Chocolate time

During a rather tight financial period last Christmas, I decided to just use my baking skills to prepare little gift baskets of inexpensive goodies as presents for our loved ones . I spent a few years living on a Greek Island when I was a teenager and I began remembering a friend there who once made us Nutella filled chocolates which were incredible.  Because hand made chocolates stretch your money a LONG way, it became my mission to recreate those nutella nuggets of goodness from my teens. I discovered you can buy  many differeny varieties of chocolate molds and different coloured melting chocolate from craft stores, baking supply stores or on-line and just follow the instructions on the packets. It really is that easy. Although I will post at a later time with my  own instructions/advice etc, for now, we are going to talk fillings!

My first experiments with nutella that Christmas were such a hit that I had new inspirations this year and wanted to share them with you. I am convinced that if there is a flavour you love, you can work it into a chocolate! This year, my obsession revolved around cheesecake among other things. I hope you get inspired to try your hand at making these yummy treats.

Nutella:I melted it a little first and then placed it into a squeezy bottle for a nice controlled pour into the chocolate shell.  There are many tasty variations on the basic nutella filling such as adding a tiny drop of raspberry/strawberry jam or a small toasted hazelnut so experiment to your heart’s content!

Caramel Crunch– I filled the shell with ready made caramel (not ice cream sauce but a much thicker version like that used for dipping apples etc) and topped with a few pieces of crushed Heath bar. Of course, plain caramel is perfectly acceptable if you prefer.

Cheesecake Filled: There are tons of options with this one because all you need is prepared cheesecake filling (store bought is just fine if you want it to be easy) and your imagination! There are a couple of variaties pictured below but I also made pumpkin pie cheesecake (just mix canned pumpkin with the cheesecake base and any pie spices you choose). I suggest blending the cheesecake filling with peanut butter, caramel, nuts or even bacon if you are feeling adventurous!

Raspberry Cheesecake. I filled the shell with a tiny drop of raspberry jam (use a good quality seedless variety and blend until completely smooth) then piped on top the prepared cheesecake filling. You could use this method with any of your favourite jams.

Coconut Cheesecake. Mix prepared cheesecake filling with shredded sweetened coconut and pipe into chocolate shell.

 

What’s your favourite cheesecake chocolate idea? I would love to hear from you and maybe I can even try them out for you and write about it.

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