Tag Archives: chocolate

A Family By Any Other Name

If you’re like me, the concept of “family” is complicated. The family we’re born into may be less than ideal, incorporating fraught relationships with parents or siblings. Even in families with a relatively healthy dynamic, there’s often a tendency to act or be treated as if we are eternally eight years old.

As we get older, our definition of family expands and changes. Lines blur as our children become friends, close friends become more like siblings, and siblings may become strangers.

Since Thanksgiving is a holiday that’s typically associated with family, let’s celebrate ALL our families, not just our biological ones:

  • Circumstantial: The family we join through marriage or re-marriage
  • Work: After all, we probably spend at least as much time with our “work family” as we do at home
  • Friends: Who else could we bitch to about everything — including our families?!
  • Support System: Our family of stylists, massage therapists, manicurists etc., with whom we share stories and confidences
  • Our church, synagogue, mosque or other religious affiliation
  • Neighbors

fudge-brownies-1235430_640

This is one of my favorite recipes for dessert, whether you’re hosting or bringing something to the feast. Almond flour and Whey Low make it healthier.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone — however (and with whomever) you spend it!

Double Chocolate Almond Flour Brownies

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (I use 4 tablespoons (¼ c) butter + ¼ c canola oil)
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (substitute bittersweet if you prefer less sweetness)
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar (I use 1/3 c brown + 1/3 c white for less sweetness)
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • Optional: ¼ teaspoon espresso powder

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350º and butter an 8”x8” pan.
  2. Place the butter and chocolate chips in the top of a double boiler or a large glass bowl set over a pot of gently boiling water. Whisk together until the butter and chocolate are melted and well combined. Set aside and let cool for five minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, mix the almond flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar and vanilla.
  4. Add the cooled chocolate and butter mixture to the egg/sugar mixture. Whisk to combine and then mix into the dry ingredients until everything is well blended.
  5. Pour the batter into the baking pan and bake for 25 minutes or until tester comes out clean with a few crumbs clinging to it.
  6. Cool before slicing.

My Dark Secret

Dear Readers,

While I’m pretty good at a lot of things – at-home facials, finding a sale, folding a fitted sheet – I absolutely suck at technology. Which is why it took me several weeks to realize I needed to install a widget to create a “Follow This Blog” button. Pathetic, I know!

So, to thank you for your patience and understanding I’m sharing one of my favorite recipes: a rich chocolate mousse you whip up in the blender. This is so creamy, delicious and fancy looking that everyone will think you spent hours on it, yet it takes under 10 minutes (plus time to set up in the fridge). Enjoy!!

Blender Chocolate Mousse

Ingredients

  • 6 oz. of chocolate morsels (use good quality chocolate; e.g., Ghirardelli Dark)
  • ¾ cup milk*, heated just below boiling
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Pinch of salt
  • (Optional: a splash of black coffee or your fave liqueur)

Directions

  1. Put everything except the milk into a blender.
  2. Heat the milk and add it last.
  3. Blend for 2 minutes on low-medium speed. (Note: this melts the chocolate and “cooks” the eggs)
  4. Give it a quick blast on high and pour immediately into 4 large or 6 small ramekins.
  5. Chill for at least 2 hours or until firm.
  6. Garnish with whipped cream, fresh berries or just dive on in.

* I use fat-free milk but of course 2% or whole milk tastes even better.