dessert granola featuring Olive and Sinclair chocolate

oats coated with a selection of Olive and Sinclair chocolate

mixing in the afternoon sunlight

look closely at all the rich goodness

Recipe adapted from Citrus and Candy here.
Chocolate Granola
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix well in large bowl:
250 g oats (approximately 2 3/4c)
50 g dried cranberries
25 g raisins
25 g pumpkin seeds
25 g unsweetened coconut
1 1/2 T cocoa powder
1/4 t cinnamon
pinch of salt
Chop and sit aside:
75 g chocolate
( I used a mixture of Olive and Sinclair cacao nib, 67%, coffee bean, and salt and pepper)
Heat in pan until sugar dissolves and butter melts:
63 g brown sugar
50 ml water
15 g butter
Remove from heat and add:
63 ml honey
1 t vanilla
Stir to mix wet ingredients well
Add the 75 g chopped chocolate and stir until chocolate is melted
Pour the wet mixture over the oat mixture; stir until oats are well coated with chocolate mixture.
Spread granola mixture on parchment lined baking sheet.
Bake for 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes.
Allow to cool, and store in the freezer.
dessert granola!

melt in your mouth Brownies

I tried to dislike these.
I tried to say they were, ‘chocolate but bland.’
I tried to say, ‘theses need a strong shot of expresso.’

But…

…these brownies are so moist, and ooooeeeyyyy  gooooeeeyy.  They just melt in your mouth!
These brownies are thin, baked in the 8×8 pan, but they are so rich.
melt in your mouth Brownies
(Adapted from Texas Fudge Brownies found here)
Mix:
2 eggs
pinch of salt
1 c. sugar
1 t. vanilla
In separate bowl, melt in microwave:
2 oz chocolate (I used Olive and Sinclair 67% cacao)
1 stick butter
Cool slightly and add to egg mixture while whisking.
Add:
1/2 c. flour
Pour into greased 8×8 pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes.
While the brownies are baking, make the frosting:
Over medium heat, bring to boil:
1/2 stick butter (1/4 cup)
1/4 c. whole milk
2 T cocoa powder
Add: 
1/4 t espresso powder and a pinch of salt to hot butter mixture.
Add:
2 c. sifted powdered sugar and mix until smooth
Pour icing over hot brownies immediately after removing from oven.
Let cool completely before cutting; these cut more smoothly after refrigerated (but they taste better at room temperature!)

hot chocolate – thick, rich, indulgent

I’m relaxing on this cold (24 degrees today in TN; that’s cold for us Southerners) Sunday afternoon, often glancing out the window, watching for the forecasted winter snow storm.

This hot chocolate reminds me of a tasting at The Confectional in Pike Place Market Seattle, WA.  And, also, this hot chocolate offers visions of life for My Friend M, who will be moving to Paris, France for a year later in 2011.

I’m using one of the 67% cacao bars of chocolate from Nashville, TN artisan chocolatier, Olive & Sinclair. I use their chocolate often, as you can see here and here.

Seemingly simple demitasse cup of hot chocolate – notice the rich color of the chocolate against the stark white of the small cup.  

adding a little recently whipped whipping cream…

the bowl of the spoon is about the size of the top of the cup
this velvety thick, deliciously rich hot chocolate is adequately served in a very small portion

I added a few drops of Chambord for a subtle hint of black raspberry

 one last photo, and then it’s time to savor

until next time, little demitasse
The recipe was adapted from a blog post by Tish Boyle.  I scaled the recipe back to one serving; however, I found that the one-serving portion would adequately fill 3 of the small demitasse cups.  That’s enough to share with friends….or not…
3 fl. oz. whole milk
1 fl. oz heavy whipping cream
1T packed light brown sugar
Heat on medium heat until the mixture begins to bubble around the edge. 
Remove the pan from the heat, and add
1.5 oz finely chopped chocolate (choose your chocolate wisely for it really is the star of this treat)
(I used Olive & Sinclair’s 67% bar)
Whisk gently until the chocolate is melted and well combined with the liquid. 
Enjoy!

chocolate granola featuring Olive and Sinclair chocolate

This is my dessert granola.  I feel healthier eating oats and almonds with my chocolate.  
Seriously, this granola, baked from a recipe adapted from Orangette, is flavorful and filling.  You can find her original recipe here.

Here’s my adaptation of Molly’s recipe.

Chocolate Granola

preheat oven to 300 degrees

Mix:
3 c oats
1/2 c of KY Kernel pecans and-or almonds (or nuts of your choice)
4 T milled flax
pinch of salt
1/4 c cacao nibs

In a small saucepan, warm:
6 T honey
2 T coconut oil
1 t espresso powder

Pour the warm liquid over the oat mixture; stir well.
Bake on parchment lined baking sheet 10 minutes; stir well and bake 10 more minutes.

Turn oven off
Leave granola in oven for 10 more minutes (total time 30 minutes).

Remove pan from oven.

Add:

1/2 c dried currents
Allow to cool completely.
Store in tightly sealed container in freezer.

brownie bottom chocolate cheesecake

If a blog title can taste good, this one does – brownie – chocolate – cheesecake.

When this cheesecake was removed from the oven, the top displayed a mosaic of light and dark swirls.  Pretty is important.  

I baked this in my favorite 8″ removable-bottom cheesecake pan.  The batter baked to a nice tall thick, rich, creamy chocolate goodness.  This is a very rich cheesecake; cut the pieces small.  And, it’s at it’s peak of deliciousness at room temperature.

With a brownie layer on the bottom, and a mousse-cheesecake layer on top, this is a winner.  All who tasted loved this.  My best compliment came from one who has tasted many of my cheesecakes.  She stated this was the best ever, even better than Cheesecake Factory – her all time favorite.
I just said, ….thanks…
You can find the original recipe here.  Listed below is my adaptation of the recipe.
Brownie Bottom Chocolate Cheesecake
for the brownie bottom (I mixed this in one pan and stirred by hand):
Melt together:
1 1/2 oz unsalted butter
1 oz chocolate, chopped (I used 3 squares of Olive and Sinclair Sea Salt [75%] Chocolate)
Add to chocolate/butter mixture and whisk until combined:
7 oz granulated sugar
2 oz golden syrup
1 1/2 oz melted butter
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla
Add and mix until smooth:
3 3/4 oz cake flour
1/2 oz Dutch-processed cocoa powder (I used Pernigotti)
1/2 t salt
Fold in 
1 1/2 oz semi sweet chocolate chips
Sit aside 1/2 c of the brownie batter.  Pour remaining batter into prepared cheesecake pan. 
Top with cheesecake batter (recipe below)
Top cheesecake batter with reserved brownie batter.  Swirl gently with knife.  Don’t over-swirl!
Cheesecake batter:
Mix in stand mixer:
8 oz cream cheese at room temperature
2 1/2 oz granulated sugar
Add and mix well:
1 egg
1 t vanilla
1 oz chopped chocolate (I used 3 squares of Olive and Sinclair Sea Salt [75%] Chocolate)
2 T Dutch processed cocoa powder (I used Pernigotti)
2 T sour cream
Bake brownie cheesecake in 350 degree oven 40 – 50 minutes.  Allow to cool, then refrigerate TWO DAYS to allow flavors to develop.  Yes, you can eat this at any time; however, I have found that all cheesecakes are best after aging a couple of days at a minimum.
Serve at room temperature and in small slices.
…delicious…

Olive and Sinclair Chocolate Nashville, TN

I’m proud of our TN artisan chocolatiers at Olive and Sinclair.  I’ve seen their creatively wrapped chocolate bars locally in the Memphis Whole Foods.  And, I felt a bit of pride for them and our state of TN when I spied their bars on the shelf of The Chocolate Box in Seattle, WA. Stiff competition exists in the artisan chocolate world on the west coast; yet, Olive and Sinclair reside assuredly on the shelf beside the big boys.

the bars are almost too cute to eat…but don’t let that stop you from tasting

take a small bite – let the chocolate melt slowly on your tongue – savor the flavor; the taste will linger

their mission – slow roasted and stone ground in small batches