Archive for October, 2013

The ChocolateDoctor’s Chocolate Bread Pudding with Bourbon Pecan Sauce

Thursday, October 24th, 2013
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

Bread pudding is a bread-based dessert popular in many countries’ cuisines. In other languages, its name is a translation of “bread pudding” or even just “pudding,” for example “pudín” or “budín” in Spanish.

There is no fixed recipe, but it is usually made using stale or left-over bread, and some combination of ingredients like milk, eggs, sugar or syrup to make custard, along with dried fruit and spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, mace or vanilla. As you might expect, I prefer to add lots of Choclatique chocolate. The bread is soaked in the custard, mixed with the other ingredients and then baked.

It may be served with a sweet sauce of some sort, such as chocolate, whiskey, rum or caramel sauces, but is typically sprinkled with sugar and eaten warm in squares or slices. In Canada it is often made with maple syrup. In Malaysia, bread pudding is eaten with custard sauce. In Hong Kong, it is typically served with vanilla cream or ice cream.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Bake Time: 45 minutes
Ready In: 60 minutes
Yield: 12 servings

Ingredients:
For the Sauce:

1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup light corn syrup (Karo)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream
1 cup chopped toasted pecans
2 tablespoons bourbon

For the Pudding:
2 cups whole milk
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 cup granulated sugar
8 ounce Choclatique Private Reserve Dark Chocolate
8 large eggs
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 pound egg bread, sliced into 1 inch pieces

Directions:
To Make the Sauce:

  1. In a heavy large saucepan stir 1 1/4 cups sugar and water over medium heat until sugar dissolves.
  2. Mix in the corn syrup and lemon juice. Increase the heat and boil without stirring until syrup turns deep amber brushing down sides of the pan with wet pastry brush and swirling the pan occasionally.
  3. Remove from the heat and pour in 1 1/4 cups cream (Be Careful—The Mixture Will Bubble Up).
  4. Stir over low heat until the caramel is melted and smooth.
  5. Increase the heat and boil until the sauce is reduced to about 1 2/3 cups, stirring often, about 4 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat; mix in pecans and bourbon; set aside.

To Make the Pudding:

  1. Preheat oven to 350º F.
  2. Combine the milk, 2 cups of cream and 1 cup of sugar in a medium saucepan over medium high heat, stir until the sugar dissolves and the mixture comes to boil. Remove from heat, add the chocolate; stir until smooth. Let the mixture cool for about 5 minutes.
  3. In large bowl beat the eggs with the vanilla extract to blend. Gradually whisk in cooled chocolate mixture.
  4. Add the bread cubes and let them stand until bread absorbs some of the custard, stirring occasionally, about 60 minutes. Transfer mixture to a 13 x 9 x 2-inch glass baking dish. Cover with foil.
  5. Bake until set in center, about 45 minutes.
  6. Remove the foil to lightly brown the top; no more than 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.
  7. Serve pudding warm or at room temperature with warm sauce.

ChefSecret: For the bread I like to use stale challah (Jewish egg bread), brioche (French egg bread) or even King’s Hawaiian Bread with the crusts removed. In a pinch you can use stale French bread also remembering to remove the crust. Using stale bread give the pudding a little more texture and bite.

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A Bitter Bar To Swallow

Friday, October 18th, 2013
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

Here’s a bit of bitter, not better, news for chocolate enthusiasts. Due to higher world-wide demand for chocolate and bad weather in the cacao growing regions, the price of chocolate is expected to rise, especially for premium chocolate.

Rising demand in Asia along with bad weather for major cocoa crops in Ivory Coast, Ghana and Indonesia are driving costs up significantly. The price of cocoa butter, which is used to make chocolate, is at an all time high—up 80% in just the last 7 months.

The cost of making the average milk chocolate bar is up 25% in the past year; however retail prices have only risen by 7%, because the big chocolate makers want to avoid pricing consumers out of their cravings.

If you like higher-quality dark chocolate, you’ll probably see prices going up much more. If left to our politicians, who want to control everything, they might propose creating a Department of Chocolate and a chocolate welfare program to manage the “global chocolate crisis.”

If you want a unilateral solution, however, you might wait until Nov. 1 and then stuff your freezer full of Trick or Treat leftovers to tide you through the end of the year. After all, as I write this, we don’t even have a functioning government. Better yet, indulge early and often with the good stuff—Choclatique.

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The ChocolateDoctor’s Chocolate Cake Doughnuts

Friday, October 11th, 2013
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

Everyone loves doughnuts because there are so many wonderful flavors from which to choose. There are the warm raised, glazed doughnuts—the flavor that made Krispy Kreme famous—frosted vanilla, cherry, strawberry, maple and even flavors with sprinkles and decoratifs. You can buy a cruller, a cinnamon twist or even an apple fritter that is made with leftover scraps and pieces layered with canned apple pie filling. And then there’s iced chocolate cake doughnuts.

There is a famous doughnut shop nearby Los Angeles International Airport. This iconic landmark is located in the heart of Inglewood and has been featured in countless films, music videos, and even inspired the landscape of Springfield, where Homer Simpson and the gang call home. If you get there just as the doughnuts are just coming out of the fryer, they have a wonderful texture providing a great, crunch in every bite. That’s when these magic circles of fried dough are at their peak of perfection. I think you’ll find with my doughnut recipe you will get that special fresh-out-of-the-oil CRUNCH every time.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Rest Time: 15 minutes (the dough, not you)
Fry Time: 3 minutes
Ready In: 30 minutes
Yield: 12 Doughnuts and 12 Doughnut Holes

Ingredients:
1 3/4 cups + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup Choclatique Rouge Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
2/3 cup granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
3 tablespoons melted butter
1/3 cup Choclatique Semi-Sweet Chocolate Mini Chips
1/2 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
1 large egg, beaten
1 quart oil for frying
3 tablespoons of confectioner’s sugar
1 tablespoon Choclatique Rouge Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, sift together 1-3/4 cups flour, cocoa powder, sugar, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom.
  2. Cut in the butter and the mini chocolate chips until crumbly.
  3. Stir in the milk, extracts and egg until smooth.
  4. Lightly knead the dough in the bowl and then turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll to 1/4-inch thickness.
  5. Cut with a doughnut cutter, or use two round biscuit cutters of different sizes. Cover the dough with a damp kitchen towel for 15 minutes to allow the dough to rest.
  6. Heat the oil in deep-fryer or large pot to 375º F. Use a frying thermometer to make sure the temperature is correct.
  7. Carefully drop doughnuts and doughnut holes into hot oil, a few at a time. Flip them over after about 30 seconds to make sure they round on both sides.
  8. Fry for about 3 minutes, turning once more until both sides are golden brown.
    Do not overcrowd pan or oil may overflow causing a fire hazard.
  9. Drain on the fried doughnuts on paper towels.
  10. Combine confectioner’s sugar and cocoa powder together and then dust doughnuts with the mixture or frost with your favorite chocolate glaze.

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Cherry-Chocolate Fondue

Friday, October 4th, 2013
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

We’ve all done it—dunked a piece of fruit, cake square or cookie into hot fudge or chocolate sauce—and loved it. The Swiss originally called Fondue Käss mit Wein zu kochen, but that’s a little long-winded for a national dish. Actually, the original fondue dishes were popularized with cheese being the key ingredient. Fondue’s origins stem from an area that covers Switzerland, France (Rhone Alps) and Italy (Piedmont and Aosta valley), but today fondue can be found throughout Europe.

After World War II, “fondue” has been generalized to other dishes in which a food is dipped into a communal pot of hot liquid. One such dish is chocolate fondue, in which pieces of fruit or cake are dipped into a melted chocolate mixture. You’ll find in this simple recipe the brandy gives it the fondue sparkle; the coffee gives depth and the cinnamon gives it definition. If you drop a piece of fruit or cake into the fondue pot you must kiss everyone of the opposite sex.

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minute
Ready In: 15 minutes
Serves: 6 people

Ingredients:
4 tablespoon heavy cream
1 cup Choclatique Heirloom Milk Chocolate Pastilles
1 cup Choclatique Dark Chocolate Chips
2 tablespoons cherry brandy
1 tablespoon strong brewed coffee
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Heat the cream in a fondue pot over a low flame (or in a saucepan over low heat).
  2. Add the 2 types of chocolate chips, brandy, coffee and cinnamon.
  3. Heat until melted, stirring occasionally. Serve at once.

ChefSecret: This is the perfect fondue for dipping fresh fruit—apples, pears or pineapple during the fall and winter holiday season and stone fruit (peaches, apricots or nectarines), honeydew, cantaloupe during the spring and summer months.

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