Chocolate Tantric Tart
This luscious chocolate pie is guaranteed to add some sweet heat to a romantic meal. Of its six ingredients, four of them are thought to be aphrodisiacal: Chocolate, almonds, ginger and chile. Powers of attraction aside, this recipe for Chocolate Tantric Pie is unusual and delicious, and is as easy as pie to prepare.
This is a sweet chocolate pie with the spicy bite of ginger and cayenne pepper. It’s guaranteed to satisfy your sweet tooth, internally warm your belly, and give you that unmistakable tantric glow. There is very little work to creating this dessert. For a gluten-free version, omit the pie shell for a no-bake flourless torte. You can also pour the pie mixture into a baking dish, just cool before cutting into squares and serve like fudge.
1˝ cups organic half-and-half or whipping cream
3 cups semisweet organic chocolate chips
1 cup chopped almonds
1 cup chopped candied ginger
˝ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
9-inch pie crust
1. Over medium heat, bring half-and half or whipping cream to a simmer in a 1-quart saucepan, stirring to prevent scorching on the bottom.
2. Whisk as you slowly pour the chocolate chips into the cream and continue to stir until the chocolate has melted. Stir in half the almonds and half the ginger. Stir in cayenne if using.
3. Pour mixture into a pre-baked 9-inch pie shell. Sprinkle and remaining almonds and ginger on top. Cool until firm, slice, and serve.
Adapted from Esalen Cookbook, by Charlie Cascio (Gibbs Smith Publisher, 2006).
Aztec Aphrodisiac Hot Chocolate
This sweet-and-spicy recipe is perfect for chocolate lovers and cold weather. The comforting aroma will calm your heart and stimulate your senses. In a small saucepan, combine 1/2 cup water, 1 1/2 cups of milk, 2 1/2 tablespoons of sugar, 2 whole cloves, a pinch each of ground ginger and crushed red pepper. Bring to a boil and remove from heat. With a wire whisk, stir in 1/4 cup of unsweetened cocoa, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, and 1/4 teaspoon of cardamom. Strain into 2 large mugs, top with whipped cream, and enjoy.
PREP TIP: For a lighter treat use water or almond milk instead of cow’s milk. For a richer delicacy substitute the cocoa with 1/4 cup of 70 percent dark chocolate chips by melting them in a double boiler and heating the milk, sugar, and spices in a separate pot. Strain the milk mixture before slowly stirring in the melted chocolate.
HEALTH BENEFITS: Dark chocolate is rich in magnesium, may lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and is packed with disease-fighting antioxidants.
Crystal Ketterhagen is Managing Editor of Yoga+ Magazine
Dark Chocolate Zucchini Cake
The secret ingredient that makes this cake so utterly moist and delicious is a secret no longer: yes, the wonderful zucchini makes this single-layer cake a real standout. Your friends and family will never know they’re getting a healthy serving of veggies with their dessert; they’ll be too busy experiencing chocolate ecstasy.
3 ounces good-quality dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup canola oil
1 1/4 cups sifted all-purpose unbleached flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) butter, softened
3/4 cup organic sugar, or less, according to taste
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 cups grated zucchini or summer squash
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9-inch cake pan and dust with some unsweetened cocoa powder.
2. Melt the chocolate along with the oil in a double boiler or in a saucepan over low heat, taking care not to scorch.
3. Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a medium mixing bowl.
4. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, then beat in the vanilla. Add the flour mixture and buttermilk, beating until combined, then fold in the chocolate and oil mixture, and the zucchini.
5. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pan for about 10 minutes on a wire rack, then invert it on the rack, remove the pan, and cool completely.
5. May be served plain, iced with your favorite icing, dusted with organic confectioners’ sugar, or with fresh raspberries nestled around it.
Serves 8 to 10.
Inspired by The Classic Zucchini Cookbook, by Nancy C. Ralston, Marynor Jordan, and Andrea Chesman (Storey Books, 2002).
Vegan Zucchini Chocolate Cake
Mel’s version makes a lovely vegan zucchini cake – yum!
1 medium zucchini
1/2 cups pitted dates
1/2 cup water
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teapoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 medium apple, shredded
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup cocoa
1 cup Sucanat or organic brown sugar
1 cup vegan chocolate chips
8 ounces soy yogurt
4 tablespoons ground flaxseed mixed with 12 tablespoons water until gelatenous
1/4 cup light vegetable oil
1 tablespoon vanilla
1. Shred zucchini, place in a colander to drain for 15 minutes, then squeeze excess water out.
2. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 10-inch Bundt pan.
3. Over medium heat, cook dates, stirring, in water until you have a smooth and thick liquid.
4. In a large bowl mix flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add shredded apple, then stir in zucchini, dates, cinnamon, cocoa, Sucanat, chocolate chips, yogurt, flaxseed gel, oil and vanilla.
5. Pour into prepared pan. Bake 45 minutes, or until tester comes out clean.
By Melissa Breyer, Senior Editor, Care2 Healthy and Green Living.