Chocolate Tiramisu

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I think I deceived some people last Sunday when I showed up to Easter dinner at my aunt and uncle’s house without that almond citrus cake. Luckily, I had made this chocolate tiramisu, which I think relieved any disappointment.

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My Aunt Grace is known for her tiramisu, but when I heard she wasn’t making it for Easter this year, I decided that instead of depriving my family of the sweet and creamy Italian dessert, I’d step up to the plate.

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I decided to make a chocolate variation of traditional tiramisu since I can think of very few pairings better than chocolate and coffee. Putting a twist on Giada’s recipe, I added a layer of chocolate on top of the whipped cream mixture to amp up the chocolate component. I think that layer was the best part.

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This recipe only takes about an hour to make, from melting the chocolate to assembling the layers. But it does take a bit longer to set. The lady fingers in my tiramisu still had a bite after a few hours in the fridge, so I think some extra refrigeration time would have done it well. By the time the tiramisu is ready, the cookies should be softened from the coffee bath and cream, and all three layers should be singing in unison.

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This tiramisu is a definitely a winner that would be the perfect end to a dinner party or any meal where you’re looking to impress. The prep work is simple, and the results are fancy and decadent. You can also finish the top layer off with a shaving of dark chocolate or a dusting of cocoa powder, but I think the chocolate swirl looks divine. I can’t wait to make this one again.

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Chocolate Tiramisu

Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis

–       1 ½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

–       4 cups heavy cream

–       4 egg yolks

–       ¾ cup sugar

–       1 tsp. salt

–       12 oz. mascarpone cheese

–       ½ cup coffee

–       About 25 lady fingers

Melt the chocolate chips with 2 cups heavy cream and ½ tsp. salt in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir until melted and smooth. In a separate bowl, whisk together egg yolks, ¼ cup sugar, and the remaining ½ tsp. salt. Continue whisking over a pot of simmering water until the mixture has thickened and is pale yellow in color. Take the bowl off the heat, and fold in ½ cup of the melted chocolate. Refrigerate once incorporated.

Using an electric mixer, beat the remaining 2 cups heavy cream with the remaining sugar until stiff peaks form. In a separate bowl, whip the mascarpone cheese using an electric mixer until soft and airy. Fold the mascarpone into the whipped cream until incorporated. Fold the chocolate mixture into the whipped cream mixture until incorporated and smooth.

Dip the lady fingers into the coffee, and place in a layer on the bottom of a 5-inch deep dish. Spoon the whipped cream mixture on top of the lady fingers, then spoon the melted chocolate on top of the whipped cream. Repeat until another three layers are formed. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours.

 

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No-Bake Coconut, Cranberry, and Chocolate Nut Bites

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I started making no-bake cookies and bites about a year ago after learning how similarly finely ground nuts taste to cookie dough. Since then, I’ve tried a few different varieties including no bake bars that taste like vanilla shortbread and chocolate chip cookies.

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Though I will admit that these raw cookies and bites don’t taste exactly like the real thing, they are definitely a satisfying alternative. And because these treats are made with all good-for-you ingredients like nuts and coconut oil, they are pretty much guilt-free.

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I made these bites last Sunday and had them as a snack throughout the week. I love having a couple of these bites on hand at work for a mid-morning or 3 pm snack when a chocolate/sweets craving hits. Instead of leaving me wanting more sugar, these raw bites give me an energetic pick-me-up and satisfy my sweet tooth.

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I love the versatility of these no-bake bites because you can customize them using whichever nut/dried fruit/chocolate combination you’re in the mood for or that you have on hand. You can definitely omit the chocolate for an even healthier treat, but the chocolate chips are my favorite part. And if you’re not a fan of nuts, you might just like these bites. My mom and I joke that nuts are her nemesis, but surprisingly, she enjoyed these bites just as much as I did.

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Unlike regular cookies that take time to make, bake, and cool, these raw treats are prepared in no time. For an even quicker sweet snack, press the dough into a rectangular dish to make bars instead of rolling into balls. I like these bites when they’re a bit firmer after being refrigerated, but if you can’t wait for that boost of energy, eating the dough right out of the food processor is perfectly fine by me.

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No-Bake Coconut, Cranberry, and Chocolate Nut Bites

Adapted from Oh She Glows and Shutterbean

Makes about 40 bites

–       2 cups raw almonds

–       2 cups raw pecans

–       5 medjool dates

–       2 tbs. maple syrup

–       1 tsp. salt

–       1 cup shredded coconut

–       ½ cup coconut oil

–       ½ tsp. cinnamon

–       1 tsp. vanilla extract

–       ½ cup dried cranberries

–       ¾ cup semisweet chocolate chips

Blend almonds and pecans in a food processor until mostly finely ground, but some larger pieces remain. Add dates, maple syrup, salt, shredded coconut, coconut oil, cinnamon, and vanilla extract. Blend again until all ingredients are fully incorporated. Add dried cranberries, and pulse until dried berries are chopped and incorporated into the mixture. Transfer mixture from food processor to another bowl, and fold in chocolate chips until combined. Form small balls from the dough, place on cookie sheet, and refrigerate until firm. Nut bites are best kept refrigerated.