Posts Tagged ‘chocolate’

Vegan Peanut Butter Eggs!

April 24, 2011

Vegan Peanut Butter Eggs

2 ½ C chocolate chips
1 ½ C + 2 TBSP powdered sugar
½ C creamy peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla extract

Place chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl, microwave for 30-45 second increments until chocolate has melted. Mix together other ingredients until a semi-stiff dough forms. Follow the chocolate mold instructions in my Cream-Filled Chocolate Egg Tutorial!

Makes about 16 peanut butter eggs.

Happy Easter!

– Andrea

Harry Potter Chocolate Frogs!

November 18, 2010

I was getting really sad earlier because I couldn’t find my chocolate frog mold. But then I remembered a spell to help me out! So I grabbed my wand and said, “Accio chocolate frog mold!” and there it came, whizzing out from under my bed!

See? Harry Potter spells can be very useful in real life.

I made Chocolate Frogs!

 

I got Godric Gryffindor!

Oh, no! He's trying to escape!

Chocolate truffle center!

The magical Chocolate Frog box came from The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando. My sister got it for my mom as a souvenir, so just pay no attention to the “milk chocolate” labeling on the front.

I didn’t want solid chocolate frogs, so I thought I’d make a chocolate “truffle” center. I used a mixer to combine 1/4 C (v) cream cheese, 3/4 C confectioner’s sugar, 3/4 C chocolate chips (melted), and 1/2 TBSP vanilla extract.

It took about 1 C of chocolate chips to create the shells of eight frogs. I used a piping bag to pipe on the bottom and a spoon to spread it evenly. Like this:

I’d really like to make some chocolate frogs with raisins in the center. Chocolate-covered raisin frogs! That’d be awesome to take to the movies as a snack.

The chocolate frog mold I used can be found here!

I’m going to a Harry Potter “preview” party at a local science museum tonight and watching Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 on their IMAX screen at midnight! I hope all those kids keep their mouths shut during the movie… Well, along with everyone else 😀

– Andrea

Valentine’s Day 2010 – The Sweets!

February 16, 2010

Valentine’s Day isn’t complete without chocolate and dessert! So, of course, I made way more than I should have.

Chocolate Ganache Tart

I used this recipe, substituting 1 13.5 oz can of coconut milk for the heavy cream. I also added rosewater, since I saw a similar recipe for a chocolate tart with it  included. But that made the tart (which otherwise would have been awesome) taste like crap. I actually threw the rest away after me and Jon split half a slice. And I never throw things like that away. But there’s no way I was going to eat the rest. Oh well. Lesson learned! At least it looked pretty.

Pecan Linzer Cookies with Raspberry Jam

I used this recipe, substituting margarine for the butter, Ener-G egg replacer for the egg, and raspberry jam insted of the cherry. THESE ARE SO GOOD. I had to add a bit of water to the dough to make it roll-able, but otherwise this recipe is fantastic.

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing

Cupcakes are from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. Icing is of a store-bought, vegan variety because I didn’t feel like making any. I used cinnamon candies and Valentine DOTS to decorate the cupcakes. Wait, what?! Valentine DOTS?!

Yes. You heard read me right: Valentine DOTS!

I love the new DOTS holiday-themed gumdrops. Sadly, I missed the opportunity to purchase and review the Christmas ones. Hopefully they’ll bring them back this year! But these Valentine DOTS are fantastic. Cherry, Vanilla, and Passion Fruit. Do flavors get any better than that? I mean, honestly. And the boxes are just so adorable. I mean, these don’t have bat gumdrops with orange slices for mouths, but they’re still cute.

And, last but not least…

Homemade Chocolates

I just can’t justify spending ridiculous amounts of money on vegan chocolates + shipping when I can make my own at home. This year I decided just to make my favorite flavors + one new kind. Cordial cherries, peanut butter, cherry creme (all favorites), and orange creme (new). I really like the orange creme! I’ll definitely make them again. They’ll be great for Halloween, too!

And that’s it. Valentine’s Day 2010.

I’m not sure if I’ll be doing anything special for Saint Patrick’s Day or not. We’ll see! Either way, Happy Holidays!

– Andrea

Valentine’s Day Heart Banner and Plans

February 9, 2010

Valentine's Day Heart Banner

Look what I just made! 🙂 I think it’s pretty. I just took two, different-sized, heart-shaped cookie cutters and stenciled them onto red cardstock. I then cut out the hearts and taped them onto some fishing line. I know it’s simple, but it’s just so cute. You could also alternate between red and pink, pink and white, pink and purple, red and white, purple and white, etc.. Red is my favorite color for Valentine’s Day, though. (It’s classic!) So I just used red.

Earlier this week, I decided on my menu for Valentine’s Day. Every year, I make Jon dinner and a bunch of sweets and we exchange cards and (sometimes) gifts. This year we’ll be doing the same thing. Here’s what I’m planning on making:

Pesto Pasta with Roasted Vegetables
Minestrone Soup
Italian Salad
Heart-shaped Puff Pastry Pinwheels

Pink Cupcakes with Laced Chocolate Hearts
Chocolate Ganache and Rosewater Tart
Pecan Linzer Cookies with Cherry Filling
Assorted Filled Chocolates

Those are my plans right now. I’m still gathering up recipes and looking at some other crafts. I need to get in my Valentine’s Day box and see what all I can use this year. I still need to decorate, since all I have up is that banner.

We also might go see  Casablanca  at the Alabama Theatre on Saturday, depending on when I get off work, and if we can make it in time.

– Andrea

Cream-filled Chocolate Egg Tutorial

April 19, 2009

In my pre-vegan days, I would always get so excited whenever I saw the first Cadbury egg display for the year. I craved them for months leading up to Easter. They were always my favorite spring holiday confection. The Easter Bunny obviously knew this because he’d always leave a few in my Easter basket.

Cadbury Creme Egg

Cadbury Creme Egg

The Cadbury Creme Egg, a staple Easter treat for many children, is made un-vegan by the use of milk chocolate and egg whites. This really sucks, obviously.

In an effort to make sure I don’t feel deprived during the holidays because of my dietary choices, I set out to make my own cream-filled chocolate eggs. Now, these don’t taste the same as the real thing. But they are, in fact, cream-filled chocolate eggs – and they’re just as unhealthy! And that certainly satisfies my craving for the original delectible treats. 🙂

Cream-filled Chocolate Eggs

Cream-filled Chocolate Eggs

Cream-Filled Chocolate Eggs

Tools Needed:

Plastic egg-shaped chocolate molds
Clean, never used, soft-bristle paintbrush
Three bowls (one microwaveable)
Piping bag with a tiny (and hard) tip
Extra piping bag or a squeeze bottle with a tiny tip

Ingredients Needed:
1 Bag vegan chocolate chips
Powdered sugar
Corn syrup and/or Agave nectar
Vegetable shortening
Vanilla extract
Yellow and Orange food coloring
Salt

First thing’s first: Make sure your chocolate molds are cleaned and completely  dry. Next, set up your bowls: One will be needed to melt your chocolate chips – so make sure it’s microwave safe. The other two will be used to mix your egg fillings – the egg “white” and the egg “yolk”. You’ll also need to clear a flat surface in your freezer big enough to set the mold down.

First you’ll be making your chocolate egg “shells”. Put the chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave in 30-45 second increments, stiring between each one, until the chocolate is smooth and completely melted. Take a teaspoon or so of melted chocolate, and place in each of the cavities in the chocolate mold.

Amount of chocolate to put in each cavity.
Amount of chocolate to put in each cavity.

Using your new, clean paintbrush, swirl the chocolate in a circular motion up the sides of the cavities, until you reach the top. Wipe off any excess chocolate on the mold.

Painting on the chocolate.

Painting on the chocolate.

Once you’ve finished “painting” each of the cavities, hold the mold up to a bright light to make sure there aren’t any thin spots, such as this:

Thin spots in the chocolate - these will leak your filling

Thin spots in the chocolate - these will leak your filling

If you can see light shining through the chocolate, the shell is too thin and your filling will leak. Use a bit more chocolate to paint over any thin spots. Solid chocolate cavities will look like this when held up to a light:

Solid chocolate shells

Solid chocolate shells

Put your chocolate mold into the freezer so that the chocolate can harden and set while your make your fillings.

To make the egg “white”, mix about 3 C of the powdered sugar with a few tablespoons of either the corn syrup or agave nectar (your choice), a tablespoon or two of shortening, a drop of vanilla extract, and a pinch or two of salt. Add just enough water to form a thick, barely sticky paste.

Egg white consistency

Egg white consistency

To make the egg “yolk” combine the same ingredients, but thin the mixture out with extra water + corn syrup/agave and add a bit of yellow and orange food coloring to make your desired color. It doesn’t need to be too thin. Just thin enough so that it has a gooey consistency, like so:

Egg yolk consistency.

Egg yolk consistency.

Once your chocolate shells have hardened (it shouldn’t take but a few minutes), you can start filling them. Fill each chocolate shell about 3/4 of the way with the egg “white”. Next, Fill up a piping bag –  fitted with a tiny, metal tip – with your egg “yolk”. Since this mixture is pretty thin, be careful not to let it ooze out of the bag. Stick the tip of the bag in the center of each egg “white”, and pipe in just enough of the “yolk” until you see it start to come out of the “white”.

Filling the molds

Filling the molds

Stick your molds back into the freezer until the filling has hardened. Before you take the molds out of the freezer, go ahead and melt some more chocolate and place it into a piping bag fitted with a tiny tip, or with the corner snipped off ever so slightley. This will be very hot, so you may want to wear some gloves.

Frozen fillings, chocolate piping bag

Frozen fillings, chocolate piping bag

Starting at the edge of each cavity (making sure you’re conecting the new melted chocolate with the chocolate of the shell) , pipe the chocolate around the molds in a circular patern, until you cover the entire filling all the way to the center. Do this for each egg. Once you’ve done this, you can slap the molds down on the counter, so that the chocolate will fill in all the holes, or you can spread it out evenly with the back of a spoon. Make sure all edges are completely covered. Place the molds back into the freezer to set.

Finishing the eggs

Finishing the eggs

After about 15 minutes (or until you’re sure the eggs are completely hard), you can remove them from the freezer. To extract the eggs from the mold: using  the palm of your hand, slightly warm the round side of the each cavity to loosen the egg. Use your thumbs to apply a bit of pressure to push it out. They should come out easily. If not, slam the mold down on the counter. 😀

And there you have it: The Cream-filled Chocolate Egg tutorial.