Archive for the ‘Chocolate’ 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 White Chocolate-Raspberry Cheesecake

Thursday, November 10th, 2016
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Choclatique—150 Simply 150 Elegant Desserts, Running Press, 2011

I used to love to eat Mrs. Fields’ White Chocolate-Macadamia Nut cookies fresh out of the oven. I loved the combination of the crunch of the toasted nuts and the creaminess of the warm white chocolate. The first time I made this cheesecake I used left over (slightly stale) cookies. Now that’s rare to every have leftover cookies in my house. But I digress… I thought these cookies would be great base for my White Chocolate-Raspberry Cheesecake. And it is, but just in case you don’t have a Mrs; Fields’ nearby you can substitute it with the base crust below. And of course, as you will find out, everything goes just a little better with Choclatique White Chocolate.

Prep time: 30 minutes
Baking time: 55 minutes
Chilling time: 4 hours or overnight
Yield: 16 Servings

Ingredients:
For the Crust:

1 cup pecans, toasted
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted

For the filling:
8 ounces Choclatique Snowy White Chocolate (33%)
4 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature and softened
1/2 cup + tablespoons granulated sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
2 large egg yolks, room temperature
1/4 cup unflavored Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons corn starch
2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups fresh raspberries

For the garnish:
1 pint fresh raspberries and raspberry coulis

Directions:
For the Crust:

  1. Finely grind the toasted and cooled pecans and cracker crumbs in a food processor and add the butter, blending until combined.
  2. Press over bottom and up the sides of a 10-inch springform pan which has been wrapped with aluminum foil.

For the Filling:

  • Preheat an oven to 350º F.
  • Melt white chocolate in or glass bowl in a microwave oven in 15 to 20 seconds intervals stirring until smooth.
  • Using the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer at medium speed until fluffy.
  • Add and beat in the sugar.
  • Add the whole eggs and yolks, one at a time, beating well at low speed and scraping down bowl after each addition.
  • Beat in the Greek yogurt, corn starch and vanilla extract until just combined (do not over mix).
  • Then drizzle in the melted chocolate in a slow stream, beating until filling is well combined.
  • Arrange the raspberries in a single layer over crust and pour filling into crust.
  • Place the springform pan in the middle a roasting pan and add boiling water so that it comes up one third of the way on the springform pan.
  • Bake in middle of oven until cake is set 3 inches from edge but center is still wobbly when pan is gently shaken, about 55 minutes.
  • Cool cheesecake completely in pan on a rack. The cake will continue to set as it cools.
  • Run a thin knife around edge of cake to loosen, refrigerate for about 4 hours (or overnight).
  • Garnish with fresh raspberries, raspberry coulis and whipped cream (and a mint leaf only if you must).

 

ChefSecret: I use a paddle attachment to my stand mixer to prevent a lot of air bubbles developing in the batter.

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The ChocolateDoctor’s Blackberry-Chocolate Chip Upside-Down Cake

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

I call this recipe my end-of-summer-dessert cake. That’s when the berries are coming close to the end of the season and I don’t want to miss out on the remaining seasonal flavors. You can use any berry or stone fruit (stone fruit is any plum, peach or nectarine) for this recipe in place of the blackberries. The Choclatique Chocolate Chips add a special chocolaty sweet accent. This is an easy and luscious cake to bake. You should already have all of the ingredients in your refrigerator or pantry. This is a great cake to bake for summer dinners, parties and picnics.

Now, because berries are a lot more fragile than pineapple rings you have to treat the berries with lots of tender-lovin’ care. Because of the procedure is a little bit different than a traditional pineapple upside down cake. Please read the directions carefully before you get started.

Prep time: 15 minutes
Bake time: 30 to 35 minutes
Cool time: 30 minutes
Yield: Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients:
For the topping:

1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1-1/2 cups fresh blackberries (or any other fresh berries or cherries)

For the cake:
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup milk
1-1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
3/4 cup Choclatique Semisweet Chocolate Mini Chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Butter a 9-inch cake pan.
  3. In a small sauce pan, melt 1/3 cup of butter. When the butter has melted, add the brown sugar and stir vigorously until the mixture is completely incorporated.
  4. Pour the butter sugar mixture into the prepared cake pan. Place the berries around the edge of the pan, scatter the rest in the middle and set aside.
  5. Beat 1 cup granulated sugar and 1/2 cup butter together in a bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy about 4 minutes.
  6. Beat in the eggs.
  7. Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a bowl. Alternately stir flour and milk into butter mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.
  8. Mix vanilla and almond extracts into the batter.
  9. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  10. Pour batter over blackberry mixture in the 9-inch cake pan.
  11. Bake cake in the preheated oven until cooked through, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool the cake pan on a rack.
  12. Let the cake cool in the pan.
  13. While still warm (not completely cooled), about 30 minutes. Run a knife along the inside edge of the pan to separate cake from the sides.
  14. Place a cake plate over the top of the pan, and carefully flip the pan. Lift the pan slowly to release the cake from the pan.

ChefSecret: When getting ready to remove from the pan, use a cake plate that is wider than the cake. Some of the berries and berry juice run down the sides, but it is okay and adds to the look of the cake when done. I like to top this cake with a little fresh whipped cream or a scoop of French vanilla ice cream or vanilla frozen yogurt.

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The ChocolateDoctor’s Chocolate Chunk Dried-Cherry Oatmeal Cookies

Thursday, October 20th, 2016
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Choclatique—150 Simply 150 Elegant Desserts, Running Press, 2011

During the golden age of great education in Los Angeles every school cafeteria had a real baker. They cooked with ingredients that were surplus from the Federal government—peanuts, butter, flour and sugar. They would bake up some of the best desserts you could imagine. They were fresh for the morning break and hot right out of the oven.

They made giant cinnamon-sugar cookies, peanut butter cookies, giant chocolate chip cookies and giant oatmeal cookies all selling for about 25¢ every day. You could smell the cookies baking all the way over in the gym. Miss Birdie was one of the best of the best bakers making giant oatmeal chocolate cookies with milk chocolate chunks and dried cherries, cranberries or raisins. I still make these easy to bake cookies the same way today. They are as much of a hit today as when I first tasted them years ago.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Bake Time: 11 to 13 minutes
Ready In: 35 minutes
Yield: 48 cookies

Ingredients:
1-1/2 cups dark brown sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2-1/3 cups quick-cooking oats
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup Choclatique Prestige Milk Chocolate Pastilles, chopped
1 cup dried cherries or cranberries, chopped

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350º F.
  2. Cream the brown sugar and butter together in a bowl using an electric mixer until smooth and creamy.
  3. Add the eggs in one at a time beating until smooth.
  4. Add the vanilla extract until smooth.
  5. Mix the oats, flour, baking soda and salt into the creamed butter mixture until the dough is well-combined.
  6. Fold in the chocolate chunks and dried fruit.
  7. Scoop about 2 ounces of the batter per cookie and place on a baking sheet 2 inches apart, partially flattening the dough with the back of the cup.
  8. Bake until the cookies are golden brown, about 11 to 13 minutes.
  9. Cool the cookies on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.

ChefSecret: Unless otherwise instructed always bake cookies on a parchment baking paper or Silpat lined baking sheet.

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The ChocolateDoctor’s Catalan Chocolate Cake

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

In the 12th century, Catalonia was brought under the same royal rule as the neighboring kingdom of Aragon, going on to become a major medieval sea power. Catalonia has been part of Spain since its genesis in the 15th century, when King Ferdinand of Aragon and Queen Isabella of Castile married and united their realms.

Barcelona was the cultural hub of the Catalan people. Barcelona today is a food lover’s paradise. It’s not all about tapas, fresh-cured olives and wonderful hanging Spanish hams. The city is a mecca for sampling some of the best xocolata (chocolate) in the world. There is nothing better than fresh-lady fingers dipped in a cup of steamy, thick Barcelona-style hot chocolate first thing in the morning.

You can find chocolate of all sorts of chocolate products at Las Ramblas the busy tourist area where it’s hard to resist the cakes and pastries at some of the greatest bakeries in the world. Barcelona is filled with chocolate, with chocolate specialty shops galore and bakeries. There is even a chocolate museum. Museu de la Xocolata is a must see private museum in Barcelona owned by the Gremi de Pastisseria de Barcelona.

Prep time: 15 minutes
Bake time: 20 to 30 minutes
Yield: Serves 6-8

Ingredients:
3/4 cup unsalted butter (I use Plugra European-style butter, but you don’t have to)
5-1/2 ounces Choclatique Private Reserve Dark Chocolate, rough chopped
3 large eggs
3/4 cup granulate sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup black cherry preserves, for serving
Crème fraîche, for serving (see recipe below)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. Lightly butter and dust with cocoa powder a 9-inch round cake pan.
  3. In a large microwave-safe bowl combine the butter and chocolate. Melt the mixture for about 2 minutes in 15 to 30 second increments, stirring frequently, until smooth.
  4. Set aside and let cool slightly.
  5. In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, cream the eggs with the sugar at high speed until thick and pale, about 4 minutes.
  6. Add the flour and salt and mix at low speed until just until combined.
  7. Using a rubber spatula fold in one-third of the melted chocolate, then gently fold in the remaining chocolate. Do Not Over Mix.
  8. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 20 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  9. Invert the cake onto a rack and let cool.
  10. In a saucepan, warm the cherry preserves over moderate heat.
  11. Cut the cake into wedges and serve with the cherry preserves topped crème fraiche or whipped cream.

ChefSecret: When flouring your cake pan use cocoa powder instead of white flour to prevent white streaks at the edges of the cake. For the Black Cherry Preserves I like to use Casa Giulia Amarene. There are also a few wonderful Italian brandied black cheery preserves. Can’t find these, any black cherry preserve will work, just not as well.

Want to make your own Crème fraîche? It’s easy.

Crème Fraîche

Ingredients:
1 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons buttermilk

Directions:

  1. Combine 1 cup of whipping cream and 2 tablespoons of buttermilk in a glass container.
  2. Cover and let it stand at room temperature (about 70°F) for 8 to 24 hours or until very thick.
  3. Stir well before covering; refrigerate for up to 7 days.

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The ChocolateDoctor’s Fudgy-Brownie-Puddin’ Pots

Friday, October 7th, 2016
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Choclatique—150 Simply 150 Elegant Desserts, Running Press, 2011

It’s not quite a brownie and it not quite a pudding. It is a fudgy, satisfying, great-do-ahead, wonderfully decadent, easy-to-make and luscious, chocolate dessert. I like to hold the ramekins in a warm place in the kitchen and just gently heat in the oven for 5 minutes before serving.

The test kitchen staff was really buzzing when we topped it off with crème anglaise, sweet whipped cream or ice cream (as pictured).

Here a quick little tip for you, if you don’t know how to make a yummy crème anglaise, just let a couple of scoops of Häagen-Dazs Vanilla Bean ice cream melt and pour it on the top.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Bake Time: 40 to 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients:
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup Choclatique Rouge Cocoa Powder, sifted
1/2 tablespoon Choclatique Onyx Cocoa Powder, sifted
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon espresso powder
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Crème anglaise, whipped cream or ice cream (any flavor).

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F.
  2. Beat the eggs until light in color.
  3. Beat in the sugar until just combined.
  4. Add the cocoa powders, flour, salt, espresso powder, melted butter and vanilla extract. Mix gently until well combined.
  5. Pour the batter into 4 4-1/2-inch buttered ramekins. Set the ramekins into a larger pan filled halfway with hot water.
  6. Bake until the upper crust is crispy and the rest of the batter is firm but not set, 40 to 45 minutes. If you pull it out of the oven too early you can always, stick it back in for another 5 minutes more or so.
  7. Serve with crème anglaise, sweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

ChefSecret: Do not over bake! The pots should not be completely set through like a brownie.

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The ChocolateDoctor’s Ultra-Dark, Midnight Chocolate Ganache Cheesecake

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

Ultra-Dark, Midnight Chocolate Ganache Cheesecake is a triple hit of dark chocolate—chocolate crust, chocolate cheesecake and chocolate ganache. Whenever the dark chocolate urge hits you can be set to go with this fabulous recipe. This is a less sweet, and darker version than the one in the Choclatique cook book. It is still very rich and sinfully delicious. It goes well served with an aged cabernet or a vintage port.

I like to garnish it with a dollop of Crème Fraîche and Choclatique chocolate curls (more chocolate you know), but you can create your own fresh seasonal topping with a compote of fresh berries—I think raspberries are the very best with chocolate.

Prep time: 40 minutes (includes, crust, cake and ganache)
Bake time: Crust 6 to 8 minutes; Cheesecake 1 hour 15 minute
Chill time: Cake 8 hours (overnight); Ganache Topping 2 hours
Yield: 12 to 14 servings

Ingredients:
For the crust:

1 tablespoon unsalted butter (for the pan)
30 chocolate wafer cookies (Nabisco)
4 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon Choclatique Onyx Cocoa Powder, sifted
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon pure almond extract

For the filling:
10-ounces Choclatique Private Reserve Dark Chocolate, chopped
32-ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1-1/3 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup Choclatique Onyx Cocoa Powder, sifted
4 large eggs, room temperature

For the ganache topping:
1 cup heavy cream
8 ounces Choclatique Private Reserve Dark Chocolate, chopped
3 tablespoons granulated sugar

1/2 cup crème fraîche (recipe below)
3 tablespoons Choclatique Dark Chocolate Curls

Directions:
For the Crust:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Butter a 9-inch-diameter springform pan.
  3. Wrap the bottom of the pan in aluminum foil to water proof the pan.
  4. Pulse the cookies, 4 tablespoons of sugar and cocoa powder in a food processor until finely ground.
  5. Add the melted butter and the almond extract; process until well blended.
  6. Dip the bottom of a glass in water and press down to form the bottom crust by press the crumbs evenly onto bottom of the prepared springform pan. Do not run the crust up the sides of the pan.
  7. Bake 6 to 8 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  8. Lower the oven temperature to 325°F if you are using a dark or anodized pan.

For the filling:

  1. Using a microwave oven melt the chocolate at 50% power in 15 second increments until completed melted and the chocolate has a smooth glossy finish. Set aside to cool.
  2. Pulse the cream cheese, 1-1/3 cups sugar and cocoa powder in processor until smooth.
  3. Blend in eggs one at a time.
  4. Blend in the lukewarm chocolate.
  5. Pour filling over crust; smooth top.
  6. Allow the pan to sit on a counter for 20 minutes to eliminate any air bubbles.
  7. Place the springform pan in the center of a larger pan and fill half way up with hot water creating a water bath.
  8. Bake the cheesecake for about 1 hour 15 minutes until center is just set turn off the heat and let the cake sit in the oven with the door open for another 15 minutes to prevent the cake from falling and cracking.
  9. Cool the cheese cake for 5 minutes. Run a knife around sides of cake to loosen. Do not pop the springform pan.
  10. Chill 8 hours or best overnight.

For the ganache topping:

  1. Blend the heavy cream, 8 ounces chocolate and 3 tablespoons of sugar in heavy medium saucepan over low heat until smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.
  2. Pour the ganache over the center of the chilled cheesecake, spreading to the edge of the pan.
  3. Chill until topping is set, about 1 to 2 hours.
  4. When ready to serve, release the sides of the springform and carefully transfer the cheesecake to platter.
  5. For the best flavor, always allow a cheesecake to come room temperature before serving (about an hour or so).
  6. Portion and cut the cake slices and top with crème fraîche and sprinkle with chocolate curls.

ChefSecret: In a pinch you can use Chocolate Oreo Cookies for the crust by reducing the granulate sugar to 1 tablespoon and using only half the butter.

Homemade Crème Fraîche

Yield: Makes about 1 cup

Ingredients:
1 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons buttermilk

Directions:

  1. Combine 1 cup whipping cream and 2 tablespoons buttermilk in a glass container.
  2. Cover and let stand at room temperature (about 72°F) 8 to 24 hours, or until very thick.
  3. Stir well before covering and refrigerate up to 10 days.

Special Note: Crème Fraîche is a great dessert topping for pies, puddings, cakes and this—Ultra-Dark, Midnight Chocolate Ganache Cheesecake.

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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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