150g) soft, Italian Nougat (cubed small)
. 1/2 cup (125ml) whipping Cream 35%
. 1 tbsp. (15ml) unsalted butter
. Coatings: finely crushed, roasted hazelnuts, cocoa powder

...MAKING the Torrone -Chocolate 'Ganache':  
1. In a medium heatproof bowl, place the Torrone and then the Chocolate.  Set aside.   In a small pot, warm up the cream at medium heat until bubbles appear around the edge of the pot.  Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the butter to dissolve.   Immediately pour this warm cream over the chocolate, let it stand for 5 minutes.   Let the ganache come to room temperature for about one hour.
...CHILLING the 'ganache':   
2. Pour and spread the ganache into a deep shallow edged un-lined pan. Transfer the baking pan (lightly covered with parchment paper touching the chocolate surface) to the freezer.   The chocolate should be malleably hardened within about 20-25 minutes.
...COATING the chocolate balls:   
3. With a teaspoon or (melon ball) #60 scoop, spoon out the chocolate ganache from your bowl or pan to form a few roughly irregular small shaped balls. Once and a while, dip your spoon in cold water in order to prevent the chocolate from sticking.  Transfer the truffles to the parchment-lined pan and refrigerate them for about 10 minutes or until they feel firm enough to the touch.  Take the truffles out of the fridge.    Place your the COATINGS in separate small bowls.   Roll each irregular truffle in the coating by swirling it within the bowl itself. There's no need to roll the chocolate in your hands. Remember...real looking truffles are far from perfectly shaped.   NOTE: If you're not ready to make the chocolate truffles right away...the ganache mix can be stored within the bowl or pan along with an airtight seal for about 1 more week.
. In an airtight container...the finished truffles can be stored in the refrigerator. Gently place them between parchment paper level. They'll preserve their quality for up to 10 days or up to 2 months in the freezer. 

If you’re still game and more adventurous...go ahead and try this delicious cake:
Clementine Nut Chocolate torte (flourless)

This is a torte I make at least once a year...very desirable indeed.
Don't miss out on making this unique citrus - nut - chocolate cake torte. 

As much as I’d like to share the multitude of chocolate based recipes from my repertoire...
I’ll hold back in the name of love and appreciation for great chocolate.
One morsel at the time ;o)

Flavourful wishes,

Comments or suggestions ... write me :o)
Claudia at:  foodessa [at] gmail [dot] com

Go HERE for more SWEET creations.

Please take note on how I bake and cook...
Here’s a 101 of sorts to make sure that there are no disappointments when trying my creations.  
Also...just so you know...feel free to increase the salt and sweet factor since I'm not high on either of them ;o)
. Use DRY cup measurements for...you guessed it...all DRY ingredients.
Anything DRY gets measured by spooning the overfilled ingredient (never shake the cup) and then level off with a flat edged tool.  Exception...Brown sugar should be packed in and leveled.
. Use LIQUID cup measurements for...all LIQUIDS that cannot be leveled like for example butter, yogurt...etc.  Measure the liquids at eye level to avoid overdoing what the recipe truly needs.
OVENS are unfortunately not created equal.  Mine is so old that it has reached many degrees off it's norm.  It's really worth investing a few dollars to test yours with an appropriate oven thermometer.  You'd be surprised how many ovens I've heard about not being where they should have been.  Before you lose any more ingredients and much time preparing a new recipe...run to the store...you'll thank me later. 

A few posts that may attract you further into love and chocolate:
A little loving in the air?
- HEART health EAT to LIVE light  

Much more CHOCOLATE loving:
- Chocolate Apple Nut Phyllo triangle pockets 
- Chocolate frozen MOUSSE _ 3 Ingredients only
- Chocolate Almond 'TORTA CAPRESE' flourless cake
- Chocolate Caramel Cheese flan cake {aka ChocoFlan cake}
- Chocolate CRINKLE cookie CRACKLE color CHUCKLES
- Chocolate Espresso Kahlua Ice Cream
- CHOCOLATE log CAKE...easy - Moist - Delicious
- Chocolate Ricotta Squash MUFFINS 
- Chocolate TRUFFLES with SPIRIT and more
- Yogu creamy CHOCOLATE fondue dip