Cocoa Mill’s Hot Chocolate

Every time it snows my children have come to expect that they will be served hot chocolate after they return indoors from their winter excursions. Not just any hot chocolate mind you, but homemade concoction using their Father’s chocolate; Cocoa Mill’s milk and dark chocolate.  I can guarantee when I place the warm cups of cocoa in front of them they will ask: “Did you make this with Daddy’s chocolate?” the answer is always “Yes.” and there are smiles all around.

Being that it is 3 degrees outside today (but no snow) I thought it would be fitting to share this homemade hot chocolate recipe.

 

What you will need:

4 cups of whole milk

3 oz Cocoa Mill Dark Chocolate

3 oz Cocoa Mill Milk Chocolate

3 Tbsp granulated sugar*

3 tsp. vanilla

6 Tbsp powdered sugar*

1 pint heavy whipping cream

Chocolate shavings

You will also need a 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 2 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.

 

2. 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.

whipcream

There are so many ways you could adjust this recipe, add Bailey’s Irish Creme for an adult beverage, add 3 Tbsp of coffee (or more) for a mocha-chino, 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 and reheat as needed.

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Easy Chocolate Chess Pie

My Family loves homemade desserts and I am up for the task as long as it is not too labor intensive. I had never made a chocolate chess pie before but remembered enjoying it a few years ago. Lucky me I had all the ingredients on hand and the pie making began, (and was all gone within 3 days!)

This pie is quick and easy and if you are chocolate lovers like my family then this is the dessert for you!

Filling Ingredients:

3/4 cup sugar

5 oz dark chocolate

2 tablespoons flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup heavy cream

1/4 cup milk

3 large eggs

1/3 cup butter

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 9″ pie crust

 

 Crust Ingredients:

2 cups ground oatmeal

1/4 cup sugar

5 tablespoons of softened butter

 

Instructions:

Place the oatmeal in a blender and chop until finely ground (you can also use nuts or cookies that have been crushed). Pour the oatmeal 1/4 cup of sugar in a 9″ pie pan and mix. Add the 5 tablespoons of butter and mix thoroughly, press mixture until flat and it covers the base and walls of the pie plate.

In a sauce pan over medium heat melt the butter and chocolate stirring constantly. When completely melted remove from heat and add the sugar, salt, and flour stir until well blended. Let this mixture rest about 5 minutes then add the vanilla, milk and heavy cream, stir vigorously for 2 minutes. beat the eggs and slowly add one at a time until completely incorporated into chocolate mixture. 

 

Pour the mixture into the pie crust and bake at 325 for 45-50 minutes. Let cool before serving. Top with homemade whipped cream and Enjoy!

 

 

Thanksgiving Carrot Cake

Thanksgiving Carrot Cake

carrotsraisin

pecans

white choco chunks

In the fall my family longs for the taste of spiced goodies, this cake fits the bill. It is quick, easy and I feel good knowing that all the ingredients were placed in the mixing bowl out of pure love. I hope that you too will find that this recipe brings the taste of Fall to your family’s table and will remain a staple for years to come.

Carrot Cake

Ingredients:

1 ½ cups of sugar

1 cup olive oil

½ cup butter (room temperature)

4 eggs (well beaten)

3 tsp. blackstrap molasses

2 cups of unbleached flour

2 tsp. baking soda

2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

3 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. nutmeg

1 tsp. allspice

1 tsp. ginger (ground)

1 cup chopped pecans

1 cup raisins (multi-colored)

4oz white chocolate chopped into chunks

3 cups grated carrots

Instructions:

Pre-heat oven 325 degrees

Mix sugar, eggs and molasses, add the oil and butter blend well. Combine the dry ingredients in another bowl and mix. Once blended add to the wet mixture and blend well. Add the carrots, raisins, pecans and white chocolate blend well until all is mixed thoroughly.

Place into 3 greased 9” cake pans for about 30 minutes.

Once baking is complete let cool and remove from pan.

Cream Cheese Frosting:

2 sticks of butter soften

2 packages of cream cheese

2 cups powdered sugar

1 tsp. lemon juice

1 Tbsp. heavy whipping cream (can use milk instead)

Blend the butter and cream cheese until well blended. Add the powdered sugar, lemon and heavy cream. Whip until light and fluffy.

Frost the layers of the cake, placing one on top of each other. Frost sides, and top. Store in the refrigerator to keep fresh.

carrot cake

Happy Fall & Enjoy!

Chocolate Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

For some reason I have been baking up a storm lately, from homemade sweet rolls, to chocolate caramel brownies, I just can’t stop.

Here is a neat little recipe I wanted to pass along:

Chocolate Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies:

cran choco

Ingredients:

  • 1/2  cup (1 stick) plus 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 3/4  cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2  cup granulated sugar
  • 2  eggs
  • 1  teaspoon vanilla
  • 1-1/2  cups all-purpose flour
  • 1  teaspoon baking soda
  • 2  teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • !/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon of allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cardamom
  • 1/2  teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 3  cups Oats (quick or old-fashioned, uncooked)
  • *6 – 8 oz of Cocoa Mill’s Dark Chocolate Cranberry Bark

Preparation

Heat oven to 350°F.

Chop chocolate cranberry bark up into nice bite size chunks, set aside (to snack on while you assemble the rest of the cookie).

 

In large bowl, beat butter and sugars until creamy.

Add eggs and vanilla; beat well.

Add combined flour, baking soda, spices and salt; mix well.

Add oats and chocolate cranberry bark; mix well.

choc oatmeal dough2

Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto un-greased cookie sheets.

choc oastmeal pan

Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheets; remove to wire rack. Cool completely. Store tightly covered or in freezer safe bags for later consumption 😉

Enjoy!

cran oat

* Bark may be substituted for 6 – 8 oz chopped bittersweet dark chocolate and 1 cup cranberries.

 

Holiday Baking Ideas: Mrs. Vickie’s Dark Chocolate Shavings Cookie

 

My family was a big fan of chocolate chip cookies until one of our employees at Cocoa Mill started using Cocoa Mill’s Bittersweet chocolate shavings in their cookies… They are now converts and will accept nothing less. This is the perfect cookie for the Holidays.

Cocoa Mill’s Bittersweet Chocolate is perfect for baking. In this recipe you will need 1/4 lb of dark chocolate and a good sharp knife to shave the chocolate into small pieces.

You will need:

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)

1/4 lb shaved bittersweet chocolate

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. Add the Chocolate shavings and mix well one more time. Spoon cookies onto a greased cookie sheet.

Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes. When golden around the edges 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. They also make a beautiful and delicious gift for loved ones and friends during this season of giving.

Milk Hazelnut Truffle vs Dark Hazelnut Truffle

The series continues with The Milk Hazelnut Truffle and The Bittersweet Hazelnut Truffle. This truffle is very sweet with light nutty undertones. Crisscrossed white chocolate stripes adorn this simple but pure treasure, letting you know there is more than chocolate to be desired in this round ball of decadence.

These two truffles have the same hazelnut base flavor and both have milk chocolate centers. The hazelnut paste that is used in this truffle is made from crushed hazelnuts, nothing more, nothing less. These two initial observations may cause you to think this truffle is best when enjoyed in milk chocolate, because of the milk centers. You may also ask since they have the same base what is the use in comparing them? Let us delve a little deeper into this natural goodness that is The Hazelnut Truffle.

The Milk Chocolate Truffle is very sweet but balances nicely with the earthy hazelnut flavoring. The flavor delivered in this truffle is very natural and it almost has a woody quality in taste, but is smooth as velvet in texture.  This truffle pairs nicely with a cream sherry such as Amontillado. This sherry is noticeably darker than other sherries. Amontillado offers notes of  hazelnuts and even light cedar, enriching the earth tones already present in the truffle. When these two are a paired the flavor changes a bit giving up more of a roasted hazelnut with a hint of honey. This is a complex sherry that opens up as it sits in the glass, it is one of the most prized sherries for the connoisseur. When coupling the Anmontillado and the Hazelnut Truffle it creates an experience that will be cherished all the more.

The Bittersweet Chocolate Truffle still has the same the same center with earthy natural undertones but when dipped in the dark chocolate you loose a bit of the sweetness. The dark chocolate only enhances the woody, earthy  flavors creating a stronger hazelnut experience. This truffle pairs nicely with Ethiopia Amaro Gayo  coffee. This coffee offers a date and pastry spice aroma, with raspberry, citrus, and chocolate flavor notes. This is full-bodied coffee leaves you with a winey fruit and cocoa finish. Combining these flavors offers you a deeply sensuous chocolate experience.

I hope you will enjoy these two pairings. If you try them please let us know what you think.

Milk vs. Dark

The Great debate: Milk Chocolate vs. Dark Chocolate.

These questions and more will be answered in the upcoming series of blogs. The intent of this series will be to inform you of the subtle differences that make each flavor unique. We will pair these great chocolates with other foods and beverages to enhance the chocolate’s flavor and your overall experience. I will try to describe the flavors of chocolates and their pairings to the best of my ability giving you an idea of what you can expect from each one. Some confections/flavors taste better in milk chocolate, some better in dark chocolate, I will leave you to decide.

The first chocolates up are:  The  Milk Chocolate Truffle & The Bittersweet Chocolate Truffle .

 

The Milk Chocolate Truffle consist of a simple creamy texture delivering all the sweetness you would expect from milk chocolate. It’s slightly hard outer shell encases a soft centered milk chocolate ganache. The ganache is smooth, creamy and very sweet. There are no decorations on this truffle leaving you to surmise that the beauty lies within the flavor. This chocolate is best when served with a Red Ale such as: Devils Backbone Reily’s Red Ale. This is an Irish ale has malt, toasted caramel and grain notes with a strong dose of floral and light citrus hops. This smooth malt and toasted caramel flavors add to the simplicity of the Milk Chocolate Truffle. This is a beautiful combination of flavors to enjoy while slipping into the beauty of fall.

The Bittersweet Chocolate Truffle is again simple and creamy but there is a depth to the dark chocolate that leaves you wanting another bite. The hard outer shell holds the creaminess of the ganache which is a surprisingly complex flavor delivered by dark chocolate. This truffle is bitter and at the same time sweet (hence the name?) leaving you wanting to savor the experience. This chocolate pairs well with full-bodied red wines such as a Cabernet Sauvignon, which highlight the fruity and peppery notes in the chocolate, or a Zinfandel, which brings out the chocolate’s spicy subtleties.  This pairing is perfect anytime of the year leaving you satisfied that you have had a decadent experience.

The above chocolates, beer and wines are available from various sellers, we have chosen Virginia based  businesses.