Archive for June, 2014

The ChocolateDoctor’s Chocolate-Peanut Butter Fudge

Friday, June 27th, 2014
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

I love a good piece of fudge any time. It is a good thing to snack on when you need an energy boost. We thought about making Choclatique fudge, but decided it is so easy to make at home that we would just share one of our secret recipes with you. We’ve made it easy. There are just 5 ingredients, most of which you already have in your home pantry.

This fudge is seriously good. Best of all, it works every time. It is great to give as a hostess/host gift. Consider this a base recipe and feel free to mix things up a bit. You can change the chocolate and add different mix-ins or toppings to create a variety of flavors and textures. Last week we even swirled in 1/4 cup of Concord grape jelly. So, be creative; we leave it up to you.

Ingredients:
1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
16 oz. confectioner’s sugar (about 3 ½ cups)
1 1/2 cups Choclatique Heirloom Milk Chocolate Pastilles

Directions:

  1. Prepare an 8 x 8 baking dish lined with food film, parchment or wax paper and set aside.
  2. In a small saucepan, melt the butter and peanut butter. Remove from the heat and add the vanilla extract and confectioner’s sugar. Stir with a wooden spoon until just incorporated.
  3. Transfer the base mixture to a medium size bowl and whip it using an electric mixer for about 2 minutes.
  4. Transfer the base mixture into the prepared baking dish. Press it down with a spatula and smooth until level.
  5. Microwave the milk chocolate in a small bowl for 1 minute. Stir until melted, smooth and shiny (heat for an additional 30 seconds if needed). Pour melted chocolate over the fudge, and use a spatula to gently spread it.
  6. Let the fudge cool at room temperature for 4-5 hours before cutting into 1-inch pieces.

ChefSecrets: If you want a less sweet tasting fudge substitute Choclatique Private Reserve Dark Chocolate Pastilles for the milk chocolate pastilles for the topping. Cooling the fudge at room temperature for 4 to 5 hours will reduce the amount of crystallization that you can get with poorly prepared fudge. You can quickly set the fudge in the refrigerator for 30-60 minutes, but expect that it may crystallize and taste a bit gritty. You will see condensation if you try to serve it at room temperature after refrigerating. So, just try to allow enough time to cool it properly.

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The ChocolateDoctor’s Salted Butter Chocolate Sauce

Thursday, June 19th, 2014
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

The two natural flavor enhancers I love to include in Choclatique Chocolate are coffee and salt. Coffee provides richness and adds to the depth of flavor while salt provides contrast against the sweetness of the chocolate. Now here is a great homemade dessert sauce that is ready in a flash!

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Yield: Makes 2 cups

Ingredients:
1 cup whole milk
1 tablespoon cold coffee
6 tablespoons (3 ounces) salted butter, cut into cubes
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
10 ounces Choclatique Private Reserve Chocolate, Chopped
1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon sea salt

Directions:

  1. Heat the milk, coffee, butter and brown sugar in a saucepan until it begins to steam—do not let it bubble.
  2. Remove from heat and add all the chocolate, vanilla extract and salt, whisking gently until the chocolate is melted and the sauce is smooth.
  3. Serve the warm sauce over ice cream, or frozen yogurt. Or, drizzle a little onto your favorite cake. You can even add a little bit to a cup of plain refrigerated yogurt.
  4. If you have some sauce left, cool it to room temperature and store it in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 weeks.
  5. To re-warm, put the sauce jar in a microwave for about 30 seconds on half power or place the jar in a pan of hot water.

ChefSecret: Make it a Mexican chocolate by adding a teaspoon of ground cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract.

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The ChocolateDoctor’s Venice Beach Pier Chocolate Saltwater Taffy

Friday, June 13th, 2014
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

When Venice of America opened on July 4, 1905, Abbott Kinney had already dug several miles of canals to drain the marshes for his planned residential community. He built a 1,200-foot long pleasure pier with an auditorium, ship-style restaurant, dance hall, hot salt-water plunge and 3 blocks of arcaded businesses all in Venetian-style architecture.

Thousands of tourists arrived on the “Red Cars” of the Pacific Electric Railway from Los Angeles and Santa Monica, then rode the Venice miniature railroad and canal gondolas to tour the town. But the biggest attractions were Venice’s gently sloping beaches and the saltwater taffy emporium. This was the Roaring ‘20’s and for the amusement of the public, Kinney hired aviators to do aerial stunts over the beach and boat races in the Pacific surf. Venice was becoming famous for its canals, beaches and circus-like oceanfront walk; a pedestrian-only promenade that featured street performers, fortune-tellers, artists and vendors.

My uncle opened Herb’s Doughnut Factory & Coffee. It was known for the state-of-the-art conveyor fryer that plopped the raw batter into the hot oil and transported each steamy, yummy doughnut past the counter guests under a curved glass canopy as they enjoyed their 5¢ cup of coffee. Who could resist the temptation of one of these plump morning treats at only 3¢. As afternoon turned to evening, doughnuts and coffee sales declined and my uncle added saltwater taffy chews to his offerings. Here one could get a twenty-piece bag of authentic Venice Beach Pier Saltwater Taffy for only 7¢. This little spot became as famous as the saltwater taffy shops on the Atlantic City’s Boardwalk in New Jersey.

You’ll never sink your teeth into a piece of candy quite like old fashioned salt water taffy. Each bite will leave you wanting more with its unique, soft, non-sticky texture and its irresistible flavor. Here is the original recipe that made Herb’s Doughnut Factory & Coffee (and taffy emporium) a major attraction at The Venice of America.

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Cool Time: 30 to 45 minutes
Ready In: 2 hours
Yield: Makes 120 pieces

Ingredients:
Cooking spray or oil
1/2 cup evaporated milk
2 tablespoons cold coffee
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup Choclatique Rouge Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
3 cups light corn syrup
1/2 vanilla bean, split
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
Wax twisting papers

Directions:

  1. Generously grease a baking sheet.
  2. In a 4-quart saucepan, combine the milk, coffee, sugar, cocoa powder and corn syrup.
  3. Scrape the vanilla seeds into the pan. Add the pod. Begin to bring to a boil over high heat, uncovered, then insert candy thermometer.
  4. Reduce heat to medium; cook, stirring frequently to avoid scorching, until mixture reaches 246º F (this is known as the firm ball stage), 10 to 15 minutes.
  5. Remove pan from heat and pour on baking sheet.
  6. Remove vanilla bean pod with tongs. Sprinkle the salt evenly over the surface of the taffy. Cool until warm to the touch, 30 to 45 minutes.
  7. Turn the cooled taffy onto a large oiled cutting board. Stretch the taffy out with both hands, fold it over on itself and stretch again. Repeat this continuously until the taffy has turned opaque and white, about 15 minutes. This step is called pulling taffy.
  8. Generously grease the blades of a kitchen scissors and your hands. Pull the taffy into 4 equal pieces. Roll the first into an 24-inch robe. Snip off 1-1/2-inch pieces; immediately roll them in wax paper, so they hold their shape. Repeat with remaining taffy.
  9. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.

ChefSecret: Be very careful when working with hot sugar confections as they can cause terrible burns. Saltwater Taffy and hard candies will not set properly on a humid or moist day.

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The ChocolateDoctor’s Salted Chocolate Batter Cookies

Friday, June 6th, 2014
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

If you love things that are salty and sweet then you’ll certainly love the combination I’ve concocted with a simple cookie that uses sea salt to compliment the flavor of the chocolate. I think you will be delighted to see how well the luscious chocolate icing pairs with coarse sea salt.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Baking Time: 9 to 10 minutes
Cooling Time: 15 minutes
Ready in: 40 minutes
Yield: 12 cookies

Ingredients:
1 large egg yolk
1 batch Brownie Batter Frosting (recipe below), divided in half
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup Choclatique Ebony Dark Chocolate Pastilles
2 teaspoons coarse *sea salt

For the Brownie Batter Frosting:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup Choclatique Rouge Unsweetened Cocoa Powder, sifted
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon coarse *sea salt

Directions:
For the Frosting:

  1. Using a stand mixer, whip the butter and sugar until smooth, about 2 minutes.
  2. Add cocoa powder, flour, vanilla and salt, and whip until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
  3. Divide in half and set aside

For the Cookies:

  1. Preheat an oven to 350º F.
  2. In a stand mixer, combine the egg yolk and 1/2 of the Brownie Batter Frosting and whip until well incorporated. Add baking soda and flour, and continue mixing until smooth, about 2 minutes longer.
  3. Scoop tablespoon-sized balls of cookie batter onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 9–10 minutes. Do not overbake or cookies will be hard.
  4. Remove from oven and cool on a cooling rack. When cool, frost each cookie with a small dollop of the remaining Brownie Batter Frosting.
  5. Heat dark chocolate pastilles in the microwave in 30-second intervals until melted and smooth. Carefully spoon about 2 teaspoons of chocolate over each frosted cookie to cover the frosting, then sprinkle with a few crystals of coarse sea salt.

ChefSecret: Until recently salt was just salt and considered a basic commodity. Today chefs and home meal providers have learned to appreciate and distinguish between the distinctive qualities of the many varieties of gourmet sea salts and the ways these salts enhance the flavors and finish of foods. For this recipe I used Chardonnay Oak-Smoked French Sea Salt from SaltWorks to enhance the flavor. They have a wide variety of specialty sea salts that you may be interested to try for this and other recipes.

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