The Best Treats to Serve for Movie Night
Whether you’re lucky enough to be attending a screening at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), which runs from September 6th-16th, or you're watching one of these chocolate-lover’s classics at home, you’ll surely want to complete the experience with some dark chocolate. The Exclusive Chocolate of TIFF, Lindt Excellence Dark Chocolate is a wonderful complement to your film screening experience, whether you savour it on its own or enjoy it in one of these delicious treats.
Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 12 minutes
Servings: 12 large cookies
- 2 cups (475 mL) all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp (5 mL) flaked sea salt, divided
- ½ tsp (3 mL) baking powder
- ¼ tsp (1 mL) baking soda
- ¾ cups (190 mL) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ¾ cups (190 mL) lightly packed dark brown sugar
- ½ cup (125 mL) granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) good-quality honey
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla extract
- 2 bars (200 g) Lindt Excellence 70% Cacao dark chocolate, chopped
- Arrange racks in top and bottom thirds of oven. Preheat to 350°F (175°C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Whisk together flour, ½ tsp sea salt, baking powder and soda; set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter with sugars and honey on medium-high speed until very pale and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl. Beat in egg and vanilla, then flour mixture until a smooth dough forms. Stir in chocolate until combined.
- Using a standard ice cream scoop (about ¼ cup in size), scoop dough onto prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches (5 cm) apart. Sprinkle with remaining ½ tsp sea salt.
- Bake in top and bottom thirds of oven, switching sheets halfway through, until edges have set, 12 to 14 minutes. Let cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes. Transfer to a rack; let cool completely.
Substitution Tip: Lindt Excellence 70% Cacao can be substituted with 2 bars (100 g each) Lindt Excellence Hazelnut or Lindt Excellence Roasted Almond.
Bourbon Brownie Bites
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
- 2 bars (200 g) Lindt Excellence 85% Cacao Dark Chocolate, chopped
- ½ cup (125 mL) unsalted butter
- 1 cup (250 mL) granulated sugar
- ¼ cup (60 mL) bourbon whiskey
- 1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 ¼ cups (310 mL) all-purpose flour
- A pinch of salt
- Preheat oven to 350ºF (175ºC). Grease a 24-cup mini-muffin pan.
- In medium saucepan over medium-low heat, melt dark chocolate with butter, stirring with wooden spoon.
- Take pan off heat. Stir in granulated sugar, then whiskey and vanilla.
- Add the eggs to pan, one at a time, stirring well after each addition.
- Add all-purpose flour and salt. Stir to combine.
- Divide brownie batter between greased muffin cups. Smooth tops with an offset spatula. Bake until a cake tester inserted into centre of a brownie comes out clean (about 15 to 20 minutes).
- Let cool 10 minutes before unmoulding onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Popcorn
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour, 20 minutes
Servings: 12 cups
- 3 tbsp (45 mL) vegetable oil
- ½ cup (125 mL) corn kernels (10 cups popped popcorn)
- ½ cup (125 mL) peanuts
- 2 sticks (225 g) butter
- 2 cups (500 mL) dark brown sugar
- ½ cup (125 mL) light corn syrup
- ½ cup (125 mL) creamy peanut butter
- ½ tsp (2 mL) baking soda
- 1 tsp (4 mL) vanilla extract
- 1 tsp (4 mL) salt
- 1 bar (100 g) Lindt Excellence Sea Salt Dark Chocolate, chopped
- Pre-heat oven to 250°F degrees (120°C) and line a baking tray with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Begin by popping the corn: In a medium pot, place oil and a few kernels of corn over medium-high heat. When they pop, add kernels and swirl pan to evenly coat. Once corn starts popping, turn heat down to medium-low and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Shake pan continuously over heat until popping slows. Remove from heat when popping stops, then pour into a large mixing bowl. Add in peanuts and set aside.
- Wipe out pot you used to pop the corn and place it back on the stove over medium-high heat. Place butter, brown sugar, corn syrup and peanut butter in the pot, stir well and bring to a boil. Turn heat down slightly and continue boiling, stirring often to prevent burning. After 7 minutes, remove pan from heat and add baking soda, vanilla and salt – this caramel mixture will bubble up, so be careful.
- Immediately pour caramel all over popcorn and stir to coat. Transfer to baking sheet and place in the preheated oven. Check and stir the popcorn every 15 minutes for about 45 minutes total, separating the kernels as you go. Remove from oven and let cool.
- Place chocolate in a small heatproof bowl. Melt in the microwave in 15 second increments or in a bain-marie until just melted. Once popcorn is cool and set, pour melted chocolate over and toss to coat. Allow popcorn to cool and harden before serving.
Easy Chocolate Cupcakes
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
- 1 tsp (5 mL) white vinegar
- ½ cup (120 mL) milk
- 1 cup (250 mL) flour
- 1 ¼ cups (310 mL) sugar
- ⅓ cup (80 mL) unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
- ½ tsp (3 mL) baking soda
- ¼ tsp (1 mL) baking powder
- 1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla
- ¼ tsp (1 mL) salt
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup (125 mL) vegetable oil
- 1 bar (100 g) Lindt Excellence 78% Cacao Dark Chocolate, chopped
- 1 bar (100 g) Lindt Excellence 85% Cacao Dark Chocolate, chopped
- 3 sticks (125 g each) of butter, room temperature
- 5-6 cups (1.25 to 1.5 L) of powdered sugar, well-sifted
- ½ cup (125 mL) heavy cream, room temperature
- Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Add 1 tsp (5 mL) of white vinegar to a ½ cup (125 mL) of milk and allow to sit for 1 minute.
- Place the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, vanilla and salt in a bowl and blend until well incorporated. Add the eggs, milk and vinegar mixture, and vegetable oil to the bowl and mix well with a spatula until no dry bits remain.
- Add in the chopped chocolate and stir to combine, but do not overmix.
- Using a lined muffin tin, scoop the batter evenly among the 12 cups. Place the muffin tin on the centre rack of your oven and bake for approximately 15-18 minutes, or until the cakes bounce back when you press them gently. Let cool completely before frosting.
- Start by placing the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl and melt in the microwave in 30 second bursts until just melted. Alternatively, place the bowl over a pan with one inch of simmering water, but do not allow the bowl to touch the water. Stir until fully melted. Set aside.
- Place the butter in the bowl of a kitchen stand mixer and using the paddle attachment, mix on medium speed for 5 minutes or until creamy. Add in ½ cup (125 mL) of sugar at a time, alternating with 1 tablespoon (15 mL) of the heavy cream.
- Once incorporated, add in the chocolate and blend for an additional 3-4 minutes on medium speed. If you find the frosting is too soft to pipe, add in a little bit more sugar. If it is too thick, add in a little more cream. (Keep in mind that the outdoor weather and temperature can affect its consistency.)
- To frost the cupcakes, use a soup spoon to add a dollop of frosting to each cupcake and create a swirl using the back of the spoon. Alternatively, use a piping bag and tip of your choice to pipe the frosting directly onto each cake. Frosted cupcakes will keep for 4 days in a tightly sealed container.