Monday, June 10, 2013

Dark and milk chocolate-covered treats; the best to buy and recipes to try!

When you crave a snack, do you search all your cupboards and see all sorts of snacks, but suddenly find yourself depressed because none of them are covered in chocolate? 

If that sounds like you, here are some delicious chocolate-covered treats that I recently discovered, as well as some suggestions for making your own chocolate-covered whatchamacallits.

Organic Traditions Dark Chocolate Hazelnuts.  I bought these at a little health food store and they are fantastic.  By no means are these sweet because the chocolate is rich, dark and the hazelnuts are just lightly coated in chocolate and then rolled in cocoa powder.  This was more of a healthy mid-morning snack or possibly a pre-workout pick-me-up that also satisfies your dark chocolate craving.

Starbucks Salted Almond Chocolate Bites.  These are dark-chocolate coated almonds with a hint of saltiness that pairs perfectly with the sweetness of the dark chocolate.  I keep trying to get a photo of these, but on the last three trips to Starbucks (which is not often these days for a rural girl like me), I have eaten the almond package faster than I can get to my camera!


Organic chocolate-covered cacao nibs at Bulk Barn.  I am not sure who the confectioner is for this product, as they were
sold in bulk, but they were bitter & slightly sweet at the same time, with a nice crunchy kick.

Chocolate-covered pieces of Coconut.  Another Bulk Barn treat sold in bins, this snack is also a filler and a healthy alternative to a Mounds bar, if you are a chocolate & coconut fanatic.

An even better chocolate and coconut treat is the Dark Chocolate Covered Macaroon at Manitoulin Chocolate Works in Kagawong, Ontario.  I ate two of these last weekend!  They are light and fluffy and covered in a rich semi-sweet dark chocolate.




When you cannot find chocolate covered treats, do what I do - cover your treats in Chocolate!


Here are some recipes:

Milk Chocolate-Covered Rice Krispie Treats

All you need to do here is find a great milk chocolate (I used Camino's Organic and Fair Trade 41% Milk Chocolate Couverture), melt and temper it, and dip small squares of Rice Krispie in it! Here is the link to the original rice treat recipe.

Chocolate-Covered, Gluten-Free Cornbread: What?!?

This cornbread is yogurt-based and slightly sweet, so it pairs nicely with a milk chocolate.

You need:
  • 1 cup rice flour or gluten-free flour mix (can also be made with spelt flour and regular unbleached all-purpose flour, if you are not worried about gluten).
  • 3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 1/4 cup plain yogurt (I have used fat-free, 2% and 3%)
  • 1 tbsp. organic cane sugar or coconut sugar
  • 1 to 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tbsp. butter, melted

Instructions:
1. Grease a muffin pan with butter.
2. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F (230 Celsius).
3. Stir or whisk together all the dry ingredients in a medium bowl.
4.  In a separate bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the eggs and yogurt.
5. Add the moist ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until mixed.  Add the melted butter and stir a few times.
6. Pour batter into the muffin pan, filling each muffin cup about halfway.
7. Bake for 14 minutes and check.  To check 'doneness', insert a knife into the pan and if it comes out clean it is done. If not done, place back in oven for three minute intervals until they are golden on top and fully cooked.

Dip in chocolate!
These cornbread muffins taste amazing warm, but if you are willing to wait, let each cool on a cooling rack.  Meanwhile, melt and temper about 8 to 12 ounces of milk chocolate. I melt 8 ounces of milk chocolate to 115 degrees (while stirring a LOT!) in the microwave for 2 minutes on half power, or over a double boiler, then, after removing it from the double boiler and drying the bottom of the bowl, I toss in another three or four ounces of the same chocolate and stir until I reach a temperature of 86 degrees.  The chocolate should be in temper at this point. It should be shiny, easy to stir and have no lumps.

Dip the bottom half of each cornbread muffin in the chocolate.  Let some chocolate drip back into the bowl and place right-side-up on a piece of wax paper.  Pour some tempered chocolate into a plastic snack bag and cut a small hole in the corner.  Squeeze the chocolate out of the bag and create lines or a pattern of your choice on top of the cornbread to decorate it.  (If your chocolate has cooled, just rewarm in the microwave for 5 seconds to get it back to the correct temperature).

Since this cornbread tastes best on the day it is made, plan to make these the same day as you serve them. They are healthy, but also have enough of a sweetness to pair nicely with an afternoon cup of tea or an after-dinner decaffeinated coffee or cappuccino.


Here are a few links to other "chocolate-covered" recipes that I have posted on this blog:

Chocolate Poppers and Chocolate-Covered Popcorn
Chocolate-Dipped Shortbread Cookies

Here is another article on a fantastic dark chocolate-covered snack:

Chocolate-covered cacao beans by Camino

3 comments:

  1. I have to admit, I agree with your assessment of the chocolate covered macaroons! They have now become a staple in the "coming home after soccer" routine. I look forward to it all week.
    Thanks too for the gluten-free desert!

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  2. Oh my! this is heaven, Thank you for sharing this recipes, i love to try it!

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  3. The health benefits that you have just become familiar with are exclusive to dark chocolates. In case you take milk chocolates or other chocolates available in market, these benefits will not be gained.

    ReplyDelete