Summer Sweets: Salmon in White Chocolate Dill-Lemon Sauce

I was ready for a light summer meal after damaging storms blasted through the area causing wide-spread power outages.  Huge old trees that hold the history of our land have been uprooted and chaotically tossed about, personal property that has been meticulously cared for has been destroyed along with people’s hopes and dreams.  Most everyone was thrust into some sort of temporary frontier life.  While roughing it is fun; it looses it’s luster after about 48 hours leaving the harsh realization of just how dependant this society is on the luxuries of everyday life.  Several places are still waiting for power to be restored.  The power companies have been working for 8 days to clean up the mess and restore some sense of normalcy to our area.  In returning to a normal summer life I came across this light meal that taste like a summer evening in every bite.  I hope you enjoy it!

Salmon in White Chocolate Dill-Lemon Sauce:

You will need 2 large Salmon Steaks

1 oz of Cocoa Mill Solid White Chocolate

4 Tbsp of butter

1 Tbsp of flour

1/2 cup of fish or chicken stock

1/2 tsp of pepper

1/4 tsp of salt

1 1/2 tsp of dill

4 tsp of lemon juice

2 Tbsp of olive oil

2 Tbsp minced garlic

In a sauce pan melt 2 Tbsp of butter and the white chocolate over medium heat. After the butter and chocolate are melted add the flour and stir until the butter/chocolate  is absorbed.  Add half of the stock until the liquid begins to thicken, add remainder of the stock and stir until mixed throughly. Reduce to low heat add pepper, salt, lemon juice, and dill. Simmer stirring occasionally until fish is ready to serve.

In a skillet melt the remaining  butter and olive oil. Salt and pepper the salmon and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes per side, or until done. Remove fish from the skillet and add the garlic heat lightly for about 3 minutes until the garlic just starts to turn brown. Top the salmon with the garlic. At this point if you have any steamed vegetables throw them into the skillet with the heat off just to incorporate the garlic and butter taste into the vegetables.

Remove the sauce from the heat and drizzle over the salmon until lightly covered.

This dish is best served with steamed broccoli, asparagus, or green beans. I enjoyed a nice cucumber and tomatoes salad, just to have that full summer taste.

Enjoy summer with chocolate!

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Summer Sweets: German Chocolate Cake

Since starting the Summer Sweets Recipe Series I have started getting a lot of requests for my next recipe experiment.  This one is for my husband: German Chocolate Cake.

I will say I was a little hesitant to make this cake, I thought it would be very labor intensive and difficult to make. It is not difficult make, there are however several steps involved in making this cake. It was well worth the time. 

 This German Chocolate cake is very moist with a very rich grown up flavor. The quality of the chocolate used plays a big factor in this cake. I recommend a bittersweet chocolate for a decadent chocolate experience. The caramel coconut icing is just heavy enough to lock in the moisture of the cake, and the sweetness of the icing  intensifies the chocolate flavor while the bittersweet chocolate balances the sweet icing and the richness of this cake. This recipe does make a rather large cake, plan on three layers or a large sheet cake. I hope you enjoy this cake as much as my family has!

German Chocolate Cake

ingredients you will need:

6 oz. Cocoa Mill bittersweet Chocolate (visit www.cocoamill.com for chocolates and information)

1/2 cup water

1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

1/2 cup of brown sugar

1/4 cup of coffee

1 cup buttermilk

4 eggs, separated

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

(frosting recipe will follow after cake recipe)

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F

2. In a double broiler heat the water and chocolate until melted and well blended. remove from heat and set aside to cool.

3. In a large bowl cream together the butter, vanilla, granulated and brown sugar until well blended.

4. Scrap the bowl and add the egg yolks. Add the melted chocolate and the 1/4 cup of coffee until throughly blended.

5. Add the flour, baking soda, and salt, blend again.

6. In a separate bowl beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Very gently fold the egg whites into the batter until well blended.

7. Pour the batter into 3 greased 9 inch cake pans. Bake in for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

8. After baking time is up remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool completely before frosting.

Coconut Icing:

ingredients:

1 1/2 cups evaporated milk

5 egg yolks slightly beaten

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup granulated sugar

 2 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

2 sticks of butter

2 cups un-sweetened flaked coconut

(2 cups toasted pecans)*

* if you do not use pecans add 1/4 tsp of salt

1. in a large saucepan over low heat add egg yolks, evaporated milk, white and brown sugar, vanilla, and butter.

2. After the butter melts raise the heat to medium low, stir constantly for ten minutes.

3. Remove from the heat and add the coconut and pecans (or salt).

4. Cool before frosting the cakes.

Enjoy!

Summer Sweets: Frozen Hot Chocolate

Frozen Hot Chocolate is a recipe I have wanted make for a long time. I know that the restaurant Serendipity3 in New York has this dessert and people rave about how good it is. I thought I would give it a go with our own Cocoa Mill Chocolates.  

This was surprisingly easy to make.  I used my own homespun recipe for Hot Chocolate and then adjusted it accordingly to get the Frozen effect.  This recipe will give you something to look forward to after a long hot day.

 

What you will need for this refreshing treat:

4 cups of whole milk

3 oz Cocoa Mill Dark Chocolate

3 oz Cocoa Mill Milk Chocolate

3 oz Cocoa Mill White Chocolate

3 Tbsp granulated sugar*

3 tsp. vanilla

6 Tbsp powdered sugar*

1 pint heavy whipping cream

Chocolate shavings

You will also need, a blender and  mixer capable of whipping cream.

 

Process:

1. Warm milk in a sauce pan over low heat, (be careful not to boil the milk). When steam begins rising from the milk add your 3 types of chocolate, 1 1/2 tsp of vanilla and 3 Tbsp of granulated sugar. Continue cooking over low heat until chocolate is melted and well blended with the milk.

(1 1/2. You can stop here if you want hot chocolate, keep it in mind for those Cold winter nights.)

2. Remove from heat and let it cool in the fridge for two hours (or longer if needed).

3. Place whip cream in a bowl and add 1 1/2 tsp vanilla and 3 Tbsp of powdered sugar whip with a beater until the cream forms stiff peaks when the beater is removed. Cover and place in refrigerator.

4. In a blender pour in 2 1/2 cups of the now cold hot chocolate add a 1/2 cup of whipped cream and 3 Tbsp powdered sugar mix until blended (about 45 seconds to a minute.) 

5. Fill blender with Ice cubes until liquid has reached 5 cups. Blend until creamy.

6. Pour into a glass, top with whipped cream and chocolate shavings and have a good chocolatley evening. 

There are so many ways you could adjust this recipe, add Bailey’s Irish Creme for an adult beverage, add 3 Tbsp of coffee for a mochachino, add some caramel syrup on top of the whip cream just for an added yum. Let us know what variations you come up with!

*You can also substitute  truvia for sugars or another sweetener to decrease caloric/carbohydrate in take.

You can save the additional hot chocolate mixture for up to a week in the refrigerator.

 

Holy Mole: Chocolate Chicken

 The windows were down and a nice summer breeze was blowing through the car as we were driving home from work.  My girls asked their usual question, “Mommy, what’s for dinner?”

“I’m not sure what we are having tonight, but tomorrow we are having Chocolate Chicken.”  I responded nonchalantly, knowing this information will provoke some sort of contorted face and then perhaps a discussion.

“Ewwww. That’s gross.”  My nine and five-year olds say in unison.

“Chicken and chocolate do not go together Mom.” My nine-year old states as if she’s been cooking for years.

“Well if that’s what you’re cooking then I’m not eating it.” My five-year old informed me.

The girls continue to question my sanity and I just smile as we continue our ride home.

The following day we make our way to the grocery store to gather the ingredients for our chocolate chicken dish.  The girls watch very intently as I carefully select the chiles, spices, and tomatoes.

” Is that all we need?”  My nine-year old asks?

“Yep, that’s it!” I respond

“Does that mean we can go home now?” My five-year old asks impatiently.

“Yep, let’s go.” I answer, and just like that we are off on our journey to make the chocolate chicken.

Braised Chicken with Chocolate Mole Sauce:

You will need:

10 dried Ancho chiles

4 dried Chiles Negros

1/3 cup sesame seeds

1 tsp. allspice

1 tsp. ginger

1/2 tsp. chili powder

2 tsp. cumin

2 tsp. coriander

1/4 tsp ground cloves

20 black peppercorns

1 tsp cinnamon stick

5 Tbsp of butter or lard

1/4 cup of raisins

1 corn tortilla broken into pieces

4 tomatillos

10 cherry tomatoes

5 garlic cloves peeled

1 small onion chopped

5 1/3 cups of chicken stock

3  ounces Cocoa Mill Bittersweet Chocolate; coarsely chopped

Salt, pepper, garlic powder, dry mustard

1 large package boneless skinless chicken thighs, 3-4 large chicken breasts

2 Tbsp chopped cilantro

Olive oil

Pre-heat oven to 275 degrees F

1. In a medium bowl cover the dried chiles with boiling water and let stand for 30  minutes.

2. In a large skillet combine the spices: sesame seeds, all spice, ginger, chili powder, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and peppercorns. Toast the spices over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, until fragrant. Transfer to blender or food processor and grind to a fine powder.

3. In the same skillet melt 1 Tbsp of butter. Stir in raisins and tortilla. Cook the mixture until the raisins are nice and plump and the tortilla is lightly toasted (about 5 minutes). Transfer into a bowl.

4. In the same skillet add tomatillos and cherry tomatoes. Blister the skins for about 12 minutes. set aside.

5. Staying with the same skillet add onions and garlic cloves, cook until lightly browned (about 10 minutes)

6. In a food processor chopped all the tomatoes, onion and garlic. 

7. Blend the raisins and tortilla and 1/3 cup of stock in the food processor.

8.  Melt 1 Tbsp of butter in skillet, add vegetable mixture, spice powder and cook five minutes, drain chiles and 5 cups of chicken stock, cover and let simmer for 1 hour.

9. In a bowl add 1 Tbsp of salt, 2 tsp pepper, 2 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp coriander powder, 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp ginger, 1/2 tsp dry mustard. Mix together and rub on chicken.

10. In a skillet  heat a splash of olive oil and 1 Tbsp of butter until melted. Add chicken and brown on each side for 3-4 minutes. Transfer into a 9 x 13 casserole dish.

11. Chop the 3 ounces of Cocoa Mill Bittersweet Chocolate and place in food processor, remove chiles for the sauce and place in food processor over chocolate, mix until you have a thick paste, add back into the sauce, heat for an additional 15 minutes.

12. Take half of the sauce and spoon over the chicken, cover with aluminum foil and place in the oven and cook for 3 hours.

Serve with rice and a nice summer salad. Enjoy!

Side note: My girls thoroughly enjoyed the “Chocolate Chicken” and cleaned their plates.

Summer Sweets: Chocolate Nonpareil Cookies

Last week I posted a recipe for chocolate brownies. I hope you all enjoyed them!

This week I have a tasty little treat that is very easy to make.  So grab your fun hat and let’s whip up some chocolate nonpareil cookies!

You will need some mini nonpareil ( I use Cocoa Mill’s dark chocolate nonpareil, just because they are readily available, and super good, you can use milk chocolate nonpareil too if you wish).

Cocoa Mill’s Chocolate Nonpareil Cookies:

2/3 cup of butter (or shortening)

1/2 cup of granulated sugar

1/2 cup  of brown sugar

1 egg

1 tsp. vanilla

1  3/4 cups of all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp. of baking soda

1/4 to 1/2 a tsp. of salt (depending on how sweet you like your cookies)

1/2 lb. chocolate nonpareil

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F.

Cream butter and sugars together, add egg and vanilla, mix well. Add flour, baking soda and salt, mix well. Roll cookie dough into 1 inch balls and place on a greased cookie sheet. Place a chocolate nonpareil in the center of each ball of dough and press down to flatten cookie.

Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes. When lightly brown take out and cool on a wire rack. Enjoy with a tall glass of cold milk.

These cookie freeze well, this allows you to pull them out and enjoy them whenever you wish. 

Summer Sweets

Summer time is great, vacations, relaxation, cook outs, warm weather and the list goes on and on…  This summer I am going to be cooking some great recipes using Cocoa Mill’s chocolate and sharing the yum factor with you.  I am sure in these recipes you could use any chocolate, but I cannot vouch for any other chocolate than Cocoa Mill, so beware! Jk 😉 (Seriously though try to use an all natural chocolate, the preservatives and waxes used in some chocolates can leave a recipe tasting a little blah.)

The first recipe I want to share is Cocoa Mill Brownies. These tasty little treats are decadent to say the least. This is my go to recipe for a great dessert. I hope you enjoy them too!

Cocoa Mill Brownies:

2 sticks of butter (softened)

6 to 8 ounces dark chocolate

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup powdered sugar

1 teaspoon of vanilla

3 eggs

1 cup all-purpose flour (can use whole wheat if desired, tastes just as good)

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (if desired, which I do not!)

In a saucepan melt 1 stick of butter and the chocolate, stirring continually so not to burn the chocolate.  Set aside.

In a mixing bowl place 1 stick of butter, sugar, powdered sugar and vanilla mix together.  Add eggs and mix again. Add flour and salt mix until well blended.  Add chocolate and stir until batter is chocolate through and through.  Add nuts last if desired.

Pour batter into a buttered 13 x 9 x 2 baking pan. Bake at 325 degrees F for 35 – 40 minutes or until a knife stuck in comes out clean.

Cool in pan on wire rack.  After it is cooled you can either enjoy as is or top with Nutella for and added yum (this also prevents brownies from drying out.) 

Happy Summer!  Let me know if you try it and what you think!