Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Chocolate Salon News: Taste TV

TasteTV announced its upcoming chocolate salons in Los Angeles and San Francisco, as well as the winners of the 2010 Luxury Chocolate Salon Award Competitions for Las Vegas, Boston, and Chicago.

Upcoming Chocolate Salon Events:

4th Annual LOS ANGELES LUXURY CHOCOLATE SALON
October 10, 2010 (Tickets on Sale now)
35+ chocolatiers, confectioners and more
Pasadena Center 

1st Annual SAN FRANCISCO FALL LUXURY CHOCOLATE SALON
November 14, 2010 (Advance Tickets Required)
For the Holidays, 30+ chocolatiers, confectioners and more
Fort Mason Center, Conference Bldg A


5th Annual SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL CHOCOLATE SALON
April 11, 2011
65+ chocolatiers, confectioners and more
Fort Mason Center, Festival Pavilion


I've been a Judge at the San Francisco International Chocolate Salon and the Napa Luxury Chocolate Salon. Check out my review of the Napa Luxury Chocolate Salon. Also, check out Jen of Urban Kitchen's review of the Boston Chocolate Salon, HERE. Great comments and fabulous photos. You'll want to lick the screen.


Video announcements of the Award Winners can be seen for Las Vegas and Boston.


Photo: Tiny Urban Kitchen with Permission: William Dean Chocolates

Monday, August 30, 2010

Chocolate Fondue & Toasted Marshmallows: National Toasted Marshmallow Day

You know I follow these food holidays, and today is National Toasted Marshmallow Day. Of course, S'mores come to mind, and goodness knows I've posted lots of S'mores recipes. National S'mores Day (a round-up), S'mores on the Grill, and S'mores Ice Cream Pie. I'm sure I've posted more, but that will get you started.

Today, though, I wanted to post a recipe from Across the Pond. This recipe for Toasted Marshmallows and Chocolate Fondue (BBC Good Food) is a simple recipe and one of my favorites. Fondue is coming back, and this easy recipe can be prepared on the grill, barbecue or stovetop. You can always torch the marshmallows with a blowtorch, one of the most useful tools in my kitchen. I've changed the measurements for the U.S., but you can always set your own proportions. This is not the same as just putting marshmallows in chocolate as in a fountain. The toasting really makes a difference in taste. Of course you can always put this between two graham crackers and have a variation on a s'more!

Want to make this even easier? Just melt chocolate without butter, milk or cream. Of course, I think it tastes better with all that butter and stuff, but if you're out in the woods, just toast the marshmallows and dip in melted chocolate.

And, one more thing. 'Real' marshmallows are superb used with this fondue recipe! You can either make your own or buy some great ones from a terrific marshmallow maker!

Ingredients:
400g (14 oz) dark chocolate (70-85% cacao)
85g (6 tbsp) sweet butter
284ml  (1 cup) double cream (whipping cream)
300ml  ( 1 1/4 cups) milk
bag marshmallows, for dipping

Recipe:
Put chocolate, butter, cream and milk into a saucepan, and heat gently, stirring occasionally, until chocolate is melted and the sauce is smooth (on the grill, fire or stove)
Thread marshmallows onto skewers, then carefully toast on the fire (or torch them)
Dip into the fondue and eat right away.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Salted Golden Caramel Bars

I found this recipe for Salted Golden Caramel Bars in Country Living. It's the perfect combination of sweet and salt that gives this childhood treat grown-up flavor. It's simple and takes about 10 minutes to prepare and an hour to bake! As always use the very best ingredients.

SALTED GOLDEN CARAMEL BARS

Ingredients:
Vegetable oil, for greasing dishes
8 cups puffed rice cereal
3/4 cups corn syrup
2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
4 tablespoons sweet butter
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 teaspoon Madagascar vanilla extract
1/4 cup dark chocolate (70-85% cacao), broken into pieces and melted

Directions
1. Liberally oil a large mixing bowl and a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Place cereal in bowl and set it and dish aside.
2. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine corn syrup, condensed milk, sugars, butter, and sea salt. Allow mixture to come to a boil, while stirring continuously, until a light golden brown, 5 to 6 minutes.
3. Remove mixture from heat, stir in vanilla, and immediately pour over cereal. Stir to completely mix, and then evenly spread in prepared baking pan.
4. Set aside to let cool, about 45 minutes. Invert and release from pan. Drizzle with melted chocolate and refrigerate until set, about 15 minutes. Cut into 15 bars.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Taza Mexican Chocolate Cookies

I'm a big fan of Taza chocolate, and I've reviewed their chocolate from time to time. Love the stone-ground texture. This recipe is from their website. These cookies are scrumptious! Want to make them even more chocolatey? Add some broken chunks of Taza Chocolate Mexicano to the cookie dough before baking.

Taza Mexican Chocolate Cookies

2 Packages of your favorite flavor of Chocolate Mexicano (approx. 5 ounces)
3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 heaping cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Place chocolate in a small glass bowl; microwave on high for 1 minute or until almost melted, stirring until smooth. Cool to room temperature.
3. In a large bowl combine flour, cinnamon and baking powder.
4. In a separate bowl cream sugar and butter together. Add egg and beat well. Add cooled chocolate and vanilla. Beat until just blended.
5. Add flour mixture and beat until blended.
6. Drop spoon fulls of dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper or greased cookie sheet.
7. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until almost set.
8. Remove from oven and let cool for another 2 minutes or until set. Transfer cookies to wire rack to cool completely.
Yields about 25 cookies.

Photo: Taza Chocolate

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Chocolate Pudding Cake

As I mentioned the other day, I like to try recipes I find in odd places. Now the American Heart Association isn't odd, but this recipe is a Diabetes-Friendly Recipe, and it is absolutely fabulous! There are two layers to this Chocolate Pudding Cake--one cakelike and the other gooey. Together they're just right! This is also a very easy cake to prepare. I've tweaked it a bit, but I didn't add anything unhealthy. The recipe mentions this is a very satisfying cake. I think it is, even if you're not diabetic or pre-diabetic. It does call for some sugar.

CHOCOLATE PUDDING CAKE

Ingredients
Cooking spray
1 teaspoon unsweetened dark cocoa powder

Cake Layer
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 chopped pecans
3 tablespoons unsweetened dark cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup fat-free evaporated milk
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 teaspoon Madagascar vanilla

Pudding Layer
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened dark cocoa powder
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon Madagascar vanilla

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Lightly spray 9-inch square baking pan with cooking spray. Dust bottom with 1 teaspoon cocoa powder.

For cake layer, in a medium bowl, stir together flour, sugar, pecans, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Add evaporated milk, oil, and vanilla, stirring until well combined. Using rubber scraper or back of a large spoon, spread the batter in the pan. (The batter is very thick.)

For pudding layer, in another medium bowl, stir together sugar, brown sugar, and cocoa powder. Whisk in water and vanilla. Pour over batter. Do not stir.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until cake springs back when touched lightly in the center. (A cake tester or wooden toothpick doesn't work well for testing doneness.)

Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool in the pan for 10 to 15 minutes. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature, spooning the pudding over the cake.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Peanut Butter Chocolate Pie

I'm a big fan of Stonyfield Organic Yogurt, and this pie is fabulous.  I find a lot of recipes on the back of cartons and boxes, but I also scour company and association websites. This recipe is from the Stonyfield site. Have a look. I'm sure you'll find lots of other recipes you'll want to try. I adapted the recipe a bit, and it came out great! I just love peanut butter and chocolate!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Pie

Ingredients
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup  Oikos Plain Greek Yogurt  (it's a staple in my refrigerator-Oikos is a Stonyfield line-original recipe called for a 1/2 cup  Stonyfield lowfat vanilla yogurt)
1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
6 oz-- about 2 1/2 bars--Madecasse 67% Smooth Sambirano Valley Madagascar chocolate because the original recipe called for a bag of milk chocolate chips but there was no size.  Break the chocolate into pieces
Chocolate cookie crust (Original recipe called for graham cracker crust) but I can never have too much chocolate
Chocolate shavings for topping

Directions
In a chilled bowl, whip 1 cup of the heavy cream until it forms soft peaks.
Melt chocolate and add 1/2 cup of whipped cream and mix well.
Spread the chocolate mixture over the bottom and up the sides of the crust and refrigerate until set.
In a food processor, blend peanut butter, yogurt and sweetened condensed milk.
Add the remaining whipped cream and mix well.
Pour into the crust and refrigerate overnight (or until set, about 2 hours).
When ready to serve, whip the remaining heavy cream and top each slice with a dollop of whipped cream and sprinkle with chocolate shavings.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Pigwiches: The Ultimate Oreo

Photo: Tasting Table with permission
I subscribe to Tasting Table because I love receiving "Food Culture Daily" in my inbox. Daily emails include recipes, reviews and news. Not all the emails are about chocolate, but there's more to life than chocolate!  Maybe. I subscribe to Tasting Table San Francisco, Tasting Table National, and twice a week I receive Tasting Table Chefs' Recipes. What a great site! Take your seat at Tasting Table today. Subscribe! It's free!

So today I really loved receiving this email because the featured recipe included several of my favorite food groups: cream, bacon fat and chocolate! Can't wait to try these PIGWICHES!

This recipe comes from Gerard Craft, Chef at the St. Louis small-plates spot, Taste. Yes, charcuterie and country ham feature prominently on his menu here but his most famous tribute to swine in my eyes is his Pigwich--a pair of milk-chocolate-shortbread cookies that hug a sugary, bacon-based cream, which he sells daily for $4. A steal! So, if you have any left over bacon fat from breakfast, here's a way to put it to use. Butter can be substituted for bacon fat in the recipe, but don't you think the cream filling is better with bacon fat?

I haven't made these yet, but I know I'll use dark cocoa.. because I really like dark chocolate. If that doesn't work out, I'll try 'regular' cocoa. But I won't really know if I got the recipe right until I visit Taste. Not planning on being in St. Louis until when Bouchercon, the World Mystery Convention, is held there September 15-18, 2011. My mystery & chocolate worlds collide again. Hope Pigwiches are still on the menu.

Pigwiches
Reprinted with permission Tasting Table

Ingredients
Cookies:
1½ sticks (12 tablespoons) butter, at room temperature
½ cup light brown sugar, packed
½ cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
6 ounces milk chocolate, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1¾ cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

Filling:
4 ounces rendered bacon fat
1/8 teaspoon salt
½ vanilla bean scraped, pod reserved for another use
1 teaspoon light brown sugar, packed
3½ cups confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons milk

Directions:
1. Make the cookies: Preheat the oven to 325˚. In the bowl of a standing mixer outfitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar and cocoa powder together at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the melted chocolate and vanilla extract and beat until combined.
2. In a bowl, whisk the flour with the baking soda and salt. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and beat at low speed until incorporated.
3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and, using a floured rolling pin, roll it out until it is ⅛-inch thick. Using a 4-by-2-inch pig-shaped cookie cutter, punch out the cookies. Reroll the scraps and cut the rest of the cookies. (The dough may also be cut into 2-inch squares.)
4. Arrange the cookies on two parchment- or silicone-mat-lined baking sheets and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the cookies are set at the edges. Transfer the baking sheets to a cooling rack and let cool completely.
5. While the cookies cool, make the filling: Add the bacon fat, salt, vanilla seeds and brown sugar to a small saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Strain the mixture into a jar, cover and refrigerate until solid, about 2 hours.
6. After the bacon mixture has chilled, add it to the work bowl of a stand mixer outfitted with the whisk attachment and beat on medium speed until fluffy, about 30 seconds. Slowly add the confectioners' sugar and continue beating until fully incorporated. Add the milk and beat until the filling is the consistency of thick cake frosting.
7. To assemble the pigwiches, spread about 2 tablespoons of the filling on one cookie and top with another cookie; press lightly to seal. Repeat with the remaining cookies and filling. Serve immediately or store in a resealable container for up to one week.

"Heaven...I'm in pig heaven!"
http://tastingtable.com/chefs_recipes/index.htm

Sunday, August 22, 2010

National Pecan Torte Day: Chocolate Pecan Torte

August 22 is National Pecan Torte Day.  I've posted lots of chocolate pecan pie recipes, but a torte is not a pie
Here's a definition from Wiki:
A torte is a cake made primarily with eggs, sugar, and ground nuts instead of flour. Variations may include bread crumbs as well as some flour. Tortes are Central European in origin. The word torte is derived from the German word Torte, which was derived from the Italian word torta, which was used to describe a round cake or bread.
Tortes are commonly baked in a Springform pan. An element common to most tortes is sweet icing. (Exceptions include several French tortes, such as Gâteau Mercédès and Gâteau Alcazar.) When the cake is layered, a thick covering of icing is placed between the layers, and there is almost always icing on the tops and sides of the torte. A number of European tortes do not have layers.
Following are two recipes for Chocolate Pecan Torte. The FIRST is easier and fun to make! Lots of shortcuts. The SECOND is fabulous but much more involved. They're both very tasty! As always, a lot depends on the quality of your ingredients.

1. Chocolate Pecan Torte 
from Epicurean.com This recipe is fun to make, as well as easy and delicious. O.K. it's not traditional, but its great!

Ingredients:
No-stick flour and oil baking spray
1 prepared 8 or 9 inch pecan pie, thawed if frozen
1 box (about 1 pound 4 ounces) fudge brownie mix, makes a 9-by-13-inch pan
1/4 cup brewed coffee or water
2 tablespoons bourbon or other whiskey
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs, large or extra-large

Directions:
Heat the oven to 325F. Spray the interior of a 9-inch springform pan with baking spray.

Cover the surface of the pie with plastic wrap and top with a plate. Invert the pie onto the plate, and remove the pie tin. Invert the prepared springform pan over the pie and then invert the whole, so that the pie slides into the pan. Remove the plate and, using the plastic wrap to keep your hands clean, smash the pie so that it fills the bottom of the pan.

Mix the brownie mix, coffee, bourbon, oil, and eggs in a medium mixing bowl until smooth and the texture of wet mud. Pour over the pie and smooth the top. Bake until the sides are firm and the top is crusty but the center is still soft, about 50 minutes. Cool until the pan is comfortable to the touch; remove the sides of the pan and cool completely. Cut into wedges to serve.
***
This SECOND recipe won the $1000 1985 Woman's Day "Yummiest Chocolate Recipe Contest". I've changed it slightly, adding more chocolate and an apricot jam filling. This torte is more traditional and reminds me of a Viennese Torte. You can substitute raspberry or peach jam.

2. Chocolate Pecan Torte

Chocolate Pecan Torte:
12 oz. dark  chocolate (70% cacao-fair trade organic)
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate
1 1/4 cup pecans
3/4 cup softened sweet butter
1 cup sugar
5 eggs, separated
1/3 cup sifted flour
2 Tbs. dark rum
2 teaspoons Madagascar vanilla

Apricot Filling:
1/3 cup apricot jam
1 tablespoon orange liqueur
2 tablespoons dark rum
2 teaspoons lemon juice

Chocolate Glaze:
6 oz. dark chocolate (65-70% cacao)
2 tablespoons heavy cream
2 tablespoons sweet butter

Decoration:
1/2 cup pecan halves
1 tablespoon sweet butter
1 tablespoon Apricot Filling

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Butter a 9" springform pan and dust with cocoa, shaking out excess. Set aside.

In top of double boiler, over hot water, melt the two chocolates together. Stir until smooth, and completely combined. Remove from heat, and allow chocolate to cool slightly.

Using a food processor, grind  pecans fine with about 1/2 cup of the sugar. Add butter and remaining sugar, creaming together well. Beat in egg yolks, rum, and tvanilla extract. Now, add flour and process with the rest. Add melted and cooled chocolate, and process again. It's quite dense.

Whip egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Mix about 1/3 of the beaten egg whites into the thick chocolate batter, then fold chocolate mixture into the remaining whites, folding thoroughly.

Spread chocolate batter into prepared springform pan, and bake in  preheated 325 degrees oven for 30 minutes or more, until a toothpick inserted in center comes slightly moist. Remove torte from the oven, and allow to cool and settle in pan. Take off springform, and transfer torte to its serving dish.

Sieve apricot jam into small saucepan. Add orange liqueur, rum, and lemon juice. Bring to a boil, stirring. Reduce heat and simmer a moment, then remove pan. Reserve 1 tablespoon of finished glaze for the pecan trim, and spread rest over torte. Allow apricot filling to set, then top with the chocolate glaze.

In top of double boiler, over hot water, melt chocolate and  cream together. Remove from heat, and stir in butter, whisking till smooth. Allow glaze to cool until it will spread smoothly over torte. Use a metal spatula to smooth it evenly over top, and coat sides with a thinner layer.

In a small sauce pan, combine apricot glaze, and butter. Melt them together. Add pecan halves, and stir until all are coated. Drain nuts, and allow to set slightly, then press them around edge of torte.

Friday, August 20, 2010

More Retro Cakes: Dr Pepper Chocolate Cake

Using soda in cakes is sooo Retro and as I've said before, and this Dr. Pepper Chocolate Cake is perfect to serve at your next Mad Men party. I've already posted a Chocolate 7-Up Cake, and a few weeks ago I posted a Chocolate Coca Cola Cake with the possibility of using Pepsi for those who favor the 'other' brand.

Jan Burke, mystery author extraordinaire, sent me a photo from the Dr Pepper Museum in Waco, TX where they sell Dr. Pepper Cake Mixes. Assuming that Dr. Pepper was a wet ingredient, I went to the web to check. Although I didn't find the cakemix for sale on the website, I found it at Doc's Soda Shop. It's called Dublin Dr. Pepper Cake &aFrosting Mix. The cake mix requires 8 oz of Dr. Pepper and the frosting requires 4 oz. Dublin Dr. Pepper. O.K. I was curious about Dublin Dr. Pepper. Is it the same as the Dr. Pepper I can buy here? Here's what I found on the Dublin Dr. Pepper site--and yes there are two Dr. Pepper Museums in Texas!

What makes Dublin Dr Pepper so different?

Dublin Dr Pepper is still made using the original sweetener, pure cane sugar. In the 1970s the price of sugar rose and soft drink companies started panicking because it was getting too expensive to produce their drinks using sugar. Virtually everyone switched to high fructose corn syrup because it was much less expensive.

The decision was made at that time to keep using the pure cane sugar, regardless of the extra expense. The Dublin Dr Pepper Bottling Company is the only Dr Pepper bottler that has always used pure cane sugar to sweeten the drink.

Dublin Dr Pepper Museum vs Waco Dr Pepper Museum. What's the difference?

The Dublin Dr Pepper Museum focuses on its own unique history. Most of the huge collection of memorabilia in the Dublin Museum was collected by Bill Kloster who loved and collected all things Dr Pepper. The collection contains many rare pieces and is one of the largest in the world. A tour of the plant takes you through the working antique operating bottling line. The tour ends in Old Doc’s Soda Shop, where you can step up to the soda fountain and have a Frosty Dr Pepper or purchase Dr Pepper memorabilia. Dublin Dr Pepper is a privately owned company and still a working company.

Still have time to spare? The Waco Dr. Pepper Museum tells about the creation of Dr Pepper at the Old Corner Drug Store and about the growth of the soft drink industry. It also teaches you about the Artesian Manufacturing and Bottling Company which was once located in the museum.

Dr Pepper is the national drink of Texas. I like odd museums, so both of the Dr Pepper Museums are on my list.

Want to make Chocolate Dr. Pepper Cake from Scratch? Here's a good recipe from the Baylor University Alumni Association cookbook: "Homecoming: Special Foods, Special Memories." The original recipe called for margarine, but that's not an ingredient I would ever use!

CHOCOLATE DR. PEPPER CAKE

Cake
1 cup butter
1 cup Dr. Pepper
4 tablespoons DARK cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (optional...I don't use it)
3 cups flour,  sifted
2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs -- well beaten
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon baking soda

Dr. Pepper Frosting
1/2 cup Dr. Pepper
1/4 cup butter
3 tablespoons DARK cocoa
3 cups powdered sugar -- sifted
1/2 cup pecans -- chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

Heat Dr. Pepper with butter, but do not boil. Set aside. Sift together flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt, and cocoa. Beat together eggs, buttermilk, vanilla, and baking soda. Add hot Dr. Pepper mixture to dry ingredients. Stir in egg mixture, and blend well. Pour into greased and floured 15x10-inch sheet cake pan. Bake at 350 deg. for 25 minutes.

For frosting: About 5 minutes before cake is done, heat Dr. Pepper, margarine, and cocoa.
Stir in powdered sugar, pecans, and vanilla. Spread frosting on while cake is still hot.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Chocolate Bundt Cake with Sweet Walnut Layer

You can't go wrong with a Chocolate Bundt Cake, and this one is particularly good because it has sweet walnut layer. I first saw this recipe on Fine Cooking.  I made a few changes, but the essence is there. I'm sure you'll make a few, too. The original recipe called for plain yogurt. I've made this bundt cake with Greek yogurt...a little tangy, but still tasty. I think I prefer sour cream for the richness, but you try it both ways!

Chocolate Bundt Cake with  Sweet Walnut Layer

1 1/4 cups all purpose four
3/4 cup dark cocoa
Dash of Salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp sweet butter, melted
2 tbsp canola oil
2 eggs
2 egg whites
1 1/2 cups sour cream
2 tsp Madagascar vanilla extract
3/4 cup sugar
3 ounces of dark chocolate (70-85% cacao) I like it really dark
1 tbsp powdered sugar-optional

Walnut Layer
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
2 tbsp sweet butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350.
Oil bundt pan.
Whisk in bowl flour, cocoa, salt, baking powder and soda. Then sift into another bowl.
In a different bowl, whisk melted butter and oil, and then add eggs and egg whites.
Fold in sour cream, vanilla extract and sugar.
Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or in a saucepan over a saucepan with water.
Fold chocolate into batter.
Add dry ingredients and stir until combined. Do not overmix.
Mix melted butter, walnut and brown sugar together.
Pour half of the batter into the pan and place the walnut layer on top of the batter.
Fill with remaining batter.
Bake 35-45 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
Cool on wire rack in the pan for 15 minutes and then, flip it over on the rack.
Top with powder sugar (optional)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

S'mores Ice Cream Pie: National Ice Cream Pie Day

Today is National Ice Cream Pie Day. Frozen chocolate ice cream is always great, but this recipe, my favorite by far for S'mores Ice Cream Pie, uses Rocky Road ice-cream. I originally found this recipe on the Taste of Home website. Last week I had a Round-up of S'mores recipes for National S'mores Day, but I forgot to include this one. I've tried other S'mores Ice Cream Pie Recipes, but this is really the best one! It's easy and delicious.

S'mores Ice Cream Pie

Ingredients
2/3 cup graham cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons sweet butter, melted
2-1/2 cups rocky road ice cream, softened
2/3 cup marshmallow creme
3/4 cup miniature marshmallows

Directions
1. In a small bowl, combine cracker crumbs and sugar; stir in butter. Press onto the bottom and up the sides of a 7-in. pie plate coated with cooking spray. Bake at 325° for 7-9 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack.
2. Carefully spread ice cream into crust; freeze until firm. Spread marshmallow creme over ice cream. Top with marshmallows; gently press into creme. Cover and freeze for 4 hours or overnight.
3. Just before serving, use a mini-torch and flash-burn a bit--or broil 6 in. from the heat for 1-2 minutes or until marshmallows are golden brown.

Photo: Taste of Home

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Chocolate Covered Apples

There was a booth selling carmel covered apples at the Gravenstein Apple Fair last weekend, but I prefer chocolate-covered apples. It was probably too hot to sell chocolate covered apples last weekend, but here's an easy recipe so you can make them at home.

Chocolate Covered Apples

6 firm Gravenstein Apples (or medium sized Fuji or Granny Smith)
6 sturdy lollipop/popsicle sticks
10 ounces dark chocolate
1/2 cup nuts
Waxed paper

Twist off stems of apples, and insert sticks into apple cores
Place apples in refrigerator while preparing chocolate.
Melt chocolate in a double boiler or a saucepan over a saucepan (I use a metal bowl over simmering water for this recipe, so it's easy to dip and roll the apple in the same bowl)
Dip apple into melted chocolate, allowing the excess to drip back into the bowl. Roll around in chocolate, turning with the stick, until the entire apple is coated.
Puts Nuts (or other topping) into separate bowl and roll apple until completely covered in nuts.
Place decorated apples on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper, standing upright.
Refrigerate for 25 minutes or until the chocolate is set.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Gravenstein Apple Chocolate Brownies

I love Gravenstein apples, so I went to Sebastopol Saturday for the 100th Anniversary Gravenstein Apple Fair. More festival than food,  I did pick up a pie and saw an amazing demonstration by Chefs John Ash and Mei Ibach for a Grilled Apple Jack Sandwich.

I posted my Chocolate Gravenstein Apple Pie recipe a few weeks ago when the harvest began. Here's another easy Chocolate Apple favorite: Apple Chocolate Brownies. I like to use Gravensteins for their tart flavor, but if you don't have Gravensteins, you can substitute your favorite apples.

Gravenstein Apple Chocolate Brownies

Ingredients
2 eggs
2 ounces unsweetened dark chocolate
1/2 cup sweet butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup chopped Gravenstein apples
1 tsp Madagascar vanilla
1/2 cup dark chocolate 75-85% cacao

Directions:
Melt unsweetened chocolate in saucepan.
In mixing bowl, beat eggs and sugar together.
Stir in the melted chocolate until thoroughly mixed.
Add the sugar, flour, and baking powder.
Stir in apple pieces, nuts, vanilla, and broken up chocolate.
Bake in 8-inch square pan at 350F for 30 minutes.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Chocolate 7-Up Cake

A few weeks ago Mad Men featured a Company Christmas party. O.K., it's August, but  a  Chocolate 7-Up Cake would have been perfect for that party! It's another Retro Recipe (see Coca Cola Cake). This Chocolate 7-Up Cake recipe uses Duncan Hines Devil's Food Cake Mix and 7-Up, and the Dobash Frosting uses Ghirardelli cocoa, one of my favorites. 7-Up Cakes are light and airy. 

CHOCOLATE 7-UP CAKE

Cake:
1 box Duncan Hines Devil Food cake mix
3 large eggs
1/2 cup oil
1 can 7-Up

Combine above and beat for 4 minutes with electric mixer.
Grease and flour a bundt pan.
Pour in batter.
Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes.


Dobash Frosting
1 1/2 cup water
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup Ghirardelli cocoa
pinch of salt

Combine all in saucepan and bring to a boil.
Add 1/2 cup water to make a paste. Stir into cocoa mixture with whisk over heat until it thickens. Pour while hot over cake and spread.


Friday, August 13, 2010

More S'mores: Chewy S'Mores Bar Cookies

So it's the weekend, and maybe you missed National S'mores Day and all the Recipes I posted. Well, here's one for Chewy S'mores Bar Cookies  from the Hershey's Kitchens that's perfect for the weekend. Remember, there are lots of way to make S'mores. You can grill them, microwave them, bake them or cook them over the open fire! Enjoy!

CHEWY S'MORES BAR COOKIES

Ingredients
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 teaspoon baking powder
Dash of Salt

S'more Topping
3 cups (about 11 whole crackers) graham cracker pieces (1/2 to 1-inch pieces)
4 cups (about 12 (1.55 oz.) bars) HERSHEY'S Milk Chocolate Bar pieces
2-1/2 cups miniature marshmallows
1 jar (7 oz.) marshmallow creme

Carefully mix together graham cracker pieces, chocolate bar pieces, miniature marshmallows and marshmallow creme in large bowl.

Instructions:
1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease 15-1/2x10-1/2x1-inch jelly-roll pan.
2. Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy in large bowl. Add egg and vanilla; beat well. Stir together flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder and salt; add to butter mixture, beating until blended. Press dough into prepared pan. Bake 15 minutes.
3. Spread S'more Topping evenly over partially baked cookie crust. Bake additional 15-20 minutes or until marshmallows are lightly browned. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Cut into bars.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

National S'mores Day: History, S'mores Pie, Cookies & More

Au Coeur des Chocolats 
Today is National S'mores Day. This food holiday is perfect for summer. I've posted all kinds of S'mores recipes in the past few years, but today I'd like to give a little history.

If you're not familiar with s'mores, they are made by sandwiching a toasted marshmallow and a piece of chocolate in between two graham crackers.

The name S'mores (alternatively Smores) comes from the two words "some more," because people always want s'more. This very American treat was developed by campers (or more specifically Girl Scouts) in the early part of the 20th century, making use of the newly mass-produced marshmallow. Marshmallows were easy to transport, as were candy bars and graham crackers, and the marshmallows could be toasted  over a fire to make a delicious treat in a situation where other types of sweets would have been difficult to come by.

The true origin of the snack is unknown, as camping recipes were passed from family to family - often over the campfire itself. The very first printed record of the recipe was in 1927 in a girl scout manual "Tramping and Trailing with the Girl Scouts".  Read more HERE.

The Original 1927 Girl Scout Recipe for S'mores

Some More:
8 sticks (for toasting the marshmallows)
16 graham crackers
8 bars plain chocolate (any of the good plain brands, broken in two)
16 marshmallows


Toast two marshmallows over the coals to a crisp gooey state and then put them inside a graham cracker and chocolate bar sandwich. The heat of the marshmallow between the halves of chocolate bar will melt the chocolate a bit. Though it tastes like "some more" one is really enough.

***
Here are a few new S'mores recipes. Be sure and check out the links at the bottom of this post for previous S'mores recipes: Brownies, Cupcakes, and more.

First Prize Pies’s S’Mores Pie  
(New York Times; recipe by Allison Kave of First Prize Pies)

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (10-15 graham crackers)
8 tablespoons melted butter
7 ounces milk chocolate, broken into chunks
1 cup heavy cream
1 egg
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup cold water, divided
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Make the crust. Crumble graham crackers into the work bowl of a food processor and process until finely ground. Alternatively, you can put them in a bag and whack them with a rolling pin until finely crushed. Pour melted butter into crumbs and mix (hands are best for this) until the butter is fully incorporated and the texture is that of wet sand. Butter or oil a 9-inch pie pan and firmly press the graham cracker crumbs against the sides, then against the bottom of the pan (the underside of a measuring cup works well for smoothing the bottom crust). Chill for at least 30 minutes to avoid crumbling when serving.

2. While the crust chills, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare the chocolate filling. Put the chocolate in a large mixing bowl. Heat the cream in a saucepan until scalded — do not boil. Pour the cream over the chocolate and allow to stand for 1 minute. Whisk the cream and chocolate together until glossy and smooth. Add a pinch of salt, then crack the egg into the chocolate mixture and whisk to fully incorporate. Pour into chilled crust and bake for 25 minutes, or until the filling is set but still slightly wobbly in the center. Remove from the oven and cool completely.

3. Prepare the marshmallow topping. Pour 1/4 cup water into the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the gelatin on top. In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, stir together the remaining 1/4 cup of water, sugar and corn syrup just until sugar is dissolved. Heat until a candy thermometer reads 260 degrees, or hard-ball stage. Remove from heat, turn stand mixer to medium speed to begin beating the bloomed gelatin, and slowly pour in sugar syrup, scraping any remaining syrup from the pan with a heat-proof spatula. Begin increasing the speed of the mixer, avoiding any splashing, and beat until the mixture is white, fluffy and tripled in volume. Add vanilla and beat for a few moments more. Pour the mixture onto the cooled chocolate layer, gently spreading it to the edges of the crust with a spatula. Refrigerate, uncovered, 30 to 60 minutes.

4. The last step: brûlée the marshmallow. A torch is best for this (a propane torch from the hardware store or a butane crème brûlée torch). If using a torch, clear the area of any flammable items, ignite the torch, and slowly wave the flame over the surface of the marshmallow until you achieve the desired level of toastiness. If you do not have a torch, use the broiler of your oven. Preheat the broiler, cover the edges of the pie crust with foil or pie shields, place the pie on a baking sheet and broil — watching carefully to prevent burning — for 2 to 3 minutes, rotating as necessary.

5. To slice the pie, it helps to dip your knife in hot water, then dry it with a towel. The heat facilitates easy slicing through the marshmallow layer. Serves 8. 

***

S’More Sandwich Cookies from C&H

Ingredients:
3/4 cup butter (1-1/2 sticks), softened
1/2 cup C&H Pure Cane Granulated Sugar
1/2 cup C&H Pure Cane Golden Brown Sugar, firmly packed
1 egg
2 tbsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
2 cups chocolate chips, semisweet
24 to 28 marshmallows, large

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 375°F. In large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugars.
Beat in egg, milk, and vanilla. In medium bowl, combine flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
Gradually add dry ingredients to creamed mixture.
Stir in chocolate chips.
Drop by teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheets.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown.
Remove to wire racks to cool.
Place four cookies bottom side up on a microwave-safe plate and top each with a marshmallow. Microwave, uncovered, on high for 16 to 20 seconds or until marshmallows begin to puff (do not overcook).
Top each with another cookie. Repeat until all the cookies are formed into sandwiches.

Here's a round-up of some of the recipes I've posted previously.

S'mores Brownies 
More S'mores: Brownie Smores from Scratch
S'mores Cupcakes
S'mores on the Grill
Chocolate Chip S'mores
S'mores Ice Cream Sandwiches
Exotic Candy Bar S'mores 
San Diego Marriott Mission Valley S'mores recipe 

Monday, August 9, 2010

Dark Chocolate Rice Pudding: National Rice Pudding Day

Today is National Rice Pudding Day, and of course, it's Chocolate Rice Pudding here at Dyingforchocolate.com. This is not the same recipe for Chocolate Recipe for Rice Pudding Day that I posted last year. This recipe is richer and easier. You can always top with fresh whipped cream, but I really don't think it needs it! Celebrate!

CHOCOLATE RICE PUDDING

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup half and half
1/3 cup granulated sugar
dash of salt
1 cup uncooked rice
3/4 teaspoon Madagascar vanilla
3 ounces dark chocolate (75-85% cacao), finely chopped

Preparation:
1. Over low heat, bring milk, half and half, sugar and salt to nearly scalding temperature. Hint: Milk will not simmer, but it will steam when stirred at the near-scalding point.
2. Add rice to milk and continue cooking over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 20 to 22 minutes, until rice is creamy and slightly soft.
3. Add vanilla and chopped dark chocolate to hot rice and stir until chocolate melts and becomes part of the pudding.
4. Divide pudding into 4 dessert bowls and serve warm or chilled.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Cheesecake Chocolate Chip Cookie Cups

I know I've been blogging a lot of cheesecake recipes lately, but this one is a bit different. It's for Cheesecake Chocolate Chip Cookie Cups. You make this in a muffin pan. The original recipe is from the Nestle Website. That recipe uses a canned cherry pie filling on top, but I use fresh berries or Nestle's Swirled morsels on top. Finished product looks and tastes fabulous! You can also use mini-muffin pans. Perfect for bite sized muffins at a party! Of course, you can use your own chocolate chip cookie dough to make this. Just that the refrigerated dough is fast and easy.

Cheesecake Chocolate Chip Cookie Cups

1 pkg. (16.5 oz.) Nestle Tollhouse Refrigerated Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
2 pkgs. (8 oz. each) cream cheese, room temperature
1 can (14 oz.) Sweetened Condensed Milk
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons Madagascar vanilla extract
Nestle Swirled Morsels or Fresh Raspberries for Topping

Preheat oven to 325° F.
Paper-line 24 muffin cups. Place one piece of cookie dough in each muffin cup.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until cookie has spread to edge of cup.
Beat cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk, eggs and vanilla extract in medium bowl until smooth. Pour about 3 tablespoons cream cheese mixture over each cookie in cup.
Bake for additional 15 to 18 minutes or until set. Cool completely in pan on wire rack.
Top with either Fresh Raspberries or Nestle Swirled Morsels
Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Goat Cheese Chocolate Chip Cheesecake with Chocolate Crust

August is National Goat Cheese Month. The other day I blogged an easy Goat Cheese Truffle recipe, and I mentioned two of my favorite goat cheese companies. However, I failed to mention one of the best known of the American original goat cheeses and another of my personal favorites: Humboldt Fog from Cypress Grove Chevre in California. This cheese is fabulous!

Here's my recipe for Goat Cheese Chocolate Chip Cheese Cake. I think the recipe was originally from Whole Foods. Whole Foods stores, by the way, always have a great selection of goat cheese, all over the country. I like that Whole Foods stocks local brands.  I'm sure the original recipe didn't use a Chocolate Crust, but I'm all about Chocolate, and this recipe works well with it. I also added Chocolate Chips, because once again, you can never have enough chocolate. I use mini-chocolate chips in cheesecake rather than regular because the bigger chips usually sink to the bottom. That's not really a bad thing because it just means your crust will be that much more chocolatey! So you can choose. When you use the mini-chocolate chips, you see the chips in the cheesecake.

Goat Cheese Chocolate Chip Cheesecake with Chocolate Crust

Crust
1 cup chocolate wafer crumbs (whirl in a blender or just crush with rolling pin between two sheets of wax paper)
1/4 cup melted butter

Combine crumbs and butter and press into the bottom of a 9” springform pan.

Cheesecake
16 ounces cream cheese, cut into pieces (leave out to soften and it will be more crumbly)
12 ounces fresh goat cheese, crumbled
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons Madagascar vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups sugar
4 eggs
about 8 ounces mini-chocolate chips (must be mini or they'll sink to the bottom)*

Pre-heat oven to 325°F.
Place cream cheese, goat cheese, lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla in a large mixing bowl.  Using mixer, beat until just smooth, scraping down sides of the bowl as you go along.
In two or three additions, beat in sugar until mixture is creamy.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating and scraping down sides of the bowl after each addition. Continue to beat until mixture is very smooth.
Fold in mini-chocolate chips.
Pour batter into prepared crust. Bake about 50-60 minutes.
Place pan on a rack to cool completely in the pan.
Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Gravenstein Apples: Chocolate Gravenstein Apple Pie

Recently Jonathan Kauffman blogged in the SF Weekly about the Slow Food's Gravenstein Apple Promotion: Make a Pie, Save a Tree.  Frank used to own an apple orchard in Sebastopol (Gravenstein, of course), and every time we drive through Western Sonoma County, he laments the loss of Gravenstein Apple Orchards to vineyards.

There really are no apples quite like Gravensteins. If you don't live in Northern California, you may not have had Gravensteins. They don't travel all that well. But if you do live here, now's the time to buy Gravensteins and preserve the heirloom/heritage varieties of foods that are disappearing from our markets. This year The Slow Food's Russian River chapter is launching a Gravenstein promotion to pay local farmers enough for their apples so they can afford to keep their trees.

The challenges faced by Gravensteins:
 1) commercial viability --they're short stemmed so many fall to the ground and are used for applesauce, vinegar and juice. And, as I mentioned, they don't ship well.
2) no surprise here but apple trees aren't as profitable as grapevines.

So Frank and I are doing our bit. We've planted 9 Gravenstein apple trees in our yard in Berkeley. They're Sonoma county trees (planted in Alameda County), and they're doing well. This is our 7th harvest (lucky #7) and the trees are filled with apples. Yes, a lot fall to the ground, but Topper, our golden retriever, loves Gravensteins as much as we do, and he makes short shrift of the ground apples. In the past he used to shake the small trees and make the apples drop, but this year the trees are big and full, and he has plenty to occupy his time and fill his stomach.

CHOCOLATE GRAVENSTEIN APPLE PIE

Ingredients
Pastry for a double-crust 9-inch pie, unbaked
8-10 tart Gravenstein apples (peeled, cored and sliced thinly)
1/3 cup sugar
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 cup 70-85% dark chocolate fair-trade organic, broken into smallish pieces

Directions
1. Apples: peel, core, and slice thinly.
2. Combine the cinnamon & sugar = cinnamon sugar. (you may need a tiny bit more).
2. Place 1 layer of apple slices on the bottom crust. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons cinnamon sugar. Repeat twice.
3 Spread broken chocolate pieces over top.
4. Using remaining apples, make 3 more apple/cinnamon sugar layers.
5. Top with 2nd crust and seal edges. Make a cut on the top--or prick with fork in a few places.
6. Bake in preheated 450 F oven for 15 minutes (until golden).
7. Lower heat to 350F and continue baking for another 25-30 minutes, or until apples are tender.

I tweaked this recipe a bit. I posted it on Apple Pie Day, but I like more chocolate and using Gravensteins which are only available for a short time. It makes a difference. My apples are small, so I use more apples in the recipe.

Spread the word about Gravenstein Apples! Make a Pie, Save a Tree!!!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie: National Chocolate Chip Day

August 4 is National Chocolate Chip Day. Obviously I've blogged many different Chocolate Chip Recipes from cookies to ice cream to truffles to pound cake to cheesecake to pancakes...and a lot more. I usually throw some chocolate chips in most of my recipes. It's almost always appropriate because you can never have enough chocolate!

My favorite cookies are Chocolate Chip. No surprise there! So for National Chocolate Chip Day, here's a very easy recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie! You can add a cup of walnuts if you're a walnut chocolate chip cookie person.  This is a gooey pie, but if you want it to be firmer, just let it set for awhile. It's a one crust pie, but you'll love the way the 'cookie dough' makes its own 'crust' on top. I like ice cream or whipped cream with this pie.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie

Ingredients
1 unbaked 9" pie shell (I use frozen Trader Joe's pie crust. Defrost first)
2 eggs
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar (packed)
1 cup butter, melted but cooled
1 cup CHOCOLATE CHIPS  (Here's where you can get creative. What kind of chocolate chips do you like?)
1 cup chopped walnuts-optional

Directions
Preheat oven to 325.
In large bowl, beat eggs until foamy.
Beat in flour, sugar and brown sugar until well blended.
Blend in melted butter.
Stir in chocolate chips (and nuts if you're using them).
Pour into pie shell.
Bake for 60 minutes.

You can serve this warm with ice cream or whipped cream... or just eat it!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Goat Cheese Truffles for National Goat Cheese Month

August is Goat Cheese Month. How do I know this? Because I'm a faithful reader of Months of Edible Celebrations! I live in the Foodie San Francisco Bay Area, and there's always great fresh goat cheese at the market and the Farmers Markets. I especially love goat cheese from the Cowgirl Creamery and Redwood Hill Farm, and you should be able to find fresh goat cheese at Whole Foods and other local farmers markets.  As always, use the very best freshest cheese and fresh high quality chocolate.

I've adapted a great recipe for Goat Cheese Chocolate Truffles that I found on Epicurious. This recipe originally appeared in Gourmet Magazine, October 1993.

Love the tangy, yet sweet taste of these truffles, and the little bit of lemon that give these truffles a very unique flavor.  For your first time making these, choose a mild goat cheese. A really tangy goat cheese can overpower the sweetness in the chocolate, and it won't be to everyone's taste.


GOAT CHEESE CHOCOLATE TRUFFLES

6 ounces dark chocolate (70-85% cacao organic fair trade chocolate), chopped
6 ounces (about 3/4 cup) room temperature fresh goat cheese
2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon Madagascar vanilla
1/8 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup unsweetened dark cocoa powder, sifted, for coating the truffles

In a metal bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water melt the chocolate, stirring until smooth, remove the bowl from the pan, and let the chocolate cool slightly.
In a different bowl whisk together the goat cheese, the confectioners' sugar, the vanilla, and lemon juice until the mixture is light and fluffy, whisk in the chocolate until the mixture is combined well, and chill the mixture, covered, for 1 hour, or until firm.
Form heaping teaspoons of the mixture into balls and roll the balls in the cocoa powder.
Chill the truffles on a baking sheet lined with waxed paper for 30 minutes, or until they are firm.
The truffles keep in an airtight container, chilled, for 3 days.

Don't you just love a recipe like this? I do! 
Happy Goat Cheese Month. 
What are you making with Goat Cheese?

Monday, August 2, 2010

Bravo Top Chef Just Desserts

Top Chef Desserts Contestants Named. Premier September 15. The show will be hosted by Gail Simmons and feature judges Johnny Iuzzini, Hubert Keller and Dannielle Kyrillos. Pastry world luminaries appearing this season include master chocolatier Jacques Torres, wedding cake maven Sylvia Weinstock, Spago pastry chef Sherry Yard and Le Benardin pastry chef Michael Laiskonis.

Each episode of "Top Chef: Just Desserts" holds two challenges for the pastry chefs: the first is a quickfire test of their basic abilities and the second is a more involved elimination challenge designed to test the versatility and inventiveness of the pastry chefs as they take on unique culinary trials such as working with unusual and exotic ingredients or catering for a range of demanding clients.

There’ll be a few Bay Area connections in the competition:
Keller, who runs Fleur de Lys and Burger Bar in San Francisco.
Yigit Pura, a Turkish native and veteran of the San Francisco dessert scene (Postrio and Gary Danko; he’s now executive pastry chef at Taste Catering and Event Planning in SF).
Tim Nugent of Oakland, executive pastry chef at the Sir Francis Drake Hotel in Union Square. He’s worked at SF’s Acquerello and Zuni Cafe and appeared on KRON’s “Bay Cafe.”
Morgan Wilson, who now works in Dallas but was born in Sonora and started out in SF, at Essex Supper Club and EOS Restaurant and Wine Bar

Get the full cast list and bios at the Bravo site, right here.

Watch a preview of the show!





S'mores Ice Cream Sandwiches: National Ice Cream Sandwich Day

Today is National Ice Cream Sandwich Day. Every day can be a gourmet ice cream sandwich day as long as you have great cookies and great ice cream. One of my favorite ice cream sandwiches is made with Dark Chocolate Pepperidge Farm cookies and Ben & Jerry's Cherry Garcia ice-cream. How easy is that?  Try it with Chocolate Cookies and Chunky Monkey Ice Cream, too.

You can always make your own cookies and ice cream, but putting good quality cookies together with wonderful ice cream works well and is fast and easy. Hint: depends how big your cookies are, but you can cut a softened chunk of ice cream using a cookie cutter the approximate size of the cookie. Press lightly until ice cream exceeds or matches the size of the cookies, bottoms facing in. Roll the sides of each sandwich in chocolate chips. (If ice cream is melting, place sandwiches in freezer until firm enough to roll in chips.) Transfer sandwiches onto baking sheets. Freeze until firm, at least 2 hours

Here's a link to Two of the Ice Cream Sandwich recipes I've posted over the last year:

Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Sandwich 

Peppermint Patty Ice Cream Sandwiches

Summertime is all about S'mores on the Grill, but these S'mores Ice Cream Sandwiches from AllYou July 2008 are frozen, easy and delicious!  Graham Crackers work well in ice cream sandwiches because they're sturdy when you make the sandwiches, but then they soften up when you freeze them. I will admit that I usually have a jar of Marshmallow Fluff around. Using Rocky Road Ice Cream is perfect in these S'mores Ice Cream Sandwiches. I usually use really high quality dark chocolate.

S'mores Ice Cream Sandwiches
Makes 8 sandwiches

Ingredients
8 graham crackers, broken in half
1/2 cup Marshmallow Fluff
1 1/2 ounces dark chocolate (75-85% cacao) chocolate, finely chopped
1 pint rocky road ice cream, softened

Preparation
Spread 8 graham cracker halves with Marshmallow Fluff and set aside. Put dark chocolate in microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high for about 90 seconds, stirring every 30 seconds, until melted and smooth. With a spatula or knife, spread melted chocolate on remaining 8 graham cracker halves. Let cool slightly.
Spoon 1/4 cup rocky road ice cream onto each marshmallow-topped cracker.
Top with chocolate-covered graham, chocolate side down, pressing gently.
Serve immediately, or wrap in plastic and return to freezer.
Sandwiches will keep, frozen, for 2 days.

Celebrate Ice Cream Sandwich Day!