Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Chocolate Truffle Torte

Chocolate, sweet chocolate, how I’ve missed thee.  I think chocolate was one of the hardest foods to give up. I still can only have a small amount or it will trigger headaches, but a little is better than none. And if you can only have a little, then I highly recommend this chocolate torte. It’s like chocolate mousse in cake form. A little bit of heaven. Make this for your family and friends and they will NEVER believe that it is dairy free!


Cooking spray
12.5 squares (5oz) Dark Chocolate Dream chocolate
¾ cup + 2T sugar
½ cup rice milk
3large egg yolks
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp Kahlua or coffee extract
¼ tsp salt
3 large egg whites at room temperature
2 tbsp all-purpose flour

·      Heat oven to 350F
·      Line the bottom of an 8” springform pan with wax paper and lightly spray the bottom and sides with the vegetable spray.
·      Wrap bottom of pan with foil (and up the sides by 2 inches).
·      Place the chocolate in a microwave proof bowl.
·      Microwave on high for 1.5-2 minutes to melt until smooth.
·      In a small sauce pan, combine ¾ cup sugar and rice milk. Whisk together and ook for 2 minutes over medium heat, whisking constantly until smooth.
·      Whisk the milk/sugar mixture into the melted chocolate until smooth.
·      Stir in egg yolks, vanilla, Kahlua (or coffee extract) and salt.
·      Beat egg whites in a large mixing bowl at medium speed until foamy. You want the egg whites to form stiff, shiny peaks. 
·      Gradually beat in the remaining ¼ cup sugar; increase speed to high and beat just until stiff, but not dry. Be careful not to over mix to point of being dry.
·      With a rubber spatula, gently fold egg whites into the chocolate mixture, at a time.
·      Fold in flour
·      Spread in prepared pan.
·      Place springform pan in a roasting pan.
·      Pour enough water to reach 1” up the side of the pan.
·      Bake for 30 minutes.
·      Remove pan from water.
·      Cool 10 minutes on a wire rack
·      Discard foil. Remove sides of the pan and cool cake completely.

Chocolate Glaze

5 squares (2oz) semisweet Dark Chocolate Dream chocolate
2 tbsp rice milk
1 tsp light corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp brandy, Kahlua or coffee extract

·      Microwave chocolate on high in a medium bowl 1.5-2 minutes.
·      Stir until smooth
·      Stir in evaporate skim milk and corn syrup, until well blended.
·      Add brandy, Kahlua (liquors) if desired
·      Pour glaze over the top of the cake, spreading over the top and the sides.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Almond Sugar Cookies

One holiday tradition that I always eagerly looked forward to as a child was baking sugar cookies with Mom. It wasn’t Christmas until the house was filled with the scent of almond. They are an almond flavored, creamy, delicate concoction covered with a powdered sugar frosting that almost melts in your mouth. We always had fun with sugar sprinkles that added a delightful crunch.


2½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cream of tartar
1½ cups confectioners’ sugar (sifted)
1 cup (2) Fleischmann’s Unsalted Margarine sticks
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1-2 tsp pure almond extract (adjust to your own preference)*
Sugar sprinkles

·      In a medium bowl, combine and whisk the flour, baking soda, and cream of tartar.
·      Beat the margarine and sugar in a mixing bowl. Start slowly or you’ll end up wearing the powdered sugar.
·      Add the egg and the vanilla and almond extracts. Mix until combined.
·      Slowly add the flour mixture.
·      Refrigerate the dough for 2-3 hours.

·      Preheat the oven to 375°.
·      Divide the dough in half and leave one half in the fridge.
·      On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough to about 1/8’ thick.
·      Cut into shapes with your favorite cookie cutters.
·      Place on a cookie sheet (I prefer to line mine with parchment paper or a silpat liner).
·      Bake the cookies for 7-8 minutes or until very lightly golden.
·      Cool completely on a wire rack.
·      Frost and decorate.

*If you are allergic to almond or do not like almond extract, omit the almond extract and use 2 tsp vanilla extract instead. You can do the same with the frosting.


3 cups confectioners’ sugar (sifted)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 ½ tsp almond extract
pinch of Kosher salt
4-5 tbsp rice milk

·      Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk until smooth.
·      Dip the top of the cookie in the frosting and place on wax/parchment paper.
·      Sprinkle with colored sugar (or sparkles as my daughter calls them).
·      Let the frosting dry.

Note: Unfrosted cookies will last for several weeks in a sealed bag/container in the freezer.