Chocolate Review! Mahalo bar and peanut butter patties

Another trip down the chocolate aisle has produced two new contenders. I’ll jump right in, starting with the Mahalo bar made by Go Max Go. This is like a vegan almond joy, with smooth milk chocolate coating the sweet, dense coconut interspersed with almonds.

The Mahalo is a definite success, with the chocolate tasting milky and the whole thing not being too sweet but still giving you that candy bar high. A tasty and satisfying find for $3.

Next up are the Golden Smackers peanut butter patties, I had high hopes for these. They taste okay at first. The chocolate is not bad, the peanut flavor is fairly low but then there’s this odd bitter aftertaste. I’m not sure if I got a bad batch, sometimes sesame can taste that way. I would probably not get these again but I’d be willing to give it another try if they were sampling them.

PS: While we’re on the topic, these homemade almond joy bites from tasty-yummies look delicious if you’re in the mood to make some.

Chocolate review! Maison Bouche and Coconut Nectar

 

If you and I have anything in common, then I think it might be my love of wandering through grocery stores. And when it comes to gourmet chocolates, I always wonder if they are as delicious behind their beautiful wrappings? Please, I think each time, let this be amazing.

Maison Bouche is a very lovely looking chocolate, clearly French inspired, that comes in gold foil and fancy paper. It comes at a steep price of $8 a bar in stores like Whole Foods. Is it worth it?

It was not my favorite chocolate, being rather sweet, which is not something most Americans mind. It tasted very sweet and slightly silky, with tiny pieces of crunchy toffee. It is milky but not as much as Cadbury’s from the UK (not the fake Cadbury’s here in the US). It would make a great gift for a sweet tooth, being so pretty.

Next up we go to the opposite end of the spectrum, a vegan chocolate made with coconut milk. Does it taste like chocolate or more ‘earthy’? It is a mere $3.25 by comparison and comes in a slim container with lovely dark green foil.

I’m happy to report that this was a bit more to my liking, with a complex dark flavor and bright flakes of coconut. It is not too sweet and would probably not satisfy a typical chocolate lover, but would be great for vegetarians, vegans or people who like more complex desserts.

Chocolate swirl bread

A delicious, almost cakey bread that smells intoxicatingly of chocolate. The recipe is slightly complex and was translated from a Japanese website where the photos look even nicer. I’m copying it here just in case the original link goes down but it is certainly not my invention.

For the chocolate paste

  • 20gm or 1 oz. cake flour
  • 50gm or 4 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 egg white
  • 80gm or 3 oz. milk (warmed)
  • 25gm or 1 oz. cocoa powder
  • 10gm or 1 tsp. butter

For dough

  • 300gm or 1 1/3 cups bread flour
  • 12gm or 2 1/5 tsp. milk powder
  • 5gm or 1 tsp. dry yeast
  • 5gm or 1 tsp. salt
  • 24gm or 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • Water (water + egg yolk = 210gm or 7 1/2 oz.)
  • 18gm or 1 1/2 tbsp. butter

What to do
For chocolate paste

  • Mix sugar and cake flour into the egg white until smooth. (no need to beat)
    Add coca powder into warm milk and sitr till powder is incorporated into milk.
  • Add egg white mixture into the warm milk (using a small pot) and stir over low fire till thicken (paste like). Then add in butter and mix till incorporated.
  • Leave paste to cool and then roll into a 14x14cm square (using plastic wrap).
  • Keep in fridge.

For dough

  • Mix all the dough ingredients tog. Knead for 8 mins and add the butter. Knead until you get a smooth dough. Leave to poof at room temperature until 1.5 times size and then place dough in the fridge for 1 hour.
  • Take out dough after 1 hour, roll it out to 25×25 square. Place the 14x14cm rolled out chocolate paste in the middle of the dough. Fold in 4 sides of the dough to cover the chocolate and seal the seams tight.
  • Roll out dough to 45x21cm. Make 3 folds (like folding a letter) and place dough in the fridge for 1 hour.
  • Take dough out from the fridge and repeat the step above (roll out and then 3 folds). Rest it for 10 mins.
  • Finally, roll dough to 14x30cm. Make a cut in the middle (along the 30cm side) but do not cut through, leave about 3cm uncut at top end, then twist and plait the dough.
  • Place plaited dough into the bread mould and let it proof at room temperature until dough expands to 80% of the mould.
  • Bake at 190C or 375 degrees for 35-40mins in a preheated oven. (preheat oven at 200C, 400 degrees)

 

 

Bon appétit!

 

Frozen lemon or chocolate waffle cookies

A dessert made with only 3 ingredients? And just as few steps? This recipe for frozen lemon cookie bites looked so good, I knew I had to try it.

First, I made my own lemon curd and substituted the eggs since I can’t eat them anymore. Second, I bought only cookies that did not contain eggs. Third, my significant other pretty much only likes chocolate sweets, I decided to make part of the batch with chocolate instead of lemon.

The nice thing about this recipe is that you could just make one or two cookies. Thicker waffle cookies hold up to the freezer well, the thinner almond crisps tasted great but were a little soft.

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 boxes of waffle cookies (depending on how much filling you want, you need between 10-14 cookies)
  • 4 oz goat cheese (I used a Spanish mittica that had much less tang than most goat cheeses, it’s pretty close to cream cheese)
  • 6 oz lemon curd or 4 oz melted chocolate
    • I use E. Guittard because they retain their milky flavor but still melt extremely well

Ingredients for egg-free lemon curd:

  • 1 1/2 cups of lemon juice + zest (5 large lemons, preferrably Meyer lemons)
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 2/3 cup of sugar
  • 3 egg yolks or egg substitute (I used 1 teaspoon xantham gum)

Lemon curd directions:

  1. Place chevre on the counter to soften
  2. Melt 1/2 cup butter in the microwave on low for 1 1/2 minutes
  3. Zest and then juice lemons
  4. Mix sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of xantham gum
  5. Add melted butter and lemon jest to the sugar, mix
  6. Slowly stir in lemon juice
  7. Microwave for 30-60 second increments, whisking frequently
  8. Add the second 1/2 teaspoon of xantham gum only if needed – too much and it will become gummy
  9. Wait for lemon curd to cool

Cookie directions:

  1. Mix the lemon curd or melted chocolate with the cheese
  2. Put mixture in the microwave for 5 seconds to warm if it won’t cream together
  3. Spread evenly in the center of a cookie, then gently press the second cookie on top (which will squish the filling evenly)
  4. Optional: place fresh, ripe raspberries on top of the mixture before topping with the second cookie
  5. Store in a freezer-proof container and freeze for at least 2-3 hours or until frozen

When you serve, cut into smaller pieces unless your guests want big cookies. Lasts about a week in the freezer if well-wrapped.

Salut!