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'Tis the Season for Chocolate

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Chocolate Pecan Pie
Aunt Lucille's Orange-Spice Chocolate and Pumpkin Bread
Chocolate Swirl Shortbread

Now that we're into the holiday baking season, why not think of traditional favorites - but with an added twist? With so many of us loving chocolate, why not think of ways to add it to some popular creations by choosing a high cocoa chocolate that will give superior results - sure to impress family and friends this season!

Why 72%

Using the right chocolate can make all the difference. All Green & Black's chocolate contains a minimum 70% cocoa butter and is great for baking, but the 72% Baking Bar is meant specifically for baking. The "72%" represents the amount of cocoa butter content - this percentage gives the most delicious and intense flavor, plus yields a chocolate that is

  • Smoother;
  • More liquid when it melts; and
  • Superb for cooking, as it maintains its intense, bittersweet flavor.

Green & Black's full range of chocolate bars, gift boxes, hot chocolate and baking bar are all available in the organic section of fine supermarkets and specialty stores nationwide. Check out www.greenandblacks.com for more details. Try flavors such as Ginger (new this season), Espresso, Almond, Hazelnut and Currant, Maya Gold (orange spices), Dark, Milk, White, Caramel and Mint.

Chocolate Pecan Pie

Ingredients
Pastry Dough
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 2/3 cup (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, cold
  • 2 large egg yolks
Filling
  • 1 (10-ounce) Green & Black's Baking Bar 72%, broken into pieces
  • 2 cups shelled pecans, chopped
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 packed cup light brown sugar
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • Whipped cream (for garnish)
  • Brown sugar (for garnish)

Preparation
    1. Use: 11-inch removable-bottomed fluted tart pan
    2. To make dough, sift together flour and confectioners' sugar and cut butter into cubes. Place in food processor and mix together, adding egg yolks at the end to form dough.
    3. Carefully roll out dough. Use plenty of flour on board and rolling pin to keep dough from sticking. Pastry dough must be very thin. Lift carefully into tart pan by rolling up on rolling pin, then slowly unroll it over pan, press into bottom and sides, and trim away excess, but allow a little extra as crust will shrink slightly. Chill about 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line pie shell with parchment paper or foil, fill with dried beans and bake about 15 minutes. Remove beans and paper and return pie crust to oven another 10 minutes, or until it is lightly colored. Remove from oven and set aside. Reduce oven temperature to 325°F.
    4. Melt chocolate in top of double boiler over barely simmering water. Mix together all remaining ingredients for filling, then stir in melted chocolate. Spoon into pie shell and return to oven about 1 hour. Watch crust carefully and if necessary, cover with foil to prevent burning. Serve either warm or at room temperature, and garnish each serving with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkling of brown sugar.

Preparation Time
35 minutes plus 25 minutes chilling

Cook Time
1 hour, 25 minutes

Serves
Serves 8 to 10

Aunt Lucille's Orange-Spice Chocolate and Pumpkin Bread

Ingredients
  • 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 8 ounces peeled and grated raw pumpkin or butternut squash (about 2 cups), or same quantity of canned pumpkin
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 ounces Green & Black's Maya Gold chocolate, chopped

Preparation
    1. Use: 9 x 5-inch loaf pan
    2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Brush loaf pan with some melted butter and dust with flour. Cream sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition, then add grated pumpkin and mix well.
    3. Sift together flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder and all spices, and stir into pumpkin mixture alternating with water, until everything is incorporated.
    4. Spoon about half of batter into loaf pan. Sprinkle about half of chocolate pieces on top of batter then cover with remaining batter. Dig into batter with spoon, parting to form trench along top of loaf, and fill with remaining chocolate, letting some of chocolate remain on top of loaf. Smooth over hole with spoon.
    5. Bake 50 minutes to 1 hour. (Length of baking time depends on how moist pumpkin is; may need to bake a little longer.) Cover with foil after 30 minutes to prevent burning. Test by inserting skewer into center: if it comes out clean (although there might be melted chocolate left on skewer), loaf is cooked. Turn onto wire rack and let cool before serving.

Preparation Time
30 minutes

Cook Time
50 minutes to 1 hour

Serves
Makes: 1 loaf (14 slices)

Chocolate Swirl Shortbread

Ingredients
Plain Shortbread
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
Chocolate Shortbread
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup Green & Black's cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 (3 1/2-ounce) bar Green & Black's Baking Bar 72%, chopped into pieces

Preparation
    1. Use: cookie sheet
    2. Preheat oven to 300°F.
    3. To make plain shortbread, sift together flour, salt and sugar. Cut in butter until mixture combines. Knead lightly, then refrigerate dough 30 minutes before rolling out. Follow same steps for chocolate shortbread, but include cocoa with flour.
    4. Roll out each dough on lightly floured surface into equal-sized rectangles about 1/2-inch thick. Place plain shortbread on sheet of waxed paper, then place chocolate shortbread on top of plain one. Put bigger pieces of chocolate down middle of shortbread stack, and scatter smaller shards over rest of surface.
    5. Carefully roll shortbread as tightly as possible, using waxed paper to support it. (Don't worry if it breaks or chocolate pokes through.) Once rolled, pinch both ends to prevent chocolate falling out, then using both hands, squeeze roll about 8 inches long.
    6. Using very sharp knife, cut roll into 1/2-inch slices. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper, or grease with butter. Lay slices on cookie sheet, leaving plenty of room in between. Bake 25 minutes, or until plain shortbread has darkened slightly to light golden color. Cool on wire rack.

Preparation Time
20 minutes

Cook Time
25 minutes

Serves
Makes: 14

SOURCE: Green & Black's™ Organic


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