Archive for the ‘Chocolate’ Category

The ChocolateDoctor’s German Chocolate Layer Cake With Coconut Pecan Frosting

Tuesday, May 29th, 2018
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Choclatique—150 Simply 150 Elegant Desserts, Running Press

Great news, June 11th is National German’s Chocolate Cake Day in America!

It seems there is a national day for just about everything these days. German Chocolate Cake is a layered chocolate cake from the United States (not Germany) filled and topped with a coconut-pecan custard frosting. Why is it called German Chocolate Cake? Because of an English-American chocolate maker, Samuel German, developed the recipe in 1852 using a dark baking chocolate (German’s Chocolate) for his recipe.

The filling and topping (you don’t frost the sides) is a custard-like concoction made with egg yolks and evaporated milk and once cooked, the coconut and pecans are added. Some bakers add Maraschino cherries, but that starts to taste more like a Black Forest Cake and not at all complementary to this recipe. In today’s politically-correct culture, you might say, it is a misappropriation of national origin. But I digress.

In 1957, the German Chocolate Cake recipe was published in newspapers across the country. Sales of Baker’s chocolate (successor to German’s Chocolate) boomed along with the popularity of the cake. President Lyndon B. Johnson reportedly served this cake at his Johnson City ranch for a luncheon with German Chancellor Ludwig Erhard thinking it was German. No one knows if Chancellor Erhard liked the cake or not. But what’s not to like? It’s made with chocolate, coconut and pecans.

Prep time: 45 minutes
Bake Time: 30 to 35 minutes
Cool time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:
For the Chocolate Cake:

2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1/4 cup Choclatique Black Onyx Unsweetened Cocoa Powder, sifted,
plus 2 tablespoons for the pans
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 ounces Choclatique Private Reserve Dark Chocolate
1 cup white shortening or unsalted butter
2 cups granulated sugar
4 large egg yolks (separated—chill the whites)
1 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract

For the Coconut-Pecan Frosting:
1 cup evaporated milk
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large egg yolks
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cubed
1 teaspoon pure vanilla
1-1/2 cups shredded coconut, lightly toasted
1 cup chopped pecans, toasted

Directions:
To Make the Cake:

  1. Preheat an oven to 350°F.
  2. Butter three 8- or 9-inch layer cake pans and dust with cocoa powder.
  3. Whisk the flour, cocoa powder salt and baking soda into a bowl, set aside.
  4. Melt the chocolate in a microwave at 50% power in 10 to 30 second bursts until completely melted and smooth; stir well and let it cool.
  5. Using an electric mixer with a paddle attachment, cream the shortening and sugar until fluffy; about 2-3 minutes.
  6. Continue mixing and adding the egg yolks to the shortening mixture one at a time.
  7. Once the eggs are incorporated, add the melted chocolate.
  8. Add the dry ingredients into the chocolate mixture, alternating with the buttermilk.
  9. Once combined, add the extracts.
  10. Place the chilled egg whites into a separate bowl and whip on high with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form, about 3-4 minutes.
  11. Gently fold in the egg whites into the cake batter.
  12. Pour the batter into the prepared layer cake pans.
  13. Bake for 30-35 minutes until a cake-tester comes out clean.
  14. Remove the cakes from the oven and let cool for 15 minutes. Turn out the cakes on cooling racks for further cooling.
  15. Once completely cooled, add a generous layer of coconut pecan frosting to the top of one cake. Top with an additional layer of cake. Continue this step until all cake and frosting is used. Do not frost the sides of the cake.

To make the Coconut-Pecan Frosting:

  1. Pour the evaporated milk, sugar, egg yolks, butter and vanilla extract into a saucepan. Warm over medium heat until the butter melts. Stir occasionally.
  2. Bring to a simmer and cook until thickened, about 12 minutes.
  3. Pour the mixture into a bowl using an electric mixer with a paddle attachment, beat until the frosting is thick enough to spread.
  4. Fold in the coconut and pecans.

ChefSecret: You can use white shortening or butter; I like to use a half a cup of each.

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The ChocolateDoctor’s Triple Chocolate Soft Cookies (Brownie Cookies)

Wednesday, May 9th, 2018
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Choclatique—150 Simply 150 Elegant Desserts, Running Press

This is what I call my ooey-gooey, glass-of-milk brownie cookie. Made with three levels of Choclatique Chocolate, this is the most intense chocolate taste you can get without it being too sweet. Most people like to bake them and serve them shortly after they come out of the oven.

If you want to space your joy over a few days, only bake what you need immediately and save the rest for later in the refrigerator for no longer than *3 days. That way you can have fresh-baked warm cookies for most of the week.

Prep time: 20 minutes
Bake time: 10 to 12 minutes
Yield: 12, 3-inch cookies

Ingredients:
6 ounces Choclatique Private Reserve Dark Chocolate, melted
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons whole milk
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon orange or almond extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup Choclatique Rouge Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder,
1-1/2 cups Choclatique Semi-Sweet Chocolate Mini Chips
1 teaspoon flaky sea salt, for finishing (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat an oven to 350°F. Line sheet pans with a Silpat or parchment paper.
  2. In a microwave-safe bowl, heat the chocolate and butter in 30-second bursts at 50% power, stirring between bursts, until melted and smooth.
  3. Allow the chocolate to cool before mixing in the eggs, milk, granulated sugar, brown sugar, vanilla extract and orange or almond extract.
  4. In a medium bowl sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt and espresso powder.
  5. Add the flour mixture into the chocolate mixture and stir until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  6. Use a large cookie scoop (#20 scoop) to deposit the batter on the prepared sheet pans.
  7. Flatten slightly using a drinking glass that has been dipped in warm water to prevent the dough from sticking.
  8. Bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes, or until set but still gooey.
  9. Sprinkle with sea salt, if desired.
  10. Cool the cookies on a rack for ten minutes before serving or remove from sheet pans and transfer to rack completely.

ChefSecret: Choclatique Rouge Unsweetened Cocoa Powder has about 20% fat from cocoa butter and can get a little lumpy. I always like to sift cocoa powder with the rest of the dry ingredients for the best texture.

* Food Safety Note: Do not hold raw cookie dough made with raw eggs longer than 3 days.

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From The ChocolateDoctor Dark Chocolate Consumption Reduces Stress and Inflammation

Tuesday, May 1st, 2018
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Choclatique—150 Simply 150 Elegant Desserts, Running Press

We have been detailing the benefits of incorporating a limited amount of premium dark chocolate—low in sugar, rich in flavanols and antioxidants—in one’s daily diet. There are over 300 beneficial chemical compounds in chocolate that have a wealth of health benefits according to Loma Linda University Adventist Health Sciences Center.

Chocolate is a known stimulant and is also thought to be an aphrodisiac. Recent medical research has linked the antioxidants found in cacao—the fruit from which chocolate is made—to decreases in blood pressure and reductions of “bad” cholesterol levels. These new studies show dark chocolate consumption reduces stress and inflammation and now this research represents the first human trials examining the impact of dark chocolate consumption on cognition and other brain functions.

Findings from two studies presented at the Experimental Biology 2018 annual meeting in San Diego show that consuming dark chocolate that has a high concentration of cacao (minimally 70% cacao, 30% organic cane sugar) has positive effects on stress levels, inflammation, mood, memory and immunity. While it is well known that cacao is a major source of flavonoids, this is the first time the effect has been studied in human subjects to determine how it can support cognitive, endocrine and cardiovascular health.

Dr. Lee S. Berk, associate dean of research affairs, School of Allied Health Professions and a researcher in psychoneuroimmunology and food science from Loma Linda University, served as principal investigator on both studies.

“For years, we have looked at the influence of dark chocolate on neurological functions from the standpoint of sugar content – the more sugar, the happier we are,” Berk said. “This is the first time that we have looked at the impact of large amounts of cacao in doses as small as a regular-sized chocolate bar in humans over short or long periods of time and are encouraged by the findings. These studies show us that the higher the concentration of cacao, the more positive the impact on cognition, memory, mood, immunity and other beneficial effects.”

The flavonoids found in cacao are extremely potent antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents, with known mechanisms beneficial for brain and cardiovascular health. The following results were presented during the Experimental Biology 2018 meeting:

  • Dark Chocolate (70% Cacao) Effects Human Gene Expression
  • Cacao Regulates Cellular Immune Response, Neural Signaling, and Sensory Perception

This pilot feasibility experimental trial examined the impact of 70 percent cacao chocolate consumption on human immune and dendritic cell gene expression, with focus on pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines. Study findings show cacao consumption up-regulates multiple intracellular signaling pathways involved in T-cell activation, cellular immune response and genes involved in neural signaling and sensory perception – the latter potentially associated with the phenomena of brain hyper-plasticity.

Dark Chocolate (70% Organic Cacao) Increases Acute and Chronic EEG Power Spectral Density (μv2) Response of Gamma Frequency (25-40Hz) for Brain Health: Enhancement of Neuroplasticity, Neural Synchrony, Cognitive Processing, Learning, Memory, Recall, and Mindfulness Meditation.

This study assessed the electroencephalography (EEG) response to consuming 48 g of dark chocolate (70% cacao) after an acute period of time (30 mins) and after a chronic period of time (120 minutes), on modulating brain frequencies 0-40Hz, specifically beneficial gamma frequency (25-40Hz). Findings show that this superfood of 70 percent cacao enhances neuroplasticity for behavioral and brain health benefits.

Berk said the studies require further investigation, specifically to determine the significance of these effects for immune cells and the brain in larger study populations. Further research is in progress to elaborate on the mechanisms that may be involved in the cause-and-effect brain-behavior relationship with cacao at this high concentration.

Choclatique Premium Dark Chocolate Highest in Flavanols and Antioxidants

Choclatique Q-91—our super-dark, bittersweet, premium chocolate high in cacao mass. It is a unique and complex blend of 23 different premium beans from Central and South America and Asia. When you let Q-91 melt lightly in your mouth to release the essence of ripe cherry and deep chocolate over complex layers of tart citrus, red fruit and roasted nutty notes held up by a solid, silky chocolate base you are getting the benefits that only come from chocolate. This high cacao content, medium-bodied, very intense chocolate is smooth on the palate with a long, bittersweet finish.

Choclatique Q-91 contains alkaloids such as Theobromine and Phenylethylamine, which are now said to have positive physiological effects on the body, including increased serotonin. Scientists claim that chocolate, eaten in moderation (half to one Choclatique Q-91 bar every day), can lower blood pressure and prevent tooth decay. Dark chocolate has substantial amounts of antioxidants that reduce the formation of free radicals to reduce the effects of aging.

Choclatique Q-91 Features:

  • High in Cacao Mass – 91%
  • Great Tasting
  • Rich in Flavanols and Antioxidants
  • Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, Dairy-Free
  • Never Brittle; Never Bitter
  • All Natural. No Preservatives, Artificial Colors or Flavors

One of the most pleasant effects of eating Q-91 chocolate is the “euphoric feeling” that many people experience after indulging.

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The ChocolateDoctor’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Lovers Swirl Cakes

Friday, April 20th, 2018
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Choclatique—150 Simply 150 Elegant Desserts, Running Press

Prep Time: 30 min
Total Time: 2 hr 30 min
Servings: 16

Ingredients:
For the Cake:

1 box Betty Crocker™ yellow cake mix
1 cup water
3 large eggs
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup chocolate-flavored syrup

For the Toppings:
3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
2 to 3 tablespoons milk
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons chocolate-flavor syrup
20 miniature chocolate-covered peanut butter cup candies, unwrapped, cut in half

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease two 8×4-inch loaf pans with shortening; sprinkle with flour. In large bowl, beat cake mix, water, eggs, 1/2 cup peanut butter and the butter with electric mixer on low 30 speed seconds, then on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl.
  2. Remove 1/2 cup of the batter to medium bowl; stir in 1/2 cup chocolate syrup to make chocolate fudge batter.
  3. Spread half of the peanut butter batter evenly in loaf pans (one-fourth of batter in each pan). Spoon chocolate fudge batter onto center of peanut butter batter in pans. Spoon and spread remaining peanut butter batter evenly over pans. Swirl with knife in circular motion.
  4. Bake 50 to 55 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of each loaf comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pans. Carefully turn pans upside down onto cooling rack to remove cakes. Cool 1 hour.
  5. In medium bowl, beat 3 tablespoons peanut butter and 2 tablespoons milk with whisk until smooth. Add powdered sugar; mix until smooth. If necessary, gradually add additional 1 tablespoon milk until glaze is desired consistency. Divide glaze between 2 small bowls. In 1 bowl, stir in 2 tablespoons chocolate syrup until well blended. Drizzle peanut butter and chocolate glazes over cakes; sprinkle peanut butter cups over tops of cakes.

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The ChocolateDoctor’s Best Basic Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

Monday, April 16th, 2018
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Choclatique—150 Simply 150 Elegant Desserts, Running Press

I designed a cookie program for one of my clients in Orange County, California. We used this basic cookie dough for several other flavors, like oatmeal-raisin and cranberry-nut. We also used the dough for a pre-baked crust for a chocolate chip brownie pie.

The 48 cookies in this recipe contain over 2 pounds of chocolate and a pound of butter. The flour just barely holds it all together and the ground oats are my ode to healthy snacking. These cookies are over-the-top decadent. Pace yourself—one cookie a day will do you.

Prep time: 30 minutes
Cool time: 30 minutes
Bake time: 15 to 17 minutes
Cool time: 20 minutes
Yield: 48 2-1/2-inch cookies

Ingredients:
18 ounces (4 sticks, plus 4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups dark brown sugar
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cups pastry or cake flour
3 cups 1-minute oatmeal (processed into powder)
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 tablespoon baking soda
1-1/2 pounds (3 cups) Choclatique Dark Chocolate Chips
1/2 pounds Choclatique Private Reserve Dark Chocolate, grated or chopped
3 cups pecans, roasted and chopped
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (optional)

Directions:

  1. Prepare 2 sheet pans with Silpat liners or parchment paper.
  2. In a stand mixer fitted with a mixing paddle, cream together the butter and sugars.
  3. Add the eggs and vanilla extract, continuing to mix.
  4. Add the all-purpose and pastry flours along with the processed oatmeal. (This should be done in small amounts to make sure all ingredients are well incorporated.)
  5. Add the salt, baking powder and soda.
  6. Mix the cookie dough together with the chocolate chips and grated chocolate.
  7. Lastly, add the roasted nuts and mix.
  8. Preheat an oven to 375°F.
  9. Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes.
  10. Scoop golf ball size cookies onto an ungreased baking sheet about 2 inches apart and push them down a little bit flatten.
  11. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes rotating at the half way mark.
  12. Remove from the oven and let the sheet pans cool on racks.
  13. Transfer cookies on to cooling rack to cool completely.

ChefSecret: This dough will keep under refrigeration for 3 to days. Before scooping, remove from refrigerator for 1 hour to make scooping easier. Or you can scoop the dough into balls and freeze for up to 3 months. Place the frozen cookie dough balls on a prepared sheet pan for about an hour before baking to allow the dough to temper.
This dough is a wonderful basic cookie dough. You may substitute the chocolate chips and nuts for other ingredients, i.e. white chocolate, raisins, toffee pieces, etc.

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The Chocolate Doctor’s Chocolate, Chocolate Chip Buttermilk Pancake Casserole

Thursday, April 5th, 2018
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Choclatique—150 Simply 150 Elegant Desserts, Running Press

I love serving pancakes on the weekend except I can’t griddle them all the same time. So, there is a constant juggling and shuffling back and forth from the griddle to the oven. The last pancakes griddles are always the best.

Here was my solution. I made French toast casseroles for years. Maybe, I thought, just maybe, I could do the same with buttermilk pancakes—turning them into a chocolate pancake casserole. It’s a lot easier and store-bought frozen pancakes are more than acceptable. The results, well, are simply delicious and you will never have to do the weekend shuffle again.

Prep time: 15 minutes
Chill time: 1 to 2 hours
Bake time: 40 to 45 minutes (the custard will still be a little jiggly, it will get firmer)
Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients:
4 large eggs
1-1/4 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup real maple syrup, don’t use imitation pancake syrup
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup Choclatique Rouge Unsweetened Cocoa Powder, sifted
1 teaspoon double acting baking powder
1/3 cup buttermilk
40 mini buttermilk pancakes, homemade or store-bought, frozen and thawed
2 bananas, thinly sliced (optional) apples or stone fruit, i.e. ripe peaches can be used
1 cup Choclatique Semi-Sweet Chocolate Mini Chips
1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar

Directions:

  1. Lightly coat an 8-inch round cake pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Whisk together the eggs, cream, maple syrup, vanilla and cocoa powder. Let the mixture rest for about 15 minutes to absorb the cocoa powder.
  3. Whisk in the baking powder and buttermilk with the egg mixture.
  4. Layer half of the pancakes in the pan and scatter 1 sliced banana (or other fruit) and half of the chocolate chips on top.
  5. Pour half of the egg mixture over the pancakes. Repeat with the remaining pancakes, banana, chocolate chips, and egg mixture.
  6. Cover the dish with plastic food film, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  7. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350ºF.
  8. Remove the plastic wrap and cover the cake pan with foil.
  9. Place the cake pan on a sheet to catch any drips that might over flow.
  10. Bake the casserole, covered, for about 30 minutes; remove the foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes.
  11. Take it out of the oven while the custard is still a little jiggly.
  12. Dust with powdered sugar and serve.

ChefSecret: If using frozen mini-pancakes, I like the Krusteaz brand. If you are making pancakes from a mix, use Krusteaz for best results. If you prefer a basic buttermilk pancake casserole, remove the bananas or other fruit. Little, mini pancakes look great in this casserole, but full-size pancake work just as well. If using full-size pancakes, cut them into quarters before layering them in the cake pan.

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The ChocolateDoctor’s Chocolate Fudge-Burnt Caramel Shortcakes

Friday, March 23rd, 2018
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Choclatique—150 Simply 150 Elegant Desserts, Running Press

I must confess; I use Bisquick® for several recipes especially when I am in a rush to get something done. Bisquick® is a pre-mixed baking ingredient sold by General Mills under its Betty Crocker brand, consisting of pre-mixed flour, shortening, salt, and baking powder.

As the story goes, according to General Mills, Bisquick® was invented in 1930 after one of their sales representatives met an innovative train dining car chef on the Union Pacific. After the sales executive complimented the chef on his deliciously fresh, hot biscuits, the chef shared that he used a pre-mixed biscuit batter he created consisting of lard, flour, baking powder and salt. The chef then stored his pre-mixed biscuit batter on ice in his kitchen ahead of time, enabling him to bake fresh biscuits quickly on the train every day, throughout the day. When the sales represented returned to his office he helped create Bisquick® which was officially introduced on grocers’ shelves a year later.

Though first promoted for only baking biscuits, Bisquick® can be used to prepare a wide variety of baked goods—pizza dough, pancakes, waffles, dumplings, cookies and even fried chicken. I used Bisquick® to make these delicious, personal-sized chocolate shortcakes topped with whipped cream and Choclatique Burnt Caramel Sauce.

Prep time: 30 minutes
Bake time: 5 to 6 minutes
Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients:
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons Original Bisquick mix
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons Choclatique Rouge Unsweetened Cocoa Powder, sifted
1/3 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup, plus 1/4 cup Choclatique Semi-Sweet Chocolate Mini Chips
1 cup whipping cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
8 tablespoons Choclatique Burnt Caramel Sauce
1 tablespoon coarse sea salt

Directions:

  1. Heat an oven to 400°F.
  2. Spray 24 mini muffin cups (1-5/8 x 7/8-inch) with food release cooking spray.
  3. To measure the Bisquick® mix, lightly spoon into measuring cup and level off (Don’t pack it).
  4. In a medium bowl, stir Bisquick® mix, 2 tablespoons sugar and cocoa until completely blended and lumps are gone.
  5. Add the milk and butter; stir just until dry ingredients are moistened. Stir in chocolate chips.
  6. Using a #70 cookie scoop, scoop into muffin cups.
  7. Bake for 5 to 6 minutes or until tops spring back when lightly touched and toothpick comes out mostly clean.
  8. Cool 5 minutes. Gently loosen sides and remove from muffin cups.
  9. Cool completely.
  10. While cooling the shortcakes, whipped the cream with the vanilla extract and 1 tablespoon sugar.

To Assemble The Shortcakes:

  1. Spoon 2 tablespoons of the whipped cream in bottom of small 3 x 2-inch glass.
  2. Top with 1 teaspoon of the caramel topping, 1 shortcake, 1 tablespoon whipped topping and 1 more shortcake.
  3. Drizzle top of shortcake with 1/2 teaspoon burnt caramel.
  4. Sprinkle lightly with salt and garnish with chocolate chips.
  5. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.

Bisquick® is the registered trademark of General Mills Marketing, Inc.

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The ChocolateDoctor’s All The Marbles, Marble Cake

Friday, March 16th, 2018
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Choclatique—150 Simply 150 Elegant Desserts, Running Press

When I was a 16-year old kid I worked at a summer camp as a dish washer. I liked washing dishes more than dealing with the kids as a counselor. Chef Jesse, a knife-throwing, ex-navy cook taught me to make sheet cakes. He used to say sheet cakes are the classic, easy-to-make dessert for hundreds. This one combines both chocolate and vanilla cake batter and is quick as a rabbit to make.

This is made with one vanilla batter to which you add a little cocoa powder to about a cup of basic batter to make the chocolate swirl. This recipe uses Choclatique Cocoa Powder, which gives a richer chocolate flavor. I add hot water to provide more liquid to the batter because cocoa powder absorbs liquids and make the batters a little dry; that’s why the hot water addition.

Prep time: 15 minutes
Bake time: 20 to 25 minutes
Yield: 8 to 10 servings

Ingredients:
For the cake:

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon baking powder
1-1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole milk
1/4 cup Choclatique Rouge Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1/3 cup hot water

For the frosting:
1/3 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cubed
2 tablespoons Choclatique Rouge Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
4 tablespoons whole milk (more if you need it)
1 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2-1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar (or a little less if you find this too sweet)

Directions:
To Make the Cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F.
  2. Line the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan with baking parchment and lightly spray with nonstick cooking release.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and granulated sugar on medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Add the eggs, vanilla and salt; continue mixing on medium speed until smooth. Scrape down sides of the bowl as necessary.
  5. Turn the speed to low and add the baking powder and one-third of the flour, followed by half the milk, beating after each addition. Repeat with remaining flour and milk, ending with the final third of flour. Mix until just combined, scraping down the sides of bowl to keep batter even-textured. Do not over mix.
  6. Measure out 1 cup of batter and transfer to a medium bowl.
  7. Add the cocoa powder and 1/3 cup of hot water to the 1 cup batter and stir until evenly combined to make chocolate-flavored batter.
  8. Spread the vanilla cake batter into the prepared pan. Drop the chocolate batter on top of the vanilla batter by tablespoons.
  9. Using a knife, swirl the chocolate into the vanilla to create the marble effect. Do not over swirl, but do not be bashful really get a nice marble all the way through and down to the bottom.
  10. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a cake tester inserted near the center comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool slightly.

To Make the Frosting:

  1. While cake is baking, make frosting. In a large saucepan, combine the butter, cocoa powder, and milk and heat over medium heat until the butter has melted and is smooth.
  2. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the vanilla and powdered sugar. Add confectioners’ sugar one cup at a time, mixing until smooth and only adding enough to achieve the desired taste/sweetness and consistency.
  3. Using an offset spatula frost the sheet cake.

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The ChocolateDoctor’s St. Paddy’s Original Irish Whiskey Brownie Pie

Friday, March 9th, 2018
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Choclatique—150 Simply 150 Elegant Desserts, Running Press

At my Custom House Restaurants, we delighted in celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day with an old-fashioned Irish wake. We put one of our costumed co-workers in a stylized green coffin packed with green ice cubes and Guinness bottles. It was fun to watch the ladies shriek and scream when old dead Casey reached out to grab them.

Everything on the Irish celebration menu was made with either Guinness Stout or Jameson Irish Whiskey. One of the St. Patrick’s Day dessert favorites was my Irish Whiskey Brownie Pie—a decadent brownie with a fudgy chocolate filling and flakey crust all spiked with a dram or two of the Irish. A mélange of delectable flavors—chocolate, coffee and Irish whiskey, of course—perfection!

Prep time: 30 minutes
Bake time: 55 to 60 minutes
Chill time: Best overnight
Yield: Serves 8 to 10

Ingredients:
For the whiskey crust:

6 tablespoons very frozen unsalted butter
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon espresso powder
1 to 3 tablespoons very cold half and half
2 tablespoons Irish whiskey (I use Jameson Irish Whiskey—Bow Street, Dublin Ireland)

For the whiskey filling:
1 teaspoon espresso powder
2 tablespoons yellow or white cornmeal
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup Choclatique Semi-Sweet Chocolate Mini Chips
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
1/4 cup Choclatique Rouge Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
4 tablespoons Irish whiskey (one again, Jameson)
1 tablespoon half and half
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup green whipped cream, for serving (whipped cream tinted with green food coloring)
1/4 cup Choclatique Dark Chocolate Curls

For the green whipped cream:
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar
1 to 2 tablespoons Irish whiskey (You already have it on the counter—Jameson)
8 t0 10 drops green vegetable color

Directions:
To make the whiskey pie crust:

  1. Cube the chilled butter into half-inch pieces. Place the butter in the freezer while preparing the remaining ingredients.
  2. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, place the two (2) flours, sugar and salt; pulse to combine.
  3. Cut in the chilled butter pieces. Pulse until the dough resembles pea size pieces.
  4. Dissolve the espresso powder in 1 tablespoon of the half and half. Sprinkle over the crust mixture. Sprinkle on whiskey. Add up to 3 tablespoons (or more, if necessary) of the half and half to the dry ingredients, pulsing a little after each addition. Add only as much half and half as you need for the dough to come together. Do not over process.
  5. On a lightly floured work surface, pat the dough into an even, flat, 1-inch disk, wrap in plastic, then refrigerate 1 hour or, better yet, overnight.

To roll the dough, prepare the pie filling and assemble the pie:

  1. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat an oven to 350°F.
  2. Take the dough from the refrigerator and allow it to temper until it becomes flexible enough to roll, about 15 to 30 minutes.
  3. On a lightly floured work surface, roll the dough into a 12-inch round. Using a rolling pin transfer the dough to a standard 9-inch pie pan that’s at least 1-1/4-inches high.
  4. Trim and crimp the edges of the dough; place the crust in the freezer to chill, while preparing the filling. (The colder the dough before baking the flaker the crust.)
  5. In a food processor, process the espresso powder, cornmeal, flour and chocolate to a fine grind; set aside.
  6. In the bowl medium mixing bowl, beat the butter, sugar and salt together until smooth.
  7. Add the eggs one at a time, beating slowly but thoroughly after each egg.
  8. Stir in the cocoa powder, whiskey, half and half and vanilla extract.
  9. Stir the cornmeal-chocolate mixture into the batter.
  10. Pour the batter into the prepared crust.
  11. Bake the pie for 45 minutes, protect against burnt crust edges by adding a crust shield if the crust starts to get too dark. You can also make a protective shield by carefully fitting the edges with pieces of aluminum foil.
  12. The pie is done baking when the internal temperature reaches 175°F. The middle may still look very soft (not to worry it will set up).
  13. Remove the pie from the oven, cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate overnight before serving.

To make the green whipped cream:

  1. Chill a medium mixing bowl and beater for about 15 minutes.
  2. Whip the cream until soft peak appear.
  3. Add in the sugar and continue to beat.
  4. Add the whiskey and the green vegetable color and beat until incorporated. Do not over beat or you will have green butter.
  5. Serve each slice topped with green whipped cream and sprinkled with chocolate curls.

ChefSecret: To ensure you always have a delicious fudgy brownie filling do not overbeat the batter. Overbeating adds a lot of air which tends to dry out the brownie filling.

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The ChocolateDoctor’s Chocolate Chip Irish Soda Bread

Wednesday, March 7th, 2018
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Choclatique—150 Simply 150 Elegant Desserts, Running Press

You’ve got to understand that Soda Bread is not just about the Irish in our kitchens—it’s about the chocolate.

I always make my obligatory Irish dinner for St. Paddy’s Day—Shepherd’s Pie, Soda Bread and Pudding all washed down with a Pint O’ Guinness–and, I might add it is spectacular! But all in all the best part of any Irish meal is the Soda Bread.

When made correctly, this is one of the best quick breads (leavened without yeast (baking powder and baking soda only) you’ll ever have. The sweetness from the raisins and currants is intoxicating, but the bread is even more delicious with the addition of Choclatique Semi-Sweet Chocolate Mini Chips. You’ll find the bread is subtly sweet, with a light, a well-developed crust with tender moist crumb structure.

Prep time: 30 minutes
Bake time: 45 to 50 minutes

Ingredients:
3-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup rolled oats
1-1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1-3/4 cups buttermilk
1 large egg
3 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons grated orange zest
1 cup dried currants
1/3 cup golden raisins
1/3 cup Choclatique Semi-Sweet Chocolate Mini Chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat an oven to 375°F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Whisk the dry ingredients together—the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, oats, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Using a pastry cutter, cut the butter into flour mixture until it resembles fine sand.
  4. Beat the buttermilk, egg, honey, and orange zest together in a bowl.
  5. Pour buttermilk mixture, currants, raisins add chocolate chips into flour mixture; stir with a wooden spoon until a wet, sticky dough comes together.
  6. Turn dough out onto a well-floured work surface; press dough together into a soft ball of dough and cut into 2 pieces.
  7. Roll each half into a smooth, round loaf.
  8. Transfer to prepared baking sheet and let rest for 15 minutes.
  9. Cut a 1/2-inch deep “X” into the top of each loaf with a serrated knife.
  10. Bake in the preheated oven until golden brown, about 45 to 50 minutes. I like to use a quick-read thermometer—when the temperature is between 200°F and 205°F it’s done.
  11. Transfer loaves to a wire rack to cool completely before slicing.

ChefSecret: You can use quick-cooking oats in place of rolled oats, if desired.

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