Archive for October, 2012

Orange Chocolate Chip, Chocolate Muffins

Thursday, October 25th, 2012
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

Muffins are the all-American quick bread that is baked in small portions usually in the shape of cupcakes. Usually they are not as sweet as cupcakes and generally are not frosted. They may be filled with sweet fillings, such as chocolate, toffee or fruit—the most common being blueberries.

My muffins are made with both dark and milk chocolate. They are rich and tender, high-rising, and deep chocolaty—both in color and flavor—kissed with the flavor of fresh orange zest. Serve them warm right from the oven; spread them with butter, jam or better yet one of my chocolate butters. You will soon discover they are the totally decadent way to start the day.

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Ready In: 45 minutes
Yields 12 muffins

Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1/3 cup Choclatique 72% Ebony Dark Chocolate Pastilles, melted
1 tablespoon orange zest
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup Choclatique Milk Chocolate Chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400º F.
  2. Lightly spray a 12 cup muffin pan with food release, or line with paper liners.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  4. In a separate medium bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time along with the melted chocolate then stir in the orange zest, orange juice, vanilla extract and buttermilk.
  5. Pour into the flour mixture, and mix just until evenly moist.
  6. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  7. Spoon or scoop batter into muffin cups.
  8. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.
  9. Let muffins cool in the pan on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes before removing from the pan.

ChefSecret: To make sure the chocolate chips don’t drop down to the bottom of the muffin tin, lightly toss them in flour before folding into the batter and they will stay suspended in the middle of the muffin.

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Chocolate Pyramid Breaks Guinness World Record

Thursday, October 18th, 2012
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

The good people at Qzina Specialty Foods, a chocolate and baker’s supply company, have broken the Guinness World Record for building the largest chocolate sculpture in the world.

It was crafted after an Ancient Mayan temple—The Temple of Kukulkan at Chichen Itza. The artistic piece weighs in at over eighteen thousand pounds, which surpasses the previous record of 7,500 pounds.

Francois Melle, Qzina corporate pastry chef, led the effort, with help from top craftsman Stephane Treand. The project time exceeded over 400 hours of construction. The attention to detail is extraordinary. The structure is exactly proportional to its inspiration, down to the number of steps, walls and panels. It’s one-thirtieth the size of the original with a base of 10 feet by 10 feet and six feet tall. Melle studied Mayan pyramids to create the exact replica of the Temple.

The sculpture is on display at Qzina’s new Institute of Chocolate and Pastry in San Clemente, California and will be there through Dec. 21, 2012 (when hopefully the world will not end).

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Dark Chocolate Lowers Risks of Heart Attack, Stroke

Friday, October 5th, 2012
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

AustraliaThe research keeps coming in and getting better on the health benefits of dark chocolate. Researchers in Australia collected data over 2,000 people who had metabolic syndrome—which is a cluster of medical issues that includes high blood pressure, a large waist and low levels of “good” cholesterol—and used mathematical equations to predict how eating a dose of dark chocolate daily could affect the number of strokes and heart attacks the group would be expected to have. And they found that eating dark chocolate every day may lower the risk of having a heart attack or stroke for people at higher risk of these conditions.

Based on their results, the researchers calculated that for every 10,000 people with metabolic syndrome who ate 3.5 ounces (100g) of dark chocolate every day for 10 years, 70 non-fatal and 15 fatal cardiovascular events, such as heart attacks or strokes, could be prevented.

In the past studies have shown that the risk of cardiovascular disease can be lowered over the short-term by eating compounds called flavonoids, which are abundant in dark chocolate. Flavonoids are known to have antihypertensive and anti-inflammatory effects, which relieve pressures on the heart.

The new study suggests that eating dark chocolate is a cost-efficient way to reduce the number of heart attacks and strokes. The researchers noted that the study only looked at strokes and heart attacks, so how dark chocolate might affect the risks of other cardiovascular diseases, such as heart failure, must still be assessed.

Sanofi AventisThe study was published on May 31st 2001 in the British Medical Journal, and was funded by the Australian Research Council and the drug company Sanofi-Aventis Australia.

Q-91ChefSecret: Let people with higher risk of heart attack or stroke know that adding dark chocolate, like Choclatique Q-91, to their daily diet may reduce health-related risks.

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