The ChocolateDoctor’s Summer = Ice Cream

July 1st, 2015
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

It’s summertime and this is a question that is often asked this time of year: “How do I get a deep, dark, rich chocolate ice cream when the main ingredient is milk and cream?” Obviously, the milk and cream lighten the mix so that it looks like a light milk chocolate ice cream. So here is the ChefSecret—ultra alkalized cocoa powder is what the professionals use. For my Dark Chocolate Ice Cream I use Choclatique Black Onyx and my Dairy-Free Chocolate Ganache (see recipe below).

“Ganache” is not a scary concept, although the word may not be immediately familiar to the American reader. It’s a blend of chocolate, creams and syrups that results in a velvety, ultra-smooth paste. In the case of my Dairy-Free Dark Chocolate Ganache the dark chocolate is blended with light corn syrup or honey, cocoa powder and chocolate extract and whipped until smooth. With no sacrifice of taste or texture, this dark chocolate ganache is the perfect building block for those who love really great dark chocolate ice cream.

Here are the recipes that will give you outrageous dark chocolate ice cream that everyone will be talking about for years to come. You can find these recipes in my book Choclatique 150 Simply Elegant Desserts available on our website, Amazon and in bookstores nationwide. If you don’t see, ask for it!

Okay, fasten your seat belts, here we go. It’s best to read each recipe completely before starting and to measure all of your ingredients ahead of time. Please remember, it takes a little time to produce excellence.

Dark Chocolate Ganache

This wonderful, dark ganache enriches any recipe with true dark chocolate, European flavor. It’s the chocolate ganache “workhorse” at Choclatique. I love the intensity of the rich, deep chocolate flavor. It is perfect in Chocolate Cheesecakes, Devil’s Food Cake and Deep Chocolate Ice Cream. On its own it’s dairy- and gluten-free, and while it is not as sweet as other ganaches, it possesses all the benefits and “flavor thrills” that appeal to lovers of intense chocolate.

Yield: About 2 pounds of ganache
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Cooling Time: 1 hour
Chilling Time: 3 to 4 hours

Special Toolbox:
A large, heavy saucepan (3 quarts or larger)
A plastic sealable storage container

Ingredients:
1-1/4 cups water
2/3 cup light corn syrup
2 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder (Choclatique Black Onyx)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-1/4 pounds bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (at least 64 percent like Choclatique Private Reserve Dark Chocolate)
1-1/4 teaspoons chocolate extract (see ChefSecret)

Directions:

  1. In a large, heavy saucepan, bring the water, corn syrup, cocoa powder, and salt to a boil over medium-high heat. Whisk until blended. Remove the pan from the heat.
  2. Immediately add the chocolate and chocolate extract to the pan and whisk until smooth. Set aside for about 1 hour to cool completely, whisking every 15 minutes or so to keep the ganache emulsified.
  3. When cool, transfer the ganache to a rigid plastic or glass container, cover, date, and refrigerate for up to three months.

ChefSecret: Chocolate extract is sold in most supermarkets and confectionery shops. I like to use Star Kay White’s Chocolate Extract.

Dark Chocolate Ganache Ice Cream

Rich, deep, and dark… Ben & Jerry and Messrs. Baskin and Robbins would be proud to make this chocolate ganache ice cream. It is made with eight all-natural ingredients—everything you might commonly find in your kitchen pantry, including dark chocolate. We add the Dark Chocolate Ganache to enrich the ice cream with chocolate flavor and creaminess you can feel on the tongue. As you will gleefully discover, it is like no other chocolate ice cream you have ever tasted!

This ice cream is used as a base for other ice creams or served just as it is. See variations in Choclatique (the cook book).

Yield: Makes 2 quarts
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Chilling Time: 4 hours
Freezing Time: 4 hours 20 minutes

Special Toolbox:
A wooden spoon
A fine-mesh sieve (strainer)
An electric ice cream maker

Ingredients:
1-1/2 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons unsweetened ultra Dutch-processed cocoa powder (like Choclatique Black Onyx)
1 cup Dark Chocolate Ganache (recipe above)
2-1/2 cups whole milk, divided
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
4 large egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. In a medium saucepan, heat the cream and cocoa powder over medium heat, whisking to ensure the cocoa is fully absorbed. When the cream bubbles around the edges, remove the pan from the heat and add the Dark Chocolate Ganache. Wait for 30 seconds and then stir until smooth and blended. Add 1 cup of the milk and stir to combine.
  2. Return the saucepan to the stove and stir in the remaining 1-1/2 cups milk, the sugar and salt. Heat the mixture over medium heat, keeping the milk at a simmer; do not let it boil over the sides of the pan.
  3. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks together. Slowly drizzle about 1/4 cup of the warm milk into the egg yolks, whisking constantly to temper the eggs until combined.
  4. Pour the rest of the egg yolks into the saucepan and cook for 3 to 5 minutes over low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon to prevent the eggs from cooking. Cook until the custard is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon and your finger leaves a trace in the custard when run along the back of the spoon.
  5. Pour the custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl. Add the vanilla and stir to combine.
  6. Cover the surface of the custard with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate the custard for at least 4 hours. Transfer to an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  7. Transfer the ice cream to an airtight container and freeze for at least 4 hours to harden. Remove the ice cream from the freezer 10 to 15 minutes before serving to let soften.
  8. I hope you enjoy the rich, chocolaty goodness of this ice cream and let me know how it turns out… The ChocolateDoctor.

The ChocolateDoctor’s Chocolate Blueberry Cobbler

June 26th, 2015
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

This recipe works great with other cobbler fruit and is an excellent light dessert that isn’t too sweet! Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Bake Time: 40 minutes
Ready In: 1 hour
Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients:
Filling:

3 cups fresh blueberries
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/3 cup orange juice
1 teaspoon all-purpose flour

Topping:
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg (optional, see ChefSecret below)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup Choclatique Semi-Sweet Chocolate Mini Chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375° F.
  2. In an 8 inch square baking dish, mix blueberries, 3 tablespoons sugar, orange juice and 1 teaspoon of flour; set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, thoroughly mix flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
  4. In a medium bowl, cream butter and 1/2 cup sugar until light and fluffy.
  5. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract.
  6. Gradually add flour mixture, stirring just until ingredients are combined.
  7. Fold in the chocolate chips. Do not over-mix.
  8. Drop batter by rounded tablespoons over blueberry mixture; cover as much of filling as possible.
  9. Bake in preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, until topping is golden brown and filling is bubbling.

ChefSecret: To be perfectly honest with you, the first time I made this cobbler in the test kitchen I forgot to add the egg. I usually don’t make mistakes like this, but as we always say, “sometimes chocolate happens.” Well, the result was surprisingly delicious. The topping tasted like great chocolate chip cookies and was a perfect complement to the blueberries. Even more impressive was how crisp the topping remained the next day. So, I decided to offer a choice—egg or no egg. Adding an egg will produce a more traditional, softer cobbler topping.

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The ChocolateDoctor’s Yummy Guinness Stout Brownies

June 18th, 2015
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

This is the first of my new series of blogs and chocolate recipes. I took a few months off to lose a little weight and recharge my creative batteries. If you’ve been one of our regulars, thanks for coming back. If you’re a newbie, welcome!

Last Friday I went to O’Brien’s in Santa Monica, my favorite Irish pub, where they were sampling the new Guinness Blonde American Lager. For me it was a complete disconnect as I love my beers dark and chewy. Joan, on the other hand, thought it was one of the best lagers she tasted.

On the way home I stopped and picked up a 6-pack of Guinness Stout (the original). I cook and bake with Guinness a lot. If you never had my Guinness Fire-House Chili you’ve never really had great chili (said with a fairly modest smile on my face). The secret ingredients to the chili are Guinness Stout, of course, and 2 tablespoons of Choclatique Rouge Cocoa Powder. But enough about chili; more to the point is dessert, Guinness and chocolate.

Below is one of the richest (and best) recipes for brownies made with Guinness Stout. The stout flavor really shines through when combined with Choclatique chocolate and cocoa powder. It’s kind of like a marriage made in heaven or in this case our Chocolate Studio (which is heaven on earth). I asked our lead chocolatier, Mary Jo, to make this recipe and prove it out. It was fun, simple to make and was gone in 60 seconds (just like the movie).

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Bake Time: 45 to 50 minutes
Yields: 9 to 12 servings (they are very rich)

Ingredients:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup Choclatique Rouge Cocoa Powder
1/4 cup Choclatique Private Reserve Dark Chocolate
8 tablespoon unsalted butter
4 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar, packed
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup Guinness Stout (drink what’s left while the brownies are baking)
1 cup Choclatique Dark Chocolate Chips

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat an oven to 325°F.
  2. Spray and cocoa-flour a 9 x 9-inch glass baking pan.
  3. In a medium bowl sift together the flour, salt and cocoa powder.
  4. Melt the Choclatique Private Reserve Chocolate in a bowl in the microwave, or over boiling water.
  5. In a small pan, over medium heat, melt the butter until just golden brown. Pour the brown butter into small bowl. Scrape the pan to get the brown bits (that’s where the rich buttery flavor is).
  6. In the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat together the eggs and sugars until thick and shiny, about 2 to 3 minutes. Continue beating on low while alternately adding the sifted flour mixture and wet ingredients (butter, beer and melted chocolate), finishing with vanilla and almond extracts. Do not over mix.
  7. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  8. Pour into the prepared 9 x 9-inch pan Bake 45-50 minutes or until a cake tester comes out mostly clean.

ChefSecrets: There are 2 secrets; 1) Give the full amount of time to beating the eggs and sugars together. That’s what gives the brownie the lift as there is not leavening in the recipe. 2) To avoid white streaks use cocoa powder to flour the pan instead of all-purpose flour.

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The ChocolateDoctor’s Chocolate BBQ Cocktail Sauce

March 6th, 2015
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

My friend in Maine has been sending me pictures of Snowy Owls that migrated from the polar area and I have been sending him pictures of the beach bunnies here in SoCal. Okay, I’m rubbing it in a little. Yeah, I know it’s still colder than a witch’s wand in most parts of the United States, but out here in Los Angeles the weather has been beautiful and we are still cookin’ shrimp on the barbie.

Here’s my slightly smoky, spicy, Chocolate BBQ Cocktail Sauce. It is the type of condiment you’re going to want to smother all over everything you can get your hands on. Too cold for the barbecue? Then try it on fried shrimp, clams or oysters. It’s also great on fried chicken and oven-cooked ribs.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Ready In: 40 minutes
Yield: About 1 1/2 cups

Ingredients:
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup chili sauce
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
3 tablespoons Choclatique Natura Cocoa Powder, sifted
1/2 cup water
1/4 teaspoon lemon zest, finely minced

Directions:

  1. Combine all of the ingredients, except the lemon zest, in a small sauce pan and whisk together.
  2. Bring just to a boil, lower heat and keep on a low simmer. Cook for an additional 20-30 minutes to thicken until the sauce reaches desired consistency.
  3. Remove from heat and add the lemon zest. Stir in well.
  4. Serve with your favorite fried seafood.

Chef’s Secret: Chefs all have secret ingredients for their recipe for a barbecue cocktail sauce. Take the time to develop your own signature sauce. Nothing goes better with barbecue than a little bit of chocolate, of course. You can add dark beer or coffee in place of half the water, a tablespoon of honey or molasses in addition to the brown sugar and a teaspoon of Wright’s Liquid Smoke in place of the chipotle chili.

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The ChocolateDoctor’s No Butter—Mo Better Brownies: My Ode To Healthy Desserts

February 20th, 2015
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

Bertha Honoré Palmer asked the chef at her husband’s hotel—Palmer House—to create a dessert for ladies attending the World’s Columbian Exposition to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’ arrival in the New World in 1492. This exposition came to be known as the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893.

She told the chef, it should be smaller than a piece of cake, still retaining cake-like characteristics and easily eaten from boxed lunches with fingers. These first brownies featured an apricot glaze and walnuts. These brownies are still being made at the hotel according to the original recipe which requires about a pound of sweet butter, a pound of chocolate and a pound of sugar. Not exactly your ‘diet’ brownie.

If you have the craving for chocolate sweets and are trying to watch your waistline, then the following recipe is perfect for you. My No Butter—Mo Better Brownies are sweetened with apple sauce and flavored with cocoa powder, making them a big chocolate-flavored treat with much fewer calories that even meets Weight Watchers® standards.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Bake Time: 25 minutes
Cooling Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 60 minutes
Yield: Makes 12 Brownies

Ingredients:
Low fat cooking spray
1/3 cup self-raising flour
3 tablespoons Choclatique Rouge Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
2 large egg whites
3/4 cup granulated sugar
6 tablespoons unsweetened apple sauce
2 tablespoons sunflower oil
2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon chopped walnuts

Directions:

  1. Preheat an oven to 350º F.
  2. Spray an 8-inch square non stick baking dish with the cooking spray.
  3. In a medium size bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder and salt, stirring together to mix.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the egg, egg whites, sugar, apple sauce, oil and vanilla extract.
  5. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture, stirring until just blended. Take care not to over mix, or the brownies will not rise.
  6. Transfer the brownie mixture to the baking pan and sprinkle with the walnuts.
  7. Bake in the center of the oven until just set, about 25 minutes. A cake tester inserted in the center of the cake should come out clean.
  8. Cool in the baking dish for 15 minutes—cut into 12 rectangles.

ChefSecret: The apple sauce is the secret as it replaces the majority of both the butter and sugar; the cocoa powder replaces the chocolate.

Weight Watchers points per serving: 2

Weight Watchers points per recipe: 26.5

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The ChocolateDoctor Could Chocolate Be Better for Your Teeth Than Fluoride?

February 13th, 2015
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

I know many, if not all, of our US municipal water supplies are treated with fluoride. I remember having fluoride treatments in the dental office growing up—all this to prevent dental cavities. My dentist would put a little fluoride in a shot glass and carefully apply a light coating over each tooth with a Q-tip. Imagine my surprise when I read an article recently informing me that fluoride is a toxic industrial waste product that is a poison to your system even in small amounts.

One has to start to ask, are there not far better options for decreasing tooth decay than ingesting a harmful industrial pollutant or using a topical poison like fluoride? Chocolate to the rescue—new research suggests a chocolate extract would make a better alternative.

I don’t think moms and dads would have any trouble coaxing their little ones to brush two times a day with a chocolate toothpaste if it works better than fluoride. A recent study presented at the American Dental Association this year compared fluoride toothpaste to a new toothpaste containing the naturally-occurring cacao extract theobromine.

This test determined the theobromine toothpaste repaired and re-mineralized exposed dentin better than the fluoride. Exposed dentin is a leading cause of tooth hypersensitivity. The results showed that patients who brushed their teeth with the cacao-extract toothpaste twice a day for one week had 100 percent dental occlusion with their tooth dentin becoming re-mineralized or repaired.

According to a release: [PRNewswire October 31, 2013] “The comparison to toothpastes containing fluoride—one as much as 5,000 parts per million—validates what our research has shown all along: that Rennou (the cocoa extract)… is more effective and safer than fluoride.”

Past research has also shown that the chocolate ingredient theobromine works better than fluoride when treating lesions in artificial enamel. Remineralization occurred at a greater rate than when they were treated with fluoride. The study found that theobromine made teeth less vulnerable to bacterial acid erosion that could lead to cavities.

With potential alternatives like theobromine, which are not harmful when swallowed, it’s unfortunate that fluoride can still be found in a vast assortment of toothpastes, mouthwashes and professionally applied fluoride treatments.

The ChocolateDoctor suggests that using a tooth paste containing natural ingredients, like theobromine, appears to be more effective and safer than fluoride-containing toothpastes. Above all, don’t forget to practice good oral hygiene—brushing after meals and getting regular dental cleanings and check-ups, too.

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The ChocolateDoctor’s Ice Cream Bread

February 6th, 2015
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

Two of my favorite things in life are really good bread and really great ice cream. I am especially partial to Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream. They were bought by one of the giant international food companies, but they have kept up the quality of the ice cream and the inventiveness of the flavors and are still spot on. During the end of last year I kept hearing things about this new, easy-to-make Ice Cream Bread, which is made with ice cream and self-rising flour.

At first I thought it was just a joke, but I kept on reading more and more about it. I started asking all the important questions. Does it need any yeast or baking powder to rise? Does it have to be just plain vanilla ice cream? Can I use any mix-ins? I decided to give it a try.

I had an unopened pint of B & J’s Cherry Garcia (cherry ice cream with cherries & fudge flakes) in the freezer. I quickly whipped up the batter and to my surprise, the bread actually turned out well! It was moist, yet fluffy. All of the ice cream flavors came through. And in future tests I discovered you shouldn’t use yeast or other leavening agents; you can use most flavors of ice cream and you can add mix-ins in moderation in addition to those already in the ice cream such as fruit, chocolate chips and even some Choclatique Cocoa Powder. This is one of the easiest, most rewarding, fool-proof recipes I’ve come across. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Ingredients:
1 pint ice cream—flavor of your choice
1 1/2 cups Self-Rising Flour
1/2 cup Choclatique Chocolate Chips (any complimentary chip flavor, dark, milk or white chocolate)

Directions:

  1. Preheat an oven to 350º F.
  2. Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, mix the ice cream and flour until combined.
  4. Scoop batter into the loaf pan.
  5. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until it springs back to the touch.
  6. Let the bread cool on a rack, slice and enjoy!

ChefSecret: For best results use a premium grade of ice cream. I prefer Ben & Jerry’s but Häagen-Dazs also works well in this recipe. Non-premium ice cream brands have much more air whipped into them and don’t deliver enough structure or flavor. If you are adding cocoa powder, decrease the amount of flour by the amount of cocoa powder you add—for the best result use 1/4 cup of any Choclatique Cocoa Powder.

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The ChocolateDoctor’s Homemade Chocolate Ganache Blocks

January 30th, 2015
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

This is sort of a “guys” recipe even if he is somewhat cooking-challenged but still wants to make something chocolaty for his favorite gal. It is a non-fussy truffle without all the scooping. It’s really just chop, melt and cook—anyone can do it. In fact, it’s even a blast to make with the kids. Don’t be afraid to use the dried chipotle pepper, it will enhance the chocolate with a warm glow, not a hot burn. You’ll find it is just the perfect combination of chocolate and orange with just a hint of warmth.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Chill Time: 35 minutes
Ready In: 50 minutes
Yield: 30 Truffle Blocks

Ingredients:
1/2 pound Choclatique Private Reserve Chocolate (64%), chopped
1/8 teaspoon ground dried chipotle pepper
1/8 teaspoon pinch salt
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon orange zest
3 tablespoons Choclatique Rouge Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

Directions:

  1. Place the chopped chocolate into a medium size bowl; add the chipotle pepper and salt.
  2. Heat the cream, vanilla extract and orange zest in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until it just comes to a boil.
  3. Pour the hot cream mixture over chocolate and let it stand for 2 or 3 minutes until the chocolate has melted.
  4. Using a clean dry spatula stir until the chocolate mixture is completely smooth.
  5. Pour chocolate mixture out onto a sheet of plastic wrap on a work surface. Pick up one edge of the plastic and roll the chocolate into a rough log shape. Refrigerate until firm; about 35 minutes.
  6. Place cocoa powder into a small bowl. Unwrap chocolate and cut in half crosswise; cut each half into halves lengthwise. Roughly cut candy into 1/2-inch square blocks.
  7. Gently toss the chocolate pieces into the cocoa to coat.

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The ChocolateDoctor’s The Choclatique Burger

January 23rd, 2015
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

Before McDonald’s, Burger King and Wendy’s occupied the world’s hamburger landscape there were Woody’s Smorgasburgers all over California. Woody’s was one of the first chains where you could get a hamburger and then carry it over to a little self-service topping counter stocked with ketchup, mustard, onions, pickles, salsa, barbecue sauce, etc., and create whatever you wanted.

Every Woody’s also had a “make your own sundae” bar where you could fill a dish full of soft-serve ice cream, then add a selection of syrups, sprinkles, crushed peanuts and such.

One of my friends asked the manager if it was okay to put the toppings from the sundae bar on his burger or vice-versa. Mmmmm… what would hot fudge or whipped cream do to a hamburger and would maraschino cherries blend with the mustard? I was one of the guys who discovered that chopped peanuts and caramel sauce tasted great on a Woody’s burger. So it wasn’t a big leap of faith for me to add a little chocolate.

They say that chocolate is the magic elixir to your lover’s heart. Win them over with my Choclatique Burger—with a Chipotle Cocoa Aioli, Cocoa-Butter Bun Spread and Cocoa Nib topping (in place of the peanuts). Hold the mustard, ketchup and pickle and enjoy a new kind of Valentine’s Day burger.

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Ready In: 60 minutes
Yield: 2 hamburgers

Ingredients:
For the Chipotle Cocoa Aioli:

1 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons Choclatique Natura Cocoa Powder
1 tablespoon sour cream
1 tablespoon chipotle in adobo sauce, finely chopped (about 1 pepper)

For the Cocoa-Butter Spread:
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon Choclatique Natura Cocoa Powder

For the Burgers:
1/2 cup caramelized onions, dark brown
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 hamburger patties, 1/4 to 1/3 pound each
4 teaspoons Choclatique Cocoa-Nibs
2 thick slices Jarlsberg or Gruyere cheese
2 leaves green leaf lettuce
2 slices beefsteak tomato, sliced 1/4” thick
4 slices cooked bacon
2 hamburger buns, preferably brioche

Directions:

  1. Combine the mayonnaise, cocoa powder, sour cream and adobe sauce in a small bowl and mix until smooth. Cover and refrigerate.
  2. With an electric mixer combine the softened butter and cocoa powder. Beat on low speed for 15 seconds until the cocoa powder is absorbed. Increase speed to medium and mix until butter is soft and fluffy, occasionally scraping the sides down with a spatula. Set aside.
  3. Caramelize the onions in butter until nicely browned; set aside.
  4. Preheat a large sauté pan over medium heat.
  5. Liberally spread the butter over each side of both buns and toast the buns on the sauté pan until crispy and deep golden brown. Cool and set aside, uncovered, toasted side up.
  6. Turn up the heat to medium high on the sauté pan and add the canola oil. Season the hamburger patties with salt and pepper and place in the pan.
  7. Once a nice crust has formed on the underside of the patties, flip the burgers and carefully sprinkle 1-2 teaspoons of cocoa nibs on each patty and cover with a slice of cheese. Cook until hamburgers have reached desired doneness.
  8. Liberally spread both sides of the bun with the aioli. Place the lettuce and tomato on the bottom bun, then add the hamburger patty and the caramelized onions. Finish with 2 slices of bacon and the top bun and enjoy!

ChefSecret: Covering your sauté pan for 30 seconds or so before removing the hamburger patties will ensure a nice melt on your cheese. Make the aioli a day ahead of time for the best flavor, as the time will allow the flavors to come together completely.

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The ChocolateDoctor’s Ode To Reverend Sylvester Graham (1794 – 1851) Featuring My California Cream Cheese Pie Recipe

October 3rd, 2014
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

You can’t write fiction this good.

This is the story of Reverend Sylvester Graham for whom the graham cracker was named. He was an early advocate of dietary reform in the United States, most noted for his emphasis on vegetarianism and temperance as well as lean and bland dietary habits.

Graham was a Presbyterian in Bound Brook, New Jersey, and came up with the idea of the graham wafer in 1829. The original wafer was made with graham flour (of course), a combination of finely-ground, unbleached wheat flour (with the wheat bran and germ coarsely-ground and added back into the flour providing a good source of nutrition) and additional flavor, negating the need for sweeteners. While graham crackers started out as a mild unsweetened food, today they are more commonly known as honey grahams.

The Reverend originally conceived graham crackers as sort of a health food for both the body and the mind to become part of what was to be known as the Graham Diet. This regimen was supposed to suppress what he considered unhealthy thoughts (carnal urges), the source of many maladies according to Graham. Reverend Graham often lectured his flock on the evils of “self-abuse.” He stated these experiences were inspired by children eating sugar and sweetened cookies. One of his many now outdated theories was that one could curb one’s sexual appetite by eating bland foods. Another man who held this belief was John Kellogg, the inventor of the Kellogg’s Corn Flakes. You can only imagine what Kellogg and Graham would think of today’s Frosted Flakes and chocolate-covered graham crackers.

Today, commercially produced modern graham crackers are comprised mainly of the refined, bleached white flour to which the Reverend Graham was opposed, and others are made with blends that use unbleached, white flour as a base. Graham crackers have remained popular in North America as a snack food, breakfast cereal and the base of a really great cheesecake. Most commercial graham crackers could no longer be considered a health food. In fact, some of these commercially-baked “graham crackers” are more notable for being topped with a thick crust of cinnamon and sugar or having cocoa powder added to the mix.

Despite all of this, basic modern graham crackers are common in America as a snack for young children (at home or at preschool, elementary school and other child care facilities) usually accompanied with fruit juice or milk.

Graham crackers, along with roasted marshmallows and milk chocolate bars, are used to make a Girl Scout campfire treat—S’mores. Graham crackers have moved on to a higher plane or as what the good Reverenced might have said, same church different pew.

The ChocolateDoctor’s California Cream Cheese Pie

Made with a Graham Cracker Crust

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Baking Time: 30 minutes
Cooling Time: 5 hours, plus 10 minutes
Total Time: 6 hours 30 minutes
Yield: Serves 8 to 10

Ingredients:
4 (3 oz.) packages cream cheese (room temperature)
2 large eggs, beaten (room temperature)
2 tablespoons sour cream
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

For the graham cracker crust:
12 to 14 graham crackers, finely crumbled
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

For the sour cream topping:
1 cup sour cream
3 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon zest

Directions:

  1. Preheat an oven to 350º F.
  2. Combine all the ingredients above and beat until light and frothy.
  3. Pour into the prepared graham cracker crust (see recipe below) and bake in 350 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes.
  5. Reduce the oven temperature to 325º F.
  6. Pour the sour cream topping (see recipe below) over the baked pie. Return to the pie to the oven and bake 10 minutes longer.
  7. Cool for 30 minutes on a rack.
  8. Refrigerate at least 5 hours before serving.

For the graham cracker crust:

  1. Combine cracker crumbs, cinnamon and butter thoroughly. Pat into 9-inch pie pan running up the sides.

For the sour cream topping:

  1. Blend all ingredients together and set aside unrefrigerated.

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