I love to make chocolate dipped fruit, marshmallows, nut clusters, pretzels and more. However, I am not a fan of melting chocolate in a microwave. I always melt my chocolate in a heavy saucepan or double boiler. When I melt chocolate I add 1/2 teaspoon of Crisco for every ounce of chocolate I’m using. This creates a smoother consistency. Do not use butter or margarine as they both contain water and will seize your chocolate. When melting chocolate I use only a rubber spatula to stir the mixture. Wooden spoons can harbor moisture and seize your chocolate. Seized chocolate can not be recovered. You need to throw it away and start again.
Chocolate mousse is one of my favorite desserts. My family loves it too. I often serve it as dessert after Christmas dinner because it’s light and perfect after a heavy meal. I originally got this recipe from the Hershey’s website but I can no longer find it there. None of the mousse recipes there now are this easy. I use Baker’s Unsweetened chocolate. They are individually wrapped in one ounce portions. I use a serrated knife to “chop” the chocolate rather than breaking up those smallish bars. Much easier. Don’t rush the melting process and use fresh chocolate. If you melt the chocolate too fast, it could seize up on you and you can’t recover that mistake. You will need to start again, so just be patient. You’ll be glad you were.
Chocolate cake is a perennial favorite! It’s comfort food in dessert form. This triple chocolate cake is perfect for any occasion including birthdays, holidays and more! It’s rich, moist, chocolatey and delicious. Because this decadent cake makes 16 servings it’s perfect for larger gatherings but it keeps well for a few days covered with a cake dome. For added drama you could garnish this cake with fresh raspberries, strawberries or some white chocolate curls.
This cake also makes a great gift to welcome new neighbors to your block.
For variety see the note for the holidays at the end of the recipe.
To mix it up a bit:
For the holidays substitute peppermint extract for the vanilla. Add 1 teaspoon to the cake mix and 1/2 teaspoon to the glaze. Garnish with crushed peppermints.
My son’s second grade class held a heritage luncheon as their winter party before the holiday break. Each family was asked to make a dish to share from their heritage. When I asked my son what he wanted to make he didn’t hesitate to say biscotti, from our Italian heritage. Honestly, I cringed! We love biscotti but, I’ll admit, I buy it. I made it once many years ago before children. When it comes to cooking, I rarely cheat, but it did cross my mind to purchase it. Then the memo from school…there will be a cookbook of all the families recipes, please email it to the room mom. So…off I went on a biscotti recipe search.
I did not keep the recipe I had made all those years ago because when I cut it after the first baking, it crumbled. It’s not that biscotti is a difficult recipe to make, it’s just a bit involved because it’s a twice baked cookie. So my search took me to the Taste of Home website where I found the recipe inspiration. I modified it to our tastes, leaving out nuts, adding chocolate chips and here is the result. The room mom was so impressed she asked if I bought them! I actually impressed myself too! They do look nice! For a different look, dip half the biscotti in white chocolate. These are perfect for dunking in your morning coffee.