Archive for September, 2013

Chocolate, Chocolate Chip Cannoli

Monday, September 30th, 2013
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

Cannoli originated in Sicily, at the southern tip of Italy. Kind of like an Italian cheesecake in a tube, it is an essential part of Sicilian culture. Throughout the years cannoli has become as popular in America as they are in Italy.

Cannoli has two parts—the tube-shaped shells of fried pastry dough and a filling of sweet, creamy flavored ricotta. Cannoli range in size from “cannulicchi,” no bigger than a little finger, to large diameter, cigar-sized proportions.

My recipe adds chocolate flavor to the traditional ricotta cream filling. While they take about an hour or so to make they’re certainly worth it as a finale to a simple bowl of meatballs and spaghetti or a great Italian culinary feast. Wow! Now that’s Italian!

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Ready In: 60 minutes
Yield: 10-12 Stuffed Cannoli

Ingredients:
For the Shells:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons shortening
1 egg white (large egg)
3/4 cup red wine (inexpensive Chianti will do nicely)
1 1/2 quarts oil for deep frying

For the Filling:
1 1/2 pounds ricotta cheese
1/2 cup sifted confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup Choclatique Rouge Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup Choclatique Semi-Sweet Chocolate Mini Chips
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped, candied orange peel
1/4 cup rough chopped, roasted pistachio nuts
1/2 cup ground, roasted pistachio nuts

Directions:
To Make the Cannoli Shells:

  1. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Blend in the shortening and egg white. Add the red wine one tablespoon at a time until the mixture forms a ball. Knead the dough just to bring it together. Cover and let rest for half an hour.
  2. Heat oil in deep-fryer to 375º F.
  3. Divide dough in half. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to 1/8 inch thickness. Cut into 4 inch long ovals. Using a fork or pairing knife, poke holes in the ovals to prevent puffing.
  4. Place a metal cannoli tube onto the oval lengthwise and roll up with edges overlapping; seal with a dab of egg white.
  5. Fry cannoli shells 2 or 3 at a time in the hot oil. When golden brown and lightly blistered, remove from the oil to drain on paper towels. Remove tubes.

To Make the Cannoli Filling:

  1. In a medium bowl, mix together the ricotta cheese, confectioners’ sugar and cocoa powder. Fold in the vanilla extract, chocolate chips, candied orange peel and chopped pistachios.
  2. Chill the ricotta mixture for at least half an hour before filling shells.
  3. Drain off any excess liquid and spoon the filling into a pastry bag.
  4. Carefully fill the cannoli shells and smooth off at the edges.
  5. Dip the open ends of the filled cannoli in the ground pistachios so that it clings to the cheese filling.
  6. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

ChefSecrets: The shells can be made a day or two ahead of time and held in an air tight container. For a creamier filling, replace 8 Oz. of the ricotta cheese with 8 Oz. of mascarpone cheese or cream cheese.

Choclatique on FacebookChoclatique on TwitterChocolate Doctor


From Rome with Love

Friday, September 20th, 2013
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

The earliest known reference to “French” toast is actually found in the Apicius, a collection of Roman recipes written in ancient Latin or Vulgar dating back to the 4th century. The recipe directs the “house slave cook” to soak the bread in milk—not eggs—although the ancient editor suggests eggs might make it richer. The dish doesn’t next appear until it is listed as a 14th-century German recipe under the name “Arme Ritter.”

There are references to recipes for “pain perdu” in several 15th-century English books. A 1660 recipe for “French Toasts” is different, but is nothing more than toasted bread soaked in wine, sugar, and orange juice. A similar dish, suppe dorate, was popular in the Middle Ages in England, although it is rumored that the English might have stolen the recipe from the Normans who had a dish called tostees dorees.

French toast topped with maple syrup, fresh fruit and whipped cream is a rather American recipe. Slices of bread are soaked or dipped in mixture of beaten eggs and milk or cream. The slices of egg-coated bread are fried on both sides until they are browned and cooked through. Day-old bread is often recommended by chefs because stale bread will soak up more egg mixture without falling apart.

The cooked slices are often topped with jam, butter, peanut butter, honey, maple syrup, golden syrup, fruit syrup, molasses, apple sauce, whipped cream, fruit, chocolate, cinnamon-sugar, yogurt, powdered sugar, marmalade and even ice cream topped with toasted pecans or almonds.

Stuffed French toast is a sandwich of two pieces of French toast filled with bananas, strawberries, or other fruit. It is usually topped with butter, maple syrup, and powdered sugar. But now there are Chocolate French Toast Sandwiches which can be served as a great breakfast or brunch entrée or an elegant dinner-time dessert.

Chocolate French Toast Sandwiches

In my family when I was growing up French toast was considered a weekend treat. I loved the flavors of the eggy custard blended with sandwich bread and topped with maple syrup and dusted with confectioners’ sugar. In this recipe I take it one step further to create a wonderful, chocolaty, Authentically American cousin of the original French toast.

Ingredients:
8 large eggs
1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup Choclatique Rouge Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1/2 cup half and half
8 slices of brioche bread, thick sliced (day old or stale bread works best)
6 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons honey
1/2 cup Choclatique Dark Chocolate Chips
1 banana thinly sliced
1/3 cup chocolate syrup

Directions:

  1. In a blender jar mix together the eggs, sugar, vanilla extract, cocoa powder and half and half until the cocoa powder is completely absorbed, about 3 minutes, to make the chocolate custard. Pour the mixture in a large glass roasting pan.
  2. Place the cut brioche slices in the roasting pan to absorb the egg custard; after about 30 seconds gently turn the pieces over to absorb the rest of the custard.
  3. Using a large skillet or griddle, melt the butter and honey; when bubbly carefully place the bread in the skillet and sauté until lightly crisp and then turn over to cook the other side.
  4. Place a 1/4 cup of the chips on four of the slices of brioche and top with the other slices. After the chocolate chips melt top each with a few slices of cut banana and drizzle with chocolate syrup.
  5. Cut diagonally and serve immediately.

ChefSecret: Can’t find brioche bread? Use thick cut white bread, Texas toast or Jewish challah bread. In place of the bananas you can substitute fresh berries or sliced grilled peaches in the summer months.

Choclatique on FacebookChoclatique on TwitterChocolate Doctor


The ChocolateDoctor’s Chipotle-Chocolate Crackers

Friday, September 13th, 2013
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

I like to think of these as richly dark and delightfully crisp chocolate crackers, but with a nice firm spicy finish at the end—a rather delightful surprise and satisfying little burn on the back of your tongue. It’s the kind of heat that will get your attention and perk up your taste buds.

Spice and chocolate is no new thing. Actually, it’s the perfect marriage of flavors and that’s the way it all started when Montezuma had is cocoa beans blended with cinnamon and chili and frothed into a royal drink.

So it’s clear that chocolate and spice combinations aren’t anything new, and the appeal is widespread; they’re more than just your average chocolate treat. With these cookies, we take advantage of the unique smoky notes and robust flavors of the chipotle chili, and the smoked jalapeño pepper, which balance the dark chocolate perfectly in a truly unique and decadent treat.

These crackers can be eating on many occasions. I like to eat these with a salad or soup, with a cup of coffee, hot chocolate or even with a very cold glass of milk.

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Freeze Time: 30 minutes
Bake Time: 8 to 10 minutes
Cool Time: 10 minutes
Ready In: 1 hour 10 minutes
Yield: 25 to 30 Crackers

Ingredients:
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup Choclatique Rouge Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
2 tablespoons Choclatique Black Onyx Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 teaspoons sharp paprika
1 teaspoons chipotle chili pepper
1 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 cup (12 tablespoons) softened unsalted butter
1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 large egg whites
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup finely ground toasted blanched almonds

Directions:

  1. Sift the flour, cocoa powders, paprika, chipotle chili pepper and salt together in a medium-sized mixing bowl and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter with an electric mixer on medium speed for about 2 minutes. Add both sugars and beat for 2 more minutes.
  3. Reduce to low speed, add the egg whites, vanilla extract and beat 1 minute longer. The egg whites will separate in the batter, but the dough will begin to come together when the flour mixture is added.
  4. Add the flour mixture and mix just until it is absorbed into the dough. Stir in the ground almonds with a spatula or wooden spoon.
  5. Turn the dough out onto your work surface. It should be smooth and soft. Divide it in half, and shape each half into a disk. Place a disk between two sheets of wax paper or plastic food film and roll it out to a 1/8-inch thickness. Repeat with remaining disk of dough.
  6. Freeze the rolled-out dough for at least 30 minutes.
  7. With a rack positioned in the center of your oven, preheat the oven to 350º F.
  8. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone baking mats.
  9. Working with half the dough at a time, use a 2-inch biscuit cutter or cookie cutter to cut as many crackers as you can save the scraps of dough to be rerolled later.
  10. Place the cut cracker dough about an inch apart on one of the prepared baking sheets.
  11. Bake 10 to 12 minutes, rotating the baking sheet at the halfway point. Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes. Transfer the baked crackers to a wire rack and cool to room temperature.
  12. Repeat with remaining dough, using cooled baking sheet.
  13. Combine the scraps of dough, shape into a disk, roll and freeze for about 15 minutes. Cut and bake as above.

Choclatique on FacebookChoclatique on TwitterChocolate Doctor


The ChocolateDoctor’s Almost, But Not Quite A Baby Ruth® Candy Bar

Friday, September 6th, 2013
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

It was in the late ‘60’s. Jim Jordon and I hopped on to a United Airlines plane—first class no less—and headed off to Chicago. Jim was a famous commercial director and I was the house art director at Cascade Pictures. We were going to meet with the president of the Curtiss Candy Company about designing and producing their first television commercial for Baby Ruth Candy. I had my sketches and story boards all packed up and Jim had his smile and wit. The meeting went well and we were hired. When we left, we were both given a gift box of Curtiss Candy products (Baby Ruth, Oh Henry, Butterfingers). I was never bashful about eating candy bars of any kind (still not), and a Baby Ruth was no exception. I loved the flavor combination of real chocolate, nougat and peanuts. The following recipe is a very good imitation of a great American tradition—Baby Ruth.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Ready In: 30 minutes
Yield: About 18 bars

Ingredients:
1 cup peanut butter (I like Skippy)
1 cup light corn syrup (Karo)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
6 cups corn flakes cereal (or you can also use crispy puffed rice)
1 cup Choclatique Dark Chocolate Chips
1 cup salted Virginia peanuts
2 cups of Choclatique Heirloom Milk Chocolate Pastilles, melted

Directions:

  1. Butter a 9 x 13-inch baking dish.
  2. In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine the peanut butter, corn syrup, brown sugar and white sugar. Cook, stirring occasionally, until smooth. Remove from heat and quickly mix in the corn flakes, chocolate chips and peanuts until evenly coated.
  3. Press the entire mixture gently into the prepared baking dish. Allow to cool completely before cutting into bars.
  4. Melt the milk chocolate chips in a double boiler or in a microwave oven.
  5. Roll the bars into individual round logs and dip them into the melted milk chocolate to enrobe.
  6. Place them on waxed paper to let them set-up. Eat immediately or twist-wrap them in wax paper to savor later on.

The Baby Ruth Back Story: Do you know how the Baby Ruth got its name? Although the name of the candy bar sounds a lot like the name of the famous baseball player, Babe Ruth, the Curtiss Candy Company claimed it was named after President Grover Cleveland’s daughter, Ruth. The candy maker named the bar “Baby Ruth” in 1921, as Babe Ruth’s fame was on the rise, over 30 years after President Cleveland had left the White House. The company did not negotiate an endorsement deal with the Babe. Was the story true or was it a devious way to avoid having to pay the Babe any royalties? Or, was it actually named after the granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. George Williamson, the candy makers who actually developed and sold the original formula to Curtiss Candy in 1921?

Note: Baby Ruth is a registered trademark of NestleUSA.

Choclatique on FacebookChoclatique on TwitterChocolate Doctor