Rabu, 31 Oktober 2012

Like Dark Chocolate?

Dark chocolate is a great substitute for other sweet treats that are full of sugar and contain little in terms of nutritional benefit. This type of chocolate is actually good for you and can compete with super food vegetables such as broccoli. Hard to believe isn't it? But it is true and science backs it up.

Studies have shown that it is high in antioxidants and we know that these are the fighters that prevent free radicals from wreaking havoc on our bodies. It has also shown an effect on the brain and memory. There are studies that have clearly found a correlation between eating this sweet treat and improved retention of information. Just think of it as a great snack before you write that exam you have been cramming for!

The benefits are many, but also keep in mind that it still is a high calorie food, so moderation is key here. You should eat at a maximum one small bar per day to reap all the benefits of this flavourful chocolate. Many large companies such as Nestle are now producing dark chocolate versions of their most popular milk chocolate bars.

The dark chocolate of days gone by was rather brittle and sour and was mainly used in cooking and baking recipes. Now it can stands alone as a healthy snack and is becoming readily available as a popular choice in chocolate bars. So next time you get that craving for something sweet reach for the dark version of your favourite chocolate and enjoy it guilt free!

Jumat, 12 Oktober 2012

Halloween Recipe - Kooky Kakeball Spiders

Halloween, my favorite holiday, is going to be here in a couple of weeks. Every year I make up a few recipes to celebrate this fun night and bake with my kids. This year I came up with several Halloween treats using cakeball mixture. Cakeballs are easy to make and so are my "Kooky Kakeball Spiders".

Making Halloween "Kooky Kakeball Spiders" is also a fun way to help your children learn how to read and follow step-by-step directions. The ability to read sequential directions is required in nearly every aspect of our children's lives.

Here's What You'll Need:

1 -Chocolate Cake Mix 
1 -Tub of Pre-made Chocolate Frosting 
1 -36 ounces of. Chocolate Chips 
1 -Jar of Decorative Chocolate Sprinkles 
1 -Small Bag of Black Licorice 
1- Small Bag of Red-Hot Candy 
1 - Small Box of Toothpicks

Additional Supplies: 
A Double Boiler 
Wax Paper 
Cookie Sheets

Step-by-Step Directions

Making the Spider's Body

1. Prepare and bake cake according to baking directions in any size baking pan you choose. 
2. Cool chocolate cake then drop it into a large mixing bowl. 
3. Crumble cake apart into bite- size pieces, with a fork, 
4. Open tub of pre-made chocolate frosting. Whip it with a spatula to make it creamy. 
5. Fold creamy chocolate frosting into crumbled cake until mixed well. 
6. Place cakeball mixture into the refrigerator to cool for about thirty minutes. 
7. After cooling, take cooled cakeball mixture and mold into balls with your hands. This mixture will make approximately 18 medium size cakeballs. 
8. Place cakeballs on cookies sheets lined with waxed paper. 
9. Place cakeballs in freezer and freeze till firm, about two hours. 
10.While cakeballs are freezing slowly melt the 36oz. of chocolate chips over a double boiler. Stir occasionally.

Making the Spider's Legs

1. Open the bag of black licorice and separate the licorice sticks. Cut each licorice stick lengthwise with kitchen scissors. 
2. Next, cut each licorice piece in half. You will need 108 legs for eighteen spiders 
3. To secure the licorice legs to each spider pierce a toothpick into each one end of each licorice leg. 
4. Snip the toothpicks off about 2" with a pair of wire-cutters. This keeps the long toothpick from sticking out the other side of the cakeball spider, when inserted. 
5. Poor bag of red-hot candies into a bowl. Ready for decorating the cakeball spiders. One bag should be enough for eighteen spiders, if the kids don't eat them.

Putting the Spiders Together

1. Line three cookie sheets with wax paper. 
2. Remove cakeballs from freezer, Freezing the helps the melted chocolate grab onto cakeballs. 
3. Take a fork and pierce a cakeball of the cookie sheet, 
4. Immerse the cakeball into the melted chocolate. Let excess drip off. 
5. Take decorative chocolate sprinkles and sprinkle on top of cakeball. 
6. Insert six licorice spider legs on each side of the 
7. Pop on two red-hot candies for the spider's eyes, and you've made a "Kooky Kakeball Spider".

"Kooky Kakeball Spiders" are fairly big treats. You'll need to make room in your kitchen to assemble each spider, and allow them to dry. Also, each spider needs to be made one at a time so the chocolate sprinkles, eyes and legs can be attached, while the chocolate is still warm. To see a picture of this Halloween dessert stop by my website.