Archive for July, 2014

The ChocolateDoctor’s Old Fashioned Chocolate Cookies

Friday, July 18th, 2014
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

I love to share vintage family cookie recipes. These Old Fashioned Chocolate Cookies are circa 1960s. Baking cookies is a wonderful holiday tradition, and there are but few yummier treats you must have on your Christmas (or year-round) cookies plate of every year—this is one of them. They are crisp, delicious and not too sweet—just an old-fashioned cookie perfect for the holiday baking season. Need something to give; think chocolate cookies for homemade holiday gifts. Let the baking begin!

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Chill Time: 2 hours
Bake Time: 8 to 12 minutes per sheet pan
Yield: 3 dozen

Ingredients:
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup dark corn syrup
2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 tsp. salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups flour
1/2 cup Choclatique Natura Unsweetened Cocoa Powder or Choclatique Rouge Cocoa Powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, cream together the shortening and sugar.
  2. Add the corn syrup, eggs, salt and vanilla extract and mix well.
  3. In a separate bowl, sift together the cardamom, cinnamon, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and baking powder.
  4. Gradually add to the creamed mixture and beat well.
  5. Scrape down the dough and divide into two portions. Wrap with food film and chill for at least 2 hours.
  6. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  7. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut with your favorite cookie cutters.
  8. Bake on greased cookie sheets for 8 to 12 minutes, depending on size of cutouts.
  9. Cool completely.
  10. Dust with confectioner’s sugar.

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The ChocolateDoctor’s Chocolate Polish Cheesecake

Friday, July 11th, 2014
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

Cheesecakes (Sernik, pronounced SEHRR-neek) are a national dish of Poland and are revered in every Eastern European cuisine. The cheese typically used is dry-curd, cottage cheese, not cream cheese as in the United States. This results in a different finished texture but is still delicious in its own right. I like to add the magic of chocolate to make this cheesecake even yummier. This cheesecake is a bit tart, but still creamy enough to be called a great Polish cheesecake.

Prep Time: 1 hour plus
Chill Time: 8 to 12 hours, plus 1 hour rising after rolling out dough
Bake Time: 30 to 40 minutes
Yield: Serves 8 to 10

Ingredients:
For the dough:

1 packet dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
2 tablespoons warm water (about 108º F)
1/3 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cups cake flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup Choclatique Natura Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg, plus 1 egg yolk
1/2 cup whole milk (lukewarm), divided

For the filling:
1 large (32-oz.) carton small curd cottage cheese
6 large egg yolks
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sour cream
2 teaspoon orange liqueur or pure orange extract
1 teaspoon minced orange peel
4 tablespoon Choclatique Natura Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup dried cherries (soak in 1/2 cup boiling water for 10 minutes and then drain well)
2 tablespoons Semi-Sweet Chocolate Mini Chips
1/3 cup Choclatique Private Reserve Pastilles

Directions:
For the crust:

  1. Combine the yeast and the sugar with warm water and set aside to activate the yeast. The yeast mixture should be a frothy, bubbly brown after 10 minutes.
  2. Using an electric mixer cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the flours, cocoa powder and salt and mix. The mixture will be pebbly, like for pie crust.
  4. In a separate bowl, beat the egg with 1/4 cup of the milk.
  5. Add to the flour mixture along with the yeast. Slowly add the rest of the milk and mix well.
  6. Turn out the dough and knead by hand.
  7. Cover the dough in the bowl and refrigerate overnight.

For the filling:

  1. Using a food processor combine the cottage cheese, egg yolks, sugar, salt, sour cream, lemon juice, orange peel, cocoa powder and vanilla extract and mix until smooth. Make sure to smooth out the curds in the cottage cheese.
  2. Stir in the plumped cherries and chocolate chips.

To assemble:

  1. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface and form into a rectangle.
  2. Place in the bottom and up along the sides of a 9 x 13 pan.
  3. Slowly melt the chocolate in a glass bowl in a microwave oven for 30 seconds at 50% power in 30 seconds burst, stirring between each burst.
  4. Brush the chocolate in a thin layer over the top of the crust.
  5. Spread the cheese filling over the crust and let the dough rise for 1 hour.
  6. Bake in a preheated 350° F oven for 30 to 40 minutes, until just set.

ChefSecret: You can also substitute ricotta cheese for the cottage cheese, but then it would have to be called an Italian Cheesecake.

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The ChocolateDoctor’s Home-Made Chocolate Almond Toffee (Almond Roca-Style Candy)

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

Harry Brown and J. C. Haley invented Almond Roca in 1912. It is that famous log-shaped, butter-almond toffee confection, individually wrapped in gold foil and packaged in a pink tin can. There is nothing better than receiving one the original tins for a holiday unless it’s a batch of homemade almond toffee made in your own kitchen. Giving the gifts that you make yourself are gifts from the heart.

You won’t need any special equipment when making homemade almond toffee—not even a candy thermometer. You will need to stir the toffee constantly and watch the color as you bring it to a medium mahogany color.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Cool Time: 4 to 6 hours
Yield: about 2 pounds

Ingredients:
2 cups unsalted butter (for this recipe I used Plugrá butter)
2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
1 cup whole roasted almonds, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon of pure almond extract
1 1/2 cup Choclatique Private Reserve Dark Chocolate Pastilles, or
Choclatique Heirloom Milk Chocolate Pastilles
1/2 cup almonds, ground for almonds for coating the logs
Nonstick cooking spray

Directions:

  1. Spray a 13 x 9 x 2-inches jelly roll pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a large heavy-bottomed 2-quart (or larger) saucepan, combine the butter sugar and water over high heat, stirring constantly, until they combine completely.
  3. Continue cooking over high heat while stirring. (if using a thermometer 300º F)
  4. Add coarsely chopped almonds until just mixed.
  5. Add the vanilla and almond extracts by pouring down the side of the pan to prevent the toffee from crystallizing.
  6. Quickly and carefully pour the hot toffee and almond mixture onto the prepared jelly roll pan. Tilt to spread evenly. Use a pot holder as the pan can get very hot.
  7. After 5 minutes, distribute the chocolate pastilles over the toffee mixture. When they have begun to melt, spread them over the top of the hot toffee with a silicone spatula.
  8. Sprinkle the ground nuts evenly over the top.
  9. Cool the toffee for at least 4 hours, and up to 8 hours, at room temperature until hardened completely. The almond toffee is thoroughly cool when the chocolate is slightly dull looking.
  10. Break into pieces and the almond toffee is ready to eat.

ChefSecret: I recommend using Plugrá Butter for the taste. It’s made with a higher butterfat content than most American butters (82% vs. 80%). That may not sound like much, but it makes a big difference in the final taste of the toffee.

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