Archive for the ‘Desserts’ Category

The ChocolateDoctor’s Kladdkaka (Sticky Swedish Chocolate Cake)

Thursday, August 25th, 2016
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Choclatique—150 Simply 150 Elegant Desserts, Running Press, 2011

I first tasted this cake when we opened our sister company office in Stockholm. Kladdkaka is one of the most popular chocolate cakes in Sweden. It is easy to make and deliciously gooey with a distinctive sticky texture. The secret for getting this unique stickiness is the short baking time. You may be tempted to bake it longer, but DON’T. The texture is something between a pudding cake and a brownie with a gooey center and a crackly crust.

Kladdkaka is made with Choclatique cocoa powder—no chocolate is used in the making of this cake. Of course if it’s not rich enough for you can always add a little chocolate. I use 1/4 cup of Choclatique Dark Chocolate Chips).

I should also tell you that the recipe below is a base recipe and you can add spice (cinnamon, allspice, and/or 2 tablespoon of aquavit, whisky, Scotch, Guinness) and others goodies to your personal taste. Don’t be timid, experiment. You never know what great recipe you can come up with.

Prep time: 10 minutes
Baking time: 18 minutes
Yield: Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients:
1-1/2 cups plain all-purpose flour
4 level tablespoons Choclatique Rouge Cocoa Powder
1-1/4 firmly packed dark brown sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon finely ground cardamom
6 ounces unsalted butter
3 large eggs, room temperature

Directions:

  1. Preheat an oven to 350°F.
  2. Line an 8-inch springform pan on the base and sides with parchment paper.
  3. Sift the flour and cocoa powder into a mixing bowl.
  4. Whisk them together with the brown sugar, baking powder and cardamom (and other spices if using).
  5. Beat the melted butter and eggs together.
  6. Make a well in the dry ingredients and stir in the butter mixture in two steps making sure to get all the flour at the bottom of the bowl.
  7. Spoon into the prepared pan and bake for 18 minutes.
  8. The top will be set but the center still be a bit wobbly.
  9. Let the cake cool in the pan on a rack for 30 minutes and then chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
  10. Remove from the pan, cut into wedges and serve topped with a dusting of confectioner’s sugar.

ChefSecret: Cardamom is a common ingredient often used in baking in the Nordic countries, like in Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland, where it is used in traditional Scandinavian bread. Cardamom has a strong, unique taste, with an intensely aromatic, resinous hop-like fragrance.

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The ChocolateDoctor’s Triple-Layer Salted, Crispy Chocolate-Caramel Toffee Bars

Friday, August 19th, 2016
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Choclatique—150 Simply 150 Elegant Desserts, Running Press, 2011

This is one of the easiest bar recipes you will ever make. Crispy texture, creamy caramel and yummy chocolate—nothing could be better. The recipe calls for butter crackers, but you can easily substitute saltine crackers, wafer-cream cookies, or even Oreos with or without the filling. The salt sprinkle on the top layer of chocolate takes the edge off of what might otherwise be a little too sweet.

Prep time: 25 minutes
Total time: roughly about 1hour, 25 minutes
Yield: 48 servings

Ingredients:
90 buttery rectangular crackers (Town House, light & Buttery Original Crackers, 13.8 oz. by Keebler)
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup whole milk
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups (12 ounces) Choclatique Milk Chocolate Chips
1/4 tablespoon course sea salt

Directions:

  1. Line a 13 x 9-inch pan with aluminum foil leaving small overhang. Spray the foil with pan release.
  2. Place 30 crackers on bottom of pan.
  3. In a 2-quart saucepan, mix the condensed milk, sugar, butter, salt and milk. Cook over medium heat until butter is melted, stirring frequently.
  4. Increase the heat to medium-high; bring to a slow boil cooking for 5 minutes while stirring constantly.
  5. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
  6. Working quickly while the caramel is hot, pour one-third of the caramel mixture over the crackers in pan. Arrange the next 30 crackers over caramel. Top with one-third of the remaining caramel mixture. Repeat with remaining crackers and caramel.
  7. In small microwave-safe bowl, microwave chocolate chips uncovered on high 1 to 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, until melted and very smooth. Pour over the top layer of caramel and spread the chocolate evenly with an offset spatula.
  8. Lightly sprinkle the chocolate topping with the course salt.
  9. Refrigerate for about 1 hour or until set.
  10. Using the foil end lift out of the pan; trim the edges and cut into 6 by 8 rows. Store covered for up to 4 days, if it lasts that long.

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The ChocolateDoctor’s Midnight Chocolate-Almond Cake

Thursday, July 21st, 2016
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Choclatique—150 Simply 150 Elegant Desserts, Running Press, 2011

Julia Child’s brought her famous Almond Cake to the taping of The Food Show one Saturday morning for our crew to enjoy. So thoughtful of her—we always loved having Miss Julia as a guest. It was a great cake, but something was missing. What could it be? Maybe a little chocolate? In this recipe I have enhanced Julia’s masterpiece with a little bit of own—Choclatique Chocolate—well, maybe a lot of Choclatique Chocolate.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Bake Time: 20-25 minutes
Total Time: 30-35 minutes
Yield: 1 (9-inch) cake

Ingredients:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted, cooled, plus more for greasing the pan
1/2 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
2 tablespoons Choclatique Rouge Unsweetened Cocoa Powder, sifted
2 large eggs
3/4 cup granulated sugar, plus 2 tablespoons
1 teaspoon pure almond extract
1/2 teaspoon instant coffee crystals
1/4 cup sliced almonds
2 tablespoons sanding sugar

Directions:

  1. Preheat an oven to 350°F.
  2. Butter and flour 9-inch pie plate or loose bottom tart pan.
  3. Whisk the eggs, granulated sugar, almond extract and salt in a large bowl until frothy and pale; about 2 minutes.
  4. Add 1/2 cup butter, 1/2 cup flour and cocoa powder and stir until incorporated.
  5. Pour into prepared pie plate or pan. Top with the almonds and sanding sugar.
  6. Bake the cake until top is golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 20-25 minutes. Be careful not to overbake.
  7. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the cake cool slightly before serving.

Store: This cake can be made one day ahead wrapped (un-iced) in food film and stored at room temperature. About an hour before serving, ice it up and let it set before cutting.

ChefSecret: Fancy it up. Yes, everything tastes better with chocolate. You can make the perfect icing as a topper for this perfect cake in either Dark or White Chocolate.

Ingredients:
For the chocolate icing:

4 ounces Choclatique Private Reserve Dark Chocolate, chopped (for a white chocolate icing use Choclatique Snowy White Chocolate)
4 tablespoons rum (for white chocolate icing substitute orange liquor, like Grand Marnier)
3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature, cubed

Directions:
To make the icing:

  1. Combine the chopped chocolate and liquor in a small bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir continuously as the chocolate melts and remove from heat as soon as it’s smooth.
  2. Add the butter a tablespoon at a time and use a whisk to beat it into the chocolate. Whisk until creamy and smooth.
  3. Let the icing cool to a drizzling consistency, stirring it every 5 minutes or so. It should take about 10-15 minutes.
  4. Drizzle the icing on top of the cooled cake and spread it to cover.

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The ChocolateDoctor’s Orange-Blueberry-Marble Chocolate Cheesecake Bars

Friday, July 15th, 2016
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Choclatique—150 Simply 150 Elegant Desserts, Running Press, 2011

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Bake Time: 45 minutes
Chill Time: 3 hours (or overnight)
Total Time: 4+ hours
Yield: 10 bars

Ingredients:
For the base:

Butter, for greasing the pan
2 tablespoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
9 graham crackers
1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup orange marmalade

For the filling:
16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
2 tablespoons of vanilla or vanilla flavored yogurt
2 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon orange zest
1/2 cup granulate sugar
1/2 cup dark chocolate ganache (or store-bought chocolate sauce)

For the dark chocolate ganache (makes about 2 pounds—reserve the rest for other uses):
1-1/4 cups water
2/3 cup light corn syrup
2 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1-1/4 pounds Choclatique Dark Chocolate, coarsely chopped

For the topping:
1-1/4 cups fresh blueberries
1-1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar, sifted for dusting


Directions:
For the base:

  1. Preheat oven to 325° F.
  2. Grease the bottom of a 9 by 9-inch baking pan with butter. Then place a layer of aluminum foil over the top, pressing down at the corners allowing enough foil to facilitate easy lifting of the finished bars. Lightly butter the foil as well.
  3. In a food processor, process the sugar, cinnamon and graham crackers until you have the texture of bread crumbs.
  4. Add the melted butter and pulse a couple of times to fully incorporate.
  5. Pour the crumbs into the lined baking pan and gently pat down with the base of a glass.
  6. Bake in the oven for 12 minutes until golden. When done, set aside to cool.
  7. Evenly spread the orange marmalade over the baked crust.

For the filling:

  1. Add cream cheese, eggs, orange zest, orange juice and sugar to the food processor and mix until well combined. It should have a smooth consistency.
  2. Divide the filling in half and add the warmed dark chocolate ganache to half, blending thoroughly.
  3. Pour the chocolate filling onto the cooled base and then add the blueberries that have been lightly dusted with flour to prevent the blueberries from bleeding.
  4. Top with the white base.
  5. Using the tines of a fork run it through the mixed fillings to create a marble effect.
  6. The blueberries will rise slightly so they may still be half exposed.
  7. Bake in the oven for 35 minutes or until the center only slightly jiggles.
  8. Remove from the oven and cool completely before refrigerating for at least 3 hours.
  9. Once set, remove from pan using the foil lining and slice into 10 rectangular bars. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.

For the ganache:

  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. Pour the heated mixture over the chocolate 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 3 months.

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The ChocolateDoctor’s Cinnamon-Cocoa-Grahams Chocolate Chippers

Thursday, June 30th, 2016
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Choclatique—150 Simply 150 Elegant Desserts, Running Press, 2011

Oh yum, CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES! Not just any chocolate chip cookie; my chippers are a bit different with the texture of the crushed graham cracker combined with pools of milky chocolate chips. Eat them while they are still warm for a delicious and gooey treat. No lie, I make these cookies for EVERY occasion I can. You don’t even need to have a reason to bake these. They deserve to be around all day every day. Day old cookies can still have that fresh baked flavor and texture by popping them in the microwave for about 10 seconds.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Bake Time: 7 to 8 minutes
Cool Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Yield: 16 cookies

Ingredients:
3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 large egg, room temperature
1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
3/4 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon Choclatique Natura Cocoa Powder, sifted
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup Choclatique Milk Chocolate Chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat an oven to 350°F.
  2. Spray a baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugars until creamy.
  4. Add the vanilla, almond extracts and egg and beat until well combined.
  5. In a medium bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cocoa powder and salt.
  6. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture until just combined.
  7. Hand-stir in the chocolate chips with a wooden spoon.
  8. Scoop tablespoon sizes dough balls and bake on a prepared pan for 7 minutes.
  9. Remove the cookies from the oven and place the pan on a cooling rack for five minutes. The cookies may appear to be under bakes, but wait—they will continue to bake while out of the oven and will set up nicely as they continue to cool.
  10. Eat them while they are still warm.

ChefSecret: For best result the longer you cream the butter and sugar together the better the texture—give it a full 5 minutes. Personally I love the flavor of milk chocolate chips in this recipe, but some of my co-workers in the test kitchen prefer the less sweet flavor of Choclatique Dark Chocolate Chips. Either way, these are still a favorite. If they’re not sweet enough for your tastes or you have a group of Girl Scouts coming over you can easily turn these into a sort of S‘mores cookie by adding 1/2 cup of miniature marshmallows.

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The ChocolateDoctor’s Mille-Feuille Aux Chocolat (French Chocolate Crepe Cake)

Friday, June 24th, 2016
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Choclatique—150 Simply 150 Elegant Desserts, Running Press, 2011

This cake was originally made at the Palm Grill in Burlingame, California and was one of my favorite recipes reserved for brunch only. It was a recipe I shared in my first cookbook, Stolen Secrets. I tried to squeeze it in to Choclatique, but it wound up on the cutting room floor.

If you are looking for dessert drama without all the drama of making what appears to be a professional pastry chef’s labor of love, then try this Mille-Feuille Aux Chocolat. It’s just cocoa crepes and chocolate cream cheese frosting. A little bit of patience is required to stack the crepes and frost the layers. You do need to let it chill for at least 6 hours before attempting to cut it, but the results are well worth the modest effort. Hint: Most of the flavor is in the frosting.

Prep Time: 40 to 50 minutes
Chilling Time: 8 hours (2 hours for crepes plus 6 hours for the completed cake)
Yield: One 8-inch cake (serves 60 to 8 people)

Ingredients:
For the cocoa crepes:

3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons cake flour
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons Choclatique Unsweetened Natura Cocoa Powder
2 teaspoons kosher salt
4 large eggs
5 large egg yolks
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
2-1/4 cups whole milk
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
Butter for the pan

For the filling:
1-1/3 cups confectioners’ sugar
4 cups cream cheese, room temperature
4 tablespoons Choclatique Unsweetened Natura Cocoa Powder, sifted
1/3 cup Choclatique Private Reserve Dark Chocolate, melted
1/3 cup orange liqueur (or 3 tablespoons of frozen orange juice concentrate)
1/4 cup orange marmalade
1 tablespoon cold strong coffee
1/4 cup Choclatique Chocolate Curls (for decorating)

Directions:
To make the crepe batter:

  1. In a fine-mesh sieve set over a medium bowl, sift together the cake flour, all-purpose flour sugar and cocoa powder. Whisk in the salt.
  2. In another medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and egg yolks. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and whisk until smooth and webby (it will be very thick).
  3. In a slow, steady stream, whisk in the butter, then the milk and the vanilla and almond extracts, until the batter is smooth (if there are any lumps, strain the batter through a fine-mesh sieve and into a medium bowl).
  4. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour (the batter can be made a day ahead and held refrigerated).
  5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  6. Set an 8-inch nonstick skillet or crepe pan over medium-high heat. Lightly brush a little butter on the pan for the flavor, browning and texture.
  7. Gently stir the crêpe batter, then pour 1/4 cup of batter into the skillet. Holding the skillet by the handle, tilt and turn the skillet to quickly disperse the batter; pour off any access batter back into the bowl.
  8. Cook the crepe until the underside pulling away from the sides, about 1-1/2 minutes. Lightly jerk the skillet to loosen the crepe, then flip the crepe over using a spatula, a more vigorous jerking motion or your fingers.
  9. Cook on the other side for about 30 seconds, then slide the crepe onto the parchment-paper-lined baking sheet.
  10. Repeat until all of the batter is used (you’ll end up with about 20 crepes total, and will need 18 for the cake). Refrigerate the crepes on the baking sheet until completely chilled, at least 2 hours or overnight.

To make the cream cheese filling:

  1. In a fine-mesh sieve set over the bowl of a stand mixer, sift the confectioners’ sugar and cocoa powder. Add the cream cheese, orange liquor, orange marmalde and the cold coffee. Using the paddle attachment of a stand mixer combine the mixture on low speed until well blended and smooth.
  2. Lightly butter the bottom of an 8-inch springform pan to make it easier to release.
  3. Remove the crepes from the refrigerator. Place 1 crepe in the bottom of an 8-inch springform pan so it lies flat. Add 1/4 cup of the filling to the center of the crepe and use a small offset spatula to evenly spread the filling over the crêpe. Repeat with the remaining filling and 17 more crêpes.
  4. Cover the springform pan with food film and chill the cake layers in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours or, better yet overnight.
  5. Refrigerate the leftover filling this will be your final frosting to finish the cake.
  6. Remove the cake from the refrigerator, undo the springform pan and set it on a cake plate or platter.
  7. Evenly spread the remaining filling on top and sides of the cake.
  8. Sprinkle chocolate curls over the top of the frosted cake.
  9. Slice and serve.

ChefSecret: Crepes are amazingly easy to make, but if you’re feeling a bit lazy and don’t want to bother making the cocoa crepes fresh you can find frozen plain crepes in your grocer’s freezer.
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The ChocolateDoctor’s Twisted Chocolate-Filled Babka Muffins

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

Watch out Carnegie Deli, Choclatique is in the house (or at least in the bakery). Who doesn’t love a beautiful Babka… that’s a crumb-topped coffee cake?

This famous New York-style coffee cake recipe is derived from Eastern European Jewish bakeries and today is most often found in better delis and bakeries in New York City. While you may know it as a loaf cake, it is also luscious in the form of a muffin. You can devour this delectable hot-out-of-the-oven and consume every sweet, gooey, crumb faster than you can say, “What’s up?”

Prep and proof time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Bake time: 15 minutes (the internal temperature should be 190°to F 200°F)
Yield: 40 medium babka muffins

Ingredients:
For the dough:

6 packets or 4-1/2 tablespoon active dry yeast
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1-3/4 cup warm water
7-8 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
1-1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup sour cream
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons sea salt

For the chocolate filling:
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
6 ounces box instant chocolate pudding (I’m not one to use boxed ingredients, but this one works)
1 large egg
1/2 cup Choclatique Rouge Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
2 cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 cup water

For the crumb topping:
1/2 cup (one stick) unsalted butter
2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract

For the chocolate drizzle:
1-1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
2 tablespoons Choclatique Rouge Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 teaspoon instant espresso granules
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2-3 tablespoon warm milk (just to get the perfect drizzle consistency)

Directions:
For the dough:

  1. Start by mixing the yeast, sugar and warm water. Let it sit until it begins to dissolve and foam.
  2. Add the remaining dough ingredients and mix well. The dough should have a smooth, springy consistency. If it’s a bit sticky, you can add a little more flour and knead until smooth. Don’t add too much or it will be tough and dry.
  3. Cover the dough with food film and let rise for one hour in a warm place in your kitchen.

For the chocolate filling:

  1. Combine all the ingredients and whisk until smooth. Set aside.

For the crumb topping:

  1. In a medium-size bowl, use forks or your fingers to combine crumb topping ingredients to create large clumps of crumb topping. Set aside.

Preparing the muffins:

  1. Line two muffin tins with paper cupcake liners and coat with non-stick spray. Punch down the dough and divide into 4 equal pieces. Sprinkle a bit of flour on your work surface and on your rolling pin. Working with one piece at a time, roll into a large rectangle, working the dough until it’s very thin; about 1/4-inch.
  2. Spread 1/4 of the filling thinly over the dough, to about 1/2-inch from edge. Roll up lengthwise, fold in half, and then cut through at the fold to get two evenly sized ropes. Turn one rope around so that you have a thin end matched up with a thicker end of the rope. Pull on the dough robles gently to stretch.
  3. Twist both ropes together until they start cracking.

Forming the muffins:

  1. Pull gently on the twisted rope again to make it as long as possible. You will be slicing 10 pieces out of each rope. Cut rope in half, and then cut each half into five even slices. They will be very messy and gooey at this point, but you can just drop them into the muffin liners and not worry about placement—neatness doesn’t count.
  2. Repeat process with remaining the three (3) pieces of dough and remaining filling.

Baking the muffins:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350º F.
  2. Sprinkle muffins with crumb topping and allow to rise for 20 minutes. Bake for 15 minutes or until muffins are set.
  3. Check bottoms for doneness, as this is a heavy dough and tops can look finished before inside is set. An instant read thermometer should read 190° to 200°F. Using an instant read thermometer is the best way to test all fresh-baked goods.

For the glaze:

  1. Combine the powdered sugar, cocoa, instant espresso granules and warm milk. Add more milk or more sugar as needed until the proper glaze consistency is achieved.
  2. Drizzle over babka muffins and allow to harden before handling or freezing.

ChefSecret: Babka is best served warm and fresh. Yeast-style cakes go stale quickly, so freeze them as soon as they are cool if they will not be eaten within 24 hours. Re-warm in an oven (not a microwave) to bring back that wonderful fresh-baked taste.

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The ChocolateDoctor’s Miraculous “Fivers” Chocolate Chippers

Thursday, June 9th, 2016
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Choclatique—150 Simply 150 Elegant Desserts, Running Press, 2011

Take a look at the beautifully layered texture of this giant chocolate chip cookie. Isn’t it beautiful and luscious? This is more lumps of chocolate lightly held together with a little crisp cookie dough. If you love chocolate and chocolate chip cookies, then this is the real ‘Got Milk?’ cookie. The name is a misnomer as it is really a chocolate wafer cookie rather than a chip.

Use Choclatique Private Reserve Dark Chocolate Pastilles for best results.

Prep time: 20 minutes
Rest time: 24 hours
Bake time: 18 to 20 minutes
Yield: 20 5-inch cookies

Ingredients:
1-1/4 cups (2-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1-1/3 cups light brown sugar, packed
1 cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1-1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons coarse or kosher salt
3-1/2 cups plus 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1-1/4 pounds Choclatique Private Reserve Dark Chocolate Pastilles
Sea salt for lightly sprinkling

Directions:

  1. Using a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugars together until light, fluffy about 4 to 5 minutes.
  2. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down bowl.
  3. Add the eggs, one at a time and mix until combined.
  4. Add the vanilla extract and continue to mix.
  5. Using a rubber spatula scrape down bowl again.

  1. Sprinkle the baking soda, baking powder and salt over dough and mix it until fully combined. (More on this later—see ChefSecrets below)
  2. Add the flour all at once and mix it in short bursts until it almost completely disappears. Do not overmix the dough. Overmixing the dough at this point will make a tougher cookie.
  3. Fold in the chocolate pastilles without breaking them. You want to see those beautiful layers.
  4. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. The cookie dough will hold well for up to 4 days.
  5. Preheat an oven to 325° F. Be prepared to bake in small batches—6 cookies to a large tray.
  6. Line two large baking sheets with parchment baking paper or Silpat baking mats.
  7. Form the dough into 3-1/2-ounce balls (100 gram)—weigh them out. These will be larger than golf balls, but don’t let that scare you. If any chocolate pieces are exposed cross the tops or sides of the balls of dough, try to push them back in it.
  8. Arrange the dough balls far enough apart on the baking sheets as they will spread out to at least 5-inches as they bake. Using the bottom of a large glass dipped in water gently push them down to flatten.
  9. Lightly dust the tops of each cookie with a few grains of sea salt.
  10. Bake cookies for 18 to 20 minutes (depending on your oven), until no darker than golden brown.
  11. Check the cookies often after the first 15 minutes. Do not over bake.
  12. Cool the cookies on the baking trays for 10 minutes they will continue to cook; then transfer them to racks.

ChefSecrets: I found that you will get a better texture when adding the baking soda, baking powder and salt after the dough comes together. If you are using an electric oven, you might want to consider double panning your trays to prevent the cookies from getting too dark or burning on the bottom.

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The ChocolateDoctor’s Sticky-Fingers Chocolate Monkey Bread

Friday, May 13th, 2016
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Choclatique—150 Simply 150 Elegant Desserts, Running Press, 2011

My friends in Lisbon at A Padaria Portuguesa (the Portuguese Baker) had never heard of Monkey Bread. Over and over again they kept dipping and pulling out another ball of bread. It was easy to see how when one monkey saw the others do it, he fell right in and did it over and over again—monkey see, monkey do.

Monkey Bread is like a giant addictive cinnamon roll on steroids. It is buttery, sticky, cinnamon-y and rich in pecans which is what makes it so delicious. If you don’t have time to make the sweet dough from scratch , try using refrigerated tube dough and tearing and rolling that dough into balls and baking to a golden brown.

Prep time: 45 minutes
Proof time: 30 minutes
Bake time: 55 to 60 minutes
Yield: 12 servings

Ingredients:
1 cup pecans, chopped
1-1/2 sticks unsalted butter
1 cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons dark rum
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 batch Basic Sweet-Roll Dough, without nutmeg (see recipe below)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Spread the pecans on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake until lightly toasted, about 8 minutes; set aside. (Set a timer as a reminder so the nuts don’t burn). You can shut the oven off until ready to bake.
  3. Melt 1 stick butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the brown sugar and heavy cream; boil until slightly thickened, about 4 minutes.
  4. Stir in the vanilla, vinegar, rum, salt and the toasted pecans. Pour all but 1/2 cup of the pecan mixture into an 8-inch-round, 3-inch-deep cake pan. Refrigerate until almost set, about 15 minutes.
  5. Set the remaining pecan mixture aside at room temperature.
  6. Put the remaining 1/2 stick butter in a microwave-safe bowl; microwave until melted.
  7. Put the granulated sugar in another bowl. Pinch off tablespoonfuls of dough and roll into 1-inch balls. Dip the balls in the melted butter, letting the excess drip off, then roll in the granulated sugar.
  8. Arrange in the prepared cake pan in 2 layers, leaving a bit of space between the balls.
  9. Let rise, uncovered, in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour, 30 minutes.
  10. Preheat the oven to 350°F (325°F if using a dark or anodize cake pan.).
  11. Bake the bread until puffed and golden brown (a thermometer inserted into the center should register 175°F), about 55 minutes; tent with aluminum foil if the top is getting too dark.
  12. Remove the bread from the oven and immediately spread the reserved 1/2 cup pecan mixture on top. Transfer to a rack and let cool 10 minutes in the pan, then invert onto a plate.
  13. Pull off pieces to serve.

Basic Chocolate Chip Sweet-Roll Dough

Prep time: 1 hour
Chill time: 4 hours or over overnight
Yield: 1 3/4 pounds dough

Ingredients:
1/2 cup whole milk
3 1/4 -ounce packet active dry yeast
1/4 cup granulated sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled, plus more for brushing
1 large egg yolk
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (optional)
1 cup Choclatique Semisweet Chocolate Mini Chips

Directions:

  1. Warm 1/2 cup water and the milk in a saucepan over low heat until a thermometer registers 100° to 110°F. Remove from the heat and sprinkle the yeast on top, then sprinkle with a pinch of the sugar; set aside, covered with a kitchen towel undisturbed, until foamy, about 5 minutes.
  2. Whisk the melted butter, egg yolk and vanilla into the yeast mixture until combined.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, the remaining sugar, the salt and nutmeg (if using).
  4. Make a well in the center, then add the yeast mixture and stir with a wooden spoon to make a thick and slightly sticky dough.
  5. Add the chocolate chips.
  6. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead until soft and elastic, about 6 minutes. Shape into a ball.
  7. Brush a large bowl with butter. Add the dough, turning to coat lightly with the butter. Cover with food film and let rise at room temperature until the dough is doubled in size, about 1 hour, 15 minutes.
  8. Turn the dough out of the bowl, knock it down and knead briefly to release excess air; re-form into a ball and return to the bowl.
  9. Lightly butter a large piece of food film and lay it directly on the surface of the dough. Cover the bowl tightly with food film and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.

ChefSecret: If you choose to refrigerate the dough overnight make sure you take it out early enough to bring it back too warmer than room temperature. When touched you shouldn’t feel any chill to the dough.

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The ChocolateDoctor’s Sicilian Ricotta-Chocolate Chip Pie

Thursday, April 28th, 2016
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Choclatique—150 Simply 150 Elegant Desserts, Running Press, 2011

We asked Chef Celestino Drago to cater a special dinner party for Steven Spielberg’s mom’s birthday and he did an amazing job. There was a great birthday cake, of course, but there was this—Sicilian Ricotta-Chocolate Chip Pie—hidden in the back of the kitchen.

Celestino has been a good friend and has played an important role in the ever-evolving Italian dining scene in Los Angeles for over 30 years. Originally from Sicily, Celestino and his band of brothers are regarded as the pioneers of truly great Italian Cuisine in California and Celestino has become one of Los Angeles’ most celebrated chefs.

Prep time: 20 minutes
Bake time: 45 to 55 minutes
Yield: 8 to 10 servings

Ingredients:
1 cup confectioner’s sugar, plus extra for garnish
3 large eggs
1 teaspoons Fiori di Sicilia (see ChefSecret below)
1 teaspoon orange zest, freshly grated
15 ounces whole milk ricotta cheese
9 ounces mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup cooked short-grained rice
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
1/2 cup Choclatique Dark Chocolate Chips
6 sheets fresh phyllo sheets or frozen, thawed
3/4 stick (3 ounces) unsalted butter, melted

Directions:

  1. Blend 3/4 cup of confectioner’s sugar, eggs, Fiori di Sicilia, orange zest, ricotta and mascarpone in a food processor until smooth. Stir in the rice, pine nuts and chocolate chips. Set the ricotta mixture aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  3. Lightly butter a 9-inch deep, glass pie dish.
  4. Lay 1 phyllo sheet over the bottom and up the sides of the dish, allowing the phyllo to hang over the sides. Brush the phyllo with the melted butter. Top with a second sheet of phyllo dough, laying it in the opposite direction as the first phyllo sheet. Continue layering the remaining sheets of phyllo sheets, alternating after each layer and buttering each sheet.
  5. Spoon the ricotta mixture into the dish. Fold the overhanging phyllo dough over the top of the filling to enclose it completely. Brush the top completely with melted butter.
  6. Bake the pie until the top phyllo crust is golden brown and the filling is set, about 45 to 55 minutes.
  7. Transfer the pan to a rack and cool completely. Sift powdered sugar over the pie and serve. This pie is best served slightly warm or at room temperature.

Note: You will have to refrigerate any leftovers. The next day, take it out of the refrigerator about an hour before serving and sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar.

ChefSecret: Fiori di Sicilia is combination of citrus and vanilla with a pleasingly floral aroma. The smell reminds me of the small, old fashioned bake shops in Southern Italy. Fiori di Sicilia is the perfect marriage of flavors you taste when you combine vanilla ice cream and orange sherbet in the same bowl. I like using it in just about anything mild and sweet–anything where competing flavors, don’t interfere. It can be sourced through the Baker’s Catalogue. Remember to refrigerate Fiori di Sicilia after opening. And caution, don’t spill it on the counter–it stains.

If you don’t have any Fiori di Sicilia and just can’t wait for it to arrive then pure vanilla extract is a good substitute. Just add a half teaspoon more of the freshly grated orange zest to increase the citrus flavor. And while we’re talking about orange zest—that is just the orange part of the skin where the fragrant oil is. Don’t grate down to the white as it tends to get bitter.

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