Archive for November, 2013

The ChocolateDoctor’s Chocolate Angel Food Cake

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

Angel Food Cake is made with a large quantity of egg whites (usually the whites from about 11 to 13 eggs) without any shortening or leavening. Angel Food cake is thought to be a takeoff of a sponge cake or a Pennsylvania Dutch wedding cake. Indications are with the abundance of cake molds found in southeastern Pennsylvania, the angel food cake originated there in the early 1800s.

That said, some suspect the origins of Angel Food cake are very mysterious, all the more so since they seem to derive from the mysterious East. The theory is that a family who lived along the Atlantic Coast moved to a quiet place along the Hudson River and opened a boarding house. A friend presented one of the ladies of the family, who was remarkably skilled as a cake-baker, a recipe that had come to her from a friend in India. Sometime later, cake-baker of the family opened a bakery specializing in cakes, including the mysterious one from the East.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Bake Time: 60 minutes
Cooling Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 1/2 hours
Yield: Serves 8 to 10

Ingredients:
2 cups egg whites
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 1/4 cups cake flour
1/4 cup Choclatique Natura Unsweetened Cocoa Powder, sifted
1 1/4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325º F.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the confectioners’ sugar, cake flour and cocoa. Sift together 3 times, and set aside.
  3. In a clean large bowl, whip the egg whites, salt and cream of tartar with an electric mixer on high speed until very stiff. Fold in white sugar 2 tablespoons at a time while continuing to mix. Fold in flour mixture, a little at a time, until fully incorporated. Stir in vanilla. Pour into a 10 inch tube pan.
  4. Run a knife or spatula around the perimeter of the pan and through the batter one time to reduce any air pockets formed when filling the pan.
  5. Bake for about 1 hour, or until cake springs back when lightly touched.
  6. Remove from the tube pan and let cool completely.
  7. To serve, paint a plate with a little chocolate sauce and drizzle a little chocolate sauce over the top.

ChefSecret: Cream of tartar or potassium bitartrate (also known as potassium hydrogen tartrate) crystallizes in wine casks during the fermentation of grape juice, and can precipitate out of wine in bottles. The crystals (wine diamonds) will often form on the underside of a cork in wine-filled bottles that have been stored at temperatures below 10 °C (50 °F), and will seldom, if ever, dissolve naturally into the wine. In its ground powder form it is the perfect stabilizer for egg whites and whipped cream.

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Stressed

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

It’s nearly the end of the year… just a few short weeks from Christmas and you haven’t even started shopping. You just got a cancellation notice on your health insurance and your expected year-end commission has been cut in half. Are you feeling stressed?

Stress is a normal part of life, but we also need to find ways to relieve it. Two squares of dark chocolate—Choclatique Elephant or Q-91 Chocolate—could be just the prescription the doctor ordered to change your attitude by lowering your stress hormone levels.

Why do I we get so wound up when feeling stressed? Going back to our caveman instincts, stress releases powerful neurochemicals and hormones in our brains that prepare us for action to either fight or flee. If we don’t take action, the stress response can create health problems. Prolonged, uninterrupted, unexpected, and unmanageable stress is very damaging to our bodies and minds.

As recently reported in the online issue of the Journal of Proteome Research, a group of Swiss researchers tracked volunteers that were highly stressed. In this study, strong evidence indicated that daily consumption of only 1.4 ounces of dark chocolate—low in sugar—during a period of two weeks was sufficient to modify the metabolism of the healthy human volunteers. The chocolate also appeared to help correct other imbalances in the body that are related to stress.

Now you may ask, won’t chocolate make people fat? That’s certainly possible, but scientists at the Nestle Research Center in Lausanne, Switzerland, point out other positive benefits… dark chocolate contains antioxidants, which are beneficial to health overall and other substances in chocolate appear to reduce the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and high levels of cholesterol along with other medical conditions.

So take this as free advice from the doctor—The ChocolateDoctor… take two chocolate squares and call me in the morning. Here’s wishing you sweet dreams and stress-free chocolate wishes for the holidays!

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The ChocolateDoctor’s Old Fashioned Chocolate Ginger Cookies With White Cream Fondant Icing

Friday, November 15th, 2013
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

Ginger cookies are such a delight around the holidays and these chocolate-ginger cookies are no exception! Home-baked ginger cookies were the rage in the 1950s and are making a comeback right now. The richness of the chocolate and the vibrancy of the exotic spices are extraordinary. If you’ve never had a chocolate and ginger cookie combination, it will quickly become one of your favorites. In fact, people who don’t even like ginger love these soft, cakey cookies. The white cream fondant icing is the perfect topping for these cookies. Call me the Ginger Bread Man!

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Chill Time: 1 hour
Baking Time: 9 to 10 minutes
Cooling Time: 10 minutes
Ready in: 1 hour 30 minutes
Yield: About 12 Cookies

Ingredients:
1/4 unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup black strap molasses
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup hot tap water
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup Choclatique Natura Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

For the Cream Fondant Icing:
3/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon whipping cream

Directions:
For the Cookies:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400º F.
  2. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper or very lightly grease the baking sheet.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the softened butter, sugar, egg, and molasses.
  4. Dissolve the baking soda in the hot water and add to the mixture.
  5. Add the flour, cocoa powder, salt, ginger, nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon and mix well.
  6. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap to chill the dough for at least one hour to let it rest.
  7. Drop 1/4 cup mounds of the chilled dough on the prepared baking sheet—spaced well apart to allow for spreading.
  8. Bake 7 to 8 minutes until they are set; when lightly touched with a finger almost no imprint remains. While they are still slightly warm, frost with Cream Fondant Icing.

For the Cream Fondant Icing:
Mix all the ingredients together and whip it until it is well blended.

ChefSecret: Remember, real butter makes the best cookies.

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The ChocolateDoctor’s Chocolate Dutch Baby Pancake

Friday, November 8th, 2013
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

My first introduction to Dutch Baby pancakes was the cover of Sunset Magazine years ago. It was the pretty cover shot that caught my attention. Within a week it was on the brunch menu at my Palm Grill Restaurant in Burlingame, California. It looked as good coming out of the kitchen as it did on the Sunset cover. The problem was the time it took to bake and the amount of oven space that was available. We got so many orders that it became a bottleneck in the kitchen. So now it is reserved for special guests at home. Dutch Baby Pancakes are not only for breakfast or brunch but are great for dessert as well, especially with the addition of Choclatique Chocolate.

Chocolate Dutch Baby Pancakes combine the light, eggyness of a popover with the tenderness of a crêpe. There is a secret to making it perfect every time. It is the combination of the light, thin batter and a piping hot skillet. When these two forces are in motion you get a giant, puffy pastry that begs to climb out of the pan. To be served immediately.

Prep Time: 15 min
Bake Time: 25 min
Yield: 1 pancake / 4 servings

Ingredients:
3/4 cup whole milk, room temperature
3 large eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup Choclatique Rouge Unsweetened Cocoa Powder, sifted
1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons powdered sugar, for dusting
Strawberries, Blackberries, Boysenberries or Choclatique Semi-Sweet Chocolate Mini Chips for serving, optional

Directions:

  1. Preheat an oven to 425º F for about 20 minutes before you are going to bake. It has to be a very hot oven.
  2. In a blender, combine the milk, eggs, flour, cocoa powder, salt, cinnamon, vanilla extract, almond extract and granulated sugar. Blend until well combined, about 1 minute.
  3. In a large cast-iron skillet or a non stick sauté pan, (I used a medium size paella pan), melt the butter in the oven until it just about to brown.
  4. Working quickly, pour the batter into the very hot skillet and immediately transfer back to the oven.
  5. Bake until puffed and set, about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from oven and dust with powdered sugar. Serve immediately with berries and or chocolate chips if desired.

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