Archive for the ‘Holidays’ Category

The ChocolateDoctor’s White Chocolate-Pumpkin Cheesecake

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2016
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Choclatique—150 Simply 150 Elegant Desserts, Running Press, 2011

It’s time to be thankful and celebrate America’s favorite food holiday. We’re combining America’s favorite cheesecake-based dessert with America’s favorite holiday pie and white chocolate. There are a lot of ingredients to keep track of (well worth the effort), but the good news is it’s super-easy to do. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkling of toasted, cinnamon pumpkin seeds. Happy Thanksgiving!

Prep time: 30 minutes
Bake time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Cool down time: 1 hour
Chill time: 2 to 3 hours
Refrigerate time: at least 5 hours, preferably overnight

Ingredients:
For the crust:

2 cups gingersnap cookie crumbs
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 egg yolk
Non-stick cooking spray

For the cheesecake filling:
4 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 (15 ounce) cans pure pumpkin puree
1/4 cup Choclatique Snowy White Chocolate, melted
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon American bourbon whiskey
1/4 cup corn starch
1/4 cup sour cream
4 large eggs
2 large egg yolks

For the sour cream topping:
1 pint sour cream, room temperature
2 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract

Directions:
For the crust:

  1. Move a rack to the center position in oven. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. Spray a 10-inch springform pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  3. Stir the gingersnap crumbs, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 3 tablespoons flour, and melted butter together in a bowl until mixture resembles sand. Stir 1 egg yolk into crumbs until thoroughly combined until the crust mixture holds its shape when pressed.
  4. Evenly spread the crumbs into pan and press the crust mixture into a firm crust going about 1 inch or more up the sides of the pan.
  5. Bake the crust for 10 minutes and cool on a rack.
  6. Place the pan on a heavy sheet of aluminum foil and bring the foil up the sides of the pan to the rim, crumpling it close to the pan and making a barrier to prevent water from leaking into the cheesecake.
  7. Place the foil-wrapped springform pan into a large roasting pan.
  8. Place the cream cheese, 1 cup brown sugar, and granulated sugar into the work bowl of a large stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment (do not use a whisk attachment); mix on low speed until smooth, about 3 minute. Raise speed to high and mix until light and silky, about 3 or 4 more minutes.
  9. Place the pumpkin puree in a separate large mixing bowl; stir in the melted white chocolate, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, salt, vanilla extract, and bourbon whiskey until combined.
  10. Whisk 1/4 cup of cornstarch into pumpkin mixture, followed by the sour cream, eggs and egg yolks.
  11. Whisk the cream cheese mixture into the pumpkin mixture until the filling is completely smooth and free of lumps.
  12. Pour the filling into the crust; use a spatula to lightly and rapidly jiggle the filling in the center of the cheesecake to smooth off the top and shake out any bubbles.
  13. Carefully place the filled springform pan in the roasting pan on the center rack of the oven and fill the roasting pan with enough very hot (almost boiling) water to reach halfway up the side of springform pan.
  14. Bake the cheesecake until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the filling reads 160°F; about 1 hour and 45 minutes. Check the temperature after 1-1/2 hours. The filling will still be slightly jiggly in the center.
  15. Open the oven door for a few seconds to let out most of the hot air. Use a thin knife to separate cheesecake edge from inside of pan to help prevent cracking.
  16. Pour the sour cream topping over the cheese cake and bake for another 8 minutes.
  17. Turn off the heat and leave the oven door a jar (about 1 inch) to release additional heat. Let the cheesecake cool down in the warm oven for 1 hour to finish setting.
  18. Carefully remove the cheesecake from the water bath and let it cool to room temperature on a rack for 2 to 3 hours.
  19. Cover the cheesecake with aluminum foil and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, at least 5 hours but preferably overnight.

For the Sour Cream topping:

  1. Whisk together sour cream, granulated sugar, vanilla and almond extracts.

ChefSecret: Most spice companies make a reasonable pumpkin pie spice. You can substitute the cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and allspice with 2 to 2-1/2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice.

Use a folded paper towel to remove any moisture that has formed on top of the cheesecake before releasing and carefully lifting the springform pan from the cheesecake.

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The ChocolateDoctor’s Thanksgiving Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Thursday, November 17th, 2016
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Choclatique—150 Simply 150 Elegant Desserts, Running Press, 2011

pumpkin-chocolate-chip1 Okay, I made my delicious White Chocolate Ganache Pumpkin Cheesecake last week which only requires about a cup of pumpkin puree and I had the rest taking up space in my holiday-stuffed refrigerator. Never being one to waste food I decided to bake something else with the puree. There wasn’t enough to make a pumpkin pie so I made Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies instead. These cookies are light on the pumpkin flavor, but rich in holiday spices.You can make the recipe as is or you can substitute the individual spices for 2-1/2 to 3 tablespoons of a pre-blended pumpkin pie spice. I find that Penzeys Spices are about the freshest and fullest in flavor. They have several regional stores or you can buy their Pumpkin Pie Spice online.

Prep time: 15 minutes
Bake time: 15 to 20 minutes
Yield: 50 cookies

Ingredients:
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1-1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1-1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 cups Choclatique Milk Chocolate Chips (I added an extra half cup of chips this time)
Nonstick cooking spray or parchment paper

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F.

  2. Spray cookie sheets with nonstick spray or line them with parchment paper of Silpat silicon baking sheets (available online or in kitchen gadget shops).
  3. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter until smooth. Cream the sugars with the butter until the mixture is light and fluffy; about 5 minutes.
  4. Beat in the eggs 1 at a time.
  5. Mix in the vanilla extract and pumpkin puree.
  6. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and all the spices.
  7. Slowly beat the flour mixture into the batter in thirds.
  8. Gently fold in the chocolate chips.
  9. Refrigerate the cookie dough for 15 minutes.
  10. Scoop the cookie dough by heaping tablespoons (or a #30 scoop) onto the prepared cookie sheets.
  11. Bake the cookies for 15 to 20 minutes, rotating the pans about half way through until the cookies are just browning around the edges.
  12. Remove the cookie sheets from the oven and let them rest for 2 minutes. Transfer the cookies off with a spatula and cool them on wire racks.

ChefSecret: If you’re an avid cookie baker like me, one of the best investments you can make is in a #30 scoop which is equivalent to a heaping table spoon. It will provide consistent portioning making depositing the perfect cookie so much easier. These are easily found online or at restaurant supply or kitchen stores.

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The ChocolateDoctor’s Old-Fashioned Chocolate Ice Cream Soda

Friday, September 2nd, 2016
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Choclatique—150 Simply 150 Elegant Desserts, Running Press, 2011

Labor Day is here marking the end of summer-time treats. But here’s “One for the Gipper.” You hardly see them offered any more, but at the beginning of the 20th century ice cream sodas were the rage. That’s when you could visit the counter of your favorite drug store that served malts, shakes, sundaes, cold effervescent fountain drinks and ice cream sodas. The fountain was truly a treasure and you owe it to yourself to step back in time and enjoy one of these wonderful old time treats.

Ice cream sodas were all prepared-to-order by well-trained soda jerks. Before you get upset and politically correct with me, he wasn’t stupid and he was a HE—girls need not apply. Here he made a delicious dark, rich chocolate soda… ahhh… the light bite of the fizzy soda water, the smoothness of the ice cream, the pleasure of the soft whipped cream, and of course, the cherry on the top.

After we made this recipe in the test kitchen it was even better than we were all told or remembered. So, when you’re in Los Angeles try getting a taste of yesteryear at:

Soda Jerks
At The Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, California
Adjacent to the Santa Monica Carousel at the foot of the pier

Bennett’s
Farmer’s Market, Los Angeles, California
Right next to Bob’s Doughnuts (where you can wash a doughnut down with a chocolate soda)

Better yet, make your Old-Fashioned Chocolate Soda. It only takes a few minutes.

Yield: 1 Old-Fashioned Chocolate Soda

You’re going to need:
1 frosted 16 ounce thick-walled soda glass or beer mug (stick it in the freezer until it’s very cold and frosty)
1 long iced tea spoon
1 long straw
1 small plate (it keeps the spill over under control)

Ingredients:
1/4 cup whole milk
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoons Choclatique Dark Chocolate Ganache Sauce
3 large scoops of vanilla ice cream (I use chocolate ice cream)
1 cup cold club soda to fill the glass (old timers will remember the soda jerk used seltzer water)
A big squirt of whipped cream (store bought Reddi-wip is perfect)
1 red maraschino, cherry stem on

Directions:

  1. Pour the milk and vanilla extract into a tall 16-ounce frosty glass.
  2. Stir in the chocolate ganache sauce.
  3. Add in 2 scoops of ice cream and lightly mix.
  4. Carefully add enough soda water almost to the top of glass (it may run over, that’s okay).
  5. Place the last scoop of ice cream straddling the rim of the glass.
  6. Top with whipped cream and a cherry.
  7. Serve with a long spoon and a big straw.

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The ChocolateDoctor’s Valentine’s Day Sunday Only—Double Chocolate Pancakes

Thursday, February 11th, 2016
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Choclatique—150 Simply 150 Elegant Desserts, Running Press, 2011

Sunday, February 14th is Valentine’s Day. Make your sweetie a sweet breakfast worthy of being served in bed—Sunday Only Pancakes. As you the place each pancake on the stack, drizzle with hot chocolate syrup. Artfully encase the whole stack in meringue robe and then pop it into a very hot oven to brown. It comes out of the oven looking like giant, puffed Baked Alaska. It is a beautiful plate presentation, not to take anything away from the taste of the pancakes… they are delicious on their own. So, here I present to you our naked Sunday Only treat (no meringue). If you can afford the extra calories and want to dress it up with meringue, knock yourself out (see recipe below).

Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Yield: 4 servings (12 4-inch pancakes)

Ingredients:
For the hot chocolate syrup:

3/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup Choclatique Hot Chocolate mix (or cocoa mix)

For the pancakes:
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup Choclatique Hot Chocolate mix (or cocoa mix)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
1-1/4 cups whole milk
4 tablespoons melted unsalted butter, plus 4 to 5 tablespoons for the skillet
2 large eggs plus
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 large egg white, whipped
Whipped cream, for serving (if naked)

Directions:
For the hot chocolate syrup:

  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat bring the maple syrup, honey and hot chocolate mix to a simmer, whisking constantly. Continue to simmer until the syrup is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes. Set aside and keep warm.

For the pancakes:

  1. Preheat an oven to 200°F. The oven will be used to keep cooked pancakes warm while the rest are being cooked.
  2. Whisk together the flour, hot chocolate mix, baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a large bowl.
  3. Whisk together the milk, butter, eggs and vanilla in a medium bowl. Pour the milk-egg mixture into the flour mixture, and gently fold just to combine (it’s OK if there are some lumps).
  4. Gently fold in the egg white until there are no white streaks.
  5. Heat a large nonstick skillet or griddle over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon butter; when it melts and the foam subsides, pour 1/4-cupfuls of batter onto the skillet, evenly spaced.
  6. Cook until the surface of the pancakes begins to bubble and the bottoms have darkened by a few shades, about 4 minutes. Flip the pancakes, and continue to cook until the bottoms have darkened by a few shades and the pancakes are springy when touched in the center, about 3 minutes. Repeat with the remaining butter and batter.
  7. Keep cooked pancakes warm in a low oven.
  8. Serve with the warm chocolate syrup and whipped cream.

 

ChefSecret: Make it a triple chocolate threat—add 1/2 up of Choclatique, Milk, Dark or White Chocolate Chips to the batter before cooking.

Go for the full Monty—Go for the Meringue

  1. Make the meringue to pipe onto the outside of the stack of pancakes.
  2. Whip 4 large egg whites in a clean bowl on medium speed.
  3. While the egg whites are whipping, put the 1 cup of sugar in a pot, and wet with just enough water to make the sugar look like wet sand. Boil the sugar until it reaches the “soft ball” stage, or 230°F.
  4. Bring the mixer up to the highest speed and slowly and carefully pour the hot sugar into the egg whites, streaming it down the side of the bowl. Continue to whip on high until the bowl is cool to the touch, then reduce the mixer to medium-low speed for a minute to even out the air bubbles in the meringue. This make for a smoother finish on the pancake stack.
  5. Place the warm pancakes on a heat resistant serving plate. Using a piping bag with your round tip, pipe concentric circles to cover the entire stack of pancakes.
  6. If you have one available, use a kitchen torch to lightly toast the finished meringue, or return finished meringue pancake stack to the oven and bake until light the meringue light brown.

 

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The ChocolateDoctor’s Italian Christmas Chocolate Crackle Cookies

Wednesday, December 9th, 2015
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Choclatique—150 Simply 150 Elegant Desserts, Running Press, 2011

Sardi’s Hollywood was located on Vermont Avenue in Los Angeles, just about a half mile west of the old ABC Television Center. It was the first place that I knew of that served real espresso. You could come there at any time of the day and see many of your favorite Italian heartthrobs on break from the soap opera taping at the studio.

Aside from real espresso and great potato gnocchi they had a fantastic array of Italian bakery delicacies and Italian cookies. My choice was always the Chocolate Crackle Cookies. These soft and crackly cookies were rich, with a deep chocolate flavor accented by the espresso which was the perfect ingredient complement to raise the level of chocolate flavor. The touch of almond extract, while not completely authentic for this traditional cookie, adds an additional layer of flavor.

Prep time: 30 minutes
Chill time: 2 hours (or overnight)
Bake time: 30 minutes
Yield: 30 cookies

Ingredients:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup Choclatique Natura Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
4 ounces Choclatique Private Reserve Dark Chocolate, chopped
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 cup packed light brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
1 cup confectioners’ sugar

Directions:

  1. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking powder, salt and baking soda in a small bowl. Using the back of a spoon break up any of the clumped cocoa powder.
  2. Melt the chocolate and butter in a microwave in 30 second increments, stirring in between, until smooth being careful not to burn. Let mixture cool while completing the next steps.
  3. In a stand mixer cream the brown sugar and eggs on medium-high speed in a large bowl until thick, about 2 minutes. Scraping down the side.
  4. Add the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and beat until well incorporated.
  5. Add the flour blend and beat until just combined.
  6. Scrape down the side and refrigerate the dough until firm for at least 2 hours.
  7. Position oven racks in the top and bottom thirds of the oven and preheat to 350° F.
  8. Line 2 baking sheets with baking parchment.
  9. Put the confectioners’ sugar in a small bowl.
  10. Using a small scoop or tablespoon scoop out the dough and roll into balls.
  11. Refrigerate half the dough balls. Toss the remaining balls in the sugar, coating them very generously (you shouldn’t see any chocolate color from the dough).
  12. Place the dough balls about 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheets.
  13. Bake until the tops are cracked and the edges are firm about 13 to 15 minutes.
  14. Cool the cookies on the baking sheets for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  15. When the baking sheets have cooled, bake up the the remaining dough balls.
  16. These cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 10 days. You can freeze the dough and bake off up to a week later.

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The ChocolateDoctor’s Cape Cod White Chocolate-Cranberry Bog Cookies

Thursday, November 19th, 2015
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Choclatique—150 Simply 150 Elegant Desserts, Running Press, 2011

Cranberries are thought to be an indispensable part of our traditional American Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner feasts. For some reason, my mother seems to forget to serve the cranberries during holiday dinners. She used to find it still in the “fridge” when putting away the leftovers. Not wanting to cheat anyone out of their holiday cranberries, I created this recipe using dried cranberries (and chocolate, of course). I think you will find that tart cranberries are the perfect balance for Choclatique’s Snowy White Chocolate Chips.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 to 12 minutes
Ready In: 1 hour
Yield: 36 Cookies

Ingredients:
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 (3.5 ounce) package Jell-O® Instant Vanilla Pudding Mix
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon fresh orange zest
2 large eggs
1 cup Choclatique Snowy White Chocolate Chips
1/2 cup dried cranberries

Directions:

  1. Preheat an oven to 350º F.
  2. Lightly spray two baking sheets with food release.
  3. Combine the flour and baking soda in a bowl and whisk.
  4. Cream the butter, white sugar and brown sugar and with an electric mixer in a large bowl until creamy and smooth; add the instant pudding mix and continue to beat.
  5. Beat the first egg into the butter mixture until completely blended, and then beat in the vanilla and the orange zest with the last egg.
  6. Mix in the flour mixture until just incorporated. It’s okay to see a little flour.
  7. Fold in the white chocolate chips and cranberries; mixing just enough to evenly combine.
  8. Using a 1 ounce scoop or 2 tablespoons drop the dough 2 inches apart onto the sprayed baking sheets.
  9. Bake in the preheated oven until edges of the cookies become golden brown—about 10 to 12 minutes.
  10. Cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before removing to cool completely on a wire rack.

ChefSecret: You can substitute dried cranberries with dried cherries or blueberries, but then it wouldn’t be Thanksgiving, would it? You can also substitute the orange zest with tangerine or lemon zest.

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The ChocolateDoctor’s Chocolate Gingerbread Cake

Friday, September 26th, 2014
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

Here is an attention-grabbing, wonderful holiday cake that you will want to make all year round. It is my favorite dark, moist, chewy and nicely-spiced ginger bread cake. Of course I’ve taken the liberty to add a measure of cocoa powder and chocolate to make it perfectly Choclatique-worthy. It can’t help being awesome, fragrant, and smelling a lot like Christmas. I give this cake 5 spicy “yums.”

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Bake Time: 40-45 minutes
Yield: Serves 10 to 12

Ingredients:
1 cup dark, blackstrap molasses
1 cup boiling water
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup Choclatique Natura Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon powdered ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon mace
1/8 teaspoon sweet anise
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup Choclatique Ebony Dark Chocolate Pastilles

For the topping:
8 ounces heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons Choclatique Natura Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions:

  • Preheat an oven to 350° F.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine the molasses and the boiling water and mix.
  • Add the sugar and vegetable oil and stir well. Let this mixture cool to lukewarm before adding the eggs to prevent them from cooking and mix well.
  • Add the flour, baking soda, spices and salt and mix until you have a smooth batter.
  • Fold in the white chocolate pastilles.
  • Pour the batter into a greased 9 x 13 pan and bake 30 to 40 minutes, until it is springy and pulling away from the sides of the pan or until a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  • Serve with dollops of whipped cream.

For the topping:

  1. Place a large bowl with the beaters for your mixer in the freezer. Make sure the cream itself is thoroughly chilled as well.
  2. Sift the confectioner’s sugar into a bowl.
  3. Pour the cream into the frozen bowl and beat at high speed until it begins to thicken. Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar and beat until soft peaks form. Add the vanilla extract. Keep beating the cream for about 5 to 8 minutes, until the cream is whipped and stiff. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

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The ChocolateDoctor’s Cape Cod White Chocolate-Cranberry Bog Cookies

Friday, August 15th, 2014
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

Cranberries are thought to be an indispensable part of our traditional American Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner feasts. For some reason, my mother seems to forget to serve the cranberries during holiday dinners. She used to find it still in the “fridge” when putting away the leftovers. Not wanting to cheat anyone out of their holiday cranberries, I created this recipe using dried cranberries (and chocolate, of course). I think you will find that tart cranberries are the perfect balance for Choclatique’s Snowy White Chocolate Chips.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 to 12 minutes
Ready In: 1 hour
Yield: 36 Cookies

Ingredients:
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 (3.5 ounce) package Jell-O® Instant Vanilla Pudding Mix
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon fresh orange zest
2 large eggs
1 cup Choclatique Snowy White Chocolate Chips
1/2 cup dried cranberries

Directions:

  1. Preheat an oven to 350º F.
  2. Lightly spray two baking sheets with food release.
  3. Combine the flour and baking soda in a bowl and whisk.
  4. Cream the butter, white sugar and brown sugar and with an electric mixer in a large bowl until creamy and smooth; add the instant pudding mix and continue to beat.
  5. Beat the first egg into the butter mixture until completely blended, and then beat in the vanilla and the orange zest with the last egg.
  6. Mix in the flour mixture until just incorporated. It’s okay to see a little flour.
  7. Fold in the white chocolate chips and cranberries; mixing just enough to evenly combine.
  8. Using a 1 ounce scoop or 2 tablespoons drop the dough 2 inches apart onto the sprayed baking sheets.
  9. Bake in the preheated oven until edges of the cookies become golden brown—about 10 to 12 minutes.
  10. Cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before removing to cool completely on a wire rack.

ChefSecret: You can substitute dried cranberries with dried cherries or blueberries, but then it wouldn’t be Thanksgiving, would it? You can also substitute the orange zest with tangerine or lemon zest.

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The ChocolateDoctor’s Old Fashioned Chocolate Cookies

Friday, July 18th, 2014
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

I love to share vintage family cookie recipes. These Old Fashioned Chocolate Cookies are circa 1960s. Baking cookies is a wonderful holiday tradition, and there are but few yummier treats you must have on your Christmas (or year-round) cookies plate of every year—this is one of them. They are crisp, delicious and not too sweet—just an old-fashioned cookie perfect for the holiday baking season. Need something to give; think chocolate cookies for homemade holiday gifts. Let the baking begin!

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Chill Time: 2 hours
Bake Time: 8 to 12 minutes per sheet pan
Yield: 3 dozen

Ingredients:
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup dark corn syrup
2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 tsp. salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups flour
1/2 cup Choclatique Natura Unsweetened Cocoa Powder or Choclatique Rouge Cocoa Powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, cream together the shortening and sugar.
  2. Add the corn syrup, eggs, salt and vanilla extract and mix well.
  3. In a separate bowl, sift together the cardamom, cinnamon, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and baking powder.
  4. Gradually add to the creamed mixture and beat well.
  5. Scrape down the dough and divide into two portions. Wrap with food film and chill for at least 2 hours.
  6. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  7. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut with your favorite cookie cutters.
  8. Bake on greased cookie sheets for 8 to 12 minutes, depending on size of cutouts.
  9. Cool completely.
  10. Dust with confectioner’s sugar.

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The ChocolateDoctor’s St. Paddy’s Day Guinness Stout Chocolate Cake With Guinness Chocolate Icing

Friday, February 21st, 2014
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

I bet you’ll hear, “This is the best chocolate cake I’ve ever had!“ You’ll hear comments like this and much more when you serve this ultra dark, rich chocolate cake with its luscious chocolate icing. Use Choclatique Elephant Chocolate (76% cacao) or a really good chocolate bar with at least 74% cacao to intensify the chocolate flavor (do not use unsweetened baking chocolate), and you don’t have to wait for St. Paddy’s Day to make this cake! It’s not the luck of the Irish that make this cake so good; it’s the Guinness!

Prep Time: 45 minutes
Bake Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Yield: Makes 1 9-inch layer cake (2 layers)

Ingredients:
For the Cake:

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon Choclatique Black Onyx Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 cup Irish Guinness Stout Beer
1 1/4 cups unsalted butter
4 ounces Choclatique Elephant Dark Chocolate (76%), chopped
2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup crème fraîche (see ChefSecret)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon Choclatique Rouge Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 teaspoon baking soda

For the Icing:
1/2 cup unsalted butter
4 ounces Choclatique Private Reserve Dark Chocolate, chopped
5 tablespoons Irish Guinness Stout Beer
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups confectioners‘ sugar, sifted (or more as needed)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350º F.
  2. Butter two the 9-inch cake pans and dust with 1 tablespoon cocoa powder.
  3. In a heavy saucepan over low heat, heat 1 cup of the stout beer, 1-1/4 cups butter, 4 ounces chocolate and the sugar just until the butter and chocolate have melted; stir to blend mixture, and cool slightly.
  4. Beat the eggs and crème fraîche together in a large mixing bowl; gradually stir in the flour, cocoa powder and baking soda. Add the melted chocolate mixture in small additions, stirring to blend. Pour half the batter into each prepared cake pan.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven until the top of the cake bounces back when touched lightly with a finger, about 40 minutes. Cool the cakes on racks.

For the Icing:

  1. Place 1/2 cup of the butter, 4 ounces of dark chocolate and 5 tablespoons of stout beer in a heavy saucepan over low heat. Continue to cook and stir just until the chocolate has melted; stir to blend mixture completely. Remove from the heat, and cool slightly.
  2. In a mixing bowl, blend the cream cheese, 1/3 cup of cocoa powder, and vanilla extract until smooth; gradually beat in 1/2 cup of the confectioners’ sugar. Pour in the cooled chocolate-stout mixture and mix well. Add confectioners’ sugar until the icing is to your desired consistency, adding more sugar if you like a firmer icing.
  3. Place a cake layer on a serving plate, and smooth about one third of the frosting over the cake top. Place the second cake onto the frosted layer, and spread remaining two thirds of the frosting over the top and sides of the cake.

ChefSecret #1: By dusting the cake pans with cocoa powder you won’t get messy white flour streaks on the cake and the baked layers will still release from the pan.

ChefSecret #2: You should have about 1/4 cup of Guinness left in the bottle (if you didn’t cheat and drink it all). For a moister cake pour the remaining Guinness into a small sauce pan along with 1/4 cup of granulated sugar. Simmer until the sugar has dissolved. Using a wide pastry brush, brush on the mixture on to the first layer before frosting.

ChefSecret #3: You can make your own crème fraîche by adding 2 tablespoons of cultured buttermilk to 1 pint of heavy cream in a non-reactive container (glass or plastic). Cover and allow to rest at room temperature until thickened to desired texture, about 12 hours. You can store it in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Or, sour cream can be substituted for the crème fraîche.

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