Archive for July, 2013

The ChocolateDoctor’s Mocha Panna Cotta

Wednesday, July 31st, 2013
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

This is an easy-to make Italian custard found in the fanciest of Italian restaurants. It is usually made without the coffee and cocoa powder, but I decided to take it up a notch and give it a tiramisu-like flavor. It is a perfect spring and summer time dessert that will go with any Italian-themed dinner (or for any other cuisine for that matter… well maybe not so well with Chinese food or Sushi). I like to top this with warm crème anglaise or chocolate sauce and/or fresh, sweet berries. Kept covered with plastic wrap it will keep for 3 days in the refrigerator.

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Cooling Time: 4 hours (longer is better)
Ready In: 4 hours 15 minutes
Yield: 6 Servings

Ingredients:
1/3 cup whole milk
1 (.25 ounce) envelope unflavored gelatin (Knox)
2 teaspoons instant coffee crystals
2 tablespoons Choclatique Natura Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
2 1/2 cups heavy cream
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Pour the milk into a small bowl and stir in the gelatin. Set aside.
  2. In a medium size saucepan, stir together the heavy cream, instant coffee, cocoa powder and sugar. Set over medium heat bringing to a full boil. Watch carefully, as cream when heated will quickly rise to the top of the pan and may overflow.
  3. Pour the gelatin and milk into the cream, stirring until completely dissolved. Cook for one minute longer, stirring constantly.
  4. Remove from the heat, stir in the vanilla and pour into six individual ramekin dishes.
  5. Cool the ramekins uncovered at room temperature. This will prevent moisture from forming on the top of the pudding.
  6. When cool, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.

ChefSecret: I like to take make a fresh seasonal berry sauce—raspberry, blackberry or boysenberry—to take advantage of the spring flavors of fresh fruit. Just blend a tablespoon of sugar with fresh berries and lightly crush. Let them marinate in the refrigerator for about an hour before serving. You can also enrich the berries further with a tablespoon of orange-flavored liqueur. Spoon on the fresh berry sauce right before serving.

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Sofitel’s Cold, Welcoming Chocolate Beverage

Friday, July 26th, 2013
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

One of the greatest hotel welcoming amenities I found anywhere in the world is the chilled chocolate beverage each guest receives when they arrive at the Sofitel Malabo Sipopo Le Golf in Equatorial Guinea. (GQ is in Western Africa and has a most colorful history and a very bright future.) The chocolate shot is cold and refreshing and while it is made from chocolate and whole milk it takes the humidity out of your body and puts the bounce back in your step after a long, 35 hour plane trip.

They don’t offer the drink anywhere else in the hotel, which I think is a big mistake, but the beautiful ladies at the front desk will take pity on you and give you another shot if you ask. The drink is like the thick hot chocolate you find in so many places in Barcelona, but it is well-chilled instead of served hot.

In case you not aware, Equatorial Guinea was a Spanish colony exploited for its chocolate. When the Spanish left the country, giving it long-earned independence, the cacao industry fell into disrepair. Unlike some of their neighbors in Western Africa who have replanted their crops with a GMO cacao plant (CCN51), Amelonado Forastero appears to be the original planting from long ago. This makes a far superior chocolate than their neighbors in the region can produce. In my two weeks here I have collected enough information for a chapter of my next chocolate book, but until then, let me share the secret of the Sofitel Chocolate Drink.

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Ready In: 25 hours
Yield: 4 2/3 cups

Ingredients:
3 cups whole milk
1 cup cold water
3 1/2 oz. of Choclatique Private Reserve Chocolate (64%), shaved
1/2 cup Choclatique Unsweetened Rouge Cocoa Powder
1/4 cup granulated sugar

Directions:

  1. Combine the milk, water, shaved chocolate, cocoa powder and sugar in a medium sized sauce pan and bring to a boil.
  2. Stir with a whisk to avoid scorching and help break up the cocoa powder
  3. Simmer for 2 minutes longer being careful not to burn.
  4. Pass the mixture through a fine China cap or strainer.
  5. Refrigerate for 24 hours before serving.
  6. Place the mixture in the freezer for at least an hour before serving.
  7. Pour into a frozen 2-ounce shot glass or espresso cup.

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The ChocolateDoctor’s Bacon Hot Fudge Sauce

Friday, July 19th, 2013
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

I love chocolate. That goes without saying. I also love bacon… my preference is Benton Bacon from the Smoky Mountain Country of Tennessee. So we thought, what would happen if you mixed them both together to make a beautiful ice cream sauce? The result was pure heaven. This tasty treat combines two of the best foods on the planet into one delicious delicacy. I promise it will turn into your friends’ legendary stories of your culinary prowess making the best dessert ever.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cool Time: 10 minutes
Ready In: 20 minutes
Yield: 1 1/2 cups

Ingredients:
6 ounces Choclatique Private Reserve Chocolate (64%)
2/3 cup evaporated milk
1/8 cup of granulated sugar
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1/3 cup crisp, cooked Benton (if you can find it) bacon chopped up into small bits

Directions:

  1. Combine the chocolate, milk, sugar and maple syrup in a medium saucepan and heat over low. Stir constantly until chocolate melts—do not bring to a boil.
  2. When the chocolate is melted and the sauce is smooth, add 1/4 of the bacon and stir.
  3. Remove from heat and allow to set until it is cool enough to eat.
  4. Pour over ice cream and sprinkle the top with bacon pieces.

ChefSecret: Benton’s Smoky Mountain Country Bacon is slow cured using salt, brown and white sugar. This time-honored practice dates back to the era of their forefathers, when the preparation and preservation of meat was a way of life and sustenance. Although the hands of time and technology have sculpted many aspects of our modern world, at Benton’s Smoky Mountain Country Hams they have upheld the traditional dry-curing process and are striving to produce world class country hams and bacon. Hickory smoking is performed in a small, wood stove smokehouse behind the business, imparting a distinct smoked flavor that many prefer.

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The Chocolate Doctor’s Black & White Brownies

Friday, July 5th, 2013
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

Black & White Brownies are either a cheese cake-brownie or a brownie-cheesecake. It is rich, chocolaty and absolutely delicious. It is not difficult to make, but very easy to eat. An unknown chef (so many inventive chefs never get credit for their work) at Chicago’s Palmer House Hotel created this dessert after Bertha Palmer requested a dessert for her lady friends. They had all planned on attending the fair. It should be, she said, smaller than a piece of cake, though still retaining cake-like characteristics and easily eaten from boxed lunches. These first brownies featured an apricot glaze with walnuts, and they are still being made at the hotel according to the original brownie recipe. Brownies went on to be rated third in the top 10 snacks just a few years after they were invented.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Bake Time: 35 to 40 minutes
Ready In: 50 minutes
Yield: 12 Brownies

Ingredients:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup Choclatique Rouge Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup coffee flavored liqueur
1 pound cream cheese, softened
1 large egg
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup vodka

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325º F.
  2. Butter and flour a 9 x 9-inch baking pan tapping out the excess flour.
  3. In a medium bowl, cream together 1 1/4 cups of sugar and 4 tablespoons of butter. Add 2 eggs and mix well.
  4. Stir in 1/2 cup of the coffee liqueur.
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk together 1 cup of flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Stir into the butter mixture until well blended. Evenly spread half of this mixture into the prepared baking pan.
  6. In another bowl, stir together the 1/4 cup of flour and 1/4 cup of sugar. Add the softened cream cheese and mix well.
  7. Stir in 1 egg, 2 tablespoons butter, and the vodka. Mix until smooth. Spread this evenly over the chocolate layer mixture.
  8. Pour the remaining chocolate mixture over the top of the cream cheese mixture spreading with an off-set spatula. You can make a fancy pattern of stripes or swirls with a fork or knife.
  9. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes in the preheated oven.
  10. When brownies are cool, brush with the remaining 1/4 cup of coffee liqueur.

ChefSecret: If you don’t have any vodka on hand you can substitute with 7-Up or another lemon-line soda.

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