From its first uses as far back as 450BC (and perhaps even further!) to now, chocolate has remained a firm favourite across the globe. It's so loved that it's even got it's own holiday to celebrate it. In celebration of World Chocolate Day, we've put together a selection of chocolate based recipes. Whether you're looking for a quick and easy bake, a cocoa-based twist on an all-time classic or something a little quirky, these 8 easy chocolate recipes are sure to provide you with oodles of inspiration.
Sweet & savoury: 8 easy chocolate recipes
Almond and chocolate chip granola bars
Save the money you'd spend on cereal bars and make your own with this chocolate chip cereal bar recipe.
1 ¾ cups quick-cooking oats (or old-fashioned oats, pulsed briefly in a blender to break up)
1 ⅓ cup sliced almonds
⅔ cup mini dark chocolate chips
1 tsp ground cinnamon
¾ tsp salt
1 cup creamy almond or peanut butter
½ cup honey
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
1. Line an 8 to 9-inch square baking tray with parchment paper.
2. In a mixing bowl, combine the oats, almonds, chocolate chips, cinnamon and salt.
3. Whisk the nut butter, honey and vanilla extract until well blended. If needed, gently warm the liquid mixture on the stovetop or in the microwave to make it easier to mix. Make sure it’s cool before you pour it into the dry mixture (otherwise the chocolate chips will melt).
4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Mix the 2 together until evenly combined and no dry oats remain. The drier the mixture, the more firm the bars will be, so stir in extra oats if the mixture seems wet.
5. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking tray. Use your spoon to arrange the mixture evenly in the tray. Pack the mixture down as firmly and evenly as possible.
6. Cover the tray and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or overnight. Use a sharp knife to slice the bars.
Chocolate bread and butter pudding
We're putting our cocoa-inspired spin on a classic with this chocolate pudding recipe.
40g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing the tin
8 slices white bread, cut into medium slices (preferably 1 day old)
50g raisins & cranberries mix
1 ¾ cup whole milk
⅔ cup double cream
100g roughly chopped 70% cocoa solids dark chocolate, plus 20g for drizzling
75g caster sugar
1 orange, zested
1. Preheat the oven to 180C/ 160C fan/ gas 4 . Grease a medium-sized square ovenproof dish with a little butter.
2. Cut the crusts off the bread and lightly butter each slice. Cut each slice in half to form 2 triangles. Arrange half the slices, buttered side up, in the tin in 2 rows, scattering with half the raisins and cranberries. Add the remaining bread and scatter over the remaining dried fruit.
3. Place the milk, double cream, chocolate, sugar and orange zest in a heatproof bowl and melt over a pan of simmering water. Stir the mixture occasionally until the chocolate has melted and the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat.
4. Whisk the eggs in a large jug or bowl, then slowly add the milk mixture, whisking continuously. Pour the mixture over the bread, making sure every bit of bread is covered.
5.Leave to stand for 20 mins. Place the dish in the oven and bake for 30 mins, or until puffed and set on top. Leave to stand for 5 mins while you make the drizzle.
6. Place the chocolate into a small, heatproof bowl and add 1½ tbsp boiling water. Whisk until smooth, then liberally drizzle over the pudding before serving.
Chocolate pear pudding
This fruity, dark chocolate pudding is a great dinner party dish. It's relatively easy to make but sure to impress your pals.
200g butter, plus extra for greasing
300g golden caster sugar
4 large eggs
75g plain flour
50g cocoa powder
410g can pear halves in juice, drained
100g plain dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
25g flaked almonds (optional)
cream or ice cream, to serve
1. Heat oven to 190C/ 170C fan/ gas 5. Lightly grease a roughly 20 x 30cm shallow ovenproof dish. Put the butter in a large saucepan and place over a low heat until just melted. Remove the butter from the heat and stir in the sugar until well combined.
2. Whisk the eggs together in a large bowl. Gradually add the eggs to the butter and sugar, beating well with a wooden spoon in between each addition. Sift the flour and cocoa powder on top of the egg mixture. Beat hard with a wooden spoon until thoroughly combined.
3. Pour into the prepared tin or dish and nestle the pears into the chocolate batter. Put the chocolate on a board and cut into chunky pieces roughly 1.5cm with a large knife. Scatter the chocolate pieces over the batter and sprinkle with almonds, if you like.
4. Bake in the centre of the oven for 30 mins or until the mixture is crusty on the surface and lightly cooked inside. Do not allow to overcook, as the cake will become spongy rather than gooey in the centre. Serve warm with cream or ice cream.
Chocolate fudge crinkle biscuits
Chocolate and fudge. Combine the two to make these biscuits and you've got a magical mouthful.
60g cocoa powder, sieved
200g caster sugar
¼ cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
180g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
70g icing sugar
1. Mix the cocoa, caster sugar and oil together. Add the eggs 1 at a time, whisking until fully combined.
2. Stir the flour, baking powder and a pinch of salt together in a separate bowl. Add to the cocoa mixture and mix until a soft dough forms. If it feels soft, transfer to the fridge and chill for 1 hour.
3. Heat the oven to 190C/ 170C fan/ gas 5.
4. Tip the icing sugar into a shallow dish. Form a heaped teaspoon of the dough into a ball, then roll in the sugar to coat. Repeat with the remaining dough, then put, evenly spaced, on a baking tray lined with baking parchment.
5. Bake in the centre of the oven for 10 mins – they will firm up as they cool. Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool. Keeps for 4 days in a biscuit tin.
Chocolate banana bread
We all love a good chocolate chip cookie recipe, but have you ever tried chocolate chip banana bread? If not, we would strongly recommend that you take the opportunity to make it now - you'll be glad you did.
3 large ripe bananas (easily mashable)
⅓ cup melted butter
¾ cup brown sugar (packed, light or dark)
1 teaspoon salt (1/2 teaspoon if using salted butter)
1 large egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1. Butter or spray with cooking spray the inside of a 5x9-inch loaf pan. Preheat oven to 175C.
2. Using a blender, food processor, or a fork, purée the peeled ripe bananas until smooth. You should have 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups of banana purée.
3. Place the banana purée into a large mixing bowl. Stir the melted butter. Stir in the brown sugar and salt. Whisk to break up any clumps of brown sugar. Stir in the beaten egg and vanilla extract.
4. In a separate bowl, vigorously whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and allspice. Add this to the wet ingredients and stir until just incorporated, then stir in the chocolate chips.
5. Pour the batter into a buttered loaf pan. Place in a 175C oven and bake for 1 hour. Because of the melting chocolate chips, it's hard to check for doneness using a tester that you insert. One way to test is to gently push down the top of the chocolate banana bread with your finger. If it feels relatively firm and bounces back when you release your finger, that's a good sign that it's done.
6. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes in the pan. Gently remove the loaf from the pan and place on a rack to cool completely. Slice with a serrated bread knife to serve.
Vegan chocolate cake
When it comes to easy chocolate recipes, this chocolate cake recipe ticks all the right boxes. As well as being quick to assemble and with few ingredients, it's also vegan-friendly!
150g dairy-free spread, plus extra for the tins
1 ¼ cup dairy-free milk
1 tbsp cider vinegar
300g self-raising flour
200g golden caster sugar
4 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp vanilla extract
For the buttercream
100g dairy-free dark chocolate
200g dairy-free spread
400g icing sugar
5 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp dairy-free milk, such as oat milk
1. Heat oven to 190C/ 170C fan/ gas 5. Grease the base and sides of 2 x 20cm sandwich tins with dairy-free spread, then line the bases with baking parchment.
2. Put the dairy-free milk in a jug and add the vinegar – it will split but don’t worry. Put all of the other cake ingredients into a large bowl, pour over the milk mixture and beat well until smooth. Divide the mixture between the tins and bake for 25-30 mins (or until a skewer comes out cleanly from the middle of the cakes comes out cleanly). Leave to cool in the tins for 10mins then turn out onto wire racks to cool completely.
3. To make the buttercream, put the chocolate into a heatproof bowl and melt in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds. Leave the melted chocolate to cool for 5 minutes.
4.Beat the dairy-free spread and icing sugar together with a wooden spoon. Sift in the cocoa powder with a pinch of salt. Pour in the melted chocolate and dairy-free milk and keep mixing until smooth.
5. Sandwich the two cooled sponges together with half of the buttercream. Pile the rest on top and down the sides.
Healthy chocolate nice cream
Perhaps the simplest one out of our recipes with chocolate, this healthy nice cream is perfect for the summer months. Plus, you can easily store it in your freezer.
2 cups frozen sliced bananas
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp unsweetened almond milk
1. Place all ingredients into a high-speed blender or Vitamix and mix on high until a smooth, thick consistency has been formed. Option to add more milk by the tablespoon as needed.
2. Serve immediately or transfer into a parchment-lined bread loaf. Then, place into the freezer for 1 to 2 hours to firm up. Optional: serve with chocolate chips.
This rich salad dressing is sure to add some luxury to your greens. A quirky chocolate recipe? Maybe. Delicious? Absolutely.
30g milk chocolate, chopped
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon honey
¼ teaspoon salt
A dash of pepper
1. In a microwave, melt the chocolate in 30 second increments and stir until smooth. Whisk in the vinegar, oil, honey, salt and pepper. And there you have it! A tasty salad dressing.