Blogger Heather Baird of SprinkleBakes shares a recipe for an over-the-top layered chocolate cheesecake.
- Prep Time 1 hr 30 min
- Total Time 7 hr 40 min
- Servings 12
Ultimate Turtle Brownies
BY BETTY CROCKER
Chocolate As A Health Food?
Nothing is better than a good piece of chocolate. the richness, smoothness, creamyness makes us feel oh so good. The mood-enhancing qualities of Chocolate are the reason why and they also explain the reason why chocolate is so strongly associated with Valentine’s Day, as a gift for lovers and loved ones.
It is hard to think of chocolate as a health food. Part of its allure is the guilty pleasure we feel when eating it. But before we raid the candy store, it’s worth remembering that chocolate is not a low calorie food. A serving size of Dove dark chocolate (40 grams) contains 210 calories and 13 grams of fat, 8 of which are saturated, although some of this saturated fat is in the form of stearic acid, which is converted by the liver into a “healthier” monounsaturated fat.
There’s no getting around the fact that chocolate is a high fat food. But there is growing evidence that, in small quantities, some kinds of chocolate may actually be good for you. Dark chocolate is naturally rich in flavonoids (or more specifically, flavanols, a sub-class of these antioxidants). These compounds are thought to lower blood pressure and help protect against heart disease—among other things. Recent studies conducted both in the U.S. and Europe seem to support chocolate’s beneficial effects on the cardiovascular system, encouraging chocolate manufacturers, such as Mars, to develop proprietary methods of processing cocoa beans aimed specifically at preserving flavonoid content. Traditional roasting and fermentation methods are thought to destroy up to three-quarters of these compounds. Mars uses its Cocoapro trademark on some of its products, indicating the use of this method, and Swiss premium chocolate company Barry Callebaut uses Acticoa.
Cocoa powder, which is low fat, would surely be a healthier way to get both our chocolate fix and our dose of flavanols. Alkalizing cocoa (or Dutch processing) produces a milder flavor and darker color but destroys most of the flavonoids. Since flavanol-rich cocoa is naturally bitter, Mars has worked hard to make it palatable. First, it sold a flavanol-rich series of snack bars and small chocolate bars. These bars were shown in one small study to actively lower total and LDL (bad) cholesterol in those with elevated cholesterol levels, bolstering Mars’ claim that its flavanol-rich snack bars were heart healthy. More recently, Mars Botanicals launched CirkuHealth, a cocoa-extract supplement that can be added to drinks and cereals, and Barry Callebaut offers a high-flavanol cocoa powder, which gives chocoholics a healthier, low-fat alternative to high-fat chocolate bars.
So, when you feel the urge to eat chocolate, it’s ok to eat an occasional ounce of flavanol-rich dark chocolate. It will you feel good, and it may even do you some good.
Just The Facts… Health & Chocolate
“All we’ll have to do is give him a triple dosage of my wonderful Supervitamin Chocolate. Supervitamin Chocolate contains huge amounts of vitamin A and vitamin B…and, believe it or not, vitamin Z! The only two vitamins it DOESN’T have in it are vitamin S, because it makes you sick, and vitamin H, because it makes you grow horns on the top of your head, like a bull. But it does have a very small amount of the rarest and most magical vitamin of them all – vitamin Wonka… It’s most useful. He’ll be able to play the piano with his feet.”
We all know that antioxidants have the power to reduce the risks of cancer and heart disease. It is especially amazing to note the amount that are present in chocolate compared to other well-known antioxidant rich foods such as teas, red wines, fruits, legumes and vegetables.
Top Antioxidant Bearing Foods (ORAC* Units per 100 grams)
Dark Chocolate 13,120
Milk Chocolate 6,740
Brussel Sprouts 980
Alfalfa Sprouts 930
Broccoli Florets 890
Red Grapes 739
Red Bell Pepper 710
* 2 9-inch unbaked pie crusts in glass baking dishes
* 1 cup butter
* 6 ounces dark chocolate
* 3 cups sugar
* 2 tablespoons flour
* 6 eggs
* 2 teaspoons vanilla
* 12 ounce can evaporated milk
* Optional: Whipped Cream
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Bake pie crusts blind by either using pie weights in pie crusts or prick holes in bottom and sides to prevent bubbling. Bake for 8 minutes. Remove from oven to rack. Decrease oven temperature to 375 degrees F.
In large saucepan on low melt butter and chocolate, stirring occasionally.
In medium bowl, combine sugar and flour with wire whisk. In another bowl, whisk together eggs, vanilla and evaporated milk. Add a couple of tablespoonfuls of the melted chocolate mixture to the egg mixture and stir. Add both sugar and egg mixtures to pan of melted chocolate. Stir to combine. Increase heat to medium and stir constantly for 10 minutes.
Evenly divide filling between the 2 pie pans. Bake for 30 minutes.
Makes 2 Pies. (One to share and one to eat?)
Serve with whipped cream.
Absolutely Deep Dark Chocolate Fudge Cookies
1/2 cup cocoa powder unsweetened
1 1/2 cup flour, all-purpose
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
8 ounces chocolate (semi-sweet) baking, semisweet, broken
4 ounces chocolate unsweetened baking, unsweetened, broken
1 1/2 cup sugar light brown, firmly packed
3/4 cups butter unsalted
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
18 ounces chocolate chips semisweet
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons butter unsalted
3 tablespoons sugar granulated
4 ounces chocolate (semi-sweet) baking, semisweet, broken
To prepare Cookies: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Sift together cocoa, flour, baking soda and salt onto a sheet of wax paper. Set aside. Heat 1 inch of water in the bottom of a double boiler over medium heat. Place semisweet and unsweetened baking chocolate in top half of the double boiler. Tightly cover the top pan with plastic wrap and heat 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir chocolate until smooth. Keep at room temperature.
Place brown sugar and butter in the bowl of electric mixer and beat on medium speed 1 minute. Scrape down bowl and beat on high speed additional 30 seconds. Scrape down bowl. Add eggs, 1 at a time, while beating on medium, stopping to scrape down bowl after incorporating each addition. Add vanilla and beat on medium 30 seconds. Add melted baking chocolate and beat on low 10 seconds more. Scrape down bowl and beat additional 30 seconds. Add flour mixture and beat on low until thoroughly combined, 20 to 30 seconds. Remove bowl from mixer, add chocolate chips and mix thoroughly with rubber spatula.
Using 2 baking sheets, portion 6 to 8 cookies per baking sheet by dropping 2 level tablespoons batter per cookie onto each sheet. Place pans on top and middle shelves of oven. Bake 18 to 22 minutes, rotating sheets from top to bottom about halfway through baking time. Cool cookies on pans 5 to 6 minutes.
Transfer cookies to wire rack. Repeat procedure until all cookies have been baked. Cool cookies thoroughly before storing in sealed plastic container.
To prepare chocolate Ganache: Heat cream, butter and sugar in medium saucepan over medium-high heat. When hot, stir to dissolve sugar. Bring mixture to boil. Place chocolate in stainless steel bowl and pour boiling cream over chocolate. Let stand 5 minutes. Stir until smooth. Cool to room temperature. (Ganache can be made 3 to 4 days ahead and refrigerated. Reheat, stirring. Bring to room temperature before using.)
Put ganache in a serving bowl, so guests can dip their cookies in before eating. Makes about 2 1/2 cups.
Makes 3 to 3 1/2 dozen cookies.