Thursday, February 28, 2013

Coconut Chocolate Souffle: Retro Recipe

Today is National Chocolate Souffle Day. If you've been reading this blog, you know that I love souffles, and I've posted many different recipes over the years. How could I have a Chocolate Blog without at least 5 Souffle Recipes?

Here's a new old recipe from Baker's Famous Chocolate Recipes (1936) for a twist on the souffle: Coconut Chocolate Souffle.

You might not have Minute Tapioca in your pantry, but let me tell you it's worth searching out for this recipe. Check out my post on Tapioca. As far as Baker's Southern Coconut Flakes go, I wasn't sure exactly what that is, so I use Baker's Angel Flake Coconut which is slightly sweetened. After all, it was 1936.. maybe it's the same, maybe it's another product all together. If you know, leave a comment or contact me. I'm sure there's a Food Historian out there who knows!

For Chocolate, I use high quality dark chocolate. It might vary the taste, but I like fair trade natural chocolate.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Kahlua Mexican Chocolate Cake: National Kahlua Day

I love Kahlua. It's such a versatile liqueur. Kahlúa is a Mexican coffee-flavored rum-based liqueur. It's dense and sweet, with the taste of coffee, from which it is made. Kahlúa also contains sugar, corn syrup and vanilla bean, so you see why it's often matched with chocolate in drinks, cakes, pies and candy.

I found a great Kahlua promotional cookbook at the flea market recently: The Best of Kahlua: A Guide to Food and Entertaining. (1970). There are some really great recipes in this book, but for National Kahlua Day, I think this recipe for Mexican Chocolate Kahlua Cake is perfect! Make it today or save the recipe and make if for Cinco de Mayo. It's so easy and delicious!




Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Tuesday Tips: 5 DIY Chocolate Face Masks

5 DIY Chocolate Face Masks  -- smooth the face and settle the soul!

We all know that Chocolate is good for the heart, blood pressure, and a lot more. When I was growing up, we were told that chocolate was bad for the skin. That it actually caused acne. This is not true. Chocolate is full of antioxidants that actually gives the skin extra protection against free radicals and can nourish the skin. The following masks can increase hydration, support skin's defense against UV damage, decrease roughness, and actually improve blood flow. Give one or all of them a try.

Pros of Chocolate Face Masks: The skin becomes glowing and soft. The skin becomes firm and smooth. Even if the mask goes into your mouth, no problem, it tastes yummy. The final Chocolate Face Mask even has an alternative fudge recipe.

So today's Tuesday Chocolate Tip: 5 D-I-Y Chocolate Face Mask Recipes! They're all simple to make. Let me know which is your favorite.

1. Chocolate Mask from Household Magic: Daily Tips

Mix together a heaping Tbsp of unsweetened cocoa powder with heavy cream to form a paste.
Apply to clean, dry skin and leave the paste on for 15 minutes.
Wipe off mask with washcloth.
Rinse face with lukewarm water and pat dry.

2. Chocolate Yogurt Honey Mask from Flavor Fiesta

Ingredients:
1 tsp cocoa powder
1 tsp yogurt
1 tsp honey

Directions:
1. Blend cocoa powder with honey and yogurt. Cocoa powder can be difficult to blend, so be patient with this step. Keep mixing until mixture looks like melted chocolate.
2. Clean your face with lukewarm water. Dab dry and then apply the mask evenly all over your face except the eye and lip areas. Relax for 15-20 minutes and let the mask do it’s magic.
3. Wash off with lukewarm water and dab dry.
Apply moisturizer.

3. Chocolate Brown Sugar Sea Salt Mask from WikiHow

Ingredients
2 bars of dark chocolate
2/3 cup of milk
Sea salt
3 Tbsp Brown Sugar

Directions
Heat dark chocolate in a double boiler for about 3 minutes.
Mix sea salt, brown sugar, and 2/3 of a cup milk in a bowl.
Remove melted chocolate from heat.
Mix melted chocolate with salt/milk mixture.
Allow to cool.
Apply to face while cool but not hardened.
Leave on until it hardens.
Wash or chip off with mild cleanser and warm water.
Add moisturizer when done.

4. Chocolate Oatmeal Honey Mask from Skin Care and Remedies

Ingredients
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup organic honey
2 Tbsp of heavy cream (or sour cream)
3 tsp oatmeal powder

Directions
Mix all ingredients until mass in consistent.
Apply to face, gently massaging so oatmeal can start exfoliating the dead skin cell layer.
Leave on for about 15-20 minutes
Rinse off with lukewarm water.

This is one of my favorites because it's so versatile.. with a tiny bit of tweaking, you can make fudge! How cool is that!

5. Chocolate Avocado, Honey, Oatmeal Face Mask (or Fudge)  
 from Meghan Telpner-Making Love in the Kitchen

Ingredients
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup organic honey
2 Tbsp smashed avocado
3 tsp oatmeal powder (leave this out if making soft fudge, leave in if you want a harder texture)

Directions: Face Mask
Mix all the ingredient until mass is consistent.
Apply on face, gently massaging so oatmeal can start exfoliating the dead skin cell layer.
Leave on for 15-20 minutes
Rinse off with lukewarm water.

Instructions: Fudge
Mix all ingredients (except oatmeal) until mass is consistent.
Spread in small pyrex dish or into individual ramikens
Allow to set in refrigerator for at least two hours.

Photo: Meghan Telpner: Making Love in the Kitchen 


Monday, February 25, 2013

Triple Chocolate-Covered Peanut Clusters

Happy Chocolate Covered Peanuts Day! Seems like we just had another Chocolate Covered Nut Day, but I don't mind celebrating again--this time with Peanuts. This recipe is so easy. You make it in a Slow Cooker! This recipe is from from the Southern Living Slow Cooker Cookbook (2006). Of course, you can substitute any higher quality chocolate in this recipe! I love that there are three types of chocolate!

TRIPLE CHOCOLATE-COVERED PEANUT CLUSTERS

Ingredients
1 (16-ounce) jar dry-roasted peanuts
1 (16-ounce) jar unsalted dry-roasted peanuts
18 (2-ounce) chocolate bark coating squares, cut in half
2 cups (12-ounce package) semisweet chocolate morsels
1 (4-ounce) package German chocolate baking squares, broken into pieces
1 (9.75-ounce) can salted whole cashews
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions
Combine first 5 ingredients in a 3 1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker.
Cover and cook on LOW 2 hours or until melted.
Stir chocolate mixture.
Add cashews and vanilla, stirring well to coat cashews.
Drop nut mixture by heaping tablespoonfuls onto wax paper.
Let stand until firm.
Store in airtight container.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Red Carpet Red Velvet Popcorn & Popcorn Balls for the Academy Awards

Yesterday I posted a recipe for Chocolate Covered Popcorn--perfect to eat while watching the Academy Awards. Want to take it up a notch?

Here are two recipes for Red Carpet Red Velvet Popcorn and a recipe for Red Carpet Red Velvet Popcorn Balls. 

Roll out the Red Carpet!

 
I. RED CARPET RED VELVET POPCORN

Ingredients
1 cup red velvet cake crumbs  (make your own cake or buy one at the bakery - a few unfrosted cupcakes will do)
2 Tbsp sweet butter
2 Tbsp Madagascar vanilla extract
2 tsp sugar
1/8 tsp salt
8 cups popcorn, popped
1/2 cup white chocolate chips

Directions 
1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Spread cake crumbs on baking sheet. Bake 8 - 10 minutes until toasted. Cool.
3. Melt butter, vanilla, sugar, salt and mix.
4. Toss popcorn with butter mixture.
5. Microwave white chocolate chips or melt in double boiler; stir until smooth.
6. Drizzle over popcorn until evenly coated.
7. Toss in cake crumbs.

II. RED CARPET RED VELVET POPCORN
Recipe adapted from CassieCraves, adapted from Cookies and Cups

Ingredients
8 cups popped popcorn (1/2 cup unpopped kernels or 2 bags)
3 cups red velvet cake crumbs
12 ounces white chocolate chips
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Directions
1. Pour popcorn into large bowl. Melt white chocolate in microwave or double boiler.
2. Pour melted chocolate over popcorn and stir gently to coat completely.
3. Pour popcorn onto waxed paper lined cookie sheets and sprinkle with red velvet crumbs.
4. Melt dark chocolate chips in microwave or double boiler. Using fork, drizzle over popcorn.
5. Let popcorn set completely before eating.

Want to make Red Carpet Red Velvet Popcorn Balls? Here's a recipe adapted from IcyViolet's Kitchen. It's quite heavenly--and very rich.

III. RED CARPET RED VELVET POPCORN BALLS

Ingredients
12 oz white chocolate 
1/4 cup cream cheese
1-1/4 cup
white cake mix

1/4 cup DARK cocoa powder
2 teaspoons red food coloring (or 1/4 tsp red food gel)
1/4 cup corn kernels

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Directions: 
1. Put 1/4 cup corn kernels in large pot with Tbsp olive oil over medium to medium high heat...they will heat up and start popping. When popping lessens and stops. it's done. Measure out six cups and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt.
2. Melt white chocolate in microwave or double boiler. Add cream cheese to chocolate and stir until melted.
3. Add cake mix, cocoa, and red food coloring to chocolate mixture and stir.
4. Pour coating onto popcorn and coat evenly.
5. Pour popcorn  onto cookie sheets to cool/harden and shape into popcorn balls

Saturday, February 23, 2013

A Night at the Oscars: Chocolate Covered Popcorn

The Academy Awards are tomorrow night. One really needs treats for "A Night at the Movies"! There will be Junior Mints, one of my favorite movie watching candies. I posted a recipe for homemade Junior Mints and Junior Mints Cheesecake the other day. And, of course, there will be Popcorn -- dressed appropriately for the occasion. Here's a simple recipe worthy of Oscar viewing!

You can use dark or white chocolate--or both. Just drizzle some great melted chocolate over your air-popped Popcorn. Drizzle sparingly.

CHOCOLATE COVERED POPCORN

1. Make a bag of popcorn (buttered or plain) and pop it according to the directions. (airpopping!)

2. Put popped popcorn into large bowl or flat baking pan (for more even distribution).

3. Melt dark or white chocolate or both (in separate bowls) in top of double boiler (or in microwave).

4. Drizzle chocolate on popcorn. You can always add more chocolate, but you can't remove it, so use sparingly.

Friday, February 22, 2013

HONEY FUDGE CAKE: Retro 1947 Ad & Recipe

I definitely need this "New 1947" Servel gas refrigerator with "six" cubic feet of food capacity to go with my 1949 O'Keefe Merritt Stove.  Looks like I missed the deadline -- the contest ended May 10, 1947. But there's a silver lining. I have the ad and the recipe, and I can make Swans Down's New Mix-Easy Honey Fudge Cake.



Thursday, February 21, 2013

Chocolate Cinnamon Buns: National Sticky Bun Day

Today is National Sticky Bun Day! I love Cinnamon Buns, and what could be better than Chocolate Sticky Buns! Here's a great vintage Betty Crocker Gold Medal Flour Advertisement and Recipe for Chocolate Cinnamon Buns.

Chocolate Cinnamon Buns

3/4 cup warm water (not hot - 110 to 115 degrees)
1 package active dry yeast
1/4 cup shortening
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/3 cup cocoa  (use DARK cocoa for richness)
2 and 1/4 cups sifted flour
1 Tablespoon soft butter
1 and 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
3 Tablespoons sugar
chopped pistachio nuts (or almonds or pecans)

In mixer bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add shortening, salt, sugar, egg, cocoa and 1 cup flour. Beat 2 minutes, medium speed on mixer or 300 vigorous strokes by hand. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl. Stir in remaining flour; blend well. Scrape sides of bowl.

Cover with cloth; let rise in warm place (85 degrees) until double in bulk, about 1 hour. (If kitchen is cool, place dough on rack over bowl of hot water; cover completely with towel.) Stir down by beating 25 strokes. Turn soft dough out on well floured cloth-covered board. Roll into rectangle, 12 x 9". Spread with butter; sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar mixture. Roll up, beginning at wide side. Pinch edge into roll. Cut 12 pieces. Place in greased 9" square pan. Let rise in warm place (85 degrees) until double, about 40 minutes.

Heat oven to 375 degrees (quick mod.). Bake 25 minutes. Remove from pan, frost top immediately with icing (3/4 cup sifted confectioners' sugar moistened with cream or milk to spreading consistency.) Sprinkle with chopped nuts. Serve warm.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Chocolate Cherry Pie: National Cherry Pie Day

So today is National Cherry Pie Day, but since it's winter here in the Northern Hemisphere, I'm not sure why this food holiday shows up in February. Can't get local fresh cherries? Many markets carry cherries from Mexico and countries in South America, so check around. Or, you can wait and bookmark this recipe to make in the summer.

But, if you can get fresh cherries, I suggest you make Chocolate Cherry Pie today. This recipe is from Allison Arevalo who posted this on Local Lemons.

This Chocolate Cherry Pie is indeed one of the most decadent chocolate cherry combinations ever. Using fresh ripe deep purple cherries, sweet agave nectar and rich dark chocolate from Dagoba with a butter pie crust, this is positively sinful. The directions and photos on Local Lemons are outstanding.

Allison Arevalo is no longer blogging at Local Lemons, but you can try some of her unbelievable Mac + Cheese at Homeroom in Oakland. She's the co-owner. Can't make it to Homeroom? Get a copy of The Mac + Cheese Cookbook by Allison Arevalo and Erin Wade.

Photo: Local Lemons with permission

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Junior Mints Cheesecake, History & More: Chocolate Mint Day

Today is National Chocolate Mint Day... the perfect food holiday to write about one of my all time favorite candies -- Junior Mints. Also with the Oscars coming up this weekend, it's the perfect time for a Junior Mints post. I love Junior Mints at the Movies!

Definition: Junior Mints are a candy consisting of small rounds of mint filling (with a dimple on one side) inside a dark chocolate coating. They are currently produced by Tootsie Roll Industries.

History: Junior Mints were introduced in 1949 by the James O. Welch Company, manufacturers of candies and candy bars such as Sugar Babies, Welch's Fudge, and Pom Poms. The name of the product is a pun on Sally Benson's Junior Miss, a collection of her stories from The New Yorker, which were adapted by Jerome Chodorov and Joseph Fields into a successful play, directed by Moss Hart. Junior Miss ran on Broadway from 1941 to 1943. In 1945, the play was adapted to film, with George Seaton directing Peggy Ann Garner in the lead role. The Junior Miss radio series, starring Barbara Whiting, was being broadcast weekly on CBS at the time Junior Mints were first marketed in 1949. Welch created a product sold at movie theater concession stands and identified with a specific movie and radio series and displaying a name that sounded almost exactly like that property–yet different enough that it avoided any fees for licensing and merchandising. Junior Mints quickly became a popular candy, and one product in the line is the three oz. box marketed as the "Theater Size Junior Mints Concession Candy".

And, of course, who can forget the Junior Mints episode of Seinfeld?

In case you want to smell like Junior Mints, not just eat them, here's a Link to the Scent.

If you want to make something close to Junior Mints in taste, I suggest these Peppermint Patties by my friend Pattie Tierney. They're not small, but they're wonderful.

And, here's a recipe that includes actual Junior Mints:

JUNIOR MINTS CHEESECAKE 

Ingredients
6 oz. Junior Mint (two 3 oz. pkgs.)
3 (8 oz.) pkgs. cream cheese, softened
2/3 c. sugar 3 eggs
1 tsp. Madagascar vanilla extract
Chocolate crumb crust for a 9 inch springform pan  (see below)

Directions
Put Junior Mints in freezer.
In electric mixer, combine cream cheese and sugar until smooth.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Stir in vanilla.
Pour into crust.
Chop cold Junior Mints and sprinkle on cheesecake.
Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until just set.
Cool on wire rack, then chill several hours or overnight. Makes 8 servings.

Chocolate Crust: 
Combine 2 cups crushed chocolate wafers (I whirl them in the blender) with 6 tablespoons melted butter.
Press into bottom and up sides of pan.

Monday, February 18, 2013

First Ladies' Chocolate Recipes for Presidents Day

I posted Martha Washington's Recipe for Devil's Food Cake this weekend, so I thought I should post a few other Chocolate Recipes from other first ladies. The recipes are found in the individual Presidential Archives. Make any of these great recipe and celebrate Presidents Day.

From Mamie Eisenhower (Dwight D. Eisenhower) 
Mamie Eisenhower’s Million Dollar Fudge
* I posted this recipe last year in a slightly different version from the cookbook Politics & Pot Roast **This recipe makes 4 pounds of Fudge**

Ingredients
4 1/2 cups sugar
pinch of salt
2 tablespoons butter
1 tall can evaporated milk
12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate bits
12 ounces German-sweet chocolate
1 pint marshmallow cream
2 cups nutmeats

Directions
Boil the sugar, salt, butter, evaporated milk together for six minutes.
Put chocolate bits and German chocolate, marshmallow cream and nutmeats in a bowl.
Pour the boiling syrup over the ingredients.
Beat until chocolate is all melted, then pour in pan.
Let stand a few hours before cutting.
Remember it is better the second day. Store in tin box.

From Betty Ford (Gerald Ford)
Betty Ford's Chocolate Icebox Dessert

Ingredients
6 Eggs
1 Angel food cake
12 oz Chocolate chips
4 Tbsp Sugar
6 Tbsp Water
2 teaspoon Vanilla
1 teaspoon Salt
2 cups Whipping cream

Directions
Line flat 9x9″ cake pan with wax paper.
Slice angel food cake and place a layer of cake in pan. (Slices easier if frozen). Separate eggs, beat yolks.
Melt chocolate in double boiler over water.
When melted, add sugar and water. Mix well. Make sure sugar melts.
Remove from heat and stir gradually into the beaten egg yolks. Beat until smooth. Cool this mixture. Add vanilla and salt. Mix well.
Beat egg whites until stiff.
Whip the cream.
Fold egg whites into chocolate mix, then the whipped cream.
Place a layer of chocolate on the angel food slices, than another layer of cake, then a layer of chocolate.
Place in refrigerator overnight.
This can be frozen and used later. Be sure to chill overnight before freezing.

From Lady Bird Johnson (LBJ) 
Lady Bird’s Chocolate Nut Drop Cookies



From Hillary Clinton (Bill Clinton)
Hillary Clinton's Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients
Vegetable oil, for baking sheets
1 1/2 cups unsifted all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup solid vegetable shortening
1 cup (firmly packed) light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 package (12-ounce) semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease baking sheets with vegetable oil.
Combine flour, salt, and baking soda on waxed paper.
Beat together shortening, sugars, and vanilla in large bowl with an electric mixer until creamy. Add eggs, beating until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in flour mixture and rolled oats. Stir in chocolate chips.
Drop batter by well-rounded teaspoonfuls onto baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until golden.

***
And from Michelle Obama: 
Mama Kaye’s White and Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes 5 dozen cookiesPrep: 15 minutesBake at 375° for 12 minutes per batch

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 stick Crisco butter-flavored solid vegetable shortening
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 cup each white chocolate chips, milk chocolate chips and mint chocolate chips (or Andes mint pieces)
2 cups chopped walnuts

1. Heat oven to 375°.
2. Whisk together flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, cream butter, vegetable shortening, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract.
3. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
4. On low speed, beat in flour mixture. By hand, stir in white and milk chocolate chips, mint chips and walnuts.
5. Drop rounded tablespoons of dough onto un-greased baking sheets.
6. Bake at 375° for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Chocolate: George Washington's Favorite Drink

Presidents Weekend and what better way to celebrate than with the George Washington's Favorite Drink: Warm Chocolate Cream.

George Washington definitely liked his chocolate. A favorite breakfast for him was cornmeal hoe cakes with honey and butter, washed them down with Warm Chocolate Cream, according to the cookbook, Dining with the Washingtons, by the staff at George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate. The cookbook offers updated versions of typical recipes from the period and a glimpse into the first president's favorite foods.

Dining with the Washingtons, Historic Recipes, Entertaining, and Hospitality from Mount Vernon, edited By Stephen A. McLeod

Chocolate was a favorite drink at Mount Vernon in George Washington's lifetime. Washington's first recorded order for chocolate was for 20 pounds of chocolate, which arrived from England in 1758. He continued to buy chocolate throughout his life, in quantities as small as one pound and as large as the 50 pounds purchased three months before his death in 1799. (Source: Pleasant Living Magazine)

Chocolate was a typical breakfast beverage, not only at Mount Vernon but throughout British North America. It was made by grating a small amount of chocolate into boiling water, milk and water, or wine and water, and later adding sugar (See recipe below from Dining with the Washingtons).

In a letter to his wife in Scotland, tutor John Harrower at Belvidera Plantation wrote that breakfast with his employer usually consisted of warm bread and either coffee or chocolate. In 1794, a friend wrote to George Washington requesting two or three bushels of chocolate shells "such as we've frequently drank Chocolate of at Mt. Vernon, as my Wife thinks it agreed with her better than any other Breakfast....". Martha Washington's daughter-in-law admitted to one of her daughters that "the more simple food I have is best" and went on to say that "I breakfast on Chocolate....".

Special ceramic forms were used to serve this beverage. Among the 309 pieces of white and gold French china acquired in 1790 for the presidential mansion were 12 chocolate cups and saucers, which were brought to Mount Vernon upon Washington's retirement. The Washingtons purchased three sets of tea china and six chocolate cups in 1793, further evidence that chocolate, although popular, was not served as often as tea. A covered, two-handled chocolate or caudle cup, probably intended as a display piece, survives from the "States" service given to Martha Washington in 1796 and is exhibited in the museum at Mount Vernon.

In addition to enjoying cocoa, the Washingtons often made a healthful tea from the shells (hulls), which they served to guests.

Recipe from Dining with the Washingtons:


Saturday, February 16, 2013

Martha Washington's Devil's Food Cake: Presidents Day

Presidents Day: Martha Washington was known for entertaining, and who better than to put forth a recipe for Devil's Food Cake than the First First Lady. Her Devil's Food Cake is a classic chocolate-buttermilk cake that has been handed down through the generations, republished (with variations) by baking chocolate companies and appearing on thousands of websites. Presidents Day is a celebration of Presidential Birthdays, and this is the perfect Birthday Cake.

This recipe is from Capitol Hill Cooks: Recipes from the White House, Congress and All of the Past Presidents by Linda Bauer (Taylor). The collection of appetizers, entrees, sides and desserts, from two centuries worth of politicos, is a benefit for Homes for Our Troops, which helps injured veterans build or adapt their homes for handicapped accessibility.

Martha Washington's Devil's Food Cake

Ingredients
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1 3/4 cups sugar, divided
1 1/2 cups buttermilk, divided
1/2 cup cake flour, sifted
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3 eggs, well beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-by-15-inch pan or two 9-inch cake pans.
2. Melt chocolate in a double boiler. Add 1 cup sugar and 1/2 cup buttermilk, and stir until sugar is dissolved. Cool.
3. Sift flour once, measure, add baking powder, baking soda and salt and sift together three times.
4. Cream butter thoroughly. Add 3/4 cup sugar gradually, and cream together until light and fluffy. Add eggs and beat well. Add about a quarter of the flour mixture, mix thoroughly. Add chocolate mixture and blend. Add remaining flour, alternately with buttermilk, a small amount at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition. Add vanilla.
5. Pour batter into greased pan and bake for 30 minutes, or until done. Let cool. When completely cooled, trim edges and cut rectangular cake in half crosswise to make a two-layer cake. Fill and frost with icing of your choice.


Illustration: San Jose Mercury News Staff

Friday, February 15, 2013

Marshmallow No-Cook Frosting: Karo Syrup Retro Ad

I meant to post this fabulous 1950s Retro Karo Syrup Ad for No-Cook Frosting earlier this week for Mardi Gras! Karo Syrup is corn syrup, and it came (still comes) in three kinds: Dark (Blue Label), Light (Red Label) and Maple-y (Green Label).

Karo Syrup was a staple in my mother's kitchen, and I always have a bottle on my shelf. It's perfect for pecan pies! Karo is a brand of corn syrup, created by the Corn Products Refining Company in 1902. Karo was the first conveniently packaged corn syrup for home cooking. It's used in cooking and baking, and it's not as sweet as other syrups.

But I really like this recipe because it uses Karo Syrup to make Frosting. There's even a chocolate frosting variation.

FLUFFY MARSHMALLOW FROSTING


Thursday, February 14, 2013

RETRO VALENTINE'S DAY CHOCOLATE ADS

Valentine's Day is all about Chocolate, so here are a few Vintage Valentine's Day Chocolate Ads to celebrate! Say it with Chocolate!








VINTAGE VALENTINE HEART CHOCOLATE MOLDS

Vintage Valentine Chocolate Molds

I love Vintage Chocolate Molds, and I thought you'd enjoy seeing these Vintage Chocolate Heart Molds for Valentine's Day!




Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Mickey and Minnie Valentine's Day Chocolate Cookies

There's nothing quite like a good Chocolate Cookie for Valentine's Day. I make a lot of Heart shaped Chocolate Cookies for Valentine's Day. I always think it's fun to use different Heart Cookie Cutters so you have different sizes and different shaped hearts. But recently at the Flea Market I came across these two cuties. What says Valentine's Day more than the perfect couple--Minnie and Mickey Mouse!

So here's a great easy Chocolate Cookie Recipe. Use whatever cookie cutters you have.. I'm using Minnie and Mickey!

This great Chocolate Cut Out Cookie Recipe is slightly adapted from Bake @ 350. These cookies hold their shape and are delicious!

Ingredients
2 & 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup Dark cocoa powder (Dutch Process)
1 tsp instant espresso powder
1 cup sweet butter
1/2 tsp salt (I use course seasalt)
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. Madagascar vanilla

Instructions
Preheat oven to 350.
Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
Cream together butter and sugar until light & fluffy (1-2 full minutes). Beat in egg and vanilla until well combined.
Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, espresso and salt and slowly add to butter mixture with mixer on low. Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl as needed.
Roll dough about 1/4 inch thick on surface lightly dusted with cocoa powder. Hint: roll soft dough in between sheets of parchment and put in refrigerator for 15 minutes until firm.
Cut out shapes and put on baking sheets.
Freeze for 5 minutes (optional) 
Bake for 8-10 minutes, until set.
Let cookies cool for 2-3 minutes and using spatula put on cooling rack.

I don't ice my chocolate cookies, but these cutters would guide the way. I know you'll love the great chocolate taste in these cookies! What cookie cutters are you planning to use for Valentine's Day?

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

MARDI GRAS CHOCOLATE: Bugnes, Beignets, Beads & Chocolate Doberge Cake

Today is Mardi Gras! Fat Tuesday! If you haven't already indulged in Pancakes (it's also Shrove Tuesday), you might want to try these Mardi Gras Treats!

Eat some Beignets today! Sugared Chocolate Beignets are perfect for Mardi Gras!
Lara Ferroni has a great recipe for Beignets with Fudgy Chicory Coffee Sauce!


Chocolate Bugnes are wonderful classic French Mardi Gras treats that originated in central-Eastern France (not necessarily chocolate). They're closely related to beignets, so they're perfect for Mardi Gras! Here's a recipe from O. Buisson.

Want something else that embraces Coffee & Chicory? This is a fabulous recipe that reflects New Orleans cuisine: Chocolate Cupped Cakes with Coffee & Chicory.

Mardi Gras is full of coins and beads, and you've got to to to HungryHappenings to find out how to make fabulous Chocolate Truffle Beads!

Mardi Gras isn't complete without King Cake. Here's a great recipe for Chocolate Cinnamon King Cake from Recipe Shoe Box.

Another Louisiana/Alabama favorite cake is Doberge Cake (pronounced alternately as “DOUGH-bash”, “Doh-BAREzh” and as “Dow-BAWHzh”). This recipe is adapted from Mardigrasday.com for Chocolate Doberge Cake! Just an FYI: Doberge Cake is a very popular Birthday Cake in the New Orleans area.

Chocolate Doberge Cake

Cake
2 cups cake flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
10 Tablespoons sweet butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs, separated, whites beaten until stiff
1 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 (1-ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate, melted
1 1/4 teaspoons Madagascar vanilla
1 teaspoon almond extract

Filling
2 1/2 cups evaporated milk
2 (1-ounce) squares semi-sweet chocolate (60-65% cacao)
1 1/4 cups sugar
5 Tablespoons flour
4 egg yolks
2 Tablespoons sweet butter
1 1/4 teaspoon Madagascar vanilla
1/4 teaspoon almond extract

Frosting
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 cup evaporated milk
1 1/2 (1-ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate
4 Tablespoons sweet butter
1 teaspoon Madasgascar vanilla

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Grease and flour 2 nine-inch round cake pans. In medium bowl, sift flour, soda, and salt 3 times. Cream butter and sugar in large mixing bowl, and add egg yolks, one at a time. Gradually alternate adding flour mixture and buttermilk, then add chocolate and mix well by beating about 3 minutes. Fold in 3 beaten egg whites, vanilla, and almond extract. Bake for 45 minutes or until done. After cake cools, split each layer in half to make 4 thin layers.

To make filling, put milk and chocolate in saucepan and heat until chocolate is melted. In bowl, combine sugar and flour. Make paste by adding hot milk chocolate by Tablespoons to sugar and flour, then return to saucepan. Stir over medium heat until thick. Add 4 egg yolks all at once and stir rapidly to completely blend. Cook 2 or 3 minutes more. Remove from heat, and add butter, vanilla, and almond extract. Cool and spread on cake, layering as you go. Do not spread on top layer.

For frosting, combine sugar and milk in heavy saucepan, bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer for 6 minutes without stirring. Remove from heat and blend in chocolate. Add butter and vanilla and return to medium-low heat, cooking 1 or 2 minutes. Place in refrigerator to cool. Beat well, then spread on top and the sides of the cake.

Cooking with Herb Absinthe  has another recipe for Chocolate Doberge Cake: Check it out here!

Monday, February 11, 2013

CRÈME FRAÎCHE CHOCOLATE MOUSSE

Chocolate Mousse is so perfect for Valentine's Day. I've posted many Chocolate Mousse recipes, and they're all wonderful, but it's always good to try a new one and this one is fabulous--and so easy!

A few weeks ago at the San Francisco Fancy Food Show, I met Sadie Kendall of Kendall Farms. We had a delightful conversation. Sadie pioneered Crème Fraîche in the U.S., and I've been using it for years in baked goods, cream sauces, and lots of other ways. 

"Sadie Kendall is one of the leaders of the revolution that continues to energize the American food industry. Before most of us had even heard of the delicious and versatile French preparation called crème fraîche, she was carefully adapting its production methods to the American dairy. Kendall Farms Crème Fraîche has become a classic. It is one of the few American versions that remains faithful to the French original, made from cultured cream without added enzymes or thickeners that compromise flavor and functionality. Kendall Farms Crème Fraîche is the benchmark for genuine American Crème Fraîche." - Harold McGee, author of On Food and Cooking and The Curious Cook.

THE HISTORY of Crème Fraîche from the Kendall Farms Website:

The Larousse Gastronomique defines crème fraîche as "cream to which a lactic bacteria starter has been added which thickens the cream and gives it a slightly sharp, but not sour flavor."

Crème Fraîche originated in the dairy-producing regions of France such as Normandy, Alsace, Franche-Comté and the northern Loire. Fresh milk was left to settle overnight at cool ambient temperature to allow the cream to rise to the top and then be collected for making butter. The naturally occurring lactose-fermenting bacteria worked overnight to thicken and acidify the cream.

In France today, crème fraîche exists in varying consistency from liquid to thick; the liquid version is barely fermented while the thicker product undergoes up to twenty hours of fermentation. The fat content may vary from product to product. All of the cream sold as crème fraîche is traditionally pasteurized as opposed to ultra high -temperature pasteurized.

Commercially produced crème fraîche in the US is far from consistent from brand to brand. Some manufacturers use cream from Jersey or Guernsey cows which lends a buttery, cheesey flavor to the créme fraîche due to the high content of diacetyl in the milk of those breeds. Many producers use a shorter, hotter fermentation period or bacterial starters that result in a one-dimensional flavor profile. Some manufacturers may even use thickeners.

Not Kendall Farms... it's a wonderful consistent product that I always have in the refrigerator. Always there for culinary emergencies, as well as perfect for sauces and baking--and this fabulous Chocolate Mousse.

SALLY KENDALL'S CRÈME FRAÎCHE CHOCOLATE MOUSSE

Ingredients
2 cups creme fraiche
4 tbs confectioner's sugar
2 tbs instant coffee
1 tbs hot water
4 oz unsweetened chocolate

Directions
Dissolve instant coffee in hot water.
Place chocolate and coffee solution in saucepan and melt chocolate on low heat (stir frequently).
Whip cold crème fraîche, adding sugar, 1 tablespoon at time, to taste. Whip until stiff. Taste for sweetness.
Add a few tablespoons of crème fraîche to chocolate to equalize their temperatures.
Add chocolate to crème fraîche.
Whip to blend in chocolate.
Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.

For more of Sally Kendall's Creme Fraiche recipes, go HERE.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Chocolate Recipes for Chinese New Year

Chocolat Chocolate Snake
恭賀發財 Gung Hay Fat Choy! Chinese New Year begins today. This is the Year of the Snake. Chinese food is not usually known for chocolate, but there are actually many chocolate treats to make or buy to celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year!

This is the Year of the Snake! According to a Chinese saying, a snake person in the house is a good omen because it means the family will not starve. This is because snake people, being intelligent, cunning and wise, are good in business. Not only this but this year’s black water snake is also yin in nature and females often are more willing to make sacrifices to protect the family. No big surprise there.

To celebrate the Year of the Snake, you can buy Chocolate Snakes at Morkes Chocolates  or Chocolate Snakes at Chocolat. I have a lot of chocolate molds, but not snake molds.

There are also several recipes you can make, not necessarily snake related!

Lora Brody has a recipe for Chinese Noodle Nut Clusters at Epicurious. It looks like ChowMein, but tastes sweet and salty.

Hint: Using chocolate chips instead of bar or block chocolate makes a better "batter" that makes  clusters easier to form. You can find cans of Chinese chowmein noodles in the Asian food section of the supermarket. The ones you want are cooked and ready to eat like crackers.


CHINESE NOODLE CHOCOLATE CHOWMEIN

Ingredients
2 cups (10 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons sweet butter
2 cups (about 4 ounces) Chinese chow-mein noodles, broken into 1/2-inch to 1-inch pieces (vary the sizes)
1 1/4 cups (5 ounces) dry-roasted salted peanuts, shaken in a sieve to remove excess salt

Directions
Line baking sheet with wax paper, parchment paper, or aluminum foil. Set aside.
Melt chocolate chips and butter together in metal bowl set over, but not touching, saucepan of simmering water, or in microwave-safe bowl in microwave oven. Stir mixture until smooth.
In large mixing bowl, toss noodles and peanuts together.
Pour  melted chocolate mixture over them.
Working quickly before chocolate hardens, use rubber spatula to mix and coat noodles and nuts with chocolate.
Use 2 soup spoons (or teaspoons, depending on how large you want  clusters) to scoop up portions of mixture.
Set clusters on prepared sheet.
Set baking sheet in a cool place (not refrigerator) until chocolate hardens.
The clusters can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 month.

Pichet Ong and Genevieve Ko
had a recipe for Chocolate Kumquat Spring Rolls at Epicurious. Haven't made these yet, but you might want to try them on Sunday.
Want to bake? Chronicle Books Blog has a recipe for Chinese Five-Spice Chocolate Chiffon Cake. It's made with cinnamon, aniseed, cloves, ginger and fennelseed.
O.K. You know I'm always looking for the easy way out. You can always dip fortune cookies in chocolate? How easy is that? Want to be more festive. Dip the chocolate covered fortune cookies in sprinkles or colored sugar near the end)

Chocolate Covered Fortune Cookies

Ingredients
15 to 20 fortune cookies
1/2 cup dark chocolate, broken into pieces

Directions
Line baking sheet with wax or parchment paper. Place chocolate chips (or chopped chocolate) in top of double boiler or in saucepan on top of another saucepan with simmering water on bottom. Heat until melted.
Holding fortune cookie by its end, dipping rounded bottom of cookie into chocolate. Let excess chocolate drip off (then roll lightly in sprinkles if you want).
Place chocolate covered fortune cookie on wax or parchment paper. Continue with remainder of cookies.
Put cookies in refrigerator to cool. Store in airtight container or eat. I would eat them right away, really... Candy brings joy, and maybe your fortune will be good. :-)

Gung Hay Fat Choy!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Chocolate & Cheese Pairing: Perfect for Valentine's Day

With Valentine's Day right around the corner, I've been posting information about Wine & Chocolate and Wine & Beer. Either would be great for a romantic Valentine's Day 'event'. A Third pairing for the special day is Chocolate and Cheese. They go together like--well like chocolate and cheese (not chalk & cheese!). Thanks to the California Milk Advisory Board for this post on Chocolate and Real California Cheese Pairings. Use this post as a guide. Love to hear which chocolate and cheeses you pair. I had Cowgirl Creamery Triple Brie & Taza 70% Stoneground Chocolate the other night (photo). I think the Brie would have gone well with the 80-87%, but I didn't have any on hand. Happy Valentine's Day!  

***
Rich, bold, decadent – this pair is a savory-sweet love connection is sure to make your foodie heart race. Creating the perfect pair is easy with these dating guidelines. Foods with similar flavor profiles go together best. For darker chocolates, choose a more complex, aged cheese while sweet milk chocolates work best with buttery cheeses, like Brie. Bright, fruity chocolates are perfect with sharper cheeses and nuttier chocolates find a perfect pair in high butterfat cheeses. Want to spice things up a bit? Try pairing spicy chocolates with sharp cheeses – the intensities play off each other beautifully!

· Pair a dark chocolate with more the 80% cocoa with a delicious true Blue cheese
· Indulge in burnt caramel chocolates with a beer-soaked table cheese
· Pair a Bordeaux-style chocolate with a creamy triple crème Brie
· Treat yourself to candied orange peel and an aged Cheddar

Take the pairing up a notch with help from “Pair Savvy” a smart phone app that helps you pair the myriad of delicious California cheese varieties with the wine and beers you enjoy. The user-friendly application is free for download on most smart phones, including iPhone and Android devices, available at pairsavvy.realcaliforniamilk.com.

Friday, February 8, 2013

CHOCOLATE MARSHMALLOW HEARTS: Valentine's Day

Soft marshmallow centers covered with rich dark chocolate can be the "Heart' of Valentine's Day. Lots of choices out there. You can make dipheart shaped marshmallows in dark chocolate, as you would any fruit or nut. You can make the marshmallows yourself and form them in heart shaped molds or cut out with cookie cutters, or you can buy Chocolate Covered Marshmallows from various purveyors including Peeps. So many ways to combine Chocolate and Marshmallows to say I love you.

1. Kraft makes Strawberry (artificially flavored) Jet-Puffed HeartMallows that you can buy at your local drugstore, Walgreen's, Walmart or Target. Dip them in chocolate! Melt some chocolate in a double boiler or the microwave and dip half the heart marshmallow into the chocolate. Let set up on parchment-lined cookie sheet.

2. Make your own Marshmallows. Goodlife Eats has a fabulous recipe for Chocolate Raspberry Vanilla Bean Marshmallows. Once you've made your own marshmallows, you'll never go back. The Marshmallows in this recipe contain crushed, freeze dried raspberries. This gives them a pink color and fruity flavor. For another option, you can use dried strawberries. Dip the marshmallow hearts in chocolate when you're done, and you have the perfect pairing!

3. And, for an old standby, Peeps, the mother of all things marshmallow, has special Dark and Milk Chocolate Covered  Heart Shaped Peeps (raspberry flavored). Available all kinds of places.

4. Martha Stewart has a Hot Chocolate with Marshmallow Hearts suggestion for Valentine's Day. Cut Marshmallows into Heart Shapes. Start by greasing a heart-shaped petit four cutter or aspic cutter with vegetable oil or cooking spray. Cut several marshmallows in half horizontally, and then press the cutter into the center of each one. Float the marshmallows and the cut-outs on hot chocolate. Perfect for your morning cocoa on Valentine's Day!

5. One last chocolate/marshmallow combination. BarbaraBakes follows Nigella Lawson's recipe for Valentine Rocky Road Crunch Bars. Fabulous.


Thursday, February 7, 2013

Northern California Chocolate Valentine's Events

February is Chocolate Month. That shouldn't be a surprise, especially with everyone gearing up for a Chocolate-y Valentine's Day celebration--all month. 

Wine and Chocolate are the Perfect Pairing... but so are Bourbon and Chocolate, and Beer and Chocolate, and Port and Chocolate.  So grab your favorite Valentine and attend one or more of these great events in Northern California to jumpstart your Chocolate Valentine's Celebration.

SARATOGA

February 9: 12-5:00: Mountain Winery: Wine & Chocolate. Perfectly paired Gourmet Wine & Chocolate Tastings. Indulge in six perfectly paired decadent chocolate and divine wine pairings.  Enjoy lively music and a spectacular view. 


SAN CARLOS


February 9: 12-5.  Domenico Winery. Noon-5 p.m. Annual Wine & Chocolate Festival. 9 wineries pouring wines at Domenico. Each winery will pair their wines with chocolate.

HEALDSBURG
 
February 9, 1- 4. Wine & Chocolate Fantasy. Rodney Strong Winery.  24th annual event at one of Healdsburg's great wineries! 

February 16 & 17: Valentine's Weekend Wine & Chocolate Pairing. Ferrari-Carano's Seasons of the Vineyard Tasting Bar & Boutique, in the Enoteca.

LODI

February 9 & 10: 11-5. Lodi Wine & Chocolate Weekend. Taste delicious Lodi wines and decadent chocolates at over 40 wineries in the Lodi appellation.

MOUNTAIN VIEW

February 11: 7-9 p.m. Savvy Cellars. Port & Chocolate Class.

LIVERMORE

February 10: Wente Vineyards. Romance Wine & Chocolate. 1 p.m and 4 p.m. Sit down -- five decadent chocolate desserts paired with Wente Vineyards wines.

SAN FRANCISCO

Friday, February 8: 5:00 p.m  Aurea, Renaissance San Francisco Stanford Court Hotel. Mark Gleason leads a wine and chocolate tasting, featuring TCHO artisanal chocolates.

Saturday, February 9:  3:30-4:45 Hog & Rocks. Bourbon and Chocolate Pairing. Tasting includes three pairings, with chocolates from Dandelion's single-origin batches and half-ounce bourbon pours from Hog & Rocks' selection..

Thursday, February 14: 6-8 p.m. Dogpatch Wineworks Hosts Wine and Chocolate Date Night. Recchiuti chocolates and wine pairings.

NAPA

February 16. Wine & Chocolate Tasting. Silverado Vineyards. Sit down special pairing of Annette's Truffles and Silverado Vineyards wines...

MADERA

February 9-10. 10-5 Wine & Chocolate Weekend. Along the Madera Trail.

RICHMOND

February 16. 12-6. 4th Annual Chocolate & Beer Festival. Craneway Pavilion. Gourmet chocolates and local craft brews (part of SF Beer Week)

ALAMEDA

February 15. 6-9 p.m. Viva Amore, Viva Wine. Alameda's Rock Wall Wine Company. Third wine-pairing fest. includes Coco Tutti chocolate tasting.

Chocolate Cherry Truffles for Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is all about Chocolate and for me anything Red, and that includes Cherries. Remember your first Valentine's Day card? I bet it had a red heart on it. I used to love Chocolate Covered Cherries on Valentine's Day.

This year I thought I'd post two recipes for Chocolate Cherry Truffles. One has alcohol (Kirsch-Cherry liqueur) and one is non-alcoholic. They're both easy to make which is what this blog is all about.

Happy Valentine's Day!

1. Chocolate Kirsch Truffles
adapted from Martha Stewart

Ingredients
1 pound DARK chocolate (65-75% cacao),  chopped
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 cup sweet butter, cut into small pieces, room temperature
4 tablespoons KIRSCH (cherry liqueur)
3 cups unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder

Directions
Melt chocolate with cream in heatproof bowl or a saucepan set over another saucepan of simmering water, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat. Add butter and Kirsch; stir until smooth.
Transfer to 8-inch square baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate until firm but still maleable (about 2 hours)
Using melon baller, drop balls of chocolate mixture onto a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Refrigerate 10 minutes.
Put cocoa powder into large bowl. Using cocoa-dusted hands and working one at a time, roll balls between your palms until smooth.
Roll in cocoa to coat. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.

2. Easy Chocolate Cherry Truffles

Ingredients
13 ounces dark chocolate, chopped into pieces
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup dried cherries, chopped  (Trader Joe's has different kinds)
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Dash of salt
1/2 cup DARK cocoa powder

Directions
In saucepan over another saucepan with simmering water, combine chocolate and cream. Stir until chocolate is melted and smooth.
Stir in chopped dried cherries, balsamic vinegar and salt.
Pour into small baking pan (8 x 8) and refrigerate until set (about 2 hours).
Put cocoa in a bowl.
Using melon-baller, scoop out a small ball of chocolate mixture.
Place each ganache ball on silpat mat or parchment lined cookie sheet until all chocolate is used up. Refrigerate for 10 minutes.
Take out of refrigerator and roll into balls with your hands.
Roll balls in cocoa powder until coated.
Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

VERSATILE CHOCOLATE CAKE RECIPE: Retro Ad & Recipe

This Retro Ad and Recipe for Versatile Chocolate Cake--three famous chocolate treats from ONE cake recipe-- is from February 3, 1941. The recipe is still good. I especially like the Dandy Dessert Cake. Perfect for Valentine's Day. Use a heart stencil.