Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011
I always really liked Barbara Fairchild even before I met her. When Joan and I moved The Food Show over to ABC, she was one of the first to call us to wish us good luck. As the Editor-in-Chief of Bon Appétit, Barbara kept the magazine relevant and presided over at least two redesigns of this classic food magazine. I can’t remember a single issue of the magazine where there was not at least one chocolate recipe.
During Barbara’s time at Bon Appétit, she was honored with three James Beard Awards, and oversaw the highly successful The Bon Appétit Cookbook, released in the fall of 2006 and was named one of the top books of the year.
In more recent years she became a bi-coastal traveler having management and creative responsibilities in both Los Angeles and New York. I can attest to the fact that traveling back and forth can take its toll. December was Barbara’s last issue of Bon Appétit with her at the helm. I am sure she will be on to bigger and better things. So, thank you, Barbara, for all your contributions to our industry.
When I received my February issue of Bon Appétit I was curious to see if the magazine had changed and what kind of attention the new editorial team would give to chocolate. I didn’t even have to open the magazine to see that chocolate is still an important part of their attention. Thank you Victoria, Katie, Hugh and Sarah. Beginning on page 86 is a section all about cocoa power. The article written by Alice Medrich and beautifully photographed by Christopher Griffith is up to the standards we have all learned to appreciate.
The recipes include Crisp Cocoa Pecan Cookies, Chocolate Stout Float, Bittersweet Cocoa Soufflés, Cocoa Layer Cake (that I felt I could have eaten right off the page), and of course, the cover shot of Cocoa Brownies with Brown Butter and Walnuts. These brownies look like those wonderfully fudgy-in-the-middle and chewy-on-the-outside, made-from-scratch, shiny, crackly top home made goodies with results that you can never get from a store-bought brownie or a mix (except ours, of course).
I always like using browned butter with chocolate. It adds a rich, nutty flavor that can’t be duplicated with any other shortening. When I am making a recipe that calls for creaming the butter with sugar, I will brown the butter and then cool it so that it creams just like fresh butter that hasn’t been browned. Give it a try, you’ll love the results.
And while you’re at it, pick up a copy of this month’s issue of Bon Appétit. I promise you will love the chocolaty recipes you’ll find inside.