Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and cheers! Can you believe it's already Christmas tomorrow? I feel like this month just flew by, though that could be because of studying, exams and essays. I don't know about you guys, but I'm more than ready for the holidays.
My mom and I have a tradition where we go to Toronto and see the Nutcracker at the National Ballet. We've been going for over 13 years now and every time we go have high tea (usually at the Royal York) before seeing the show. The only difference now is that mom and I return to our hotel room after and drink some wine! The show was great (once again) this year. Our Nutcracker was the same as last year and, man, he was even better. He could practically fly (and, phew, the legs (and ass) on him!).
What are some of your Christmas traditions?
These Mexican chocolate bars are adapted from a recipe found in the Holiday 2012 Food and Drink. They are absolutely delicious! Smooth, rich and with just enough spice to give you a kick that leaves you drooling for more. Decadence and spice- what more can you ask for in a Christmas treat?
My gluttony aside, I hope everyone has an amazing holiday, filled with good food, tasty drinks, and awesome company.
Mexican Chocolate Bars
Adapted from: Holiday 2012 Food and Drink
makes 32 squares
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup finely chopped toasted walnuts
1/8 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/8 cup dark hot chocolate powder
1 1/2 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp grated orange rind
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp cloves
1 tsp chili flakes (feel free to put in less if you're sensitive to spice!)
1 cup bittersweet chocolate, chopped (I used chocolate chips)
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup bittersweet chocolate
1 tbsp unsalted butter
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9-inch square pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
To make the crust, combine graham cracker crumbs, walnuts, cocoa powder, hot chocolate powder, sugar, salt and orange rind in a bowl. Add egg and melted butter and stir until combined. Put mix into the prepared pan and use your hands to press it down evenly. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the crust looks matte and is dry to the touch. Set aside.
To make filling, Pour whipping cream into a small heavy pot. Add cinnamon, allspice, cloves and chili flakes to the cream. Bring the mixture to just a boil over medium-low heat. Remove and let stand for about 20 minutes.
Heat oven to 325F. Place the 1 cup of chocolate into a bowl. Return the cream to medium heat and bring it to just a boil again. Immediately pour into the chocolate and let it stand 30 seconds, before stirring it until it's melted and smooth. Stir in the egg and pour the chocolate mix onto the prepared crust. Bake in the oven for 18-22 minutes or until set with a slight wiggle in the centre. Cool and chill for 30 minutes or until firm.
To make the topping, combine the chocolate and butter in a small heavy pot over low heat. Melt, stirring, until the chocolate and butter are smooth. Use an offset spatula to spread the chocolate in an even layer over the spiced filling. Chill for 30 minutes or until the topping has set. Pull up on the parchment paper to lift the bars from the pan and cut into small squares. Enjoy!