Thursday, February 19, 2015

Say "I Love You" with Chocolates

Valentine's Day was last weekend, I know... but there wasn't any rule saying you only need to express your love during Valentine's Day, right? In fact, I think it is sweeter whenever people express their love and appreciation when it's not Valentine's Day.

Some people find it difficult to say the words "I love you" for a number of reasons, but that doesn't mean one cannot express love anymore. There are a number of ways to show and say it, but if chocolate's your way, these three recipes from The Maya Kitchen will surely be of great help.    

Angel Food Cake Tiramisu
{makes 8 servings}


{for the angel food cake}:
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon MAYA Cake Flour, sifted
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 +1/3 cup egg whites
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup sugar

{for the coffee syrup}:
1/2- 1 tablespoon instant coffee powder
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup hot water
2 tablespoons coffee liqueur

{for the cream topping}:
1 bar cream cheese
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons low-fat milk
2 tablespoons plain yogurt
1 piece vanilla bean pod
1/2 cup whipping cream

2 tablespoons cocoa powder, for garnish

Directions for baking:

Prepare angel food cake. Preheat oven to 350ᵒF/177ᵒC. Line the bottom of an 8-inch square pan. Set aside. Sift flour, salt and ¼ cup of sugar 4 times. Set aside. Beat egg whites with cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Add vanilla extract and remaining sugar gradually and continue beating until stiff. Fold in flour mixture gently; blend well. Pour into the prepared pan and smoothen the top. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until done. Loosen the sides by using a spatula or dinner knife and invert cake on a wire rack to cool for about an hour.

Prepare coffee syrup. Dissolve coffee powder and sugar in hot water. Add coffee liqueur and stir well.

Prepare cream topping. Beat cream cheese, sugar and confectioners’ sugar until the sugars are dissolved. Beat in milk and yogurt. Split the vanilla bean pod lengthwise and scrape the seeds; beat in the mixture. Set aside. Whip the cream until double in size. Fold whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture. Transfer to a piping bag with a round piping tip.

To assemble. Transfer cake to a plate. Brush with coffee syrup until well-soaked. Pipe cream on top of the cake. Dust with cocoa powder on top.

{makes 4 servings (4 x 4” squares)}

1 pack MAYA Chocolate Fudge Brownie Mix 500g
1/2  cup butter, softened
2 eggs
1 tablespoon water
1/2 cup chopped cashew nuts
dark chocolate, melted, as needed
chocolate heart cut-outs, as needed
whipped cream (optional)

Directions for Baking:

Preheat oven to 325°F/163°C. Grease and line the bottom of an 8-inch square pan. Set aside.

In a bowl, stir brownie mix, butter, water, eggs and nuts (set some aside for topping) until well blended.

Spread in prepared pan and top with reserved nuts.

Bake for 30-35 minutes. Cool completely before cutting. Drizzle or spread melted chocolate on top of brownies and decorate as desired.

{makes 15-20 pieces}

1 tablespoon MAYA Cornstarch
6 tablespoons sugar
2 egg whites
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
pinch salt
1/3 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
dark chocolate, melted, as needed

Directions for baking:

Preheat oven to 300ᵒF/149ᵒC. Line one cookie sheet with baking paper and set aside. In a bowl, combine cornstarch and sugar. Mix well then set aside.

Using a stand mixer on high speed with whisk attachment, beat the egg whites, cream of tartar, salt and vanilla extract until soft peaks form. Reduce speed to low and gradually add the cornstarch and sugar mixture. Return to high speed and beat until stiff peaks form. Fold in the cocoa powder.

Transfer mixture to a piping bag with a star tip. Pipe meringue kisses on the cookie sheet and bake for 40 minutes. Turn the oven off and leave the tray inside the oven for one hour.

Let the meringue kisses cool at room temperature for at least 10 minutes. Once cooled, dip half in melted chocolate.

Let the chocolate-dipped meringue kisses set on a lined cookie sheet and transfer to an airtight container.

I hope these three chocolate-y recipes come as a great help. The brownies are the easiest to make since the Maya Brownie Mix is available in most groceries and we have used it several times and believe me, it tasted like the brownies we usually buy. I am personally going to try the meringue, I think it is a very good party giveaway and gift to friends...not to mention it has the potential to turn in money (if I did sell them, of course).

*** Jenn ***

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Jenn, the Foodie

I come from a family who loves cooking and eating. I never had any formal training in cooking and that I taught myself how to cook based on the handed down recipes, but I could say that I can cook good food. In 2008, I started documenting my food trips for my travel blog, and since I have quite enough to start a food blog, might as well put all those food trips in one location. Thus, a food blog is born - thanks to the new Friendster Blogs. However, due to several problems, I was left with no choice but to pack bags again and move here instead. Here's the permanent address, promise! Enough talk, let the food trippin' begin! {Know More About Me}