Valentine's Day was this week, but you guys know that we're really here for the discount candy after the holiday!! This year I went to the store and bought ALL the chocolate! But if you're anything like me, now you're thinking, "What should I do with all this sweet stuff?" I thought that now that we've all got some chocolate lying around and probably a pretty big sweet tooth because of it, now would be a good time to post some of my favorite chocolate recipes.
Chocolate and Ethics
But what about everyone who didn't go out and raid the candy isle? Don't worry, this blog post is equally for you. As much as I love talking about snacks, I can't even begin to share chocolate recipes without discussing the global chocolate industry. The vast majority of chocolate you find in the supermarket is produced by child labor, even child slave labor. While things are getting better (read Mars's human rights commitments here), they are by no means perfect. Maybe this is even why some of you don't have a chocolate stock-pile right now. So, what can be done? Here at Lucia's, we have a few favorite brands of chocolate that are made right.
Here in the shop, we've carried a lot of great brands, but two are our main-stays. They are always tasty, come in a variety of incredible flavors, and are made in a way that we 110% support. These brands are Equal Exchange and Divine Chocolate. Each of these brands fights against inhumane labor practices by partnering directly with farmer cooperatives, some of which are women owned! By doing so, they provide a voice, stability, and security to entire communities in very vulnerable regions.
*Disclaimer that these recipes are not our own, but are certified delicious by our team! They may not specify you use fair trade, but we do.
Chocolate Lava Cake
In this recipe, This Week for Dinner partners with Fair Trade USA to bring you a delicious and ethical fair trade molten lava cake. I'm drooling just thinking about it.
This recipe combines all of our favorite things: Mayan culture, Kentucky (it's from a Louisville coffee shop!), fair trade coffee, chocolate, and spices, and of course delicious flavors. The Mayan Mocha Coffee Recipe is a knockout for sure.
This recipe comes from our longest-term chocolate supplier here in the shop - Equal Exchange! Check out their blog, make some insanely good brownies, and support women farmers around the world.
Here's one for the vegans in the group! Dairy free chocolate truffles are one of my favorite little sweet treats.
Here's another one for vegans, AND for everyone who is gluten free. We love this tart recipe, because it utilizes tigernut flour - which is an ancient but abundant crop from weeds around the world, and it strongly encourages an eco-conscious cooking style. If you read through their blog, you may even find some interesting facts about how ancient cultures have used this crop. If you're thinking, "That's cool, but these special ingredients are probably so expensive!" I was too! However, they are actually very affordable as tigernuts are a widely available crop. So without further ado, our favorite chocolate tart recipe:
Hot Chocolate W/ Fun Fixin's
In this recipe, I'm actually not going to give you a recipe at all! I believe that half the fun of cooking is letting your creativity flow. So, grab the family, a bar of chocolate, some cocoa, milk, and sugar, and get going. Make your hot cocoa thick or thin, spicy, sweet, topped with candy or marshmallows or cinnamon! Find what you can and build a beautiful creation. Tag us in a post of what you make, and we'll share it to our page!
The most classic of the chocolate desserts has got to be a simple chocolate mousse. We recommend trying this one with coconut milk!
Alright, for those of y'all who are a little more advanced in the kitchen, here is one of the tastiest recipes we've tried. A cremeux! Not sure what a cremeux even is? It's basically just a ganache. They are delicious and creamy and everything you need in your belly right now.
Chocolate Pistachio Babka Buns
These sweet babka buns are what dreams are made of. I mean, what more do you need to know?
Obviously, we couldn't end the list without the best dessert of all time -- ice cream! Well, not ice cream, but gelato. It's even better. If you've never made gelato at home, it's a bit tricky, but for everyone in Lexington, Sorella's is our number one recommendation for this delicious treat.
BONUS! Homemade Snicker's Bars
We told you that some of your favorite candies maybe aren't as cool as you once thought. But not all hope is lost! You can make these candies at home, and dare we say it, they might taste even better than the real thing.
So without further ado, follow this link to our favorite fair trade-able Snicker's recipe ever. Click Here for Candy!