Dark Chocolate Coffee Puddings with Vanilla Bean Meringue & Coffee Syrup


Delicious Dark Chocolate Coffee Puddings with Vanilla Bean Meringue! 

This month of September my brother's birthday is coming up & last year I made this yummy dessert for him. My brother has never been a fan of cake. As a kid at birthday parties he would eat the strips of frosting and leave the cake for me! It became apparent that he preferred ice cream, gelled desserts and puddings for his birthday desserts. 

This is not a dairy free dessert. It is gluten free however. :) I hope you will experiment on this and see if coconut milk would work in this pudding and I have a feeling that it would. This is quite a treat and a very decadent dessert to enjoy on a special occasion! 

    Mixing up the dark chocolate coffee pudding mixture! 


Mixing up the dark chocolate coffee pudding mixture! 


My brother also really loves coffee. We as a family love very strong coffee, especially my dad. I think it comes from our Swedish and Norwegian background. I always make really strong coffee and really don't know how else to make it. Back in college when I worked every weekend at a laundromat, I used to make coffee for the customers. Nobody drank my coffee except for myself and one family that always came in on Saturdays to do their laundry. They really appreciated the coffee. 

So, this pudding has: 

dark chocolate- check

strong coffee- check

a contrast of creamy/marshmallow meringue- check

A perfect birthday dessert! 

I also added  a dash of Maldon salt. It adds a nice dimension of flavor to the pudding. You may also choose to sprinkle the salt on top of the pudding instead. You can also serve it with the extra coffee syrup to add even more pizzazz! 

Dark Chocolate Coffee Puddings with Vanilla Bean Meringue & Coffee Syrup

Makes 8 puddings served in martini glasses


1 1/2 cups strong coffee (I actually used strong decaf coffee since it was an evening event)

1 cup organic sugar

1 cup whole milk (try substituting full fat coconut milk to make this dessert dairy free) 

3/4 cup heavy cream (you can add more coconut milk here) 

4 large egg yolks

1 pound dark chocolate, finely chopped (I used dark chocolate chips, finely chopped- 60% cacao) 

1 teaspoon Maldon salt

1 tablespoon softened butter (vegan margarine) 


3 large egg whites

1/2 cup organic sugar

pinch cream of tartar

seeds from 1/2 of a vanilla bean

1. In a small saucepan, mix together the coffee and the sugar. Bring to a boil and simmer over medium-high heat until the mixture is reduced to 1 cup. This takes around 18 minutes or so. 

2. In another small saucepan, bring the whole milk and heavy cream to a boil. In a large bowl beat the egg yolks with a large whisk. Gradually beat in the hot cream/milk mixture while whisking. Add the chopped chocolate, Maldon salt and the butter. Let the mixture stand for 2 minutes to combine. Then, stir until smooth. Stir in 1/2 cup of the coffee syrup. Mix well to combine. 

3. Divide the mixture between 8 martini glasses or your dessert container of choice. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, or overnight. 

4. Meringue: In the large bowl of a stand mixer, place the egg whites with the sugar and cream of tartar. Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water on the stove. Whisk the mixture constantly for 3-5 minutes to dissolve the sugar. Once it is dissolved, move the bowl to the stand mixer. Let the mixture cool slightly before beating it into a meringue. Place the whisk attachment onto the stand mixer and beat the egg white mixture at medium high speed for about 2 minutes, until glossy peaks form. Beat in the seeds from the vanilla bean. 

5. Place the meringue mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip. Pipe the meringue onto each pudding. Use a kitchen torch to brown the meringue on top of each pudding. 

Enjoy this special dessert! These may be made in the morning or the night before your party and placed in the refrigerator before serving. 

If this post made you crave coffee and chocolate, pass it on to a friend who loves those too! 



Chocolate Mexican Spice Cookies

Chocolate Mexican Spice Cookies

Ah! How I love holiday baking! It is so much fun to create treats to share and give to others this time of year. 

When  I lived in Mexico as an exchange student in the early 1990's I got to experience the lovely treats at holiday time there. I especially loved the Mexican hot chocolate which is cinnamon flavored chocolate disks that are melted into hot milk and whisked either by hand or in a blender until frothy. Sometimes a bit of extra spice is added. I remember this hot chocolate was often served with tamales. We would go to lots of holiday parties, especially posadas, held traditionally outside where the kids would try to hit the pinata filled with nuts, oranges and sugar canes. It was so much fun! 

I wanted to create this flavor in a cookie form that was both gluten and dairy free. I know that I have accomplished that flavor here in these cookies. They have a lovely flavor of chocolate with a slight kick from the cayenne pepper and spice from the cinnamon- the perfect combination for holiday gift giving! 

I hope that you enjoy making these cute little cookies for your family and friends this holiday and for many to come! Enjoy! 

Chocolate Mexican Spice Cookies:

3/4 cup vegan margarine

1/2 cup coconut sugar

1/2 cup organic granulated sugar

1 large egg

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

1 tablespoon ground chocolate

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 3/4 cups gluten free flour mix (see below) 

1/4 cup sweet rice flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon xanthan gum 

1/4 teaspoon salt


Gluten Free Flour Mix: 

2 cups brown rice flour

2/3 cup potato starch

1/3 cup tapioca flour


For dipping: 

1 cup dairy free chocolate chips

1/2 cup cinnamon sugar (1/2 cup organic granulated sugar + 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, mixed) 

1. Beat the margarine and sugar in a large bowl of a stand mixer until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until combined. 

2. Add the ground chocolate, cinnamon, cayenne, flours, baking powder, xanthan gum and salt. Beat until combined and the dough is thick. 

3. On a large piece of wax paper, flatten the dough into a large disk. Fold over the waxed paper and make sure all of the dough is covered. Refrigerate the disk for 30  minutes. 

4. After 30 minutes, take half dough out and take small pieces of it and drop them in a line across a large sheet of plastic wrap. Roll to form a 1-inch diameter log. Repeat to form another long log. Roll each log on the counter to smooth out. Refrigerate the dough logs for 30-40 minutes, until well chilled. 

5. Preheat the oven to 350F. 

6. Grease the cookie sheets with cooking spray, coconut oil, or place silicone mats on the baking sheets. 

7. Slice the dough into 1/4 inch slices. I dipped the sides of the dough circles in granulated sugar. Place the circles on the prepared baking sheets. Then, take a small drinking glass and push on each cookie to flatten out a bit. 

8. Bake in the center of the oven for 10-12 minutes until fully done. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack. 

8. When the cookies are cool, melt the dairy free chocolate chips in the microwave in 30 second spurts until you can stir them with a spoon and they are completely melted (It takes 1- 1.5 minutes)  Dip each cookie into the melted chocolate, then dip into the cinnamon sugar mixture. Let dry on waxed paper or parchment paper. Enjoy! 

If this post made you hungry for more goodness, pass it on to a friend! 


Whole Wheat Mint Chip Zucchini Bread




Delicious Whole Wheat Mint Chip Zucchini Bread! 

Ah! The days of summer are winding down, but there is still a lot of delicious produce left in the garden to share and to use in delicious breads like this one. I was thinking one day about making some zucchini bread and at the same time was listening to a food podcast and mint-chip ice cream was mentioned. I began to wonder if I could make zucchini bread taste just like mint-chip ice cream in bread form. That is when this bread was born. 

This bread does have quite a bit of fresh mint flavor between the fresh mint and organic mint extract. I think that the fresh flavor compliments the chocolate chips in a great way. 

This bread is excellent if you heat it up slightly and slather it with soft butter and enjoy it with a fresh cup of tea. That is what late summer afternoons are all about. 

    Ingredients for the bread. 


Ingredients for the bread. 

I hope that you enjoy making this bread as much as I do, and take a moment to savor and breathe in the fresh mint. It is so relaxing and rejuvenating. Enjoy! 

    A fresh slice of mint chip zucchini bread with a lovely cup of tea. 


A fresh slice of mint chip zucchini bread with a lovely cup of tea. 

This recipe makes 2 large 9x5 loaves of bread: 

Whole Wheat Mint Chip Zucchini Bread: 

3 cups whole wheat flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 cup brown sugar

3/4 cup organic cane sugar

1 cup coconut nectar or maple syrup

4 eggs

1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt

1/2 cup olive oil

2 cups grated zucchini

2 teaspoons organic mint extract

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint

1 cup dark chocolate chips

1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray two 9x5 loaf pans with nonstick spray. 

2. In a large bowl, using a wire whisk, whisk together the whole wheat flour, salt, baking powder, brown sugar and organic cane sugar. 

3. In another bowl, whisk together the four eggs, Greek yogurt, coconut nectar (or maple syrup), olive oil, mint extract and fresh mint. Whisk together until smooth. 

4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Fold in with a rubber spatula until just combined. Add in the chocolate chips and gently fold in. Do not overmix. 

5. Divide batter between the two prepared bread pans. 

6.  Bake the bread for about 45 minutes, or until a toothpick or a knife comes out of the center of the bread clean. 

7. Once the bread is removed from the oven, cool in a pan for 15 minutes, then invert the loaves gently onto a wire rack to cool. 

Enjoy your delicious bread! Take a break with a slice, a cup of tea or coffee and have a special break today. 


Gluten Free Dairy Free Dark Chocolate Brownies

For a long time I have had a favorite brownie recipe. I love brownies that are dark, dense and taste like fudge. However, I have some friends who are gluten free/dairy free. I wanted to create a recipe that they could enjoy as well. 

I love experimenting in the kitchen! I always start with a recipe that I want to tweak. The recipe may come from a magazine, book or online. Even in this day and age I still love to clip out magazine recipes. 

This recipe is adapted from a recipe that I clipped out of a food magazine many years ago. That magazine no longer exists, but the delicious recipes live on. 

Here is my version of these amazing brownies: 

Gluten Free Dairy Free Dark Chocolate Brownies: 

1/2 cup coconut oil

4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

1/3 cup maple syrup

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

2 large eggs

2/3 cup all purpose gluten free flour mix

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Grease an 8x8 square baking pan with coconut oil. Set aside. Heat the oven to 350F.

2. Melt the coconut oil and the chopped chocolate in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. 

3. Set the mixture aside to cool. 

4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the gluten free flour, cocoa and salt. 

5. When the chocolate mixture is cooled, mix in one egg at a time, until glossy. Then, mix in the maple syrup and the vanilla. 

6. Mix in the dry ingredients until well-mixed. Pour into the greased baking pan. Use a spatula to smooth down the batter. 

7. Bake for 15 minutes or until set. 

8. Let cool before slicing into squares. 


Enjoy your delicious brownies! Makes about 12.