Saturday, May 31, 2014

Chocolate Macaroons for National Macaroon Day

Today is National Macaroon Day. Now I know that macaroons are not really the same thing as the "French" macarons, but the word has the same root.

The words both come from the Italian maccarone or maccherone which is derived from ammaccare, meaning crush or beat--referencing almond paste as the principle ingredient. Most macaroon recipes contain egg whites, almonds or nuts. Sometimes coconut--and definitely sugar! I grew up with macaroons that were mainly coconut.

The 'French' macaron is a sweet meringue-based confection filled with ganache, buttercream or jam and is between two 'cookies'. It's smooth and domed. Lots of flavors, including, of course, chocolate! Although French, there has been much debate about its origins. Larousse Gastronomique cites the macaron as being created in 1791 in a convent near Cormery. Some have traced its French debut back to the arrival of Catherine de' Medici's Italian pastry chefs whom she brought with her in 1533 upon marrying Henry II of France.

In the 1830s, macarons were served two-by-two with the addition of jams, liqueurs, and spices. The macaron as it is known today was called the "Gerbet" or the "Paris macaron" and was created in the early 20th Century by Pierre Desfontaines of the French pâtisserie Ladurée, composed of two almond meringue discs filled with a layer of buttercream, jam, or ganache filling.

But for today's post, I thought I'd focus on MACAROONS, since it's National Macaroon Day!

First, you should know that there is an Almond & Macaroon Museum  in Montmorillon, France. This museum pays homage to the generations of craftsmen who built the reputation of Montmorillon, Cité of Macaroons.  The Museum reveals the history of the macaroon, from the culture of the almond tree (and the multiple uses of almonds), to the arrival of the macaroon in France.

There are informative panels, interactive terminals, and machines and old instruments used in the kitchen. At the end of the exhibition, a film summarizes the broad outlines of the visit, and dwells on the arrival of the Macaroon of Montmorillon, and on the creation of Rannou-Métivier House. The visit culminates in the opportunity for tasting in the Winter Garden of the museum.

And, a few recipes to help you celebrate the day! Stay posted for Macaron recipes another day!

CHOCOLATE MACAROONS

Ingredients
1 1/3 (8 ounces) cups dark (70%) chocolate, chopped, divided
2 large egg whites
pinch of salt
1/4-1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp Madagascar vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups sweetened fresh flaked coconut

Directions
Preheat oven to 325°F. Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Place 1 cup chocolate in microwave-safe bowl; microwave on low setting at 10-second intervals until chocolate is melted, stirring occasionally (or melt in a double boiler). Cool just to room temperature.

Using electric mixer, beat egg whites and salt in medium bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar, then vanilla, beating until whites are thick and glossy. Fold in melted chocolate and coconut, then remaining 1/3 cup chocolate (broken into small pieces the size of mini-chips).

Drop batter by heaping teaspoonfuls onto prepared sheets, spacing 1-1/2 inches apart.
Bake cookies 10 minutes. Reverse sheets. Bake until tops are dry and cracked and tester inserted into centers comes out with moist crumbs attached, about 10 minutes longer.

Cool cookies on sheets on racks.

Three More Chocolate Macaroon Recipes:

CLEO COYLE'S MOCHA DIPPED RUM MACAROONS

CHOCOLATE CHIP MACAROONS

SCOTTISH MACAROON BARS FROM CATRIONA MCPHERSON

And for those of you who like to drink your Chocolate Macaroons, here's a great: 

Chocolate Macaroon Martini

6 ounces vodka
1 ounce chocolate-flavored liqueur
1 ounce Amaretto
orange twist

Combine liquid ingredients in cocktail shaker with cracked ice and shake well.
Strain into chilled martini glass and garnish with orange twist.

Friday, May 30, 2014

MINT JULEP TRUFFLES

Today is Mint Julep Day. Not sure why it's today since it would be better suited for the Kentucky Derby. Actually the Mint Julep is the official drink of the Kentucky Derby, and has been since 1938. Nevertheless, May 30 is probably a hot day in Kentucky and throughout the South, so it's a perfect day for a mint julep. Only thing missing--chocolate. So why not make some Mint Julep Truffles. I'm all about easy, and the recipe below is just that!

Mint juleps are traditionally served in pewter or silver julep cups, and I always love an opportunity to buy unique tableware.

Read more about the history of the Mint Julep at whatscooking america.

MINT JULEP TRUFFLES

Ingredients
7 ounces DARK (60-70% cacao) chocolate, chopped
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1 Tbsp minced fresh mint leaves
2 Tbsp butter, softened
1 Tbsp good quality bourbon
Cocoa

Directions
Put chopped chocolate in bowl and set aside.
Heat heavy cream and mint leaves in small saucepan. Bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and pour over chocolate. Stir in butter and bourbon; whisk until chocolate is melted and smooth.
Cover chocolate mixture with plastic wrap (press wrap onto surface of chocolate) and chill for two hours, or until firm.

To Form the Truffles:
Put cocoa in shallow bowl.
Using a melon baller or teaspoon, scoop out balls of chilled chocolate,. Form into balls quickly between your palms.
Roll balls in cocoa to cover.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Ghirardelli Gluten-free Brownies

Photo: Ghirardelli Chocolate
So many people these days are gluten-free. And it's been a few years since I posted one of my favorite gluten-free recipes: Ghirardelli Gluten-free Brownies. 

I've often mentioned that product websites are great places to find terrific recipes. Ghirardelli Chocolate has many Gluten-Free Ghirardelli Chocolate Recipes on their website, including this fabulous recipe for Gluten-Free Brownies. Only thing I'd add to this recipe would be more chocolate chips (or chopped chocolate chunks) when you add the walnuts or pecans, but then I'm big on extra chocolate. There's also a great recipe for a Gluten-Free Walnut Torte. Be sure to check them all out.

GHIRARDELLI GLUTEN-FREE BROWNIES

Ingredients
1 cup 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Chips
1/2 cup whole almonds (or 2/3 cup almond flour)
1/3 cup brown rice flour
6 Tbsp sweet butter, cut into chunks
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs

Directions
Preheat oven to 325°F with rack in lower third of oven.
Line pan across bottom and up two sides with parchment paper.
If using whole almonds, add them to food processor with rice flour and pulse until nuts are finely ground. If using almond flour, mix with rice flour. Set aside.
Place chocolate, butter and salt in top of large double boiler over barely simmering water. Stir frequently until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Remove bowl and let cool for 5 minutes. Stir in sugar and vanilla. Stir in eggs, one at a time. Add almond and rice flour mixture and stir until moistened, and then mix briskly, about 40 strokes. Stir in walnuts or pecans if using. Scrape batter into prepared pan and spread evenly.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until brownies are slightly puffed all over and toothpick inserted into center comes out moist but clean.

Cool pan on rack. Run knife along unlined sides of pan to detach brownies. Lift edges of tparchment paper to remove brownies. Cut into squares

You can substitute Ghirardelli Bittersweet 60% Chocolate Chips with 1-1/2 bar of Ghirardelli Bittersweet 60% chocolate, broken into small pieces.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day Chocolate Ancho Chile Rub

Continuing with the Memorial Day Barbecue theme, here's an easy recipe for Chocolate Ancho Chile Rub. Use this on Brisket with one of the Chocolate BBQ sauces I posted Thursday.. Fabulous.

Here are step by step directions for Smoked Beef Brisket. Use the following Chocolate Ancho Chile Rub with this Chocolate Barbecue Sauce.

CHOCOLATE ANCHO  CHILE RUB

Ingredients
1 Cup Cocoa Powder (Scharffen Berger)
1/2 Cup Ancho Chile, ground
1/2 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup Kosher Salt
1/4 Cup Black Pepper, freshly ground
1/4 Cup Cumin, ground

Directions
In medium size bowl, add all ingredients and mix with whisk, until you have uniform mixture.
Put in quart size jar and seal until ready to use on brisket (or other meats). Too late for Memorial Day party. Take the jar to the barbecue as a gift for the chef!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

S'mores Memorial Day Round-Up: Traditional, Pies, Ice Cream, Brownies and More!


Memorial Day weekend--start of summer. I can now wear white shoes! O.K. that goes back to another era, and I recently read an article that said all the rules have changed. Winter white and grilling all year round! Memorial Day weekend is all about grilling and campfires, and what is more memorable than S'mores!

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

The name S'mores (alternatively Smores) comes from the two words "some more," because everyone always want s'more. This American treat was developed by the 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 fabulous campfire treat in a situation where other types of sweets would have been difficult to come by. Of course, the quality of the chocolate and marshmallow, and even the graham crackers (if you make your own) will vary.  S'mores aren't about haute cuisine, at least not at my house, and, if truth be told, I love S'mores made with Hershey bars, regalar graham crackers and marshmallows out of the bag!

I have a Round-Up of S'mores Recipes at the end of this post, but here's a very fun recipe. Maybe you've already tried this on your own. Let's face it, S'mores are pretty versatile!

Wacky Candy Bar S'mores 
In this wacky recipe, you get to add whatever 'extra' candy or candybar you like for a gooey delicious barbecue or campfire treat. Everyone can have something different. The aluminum foil 'pocket' keeps the goey-ness inside and not on your grill. Lick the foil at the end. 

Ingredients
Chocolate Graham crackers (you can also use plain or honey grahams)
Milk or Dark chocolate candy bars
M & M's
Reese's Peanut butter cups
Baby Ruth
Your favorite candy bar
Marshmallows
Aluminum foil

Directions
Heat up the grill or stoke the campfire. Place a 10" x 12" piece of foil on a flat surface.
Put chocolate graham cracker on foil. Put your favorite candy bar (or candy) on graham cracker then top with marshmallow. Top the whole thing with a chocolate graham cracker (or regular), and wrap loosely in foil.
Put on grill and heat 2 to 3 minutes, or until marshmallow is melted.

And here's a round-up of S'mores Recipes:

S'mores Pops
Original 1927 Girl Scout Recipe
Traditional S'mores on the Grill
PEEPS S'mores!
No Bake S'mores Brownies 
S'mores on a Stick: S'mores Pops 

S'mores Brownies using a Brownie Mix
Brownie S'mores from Scratch
S'mores Cupcakes
Chocolate Chip Cookie S'mores (2 recipes)
Chewy S'mores Bar Cookies
S'mores Pie 
S'mores Ice Cream Sandwich
S'mores Ice Cream Pie
S'mores in the Microwave
S'mores Panini 
Peanut Butter S'mores

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Rosemary for Rembrance: Rosemary Chocolate Chip Cookies for Memorial Day

"Rosemary is for Remembrance"-- so why not make some Rosemary Chocolate Chip Cookies for Memorial Day? I grow a lot of rosemary growing in my garden, and I use it in baking and grilling. It's a very versatile herb. There are several varieties, and they flower, so it's also quite pretty-- and deer resistant. Rosemary is also very aromatic.

The phrase "Rosemary is for Remembrance" comes from Shakespeare's Hamlet. Ophelia says, “There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance; pray, love, remember.” 

Even before Shakespeare's era, many cultures assigned meaning to this herb. It was often used in funerals or in the care of the dead. But also, at one time,  it was the fashion  for brides to wear wreaths of rosemary.
Rosemary was also thought to repel evil spirits and cure thievery. 15th and early 16th century statesman and writer, Sir Thomas More, ties rosemary to memory in his writing. He writes fondly of it “running” about his garden without cultivation because: “it is the herb sacred to remembrance, and therefore, to friendship…” And for my mystery friends, an Agatha Christie novel, published as both Remembered Death and Sparkling Cyanide, uses the Shakespeare quotation.


ROSEMARY CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

Ingredients 
2 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup sweet butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp Madagascar vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups Chocolate Chips
1 cup pecans, chopped
2 tsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped

Directions
Preheat oven to 375° F.
Combine flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl.
Beat butter, both sugars and vanilla in large mixer bowl until creamy.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Gradually beat in flour mixture.
Stir in Chocolate cChips, chopped Rosemary, and pecans.
Drop by rounded tablespoon onto un-greased cookie sheets.
Bake 9-10 minutes or until golden brown.
Cool on cookie sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool.

Friday, May 23, 2014

National Taffy Day: Turkish Taffy

Today is National Taffy Day. I haven't made taffy since I was a child, and then it was with my Aunt Anne. She was an inspiration for all things foodie, woodsy, gardening, and crafty, so this was a natural. She'd gather all the cousins, and we would make and pull taffy.

At the same time, I wasn't adverse to store bought taffy. It was a treat, really. There was a penny candy store I used to stop at after lunch (yes, we went home for lunch at my first elementary school) and buy a penny or two worth of candy. One of my favorites, and I think it may have cost a nickel, was Bonomo's Chocolate Turkish Taffy. My favorite was banana, but I also liked CHOCOLATE. You can buy Bonomo's Turkish Taffy online, although the price is more like $1.20. Times change.

Invented in Coney Island in the 1940s by Victor Bonomo, Bonomo's Turkish Taffy is a mixture of corn syrup and egg whites that are cooked, then baked. It's a hard taffy-like bar that you hit on the surface and eat the smaller broken pieces--or if you're like me--you just suck the whole thing into a sticky mess. Bonomo's Turkish Taffy is actually neither Turkish or taffy, but a kind of nougat, although Bonomo was a Sephardic Jew who traced his ancestry to Turkey. Bonomo died in 1999 at his home in Bal Harbour at the age of 100. He sold the company 40 years ago. It changed hands a few times becoming part of Tootsie Roll Industries of Chicago, which stopped making the candy in 1989, but it was revived in 2010 and is now available in vanilla, chocolate, strawberry and banana. This is truly a retro candy! Read more of the history at Old Time Candy.

So without a chocolate taffy recipe of my own, I went to Alton Brown on the Food Network, of course. Knew he'd have one.  Love to hear if you make this one---or if you have a taffy recipe of your own.

CHOCOLATE TAFFY

Ingredients
2 cups sugar
2/3 cup Dutch process cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons butter, plus additional for greasing pan and hands

Directions
In heavy medium saucepan, combine sugar, cocoa powder, and salt. Stir until thoroughly combined. Add corn syrup, water, and vinegar to pan and place over medium heat. Stir until sugar and cocoa dissolve, raise heat to high and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to low, clip candy thermometer to side of pan and cook until mixture reaches 260 degrees F. Remove pan from heat, add the butter and stir. Butter edges of sheet pan, line with silicone baking sheet and pour on taffy. Allow to cool until you are able to handle it.

Once you are able to handle the taffy, don vinyl gloves, butter them, and begin to fold taffy in thirds using the silicone mat. Pick up taffy and begin to pull folding the taffy back on itself repeatedly twisting as you go. Taffy is done when it lightens in color, takes on a sheen, and becomes too hard to pull. Roll into log, cut into fourths, roll each fourth into a 1-inch wide log, and cut into 1-inch pieces. Making sure to keep pieces separated or they will stick to each other. Wrap individual pieces of candy in waxed paper. Store in airtight container 3 to 5 days.

And, for your viewing pleasure, a Bonomo Turkish Taffy TV Ad from the 1950s


Thursday, May 22, 2014

Memorial Day Chocolate Barbecue Sauces

When I was growing up barbecues at my house were mostly on holidays: Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day. My Dad would don his Westinghouse apron and hat and fire up the grill. I still have my Dad's apron, but not the chef's hat. Very nostalgic--and retro. Wish he were still with us. I miss him every day. He'd love these barbecue sauces (and this list of Barbecue Crime Fiction.)

If you're planning a Memorial Day barbecue, you'll want to check your stock of dark chocolate. I've posted several chocolate barbecue sauces and chocolate rubs before, but these are two of my favorites. Both use Hershey's products-- #1 Hershey's Special Dark Syrup and # Scharffen Berger Dark Chocolate, but you can use what you have and like best!

The first recipe is from The BBQ Report. I use a different Dark Chocolate Sauce from an artisan chocolate company, but you can always use Hershey's. The flavors will be different, but both would be good. Season your meat with some cocoa powder (unsweetened) for double chocolate goodness.

#1 CHOCOLATE BARBECUE SAUCE

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups ketchup
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup Hershey’s Special Dark syrup (or another)
 1/4 cup olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp salt
1/2 tbsp cracked black pepper
1 tsp paprika
1 Tbsp prepared mustard
1/2 tsp hot sauce

Directions
In sauce pan saute onions and garlic in olive oil, cooking until tender.
Stir in lemon juice, salt, pepper, paprika and hot sauce.
Simmer for 5 to 6 minutes and reduce heat.
Stir in ketchup, vinegar and Hershey’s Syrup.
Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.

#2 CHOCOLATE BARBECUE SAUCE

From the Hershey's Website comes this amazing and much more complex Chocolate Barbecue Sauce recipe, utilizing Scharffen Berger 82% dark chocolate (Scharffen Berger is  owned by Hershey's). Recipe adapted from Chef Ken Gladysz at the Hotel Hershey.

Ingredients
1 Tbsp sweet butter, soft
4 each garlic cloves, minced
1/2 Spanish onion, diced small
2 each Roma tomatoes, stem removed, diced small
1 1/2 oz dark brown sugar
4 tsp ancho chili powder
4 oz apple cider vinegar
8 oz barbeque sauce
14 oz vegetable stock
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground cloves
3 oz SCHARFFEN BERGER 82% dark chocolate
2 Tbsp cilantro, fresh, chopped
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper, freshly ground

Directions
Melt butter in small sauce pan over medium heat.
Add garlic and onion, sauté 5 minutes until golden brown.
Add tomatoes, stir, and sauté an additional 5 minutes.
Add sugar and chili powder, mix well, and cook for 5 minutes.
Add vinegar, reduce for 5 minutes, mixture should have a paste consistency.
Add sauce, stock, cumin, cinnamon, cloves, salt and pepper. Mix well.
Bring to a boil and reduce to a slow simmer for 30 minutes.
Add SCHARFFEN BERGER chocolate and cilantro; allow to simmer for 5 minutes.
Remove sauce from heat and let stand for 10 minutes.
Puree sauce, transfer to a clean container and cool.
For best results, refrigerate for 12 hours before using.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Devil's Food Cake Day! Retro Devil's Food Cake Ads & Recipes!

Baker's Ad 1933
Today is Devil's Food Cake Day! Devil's Food Cake is one of the most popular chocolate cakes in the United States. Because of that I've posted many Recipes and Retro Ads, but here are a few more for Devil's Food Cake!

You might also want to check out my post on Devil's Cake vs Chocolate Cake.

Want to drink your Devil's Food Cake today? Head over to The Martini Diva for a Devil's Food Cake Martini.

Hope you enjoy this Round-up of Retro Devil's Food Cake ads. Have a big piece of Devil's Food Cake to celebrate!

Baker's Chocolate Ad 1940s

The Baker's Ads are earlier and everything is from scratch, but as you know from reading this blog, boxed mixes came in as a space saving measure after World War II, so I have several ads for Betty Crocker and Duncan Hines.






Sunday, May 18, 2014

Sea Salt Caramel Brownies: 2 Recipes

I love brownies! They're easy to make and easy to consume. My favorite truffles are always sea salt caramel, and the same goes for brownies! Below are two recipes for Sea Salt Caramel Brownies -- one uses a fudge brownie mix and another for browniesfrom scratch. You can make or buy the caramel sauce. Both recipes are easy, and it just depends on what you have on hand and how much time you have!

1. SEA SALT CARAMEL BROWNIES FROM SCRATCH

Ingredients
1 cup sweet butter
5 ounces good quality dark (60-85% cacao) chocolate
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp Madagascar vanilla extract
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp instant espresso powder (optional)
2 ounces chocolate chips or chopped chocolate
1/4 cup caramel topping (I love Recchiuti)
1 tsp good quality sea salt

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 F
Grease 9 x13 inch baking pan.
In saucepan over another saucepan with simmering water, melt butter and chocolate, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, and stir in sugar. Cool slightly.
In large bowl, beat eggs one at time. Stir in vanilla.
Fold in chocolate mixture.
Combine flour, 1/2 tsp salt and espresso powder (if using). Add to chocolate mixture.
Fold in chocolate chips or chopped chocolate pieces
Spread batter evenly into prepared pan.
Drizzle caramel on top of batter
Using knife, swirl over surface.
Sprinkle sea salt over caramel.
Bake 30-40 minutes.
Cool in pan on wire rack.

Want to make your own Caramel Sauce, too?  

HOMEMADE CARAMEL SAUCE

Ingredients
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tbsp heavy cream
2 tablespoons sweet butter, cut into small pieces

Directions
In small saucepan over medium heat, bring sugar and 2 Tbsp water to boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to medium-high and cook without stirring, occasionally swirling pan and brushing down sides of pan with wet pastry brush, until sugar is deep amber color (5-8 minutes). Remove caramel from heat. Add cream and butter and whisk to combine. Let cool slightly in pan.

2. Sea Salt Caramel Brownies using a Brownie Mix
This recipe is from Morton Salt. I always say check product sites for recipes. Did you know that Morton Salt has an excellent Sea Salt? Found this recipe on their site. Of course, you can always use your own sea salt. I'm partial to Duncan Hines Brownie Mixes, but whatever you have on hand.

Ingredients
1 package fudge brownie mix
Eggs
Vegetable oil
Water
20 individually wrapped caramels
2 Tbsp milk
1 teaspoon Morton® Coarse Sea Salt

Directions 
Heat oven and prepare brownie mix as instructed on box.
After placing brownie mix in 8 x 8 baking pan, set aside.
Make caramel sauce as instructed below (or use a prepared caramel sauce), then drizzle sauce on top of brownie batter.
Bake brownie batter as instructed on package.
Remove brownies from oven.
Sprinkle with Morton Coarse Sea Salt.
Cool brownies before cutting. Caramel Sauce:

Caramel Sauce:
Place unwrapped caramels and milk in microwave safe bowl.
Microwave on high for 1 minute and then in 10 second intervals, until caramels are easily whisked. Whisk until caramel mixture is smooth and thoroughly combined.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Chocolate Cherry Cobbler

Today is National Cherry Cobbler Day and fresh cherries are just starting to hit the market, so today I'm posting a recipe for a fresh cherry cobbler and a recipe that uses natural cherry pie filling in case you don't have fresh cherries available. I love Chukar Cherries Sour Cherry Fruit Filling. Fabulous! Whole and tangy Montmorency cherries. Red and delicious!

Happy National Cherry Cobbler Day... and as I always say, everything tastes better with Chocolate!

USING FRESH CHERRIES:

1. CHOCOLATE CHERRY COBBLER WITH FRESH CHERRIES

Ingredients
6 cups tart red cherries, pitted
1-1/4 cups sugar
1/4 cup water
4 tsp cornstarch
3/4 cup dark chocolate, chopped

Topping:
1 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3 Tbsp butter
1 egg, beaten
3 tablespoons milk 

Directions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
In saucepan combine filling ingredients and cook, stirring until bubbling and thickened. Pour into an 8-inch square baking dish. Cool.  After cooled, sprinkle chopped chocolate.
In bowl, stir together flour, sugars, baking powder, and cinnamon. Cut in butter until crumbly.
Mix together egg and milk. Add to flour mixture and stir with fork just until combined.
Drop topping by tablespoonfuls onto filling.
Bake for 25 minutes until browned and bubbly.

2. CHOCOLATE CHERRY COBBLER WITH CHERRY PIE FILLING

Ingredients
18 ounces Chukar's Sour Cherry Fruit Filling
1/2 cup sugar
1-1/2 Tbsp flour
1 cup dark chocolate (60-75% cacao), chopped

Topping
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup sweet butter, softened (I use Kerrygold)

Directions
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Mix cherries, sugar and flour. Spread evenly in 11 x 7 baking dish.
Sprinkle chocolate over top.

For topping
Mix together flour, sugars and pinch of salt.
Cut in butter until mixture is crumbly.
Sprinkle topping over cherry filling.
Bake cobbler until filling bubbles and topping is golden brown.
About 40 to 45 minutes.

****


Thursday, May 15, 2014

Chocolate Chip Cookie Day! Chocolate Chip Cookie Round-up!

Today is National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day, and if you read this blog, you know that I think you can't have enough recipes for Chocolate Chip Cookies. Here's a Round-Up of a few (so many more) Chocolate Chip Cookie recipes that have appeared on DyingforChocolate.com, mostly in the past year! For more chocolate chip recipes on this site, do a search.


What's your favorite Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe? Post a link in the comments...or consider doing a guest post on DyingforChocolate.com.

CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE RECIPE ROUND-UP!

Vanishing Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Bittersweet Chocolate Chip Cookies with Sea Salt

Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies: 2 Recipes

Chocolate Chip Cookies Secret Ingredient: Lemon Juice

Toll House Cookies: Vintage Ad & Original Recipe

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

Retro Chocolate Chip Cookies Ad & Recipe

Red & Green M&Ms "Chocolate Chip" Cookies

Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk/Chocolate Chip Cookies: National Oatmeal Day

Chocolate Cricket Chip Cookies

Honey Chocolate Chip Cookies: Baking with Honey Tips

Zucchini Chocolate Chip Cookies: National Zucchini Day

Double Tree Chocolate Chip Cookies

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Oatmeal Raisin Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookies

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies in a Jar

Chocolate Chip Cookies in a Jar

Toll House Stars and Stripes Cookies

Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Chocolate Buttermilk Biscuits

Today is Buttermilk Biscuit Day. American biscuits are nothing like British Biscuits which are cookies. No, our biscuits are more like scones, only fluffier. They're great with breakfast and gravy and chicken or just about anytime. I love biscuits.

I couldn't pass up this great Retro Space Age Ad for Puffin Biscuits. I think Sterling Cooper (Mad Men) could easily have created this ad. I, of course, suggest you make your biscuits from scratch, and they truly will be "So Light they almost fly"...

Following is a recipe for Chocolate Buttermilk Biscuits (see below).

First, though, a few biscuit making tips from the Bisquick site. These apply if you use bisquick or make your biscuits from scratch.


1. Leave an inch or two space around the biscuits on the cookie sheet. They'll heat more evenly and cook better.
2. In a pinch, a straight-sided plastic glass can also substitute for a rolling pin.
3. For crunchy top, skip kneading and rolling and drop biscuit-sized spoonfuls directly onto baking sheet.
4. Loosen freshly baked biscuits from tray with spatula so they don't stick.
5. Count to ten; kneading biscuit dough too much can make biscuits tough.
6. If you don't have a biscuit cutter, either use a knife to cut squares or cut rounds with upside-down drinking glass. A little flour or extra Bisquick on the knife or glass will help keep things from sticking.

CHOCOLATE BUTTERMILK BISCUITS

This recipe is great served with whipped cream and strawberries! Or just grind some Trader Joe's Chocolate Coffee Bean Sugar --or some Cinnamon Sugar-- over them just after you brush with the melted butter. Yum! Another variation: add chocolate chips or chunks of chocolate to the dough.

Ingredients
2 cups of Flour
2 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
5 Tbsp DARK cocoa powder
4 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
8 Tbsp cold butter, cubed
3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp cold buttermilk (no buttermilk? add a tsp of vinegar to whole milk)
2 Tbsp melted butter for top of biscuits

Directions
Preheat oven to 450
In food processor: combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, cocoa powder and salt. Pulse. Add cubed butter. Pulse until butter combines to create grainy mixture.
Put contents of food processor in bowl. Make well in center and pour in chilled buttermilk. Mix to form sticky dough. Place dough on well floured surface. Fold dough a few time. DO NOT OVERWORK.
Roll out dough with floured rolling pin to one inch thickness.
Using biscuit cutter, cut out biscuits in straight up and down motion. Do not twist when cutting out the biscuits. Hint: Twisting will seal sides of biscuits preventing biscuits from rising and making for tough, flat biscuits.
Put cut out biscuits on parchment paper lined baking sheet so that they are close but not touching.
Once all of biscuits are on baking sheet, bake for 10-12 minutes in center of oven until golden brown. Brush with melted butter.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

National Apple Pie Day! Chocolate Apple Pie

One of my favorite children's books by Alison Murray
Today is National Apple Pie Day, and it's only fitting that it comes a few days after Mother's Day. This Chocolate Apple Pie is "as American as Mom and Apple Pie." But what's the origin of this catch phrase?

 From Wikipedia: 
Although apple pies have been eaten since long before the European colonization of the Americas, "as American as apple pie" is a saying in the United States, meaning "typically American". In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, apple pie became a symbol of American prosperity and national pride. A newspaper article published in 1902 declared that “No pie-eating people can be permanently vanquished.” The dish was also commemorated in the phrase "for Mom and apple pie" - supposedly the stock answer of American soldiers in World War II, whenever journalists asked why they were going to war.

My Grandmother made an awesome apple pie. I've written about this pie before. It did not contain chocolate. She made it in a huge rectangular pan. She made it because it was "American," and when she came to these shores, she became an American! My grandmother was born in the Ukraine (then part of Russiaq), married in London, and settled in Philadelphia, the Cradle of Liberty. She took her new citizenship to heart, and she baked apple pie for her family every Friday. She did it because she saw herself as a true American. 

CHOCOLATE APPLE PIE

Ingredients
Pastry for a double-crust 9-inch pie, unbaked
8-10 tart apples (peeled, cored and sliced thinly--number of apples depends on their size)--Gravensteins aren't available this time of year, but they're my favorite, especially for pies!
1/3 cup sugar
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
1 cup 70-85% dark chocolate fair-trade organic, chopped

Directions
1. Apples: peel, core, and slice thinly.
2. Combine cinnamon & sugar = cinnamon sugar. (you may need a tiny bit more). I've also used the chocolate cinnamon sugar from Trader Joe's
2. Place 1 layer apple slices on bottom crust. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons cinnamon sugar. Repeat twice.
3 Spread chopped chocolate pieces over top.
4. Using remaining apples, make 3 more apple/cinnamon sugar layers.
5. Top with 2nd crust and seal edges. Make cut on 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.

Cartoon of the Day: Gluten

Non-Sequitur by Wiley Miller:




Monday, May 12, 2014

History and 3 Recipes for Fudge: Nutty Fudge Day



Another holiday, another recipe or two. Today is National Nutty Fudge Day. My Aunt Ann made the best fudge in the world, but now that I know more about candy nomenclature, I think she actually made truffles. They were dark chocolate balls rolled in cocoa. I'll always remember her truffles as fudge.

However, I had my first taste of the 'real' fudge down the shore in Atlantic City. Fudge was sold along with Salt Water Taffy at many of the Boardwalk candy shops. Yum!

History of Fudge: Fudge was supposedly invented in the U.S.in the late 1880s. Historians believe the first batch of fudge resulted from a bungled batch of caramels, as in "Oh, Fudge" I don't think so...

According to Wikipedia, the main component of Fudge was similar to the traditional recipe for Scots Tablet found in The Household Book of the Lady Grisell Baillie (1692-1733). The term 'fudge' is often used in the UK for a soft variant of the tablet recipe.

One of the first documented examples of American fudge (containing chocolate!) was found in a letter written by Emelyn Batersby Hartridge, a Vassar College student, who wrote that a friend's cousin made fudge in Baltimore in 1886 and sold it for 40 cents a pound. Hartridge asked for the fudge recipe, and in 1888 made 30 pounds of the fudge for the Vassar Senior Auction. In The Candy Book (Alice Bradley, 1929) an entire chapter is devoted to fudge.

Fudge is a crystalline candy, which means that, unlike lollipops, caramels, and taffy, crystal formation is the key to making great fudge. Tiny microcrystals of sugar in fudge give fudge its firm but smooth texture. The secret to successful fudge is getting these crystals to form at just the right time. Fudge is one of the rare exceptions to the rule that sugar crystals are not desirable in candy. Tiny microcrystals in fudge are what give it its firm texture. When the crystals are small enough, they don’t feel grainy on your tongue, but smooth.

While you ultimately want crystals to form, it's important that they don't form too early. Now it gets tricky! The key to successful, nongrainy fudge is in the cooling, not the cooking. If you disturb the cooling fudge during this cooling phase you increase the potential for larger crystals (seed crystals) of sugar to form too early and thus a grainy fudge results.

O.K. this is too much for me to take in, not being a candy maker. So how to make fudge relatively easy? Here are three recipes.

1. Easy Million Dollar Fudge 
Adapted from Stephanie in All Recipes

Ingredients
4 - 1/2 cups white sugar
1 pinch salt
2 Tbsp sweet butter
1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk
2 cups chopped nuts
1 (12 ounce) package semisweet chocolate chips (or good quality dark chocolate, chopped)
12 (1 ounce) squares German sweet chocolate
2 cups marshmallow creme

Directions
Butter two 9x9 inch baking pans and set aside.
Place chocolate chips, German chocolate, marshmallow creme, and nuts into a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
In 4 quart saucepan, combine sugar, salt, butter, and evaporated milk. Stir over low heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to boil, and cook for 6 minutes.
Pour boiling syrup over ingredients in bowl, beat until all chocolate is melted. Pour into prepared pans. Let stand a few hours before cutting.

2. Foolproof Dark Chocolate Fudge Recipe

Ingredients
3 cups semisweet chocolate chips (or dark chocolate, chopped)
1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
Pinch of salt
1 cup chopped walnuts
1-1/2 tsp. vanilla

Directions
In heavy saucepan over low heat, melt chocolate chips with sweetened condensed milk and salt. Remove from heat; stir in walnuts and vanilla.
Spread evenly into aluminum foil lined 8 or 9 inch square pan.
Chill 2 hours or until firm.
Turn fudge onto cutting board; peel off foil and cut into squares.

3. Nutty Chocolate Fudge
Alton Brown had a great show on the Food Network on making fudge, so I thought I should include one of his recipes for nutty chocolate fudge (slightly adapted)

Ingredients
2- 3/4 cups sugar
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
3 Tbsp sweet butter, plus more for greasing pan
1 cup half-and-half
1 Tbsp corn syrup
1 Tbsp Madagascar vanilla extract
1 cup chopped, roasted nuts

Directions
Grease 8 by 8-inch pan with butter.
In heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine sugar, chocolate, 1 1/2 Tbsp  butter, half-and-half, and corn syrup. Over medium heat, stir with a wooden spoon until sugar is dissolved and chocolate is melted.
Increase heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and boil for 3 minutes.
Remove cover and attach acandy thermometer to pot. Cook until thermometer reads 234 degrees F.
Remove from heat and add remaining butter. Do not stir.
Let mixture cool for 10 minutes or until it drops to 130 degrees F.
Add vanilla and nuts and mix until well-blended and shiny texture becomes matte.
Pour into prepared pan.
Let sit in cool dry area until firm.
Cut into 1-inch pieces.

And, there are websites that are just devoted to fudge. Fudge-Recipes.net and Fudge-Recipes.com and Fudge Recipe Collection. In addition there are many, many other nutty chocolate fudge recipes on various food blogs, including this one!

Have a wonderful Nutty Fudge Day!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mother's Day Retro Whitman's Sampler Chocolate Ads

Happy Mother's Day! Here are a few Retro Whitman's Sampler Chocolate Ads. I grew up in Philadelphia, home of Whitman's Samplers. Read more about Whitman's Chocolates HERE. You can never miss with a box of Whitman's Samplers.







Happy Mother's Day, Mom!

My Mother: 1942 & 2014





Saturday, May 10, 2014

Mother's Day Chocolate Cake: Retro Sunbeam Mixmaster Ad & Recipe

I adore Retro Advertisements, and this one is particularly close to my heart. My mother had a Sunbeam Mixmaster. So many cookies, cakes and brownies were made with that Mixmaster. I don't have my mother's Sunbeam Mixmaster, but I have my Mother-in-Law's -- the same model with all the attachments. I use my Kitchenaid Mixer mostly, but I love the functionality of the old Mixmaster War Horse. It still works, and I'll bet my mother-in-law got it in the 40s or 50s.

So, for Mother's Day, here's a Sunbeam Mixmaster Mother's Day Advertisement from Life Magazine, May 1, 1950, complete with Chocolate Cake recipe. What are you making for Mother's Day?




My Mother: 1942 and 2014

Friday, May 9, 2014

Chocolate Facials for Mom: 5 DIY Chocolate Face Mask Recipes

Here's a personal and unique Mother's Day Gift! A Chocolate Facial for Mom! Mix up one of these recipes. Or give Mom a gift certificate for a day at "your" spa!  This is the Perfect Mother's Day gift. Be sure to make a second batch for yourself!

We all know 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 Mask: 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 here are 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  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, chopped
2/3 cup of milk
Sea salt
3 Tbsp Brown Sugar

Directions
Heat dark chocolate in 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 ingredients 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.



Thursday, May 8, 2014

Coconut Cream Pie Day! Make it from Scratch!

Love these food holidays! Today is National Coconut Cream Pie Day! Add a Chocolate Cookie Crust and you're singing my name! The advertisement on the right is from 1947 for "A Dreamy Creamy Coconut Pie You Can Make At Home-in Minutes,"  but believe me, take a few more minutes to make your own. It will be 100% better!

This recipe is adapted from Southern Living (April 2005) and also appeared in one of the Best of Southern Living collections. It's worth the time to make this great Coconut Cream Pie from Scratch.

COCONUT CREAM PIE FROM SCRATCH

Coconut Cream Pie Filling
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 cups half-and-half
4 egg yolks
3 Tbsp sweet butter
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups whipping cream
1/3 cup sugar
2 1/2 tsp vanilla
Garnish: toasted coconut

Directions

Chocolate Pie Crust:
2 cups chocolate wafers
6 Tbsp sweet butter

Melt the butter.
Put chocolate wafers in plastic bag. Close bag and crush with spoon or rolling pin until you have tiny pea-sized chocolate bits.
Combine melted butter with chocolate bits.
Press ingredients into 9-inch buttered pie pan. Be sure and go up sides.
Bake 10 minutes at 325°F. 

Filling:
Combine 1/2 cup sugar and cornstarch in heavy saucepan. Whisk together half-and-half and egg yolks. Gradually whisk egg mixture into sugar mixture; bring to boil over medium heat, whisking constantly. Boil 1 minute; remove from heat.

Stir in butter, 1 cup coconut, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Cover with plastic wrap, placing plastic wrap directly on filling in pan; let stand 30 minutes (or put it in the refrigerator). Spoon custard mixture into prepared crust, cover and chill 30 minutes or until set.

Beat whipping cream at high speed with an electric mixer until foamy; gradually add 1/3 cup sugar and remaining 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla, beating until soft peaks form. Spread or pipe whipped cream over pie filling.

Garnish with toasted coconut

*To make toasted coconut, heat oven to 350. Put coconut in a pie pan and spread out to about 1/4 inch thick. Toast in oven for about 3-5 minutes.. check to make sure it doesn't burn. 

HAPPY COCONUT CREAM PIE DAY!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Scharffen Berger Mother's Day Brownies

I did a Chocolate Tasting the other day and one of the Chocolates I used was 62% Scharffen Berger. That's not quite as dark as I like for an eating chocolate, and I had a lot left over. (I prepared for 100), but I had about 40. So what do do with the 'leftover' chocolate? Since it was Scharffen Berger Chocolate, I was thrilled to receive a Scharffen Berger Mother's Day email featuring Robert Steinberg's Fudgy Brownies recipe. How great is that for timing!

Now Robert Steinberg used a 70% Cacao Bittersweet Scharffen Berger Chocolate, and I probably would have, too, but since I had at least 8 ounces of 62% I substituted. I also added the rest of my chopped chocolate in chunks for just a bit more chocolate in the brownies. I can never have too much chocolate! One hint that Robert Steinberg gives about this recipe: Stir hard until the batter is smooth and glossy and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Great advice!

So here's the adapted recipe for:

Scharffen Berger Mother's Day Fudgy Brownies!

Ingredients 
6 Tbsp sweet butter, cut into cubes, plus more for the pan
8 ounces SCHARFFEN BERGER 62% Cacao Chocolate, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup toasted walnut halves
1/2 cup 62% Scharffen Berger Chocolate, chopped into chunks

Directions
Position rack in lower third of oven and preheat to 325 degrees F.
Cut an 8 by 16-inch piece of parchment paper.
Lightly butter 8 by 8 by 2-inch pan and line  with the parchment, allowing to extend evenly over the opposite sides.
Butter parchment includingpaper on sides of pan.
Put chocolate and butter in large heatproof bowl set over pot of simmering water and stir occasionally until melted and smooth. Remove from heat.
With large rubber spatula or wooden spoon, beat sugar and salt into chocolate mixture. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add flour and mix vigorously until batter is very glossy and pulls away from the sides of bowl.
Break nuts into large pieces over batter and fold in.
Fold in extra chocolate chunks.
Pour batter into prepared pan and tap pan bottom on countertop to level batter.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until skewer in center comes out moist but clean.
Cool in pan oncooling rack for 10 minutes.
Remove brownies from tpan using parchment “handles,” and cool completely on rack before cutting into 2-inch squares.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Chocolate Crepes Suzette!

Crepes Suzette. Ooh-la-la! What could be more French? Today is National Crepes Suzette Day.

To add a chocolate element, you can always add chocolate sauce to your traditional crepes suzette, but why not make Dark Chocolate Crepes?

History of Crepes Suzette from What's Cooking America?

Probably the most famous crepe dish in the world. In a restaurant, a crepe suzette is often prepared in a chafing dish in full view of the guests. They are served hot with a sauce of sugar, orange juice, and liqueur (usually Grand Marnier). Brandy is poured over the crepes and then lit. The dish was created out of a mistake made by a fourteen year-old assistant waiter Henri Carpentier (1880-1961) in 1895 at the Maitre at Monte Carlo's Café de Paris. He was preparing a dessert for the Prince of Wales, the future King Edward VII (1841-1910) of England. 

 
According to Henri Charpentier, in own words from Life A La Henri – Being The Memories of Henri Charpentier:


“It was quite by accident as I worked in front of a chafing dish that the cordials caught fire. I thought I was ruined. The Prince and his friends were waiting. How could I begin all over? I tasted it. It was, I thought, the most delicious melody of sweet flavors I had every tasted. I still think so. That accident of the flame was precisely what was needed to bring all those various instruments into one harmony of taste . . . He ate the pancakes with a fork; but he used a spoon to capture the remaining syrup. He asked me the name of that which he had eaten with so much relish. I told him it was to be called Crepes Princesse. He recognized that the pancake controlled the gender and that this was a compliment designed for him; but he protested with mock ferocity that there was a lady present. She was alert and rose to her feet and holding her little shirt wide with her hands she made him a curtsey. ‘Will you,’ said His Majesty, ‘change Crepes Princesse to Crepes Suzette?’ Thus was born and baptized this confection, one taste of which, I really believe, would reform a cannibal into a civilized gentleman. The next day I received a present from the Prince, a jeweled ring, a panama hat and a cane.”

DARK CHOCOLATE CREPES SUZETTE


For the Crepes: 

Ingredients
2 cups milk
2 eggs
2 1/2 Tbsp melted sweet butter
2 ounces dark chocolate, melted
1-1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup DARK cocoa
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions

Melt butter and chocolate together, mixing to combine and smooth out  chocolate. 
In large bowl combine the milk and eggs. 
In separate, smaller bowl, combine dry ingredients.
Whisk together milk and eggs with dry ingredients, continue whisking as you incorporate butter and chocolate mixture.
Cover and refrigerate at least an hour, or overnight. Be sure to re-whisk batter before you cook the crepes.

To Cook the Crepes:
Butter hot skillet (small or medium, not large) or crepe pan, then wipe out excess butter with paper towel so it's dry-ish. Pour in small amount of crepe batter and tilt pan as needed so batter spreads and covers bottom of pan. As edges begin to turn up, flip crepe with a spatula for few seconds to cook other side.


SAUCE & FINAL PREPARTION

Ingredients
4 Tbsp sweet butter
1/4 cup sugar
Juice of 6 oranges (with zest from one)
3 Tbsp Cointreau
3 Tbsp Cognac
12 dark chocolate crepes
Grated chocolate for garnish

Directions
Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Stir in sugar, zest, juice, and liqueur. Stirring constantly, reduce sauce to 2/3 cup. Carefully add each cooked crepe to  pan—one at a time—and coat with sauce.
Fold each crepe into quarters, and arrange on plate (3 per plate if you're serving four)
Sprinkle crepes with orange zest and grated chocolate chocolate.

Only if you're really careful: flambé sauce: reserve two tablespoons and add three more of Cognac. Stir together and remove the pan from heat. Ignite with match and pour flaming sauce over crepes.

Monday, May 5, 2014

CINCO DE MAYO CHOCOLATE MENU: 3 MOLÉS RECIPES!

Cinco de Mayo and Chocolate! So many great recipes and such a natural combination.  

Cinco de Mayo (The Fifth of May) is a Mexican holiday celebrating the victory of the Mexican army over the French at the Battle of Puebla, May 5, 1862. Puebla's signature dish is Molé Poblano--a Chocolate spicy stew--the national dish of Mexico. It's not sweet, even with the chocolate, since there are groundnuts, seeds, bitter chocolate and spices. There are so many varieties. Here are a few variations. Want to go the easiest route? Try Molé paste with Mexican Ibarra chocolate. You'll still want to add some chicken broth and tomato juice and maybe some peanut butter, but it's quick -- or you can try one of these recipes:

MOLÉS

Chicken Molé, my favorite Mexican chocolate main dish, can be very complicated to make. Here's an easy recipe adapted from Paula Deen for a quick Chicken Molé. o.k. it's not all that quick, but faster than the traditional recipes.

1. Quick Chicken Molé

Ingredients
2 Tbsp good quality olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 Tbsp chili powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
1 bell pepper, chopped
2 chipotle peppers, roughly chopped
1 (10-ounce) can chicken broth
2 Tbsp peanut butter
2 ounces Taza Chocolate Mexicano, chopped
1 (5-pound) chicken, cut into 8 pieces
Toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds), for garnish
White rice, for serving

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Heat oil in saute pan over medium heat. Add onion and saute until translucent. Add garlic and spices and continue to saute to toast and develop flavor. Add diced tomatoes, peppers, chipotles, broth, peanut butter, and chocolate. Simmer for 10 minutes. Strain and puree until smooth.
Sear chicken in heavy bottomed hot saute pan over medium-high heat until browned on both sides. Add to casserole dish, cover with sauce and braise in oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Garnish with pepitas and serve with white rice.

You can also use this molé recipe with Enchiladas!

The following recipe is from Kendall Jackson. Pair a Kendall-Jackson Grand Reserve Malbec with this.  

2. Chicken Molé Poblano with Animal Crackers

For chicken:
1 whole chicken
3 quarts water
½ onion
3 garlic cloves
2 bay leaves
2 Tbsp kosher salt
1 Tbsp freshly ground black pepper
¼ tsp oregano

Place all ingredients in large pot and bring to boil. Reduce to simmer and cook for 1 hour or until chicken is done. Strain and reserve liquid and chicken.

For mole sauce:
4 Tbsp rice oil (or other neutral flavored oil)
8 dried mulato chilies, stems and seeds removed
4 dried pasilla chilies, stems and seeds removed
4 dried ancho chilies, stems and seeds removed
2 dried cascabel or chipotle chilies, stems and seeds removed
12 almonds
¼ cup peanuts
3 garlic cloves
1/4 large onion
1/2 plantain, diced
12 animal crackers
5 raisins
3 whole black peppercorns
2 cloves
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
2 Tbsp sesame seeds, toasted
5 cups reserved chicken stock
2 slices bacon
½ bar (1½ oz.) Mexican chocolate (Ibarra)

In large heavy bottomed pan over medium heat, add oil and sauté the chilies for approximately 3 minutes. Stir chilies constantly, being careful not to burn them. Using slotted spoon, remove chilies and reserve.

Add almonds and peanuts and cook for 2 minutes or until golden brown. Add garlic, onions and plantains and cook until golden brown, approximately 3 minutes. Add  animal crackers and cook for 2 minutes or until golden brown.

Add raisins, peppercorns, cloves and cinnamon and cook until aromatic. Remove from heat and place in blender, add chilies, 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds and the chicken stock. Purée until sauce is smooth consistency.

In small pan, cook bacon until fat has rendered. Remove bacon and all but 1 tablespoon of fat from  pan (bacon can be eaten or reserved for another use). Add  chocolate to pan. Once chocolate has dissolved, cook for 2 minutes or until aromatic. Add  bacon fat and chocolate mixture to purée and stir to combine.

To serve: Slice chicken onto platter and cover with mole sauce. Garnish with remaining sesame seeds. Serve with Mexican rice and tortillas on the side.

Extra mole sauce can be frozen for up to 2 months.
***
Here's a completely different mole recipe--this time for WHITE Chocolate Molé with Animal Crackers. Recipe from Judy Walker in the Arizona Republic a few years ago.

3. White Chocolate Molé with Animal Crackers

Ingredients:
1/2 cup unsalted peanuts
1/4 cup sliced blanched almonds
1/4 cup walnuts
2 cups water
1 cinnamon stick, broken into pieces
2 whole cloves
1 fresh poblano chile, seeded and chopped
2 fresh serrano chiles, seeded and chopped
1 small clove garlic
1/2 white Spanish onion, cut into chunks
5 animal crackers, toasted
1/4 cup sweet butter
1/2 cup chopped white chocolate
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread peanuts, almonds and walnuts on a jelly-roll pan. Toast in oven, shaking  pan occasionally, until nuts are slightly colored and fragrant, 3 to 5 minutes.

In blender, combine nuts, water, cinnamon stick and cloves; blend until nuts are very finely ground. Strain through medium-mesh sieve over bowl, pressing on solids with back of ladle or rubber spatula to release liquid. Reserve liquid and discard solids.

In blender, combine chiles, garlic, onion and nut liquid. Add animal crackers; puree until smooth. Strain through medium-mesh sieve over bowl, pressing on solids with back of ladle or rubber spatula to release liquid. Discard solids.

In large saucepan, heat butter. Stir in nut-chile liquid. Simmer, uncovered, over medium heat, scraping bottom of pan occasionally with a rubber spatula, until mixture is consistency of thick pea soup, about 15 minutes.

Stir in chocolate, salt and pepper until chocolate is melted. Use immediately.

Note: The molé without the chocolate can be made ahead and refrigerated, tightly covered, for up to a week. To serve, heat in a saucepan and stir in the chocolate.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Three 'Mexican' Truffle Recipes for Cinco De Mayo!

Tomorrow is Cinco de Mayo, so I'm posting a few recipes for "Mexican" Truffles.

The first is a recipe for Tequila Truffles that I've posted before. I love this one, and you really do taste the Tequila. I sometimes roll Tequila Truffles (the ganache part) in cocoa....or dip them in dark chocolate and sprinkle with course sea salt. Either way works. The second recipe is for Mexican Chocolate Truffles and the third is for Spicy Mexican Truffles. Try all three!

1. Tequila Truffles 
This recipe is adapted from Divine Chocolate. I probably didn't need 100 or more truffles as in the original recipe :-) I must admit that I'm a bit haphard in measurements when I make these. I adhere to my grandmothers's "a pinch of this, a pinch of that" method. I daresay, though, that my grandmother would never have made Tequila Truffles.

Ingredients:
14 oz white chocolate, chopped into small chunks
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 tsp white tequila
1 tsp grated lime zest
Drop of fresh lemon juice and drop of fresh lime juice or 1/4 tsp each of lime and lemon oil (natural) 

Coating
1 - 1 1/4 lbs. dark chocolate (70% cacao) for dipping, chopped into small chunks
Coarse sea salt

Ganache Directions
1. Line shallow baking pan with saran wrap or any plastic wrap, overlapping 2 or more sheets as needed, leaving generous overhang on two sides (enough to cover the ganache once it is in the pan).
2. Place white chocolate in food processor and process to crumb consistency. Add tequila, zest, and juice or oils.
3. Bring cream to boil in small pan. With food processor on, pour cream through feed tube, processing fortotal of 20-30 seconds, until mixture is perfectly smooth. Scrape ganache into plastic wrap-lined pan and let cool at room temperature, without stirring.
4. Once ganache is cool, fold plastic wrap over it and let sit at room temperature for several hours, preferably overnight, until firm enough to scoop. You can always refrigerate, but the texture of the truffles won’t be quite as silky. Once the ganache has set, chilling won’t hurt it.
5. To shape  truffles, use melon baller to form balls with hands from the ganache. If needed, smooth the surface with hands. (I do both)
6. Place centers (ganache balls) slightly apart on tray lined with parchment or wax paper. Let stand at room temperature, uncovered, until surface is dry and slightly crusted, at least 2 hours, preferably longer.

Coating Directions
1. Temper dark chocolate by melting about 75% of chocolate either in double boiler or in microwave until it reaches about 100°F. Add remaining 25% of solid chocolate to bowl and mix until all melts and temperature reaches about 90°F. Dip truffles one at time (I use the two fork method I've posted before) in melted chocolate, let excess drip off, and place on tray lined with parchment or wax paper.
2. Sprinkle with a little bit of sea salt before chocolate begins to harden. Continue with remaining truffles, but if dark chocolate becomes to cool, reheat a bit until it gets back up to about 90°F.
3. Let sit at room temperature. Store truffles in a covered container at cool room temperature for up to 10 days.

2. Mexican Chocolate Truffles 
 recipe adapted from Elizabeth LaBau on About.com

Although it doesn’t use actual Mexican chocolate (although you could), this easy chocolate truffle recipe has cinnamon, almonds, and coffee for a sweet spiced Mexican chocolate taste. Unlike most truffle recipes, the chocolate is not melted but remains in small chunks. For this reason, it’s important to chop the chocolate very fine so that it’s evenly incorporated throughout the candy.

Ingredients:
4 ounces dark chocolate (60-75% cacao, very finely chopped
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1/3 cup almond paste
1 Tbsp strong coffee
1/2 Tbsp sweet butter, melted
1/4 cup DARK cocoa powder
 tsp cinnamon

Directions:
1. In large bowl, combine chopped chocolate, sugar, almond paste, coffee and melted butter. Stir with wooden spoon until comes together and forms smooth paste.
2. Combine cocoa powder and cinnamon in shallow bowl or pie tin.
3. Using teaspoon, scoop up small balls of the truffle mixture and roll it into ball in between your hands. Roll ttruffle in cocoa-cinnamon mixture, and place it on baking sheet or plate.
4. Repeat with remaining truffle mixture and cocoa powder. Refrigerate truffles for 2 hours before serving. If you are making these ahead of time, transfer chilled truffles to airtight container in the refrigerator so they don’t get too dry or absorb other odors. Take out and leave at room temperature for 10 minutes before serving.

3. Spicy Mexican Truffles

Ingredients
1/3 cup heavy cream
6 Tbsp sweet butter, chopped
2 cups Dark Chocolate (60-85% cacao), chopped
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 Tbsp ground cardamom
1/2 Tbsp orange peels
Pinch of Salt

Directions
In saucepan bring cream to simmer.
Add butter and stir until melted.
Add chocolate.
Stir until completely melted and smooth.
Stir in cayenne, cardamom, orange peels and salt.
Remove from heat and pour into shallow bowl.
Cool, cover and refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours.
Using melon baller or hands, roll mixture into small balls.
Roll each ball in cocoa.