Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Funky Chocolate Recipes & Chocolate Banana Panini

The Internet Chef listed 9 of the Funkiest Chocolate Recipes on the Web. They surely are odd and amazing, and I've actually posted several of them myself.

The first is Barbecued Bananas. There is nothing easier and better, and your dessert will definitely be the hit of any barbecue if you make these. In July I mentioned the Bay Area Bites recipe that also added butterscotch or peanut butter chips to the chocolate chips. A variation.

Another variation on one of these recipes is Lilly's Totally Edible 2-minute Wholemeal Chocolate Cake Miracle. It's a variation on the 5 Minute Chocolate Cake in a Mug that I posted last May. I think the wholemeal self-raising flour will make a slight difference in flavor. I'll try it and let you know.

If you've been reading this blog very long, you know I'm a sucker for anything with bread and chocolate. I've posted a few Chocolate Panini Recipes, including Chocolate Bacon Panini and Chocolate Strawberry Panini, a few chocolate sandwiches for the grill. Pink Bites has an great recipe using homemade potato-buttermilk rolls for Chocolate Banana Panini. What could be better than chocolate and bananas? If you don't have time, I'm sure you can substitute some great potato bread rolls or Italian rolls in this recipe. Brioche would be great, too, with its hint of sweetness. Just don't use an herb or olive bread.

Chocolate-Banana Panini Recipe
makes 2 panini

1 banana
1 tablespoon of unsalted butter
cinnamon
chocolate chips (I would use broken high quality dark chocolate)
2 rolls

Peel the banana and slice it lengthwise then crosswise, making 4 pieces. Melt the butter in a skillet and sprinkle it with cinnamon. Add the bananas and cook until they are just browned but still firm, turning once. Set aside, do not clean the skillet (just yet).

Split rolls open and wipe the skillet's butter with them (now you can wash the skillet.). Divide bananas into rolls and top with chocolate chips, as much as you want. Close sandwiches, butter outside of rolls and place on a hot panini maker. Grill them until chocolate has melted.

You can also make this in a skillet, but I love a panini press for the cool lines it makes and the crunchiness.

Don't forget to check out all the other "Funky" chocolate recipes. I would call them innovative, decadent, a bit weird, easy and delicious.

Photo by permission: Pink Bites

Sour Cream Chocolate Chip Cake

You've got to love the Internet. I've been making this Sour Cream Chocolate Chip Cake for years, but I didn't remember the source. So yesterday on Twitter there was a link to Yom Kippur recipes, and there was an incredibly similar recipe on Epicurious. It may not be the exact recipe I've been using, but close enough. The recipe on Epicurious uses pecans, but I've always used walnuts. Guess it's your choice. This is a no-fail easy Bundt cake that's delicious. And, it freezes well... if there's anything left.

Sour Cream Chocolate Chip Cake
Adapted from Epicurious. Original recipe by Joan Colton

Topping
1 cup finely chopped walnuts
1/4 cup whole walnuts
1 12-ounce package of chocolate chips
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Batter
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup powdered sugar (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 10- to 12-cup Bundt pan; dust with flour.

For topping:
In a medium bowl, combine brown sugar, chocolate chips, chopped pecans, and cinnamon, and set aside.

For batter:
Sift flour, baking powder, and baking soda into a medium bowl and set aside.

Using an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until completely blended. Beat in eggs and then sour cream until the mixture is creamy and smooth. Slowly add the sifted dry ingredients, making certain to scrape the sides of the bowl into the mixture. Stir in the cinnamon and vanilla. Mix until batter is well blended.

Sprinkle whole pecans on the bottom of the prepared pan. Evenly distribute 1/4 cup of topping in the pan. Fold the remaining topping into the batter until mixed well. Pour the batter into the pan, spread evenly, and bake 35-40 minutes. To test that the cake is done, insert a tester (I use a toothpick) into the center. If the cake is done, it will come out clean, without any batter sticking to it.

Cool the cake for at least 20 minutes in the pan. Once the cake has cooled, put a plate or serving piece you will use upside down on top of the cake pan, so that the face of the plate covers the open portion of the cake pan completely. Invert the plate and pan at the same time and place on a flat surface. Using pot holders, slowly raise the pan so that the cake stands upright on the serving plate. Sprinkle with powdered sugar to decorate (optional)

Monday, September 28, 2009

135: Top speed of Formula 3 "chocolate" car

135 mph is the top speed of a British-built Formula 3 race car that runs on fuel derived from chocolate and vegetable oil. The car's steering wheel is made of carrots. Talk about healthy travel!

The British-designed car will make its competitive debut at Brands Hatch on October 17, with its creators confident that it will be able to hold its own against conventional racing cars.

This is truly the world's greenest car. The body of the World First Race Car is built from recycled carbon fiber left over from airplane production. Its steering wheel is made from “carrot fiber”, cellulose nano-fibers extracted from the residue from a carrot soup factory. The car runs off biodiesel made from a mixture of chocolate waste and alcohol distilled from leftover wine, but has a top speed of 135 mph. It is capable of 170mph.

Read more here!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Chocolate Milk Day

Another day, another holiday. Today is Chocolate Milk day. Wonder if chocolate milk will be taxed in the new series of sugar-added taxing. I'm not going to go there right now.

Everyone knows that chocolate milk is a sweetened, cocoa-flavored milk drink that can be purchased pre-mixed or made at home. Lots of ways to make chocolate milk. Lots of different ingredients can be added.

Here's an easy chocolate milk recipe. As always, use the very best chocolate. Basically you make a chocolate syrup first, then add the milk.

Chocolate Milk

11 ounces milk
1 ounce water
1 1/2 teaspoons cocoa
2 tablespoons sugar
Put sugar, cocoa, and water in microwavable 12 oz glass.
Microwave for 30 seconds or until sugar and cocoa dissolve.
Add cold milk and stir.

Want something a little more unusual? Sunset (1994) had a wonderful Ultimate Chocolate Milk Recipe (Nicaraguan Chocolate Milk). This is not a classic, but it might soon be for you. Preparation takes some time, so you won't be drinking this today.

Nicaraguan Chocolate Milk (Orchata de cacao)

1 1/2 cups long-grain white rice
2 cups (about 2/3 lb.) cocoa beans
4 cups water
3 cinnamon sticks (each about 3 in.), broken into 1-inch pieces
8 cups whole, low-fat, or nonfat milk
1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla
1 cup sugar
Ice (optional)

Place rice in a bowl, cover with cool water, and let stand to soften somewhat, to 24 hours; drain.
Place beans in a 9-inch metal baking dish. Bake in 500 degree oven 5 minutes. Shake beans. Continue to bake until beans smoke and some skins have split, 5 to 8 minutes longer.
In a blender, place half the rice, cocoa beans, water, and cinnamon. Whirl until ingredients are very finely pureed. Place a large, fine strainer over a bowl; pour cocoa mixture into strainer and stir to extract liquid. Discard residue. Repeat with remaining rice, cocoa, water, and cinnamon.

Rinse strainer, then line with a double thickness of damp cheesecloth. Pour cocoa liquid through strainer into a bowl, stirring to extract all liquid; discard residue.

To cocoa liquid, add milk, vanilla, and sugar; stir until sugar dissolves. Serve plain or over ice. If making ahead, chill, covered, up to 3 days. Stir to serve Makes about 10 1/2 cups, 10 servings.

Guinness: 250 years: Add Chocolate


I don't know how I missed the 250th anniversary of Guinness (September 24). My husband dropped the subject into conversation with our Irish friends over the weekend. On St. Patrick's Day I had a link to Chocolate Stout Cake and an easy recipe from the NYT for Chocolate Guinness Cake. Given that it's been 250 years, I thought I'd add some more links, news and recipes. And, of course, add chocolate!

Want to make Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes? Read this blog and recipe (Nigella Lawson) at PatentandthePantry .

More interested in ice-cream? The Kitchn has David Lebovitz's Guinness-Milk Chocolate Ice Cream recipe from The Perfect Scoop: Ice Creams, Sorbets, Granitas and Sweet Accompaniments.

In case you didn't know, Guinness has allowed the Irish Chocolate Company to manufacture a dark chocolate bar "Enhanced with the flavour of Guinness® Beer". Someone's been kissing the Blarney Stone because there is no percentage of cacoa listed and the Guinness is only 0.1%. It's available at the Guinness shops at the various Irish airports. Think of it as a souvenir. Chocablog reviews this bar.

Still interested in chocolate candy? A Bountiful Harvest makes Belgian Chocolate Truffles Infused with Real Draught Guinness. Available through Amazon.

So raise a glass to Arthur Guinness and eat or drink chocolate + Guinness! It's always Guinness time!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

National Pancake Day: Chocolate Chip

Today is National Pancake Day, and, of course, you'll want to be making Chocolate Chip Pancakes. I had several links to Chocolate Chip Pancakes during Pancake Week including Healthy Chocolate Chip Pancakes, Double Chocolate Pancakes and Viennese Chocolate Pancakes.

Here's a simple Chocolate Chip Pancake Recipe.

Pancake batter
Chocolate chips

Make a batch of your favorite pancake batter. For every cup of dry pancake mix, use 1/4 cup chocolate chips. Mix the batter. Stir in the chips. Lightly grease and heat the griddle or skillet. Pour a little less than 2 tablespoons of batter for each pancake. When bubbles appear all over the uncooked side of the pancake, it's time to turn it over. Cook the second side until light brown.

or, if you don't have your own pancake recipe:

Chocolate Chip Pancakes


1 1/2 c. sifted flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. sugar
3 eggs, separated
4 tbsp. melted butter
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 2/3 c. buttermilk
1 1/3 c. chocolate chips

Put dry ingredients in bowl. Combine well beaten egg yolks with buttermilk and stir lightly into dry ingredients. Add chips. Stir in melted butter. Beat in stiffly beaten egg whites. Cook on griddle or in skillet. Makes 10-12 pancakes.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Chocolate & Migraines: Good News


For those of you who suffer with migraines or know someone who does, there's good news! Researchers from Missouri State University say an animal study shows that dietary supplements of cocoa might repress inflammatory responses in the brain linked to migraines.

I'm not surprised by this. Chocolate and red wine seem to be too food items that people think trigger migraines. However, whenever I get a migraine, I eat chocolate or drink red wine (if it's afternoon.. I still can't get past that) or drink a coke. It works for me.

This study on the benefits of chocolate and migraines was presented at the International Headache Society's 14th Congress in Philadelphia this month. Basically the result shows that consuming a diet enriched with 10 percent cocoa increased levels of anti-inflammatory compounds in the brain, as well as repressing levels of pro-inflammatory processes.

Considering that 36 million Americans have migraines, this is definitely good news.
Read more here.

So throw off the myth that chocolate causes migraines. It might be more about what's in the chocolate: how much sugar, milk, or additives. A different study showed that chocolate contains tyramine and phenylethylamine, and although that can trigger migraines, they are found in such low concentrations that it's very rare that chocolate alone can bring on a migraine.

Here's a list of Food Triggers according to Health.com. Before you blame the chocolate, check to see if you didn't have some cheese or raisins or bacon at the same meal.

Food triggers
Here's a partial list of major food triggers, according to the National Headache Foundation.
* Ripened cheeses (such as cheddar, Emmentaler, Stilton, Brie, and Camembert)
* Chocolate
* Marinated, pickled, or fermented food
* Foods that contain nitrites or nitrates (bacon, hot dogs) or MSG (soy sauce, meat tenderizers, seasoned salt)
* Sour cream
* Nuts, peanut butter
* Sourdough bread
* Broad beans, lima beans, fava beans, snow peas
* Figs, raisins, papayas, avocados, red plums
* Citrus fruits
* Excessive amounts (more than 2 cups total) of caffeinated beverages such as tea, coffee, or cola
* Alcohol (including red wine and beer)

My migraine cures are listed as what can cause a migraine.

Chocolate is so good for you in so many ways!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Grand Marnier Hot Chocolate

Saw this on the Sur la Table site. I live in the Bay Area, and we have lots of cool foggy nights, so this is a year round drink.

This orange flavored liqueur mixed with hot chocolate is guaranteed to warm your spirit.
Some additions or alternatives: To spice this up, add 1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper to each mug. There are some great packaged hot chocolate mixes available, so choose your favorite or create from scratch. You can also mix some Grand Marnier into the whipped cream for a double treat! Another variation would be to use Kahlua in place of the Grand Marnier!

Serves 2
Ingredients

2-oz Grand Marnier
3 Cups Hot Chocolate (I like Scharffen Berger)
½ Cup whipping cream, lightly whipped
Cinnamon Sticks for garnish

Directions

1. Make the hot chocolate according to package directions (or follow your favorite recipe)
2. Pour one ounce of Grand Marnier into each coffee cup and fill the cup with hot chocolate
3. In a bowl lightly whip the fresh cream and spoon on top of the hot chocolate.
4. Insert a cinnamon stick in each cup and serve

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Guest Blogger Lesa Holstine with Buckeyes

Buckeye Candy

Lesa Holstine whom I follow on Twitter and on her Blog Lesa's Book Critiques (Books and Authors, with an emphasis on Mysteries) just blogged on Mystery Lovers' Kitchen about her Buckeye Candy. I knew what a buckeye was, but not buckeye candy! Most of you know that I have cross-over passions for mystery and chocolate. So I was thrilled when Lesa Holstine who reviews just about everywhere and now for Mystery Readers Journal sent me a link to her guest blog on Mystery Lovers' Kitchen. I knew she needed to be guest blogger here. It's all about the Chocolate! Her buckeye candy sound scrumptious.

DyingforChocolate welcomes Lesa Holstine and her Buckeye Candy.

Janet always has such wonderful chocolate recipes here, that it's an honor to include my Buckeye Candy recipe. I'm not really a cook. I'm a librarian, book reviewer and blogger at Lesa's Book Critiques. But, anyone can make this simple candy recipe. And, if you want a simple recipe that husbands and kids will rave about, one that tastes better than peanut butter cups, this is it.

I'm always surprised when people say they haven't heard of buckeyes. I’m originally from Ohio. I’ve lived in Florida and Arizona, and the only people I knew in both states who made buckeyes were from Ohio. If this isn’t the state candy, it should be. But, first a little history.

The Ohio Buckeye tree is a deciduous tree from the Horsechestnut Family. The Forestry site for the State of Ohio says, “The name “Buckeye” was derived from the Native Americans who noticed that the glossy, chestnut-brown seeds with the lighter circular “eye” looked very similar to the eye of a buck (male) deer.” They also roasted, peeled and mashed the buckeye nut which they called Hetuck into a nutritional meal. The poisonous and bitter taste can be eliminated by heating and leaching. But, remember, this is a poisonous nut! Some believe that the buckeye relieves rheumatism pain. The symbol of General William Henry Harrison's presidential campaign was a string of buckeyes and a log cabin decorated with raccoon skins. His campaign song called Ohio the bonnie Buckeye state, as a result citizens in Ohio became know as "Buckeyes ." On October 2, 1953 the buckeye tree officially became the state tree.

And, here’s the sports connection. Ohio State teams are known as Buckeyes, and, OSU fans always say buckeyes are poisonous to Michigan Wolverines. (And, of course, Michigan fans say Buckeyes are just a bunch of nuts.) We even make necklaces out of buckeyes, and wear them on game day.

Naturally, the candy called buckeyes, that look like the nut, are popular throughout the state. And, those of us who love our Ohio State Buckeyes have taken the candy throughout the nation. Now, I have the chance to pass the recipe on to you.
You can find all kinds of recipes for them online. Here’s the one my mother passed on to her daughters (all Ohio State fans).

2 sticks oleo (Some recipes say butter. I find the oleo keeps the peanut butter together better)
1 ½ cup peanut butter
3 cups powdered sugar
Mix together and roll into balls and dip in chocolate with a toothpick, leaving a little of the peanut butter showing. Mom melts the chocolate in a double boiler.

Chocolate mixture –
1/3 bar paraffin
1 2/2 c. chocolate chips
½ stick oleo

This gives a nice shiny color to the buckeyes, just like the nut. However, I do these the lazy way because I just can’t keep those peanut butter balls on a toothpick. I refrigerate the dough so it sets, and then roll the dough in about 1 inch balls, and dip them in Baker’s Dipping Chocolate, instead of using the chocolate mixture. They might not be quite as shiny, but the buckeyes are eaten just as quickly!

Makes about 4 dozen!

You can serve buckeyes on Saturdays at parties during football season. They also make a wonderful Christmas candy. Or, serve them at Halloween parties. If you want to make them look like eyeballs for Halloween parties, add black food coloring or chocolate chips for eyeballs. Even little black cats like Josh are interested in buckeyes.

I hope you try buckeyes. Your family will thank you for them.

And, I thank Lesa for her very 'enlightening' guest blog!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

White Chocolate Day: White chocolate Brownies with Macadamias

September 22 is White Chocolate Day. White chocolate is really good.. it depends on the quality of the white chocolate, as in any chocolate. I found this recipe on CDKitchen for Insane White Chocolate Brownies with Macadamias. I haven't made this yet, but I have had other recipes for white chocolate. This combination looks divine. What a great way to celebrate the day!

I prefer Askinosie White Chocolate. You'll really taste the difference. Their White Chocolate Bar is 34% Cocoa Butter made from Davao Philippine beans. Main ingredient is their white chocolate is the non-deodorized cocoa butter which is then pressed in their factory. They combine this with goat's milk powder and organic cane juice and then craft it for days in their 85-year old German melanguer. They are one of the only single origin white chocolates in the world!

Insane White Chocolate Brownies with Macadamias

Ingredients:
1 cup unsalted butter
10 ounces white chocolate, broken into 1-in. pieces
1 cup sugar
4 teaspoons vanilla
4 eggs
2 cups flour
1 cup macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped (get the freshest*)

Directions:

After preheating oven to 325 degrees, line bottom and sides of a 13"x 9"x 2" pan with aluminum foil, and lightly grease.

Coarsely chop the butter into Tablespoon-size chunks and place along with white chocolate pieces in double boiler. Cook slowly over low heat, stirring often, until mixture is smooth and without any chocolate lumps.

Once you've removed from the heat, stir in the sugar and vanilla; blend.

Beat eggs with a fork and add to chocolate mix and blend completely. Add flour and nuts, stir until just combined. Do not overmix.

Place batter in the greased pan and bake 30-35 minutes or until toothpick stuck in the center comes out clean.

This recipe from CDKitchen for Insane White Chocolate Brownies With Macadamias serves/makes 32

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Cheesecake Brownies

I just love Twitter. I often have brownie recipes on DyingforChocolate, and I tweet each new recipe. The other day Jackie Houchin did a Direct Tweet telling me that her granddaughter's best friend makes Killer Cheesecake Brownies. Here's the recipe from Kaitlyn P. (16) in Santa Clarita, CA

CHEESECAKE BROWNIES

Vegetable oil cooking spray
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
10 ounces (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
2 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
8 ounces cream cheese, softened (I would use Philadelphia cream cheese)
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar

1. Preheat oven to 325. Coat a 9-by-13 inch baking dish with cooking spray. Line dish with parchment, leaving a 2-inch overhang on both long sides, then spray parchment.
2. Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. Cream butter and granulated sugar with a mixer until smooth. Add 2 eggs and 2 teaspoons vanilla, and beat until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl. Reduce speed to low; add flour mixture. Increase speed to medium; beat until incorporated.
3. Reserve 1 cup of dough; cover, and refrigerate. press remaining dough into bottom of prepared dish. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Bake until base is set and edges are puffed, about 25 minutes. Let cool in dish on a wire rack
4. Mix cream cheese, confectioner's sugar, and remaining egg and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla in a medium bowl. Spread over cooled base; crumble reserve dough on top. Bake until filling is set, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool in dish on wire rack, then lift out using overhang. Cut into 24 squares. Squares will keep, covered and refrigerated, for up to 3 days.

I doubt this will last 3 days at my house! Thanks, Kaitlyn!!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Rosh Hashana Chocolate Chip Mandelbrot

Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, begins this evening at sundown. I was thinking about doing an apple and honey and chocolate recipe, but none came to mind. I was thrilled to find this recipe for one of my favorite foods: Mandelbrot.

Mandelbrot is very similar to biscotti in its twice baked. Chocolate Chip Mandelbrot is very special, and actually my favorite. O.K, technically it's not mandelbrot since the word itself mean almond bread, but adding the chocolate chips makes these heavenly. Sheryl Julian has a wonderful and easy recipe at the BostonGlobe. Read the entire article here.

Sheryl offers up some unusual tips and comments. Mandelbrot is usually baked in logs, then sliced crosswise, and the cookies are baked again on their sides to dry out. In this recipe, you spread all the batter on a baking sheet, and then cut the rectangle into bars after the first bake. Also before baking, Nussbaum sprinkles the top of the dough with a cinnamon-sugar mixture, which adds a great smell. She also adds more cinnamon after baking.

Do read the article in which Sheryl Julian attributes the recipe to Debra Nussbaum who attributes this recipe to Sandy Brenner. Each time someone bakes something is tweaked. Always experimenting, Sheryl Julian, herself, tried this recipe three times with different results.

Make Chocolate Chip Mandelbrot for a Sweet New Year!

Butter (for the pan) or margarine if you keep kashrut and want to serve after a meat meal
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 eggs, beaten to mix
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 package (12 ounces) chocolate chips
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon mixed with 3 tablespoons sugar (for sprinkling)

1. Set the oven at 350 degrees. Have on hand a rimmed baking sheet (11-by-17 inches) or jelly roll pan (10 1/2-by-15 1/2 inches). Butter the pan. If using the larger sheet, you’ll need a 15-inch sheet of foil. Fold up the foil to make a thick 1-inch wide band; butter the band on one side.

2. In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. With a whisk, stir well to combine them.

3. In another larger bowl, combine the eggs, oil, sugar, and vanilla. Use a wooden spoon to stir them well. Add the flour mixture and stir until smooth.

4. Stir in the chips.

5. With a rubber spatula, spoon the batter into 6 mounds onto the baking sheet. With an offset metal spatula, spread the batter to cover the entire jelly roll pan or all but 2 inches of the larger sheet. The rectangle of dough will cover the smaller sheet (the dough is 10 1/2-by-15 1/2 inches) or almost all of the larger sheet (the dough is 11-by-15 inches). For the larger sheet, press the buttered side of the foil against the empty edge of dough to keep it in place.

6. Sprinkle the dough with the cinnamon-sugar mixture.

7. Bake the dough for 20 to 25 minutes or until it is browned. Remove the sheet from the oven (leave the oven on).

8. Set the sheet on a rack to cool for 10 minutes.

9. Remove the foil band, if necessary, and trim that edge to make a straight side.

10. To make 64 short cookies: Make 7 horizontal cuts and 3 vertical cuts in the dough (you’ll have 32 bars). Use a wide metal spatula to transfer the bars to a cutting board. With a serrated knife, cut each rectangle vertically in half (to make 64 pieces); each bar is 1/2-inch wide.

11. To make 48 medium cookies: Make 7 horizontal cuts and 2 vertical cuts in the dough (you’ll have 24 long bars). Use a wide metal spatula to transfer the bars to a cutting board. With a serrated knife, cut each rectangle vertically in half (to make 48 pieces); each bar is 1/2-inch wide.

12. To make 32 long cookies: Make 7 horizontal cuts and 1 vertical cut in the dough (you’ll have 16 long bars). Use a wide metal spatula to transfer the bars to a cutting board. With a serrated knife, cut each rectangle vertically in half (to make 32 pieces); each bar is 1/2-inch wide.

13. Return all the bars, cut sides up, to the baking sheet. It’s OK to pack them tightly on the sheet. Bake the bars for 15 to 20 minutes or until lightly toasted.

14. Leave to cool completely. Store in an airtight tin. Adapted from Debra Nussbaum

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Ghirardelli Chocolate Waffles with Top Chef Casey

The Ghirardelli Chocolate Festival was a lot of fun with great chocolate treats, but the highlight for me was watching Top Chef Casey Thompson prepare Chocolate Waffles.

I always love chef demos and this was filled with all the elements of San Francisco: crowds, wind and noise. Top Chef Casey did a great job interacting with the audience while working with what looked like a temperamental waffle maker. She shared lots of good tips like giving the waffle maker a quick spritz of non-stick organic canola oil. The first batch did stick a little but that was o.k. Smooth sailing really. All this took place while overlooking San Francisco Bay. Pretty cool.

I found a wonderful spot to stand... oh yes, all the seats were taken early, but I was up right up front on the side. Great for photos, easy to hear and see. The recipe for chocolate waffles was from The Ghirardelli Chocolate Cookbook. Surprisingly I didn't have this one in my collection. That was remedied when Casey started asking questions about Chocolate and Ghirardelli. First question: When was Ghirardelli chocolate started? Frank Price who leads our TeamBuilding Unlimited Chocolate Tours and Tastings came closest to the correct answer, and he won a copy of the cookbook! (the right answer was 1852) Cool. Of course, he gave it to me, hoping I would make something for him from the cookbook! A guy can dream...

Here's the recipe. Top Chef Casey also made the Chocolate Sauce. Delicious!

Chocolate Waffles (makes 6 servings)

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup Ghirardelli Unsweetened Cocoa
1 tbsp baking powder
2 tbsp granulated white sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups whole milk
4 large eggs, separated
4 tbsp canola oil
1 1/2 cup Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
Preheat a waffle iron according to the manufacturer's directions.

Sift the flour, cocoa, and baking powder into a bowl. Add the sugar and salt and whisk to thoroughly mix. In another bowl, whisk together the milk, egg yolks, and oil. Add to the flour and whisk gently until just combined.

In a clean, dry bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric beater at medium speed until they form soft peaks. Fold into the batter and mix in the chocolate chips.

Ladle one-third of the batter onto the center of the waffle iron. Close the top and cook until the waffle is crispy on both sides. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for cooling time. Serve immediately.

Drizzle with chocolate sauce.

Chocolate Sauce (make this first)*

4 oz Ghirardelli 70% Cacao Extra Bittersweet Chocolate baking bar, broken or chopped into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup heavy cream

Combine the chocolate and cream in a double boiler or in a heatproof bowl over barely simmering water, stirring occasionally until very smooth. Keep warm, or reheat before using.

What a great way to start the day!

Read an interview with Top Chef Casey Thompson on Serious Eats.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Chocolate & Brie Panini

If you've been reading my blog, you know I love the combination of Bread & Chocolate, but I recently stumbled on Giada de Laurentiis's recipe for a Chocolate & Brie Panini.

Yum Sugar, one of my favorite food sites, modified this recipe, and I totally agree. Less chocolate is better as in the recipe below, so the chocolate doesn't overpower the cheese. As in all of the recipes, I recommend using the very best of all products. It really makes a difference--from the olive oil to the bread to the brie and chocolate.

A few other possibilities: try using ciabatta instead of sourdough. Don't have a panini press? You can make this as you would a grilled cheese sandwich. In a dorm? Try your iron as the press (you will need to clean it afterwards).

12 slices sourdough bread (try ciabatta if you want a change)*
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
12 ounces Brie cheese, thinly sliced
10 ounces dark chocolate squares, chopped
1/3 cup fresh basil leaves

Preheat the panini grill.
Brush both sides of the bread with olive oil. Grill the bread slices until they begin to turn golden, about 1 to 2 minutes.
Remove from the panini grill and place 2 ounces of cheese on 1 slice of bread (the bottom half), top the cheese with 1/4 cup chocolate chips, and a few leaves of basil. Top with another slice of bread. Continue with the remaining sandwiches.
Return the sandwiches to the panini grill until the chocolate begins to melt, about another 2 minutes.
Cut the sandwiches into 2-inch wide rectangles or small triangles and transfer to a serving platter.

photo: Food Network

Monday, September 14, 2009

Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Continuing the Chocolate and Peanut theme of International Chocolate Day and National Peanut Day (September 13), I found a great recipe from Michael Recchiuti on the Recchiuti San Francisco website. For more info on the cookbook, go to the end of this post.

I really like Recchiuti chocolate, and my company TeamBuilding Unlimited includes their shop in San Francisco on our Chocolate Tours and in our Chocolate and Bar to Bar to Bar Scavenger Quests.

Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Yields: 24

Ingredients:
1 cup organic unsalted peanut butter
3/4 cup granulated cane sugar
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup dark chocolate, roughly chopped
1/2 cup roasted unsalted peanuts, chopped
fine grain fleur de sel to finish cookies

While you’re making them, the dough might seem a little different than what you’re used to. It’ll be more wet seem to fall apart a little bit. Don’t worry. Once they’re baked, everything falls into place and you’ll really appreciate the flavor and consistency organic peanut butter gives these cookies.

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line the bottoms of two 12-by-18-inch sheet pans with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, stir the peanut butter, sugar, egg, baking soda and kosher salt until combined.
Stir in the chocolate and peanuts.
Using a small, greased ice cream scoop, measure out the dough in teaspoon sized balls.
Place the dough on the prepared pans, spacing them 2 inches apart.
Bake on the middle shelves of the oven, rotating the pans 180 degrees halfway through the baking time, until lightly golden and spread to a puffy mound, about 12 to 14 minutes.
Sprinkle lightly with fleur de sel.
Let cool completely on the pans on wire racks.
Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to week.

Hints from Michael Recchiuti:
1.Look for an organic peanut butter where peanuts are the only ingredient listed. These nut butters contain no added sugar and have a great mouthfeel. The peanuts used are generally of higher quality and have been roasted darker for a rich flavor.

2.Make sure to use a fleur de sel rather than a grey sea salt. Fleur de sel is an unprocessed salt, hand raked and harvested from the premium, top layers of salt beds in France. “Fleur de sel” translates to “flower of salt,” which refers to the scent of violets the salt develops as it bleaches and dries in the sun. The flavor, like the aroma, is more floral and less briny than other sea salts.

Want more recipes for the Chocolate Obsessed? Chocolate Obsession Book: Confections and Treats to Create and Savor by Michael Recchiuti written with Fran Gage (Bread and Chocolate, Sweet Quartet). Order here. Price $30 and signed by Michael Recchiuti. (list price: $35). Go to the source!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

International Chocolate Day + National Peanut Day: Chocolate peanut Butter Martini


Since today is International Chocolate Day (September 13), it's not surprising that I'll be at the Ghirardelli Chocolate Festival celebrating. But September 13 is also National Peanut Day. My friend Louise at Months of Edible Celebrations suggested a combination of the two. I think I found it in the perfect Martini: A Reese's Pieces Martini!

The Chocolate Peanut Butter Gallery is a great site devoted to chocolate & peanut butter. The tagline is a site dedicated to the world's two best ingredients. If you like these two ingredients, you'll love this site! I found this recipe for Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Martini on their site. It's originally from The Polished Palate! FYI: Castries is a Peanut Rum Creme made of Madagascan vanilla, roasted peanuts, spices, cream and St. Lucian rum. Here's a review of Castries on Scottes' Rum Pages.

Peanut Butter Cup Martini

Ingredients
2 oz Castries
1 oz Godiva Chocolate Liquor
1 oz Super Premium Vodka

Directions
1. Shake vigorously over ice and strain into a chilled martini glass
2. Optional: Line the Martini glass with chocolate syrup for additional effect

Here's an entirely different recipe for another alcoholic beverage: Creamy Chocolate Peanut Butter Martini from Karl McCall, Master Mixologist & Beverage Manager, at The Hotel Hershey. Did I mention that September 13 is also Milton Hershey's birthday? (1857-1945) So raise a glass!

Ingredients:
2 ounces Three Olives Chocolate Vodka
3 ounces Castries Peanut Rum Creme
1 ounce Dekuyper Butter Shots Schnapps

Directions:
Mix all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a mini Reese's Peanut Butter Cup.

Want something non-alcoholic? Reese's Pieces are always good. And, The Peanut Butter & Co makes a Peanut Butter blended with rich chocolate that you can use for the kids' sandwiches (or you, yourself, can just eat it from the jar).

Two great food celebrations in one!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

National Chocolate Milkshake Day: September 12

National Chocolate Milkshake Day: September 12.

Easiest way to celebrate is to mix a little Milk with Chocolate Ice-cream and Chocolate syrup and mix it well in your blender.

Or you can do Milk with Vanilla ice-cream and Chocolate syrup and blend.

Measurements are up to you, but I have a few quasi-measurements below for special chocolate milkshakes.

If you're absolutely Dying for Chocolate, use 1 cup chocolate ice-cream, 1/4 cup chocolate syrup and 1/2 cup chocolate milk!

A Chocolate Malted is a variation on your traditional chocolate milkshake. Add a tbsp of malted milk powder to milk, syrup and chocolate ice-cream and blend.

Like bananas? Chocolate Banana Milk Shake:
1 cup milk. 1 scoop banana ice-cream. 1 scoop chocolate ice-cream, 1/2 ripened banana and some chocolate syrup, and blend.

Jumping ahead to September 13: International Chocolate Day and National Peanut Day, celebrate all three holidays with a Chocolate Peanut Butter Milkshake.

Blend 1 cup creamy peanut butter, 1/2 cup chocolate syrup, 1/4 cup milk, 12 cubes ice. Blend until smooth. (Ice cubes instead of ice-cream).

Have a great day!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

New Bacon Caramel Toffee/Bacon Chocolate Martini

As you know Bacon and Chocolate go so well together, and I've had several posts with recipes and chocolate products that include bacon. Just the other day I posted for International Bacon Day. Well yesterday I got an email from Vosges about their new Bacon Caramel Toffee. Vosges is famous for their Mo's Bacon Bar, well now it partners with crunchy caramel toffee. The Applewood smoked bacon and Alder wood smoked salt are embedded in their original crispy/buttery toffee. They then add a layer of 41% cacao milk chocolate on the top and bottom.

They call it addicting. Haven't tried it yet but I know it will be.

By the way, Vosges makes a Dark Chocolate Mo's Bacon Bar that is even better than the milk chocolate one... in my opinion.

Want to drink your chocolate and bacon? The Capitol Club in Seattle serves a mean Chocolate Bacon Martini! They use Godiva chocolate and bacon infused vodka and add a candied bacon garnish for a sweet finish. They also start with maple cured bacon and then candy it. My three favorites in one drink!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Flourless "Vegetarian" Brownies


I saw this recipe for Flourless Brownies on the WholeFoods website, and I must say these are pretty tasty. What's really nice is that these can be Gluten Free (depends on your chocolate) and Wheat Free (no flour). You can also substitute other products for eggs and sugar. O.K. there really is no such thing as a healthy brownie, but that's not why you're making them. What I really like about this recipe is that these are 'vegetarian' brownies because you add black beans!

Of course, I've made wine brownies (fruit brownies?) and bacon brownies, but that's another story....

Ingredients

1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added black beans, drained and rinsed
3 large eggs
1/3 cup melted butter, more for the baking dish
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon gluten-free vanilla extract
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons cane sugar
1/2 cup dark chocolate broken into small pieces
1/3 cup finely chopped walnuts
Method

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Butter an 8-inch baking pan. Place the black beans, eggs, melted butter, cocoa powder, salt, vanilla, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor and blend until smooth. Remove the blade and carefully stir in the chocolate chips and walnuts. Transfer mixture to the prepared pan. Bake the brownies for 30 to 35 minutes, or until just set in the center. Cool before cutting into squares.

Los Angeles Chocolate Salon

I really enjoy the Chocolate Salons that Chocolate Television, TasteTV sponsors. As a judge at the International Chocolate Salon in San Francisco, I encourage you to go. One word to the wise. Go early. It does get crowded, but rest assured, there is no dearth of chocolate. Plenty to go around!

Los Angeles Luxury Chocolate Salon
October 11, 2009, 11am - 5pm
Pasadena Center, Pasadena, CA

Discover, Savor & Taste Some of the Finest Chocolatiers & Wineries in Southern California
16,000 Square Feet, over Twice the Tasting Space as 2008!

Chocolate lovers, en garde! The 3rd Annual Los Angeles Luxury CHOCOLATE SALON on Sunday, October 11th, 2009 at the Pasadena Center. Chocolate aficionados, fanatics, lovers and addicts can taste & experience the finest in artisan, gourmet & premium chocolate in one of the world's great culinary metropolitan areas.

The Third Annual Los Angeles Luxury CHOCOLATE SALON participants include over 30 chocolatiers, confectioners, wineries and other culinary artisans, such as: Choclatique, Happy Chocolates, Rushburn Toffee Co, The Tea Room chocolate, Quady Winery, Chocolatl, Jade Chocolates, San Francisco Toffee Company, CJ's Bitz and CJ's Stix, Marti Chocolatt, Alter Eco Fair Trade Chocolate, Artisan Cocoa / Amella Caramels, AF-squared Chocolatiers, Brown Sugar Pastries, Clarine's Florentines, Helen Grace Chocolates, Mignon Chocolate, TCHO, Amano Artisan Chocolate, Landrin, Sterling Confections, Chocoveda, Republica Del Cacao, Dove Chocolate Discoveries, Valerie Confections, Plush Puff Gourmet Marshmallows, The Chocolate Traveler, Ococoa chocolates, Tifa Chocolate, Sweet Beauty Organic Chocolate Spa, Xocai Chocolate, Zhena's Gypsy Tea, Le Creuset, Swissmar, Putumayo World Music, Chocolate Television, TasteTV, Yelp, California School of Culinary Arts - Le Cordon Bleu Programs, Edible Los Angeles Magazine, and many more. All this in 16,000 square feet, over twice the delicious tasting space as 2008

Salon highlights features over 30 chocolatiers and confectioners, with chocolate tasting, demonstrations, chef & author talks, wine tasting and ongoing interviews by TasteTV's Chocolate Television program. (Salon Entry includes all chocolate & wine tastings, demos, etc.).

New this year: The Chocolate Chef Competition, pitting the design skills of pastry chefs against the demands of high fashion Plus, the V.I.C. Lounge (V.I.C. - Very Important Chocolate lover).

Purchase tickets here.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Chocolate Chocolate Pizza

I blogged about Chocolate Pizza the other day, but I was talking real pizza.. well sort of.. at least there was pizza dough. But if you don't want bread with your pizza, The Chocolate Pizza Company makes a mean all chocolate pizza (with toffee mixed in) that comes in a pizza box. You can order online.

Amore makes some great chocolate pizzas: 6" or 8" Peanut Butter Dreams Chocolate Pizza is composed of two chocolate layers with a layer of peanut butter in between and garnished with peanut butter morsels and white chocolate. Other flavors include Break-a-leg Chocolate Pizza, Smore Amore chocolate Pizza, Toffeelicious Chocolate pizza. Available from iBuyGourmet.com

Are you located in the UK? Try The Gourmet Chocolate Pizza Company. They have lots of gourmet toppings, such as Gone Nuts, Jellybeans, Heavenly Honeycomb (Belgian milk chocolate, white chocolate and milk chocolate covered honeycomb balls, vanilla fudge, milk chocolate curls to finish.) They also have Celebration pizzas, but their footballs are shaped like soccer balls. Yes, I know it's a different sport. National delivery to most UK mainland destinations. International Delivery, please contact them.

Monday, September 7, 2009

National Salami Day: September 7


Today is National Salami Day, and if you've been reading this Blog, you know there's such a thing as a Chocolate Salami (May 7, 2009). It's completely vegetarian, although not vegan. However, my friend Louise at Months of Edible Celebrations, not only told me about today's holiday, but led me to a website with a totally different recipe for a chocolate salami from Italian Kitchen Secrets. Why not make both? Try them on family and friends and let me know what you think.

Chocolate Salami Dessert (Salame al cioccolato)
Ingredients:

3 ounces cocoa powder
1/2 ounce hazelnuts
3 1/2 ounces sugar
2 1/2 ounces butter, softened
5 ounces digestive biscuits (plain ones)
1 egg + 1 yolk
powdered sugar

Bake hazelnuts in the oven until they're toasted, break them into little pieces.
Put biscuits in a plastic bag and crush them with a rolling pin: they must be well broken but not completely pulverized.
Whip the egg and yolk, mix them with sugar until blended.
Add cocoa powder and butter and mix again very well.
Add hazelnuts and biscuits, mix until everything is well blended.
Pour the mixture onto a big baking sheet or board with parchment paper, give it the shape of a big salami and put in the fridge for at least 3-4 hours.
Before serving take off the paper and powder the dessert with powdered sugar, then slice it and serve.

Don't forget to check out the other recipe for Chocolate Salami. It contains Port wine, almonds, cranberries and pistachios. I think the pistachios give it a 'genuine' look.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

International Bacon Day: Add chocolate

September 5 is International Bacon Day. In the past year or so, bacon has been popping up in so many recipes and restaurants. It's added to absolutely everything. There's bacon ice-cream, bacon cupcakes, bacon cookies, and what goes best with it? You guessed it: Chocolate. Together they've got that sweet/salty thing going on.

So I thought I'd do a round-up of some of the bacon recipes I've blogged about here on DyingforChocolate and link to a few more.

Overall introduction to chocolate and bacon including chocolate covered strips of bacon and more.
Bacon Brownies
Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies
Bacon Chocolate Caramel Cheesecake
Dark Chocolate and Bacon Cupcakes
Simplified Bacon Chocolate Crunch Bar

No time to bake? Check out your local chocolatier today for Bacon + Chocolate:
Socola has a beer and bacon truffle set.
Vosges has its great Mo's Bacon Bar
And there are many others.

I've also had several chocolate panini recipes over the last few months. Vosges has a lot of wonderful recipes, but this one is perfect for today's holiday, especially because it uses their Mo's Bacon Bar (I would use the dark).

Mo’s Milk or Dark Bacon Bar Panini from Katrina Markoff's Peace and Love Blog (Vosges)
Yields One Sandwich

Equipment needed: Panini press or waffle iron

2 Italian country bread slices about 4-5 inches wide and 1/2 inch thick
2 tbsp Sea salted butter, French brand, Isigny Ste Mere or make your own by mixing 1/2 tsp Maldon salt and 2 tbsp of a fabulous butter
Pinch Maldon salt
2 squares Vosges‘ Mo’s Milk or Dark Bacon Bar
2 strips of crispy bacon (this is optional, but I think you should put it in)

Spread butter on all sides of the bread. Place bacon bar squares on one piece of bread, followed by strips of bacon if you are using them and a sprinkle of salt. Place other piece of buttered bread on top and press with Panini press until golden brown.

Tips:
Make sure your bread doesn’t have many gaping holes or your fillings may seep through and burn.

If you don’t have a Panini press substitute with a waffle iron.

Make sure the bread you use isn’t overly crusty or it may cut your mouth a bit when pressed. At the same time don’t choose a overly soft bread not a good quality sign either and it won’t have the rigidity. Try a crusty ciabatta or italian peasant bread.

Have a great International Bacon Day!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Chocolate Pizza

I love pizza. Who doesn't? I'm lucky to live in a city with all kinds of pizza places: deepdish, Chicago Style, Thin Crust, New York, California, you name it--and toppings of every variety. I know it's simple to make pizza, but I usually prefer to order out! However, when it comes to Chocolate Pizza, that's something else! The following recipe is fast and easy, and friends will be impressed. Another possibility is just have it for breakfast, after all, chocolate is good for you!

Giada De Laurentiis's recipe for Chocolate Pizza is the best! It's posted on the Food Network website and Epicurious. The first recipe calls for a 9" pizza and the other 11" but that's the difference between thin crust and thick, I guess! It's simple to prepare, and you always have the choice of making your own pizza dough or purchasing it. I've blogged about bread and chocolate before, but add this one to that list.

Ingredients:

1 pound homemade pizza dough or purchased pizza dough
2 teaspoons butter, melted
1/4 cup chocolate-hazelnut spread (recommended: Nutella)
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips (or broken up chocolate)
2 tablespoons milk chocolate chips (broken up chocolate)
2 tablespoons white chocolate chips (broken up chocolate)
2 tablespoons chopped hazelnuts, toasted

Position the oven rack on the bottom of the oven and preheat to 450 degrees F.
Line a heavy large baking sheet with parchment paper.
Roll out the dough to a 9-inch-diameter round.
Transfer the dough to the prepared baking sheet.
Using your fingers, make indentations all over the dough.
Brush the dough with melted butter, then bake until the crust is crisp and pale golden brown, about 20 minutes.
Immediately spread the chocolate-hazelnut spread over the pizza then sprinkle all the chocolate chips over.
Bake just until the chocolate begins to melt, about 1 minute.
Sprinkle chopped hazelnuts over the pizza.
Cut into wedges and serve.

And, if you want to make your own dough, go here for Giada's pizza dough recipe.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Pain au Chocolate Cinnamon Rolls

What could be better than Cinnamon Rolls in the morning? Pain au Chocolate Cinnamon Rolls with Crème Fraîche Icing and Walnuts!

I spend a lot of time at Serious Eats, and lucky for me and now you, they featured the following recipe for Pain au Chocolate Cinnamon Rolls from French Revolution. So not only did I find a great recipe, but I have a new Blog to follow. You'll want to do that, too. Kerry at The French Revolution kindly permitted me to re-blog her recipe. I can't thank her enough. This is so great!

This is a great and easy recipe, especially because you can use store-bought pastry.

Pain au Chocolat Cinnamon Rolls with Crème Fraîche Icing and Walnuts

Makes one dozen
Ingredients
1/4 cup white sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 sheets bought frozen puff pastry, thawed but cold
2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter, cooled
6 tablespoons chopped toasted walnuts
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (I use broken up dark organic fair trade chocolate)
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons crème fraîche
2 tablespoon half and half

Kerry's Note on Some Ingredients:

Think ahead when using bought puff pastry. The best way to do so is by tossing the pastry from the freezer to the fridge before you go to sleep. It will be perfect in the morning.

To toast nuts, scatter the nuts on a baking sheet and place them in an oven between 300 and 350°F for 10 minutes. You can also toast them in a dry pan. When you can smell them and they begin to get golden cheeks, they’re ready.

If you're using chocolate chips, make sure they are a great quality dark chocolate chips. You’ll notice the difference. They are the star of the show. (I use broken up chocolate pieces, but then there's always extra chocolate around-Janet)

You can make your own crème fraîche cheaply at home, simply stir together equal parts heavy cream and sour cream, and let stand in the fridge overnight.

Procedure

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.

2. In a small bowl, combine the 2 sugars and the cinnamon.

3. Roll out both sheets of puff pastry slightly, into two identical squares. Brush the pastry all over with the cooled melted butter.

4. Scatter half the cinnamon sugar all over one puff pastry square, and the other half all over the other. Do the same with the walnuts, and the chocolate chips or pieces.

5. Roll the sweetened puff pastry squares up into logs, as if you were making a jelly roll. Using a serrated knife, trim just the edges off the sides of the logs. Then cut each log into 6 identical Pain au Chocolat Cinnamon Rolls.

6. Spray a 12-cup muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray. Into each muffin cup, place one cinnamon roll, swirl-side up. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Check them at 25 minutes, and they should be golden and puffed. If not, allow them to go for a few more minutes, but you want to pull them before golden turns to brown.

7. Meanwhile, prepare the glaze. In a bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, crème fraîche, and half and half until the glaze has a smooth, even consistency. Set aside.

8. When the cinnamon rolls are done in the oven, transfer them to a plate and allow them to cool slightly. When they are still warm, but no longer hot, drizzle the crème fraîche icing all over the tops of the Pain au Chocolat Cinnamon Rolls. Allow the glaze to set for about 5 minutes, and serve still warm.

Is this not divine? I'm just dying for them now!

About the author: Kerry Saretsky is the creator of French Revolution Food, where she reinvents her family's classic French recipes in a fresh, chic, modern way. She also writes the The Secret Ingredient series for Serious Eats.
This recipe above appeared on Serious Eats and on the original site French Revolution (French Food for the Au Courant Kitchen) here. Reprinted with permission.

Photo copyright French Revolution

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

"Hubby Hubby" celebrates Gay & Lesbian Marriage


Ben & Jerry’s Renames Legendary Flavor to Celebrate Freedom to Marry:
“Chubby Hubby” will be “Hubby Hubby,” for the Month of September to Celebrate Gay and Lesbian Couples Getting Married in Vermont!

BURLINGTON, Vt. Ben & Jerry’s, known for its euphoric ice cream flavors and dedication to social justice, celebrates the beginning of the freedom to marry for gay and lesbian couples in Vermont with the symbolic renaming of its well-known ice cream flavor “Chubby Hubby” to “Hubby Hubby.” In partnership with Freedom to Marry, Ben & Jerry’s aims to raise awareness of the importance of marriage equality and, to show its support, will serve “Hubby Hubby” sundaes in Vermont Scoop Shops throughout the month of September.

Ben & Jerry’s has a long history of commitment to social justice, including gay rights. Its partnership with Freedom to Marry, a national leader in the movement for marriage equality, aims to raise awareness of the importance of marriage equality and to encourage other states to follow the blazing trails of Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, and Maine. Freedom to Marry promotes the national conversation about why marriage equality matters and brings together partner organizations into a larger whole – a shared civil rights campaign.

To kick off the celebration, Ben & Jerry’s and Freedom to Marry will be publicly supporting the first marriages of gay and lesbian couples in Vermont and raising awareness for marriage equality and how to take action by driving consumers to freedomtomarry.org. By logging onto the site, people can show their support, sign a Marriage Resolution Petition, have conversations about why marriage matters and learn more about how they can support the cause.

For more information on why marriage equality matters and to take action in your state, please log on to freedomtomarry.org. To find your local Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Shop or learn more about Ben & Jerry’s social mission, log onto www.Facebook.com/benjerry.

Hubby Hubby is a union of Peanut Butter Cookie Dough ice cream, Fudge and Pretzels.

Chocolate Mint Geranium: Chocolate Scented Garden

About a month ago, I had a blog entry devoted to the Chocolate Scented Garden.

Today I found a great Geranium Blog and specifically found a good account of Chocolate Mint (Mentha piperita) throughout its growth cycle. This beautiful fuzzy leafed geranium has a strong chocolate-y mint scent. It also has a lovely leaf that varigates during the cooler weather. The flowers are tiny and pink. It can be hung in baskets or put in large containers since it tends to cascade.

I live in a temperate climate, so it can be put directly into the soil of my garden, along with the other 'chocolate' plants.

I did mention this plant in my blog, but I love these photos. O.K. smelling chocolate is not the same as eating chocolate, but it's still fun!