The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

August 7, 2013

Kitchen Confections

Create Irresistible Dark Chocolate Treats at Home


FOR THE DAILY SOUTHERNER

TARBORO — There are few things more enjoyable than biting into a rich and delicious chocolate dessert. By using a more robust flavor like that of dark chocolate, show-stopping desserts can be crafted right from your own kitchen - and it is easier than you think.

If you're looking to bring a divine sweet for your next gathering, or you just want to take a moment to treat yourself after a long day, use rich and decadent dark chocolate. Known for its bold, upfront flavor with sweet undertones, dark chocolate is always a welcome addition to any dessert spread. And choosing a variety like DOVE(r) Dark Chocolate will ensure a smooth and silky finish with each bite.

Spoil yourself with these delectable desserts featuring complex, rich chocolate. Your family will melt when they sample these recipes for DOVE Chocolate Bark and Flourless DOVE Dark Chocolate Lover's Cake.



DOVE Chocolate Bark



Yield: 18 pieces

Prep time: 20 minutes



1    bag DOVE Dark Chocolate Promises

1 1/2    cups (approximately 10 ounces) whole blanched

    almonds, cut into thirds



Put chocolate in heat-resistant mixing bowl. Place heat-resistant mixing bowl on top of pot with simmering water. Stir until chocolate is about 2/3 melted.

Remove bowl from water and continue stirring until all chocolate has melted. (For microwave, put chocolate in microwave-proof bowl and microwave for 30-second intervals, stirring after each interval. Once 2/3 of chocolate is melted, remove from microwave and continue stirring until completely melted.)

Fold chopped nuts into chocolate.

Spread chocolate mixture onto non-stick cookie sheet or foil-lined 9-inch x 13-inch baking pan. Refrigerate until chocolate hardens.

Loosen bark from pan and break into bite-size pieces. Store in airtight container and keep in cool area or refrigerator.

Other flavor combinations:

Pistachios and chopped dried apricots; cashews and dried sour cherries; miniature marshmallows and salted peanuts.

Flourless DOVE Dark Chocolate Lover's Cake



Yield: 10-12 servings

Prep time: 10 minutes

Baking time: 30 minutes



2     (3.3-ounces) DOVE Dark Chocolate Bars

1/2     cup unsalted butter

5     eggs

3/4     cup plus 2 tablespoons dark cocoa, at least 70%

1     cup whipping cream (optional, for garnish)



Preheat oven to 375?F. Butter and parchment line 9-inch round baking pan.

Roughly chop chocolate and place in heat-resistant bowl over pan of simmering water, not directly touching water. Add butter and melt until smooth. Meanwhile, whisk eggs until slightly frothy. Remove from heat and whisk in eggs. Using rubber spatula, fold in 3/4 cup cocoa powder (reserving the 2 tablespoons aside) until just incorporated and pour into prepared pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until crust on top of cake forms.

While cake is baking, pour cream and cocoa powder in large bowl to whip ingredients in later. Place in refrigerator to dissolve powder and chill bowl.

Cool for at least 10 minutes before turning upside down onto serving plate. Remove parchment paper if stuck. Whip cream and cocoa powder in chilled bowl until just stiff peaks form. Serve alongside slice of cake or frost cake with chocolate whipped cream.



Delightful Bake Sale Cookies

Back to school means back to bake sales, a delicious extracurricular activity where cookies - easy to make and even easier to sell - reign supreme. For those looking to stand out from the bake-sale pack, adding simple flavor twists to the fan-favorite chocolate chip cookie can make treats that are the talk of the table.

"Adding an extra surprise to your plate of homemade cookies is easy," said Mary Beth Harrington of the McCormick Kitchens. "Add peppermint extract and cocoa powder, then swap out chocolate chips with chocolate chunks, and ... voila! You now have Double Chocolate Chunk Mint Cookies. Kids and adults love the blend of cool peppermint mixed with rich cocoa and semi-sweet chocolate."



Double Chocolate Chunk Mint Cookies



Makes: 4 dozen cookies

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 8 minutes



2     cups flour

2/3     cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1     teaspoon baking soda

1/4     teaspoon salt

1     cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

1     cup granulated sugar

2/3     cup firmly packed light brown sugar

2     eggs

1     teaspoon McCormick(r) Pure Peppermint

    Extract

6     ounces semi-sweet baking chocolate, coarsely

    chopped



Preheat oven to 350?F. Mix flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt in medium bowl. Set aside. Beat butter and sugars in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs and extract; mix well. Gradually beat in flour mixture on low speed until well mixed. Stir in chocolate.

Drop by rounded tablespoons about 2 inches apart onto baking sheets sprayed with no stick cooking spray.

Bake 8 to 10 minutes or just until cookies are set. Cool on baking sheets 2 minutes. Remove to wire racks; cool completely.