Monday, March 30, 2015

Homemade 3 Musketeers Candy Bars

Homemade 3 Musketeers Candy Bars

Base and Topping:
120g milk chocolate, chopped
28g (2 tbsp) butter

120ml (1/2 cup) water
164g (4 fl. oz./1/2 cup) light corn syrup
400g (2 cups) white sugar
1/4 tsp slt
2 egg whites, room temperature
100g (3.5 oz) bittersweet chocolate (I used 50%), grated*

*You can use chopped chocolate, but grated chocolate melts quicker and here you need it to melt quickly. Trust me.

1) First, in a small saucepan, melt together half of the milk chocolate and half of the butter for the base. Simply melt the butter and add chocolate. Cover and let sit for 2 minutes. Once the chocolate melts, stir and pour it in a 20 x 20 cm / 8 x 8 inch dish lined with parchment paper. Place in a refrigerator.

2) In a large pot, combine together water, corn syrup and sugar. Cover the lid and bring to boil. Cook for about 8-9 minutes over medium heat. While it cooks, follow the step number 2.

3) In a clean bowl, add egg whites and salt. Beat on high speed until stiff. Once the whites start holding their shape, stop beating. You don' want to overbeat it. Set aside. 

4) After 8-9 minutes the syrup should be reduced and have a nice golden color. Uncover the lid and attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pot. Once it reaches 260 F / 127 C, turn off the heat and slowly start pouring the syrup into the egg whites, with the mixer running on low speed. Continue beating until all the syrup is incorporated and the mixture has cooled. It will take around 10 minutes. I had a problem here: the sugar syrup became so stiff that I couldn't use it all. It probably cooled too quickly and stuck to the bottom of a pot. If this happens to you - don't worry. Just leave the syrup, you will still get those candies! The problem is that I do not have a kitchen aid and used a hand mixer. Holding a pot in my left hand and trying to pour the syrup gradually, and beating the whites with my right hand was really difficult. So if you have a kitchen aid, you're lucky.

5) Add your chocolate to the mixture and continue beating until incorporated. Pour the mixture onto the chocolate base. Place in the fridge.

6) For the topping, melt the remaining butter and chocolate and pour onto the cooled candy. Refrigerate for at least an hour, preferably overnight. I find it best to keep those in the freezer. It's much easier to cut them into squares when they are frozen because after sitting in the fridge they were still sticky. However, you might get them firmer as it depends on many factors like how slowly you add the syrup to the whites, what is the temperature at the beginning/end of the beating process, etc. 

Recipe adapted from here.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Chocolate Peanut Butter Oat Bars (No-Bake, Healthy)

Chocolate Peanut Butter Oat Bars (No-Bake, Healthy)

180g (2 cups) quick-cooking oats
75g (1 cup) unsweetened coconut flakes
1 tbsp ground flax seeds
250g (1 cup) salted peanut butter
100g dark (50%) chocolate
100g (1/2 cup) unrefined coconut oil
170g (1/2 cup) honey

1) Line a loaf pan with parchment paper or prepare a silicone loaf pan. 

2) In a large bowl, mix together oats, coconut flakes, and flax seed meal.

3) In a small saucepan, combine together coconut oil, honey and peanut butter. Cook just until melted. Remove from heat. Add chopped chocolate, cover and let sit for 2 minutes until the chocolate is melted. Stir until smooth.

4) Add the wet ingredients into the dry ones and stir to combine. Place in the fridge for at least 3-4 hours or until firm. Store in the fridge.

Recipe by collecting memories

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Hummus with Green Olives

Green Olive Hummus 

250g cooked chickpeas
2 tbsp water
3 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp Tahini paste*
2-3 cloves garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
70g green olives
Salt, to taste
Smoked paprika/cumin/olive oil, for topping (optional)

*To make Tahini paste at home, roast a small handful of sesame seeds in a skillet stirring constantly until lightly browned. Don't brown them too much or they will become bitter. Remove from heat and add to your food processor. Process until smooth and creamy, adding a splash of olive oil, if needed.

1) Add all the ingredients into your food processor and process until smooth. Scrape down the sides. You may want to add more lemon juice/water to achieve the desired consistency.

2) Serve on a slice of your favorite bread. Store in refrigerator for up to one week.

Recipe by collecting memories

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Soft Peanut Butter Cookies

Soft Peanut Butter Cookies 

56g (1/2 stick / 4 tsbp) butter, softened
250g (1 cup) homemade peanut butter
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp corn syrup
200g (1 cup) light brown sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
125g (1 cup) flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cornstarch

1) In a large bowl, beat butter, peanut butter, salt, corn syrup and brown sugar until light and very fluffy. Add egg, egg yolk and continue beating until smooth.

2) In another bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder and cornstarch. Stir the dry ingredients to the wet ones and mix just until incorporated.

3) Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180C / 350F. Line 2 baking trays with parchment paper. Form balls and flatten a little. These cookies will not spread.

3) Bake for 9-11 minutes. Do not overbake - if they look underbaked in the middle it's ok - they firm up while cooling. Remove from the oven and let sit on a counter for at least 10 minutes before removing from the baking tray. Dust with some powdered sugar.

Makes 28 cookies

Recipe by collecting memories

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Date Caramel, Cashew Butter and Cocoa Fudge Bars (No-Bake)

Date Caramel, Cashew Butter and Cocoa Fudge Bars (No-Bake)

30g (1/4 cup) unsweetened dark cocoa powder
20g (2 tbsp) ground flax seeds
85g (1/4 cup) honey
50g (1/4 cup) unrefined coconut oil

Middle layer:
125g (1/2 cup) cashews
30g (2 tbsp) unrefined coconut oil, melted
40g (2 tbsp) honey, melted
1/4 tsp salt

Top layer:
175g (1 cup) dates
2-4 tbsp boiling water
1/4 tsp salt 

1) Line the bottom and the sides of a standard loaf pan with parchment paper or prepare a silicone loaf pan.

2) In a small saucepan, combine together all the ingredients for the base and heat until the coconut oil and the honey is melted. Stir until smooth and spread evenly into the loaf pan. Refrigerate while you prepare other layers.

3) Make the cashew butter layer: Place cashews into your food processor and process until smooth and very creamy. It will take around 10 minutes. It takes more time and patience than peanut butter. But don't worry if the mixture doesn't look like getting smooth - it will look grainy like a curd but eventually it will turn into butter. Trust me. Just don't stop processing. Make sure you make a few short breaks to let your food processor rest.

4) When the cashew butter is ready, mix it with melted honey and coconut oil and salt. Stir until very well combined and spread onto the chocolate layer (first make sure that the first layer has set). Return to the fridge.

5) To make the caramel layer, add dates, salt and 2 tablespoons of water into your food processor. Process until smooth. You may need to add more water if the batter looks sticky and hard. I needed 3 tablespoons of water.

6) Spread the caramel layer onto the cashew butter layer and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before cutting into squares.

Store in the fridge.

Recipe by collecting memories

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