Chocolate causes certain endocrine glands to secrete hormones that affect your feelings and behavior by making you happy. Therefore, it counteracts depression, in turn reducing the stress of depression. Your stress-free life helps you maintain a youthful disposition, both physically and mentally. So, eat lots of chocolate! Elaine Sherman
Chocolate and Dessert Recipes

These fabulous chocolate and dessert recipes are happily dedicated to chocolate lovers everywhere.

Many of these recipes call for melted Merckens chocolates or Merckens candy compound coating. Please read the melting instructions before you begin.

How to temper chocolate
How to melt candy compounds

You may consider investing in a chocolate tempering machine if you like to use real chocolate for dipping truffles, strawberries and other candies or for making molded or filled chocolates. These machines are so easy to use and take all of the guesswork and mistakes out of tempering. Just put in your chocolate, push a button and you end up with perfectly tempered chocolate every time. Your chocolates will have that beautiful shine and snap that makes chocolate so wonderful.

Contents:

Easy Truffle Recipes
Chocolate Fondue Recipes and Chocolate Fountain Recipes
Chocolate Christmas Recipes
Recipes for Chocolate Dipped Strawberries
Miscellaneous Chocolate Recipes

Easy Truffle Recipes

There is no mystery to why gourmet truffles taste so good - all you have to do is use the best chocolate. If you haven't heard of Merckens yet, you are missing out on a wonderfully delicious and smooth chocolate. Merckens chocolates are the top choice among premium retail confectioners, home candy makers and cake decorators. And it's been that way for over 80 years. Merckens chocolates are legendary in flavor, quality, consistency, and ease of handling and they are the foundation for many well known and private label chocolate companies. CandyLand Crafts has low prices and a great selection of Merckens Chocolates and candy compounds.

And, if you prefer to use a chocolate compound for dipping instead of chocolate, Merckens candy compounds (cocoa-lite and cocoa-dark) would be a good choice since they actually taste like chocolate. Candy compounds are also available in many different colors and have a smooth texture and a delicious vanilla flavor. They certainly do not taste like wax.

FINISHING TRUFFLES

You can dip your truffles in melted chocolates (light, dark or ivory) or candy compounds. Just remember that if you use real chocolate, you may need to temper it if you want a beautiful presentation.

When dipping the truffles, use dipping forks to remove them from the pan. Allow the excess chocolate to drip off and place them on a baking sheet lined with waxed paper. If you want to sprinkle them with nuts (try crushed toasted almonds - yum) or coconut, do so before the chocolate hardens. You can also make stripes on the chocolate by melting a contrasting color and drizzling it over the top of the truffle.

You can also roll the un-dipped truffle in cocoa powder, powdered sugar, coconut, chocolate cookie crumbs, or anything else that you like.

Dark Chocolate Truffles

8 ounces dark chocolate, cut into small pieces
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

3 tablespoons liqueur (choose any flavor: orange, coffee, black current, raspberry, etc)
(Tip: if you are making chocolate-orange truffles, add 1 teaspoon orange zest.)

Combine the butter and the cream in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and remove from heat. Stir in the chopped chocolate, the liqueur, (and orange zest if you are making chocolate-orange truffles) and continue stirring until it is smooth.

Chill until the truffle mixture is firm (2-3 hours). Shape into balls and finish them as you wish. (Note: If the mixture is hard to work with, you may need to chill it longer).

White Truffles

1 cup of whipping cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
12 ounces white chocolate (Not candy compound)

Place the cream in a heavy saucepan and heat it over medium-high until it scalds. Remove it from the heat, add the butter and stir until it is melted. Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature then skim off the surface.

Slowly melt the white chocolate in a double boiler over hot water (do not allow the water to boil and do not allow water to get into the chocolate). Let the chocolate cool a bit and then vigorously whisk the cream into the melted chocolate, Be sure to beat it well. If you think the mixture is too thin, you can beat in a bit more melted chocolate - 4 to 6 ounces may be enough.

Chill until the truffle mixture is firm (2-3 hours). Shape into balls and finish them as you wish.

Mint Truffles

3/4 cup of whipping cream
1 pound of chocolate (If using Mercken's chocolate, use Ivory, Marquis - milk or Yucatan - dark)
(Not Merckens candy compound)
Pepperment oil (not extract)

Bring the cream to a boil then stir in chocolate until melted. Let the mixture stand for about 5 minutes, then add a couple of drops of peppermint oil.

Chill until the truffle mixture is firm (2-3 hours). Shape into balls and finish them as you wish. (Note: If the mixture is hard to work with, you may need to chill it longer).

Chocolate Fondue Recipes and Chocolate Fountain Recipes

For best results you should use a chocolate specially formulated for fondues and fountains. Falls Merckens chocolate wafers are the perfect choice because they have a higher cocoa butter content than standard chocolate. Falls Merckens chocolate wafers are made of real chocolate, so your fondue will be exceptionally smooth and rich.

You can use any chocolate fondue recipe in a chocolate fondue fountains. Dip strawberries, banana chunks, pineapple chunks, apples, mandarin orange slices. Also, try dipping pound-cake or pretzels.

Basic Chocolate Fondue

12 ounces Merckens chocolate wafers (Dark recommended) (Not Merckens candy compound)
2/3 cup heavy cream
3 teaspoons vanilla extract

Place all of the ingredients in a fondue pot over a low flame (or in a saucepan over low heat). Heat until melted, stirring occasionally. Serve immediately.

Cherry Brandy Fondue

2 cups Merckens chocolate wafers (Not Merckens candy compound)
3 tablespoons heavy cream
2 tablespoons cherry brandy
1 tablespoon strong brewed coffee
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Place all of the ingredients in a fondue pot over a low flame (or in a saucepan over low heat). Heat until melted, stirring occasionally. Serve immediately.

Chocolate Orange Fondue

1 1/4 cups heavy cream
3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
12 ounces of Merckens chocolates (Not Merckens candy compound)
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
1 teaspoon orange liqueur

Place the cream and orange juice in a saucepan over medium heat. Heat until bubbly around the edges. Remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate, orange zest and orange liqueur. Pour into a fondue pot and keep warm at the lowest flame.

Chocolate Almond Fondue

1 1/4 cups half-and-half
1 teaspoon almond extract
24 ounces Merckens chocolate wafers - Dark
1/2 cup amaretto

Place the half-and-half and the almond extract in a saucepan over medium heat. Heat until bubbly around the edges but do not boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate until melted. Slowly stir in the amaretto until smooth. Pour the chocolate mixture into the preheated chocolate fountain.

Chocolate Christmas Recipes

Oreo Bark

3 cups Merckens candy compound (cocoa dark)
12 Oreos, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup almonds

Melt the Merckens candy compound in a double boiler over hot water (not boiling). Spread the Oreos and almonds on a jelly-roll pan (15 1/2 x 10 1/2 x 1). Pour melted coating over the cookies and almonds. Lightly spread, cool and then break it into pieces. Store in an airtight container.

Vanilla Fudge Recipe

2 pounds of Merckens chocolate -Ivory recommended
1 pint of thawed ice cream (Try butter pecan, black walnut, mint, etc.)
1 cup of pecans

Put the chocolate in a double boiler over hot water (not boiling) and stir until melted. Stir in the ice
cream and beat until smooth. Stir in the nuts.

Prepare a 9 inch pan by lining it with foil and lightly buttering it. Pour in the mixture and refrigerate
until firm.

Recipe for Homemade Hot Chocolate

Start with:
4 cups whole milk
3 ounces of Merckens chocolate wafers (dark)
1 cup whipping cream, whipped

In a heavy sauce pan, heat the milk until hot but do not boil. Stir in the chocolate until melted. Add more milk or chocolate to get the desired strength. Garnish with whipped cream and a sprinkle of cocoa powder, nutmeg or cinnamon.(You may need to adjust the amount of chocolate to milk according to your taste.)

For a special Christmas drink, stir in some crushed peppermint along with the chocolate.

Recipes for Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

Chocolate dipped strawberries are one of life's greatest joys. Delicious, juicy strawberries and rich, smooth chocolate go together perfectly.

They are not difficult, just melt the chocolate and dip. If you haven't read about the difference between chocolate and candy compounds, you should do that before you begin. You can use any of the delicious Merckens chocolates for dipping strawberries.

For a beautiful presentation, dip strawberries in dark chocolate, allow to cool. Melt some Merckens Ivory wafers, place in a bag with the corner snipped and drizzle over top. You could make zig-zags, stripes, swirls or even initials. Be creative and have fun.

Chocolate Dessert Recipes

Chocolate Mousse Cake with Strawberries

1 cup crushed chocolate cookies (Oreos with the centers removed are the best)
3 tablespoons melted butter
2 pints fresh strawberries, halved
2 cups Merckens chocolates - dark
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream

Whipped Topping
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon sugar

To make the crust, mix crumbs and butter together and press onto the bottom of a 9 inch spring form pan. Stand the strawberry halves around the wall of the pan. They should overlap so that you can fit them all around.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring the water and the corn syrup to a boil and simmer for 1 minute. Whisk in the chocolate until it is melted and smooth. Set aside and cool to room temperature.

In a large bowl beat 1 1/2 cups of the cream until stiff peaks form. Do not over-beat. Gently fold the cooled chocolate mixture into the whipped cream and blend thoroughly. Pour over the cookie crumb crust. Cover and refrigerate until chilled and set (at least 4 hours).

Just before serving, whip the remaining cream and sugar together and plop it around the top of the cake. Garnish with strawberry slices and drizzled chocolate if you wish.

White Chocolate Covered Popcorn

4 cups of popped popcorn
3 ounces of Merckens Ivory coating or Merckens candy compound

Slowly heat Merckens candy coating over a double boiler, stiring frequently, until melted. Pour the mixture over the popped corn and stir gently just until coated. Cool on wax paper covered cookie sheets. Store in tightly covered container.

Copyright 2007 cocoaexpression.com