FLOURLESS ALMOND COCOA BROWNIE

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted (or coconut oil)
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup turbinado sugar
3 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup almond meal
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons shredded unsweetened coconut or sunflower seeds, optional


Butter an 8×8 inch cake pan. Place the baking rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Whisk the butter and cocoa powder until well incorporated. Add the sugar, eggs and almond extract.
Whisk well to combine.

Combine the almond meal and baking powder in a separate bowl. Stir them into the wet mixture until you obtain a smooth uniform batter.

Transfer the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the coconut or sunflower seeds on top, if using.

Bake until set, 20-25 minutes. Cool completely before cutting into bars.

Serves 8

BREWER’S YEAST CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

Brewer’s yeast adds a boost of B vitamins, extra protein and a pleasant bitter-sweetness to the cookies. If bitter is not your thing, cut the amount  in half.

 

2 cups brown rice flour

¼ cup wheat germ

2 tablespoons powdered brewer’s yeast

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

4 ounces unsalted butter, softened

1  cup turbinado sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips

 


 

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Combine the brown rice flour, wheat germ, brewer’s yeast, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl.

In a separate bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Whisk in the eggs and vanilla, and pour over the flour mixture. Combine well and fold in the chocolate chips. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes until the dough is firmer.

Drop small balls of dough the size of two tablespoons on the cookie sheet, about two inches apart. Bake them until golden but still soft in the center, 11 to 13 minutes. Transfer to a rack and let cool.

Makes about 18 cookies

EMERGENCY CHOCOLATE MADELEINES

2 large eggs
2/3 cup turbinado sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled (or half butter, half canola oil)
1 tablespoon milk
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
3 tablespoons natural unsweetened cocoa powder
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup finely chopped dark chocolate or mini chocolate chips

 


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter a 12-madeleine non-stick madeleine tin.

Beat the eggs with the sugar, butter, milk, vanilla extract, and salt in a medium mixing bowl until frothy.

Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon and baking powder in a separate bowl. Whisk them into the liquid mixture until homogenous. Fold in the chopped chocolate or chocolate chips.

Spoon the batter into the molds, filling each one a little over halfway. Bake until the madeleines are puffed up and set, 10 minutes.
 
Makes 12 madeleines

AVOCADO CHOCOLATE PUDDING

2 small ripe avocados, peeled and pitted
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon maple syrup
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons coconut milk or half and half
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 


Process all of the ingredients in a food processor until creamy and shiny.

Chill before serving. It tastes better after it’s been refrigerated a couple of hours.

 

Serves 2

avocado chocolate pudding

NO-BAKE CHOCOLATE OATEMAL BARS

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/3 cup nut butter
2 cups quick oats
1/4 cup finely chopped nuts (optional)

 


Butter a square 8-inch pan. Set aside.

Place the butter, milk, almond extract, sugar and cocoa powder in a medium saucepan. Melt over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is boiling heartily.

Remove from the heat. Stir in the nut butter until well incorporated. Stir in the oats (and chopped nuts, if using) until well coated.

Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan and smooth it out evenly with a spatula. Let cool down a bit. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 3 to 5 hours before cutting into squares or rectangles.

Makes 12 squares

CHESTNUT CREAM ECLAIRS

Pâte à choux
1 cup water

1 stick unsalted butter

2 teaspoons sugar

½ teaspoon salt

1 ½ cups all purpose flour

4 large eggs

Chestnut Mascarpone Filling

¾ cup chestnut spread (crème de marrons)

2/3 cup mascarpone

Chocolate Glaze

4 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons milk

2 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped

 


 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter a large baking sheet.

The pâte à choux

Bring the water, butter, sugar and salt to a boil in a medium saucepan. Stir well. Lower the heat.

Stir in the flour and keep stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until you obtain a thick mass of dough that detaches from the sides of the pan. Transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer and let cool 5 minutes.

With the paddle attachment on, add the eggs, one at a time, and work the dough until it looks like thick, sticky cake batter. This should take 2 to 3 minutes.

Transfer the dough to a pastry bag or Ziploc bag and pipe 2-inch rounds or logs onto the prepared pan, leaving 2 inches between puffs.

Bake the puffs 25 to 35 minutes, or until they are golden and sound hollow when tapped or shaken. The best way may be to test taste one to make sure it is not dough-ey in the middle. For me, getting perfectly golden and hollow puffs took exactly 32 minutes.

Let the puffs cool to room temperature on a rack before filling them.

The filling

To make the filling, simply stir the chestnut spread and mascarpone well in a medium bowl until you obtain a light brown cream.

Cut the puffs in half lengthwise using a serrated knife. Fill one half with the filling using a spoon. Place the other half on top.

The glaze

To make the glaze, heat up the butter and milk over medium heat in a small saucepan until melted. Reduce heat to low, add the chopped chocolate and whisk until melted. Remove from heat.

Glaze the top half of the puffs with the chocolate glaze. Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.
 
Makes 24 mini éclairs.

PEANUT TRUFFLES

1 cup lightly salted roasted peanuts
1 cup corn flakes
1/4 cup honey
2-3 tablespoons orange juice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground clove

1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips

 


 

Grind the peanuts and corn flakes into almost a powder using a food processor.

Transfer to a bowl and mix in the rest of the ingredients except the chocolate.

Melt the chocolate over gentle stove heat or in the microwave at 30 second intervals. Shape the peanut mixture into 1-inch balls. Dip the peanut balls in melted chocolate and allow to harden on wax paper 30 minutes or so before serving.

Makes about 12

CREAM CHEESE CHOCOLATE TRUFFLES

8 ounces low-fat cream cheese, preferably at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon brewed coffee (or liqueur of choice), optional
10 ounces good quality bittersweet chocolate
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder or finely shredded coconut, for coating

 


In a large bowl, stir the cream cheese well until fluffy. Stir in the vanilla extract and coffee or liqueur. Melt the chocolate in the microwave and slowly add it to the cream cheese while stirring. Continue stirring until the white from the cheese is no longer visible and the mixture is uniformly brown.

Refrigerate for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Using a teaspoon, scoop out the chocolate and shape it into 1-inch balls.

Place the cocoa powder or shredded coconut in a shallow dish and roll the truffles in the coating.

Refrigerate leftovers. Allow them to warm up and soften a bit at room temperature before serving them.

Makes 16

CHOCOLATE TAHINI CRACKERS

1/2 stick butter, softened
1/4 cup tahini, stirred
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup agave syrup
2 eggs
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 ¾ cups whole wheat flour

 


 
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

In a large bowl, whisk the butter, tahini and salt. Add the agave and eggs and whisk agin until well combined. Incorporate the cocoa powder and stir some more. Finally work in the whole wheat flour and form a homogeneous ball of dough.

Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough into a thin layer, about 1/8-inch thick. Cut into small circles using a cookie cutter and poke holes in each cracker with a bamboo skewer or fork.

Place the crackers on the prepared baking sheet, about 1/2-inch apart. Bake until hard, about 17 minutes.
 
Makes 30

GLUTEN-FREE MARBLE CAKE

1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 cup brown sugar
6 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
¼ cup milk
1 cup coconut flour
½ cup tapioca flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 tablespoon water

 


 
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter and flour a 9- to 10-inch Bundt pan.

Using an electric mixer, whisk the butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla. Add the milk and mix again until well combined. Sift the coconut flour, tapioca flour, baking soda, soda powder and salt into a bowl. Add to the wet mixture and mix well to combine.

Pour half of the batter in a separate bowl. Add the cocoa powder and water and whisk to combine. Transfer the batters to the prepared pan alternating spoonfuls of vanilla and chocolate batter. Bake until the cake is set and slightly browned, 30 to 32 minutes. Cool before unmolding.
 

Serves 6 to 8