Archive for August, 2012

“Papa” See’s Passes

Friday, August 31st, 2012

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

See's CandiesWhile not actually a member of the original See’s family, Charles N. Huggins, the retired president and CEO of See’s Candies, might have been known as “Papa” See’s. He served as president and CEO of the California-based company from 1972 to 2005 and had been with the company for more than 55 years.

I grew up on See’s chocolate living in Southern California and, as a Cub Scout, had visited the factory on La Cienega Boulevard which turned out to be one of the inspirations that enticed me to start Choclatique.

See's Candies2See’s Candies was founded in 1921. They are known for their sparkling clean black and white shops where candies are packed to order. See’s has reputation for having quality chocolate and has been a great brand with which to compete.

Mr. Huggins died on August 19th at the age of 87. Our heartfelt condolences go to his family. Mr. Huggins is survived by his wife of 12 years, Donna; sons Peter and Charles; daughters Anne and Shelley; sister, Ruth Slack; and nine grandchildren.

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Giant Chocolate, Chocolate Chip Biscuits

Friday, August 24th, 2012
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

Chocolate, Chocolate Chip BiscuitsOne of my clients owns a large commercial bakery on Long Island, New York. For years I have been trying to convince him to make biscuits to enhance breakfast with all the same wonderful flavors as the most popular muffins. One such variety is a chocolate biscuit (see the recipe below).

My recipe makes the largest, most incredible biscuits in the history of the breakfast! Serve these gems with butter, preserves or honey. They can also be used as a base for dinner time (or any time) strawberry shortcake. I love the way the milk chocolate chips ooze from between the layers of the warm, freshly baked biscuit dough.

The dough can be prepared several hours in advance of baking by turning the dough out onto aluminum foil that has been floured, lightly buttered or lightly sprayed with cooking spray. Roll up foil until it is sealed, and refrigerate. Don’t be surprised if your biscuits rise even higher because the baking powder has had more time to act with the dough.

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Baking Time: 15 minutes
Ready In: 45 minutes

Yield: 6 extra large-sized yummy chocolate biscuits

Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup Choclatique Rouge Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup shortening, very cold
1 cup whole milk
1 cup Choclatique Milk Chocolate Chips
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

Directions:

  1. Measure all ingredients and have at your side.
  2. Preheat oven to 425º F.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt, and sugar.
  4. Cut in the very cold shortening until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
  5. Gradually stir in milk until dough pulls away from the side of the bowl. You may need more or less milk depending on the humidity of the day.
  6. Turn out onto a floured surface, add the chocolate chips and knead 15 to 20 times. Do not over knead or you will make the biscuits too tough.
  7. Pat or roll dough out to 1 inch thick. Cut biscuits with a large cutter or juice glass dipped in flour. Cut straight down without twisting cutter to ensure tall, straight biscuits.
  8. Repeat until all dough is used. Brush off the excess flour, and place biscuits onto an ungreased baking sheet.
  9. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until edges begin to brown.
  10. When the biscuits are removed from the oven, immediately brush with melted butter.

ChefSecret: I like to use White Lily flour for making biscuits of any kind. White Lily has been helping Southern cooks create incredibly delicious foods since 1883.

I sometimes like to add some dried cherries to the dough. Simply substitute 1/2 cup of cherries for half of the chocolate chips and then you will have the best Giant Chocolate, Chocolate Chip-Cherry Biscuits. Yum!

Serving Suggestion: Put a decadent spin on an old favorite—Fresh Berry Shortcake. Split and layer the biscuits with some fresh macerated berries and top with whipped cream.

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Mounds Pie (Crustless Coconut-Almond Chocolate Custard Pie)

Friday, August 17th, 2012
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

In Thailand and Malaysia, trained pig-tailed macaques are used to harvest coconuts. Training schools for pig-tailed macaques still exist in both countries. In fact, competitions are held each year to find the fastest harvester.

Coconut palms are found across much of the tropic and sub-tropic areas. Coconuts (a fruit, not really a nut) are known for versatility—domestic, commercial and industrial uses of its different parts. Coconuts are part of the daily diet of many people. Coconut milk is known to have all of the nutritional value to sustain life. So, if you’re marooned on a desert island make sure you have a few coconut trees.

Two of my favorite confections are Mounds and Almond Joy bars. Originally made by the Peter Paul company in 1920 they were sold to Hershey in 1988. The original catchy jingle heard in the 1970’s that caught everyone’s attention was, “Sometimes you feel like a nut. Sometimes you don’t.”

The taste sensation I love was the combination of both coconut and chocolate, so it was an easy transformation for me to develop a Mounds (or Almond Joy) Pie. This is a simple, foolproof recipe to make, and best of all, you don’t have to mess around rolling out a pie curst. Okay, I know you can buy pre-made pie crusts in the store, but, why bother? This pie is great just the way it is.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Bake Time: 40 minutes
Chill Time: 2 hours
Ready In: 3 hours

Yield: 1 9-inch pie

Ingredients:
1 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus some extra for the plate
1 tablespoon Choclatique Black Onyx Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter, melted
3 ounces Choclatique Private Reserve (64%) Dark Chocolate, melted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk
1 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup blanched whole almonds (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325ºF.
  2. Using food release, generously spray and flour a 9-inch glass pie plate.
  3. In a medium bowl, sift together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder and salt.
  4. Stir in melted butter, chocolate and vanilla extract.
  5. Using a hand or stand mixer add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in the evaporated milk followed by coconut making thick custard.
  6. Pour the custard mixture into the pie plate and, if using, carefully float the almonds on top of the custard.
  7. Bake in preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes.
  8. Chill at least 2 hours before serving.

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Yummy White Chocolate Corn Cakes

Friday, August 10th, 2012
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

I used to go to El Torito just for their corn cakes. They were wonderfully sweet and were an excellent foil for the spicier Mexican food. I am always looking for ways to introduce chocolate to different foods, but especially Mexican cuisine as that’s where the whole chocolate culture originated. I was thrilled when I came up with a way to add chocolate to corn.

Keep them all guessing and don’t tell anyone that your secret ingredient in these corn cakes is white chocolate—really, WHITE CHOCOLATE. This tender and delicious corn cake can be easily made and served for breakfast, lunch or dinner. I have served it for dessert (don’t laugh) with cinnamon ice cream and a drizzle of cinnamon-spiced chocolate syrup on top. But, then again, I put chocolate in or on most anything.

To serve, scoop out each portion with an ice cream scoop or rounded spoon and enjoy.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Bake Time: 1 Hour
Ready In: 1 Hour 15 Minutes

Yield: Serves 6 to 8 people

Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup Choclatique Snowy White Chocolate, melted
1/3 cup masa harina
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed
1/4 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375º F.
  2. In a medium bowl, beat butter and the white chocolate with an electric mixer until creamy. Beat in the masa harina and water until well combined.
  3. Put the corn in a blender or food processor and coarsely chop on low speed.
  4. Stir the corn and the cornmeal into the butter mixture.
  5. In another bowl, mix together the sugar, cream, salt and baking powder. Combine the two mixtures until well blended.
  6. Pour the batter into an ungreased 8 x 8 pan.
  7. Cover the pan with foil and place into a 9 x 13 inch pan filled 3/4 inch high with hot water creating a water bath.
  8. Bake in a preheated oven for 50 to 60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of the cake comes out nearly clean.
  9. Remove small pan from water bath and let sit for 10 minutes before serving.

ChefSecret: Why should I use a water bath? A water bath improves the custardy texture of the corn cake and also helps prevent surface cracking. Baking the corn cake in a water bath will keep the oven moisture high and generate a gentler heat.

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French Cocoa Crêpes

Thursday, August 2nd, 2012
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

In France, crêpes are traditionally served on Candlemas (La Chandeleur), February 2. This day was originally Virgin Mary’s Blessing Day, but became known in France as “Le Jour des Crêpes” (literally translated “The Day of the Crêpes”). The belief was that if you could catch the crêpe with a frying pan after tossing it in the air with your right hand and holding a gold coin in your left hand, you would become rich that year.

Don’t tell anyone that these great-tasting French-style crêpes are so easy to make. In fact, it is the perfect chocolate crêpe recipe! The taste and consistency are right on if only complimented by brushing with chocolate or filling and rolling them up with fresh fruit, jam and whipped cream. Close your eyes and you’ll think you’re in Paris.

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Resting Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Ready In: 35 minutes

Yield: 12 servings

Ingredients:
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup Choclatique Rouge Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
2 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cold strong coffee
2 tablespoons butter, melted

Directions:

  1. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, sugar and salt; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the eggs and milk together with an electric mixer. Beat in the flour mixture until smooth; add in the coffee and stir in the melted butter.
  3. Let the batter sit for no less than 20 minutes.
  4. Heat a lightly oiled 6-inch frying pan over medium high heat.
  5. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 2 tablespoons for each crêpe. Tip and rotate pan to spread batter as thinly as possible. Pur out any excess.
  6. Brown on both sides and serve hot.

ChefSecret: Allowing the batter to rest for 20 minutes allows the flour and cocoa powder to rehydrate completely. When you make crêpes, tilt the hot, slightly buttered pan and pour the batter in from the edges to the center. Do not start in the center or else you will end up with a glob of batter set in the middle. Place the crêpes under a warm, slightly damp towel to keep them warm and moist until ready to fill and serve.

Serving Suggestion: Fill with fresh 2 tablespoons of macerated fruit and 1 tablespoon of whip cream and roll into a luscious dessert.

Use as a savory wrap as well. Just fill with chicken mole and you have an elegant entrée that’s sure to impress you foodie friends.

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