Valentine’s Day has always been about chocolate.
As we age Valentine’s Day progresses from an array of homemade cards in paper bag mailboxes, conversation and cinnamon hearts, hallmark cards and a single red rose with an off the shelf heart shaped box of chocolates. We were young and didn’t know the finer things in life such as Thomas Haas, Valrhona or Scharffen Berger.
As we grew up we realized the importance of the Valentine’s Day dinner date, and the dessert course. I remember the first time I was ‘single’ for Valentine’s day – I’m certain the amount of chocolate consumed doubled that year.
As I said before Adam and I have opted to dine in on Valentine’s Day, so the dessert has to be over the top decadent.
A year ago for our anniversary I wasn’t feeling great (somehow I am always sick for these things) at least I think it was last year? and I think it was for our anniversary? Anyway, Adam and I went to Milestones. I can’t remember if we actually ordered food or not, or just stuck to cocktails and dessert. I think the latter sounds more accurate. (I’m a fan of desserts).
They had these dessert shots on the menu so you could indulge with just a little teaser shot to curb your craving. We shared 3 different shots, all equally delicious. When I wanted to create Valentine’s Day recipes I thought about food couples (PB&J, graham crackers and marshmallows) and of course I couldn’t neglect my beloved peanut butter and chocolate.
After some inspiration for how best to marry the two flavours together I conjured up a Chocolate and Peanut Butter Torte shot. In fact, you can make it two ways.
The mini torte can be easily shared between two people, and the dessert torte shot is another fun way to indulge together.
Word to the wise, it is definitely rich, but not in a tooth-sickenly sweet way. Because there is no added sugar, it’s a more bittersweet chocolate and the combination is just thick, definitely the ganache aspect. My favourite part about any square (like Nanaimo bars) is the base layer. The chocolate crumb is my most favourite to eat. The ganache is a slightly thicker version of my raw chocolate mousse recipe.
I suggest sharing it bite-for-bite with someone this Valentine’s Day.
Give love a shot – and this torte.
Even better – it’s Raw, Vegan, Wheat-Free, Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free for all your Valentine’s happy stomach needs. Because, who wants to have an upset stomach on Valentine’s day?
Vegan Chocolate Ganache & PB Torte
An amazing, raw & vegan chocolate peanut butter torte done two ways. Easy to prepare, no sugar added, decadent and still borderline healthy ;) Share with someone you love this Valentine's Day.
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- 1 c. Raw Walnuts
- 2 Tbsp. Dutch Processed Cocoa powder
- 1/2 Tbsp. Agave Syrup
- 1/2 cup Cashews, soaked overnight
- 2 Tbsp. Dutch Processed Cocoa Powder
- 1 Tbsp. Coconut Oil
- 2-3 Tbs. Water
- 3 Tbs. Smooth or Chunky natural peanut butter, warmed
- 1. In a food processor add the cocoa and walnuts. Pulse until well combined. Add the agave and pulse again until dough forms.
- 2. In small glass, or ramekin lined with parchment, or mini quick-release pan, add chocolate base layer, smooth down with the backside of a small spoon. Drizzle peanut butter over top of the base evenly. Place in Fridge while preparing next layer.
- If making the dessert shots, press base layer in bottom and spoon in peanut butter - it doesn't have to be pretty. In fact a delicious mess is even better.
- 3. Clean food processor to get rid of any excess crumbs from the dough. Add the soaked cashews, cocoa powder and coconut oil. Process for 2 minutes, then scrape down the sides. Continue to process and add in the 2-3. Tbs of water until it forms a ganache/mousse. Add more/less water if needed until thick mousse-like ganache consistency.
- 4. Remove base from fridge and spoon chocolate mousse layer over top. Return to fridge to chill 2-3 hours before eating. Can prepare the night before.
- You can make this either in small glasses (I used water glasses) or in ramekin lined with parchment paper. If you have a small quick-release pan you can use that as well. The ingredients will make enough for a large tart, or 2-3 small individual cups/shots.
- You can make this a day or two in advance, just cover with plastic wrap until ready to eat.
Adapted from the fitchen
b a k e a h o l i c http://www.bakeaholic.ca/
There must be something about February and Marshmallows – because this time last year I made marshmallows for the first time ever for Valentine’s Day.
Maybe because you can make them into delicious s’mores – or quinoa rice crispy squares. Which are one of my favourite treats – the combination of marshmallow, chocolate and a graham cracker crunch seems perfect.
In October I received a copy of Butter Baked Goods cookbook and made her Gingerstamp cookies. Of course I would have to try the famous Butter Marshmallow recipe at some point too – as it is one of the most popular menu items.
When I first made Marshmallow’s last year I wasn’t sure how they would turn out – it seemed simple enough but I was a little intimidated. This time, I was super excited to make them again and they turned out even better than I had remembered.
I had to try a different flavour this time around – Peanut Butter.
One of my faaaavourriteee nut butters is Peanut Butter. And a Peanut Butter Marshmallow sounded pretty good to me.
If you’ve never made marshmallows before, I highly suggest you give it a try. It might sound scary (making the boiling sugar) but this recipe makes it really simple – just bring to a boil, then remove from heat.
You can package these up in a pretty cellophane bag and tie with a big ribbon to drop off to your friends or loved one for a Valentine’s Day. Maybe pack some chocolate and a few graham crackers too ;)
Peanut Butter Marshmallows
Thick Fluffy Peanut Butter Marshmallows
- 1 cup water
- 3 envelopes unflavored gelatin
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1⁄2 cup light corn syrup
- 1/2 cup creamy natural peanut butter
- 2 tablespoons pure vanilla
- Generous amount of icing sugar to coat the marshmallows, about 2 cups
- Grease a 9x9 baking dish. Set aside.
- STEP 1 : In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, pour in 1⁄2 cup of the water and sprinkle with the gelatin. Set aside to allow the gelatin to soak in.
- STEP 2 : In a medium saucepan over high heat, add the sugar, corn syrup, salt and remaining 1⁄2 cup of water. Bring to a rolling boil and continue to boil for 1 minute. Remove from the heat.
- STEP 3 : Turn the mixer to low and mix the gelatin once or twice to combine it with the water. Slowly add the hot sugar mixture, pouring it gently down the side of the bowl, and continue to mix on low.
- NOTE : Be really careful at this point because the sugar mixture is smoking hot! It’s not a job for little ones.
- STEP 4 : Turn the mixer to high and continue to whip for 10 to 12 minutes until the marshmallow batter almost triples in size and becomes very thick. Scrape down the sides of the bowl frequently to avoid the batter overflowing as it grows. Stop the mixer, add the vanilla and Peanut Butter and then whip briefly to combine.
- STEP 5 : Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking pan and use a spatula or bench scraper to spread it evenly in the pan. Work quickly, as the marshmallow becomes more difficult to manipulate as it sets.
- STEP 6 : Grease a sheet of plastic wrap with butter and lay it across the top of the marshmallow. Press down firmly on the plastic wrap, to seal it smoothly and tightly against the mixture.
- STEP 7 : Leave the marshmallow to set at room temperature for at least 4 hours or, even better, overnight. The marshmallow will be too sticky and soft to cut if you try too soon.
- STEP 8 : Sprinkle a work surface or cutting board with the icing sugar. Run a knife along the top edge of the pan to loosen the marshmallow slab. Invert the pan and flip the marshmallow out onto the counter or board. Scoop up handfuls of the icing sugar and rub all over the marshmallow slab.
- STEP 9 : Use a large knife to cut the slab into 1- × 1-inch squares. Roll each of the freshly cut marshmallow squares in the remaining icing sugar to coat them completely.
- These are so much better than store bought - and you can actually freeze them if you wish.
Adapted from Rosie Daykin
Adapted from Rosie Daykin
b a k e a h o l i c http://www.bakeaholic.ca/
Monday night we had a few of our neighbours over for a holiday get together. We’ve lived in our new house for exactly one year this month and we all kept saying “we should get together!” While we do see some of our neighbours quite often we thought it would be a great time to have everyone over to get to know each other a little better. At the beginning of the month our friends, Josh and Gillian, who live just one row over in our complex came over and we crafted some decorative invitations to leave at doorsteps. There’s just something about a ‘real’ invitation, not a Facebook invite.
I came home from work Monday and ran around finishing setting up, tidying and getting ready. Gillian messaged me around 5 and asked “what time did we tell people to come over?” I replied “6.”
Well, they came over just before 6 to get the appetizers going before the guests arrived. At about 10 after 6, we started joking “maybe they’re stuck in traffic” – seeing as how they only live next door to us. When guests still hadn’t arrived at 6:30, we began second guessing what time we actually told people to come – none of us had saved an invitation for ourselves or remembered what time we had told them to come at.
Sometime just before 7 we realized we probably told our guests to come at 7, while Josh said “Ya know, I remember texting someone about it and saying 7 before..” Yup. We had told the guests to come at 7 – not 6. We had a good laugh, and realized it was probably better we were ready an hour earlier, than an hour late.
Regardless, we were ready and the night was a success. Lots of great stories, even learning that we have way more in common with some neighbours than we thought (what a small world). In the summer it’s easy to say hi to everyone because we’re all on our decks, walking around outside etc. In the winter we are all bundled up inside and rarely bump into each other so a holiday party get together was perfect.
These little cups are my favourite creation. I make them not only at Christmas, but any night that I feel like a little treat. They take practically no time at all, no baking, and only 4 ingredients. 3 Really, because you can definitely omit the coconut oil if you do not have any. They are vegan (dairy-free), wheat-free, peanut-free and contain natural ingredients unlike the list of processed items listed on a Reese’s PB cup.
4-Ingredient Vegan Almond Butter Cups
Just like the popular peanut butter cups, these are peanut-free, vegan and wheat-free. An Almond butter center nestled between two chocolate layers topped with sea salt.
- 1/4 Cup Smooth Natural Almond Butter
- 3-4Tbs. Almond Meal
- 1 tsp. Coconut Oil
- 6-8 squares Extra Dark Chocolate
- Line a mini muffin tin with mini cupcake liners. If you don't have a mini muffin tin, you can place them on a baking sheet or in a regular sized cupcake tin. You can use regular sized cupcake liners, however the cups will be quite large.
- 1. In the top of a double boiler place the chocolate and coconut oil. Stir until melted and smooth. Remove from heat. If you do not have a double boiler you can place a glass or metal bowl on top of a small pot with simmering water. Alternatively, you can melt the chocolate in the microwave in 1 minutes intervals at power level 8 until melted.
- 2. Using a small teaspoon, spoon chocolate into bottom of mini cupcake liners, about 1/4 full. Once all are filled place in refrigerator to set while preparing filling.
- 3. In small mixing bowl, combine the Almond Butter and Almond Meal until well combined. It will be slightly thick. If the filling is too thin, add more Almond Meal until desired consistency.
- 4. Remove cupcake tin from fridge. Spoon small drops of Almond Butter filling onto tops of hardened chocolate. Using remaining chocolate, spoon melted chocolate on top to fully cover almond butter.
- At this point, you can top with an Almond or Sea Salt. Place back in the refrigerator to set. Store in Fridge in container for up to a week, can also freeze longer. They are great right from the fridge, or take out about 10 minutes before serving.
- Equipment needed: Mini Cupcake Liners, Mini muffin Tin (optional), Double Boiler (optional).
- These can definitely be made without the coconut oil if you do not have it.
b a k e a h o l i c http://www.bakeaholic.ca/