Dark Chocolate Granola

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Chocolate for breakfast – doesn’t that sound interesting enough! This delicious granola is every chocolate lovers dream come true. Make this scrumptious chocolate granola with just 11 basic ingredients and yes you’ll fall in love with it. Healthy, tasty, easy and all the good things you can think of. I am a complete coffee addict, period! I need my steaming cup of coffee to kick start my day. However this Dark Chocolate Granola is the only thing that can replace my coffee. It is super addictive and my new friend on the breakfast table. The secret to this granola is using the most premium chocolate available

The hide and seek of the chunks of dark chocolate in the chocolate-y granola is phenomenal. The nuttiness from the almonds and the tangy-ness from the berries all lends in beautifully to create a healthy breakfast and on the go snack. Try it and you’ll get addicted for sure!

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (Makes 4 cups)

  • 2 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup mixed nuts, roughly chopped (I used 3/4 cup almonds and 1/4 cup walnuts)
  • 2 tbsp mixed seeds (I used pumpkin and melon seeds)
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup dried mixed berries
  • 4 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp honey or maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 3/4 cup dark chocolate chunks (I used 72% dark chocolate)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch processed cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

METHOD:

  • Preheat your oven to 170 C for atleast 15 minutes. Line your baking sheet with parchment paper and keep aside.
  • In a bowl mix all the dry ingredients – oats, nuts, mixed seeds, chia seeds, dried berries, brown sugar and cocoa powder and keep aside. Make sure to mix it well so that the cocoa powder covers the entire mixture.
  • In another bowl whisk together butter, vanilla extract and honey until incorporated.
  • Now add the wet ingredients into the dry ones and mix it well until the dry ingredients are coated enough.
  • Now spread out the mixture on the baking sheet and put it to bake for 20 – 22 minutes
  • Around 10 minutes into baking, use a fork to just toss the granola mix so that it bakes evenly without burning and put it back into baking for 10 -12 minutes more.
  • Take it out from the oven and allow it to cool completely. Store it in an airtight container and you can use it for 7 – 10 days.

Enjoy!

 

 

Chocolate and Almond Biscottis

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What is holidays and merry making without any chocolate? A quintessential ingredient while baking because chocolate makes things taste darn delicious. One of my all time favorite holiday pairing is Chocolate and Almonds and when you get both these in a biscotti, its pure bliss. The magic of chocolate and almond is such that it entices you with every bite. The crunchy toasted almonds and the chunks of dark chocolate is a perfect treat for this holiday winter!

This year has been phenomenal for me. Everyday was a new day with lots of learn and relearn. Professionally and personally I have grown and become more confident. Yes, every path has its own hurdles, I learnt how to embrace it, work on it and come out of it sometimes successfully and sometimes unsuccessfully. And every lesson learnt called for a celebration and these biscottis is a reminder to the awesome year that almost flew past my eyes. A great treat to munch during the day before your ring in the new year. Crunchy, chocolaty and something which shouldn’t be missed this year!

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (Makes 15 – 16 biscottis)

  • 120 grams blanched almonds
  • 110 grams all purpose flour
  • 110 grams whole wheat flour + extra for dusting
  • 135 grams granulated white sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 120 grams dark chocolate chips or chunks
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp orange zest (optional)
  • pinch of salt

METHOD:

  • Preheat your oven to 180 C and line a baking try with parchment paper and keep aside. Spread the blanched almonds on the sheet and bake it for 10 – 12 minutes  until just fragnant.
  • One done remove it from the oven and let it cool to room temperature. Chop it roughly and keep aside.
  • Preheat your oven to 180 C for atleast 15 minutes. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and keep aside.
  • Now in a bowl add the eggs and granulated white sugar and beat until thick and pale. This would take about 4 – 5 minutes.
  • Add the vanilla extract and beat it for 30 – 40 seconds. To this add all purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking powder, orange zest and salt and beat it until just combined.
  • Now add roughly chopped chocolate chunks and almonds and fold in the mixture gently.
  • Transfer this dough to a lightly floured surface and roll the dough out in the shape of a log around 12 – 13 inches long and 4 – 4.5 inches wide. Bake this for 22 – 25 minutes.
  • Once done remove it from the oven and let it cool for 5 – 7 minutes. Take a sharp knife and cut the log into pieces which is 3/4 inch – 1 inch thick.
  • Preheat your oven to 170C for atleast 10 minutes. Keep each piece of half baked biscotti side by side on the baking tray and put it to bake on one side for 10 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Flip the biscottis on the other side and allow it to bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Once done remove it from the oven and allow it cool completely. Once cooled bite into this magical biscottis.
  • You can store it in an airtight container for 10 – 12 days.

 

 

Tiramisu Truffles

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I think I have a love affair with Tiramisu. Whether I am browsing through cookbooks, magazines or wandering through cafes, Tiramisu often enraptures me with its grandeur and look. Each layer shouts of decadence, deliciousness and elite-ness! It often inspires me to go back to my kitchen and create that beautiful dessert. And then the complexity of things and my laziness brings all that inspiration to a pause.

Nevertheless this time I garnered all the courage to make something simpler but definitely packed with all the goodness of Tiramisu and hence came the existence of these Tiramisu Truffles – a flavorful melange of awesomeness – Coffee, Rum and Chocolate! For a coffee lover in me, this dessert in by far the easiest and my most favorite one.

The creamy mascarpone with perfectly sweetened lady finger sponge crumbs, the bitterness from the coffee and the spike from the rum – all blend in beautifully to make this delicious little truffles. Make these little treat bombs for yourself, store in the freezer and enjoy because you truly deserve every bit of it.

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (Make around 18 truffles)

  • 24 lady finger sponge
  • 1/2 cup mascarpone cheese, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 tbsp granulated white sugar
  • 2 tbsp Baileys
  • 3 tbsp rum (you can choose to add more if you like)
  • 1 tsp coffee powder
  • 2 tsp water, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups semi sweet or dark chocolate, chopped roughly
  • 1 tbsp coffee granules , for garnishing

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METHOD:

  • Take all the lady finger sponge and crush it to fine crumbs in a food processor. Once done keep aside 1/1 2 tbsp of this mixture in a separate container. To the remaining mixture add granulated white sugar and whisk it.
  • In a bowl mix together coffee powder and water and stir it until the coffee granules is completely dissolved.
  • Now take the mascarpone cheese in a bowl and whisk it for 30 – 40 seconds. To this mixture add baileys, dissolved coffee mixture and fold it gently using a spatula.
  • Add the sponge and sugar mixture and fold it gently. Lastly add the rum to this mixture and fold it gently until completely incorporated.
  • Make sure the texture of the mixture is not very gooey. It should be like a chocolate cookie dough. Put it in a container, cover it and put it in the fridge to harden a bit for 30 – 40 minutes.
  • Meanwhile using a double boiler method, melt the chocolate chunks. Once melted keep aside for the mixture to come to room temperature.
  • Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Now take the mixture out and form balls of equal size (as shown in the picture) and place it on the parchment paper with some distance between the 2 balls.
  • Put it back in the freezer for 10 – 15 minutes. Take it out and dip these balls into the melted chocolate mixture one by one and then place it on the parchment paper.
  •  Sprinkle the chocolate coated balls with the fine crumbs you had kept aside in the first step or with coffee granules.
  • Keep the mixture again the freezer for 10 minutes before enjoying it. To store the remaining, transfer it to  a container and store it in the freezer until you want to consume.

Enjoy!

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Double Chocolate Scones

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You don’t need a weekend to have a lavish breakfast loaded with baked goodies and you definitely don’t need a holiday to indulge guilt free. Everyday is another day to rejoice and enjoy everything that you eat (but yes, moderation is the key!). Off late I have been having a quest for sumptuous scones and what better than to bake chocolate scones on #WorldChocolateDay.

While I was baking these, a friend asked me what exactly is a scone. To which I replied, it is a quick bread or probably a quick cake or a quick biscuit. I guess you understood what I was hinting towards. It is a bit of everything which you can make in no time and its oh so good!

These scones are everything a perfect scone should be – tender, moist, fluffy, flaky and packed with white chocolate chips and dark chocolate chunks. It’s not perfect in shape like the ones you get in some cafe, but it’s slightly more rustic. A perfect tasty treat to enjoy your breakfast or your evening tea party!

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (Makes 8 scones)

  • 240 grams flour + extra for dusting
  • 25 grams Dutch processed unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 100 grams granulated white sugar
  • 150 ml whole milk
  • 80 grams unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
  • 2 large egg, room temperature and lightly beaten in separate bowls
  • 2.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp orange zest (optional)
  • 1/3 cup dark chocolate chunks
  • 1/4 cup white chocolate chips
  • pinch of salt

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METHOD:

  • Preheat the oven to 160 C for atleast 15 minutes. Meanwhile line a baking sheet with parchment paper and keep aside.
  • In a bowl whisk 1 egg lightly. Add milk and vanilla extract, whisk it and keep aside.
  • Take a bowl, add flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and orange zest and whisk it slightly. Now add the cold cubed butter and using a pastry blender or 2 forks, cut the butter into the flour until crumbs are formed of the mixture.
  • Add the milk mixture into the flour mixture and fold in until the ingredients are just combined.
  • Add the chocolate chips and chocolate chunks and fold in until evenly distributed.
  • Lightly flour the kitchen top and transfer the scone dough and knead it a few times. Make sure not to over knead it. the dough should look slightly rustic.
  • Take a rolling pin and roll out the dough into a circle with 8-9 inch diameter.
  • Take a knife or cutter and cut the dough into 8 even sized triangles.
  • Transfer each triangle to the baking sheet. Brush it with a lightly beaten egg and bake the scone for 15 – 18 minutes, until a tooth pick inserted comes out clean.
  • Once done, transfer it to a wire rack and allow it to cool and you can serve it just as is or with whipped cream.

It’s Happy World Chocolate Day so time to bake and enjoy!

 

Cherry and Dark Chocolate Muffins

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Some things are Pretty, Simple and absolutely Delicious and one of which is Cherries! So let’s jump into the cherry-chatter that has been taking place in everyone’s kitchen. Every corner of my fridge is filled with fresh cherries and its aroma and flavor is incredibly intoxicating! And what better way to celebrate the season of cherries than baking these super easy and moist Cherry and Dark Chocolate Muffins!

The aroma of freshly baked muffins wafting through the entire house is insanely magical. Muffins are indeed my haven whenever I am craving something sweet. When these simple vanilla muffins are studded with juicy red pitted cherries and chunks of dark chocolate – it’s every chocolate and fruit lover’s fantasy! The delicious pop of flavor from the fresh cherries has made be fall in love with these muffins. Chunks of dark chocolate makes it so decadent. Nothing beats a perfectly golden crisp and moist muffin to brighten up your day!

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (12 Regular Muffins)

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/3 cup canola oil (you can also use vegetable oil)
  • 50 grams caster sugar
  • 50 grams brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup halved fresh cherries, pit removed
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate, roughly chopped in chunks
  • 1/4 tsp lemon zest (optional)
  • 2 tbsp milk (optional)
  • pinch of salt

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METHOD:

  • Preheat your oven to 170 C for atleast 15 minutes. Meanwhile line your muffin baking tray with liners and keep aside.
  • In a bowl, add all purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, lemon zest, brown sugar and caster sugar and mix it using a wire whisk.
  • In another bowl, take a large egg and beat it lightly using a wire whisk or fork. Now add yogurt, oil and vanilla extract and whisk it until just combined.
  • Add the pitted and halved cherries to the dry ingredients.
  • Now add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and fold in gently until the mixture is just combined.
  • Finally add the chocolate chunks and combine gently. If the batter is too thick then add 2 tbsp of milk and fold gently.
  • Fill the muffin cups evenly with an ice-cream scoop until each cup is 3/4th filled with batter.
  • Put it in the oven and allow the muffins to bake for around 18 – 20 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted comes out clean.
  • Once baked, take it out of the oven and allow it to cool on the wire rack for atleast 15 – 20 minutes and its time to dig into deliciousness.

Happy days ahead!

Chocolate Fudge Cookies

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What is the one thing that de-stresses you and lifts up your mood? For me its definitely baking! It gives me a sense of calmness. Yes, baking is my drug of happiness and nothing is more satisfying than baking and eating freshly baked chocolate cookies. I admit I love fancy desserts but deep down I often need my chocolate fudge cookies. Its called little pleasures of life.

These chocolate fudge cookies needs no introduction because they are pretty darn good.  Its so chocolaty and intense that you can’t stop in a single bite. I adore them since it gives me a sign of something good, something happy! The aroma of these cookies is so inviting. It’s every chocolate lovers dream come true cookie. Incredibly easy to make and extremely decadent.

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (Makes 8 big cookies)

  • 20 grams all purpose flour
  • 115 grams dark chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 15 grams unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 large egg
  • 90 grams caster sugar
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp instant coffee powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup almonds, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips

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METHOD:

  • Put a pot of water on medium heat to boil. Take roughly chopped dark chocolate chips and butter in a saucepan and place it on the pot of water.
  • Keep stirring the chocolate and butter mixture until its completely melted. Keep aside to cool down to room temperature.
  • Meanwhile mix baking powder, coffee powder, salt and all purpose flour in a bowl and keep aside.
  • Now take egg and sugar in another container and beat the two until the mixture is  pale yellow and slightly fluffy.
  • To this add the chocolate mixture and vanilla extract and beat just until well incorporated.
  • Add the flour mixture and fold gently until well incorporated.
  • Add the chopped almonds, white and dark chocolate chips and fold in until its evenly distributed.
  • Cling wrap the cookie dough and keep it in the refrigerator for atleast 45 minutes.
  • Meanwhile preheat your oven to 160C for atleast 15 minutes. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  • Take the cookie mixture out and using a ice cream scoop take 3/4th scoop of mixture and place it on the sheet.
  • Wet your hands and slightly flatten the cookie dough. Allow it to bake for 12 – 14 mixture or until the cookie is just done.
  • Take it out of the oven and let it cool for atleast 15 – 20 minutes before having a bite.

Enjoy!

Dark Chocolate Truffles with Orange Liqueur

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Craving for some seriously yummy dessert, have a get together house party or need to gift a gorgeous gift to someone with a personal touch, the answer is all in this recipe – Dark Chocolate Truffle with Orange Liqueur. Truffles are indeed pure bliss – perfect for every occasion! With thanksgiving hangover and after party this weekend and Christmas right around the corner, truffles is THE way to have a sweet end to the celebration with friends and family.

I always thought it’s difficult to make it until I tried my hands on it. They look beautiful, it sounds exotic, its delicious and yes, it’s really simple to make. The concoction of flavors is endless, so you can make what you like the best. They are complete show stopper with their decadent flavors and their wow visual appearance.

Some combinations are made in heaven and are classic, dark chocolate and orange is one of them. The richness as well as the bitterness from the dark chocolate keeps you wanting for more. The infusion of orange zest and liqueur makes you fall in love with it. So switch on your creativity button, infuse your favorite flavors and make these small one bite wonders because LIFE WITHOUT CHOCOLATE IS BORING! (Even my lil one wants to dive into it)

Share your favorite truffle combination and your recipes on our Facebook or tag us at #plateandpalate and @plateandpalate on Instagram.

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RECIPE

Ingredients: (Makes 12 truffles)

  • 130 grams dark chocolate ( I used 60% dark chocolate)
  • 60 ml cream ( I used Amul fresh cream)
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 1 tbsp orange liqueur (I used Grand Marnier, you can use Cointreau)
  • cocoa powder, for coating

METHOD:

  • Roughly chop the dark chocolate and place it in a saucepan.
  • Melt the chocolate using the method of double boiler. Make sure you stir the chocolate every now and then.
  • Once the chocolate has melted by 90%, in a separate bowl heat the cream on medium heat for a minute.
  • Now add the orange zest and liqueur to the cream and heat  the cream for another minute or two.
  • Since the chocolate should have melted by now, pour the cream mixture over the melted dark chocolate and whisk till combined.
  • Cool slightly and refrigerate for atleast 4 hours (or overnight). Make sure you cover the bowl with a lid when you place it in the refrigerator.
  • Now make small balls and refrigerate for another 20 minutes or until firm.
  • Coat the balls evenly with cocoa powder. Place each truffle in a sieve and dust off the excess cocoa.
  • Place it in the fridge for another 15- 20 minutes and  your truffles are now ready to consume.

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Enjoy and I bet no one can eat just one… (so you can double the recipe also)!

 

No Bake Granola Bars

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Granola bars have become my absolute favorite snack. They satiate my sweet cravings in a healthy way. These happiness health food bars have solved my problem of binge eating to a great extent. Its a complete powerhouse to keep you going through the day.

Living in San Francisco, I ended up hiking a lot. Beautiful weather, picturesque vista points and great company. Some healthy and mess free snack was so important and this is when I resorted to granola bars from Trader Joes. They were delicious and my favorite. Moving back to India I started missing them especially during my snack time. So I decided to make my version of granola bars, mixing some ingredients that I love and that are easily available. Homemade bars are indeed so much more delicious.

With every minute being precious at morning, I fail to cook lavish breakfast for my family. Finally these granola bars have come handy. You can have it as your morning energy meal or your afternoon snack with a cup of coffee, its wholesome and super healthy. Keep tinkering with different ingredients you have at your home, the possibilities are going to be endless and the result – some marvelously yummy granola bars!

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (Makes 6 – 8 bars)

  • 1/2 cup + 6 tbsp rolled oats (I used Quaker oats, toasted lightly)
  • 2/3 cup slivered almonds
  • 3 tbsp dark choco chips
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla extract

METHOD:

  • In a bowl mix peanut butter, honey and vanilla extract and keep aside.
  • In another bowl mix lightly toasted rolled oats, almonds, chia seeds, cinnamon, and salt. Mix well.
  • Now add the wet and the dry ingredients together. The mixture might be very difficult to work with since it might be dry but mix it well.
  • Lastly when all the above ingredients are well incorporated, add the choco chips and mix well.
  • Line a baking dish/ tin with parchment paper with sufficient parchment paper on the sides so that we can life up the mixture later using the parchment paper.
  • Transfer the granola mixture to the baking dish and press it down firmly so that no gaps are left in the corner.
  • Allow it to set in the refrigerator for atleast 2 hours or until firm and it holds its shape.
  • Once set, lift the entire mixture using the extra parchment paper in the sides. Using a sharp knife cut it into bars of even size and enjoy!

NOTES:

  • Put the oats on a baking tray lined with baking paper and toast it for 7 – 8 minutes at 150C in a preheated oven.
  •  You can use white chocolate chips  instead of dark chocolate chips
  • You can use flax seeds instead of chia seeds.