Archive for July, 2012

Chocolate Breads

Friday, July 27th, 2012

Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

Chocolate BreadDo not confuse chocolate bread with cakes or brownies. It is traditional yeast bread just made with rich cocoa and sometimes with the addition of chocolate chunks or chips. I first served this recipe at The Customs House restaurant as a special promotional bread for one of our annual events—The Rubber Ducky Raft Race. It was as much of a hit then as it is today.

Chocolate Bread 2Bake this recipe at the last minute as the intoxicating chocolate aromas emanating from the oven will drive everyone near crazy. The melted chocolate chips peeking out from the fold of the crescent rolls and smearing onto your hands as you break open the roll to butter them (yes, you can butter these like any other bread) is messy good.

Cocoa Crescent RollsThe following—Cocoa Crescent Rolls—shouldn’t be confused with a light, laminated, multi-layered French Croissant dough. It is more like a Parker House Dinner Roll in texture. It is nothing short of amazing all by itself, but it also goes well when paired with melted brie and fresh basil, almond butter and berry preserves or with caramelized bananas and walnuts.

Cocoa Crescent Roll

Yield 32 rolls

Ingredients:
2 potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
1 (.25 ounce) packaged active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water (110º F)
3/4 cup white sugar
2/3 cup shortening
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup Choclatique Rouge Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 cup Choclatique Semi-Sweet Mini Chips (optional)

Directions:

  1. Place potatoes in a saucepan, and cover with water. Bring to a boil, and cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain, cool, and mash.
  2. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand until bubbly, about 10 minutes.
  3. When yeast is ready, mix in 1 cup mashed potatoes, sugar, shortening, eggs, salt, 2 cups flour and cocoa powder. Stir in the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until dough has become stiff but still pliable.
  4. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes.
  5. Place the dough in a lightly oiled large bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 8 hours, and up to 3 days. This slow rise (called retarded proof) will develop a fuller, more complex flavor.
  6. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let stand for 30 minutes.
  7. Deflate the dough, and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into two equal pieces, and form into rounds. Roll out each round to a 12 inch circle. Brush generously with melted butter, and cut each circle into 16 wedges. Roll wedges up tightly, starting with the large end. Place on lightly buttered baking sheets with the points underneath, and the ends bent to form a crescent shape.
  8. Cover and let rise for 1 hour.
  9. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400º F and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

Cocoa Crescent RollChefSecret: Believe it or not these sweet crescent rolls are great with meat dishes and steaks and are especially great when served with something off the barbecue. For great weekend brunch bread, sprinkle the optional chocolate chips or cinnamon and sugar on the flat dough and roll up before baking.

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The Actual “Inventor” Will Never Be Known

Friday, July 20th, 2012

Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

BrowniesThe brownie was born right here in the U.S. of A. and remains one of America’s favorite baked desserts. Where did it come from? We aren’t sure where, although evidence points to New England in the first few years of the 20th century. Cake-like and baked in a cake pan, the brownie is classified as a bar cookie rather than a cake. There are thousands of recipes, both “cakey” and “fudgy” types. They’re all delicious.

Brownies 2As with many foods, the origin of the brownie is shrouded in myth, even though it is a relatively recent entry to the food pantheon, first appearing in print in the early 20th century. The legend is told variously: a baker mistakenly added cocoa to a batch of biscuits…a baker was making a cake but didn’t have enough flour… a housewife in Bangor, Maine was making a chocolate cake but forgot to add baking powder. When her cake didn’t rise properly, she cut and served the flat pieces. Alas, the actual “inventor” will most likely never be known and given credit for this American classic.

Choclatique’s Easiest, Richest, Darkest Chocolate Brownies

(No Frosting Necessary)

Yield 16 bars

Ingredients:
1/3 cup butter, cut into pieces
2 tablespoons water
1 cup granulated sugar
1 2/3 cups Choclatique Dark Chocolate Chips
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped, toasted pecans (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325º F.
  2. Grease an 8-inch-square baking pan. Set aside 1/3 cup of the morsels.
  3. Mix together the butter, water and sugar, bring to a boil and remove from het. Add the chips and stir until melted. Pour into a medium bowl.
  4. Stir in eggs, one at a time; whisk until blended. Stir in vanilla extract.
  5. Add flour and salt; stir well.
  6. Stir in remaining 1/3 cup morsels and nuts.
  7. Pour into prepared baking pan.
  8. Bake for 38 to 40 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out slightly sticky.
  9. Cool in pan on wire rack. Cut into bars.

Choclatique Double Dark Chocolate Brownie MixChefSecret: For a richer, more complex flavor and nutty texture add 1/2 cup of Choclatique Roasted Cocoa Nibs when adding the pecans. Experiment by adding different nuts to your brownies—my favorites are roasted cashews and walnuts.

If you don’t have time to weigh and measure, then try our better than homemade Choclatique Double Dark Chocolate Brownie Mix which is made with Crushed Dark Chocolate. In about 20 minutes you can be enjoying my secret recipe of Choclatique’s delicious warm, out-of-the-oven brownies.

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Chocolate Cinnamon Rolls

Friday, July 13th, 2012

Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

Cinnamon RollsMy partner, Joan, and I are suckers for state and county fairs. We go for the creative circus food that you find at such events. We always like to get there early and stay late giving us the opportunity to taste as many things as possible. Out first search is always for those gooey cinnamon rolls. Several years ago we discovered colossal, chocolate cinnamon rolls. The aphrodisiac aroma of cinnamon and chocolate alone led us to the food truck making these scrumptious rollups.

Cinnamon Rolls 2With the following recipe you can bake them exactly when and how you like them without waiting for the fair to come to town. Finish them off with a heavenly cream cheese glaze and you have a masterpiece. Chocolate Cinnamon Rolls are not only for the fair; they make a great alternative to traditional holiday breads ane great for brunch too!

Yield: 16 cinnamon rolls

Ingredients:

For the dough
1/4 cup warm water
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 (3.4 ounce) package instant chocolate pudding mix
1 cup warm milk
1 egg, room temperature
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3-1/2 cups bread flour
1/4 cup Choclatique Black Onyx Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1/4 cup Choclatique Natura Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast

For the filling
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup light brown sugar
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 cup Choclatique Milk Chocolate Chips
3/4 cup chopped pecans (optional)

For the frosting
1/2 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons milk

Directions:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook combine the water, melted butter, chocolate pudding, warm milk, egg, 1 tablespoon sugar, salt, bread flour, cocoa powders and yeast.
  2. When dough mix becomes somewhat elastic (about 15 minutes), place in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rest for about 30 minutes.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll into a 17×10 inch rectangle.
  4. Spread with softened butter.
  5. In a small bowl, stir together brown sugar, cinnamon and chocolate chips (and pecans, if desired). Sprinkle brown sugar-chocolate chip mixture over dough.
  6. Tightly toll up dough, beginning with long side. Slice into 16 one inch slices and place in 9×13 buttered pan.
  7. Let rise in a warm place for 45 to 60 minutes or until double in size.
  8. Preheat oven to 350º F.
  9. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes.
  10. While rolls bake, stir together cream cheese, softened butter, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and milk.
  11. Remove rolls from oven and top with frosting.

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