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Chocolate delights to bake and freeze

December 31, 2013 - 8:56am

Chocolate often becomes one of those indulgences we curtail when making New Year’s resolutions. One last time, before the demon discipline takes over, indulge a bit with one of these chocolate delights. In her book, “Bake and Freeze Chocolate Desserts,” author Elinor Klivans shares 120 recipes that can be made and frozen for later use, such as midnight cravings, last-minute parties, or gift-giving. You can have a little bit now and freeze the rest so you aren’t tempted to eat the whole thing. To ensure the defrosted dessert tastes as good as when it was made, follow these simple guidelines: cool or chill desserts thoroughly before wrapping and freezing, and put desserts in the coldest part of your freezer — usually the bottom rear shelf — to freeze. If it still calls out to you in the middle of the night, three weeks into your new diet plan, it’s not my fault. Blame Elinor.

Sour cream chocolate chip coffee cake

Chocolate for breakfast? Absolutely. Makes 12 servings; all that’s needed is a good pot of Kona coffee.

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 pound unsalted butter, softened

2 cups sugar

2 large eggs

1 cup sour cream

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips

Powdered sugar, for dusting

Position oven rack in middle of oven; preheat to 350 F. Butter bottom, sides and center tube of a 12-cup bundt pan, 9 1/2 to 10 inches diameter with sides at least 3 3/4 inches high. Sprinkle flour in pan; tilt pan to coat bottom, sides and center tube. Tap out any loose flour. Sift flour, baking powder and salt together; set aside. Put butter in the large bowl of an electric mixer; mix on low speed for 15 seconds. Add sugar; beat on medium speed until fluffy and lightens from yellow to cream color, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time; beat for 1 minute. Decrease speed to low; mix in sour cream and vanilla extract. Add flour mixture; mix just until incorporated. Batter will be thick. Stir in chocolate chips. Pour batter into prepared pan; spread evenly. Bake about 1 hour, until top of cake is golden and a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool cake in pan 15 minutes. Use a small sharp knife to loosen cake from pan. Invert cake onto a wire rack to cool thoroughly. Slide cake onto a serving platter. To freeze: wrap cake tightly with plastic wrap. Gently press heavy aluminum foil around cake; freeze up to 3 months.

Mocha marble mousse

Marshmallows are the surprise ingredient in this coffee and chocolate mousse. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

7 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped

1 cup whole milk

4 teaspoons instant decaffeinated coffee granules

4 cups miniature marshmallows

2 cups cold whipping cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 175 F. Put chocolate in a heatproof container; melt in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from oven as soon as melted and stir smooth. Have ready a serving bowl with a 2 to 2 1/2 quart capacity. Heat milk and instant coffee in a medium saucepan over medium heat until coffee dissolves. Add marshmallows; cook, stirring constantly, until marshmallows dissolve. Mixture will look foamy. Pour the mixture into a large mixing bowl. Put bowl in freezer until mixture is cool, thick and syrupy, about 10 minutes. Stir once to ensure that it cools evenly; mixture should not set firm. While coffee mixture is chilling, put cream and vanilla in large bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on medium-high speed until firm peaks form. Whisk cooled coffee mixture smooth; fold into whipped cream. Reserve 2 tablespoons of melted chocolate; transfer remaining melted chocolate to a large bowl. Add 1 cup of coffee cream mixture to chocolate; whisk smooth. Use a large rubber spatula to fold 1 cup coffee cream mixture into chocolate mixture. Pour remaining coffee mixture over chocolate mixture. Use rubber spatula to swirl mixtures together slightly to marble. Pour mousse into serving bowl. Dip ends of a fork in reserved melted chocolate; drizzle thin lines of chocolate over top of mousse. Serve or freeze until top is firm, about 1 hour. Press plastic wrap on top of mousse. Gently press heavy aluminum foil over mousse. Freeze up to 1 month. To serve, defrost in refrigerator about 5 hours or overnight.

Coconut macaroon brownie bars

The crisp coconut topping covers a dark, moist brownie layer; makes 12 to 16 brownies.

Chocolate Brownie Layer:

6 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped

2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped

6 ounces unsalted butter, cut into pieces

3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

1 cup sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Position oven rack in middle of oven; preheat to 325 F. Butter an 11-by-7-by-1 3/4-inch baking pan or ovenproof glass baking dish. Put the chocolates and the butter in a heatproof container; place it over but not touching a saucepan of barely simmering water. Stir mixture until chocolate and butter are melted and smooth. Remove from water and set aside to cool slightly. Stir flour, baking powder and salt together in a small bowl; set aside. Put eggs in the large bowl of an electric mixer and mix on medium speed for 10 seconds. Add sugar and vanilla; beat for 1 minute or until mixture thickens and the color lightens slightly. Decrease speed to low; mix in melted chocolate mixture until combined thoroughly with egg mixture. Add flour mixture; mix just until flour is incorporated. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan.

Coconut macaroon topping:

1 cup sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 cups shredded sweetened coconut

2/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Put sugar and eggs in the large bowl of an electric mixer; beat on medium speed until mixture thickens and color lightens, about 1minute. Mix in vanilla and almond extracts. Add flour and salt; mix just until flour is incorporated. Decrease speed to low. Reserve 1/2 cup of coconut and mix in remaining 1 1/2 cups coconut and the chocolate chips. Use a thin metal spatula to spread coconut mixture evenly over chocolate batter. Sprinkle remaining coconut over top of batter.

Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of brownies comes out with a few moist crumbs clinging to it, about 1 hour. Coconut topping will be golden brown. Cool brownies in pan on a wire rack about 2 hours. Use a large sharp knife to cut cooled brownies into pieces. To freeze, wrap individual brownies tightly in plastic wrap. Place in a metal or plastic freezer container; cover tightly. Freeze up to 3 months. To serve, defrost wrapped brownies at room temperature for about 3 hours. Leftover brownies can be wrapped in plastic wrap and stored at room temperature up to 3 days.

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