Tag Archives: Christmas

Flourless & Sugarless Chocolate Torte

Say hello to chocolate heaven!!! Do I need to say anything else? I think not.
What makes this dessert so amazing? Could it be the combination of different types of chocolate as well as fats that really hits this one out of the ballpark?

INGREDIENTS
12 oz unsweetened baking chocolate, cut or shaved
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 sticks butter or 2/3 cup of coconut oil
1 1/3 cup equivalence of stevia or sweetener
6 large eggs
1 tablespoon coconut flour
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 tablespoons chocolate whey protein
1 cup ground pecans or any nut of your choosing (I also have used macadamia nuts and it has been amazing)

DIRECTIONS
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Grease a spring-form 8 inch pan with butter and add parchment paper to the inside and grease again with butter.

Brown the butter on the stove, be careful that it does not burn, once the color begins to change, decrease the temperature to low. Add the chocolate in small bits and stir constantly until everything is melted beautifully.

Add the sweetener of your choice and allow the temperature to cool down until you can touch the side of the pan without it being hot.

Add the eggs in and stir, add the remaining ingredients.

Transfer to the pan and bake for 30 minutes covered.

Serve with fruit compote and whipped cream.

Holiday Table Centerpieces

I am sure you have already started to prepare side dishes, Holiday Table Centerpiecesand prepared yourself for the holiday feast! The centerpiece for the table is always my favorite part of the preparation. Here are a few of my favorites:

1.) Grab a long piece of holiday garland and wrap with small led lights and Christmas ornaments and run this from one side of the table all the way down to the other side.

2.) I love my holiday cards, they spread so much cheer and remind me that this season is about family and friends, not the gifts. Using fishing-wire(clear wire) and a hole punch, punch a small hole in each holiday card right where the crease is and tie the fishing wire to the card. Leave enough wire so you can hang the cards from your chandelier where everyone will enjoy Christmas dinner. Stagger the lengths so  it looks like the cards are floating right over the table and coming down like snow. You can do this with holiday ornaments.

3.) Grab an odd number of wine glasses, I like to use 5 and fill them with holly, cranberries, garland, lights or anything else that is festive. Turn them over so the rims are touching the table (the stem should be facing the ceiling), then place small tea lights on the base that is now facing the ceiling. This is basically a wine glass that is filled and turned upside down. It looks very nice when placed at the center of the table and then adding additional candles throughout.

4.) Using a tiered cake stand, fill each tier with candles, ornaments, holly, lights, cards, candy canes or other festive items.

he most important part is to enjoy yourself and your loved ones.

Browned Butter Vanilla Cream Cupcakes

Browned Butter Vanilla Cream CupcakesI love the flavor browned butter brings to these cupcakes. Browned butter is something that has such an earthy delicious smell that reminds me of my mother making ghee. The browned butter adds a caramel-esque flavor to these cupcakes that is undeniably delicious.

Browned Butter Vanilla Cream Cupcake Ingredients
1/2 cup and 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups cake flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/2 cup milk (whole works best but feel free to use whatever you have on hand)

Browned Butter Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients
1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
3 cups powdered sugar

Browned Butter Vanilla Cream Cupcake Directions
In a heavy-bottomed pot, melt the butter on medium heat and continue to cook the butter until it begins to brown. Be very careful because it will burn very quickly. This should take 10-15 minutes and stir occasionally. Once the bubbles cease to form, the color will change and at this point, you can remove the butter from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Set aside 3 tablespoons of the butter mixture for the frosting.

In a small bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (cake flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.)

In a medium bowl, using a hand held mixer, beat the eggs until they have doubled in size and are light in color. Slowly, add the sugar into the egg mixture and beat.

Incorporate the browned butter and vanilla into the egg mixture and beat.

Alternate between adding the dry mixture and milk into th egg mixture. Start and end with the milk.

Fill the cupcake liners 3/4 of the way to ensure you are leaving room for the batter to rise.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 20-24 minutes. An indicator that the cupcakes are done is a toothpick that comes out of the center clean or the center bounces back when you lightly touch it.
Browned Butter Cream Cheese Frosting Directions
Mix together the browned butter, butter and cream cheese until it is light and fluffy.

Blend in the powdered sugar.

Top each cupcake with a generous amount of frosting and serve.

Hazelnut Truffles

Hazelnut TrufflesNow that Thanksgiving is behind us, the countdown to Christmas has begun! I love making gifts for those closest to me. In a world filed with material goods, sometimes making something with your hands is the best gift of all!

Ingredients
1 cup hazelnuts
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate
6 ounces semisweet chocolate
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 tablespoon instant coffee powder
4 ounces (half-package) cream cheese, room temperature
2 tablespoons Frangelico (or any other hazelnut flavored liquor)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 pound dark chocolate

Directions
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Roast the skinless hazelnuts on a baking sheet in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, allow it to cool and chop the hazelnut up into small pieces.

Chop the bittersweet and semisweet chocolates finely and place in a large bowl.

Heat the cream in a small saucepan until it comes to a boil and add the instant coffee powder into the cream. Pour the hot cream into the bowl with the chopped chocolate pieces. Mix thoroughly with a wire whisk until the chocolate has melted, incorporate in the cream cheese and mix until everything has combined together. Mix in the Frangelico and vanilla with the wire whisk. Cool the mixture in the refrigerator for an over, do not forget to cover it.

Grab the mixture in your hands and shape into 2 tablespoon balls and place on the baking sheet and once all the balls have been formed, cool in the refrigerator for an hour.

Melt the dark chocolate in the microwave or over a double boiler and dip each chocolate ball into the melted chocolate. I like to use two forks for this process. Once the chocolate balls are coated, roll it in the chopped hazelnut and place on the cookie sheet to cool in the refrigerator overnight.