Archive for March, 2013

The ChocolateDoctor’s Chocolate Hot Cross Buns

Friday, March 29th, 2013

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

Sharing a hot cross bun with someone is supposed to ensure friendship throughout the coming year, particularly if “Half for you and half for me, between us two shall goodwill be” is said at the time. Because there is a cross on the buns, some say they should be kissed before being eaten. If taken on a sea voyage, hot cross buns are said to protect against shipwreck. If hung in the kitchen, they are said to protect against fires and ensure that all breads turn out perfectly. The hanging bun is replaced each year.

Hot cross buns! Hot cross buns!
One ha’ penny, two ha’ penny,
Hot cross buns! Hot Cross Buns!
If you have no daughters,
Give them to your sons
One ha’ penny, Two ha’ penny,
Hot Cross Buns

Dress up your buns for Easter! We’ve glamorized the traditional Hot Cross Bun by lightly sweetened with cocoa, cinnamon and tender dried cherries strewn throughout. The egg yolk wash gives these buns the signature browned, glossy finish, making a canvas for the namesake cross, a painting of milk, cocoa and sugar icing.”

Hot Cross BunsPrep Time: 20 Minutes
Bake Time: 20 Minutes
Ready In: 3 Hours 30 Minutes
Servings: 12

3/4 cup warm water (110º F)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon instant powdered milk
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1 large egg white
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup Choclatique Rouge Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
3/4 cup dried and sweetened cherries, small dice
1 large egg yolk
2 tablespoons water

For the icing:
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 teaspoons whole milk (use a little more or less depending on how fluid the mixture is)


  1. In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the warm water, butter, skim milk powder, 1/4 cup sugar, salt, egg, egg white, flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon and yeast. Mix for about 7 minutes until the dough begins to cling to the dough hook. Roll it into a ball and cover the bowl with a damp dish towel and let it rise for the first time in a warm place for about 45 minutes or until the dough ball doubles in size.
  2. Punch down the dough down on floured surface, add cherries and cinnamon. Knead for 5 minutes and shape into 12 balls and place in a greased 9 x 12 inch pan. Cover and let rise in a warm place till double, about 35-40 minutes.
  3. Mix egg yolk and 2 tablespoons water. Brush on balls.
  4. Bake at 375º F for 20 minutes. Remove from pan immediately and cool on wire rack.
  5. To make decorative crosses: mix together confectioners’ sugar, vanilla extract and milk. Pipe a cross on each cooled bun.

ChefSecret: You can also make chocolate only or two-tone decorative crosses. For the chocolate crosses, mix together 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, 1 tablespoon Choclatique Rouge Unsweetened Cocoa Powder , a drop or two of almond extract and 3 teaspoons of milk. Pipe a chocolate cross on each cooled bun or atop the white cross previously piped and set. After all, you can never have enough chocolate.

If you have the time, soak the cherries in a little port or brandy for about 30 minutes for additional flavor. It also helps the cherries from scorching if on the outside edge of the bun when baking.

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The ChocolateDoctor’s Choclatique Tiramisu Swirl Cheesecake

Friday, March 22nd, 2013

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

I was at a famous Italian restaurant in San Francisco last month where Tiramisu was described on the menu as “a traditional classic Venetian dessert created in the 1800’s.” While there is some debate regarding the origin of Tiramisu there is no question the earliest mention I could find was in the Washington Post on December 24, 1969. The dessert was first made in Via Sottotreviso at Treviso, near Venice. The recipe was documented in Giovanni Capnist’s 1983 cookbook, Dolci del Veneto.

White this dessert is neither traditional or a classic I felt safe that I could take the liberty of expressing my own personality and preferences to this Tiramisu Swirl Cheesecake.

Prep Time: 35 minutes
Bake Time: 60 minutes
Ready In: 3 hours (best overnight if you can wait that long)
Yield: 1 9-inch cheesecake

Chocolate Tiramisu Swirl CheesecakeIngredients:
1 (7-ounce) package ladyfingers, dried
4 tablespoons butter, melted
6 tablespoons strong cold coffee
3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese
1 (8-ounce) container mascarpone cheese
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 ounces Choclatique Midnight Unsweetened Baking Chocolate, melted
3 tablespoons Choclatique Dark Chocolate Curls


  1. Preheat oven to 350º F.
  2. Place a roasting pan of water on the bottom of oven filled about one third of the way.
  3. Prepare an 8- or 9-inch springform pan by covering the bottom with aluminum foil to seal out the water.
  4. In a small bowl crush the package of ladyfingers to fine crumbs. Mix the melted butter into the crumbs. Moisten with 2 tablespoons of the coffee. Press into the bottom and up the sides of a prepared springform pan.
  5. In a large bowl, mix the cream cheese, mascarpone and sugar until very smooth. Add the eggs, vanilla extract and the flour; mix SLOWLY until just smooth. The consistency of the mascarpone can vary. If the cheesecake batter is too thick, add a little cream.
  6. Using two separate bowls divide the cream cheese mixture in half.
  7. Add the melted chocolate and 4 tablespoons coffee to the half the cream cheese batter and mix thoroughly. Pour the chocolate cream cheese batter into crust followed by the remaining cream cheese batter. Using the broad side of a knife or spatula swirl the two batters to marble.
  8. Place springform pan into the roasting pan of hot water. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until just set. Open oven door, and turn off the heat. Let cake to cool in oven for 20 minutes.
  9. Dolci del Veneto Remove from oven, and let it finish cooling.
  10. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or, better yet, overnight.
  11. Right before serving sprinkle with chocolate curls.

ChefSecret: The literal translation of the Italian name tiramisù (tirami sù) means “pick- me-up” or metaphorically, “make me happy.” This may refer to the caffeine in the coffee and effect of cocoa used in the original recipe.

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The ChocolateDoctor’s Old-Fashioned Salted Dark Chocolate Caramel Coins

Friday, March 15th, 2013

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

Chocolate CoinsWe had to go to the vault for these less-than-golden coins. These are homemade chocolate coins that will bring back lots of growing-up memories. As a kid I remember getting gold foil-wrapped chocolate coins in a little mesh bag. The only little piggy bank these went into was me. I remember the excitement of peeling off the shiny foil and stacking them up like poker chips on the kitchen table. The foil-wrapped chocolate coins may be for kids, but the flavor combination of dark chocolate, caramel and sea salt is all grown up.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Chill Time: 15 minutes
Yield: 32 Coins

Salted Dark Chocolate Caramel CoinsIngredients:
6 ounces Choclatique Private Reserve Dark Chocolate, broken into small pieces
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon white sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream
sea salt to taste
1 tablespoon Choclatique Rouge Unsweetened Cocoa Powder, for dusting


  1. Line a baking sheet with silicon baking mat or parchment paper.
  2. Pour about 1 inch of water into the bottom of a saucepan and place over medium-low heat; bring the water to a simmer and turn off the heat.
  3. Place a stainless steel bowl over the saucepan. Put the chocolate and the butter in the bowl and soften over the hot water.
  4. Place the sugar in a small skillet over medium-low heat and cook until it forms a dark liquid and begins to bubble, 7 to 9 minutes. Carefully pour the cream over the caramelized sugar. Cook and stir the mixture until the caramelized sugar is dissolved into the cream; immediately remove from heat.
  5. Quickly pour the hot cream mixture over the warmed chocolate; stir quickly with a spatula until completely incorporated.
  6. Drop the mixture by the teaspoon onto the prepared baking sheet. Top each with a sprinkle of sea salt. Cover with plastic wrap. Gently press a second baking sheet onto the chocolate coins to flatten. Chill in refrigerator until firm.
  7. Dust with the cocoa before serving.
  8. Store in a cool spot. You can always wrap the chocolate coins in gold foil if desired.

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The ChocolateDoctor’s Chocolate Chip Buttermilk Biscuits with Chocolate Gravy

Thursday, March 7th, 2013

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

ScarlettLike the classic movie, Gone with the Wind, buttermilk biscuits are an old southern American classic. If you’re trying to start a romantic adventure, this version recipe will do it. You’ll feel as hot as Scarlett O’Hara and as roguish as Rhett Butler. These are the type of biscuits you would expect at one of the antebellum plantations like Tara or Twelve Oaks and a Sunday dinner. This is a new recipe for a new day and you don’t have to fight the Civil War to enjoy it. And, quite frankly Scarlett, with these biscuits, you won’t give a damn.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Baking Time: 12 to 15 minutes
Ready In: 35 minutes
Yield: 6 to 8 biscuits

Chocolate Chip Buttermilk BiscuitsIngredients for Biscuits:
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
1/4 cup Choclatique Natura Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable shortening, plus a little more for pan
1/4 Cup Choclatique Semi-Sweet Chocolate Mini Chips
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup melted unsalted butter
Chocolate Gravy, recipe follows

Ingredients for Chocolate Gravy:
1/3 stick butter
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/3 cup Choclatique Rouge Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
2 cups whole milk

Directions for Biscuits:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450º F.
  2. Grease a baking pan with the shortening.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  4. Cut in the shortening with a fork or pastry knife until it looks like cornmeal. Add the chocolate chips and lightly mix into the pastry.
  5. Add the buttermilk, a little at a time, stirring constantly until well mixed.
  6. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead lightly 2 or 3 times.
  7. Roll out the dough with a floured rolling pin to 1/2-inch thickness. Cut dough into circles with a 3-inch cutter.
  8. Place the biscuits in a baking pan. Gently press down the top of the biscuits.
  9. Brush the biscuits with half the melted butter and bake for 14 minutes or until golden brown.
  10. Brush the hot biscuits with the remaining butter.
  11. While the biscuits are baking make the chocolate sauce (see recipe below).
  12. Split the biscuits in half and ladle Chocolate Gravy over the hot biscuits.

Direction for Making Chocolate Gravy:

  1. Heat butter in a sauce pan over low heat. Mix in the sugar, flour and cocoa powder. Slowly pour 1 cup of milk into the pan and whisk well to remove any lumps.
  2. Whisk in remaining milk, stirring constantly, until mixture is thick, being careful not to scorch. Allow the gravy to cool slightly. The gravy will continue to thicken as it cools.
  3. Serve hot over biscuits.

ChefSecret: Serve hot topped with fresh sliced stone fruit (peaches or nectarines) or fresh or frozen berries.

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The ChocolateDoctor’s Death by Chocolate Brownie

Friday, March 1st, 2013

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

At my waterfront Custom House Restaurants in Northern California we had the most luscious, chocolaty dessert that you would ever desire—Chocolate Sludge. It was a heated chocolate chip brownie topped with a scoop of homemade, dark chocolate ice cream, covered with hot fudge and crowned with chocolate whipped cream.

When writing my book, Choclatique, my head chocolatier and I remade this restaurant favorite. As it turned out, we kept going back to the brownie pan to cut little samples for ourselves. Wow, we discovered that this brownie needed nothing more than to be served naked—no ice cream, no frosting or no nothing other than just right out of the pan.

Death By Chocolate BrowniePrep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Cooling Time: 1 hour
Ready In: 2 hours
Yield: 16 extra rich brownies

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup Choclatique Rouge Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup cold water
2/3 cup unsalted butter
2 cups Choclatique Dark Chocolate Chips
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs
2 cups Choclatique Dark Chocolate Chips (yes, more chocolate chips)
1 cup coarsely chopped roasted walnuts, pecans or even whole pistachios (optional)


  1. Preheat an oven to 325º F.
  2. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl; whisk and set aside.
  3. Butter and flour a 9 x 9-inch baking dish.
  4. Combine the sugar, water and butter in a saucepan. Cook and stir over medium heat until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and stir in 2 cups of the chocolate chips and the vanilla extract until the chocolate has melted.
  5. Pour the mixture into a mixing bowl, and beat in the eggs one at a time until very smooth.
  6. Fold in the flour mixture until incorporated.
  7. Fold in the remaining bag of chocolate chips along with the nuts (if using).
  8. Pour into prepared pan and bake for about 45 to 55 minutes until the top is dry and the edges have started to pull away from the sides of the pan.
  9. Cool completely before cutting into squares to serve.

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