From Rome with Love

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.

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The ChocolateDoctor’s Chipotle-Chocolate Crackers

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.

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

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.

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The ChocolateDoctor’s White Chocolate Chip Lemon Brownies

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

Our customers love our Snowy White Chocolate! In fact, more customers purchase our 10-pound blocks of white chocolate than blocks of Dark or Milk Chocolate which is counter to most consumer trends. No kidding, there are days when we send out hundreds of pounds of Snowy White Chocolate. We wanted to find out why, so we inserted a questionnaire in every box of Snowy White that we shipped to see what recipes customers were making. I thought it would be fun to share some of the best of the best recipes that were sent.

If you love yummy, tart lemon bars then this recipe is one you’re going to want to make immediately. It is more or less a traditional lemon bar with the addition of Choclatique Snowy White Chocolate and White Chocolate Chips. Please use fresh lemon juice and zest—it makes a big difference.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Bake Time: 25 to 27 minutes
Cool Time: 30 minutes
Yield: 12 bars

Ingredients:
For the brownie:

2 tablespoons lemon zest, freshly grated
3 tablespoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened (plus a little more for the pan)
1/3 cup Choclatique Snowy White Chocolate, melted
2 large eggs
1/4 cup Choclatique White Chocolate Chips

For the tart lemon glaze:
1 rounded cup powdered sugar
8 teaspoons lemon zest
4 tablespoon lemon juice

Directions:

    1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
    2. Butter and flour an 8 x 8-inch baking pan, shaking out the excess flour and set aside.
    3. Zest and juice the two lemons and set aside.
    4. In the bowl of an electric mixture fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the flour, sugar, salt and softened butter until combined.
    5. Add the melted white chocolate and continue to mix.
    6. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, lemon zest, and lemon juice until combined.
    7. Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and beat for 2 minutes at medium speed until smooth and creamy.
    8. Fold in the white chocolate chips.
    9. Pour into baking dish and bake for 25-27 minutes, you should start to see the edges turn a light golden brown. Do not overbake, or the bars will be too dry.
    10. Allow to cool completely before glazing.
    11. Sift the powdered sugar and whisk with lemon zest and juice.
    12. Spread half the glaze over the brownies with a rubber spatula and let the glaze set for about 10 minutes.
    13. Spread the other half of the glaze over the bars, and let it set (it will not harden like most lemon glaze bars).
    14. Cut into bars and serve.

ChefSecret: Lightly coat the chocolate chips with a dusting of all-purpose flour before folding in to the batter. This will prevent the chocolate chips for settling to the bottom of the bar while baking.

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The ChocolateDoctor’s Chocolate Batter Fresh Fruit Cobbler

August 23rd, 2013
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

Batter cobblers are a lazy baker’s rustic country pie. Well, maybe that’s an over-generalization. However you classify them, they are the perfect dessert for a summer dinner or afternoon picnic. They’re easy to make. They transport easily and don’t require any refrigeration. All this being said, they are as delicious as any American pie and you don’t have to worry about nicking the ends of the crust and damaging that picture-perfect look. In fact, you won’t find a simpler, more delicious homemade dessert than a fruit cobbler. I added a Choclatique touch to the batter with a little cocoa powder. Go ahead and splurge and top it with a little freshly-whipped Cinnamon Chantilly or a scoop of ice cream.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Bake Time: 40 to 50 minutes
Cooling Time: 30 minutes
Ready In: 1 hour 20 minutes
Yield: Serves 4

Ingredients:
5 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup Choclatique Nutra Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
2 cups of sliced fresh Freestone peaches
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
1 tablespoon crystalline sugar

Directions:

  1. Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position, and heat oven to 350º F.
  2. Put butter in an 8-inch square or 9-inch round pan (cast iron works best); set in oven to melt. When butter has melted, remove pan from oven.
  3. Whisk the flour, cocoa powder, 3/4 cup of sugar, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. Add the milk; whisk to form a smooth batter.
  4. Pour batter into pan, and then scatter fruit over evenly over the batter. Sprinkle the lemon juice and zest over the fruit. Sprinkle with crystalline sugar.
  5. Do not mix. As the cobbler bakes the batter will rise up over the fruit creating a flaky, crisp pastry.
  6. Bake until batter browns and fruit bubbles, 40 to 50 minutes. Serve warm (not hot) or at room temperature with a dollop of whipped cream, a small scoop of ice cream, or my Cinnamon Chantilly (see recipe below), if desired.

ChefSecret: If you don’t have fresh peaches you can use nectarines, or whole blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, pitted cherries or a combination of fruits. You can also use a 12-ounce package of frozen berries.

Cinnamon Chantilly

Ingredients:
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients and whisk to stiff peaks.

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The ChocolateDoctor’s Tracking Down the Source of Chocolate: Equatorial Guinea

August 9th, 2013
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

I have had four careers in the last 45 years….a producer for ABC-TV covering the war in Vietnam, an art director and director in the film industry, a restaurateur with over 350 establishments and the co-founder of Choclatique. I’ve shot great action films and been shot at. I have directed famous and popular movie stars and have been credited with producing one of the top ten worst movies in history. I’ve opened restaurants that have been spectacular successes and one which was a spectacular failure. The most fun I have had has been the development of the brand and the fantastic products we make at Choclatique.

Last month I spent several weeks in Equatorial Guinea which, up until the mid twentieth century, was a large exporter of cocoa beans. I was in search of discovering great chocolate on the Dark Continent (If you prepare the recipe for Sofitel’s Cold, Welcoming Chocolate Beverage you will see and taste exactly what I mean about great chocolate). The Spanish brought a cocoa culture to Spanish Guinea, now known as Equatorial Guinea, West Africa in the late 1700’s.

Equatorial Guinea is on the west coast of equatorial Africa, bordered by Cameroon to the north and Gabon to the south and east. Malabo, the capital, is exactly 3 degrees north of the equator (I proved this out with my trusty iPhone compass and GPS system). It has the perfect climate and just the right amount of rainfall to grow great cacao, the fruit from which chocolate is made. A tiny country, it is slightly smaller than the state of Maryland. This includes the mainland (Río Muni), as well as three coastal islets (Corisco, Elobey Grande, and Elobey Chico) and two islands (Bioko and Annobóon). The larger of these is Bioko, formerly known as Fernando Po which is 25 miles off the coast of Cameroon. Mangrove swamps lie along the coast of the island. Río Muni is mainly tropical rain forest and is home to a variety of animals, including gorillas, snakes, chimpanzees, monkeys, leopards, elephants, and crocodiles.

Bioko was most important because of its cocoa plantations and proved to be one of Spain’s most profitable territories in Africa. When the Spanish Civil War ended in 1939, the Spanish began to invest more in the development of Equatorial Guinea. The country experienced increasing prosperity with the aid of the Spanish government and the Catholic Church. Industry grew, and cocoa and timber contributed to a strong economy.

Independence was declared in 1968. With the departure of Spain the country was left in dire straits. Many of the plantations were deserted and reclaimed by the rain forest. Today the country is rebuilding and establishing a great degree of political and economic stability. With the discovery of oil and other valuable natural resources their efforts are noticeable. On Bioko, the majority of the population lives in the City of Malabo, which is Equatorial Guinea’s capital. The city is clean, and its older architecture exhibits Spanish influence while the new buildings resemble the skyline of a major American city. There are new roads being built and construction cranes throughout the city showcase the efforts of Turkish and Chinese contractors.

The main foods are cassava root, bananas, rice, papaya, mango and yams. People also hunt and fish for protein. Palm wine and malamba (an alcoholic drink made from sugarcane) are both mild and popular.

Before independence, Equatorial Guinea’s primary source of income was from Spanish-grown cocoa production. With their departure, production fell significantly leaving plantations to be reclaimed by the jungle. Over the last couple of weeks I hiked into the jungle to find these old plantations and see for myself what remained of these vast growing areas. I was pleasantly surprised to see many old heirloom plants had survived the neglect and lack of attended cultivation. The cacao I found is most likely Forastero or Criollo (only testing will tell for sure). I estimate that the trees are probably about 200 years old and may very will be derived from the ancient cacao plants that would have been found in ancient Aztec civilizations and shipped to the colony.

Like superb wine and premium olive oils, fine chocolates all carry a signature flavor. Their distinctive flavors start with the original ingredient… the cacao bean. Wine grapes vary by varietal, region of origin, harvesting methods and weather. So, too, do cacao beans with the additional complications caused by the remoteness of the growing area and the fermenting and drying environment. Sophisticated connoisseurs of chocolate claim they can identify the country of origin, cacao tree type and processing methods; and can detect whether a chocolate comprises beans from a single estate (“terroir”) or blends. I’m pretty good at tasting, but not that good.

Before the mapping of the cacao genus a couple of years ago it was thought that there were only three varieties of heirloom cacao: the Criollo, the Trinitario and the Forastero. This is now being rethought as testing is proving that there may be more varieties than originally thought. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) now has the technology to help identify and map the various plants around the world.

Grown mainly in Central America, the Criollo represents only 1% of world’s fine chocolate production. Some exceptionally rare Criollo is harvested only by dugout canoe deep in the Amazon rainforest. Its cacao is fine and sweet, with complex flavor notes. The Forastero, grown largely in West Africa and South America, comprises about 80 percent of world’s fine chocolate production and has a strong, bold taste. The Trinitario is a flavorful bean and contains qualities of both trees and is grown throughout the world, producing about five percent of world fine chocolate output.

The most exciting part of the venture which eclipsed most everything else was the national energy to make a better life for all of the people who live there. It is more than just the construction of new buildings and roads and the discovery of oil which pays for much of it. It is the people who were most giving and hospitable. With all that is going on in the world today it was great to be welcomed as an American and treated so well by everyone I met and worked with. I am looking forward to returning back later in the year.

Choclatique creates chocolate for connoisseurs and for people who just love great chocolate. Our award-winning truffles and bars demonstrate our attention to artistic presentation and flavor perfection. Every day, our chocolatiers craft each piece using the finest ingredients. We use our premium blends of dark, milk and white chocolate made from premium cacao beans from around the world. And we continually search for rare and emerging cacao plantations from which we can source. We use only the finest ingredients: fresh cream and butter; and the finest liqueurs, nuts, fruits and spices. The secret to our success is allowing the natural chocolate flavors to dominate our truffles. We don’t use artificial flavors or preservatives.

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The ChocolateDoctor’s Mocha Panna Cotta

July 31st, 2013
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

This is an easy-to make Italian custard found in the fanciest of Italian restaurants. It is usually made without the coffee and cocoa powder, but I decided to take it up a notch and give it a tiramisu-like flavor. It is a perfect spring and summer time dessert that will go with any Italian-themed dinner (or for any other cuisine for that matter… well maybe not so well with Chinese food or Sushi). I like to top this with warm crème anglaise or chocolate sauce and/or fresh, sweet berries. Kept covered with plastic wrap it will keep for 3 days in the refrigerator.

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Cooling Time: 4 hours (longer is better)
Ready In: 4 hours 15 minutes
Yield: 6 Servings

Ingredients:
1/3 cup whole milk
1 (.25 ounce) envelope unflavored gelatin (Knox)
2 teaspoons instant coffee crystals
2 tablespoons Choclatique Natura Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
2 1/2 cups heavy cream
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Pour the milk into a small bowl and stir in the gelatin. Set aside.
  2. In a medium size saucepan, stir together the heavy cream, instant coffee, cocoa powder and sugar. Set over medium heat bringing to a full boil. Watch carefully, as cream when heated will quickly rise to the top of the pan and may overflow.
  3. Pour the gelatin and milk into the cream, stirring until completely dissolved. Cook for one minute longer, stirring constantly.
  4. Remove from the heat, stir in the vanilla and pour into six individual ramekin dishes.
  5. Cool the ramekins uncovered at room temperature. This will prevent moisture from forming on the top of the pudding.
  6. When cool, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.

ChefSecret: I like to take make a fresh seasonal berry sauce—raspberry, blackberry or boysenberry—to take advantage of the spring flavors of fresh fruit. Just blend a tablespoon of sugar with fresh berries and lightly crush. Let them marinate in the refrigerator for about an hour before serving. You can also enrich the berries further with a tablespoon of orange-flavored liqueur. Spoon on the fresh berry sauce right before serving.

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Sofitel’s Cold, Welcoming Chocolate Beverage

July 26th, 2013
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

One of the greatest hotel welcoming amenities I found anywhere in the world is the chilled chocolate beverage each guest receives when they arrive at the Sofitel Malabo Sipopo Le Golf in Equatorial Guinea. (GQ is in Western Africa and has a most colorful history and a very bright future.) The chocolate shot is cold and refreshing and while it is made from chocolate and whole milk it takes the humidity out of your body and puts the bounce back in your step after a long, 35 hour plane trip.

They don’t offer the drink anywhere else in the hotel, which I think is a big mistake, but the beautiful ladies at the front desk will take pity on you and give you another shot if you ask. The drink is like the thick hot chocolate you find in so many places in Barcelona, but it is well-chilled instead of served hot.

In case you not aware, Equatorial Guinea was a Spanish colony exploited for its chocolate. When the Spanish left the country, giving it long-earned independence, the cacao industry fell into disrepair. Unlike some of their neighbors in Western Africa who have replanted their crops with a GMO cacao plant (CCN51), Amelonado Forastero appears to be the original planting from long ago. This makes a far superior chocolate than their neighbors in the region can produce. In my two weeks here I have collected enough information for a chapter of my next chocolate book, but until then, let me share the secret of the Sofitel Chocolate Drink.

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Ready In: 25 hours
Yield: 4 2/3 cups

Ingredients:
3 cups whole milk
1 cup cold water
3 1/2 oz. of Choclatique Private Reserve Chocolate (64%), shaved
1/2 cup Choclatique Unsweetened Rouge Cocoa Powder
1/4 cup granulated sugar

Directions:

  1. Combine the milk, water, shaved chocolate, cocoa powder and sugar in a medium sized sauce pan and bring to a boil.
  2. Stir with a whisk to avoid scorching and help break up the cocoa powder
  3. Simmer for 2 minutes longer being careful not to burn.
  4. Pass the mixture through a fine China cap or strainer.
  5. Refrigerate for 24 hours before serving.
  6. Place the mixture in the freezer for at least an hour before serving.
  7. Pour into a frozen 2-ounce shot glass or espresso cup.

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The ChocolateDoctor’s Bacon Hot Fudge Sauce

July 19th, 2013
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

I love chocolate. That goes without saying. I also love bacon… my preference is Benton Bacon from the Smoky Mountain Country of Tennessee. So we thought, what would happen if you mixed them both together to make a beautiful ice cream sauce? The result was pure heaven. This tasty treat combines two of the best foods on the planet into one delicious delicacy. I promise it will turn into your friends’ legendary stories of your culinary prowess making the best dessert ever.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cool Time: 10 minutes
Ready In: 20 minutes
Yield: 1 1/2 cups

Ingredients:
6 ounces Choclatique Private Reserve Chocolate (64%)
2/3 cup evaporated milk
1/8 cup of granulated sugar
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1/3 cup crisp, cooked Benton (if you can find it) bacon chopped up into small bits

Directions:

  1. Combine the chocolate, milk, sugar and maple syrup in a medium saucepan and heat over low. Stir constantly until chocolate melts—do not bring to a boil.
  2. When the chocolate is melted and the sauce is smooth, add 1/4 of the bacon and stir.
  3. Remove from heat and allow to set until it is cool enough to eat.
  4. Pour over ice cream and sprinkle the top with bacon pieces.

ChefSecret: Benton’s Smoky Mountain Country Bacon is slow cured using salt, brown and white sugar. This time-honored practice dates back to the era of their forefathers, when the preparation and preservation of meat was a way of life and sustenance. Although the hands of time and technology have sculpted many aspects of our modern world, at Benton’s Smoky Mountain Country Hams they have upheld the traditional dry-curing process and are striving to produce world class country hams and bacon. Hickory smoking is performed in a small, wood stove smokehouse behind the business, imparting a distinct smoked flavor that many prefer.

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The Chocolate Doctor’s Black & White Brownies

July 5th, 2013
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

Black & White Brownies are either a cheese cake-brownie or a brownie-cheesecake. It is rich, chocolaty and absolutely delicious. It is not difficult to make, but very easy to eat. An unknown chef (so many inventive chefs never get credit for their work) at Chicago’s Palmer House Hotel created this dessert after Bertha Palmer requested a dessert for her lady friends. They had all planned on attending the fair. It should be, she said, smaller than a piece of cake, though still retaining cake-like characteristics and easily eaten from boxed lunches. These first brownies featured an apricot glaze with walnuts, and they are still being made at the hotel according to the original brownie recipe. Brownies went on to be rated third in the top 10 snacks just a few years after they were invented.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Bake Time: 35 to 40 minutes
Ready In: 50 minutes
Yield: 12 Brownies

Ingredients:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup Choclatique Rouge Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup coffee flavored liqueur
1 pound cream cheese, softened
1 large egg
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup vodka

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325º F.
  2. Butter and flour a 9 x 9-inch baking pan tapping out the excess flour.
  3. In a medium bowl, cream together 1 1/4 cups of sugar and 4 tablespoons of butter. Add 2 eggs and mix well.
  4. Stir in 1/2 cup of the coffee liqueur.
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk together 1 cup of flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Stir into the butter mixture until well blended. Evenly spread half of this mixture into the prepared baking pan.
  6. In another bowl, stir together the 1/4 cup of flour and 1/4 cup of sugar. Add the softened cream cheese and mix well.
  7. Stir in 1 egg, 2 tablespoons butter, and the vodka. Mix until smooth. Spread this evenly over the chocolate layer mixture.
  8. Pour the remaining chocolate mixture over the top of the cream cheese mixture spreading with an off-set spatula. You can make a fancy pattern of stripes or swirls with a fork or knife.
  9. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes in the preheated oven.
  10. When brownies are cool, brush with the remaining 1/4 cup of coffee liqueur.

ChefSecret: If you don’t have any vodka on hand you can substitute with 7-Up or another lemon-line soda.

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