Archive for the ‘Chocolate’ Category

The Chocolate Doctor’s Chocolate Almond-Toffee Bars

Thursday, September 22nd, 2016
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Choclatique—150 Simply 150 Elegant Desserts, Running Press, 2011

We have somewhat of a war going on in our test kitchen. I love the flavor of almond extract; Joan, my partner doesn’t (which is very strange because she loves marzipan which is heavily almond flavored). She says she like it little, but no matter how little I put in she always says, “Can you cut the almond extract in it in half?” Almond extract adds a special something to any chocolate dessert and really enhances the buttery cake part of this recipe. The toffee morsels add a wonderful crunch to these bars which compliment both the cake and the chocolate. This recipe comes together in about 25 minutes. You can make it even more decadent by serving it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Prep time: 5 minutes
Bake time: About 15 minutes
Cooling time: 1 hour
Yield: 12 to 16 bars

Ingredients:
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
2 teaspoons pure almond extract (1 teaspoon if you are more like Joan)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup almond flour (or fine chopped almonds)
2 cups Choclatique Dark Chocolate Chips
1/2 cup butter-toffee morsels (store-bought is okay, but homemade is best—see my Grandma Fanny’s Butter-Toffee recipe below)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Line a 9 x 13-inch pan with heavy aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray.
  3. Cream the butter and two sugars in a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl. If you don’t have a stand mixer you can use a handheld electric mixer; it just takes a little longer.
  4. Add the egg, almond extract and salt; beat on medium-high speed until combined, about 2 minutes. Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  5. Reducing the speed of you mixer to low gradually add the flour and beat until just combined, about 1 minute.
  6. Using a spatula scrape out the batter into the prepared pan. Smooth it out forming an even, flat layer.
  7. Bake for about 15 minutes or until edges are a light golden brown.
  8. Remove the pan from the oven and evenly distribute the chocolate chips over the surface of the just baked, hot crust allowing them to sit for about 5 minutes to melt.
  9. Using an off-set spatula spread the melted chocolate evenly over the top. You can speed up the melting process up by placing the pan back into the oven for about 2 minutes if necessary.
  10. Immediately top the chocolate with toffee morsels and place pan on a wire rack to cool.
  11. Allow the bars to cool until chocolate has set before slicing and serving.
  12. Bars will keep airtight at room temp for up to 3 days. You can freeze them, well wrapped, for up to 3 months.

Grandma Fanny’s Butter Toffee Morsels

My Grandmother Fanny was a wonderful cook, baker, and candy maker who made the most delicious butter toffee crunch for the holidays. Nobody could do it better. It seemed as if she could squeeze five pounds of butter into a one-pound slab of “crunch.” The way the candy crunched between your teeth and melted in your mouth was a thing of beauty. The candy is great by itself, but even better with a spread of Dark Chocolate Ganache and topped with toasted, crushed almonds.

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Cooling time: 20 minutes
Yield: 20 ounces+

Ingredients:
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon water (see ChefSecret)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Directions:

  1. Line a baking sheets with parchment or waxed paper.
  2. In a large saucepan, heat the butter, sugars, cinnamon water and salt over medium-high heat until it boils. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until a candy thermometer registers 305°F.
  3. Remove the pan from the heat. Carefully stir in the vanilla and baking soda; the mixture may expand.
  4. Pour the mixture on a baking sheet and spread into a thin layer with an offset metal spatula.
  5. While the toffee is still warm, cut into 1-inch squares and set aside to cool.
  6. When the toffee cools to room temperature, break apart into squares.
  7. Store the brittle in a rigid plastic container with a tight-fitting lid for up to 1 month.

ChefsSecret: There are a few secrets that bakers and candy makers have that add a special “flavor thrill” to what would already be a great confection. Cinnamon water is one of those secrets. It can be used in place of plain water in most chocolate confections and baked goods. The best part is it only takes about 5 minutes to make. Here’s how:

  1. In a saucepan, bring 2 cups of water and 1 cinnamon stick to a boil over medium-high heat and boil for 5 minutes.
  2. Strain the cinnamon water through a fine-mesh sieve. Store the cinnamon water in a rigid plastic container with a tight-fitting lid. The cinnamon water will keep in the refrigerator for up to 4 weeks.

 

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The Chocolate Doctor’s Hot Chocolate & Fried Chocolate Churros

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

This is a wonderful Barcelona-style, rich, thick, hot chocolate. It has a creaminess somewhere between a drink and a fondue. I first tried it from a push cart outside the La Sagrada Familia. It was thick and wonderful on a cold day.

When I made them here in the Choclatique Chocolate Studio I served them with crisp, deep-fried chocolate churros topped with a little cinnamon-sugar. Churros piping hot and crisp and are especially good when dunked into hot chocolate.

Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 10 to 12 minutes
Fry time: 3 to 5 minutes (Churros)
Yield: Serves 6

Ingredients:
For the hot chocolate:

3/4 cup Choclatique Natura Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1/3 cup granulated sugar
3-1/2 cups whole milk
1-1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
2 ounces Choclatique Private Reserve Dark Chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the churros:
1 cup water
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
3/4 cup cake flour, sifted
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons Choclatique Natura Unsweetened Cocoa Powder, sifted
2 large eggs, beaten
1/3 cup of Choclatique Dark Chocolate Curls
Canola oil for deep-frying

For dusting:
4 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

Directions:
To make the hot chocolate:

  1. In a heavy saucepan, whisk together the cocoa and sugar.
  2. Place the saucepan over low heat and vigorously stir in 1/2 cup of the milk, a few tablespoonfuls at a time.
  3. When the mixture is smooth, stir in the remaining 2-1/2 cups milk.
  4. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring, for 10 minutes.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk the cornstarch in 1/2 cup cold milk. Stir into the hot chocolate.
  6. Bring the chocolate mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly, take the pot off the heat and add the chopped chocolate continuing to stir until fully melted and smooth.
  7. Set aside and keep warm.

To make the churros:

  1. In a saucepan, bring 1 cup water, the salt and 1 tablespoon of the sugar to a boil over high heat.
  2. Remove from the heat and immediately add the flour, baking powder and the cocoa powder. Beat with a wooden spoon until the dough is very smooth and pulls away from the sides of the pan, about 2 minutes.
  3. Let the dough cool for 5 minutes, then beat in the eggs and the chocolate curls, about 1 tablespoon at a time.
  4. Spoon the dough into a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip.
  5. Line a plate with paper towels.
  6. Pour oil to a depth of 1 inch into a deep, heavy fry pan and heat over medium heat until it reaches 350°F on a deep-frying thermometer.
  7. Pipe several strips of dough 4-inches long, directly into the hot oil, being careful not to crowd the pan. Use a scissor to cut the strips free from the piping tip and dip the scissor into the oil before each cut.
  8. Fry the churros, turning as needed, until crisp; 3 to 5 minutes.
  9. Drain briefly on the paper towels, then place in a large bowl. Continue frying in batches.
  10. In a small bowl, stir together the cinnamon and the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar.
  11. Sprinkle over the churros and toss to coat.
  12. Serve with the hot chocolate.

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The ChocolateDoctor’s Fair-Stoppin’, Blue Ribbon Basic Cobbler

Thursday, September 8th, 2016
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Choclatique—150 Simply 150 Elegant Desserts, Running Press, 2011

Stone fruit in California started out really strong and is not at the tail end of the season. I hate to throw any food away, especially stone fruit and berries that are starting to get peaked. What do I do? I toss the fruit in a cobbler.

This was my friend Stu’s grandmother’s cobbler recipe from the 1940′s. It is the best only made better with some Choclatique White Chocolate Chips. She entered her cobbler in the California State Fair in Sacramento. Nana Barlet’s cobbler won First Place and Blue Ribbon Best In Show. Not too bad for a first-time entry.

Prep time: 15 minutes
Bake time: 45 minutes
Ready to eat in: 2 hours

Ingredients:
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup melted butter, unsalted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups fresh berries, stone fruit chunks or apples
1/2 cup Choclatique White Chocolate Chips
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup water

Directions:

  1. Preheat an oven to 350°F.
  2. Grease a 9 x 9-inch baking dish (I used an 8 x 13 baking dish).
  3. Whisk 1/2 cup of the sugar together with the flour and baking powder in a mixing bowl. Stir in the milk butter and vanilla extract until a batter forms.
  4. Scrape into the prepared baking dish. Add the fruit, chocolate chips and sprinkle with 1/2 cup sugar. Pour in the water.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven until the batter has risen and the top is brown, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Cool before serving.
  6. Serve with a scoop of ice cream.

ChefSecret: Trust me, just pour the batter over the fruit – it works. This recipe doesn’t work well with all strawberries.

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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 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 Chocolate Doctor’s Chocolate Corn Muffins—Why Not?

Thursday, August 4th, 2016
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Choclatique—150 Simply 150 Elegant Desserts, Running Press, 2011

We were celebrating Helen’s 1 year anniversary today here at Choclatique and 3 of us were going out for lunch. Helen and MaryJo are our top bakers and test all the wonderful recipes that come out of our test kitchen to populate our blog. While in the elevator going down to the car I asked, have either of you ever heard of Chocolate Corn Muffins. I got a couple of wrinkled noses and a look of “Are you crazy?” Then they said, “Well, why not?” So here for the first time anywhere is the Choclatique version of Chocolate Corn Muffins. Why not?

Prep time: 5 minutes

Inactive time: 10 minutes
Bake time: 12 to 15 minutes
Yield: 12 to 16 medium muffins

Ingredients:
1 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1 cup medium cornmeal
1/2 cup Choclatique Rouge Cocoa Powder, sifted
1 cup granulated sugar
1-1/2 tablespoons baking powder
1teaspoons salt
1-1/3 cups whole milk
2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup tablespoon honey
1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3 ounces Choclatique Private Reserve Chocolate, chopped, melted and cooled
2 large eggs
1 cup Choclatique Dark Chocolate Chips
3 tablespoons crystalline sugar

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400° F.
  2. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners.
  3. In large bowl whisk the flour, cornmeal, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the milk, vanilla extract, honey, melted butter, chocolate and eggs.
  5. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and hand-stir until they are just blended. Do not over mix.
  6. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  7. Spoon the batter into the paper liners, filling each one to the top.
  8. Evenly sprinkle the crystalline sugar over the tops of each muffin.
  9. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the tops are crisp and a toothpick comes out clean. Cool slightly and remove from the pan. Serve warm.

ChefSecret: You can melt the butter and chocolate in the same bowl at the same time.

Slather the muffins with butter (you can never have enough butter) and enjoy or cut in them half and turn these chocolate corn muffins into strawberry “corn” cakes piled high with plenty of whipped cream… like a strawberry short cake only much better.

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The ChocolateDoctor’s Molten Lava Chocolate Cake

Friday, July 29th, 2016
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Choclatique—150 Simply 150 Elegant Desserts, Running Press, 2011

You can thank the French for this culinary inspiration. People in the know, know this typically continental dessert was first made by 1Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, who is known for the reinvention of the French flourless chocolate cake which has become one of America’s most popular desserts.

Molten Lava Chocolate Cakes are small, rich, moist desserts that contains a warm flowing, intensely chocolate-flavored surprise center when cut chocolate seeps from within. This dessert can be made two ways—my book recipe prescribes a chocolate ganache ball drop into the middle of the batter or under baking the cake as noted in this recipe. Either way, it’s chocolate—so, what could be better?

This recipe is a restaurant operation’s ideal a la minute hot, made–to-order dessert. It is also as easy to make at home for those special/romantic (and not so special) dinners. The batter can be made well ahead, then cooked on demand just before serving.

A well-stock larder will have these basic ingredients on hand—Choclatique Chocolate, eggs, butter, granulated and confectioner’s sugar, and a small amount of flour.

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Chilling Time: 30 minutes
Bake Time: 10 minutes
Cooling Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:
Unsalted butter as needed to grease ramekins
2 large eggs
2 egg large yolks
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
3-1/2 ounces Choclatique Private Reserve Dark Chocolate (64%), chopped
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 teaspoons Choclatique Natura Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 pinch table salt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar

Directions:

    1. Liberally butter the inside of 4 to 6 3-inch ramekins. Place them in a glass baking dish.
    2. Whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, and granulated sugar in a bowl until light, foamy, and lemon colored.
    3. Melt the chocolate and butter in a microwave-safe bowl in 30-second intervals at 50% power, stirring after each melting, 2 to 5 minutes. If it burns toss it away and start over. Let this mixture cool so you don’t cook the eggs.
    4. Stir warm the chocolate mixture into egg and sugar mixture until combined.
    5. Sift the cocoa powder into the mixture; stir to combine.
    6. Sift the flour and salt into the mixture; stir to combine into a batter.
    7. Stir vanilla extract into the batter.
    8. Fill a re-sealable plastic bag (or disposable pastry bag) with the batter; snip off one corner of the bag with scissors to create a tip.
    9. Making lazy circles divide the batter evenly between the prepared ramekins; tap gently on the counter to remove any air bubbles.
    10. Chill the ramekins in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes before baking.
    11. Preheat an oven to 425°F.
    12. Arrange the ramekins in a baking dish pouring enough hot tap water into the dish to reach halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
    13. Bake in the preheated oven for about 10-12 minutes. Set aside to cool for 15 minutes.
    14. Loosen the edges from the ramekin with a knife. Invert each cake onto a plate and dust with confectioner’s sugar. Serve while still warm.

Note: What happens if the cakes break apart on the plate? Simply top with confectioner’s sugar with authority and pretend that’s the way you meant it to be. 

ChefSecret: If you overbake the cakes you’ll have flourless chocolate cake instead of a wonderful oozing center. If under baked, the cake will not properly demold.

Another version, which is in my cookbook, Choclatique-150 Simply Elegant Desserts you can make a failure-proof liquid center by inserting a chocolate ganache ball in the center of a higher-flour content batter.

Don’t be two-dimensional—add a touch of cinnamon, honey, espresso, some almond extract or orange flavors to bring out the full potential of this dessert.


1I was interested to learn that Chef Jean-Georges is from Alsace, France. That is where my ancestral Celtic family is from. I have been there many times. Alsace is the beautiful northeastern French region on the Rhine River plain bordering Germany and Switzerland. Due to the spoils of war it has gone between German and French control over the centuries and reflects a mix of both cultures. Its capital, Strasbourg, is centered on the Ill River’s Grand Ïle Island, bordered by canals and home to the magnificent Gothic Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Strasbourg, with its animated astronomical clock. Alsace is known for some of the best food in all of France. Alsatian cuisine incorporates many Germanic culinary traditions and is marked by the use of pork (fantastic sausages) in various forms. The region is also known for its wine and beer. Some of the more traditional dishes include baeckeoffe, flammekueche, choucroute, and fleischnacka.

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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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