Posts Tagged ‘Chocolate’

The ChocolateDoctor’s The Supremes (Chocolate-Raspberry Bars)

Friday, August 1st, 2014
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

Raspberries combined with our chocolate is one of my favorite, all-time Choclatique flavor thrills. Marry this with a little cream cheese on a crispy, buttery base and you will wind up singing like The Supremes. Okay, that may be a little exaggeration, but you definitely will love the thin layer of tart raspberry jam and the powered sugar crust. The melted chocolate finish is the perfect topping. This is the perfect end-of-meal treat for all occasions—breakfast, lunch and dinner—well at least lunch and dinner.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Bake Time: 15 to 17 minutes
Cooling Time: 2 hours
Yield: 12 bars

Ingredients:
1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
2 tablespoons Choclatique Natura Unsweetened Cocoa Powder, sifted
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons whole milk
1 cup Choclatique Snowy White Chocolate Chips
2 ounces Choclatique Private Reserve (64%) Chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoon unsalted butter

Directions:
For the base:

    1. Preheat the oven to 375º F.
    2. In a large bowl, whisk to combine the sifted flour, cocoa powder and powered sugar.
    3. Cut in the butter with a fork and mix well. Press mixture into a 9 inch square baking pan.
    4. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes until lightly brown.

For the filling:

    1. Spread jam evenly over baked crust.
    2. In a small bowl beat the cream cheese and milk until smooth.
    3. Melt the white chocolate chips in a microwave and add to mixture. Beat together until smooth.
    4. Drop the cream cheese mixture by tablespoons evenly over the jam. Using metal off-set specula, evenly spread mixture over base.
    5. Refrigerate for at least two hours before glazing and serving.

For the Glaze Topping:

    1. Melt the dark chocolate with butter over low heat (or in a microwave oven), stirring constantly.
    2. Spread over the white chocolate-cream cheese bar layer.
    3. Cool completely. Cut into 12 bars and store in the refrigerator.

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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 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 Basic Chocolate Ganache

Friday, May 9th, 2014
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

I wrote a whole book (Choclatique—150 Simply Elegant Desserts) about cooking and baking with ganache. A ganache is basically a blending of chocolate and cream. The ratio of chocolate to cream can vary depending on whether it will be a coating, filling or truffle.

In this recipe I use an industry standard 1-to-1 ratio of chocolate to cream. This is perfect for a beautiful shinny glaze on a cake or pie. It is firm, but not hard. When chilled and firm it can be whipped an electric mixer and use as a filling for pastry or roll into truffles. Of course you can add flavors, extracts and liquors to your taste.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup Choclatique Private Reserve Dark Chocolate (64%) Pastilles
1/2 cup Choclatique Ebony Dark Chocolate (72%) Pastilles
1/2 to 1 cup heavy cream (depending on intended use)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon instant espresso granules
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon of other flavors, extracts and liquors of your choice (optional)

Directions:

  1. Place chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl.
  2. In a medium sauce pan heat the heavy cream, butter and espresso granules; bring to a simmer.
  3. Pour the hot cream mixture over the chocolate and whisk until the chocolate is melted, glossy and fluid. If desired whisk in additional heavy cream to reach the desired consistency.

ChefSecrets: To use the ganache as a candy coating or decorative outer shell on Petit Fours, reduce the amount of cream in recipe and keep ganache over simmering water or wrap the bowl in a heating pad. Add a little it more cream and whip with an electric mixer to get a frosting-like consistency great for decorating cakes and cupcakes (Do not refrigerate). To make old-fashioned rolled truffles scoop and hand roll room temperature ganache into a ball then roll in chopped nuts, confectioner’s sugar, decoratifs or Choclatique Unsweetened black Onyx Cocoa Powder.

Cake pops are really the popular rage at the moment and are in the forefront of chocolate fashion. They’re easy to make using leftover cake trimmings. Combine the trimmings with warm ganache—add a tablespoon at a time—mix until the cake and ganache are moist and fully combined. Add only as much ganache as needed to hold the mixture together. Roll mixture into balls and place on a waxed-paper lined sheet, insert a loll stick into the center of each ball (found at hobby stores). Place in freezer for about 2 hours and then dip in warm ganache to coat.

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California Chocolate-Marshmallow Pie: S’mores for Snobs

Friday, May 2nd, 2014
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

The first recorded version of a s’more was found in the publication Tramping and Trailing with the Girl Scouts in 1927. Although it is unknown when the name was shortened, recipes for Some Mores appeared in various Girl Scout publications until 1971. Using the same ingredients, we have come up with our own version of s’mores in the form of a pie. Starting with a store-bought pie crust and puffy marshmallows, you can have a campfire-style treat at the dining room table even if you’re not a Girl Scout. To tell you the truth, camping never tasted this good.

Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Bake Time: 10 Minutes + 10 Minutes
Cool Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Yield: 1 9-inch pie (serves 6)

Ingredients:
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup Choclatique Rouge Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
2 tablespoons Choclatique Black Onyx Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
3 large egg yolks
1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup Choclatique Private Reserve Dark Chocolate
1 (9 inch) graham cracker pie shell, baked (store bought)
20 large, puffy, store-bought marshmallows

Directions:

  1. Combine the sugar, flour and cocoa powders in a deep saucepan.
  2. Beat the egg yolks with milk. Slowly add the liquids to the sugar-cocoa powder mixture.
  3. Cook on medium heat, being care not to scorch the bottom stirring with a wooden spoon. Continue to cook until the mixture has thickened; about 10 minutes.
  4. Remove the mixture from heat and stir in the butter and chocolate until fully melted. It will look like a rich chocolate pudding.
  5. Top the filled pie with a single layer of marshmallows.
  6. Chill the prepared pie in refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
  7. Pour the warm filling into the baked pie crust.
  8. Preheat an oven to 325º F.
  9. Bake until the marshmallows are a toasty brown; about 10 minutes.
  10. Serve warm while the marshmallow topping is still warm and sticky.

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The ChocolateDoctor’s Chocolate & Worm Dirt Cups

Thursday, April 24th, 2014
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

Worms in dirt may not sound appetizing, but kids will love it. Start by making a delicious homemade pudding that you will chill and later decorate with crushed cookies and gummy worms. I even like to add a sour gummy worm or two. Not that you ever have a problem with getting kids to eat a chocolate dessert, the dirt and creepy-crawly treats will have them ask for more. It’s all about chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate. How can you go wrong?

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Cool Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 Hours 30 minutes
Yield: Serves 6-8

Ingredients:
3/4 cup Choclatique Rouge Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
6 tablespoons granulated white sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 1/2 tablespoons corn starch
3/4 cup heavy cream
3 cups chocolate milk
12 ounces Choclatique Heirloom Milk Chocolate Pastilles
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup crushed chocolate cookies
12 to 16 gummy worms

Directions:

  1. Thoroughly wash 6 to 8 new terra cotta garden pots and line with clear, clean plastic inserts (available at your local nursery).
  2. In a small bowl, mix the cocoa powder, sugar and salt and set aside.
  3. In a separate medium bowl combine the cornstarch and heavy cream.
  4. In a double boiler over simmering water, heat the chocolate milk until steaming.
  5. Remove from heat, pour half of the chocolate milk into the heavy cream mixture, while whisking.
  6. Add the cocoa mixture to the liquid and stir. Return the combined mixture to double boiler. Cook, stirring for approximately 5 minutes or until the pudding has thickened. I will leave tracks on the back of the spoon when you draw your finger across it.
  7. Remove from heat. Add the chocolate chips and vanilla extract, stirring until smooth.
  8. Divide evenly among the bowls and cover with plastic wrap pressed to the surface, to avoid a pudding skin from forming, chill for at least 2 hours or until you are ready to serve.
  9. When ready to serve apply an even layer of crushed chocolate cookies on top of the pudding.
  10. Top off with gummy worms for decoration.

ChefSecret: To give a more 3-dimensional look, stick a paper or plastic flower on the pot.

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Chocolate and Your Skin

Friday, January 10th, 2014
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

A couple of weeks ago I was getting my haircut at Umberto in Beverly Hills. This is an ultra-chi-chi hair salon that is always in the forefront of “everything beautiful.” (Side note: I’m hardly beautiful and have very little hair left. I just go there because they make what I have look like so much more.) I digress! As I was getting ready to leave, everyone was going over to the make-up area because they had just received a shipment of coconut oil cosmetics. So I figured if you can do something that great for your skin with coconut derivatives, you should be able to do something with cacao, right?

I was particularly interested in cocoa butter as that is the closest to coconut oil. Cocoa butter is not a decadent chocolate spread you slather on a warm croissant, although the young ladies on the beaches in Santa Monica used to liberally apply it as a suntan lotion before we knew about such things as sun block.

Cocoa butter is from the cacao bean which is found inside the cocoa pod that grows on the cacao tree (pronounced ca-cow). The cocoa pod (pictured here with yours truly) is a large gourd-shaped fruit filled with cocoa beans. The beans are dried, roasted and when pressed, the cocoa butter or fat from the beans is released. Cocoa butter has many possible uses, one of which offers positive benefits to your skin. (Another side note: you do not get pimples from eating or applying chocolate to any part of your body.)

Cocoa butter is packed with antioxidants, which help fight off free radicals. Free radicals cause skin stress which can accelerate signs of skin aging (wrinkling and lines). Cocoa butter is widely known as a stretch mark eraser and is one of those secret mommy tips shared by pregnant woman around the world. Many women claimed that regular use of cocoa butter kept their stretch marks away. Many claim the cocoa butter also helps heal scars. Cocoa butter is high in fatty acids and hydrates the skin deeply and has reportedly helped skin irritations such as eczema and dermatitis.

Cocoa butter is easy to find and inexpensive. While not offered on our website you can place a call or send an email and we can provide you with some from our secret stash.

Like chocolate, cocoa butter melts at body temperature (98.6º or so). Its texture is hard at lower temperatures and difficult to work with. When warmed it immediately starts to melt. This is why it is a perfect additive to products like lip balm. It helps keep it thick, but melts and deeply moisturizes upon contact with your lips.

We asked the ladies in the Chocolate Studio to take a shot at making an all-purpose body butter using both cocoa butter and coconut oils. It only takes about 30 minutes to make. Here are their fantastic results.

Ingredients:
1 cup cocoa butter
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup sweet almond oil

Wow, this sounds good enough to eat. It is so simple to make.

Directions:

  1. Using a double boiler, melt the cocoa butter and oils until fully liquid.
  2. In a large bowl, blend together the melted mixture and set in the freezer to harden for about 20 minutes.
  3. When the mixture is solid again, but not too hard, whip it using an electric mixer or a food processor fitted with a whisk attachment; whisk until you have fluffy white peaks (it should look like whipped cream).
  4. Spoon it into a clean fancy jar. It will keep for months. Now just slather it on! The richness of this mixture makes it a great night-time moisturizer.

ChefSecret: Depending on where you live and what the climate is you may want to experiment with the ratio of cocoa butter and coconut oil to suit your texture preference.

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Happy New Year!

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

Welcome 2014! Let me begin by wishing you all a very HAPPY NEW YEAR! Thanks to all of our loyal friends and co-workers who made 2013 a great year for Choclatique.

So many of our customers continue to come back to support us by giving Choclatique Chocolate to their friends and families and spreading the good word to many new customers who had never previously heard of Choclatique.

Our best selling assortments this season were Caramels, Nut and Nougats, one of our original collections, and Chic Cupcakes, one of our latest collections. We keep getting asked if these are really cupcakes. They are so beautifully designed and decorated that when you see a picture of them it’s hard to believe that they are truffles. Our website Build-A-Box feature sets us apart from the rest and is always popular… you can shop online and choose from over 150 flavors to build an 8-, 15- or 30-piece box.

Dave, our logistics manager, did a great job keeping all the orders straight, making sure all of those special messages were correctly written and most importantly, put in the right box before they were finally packed up to go. Dave also monitors the weather to make sure if a package is scheduled to go to a warmer climate it is properly insulated and protected with cold packs.

All of our heart-of-the-house co-workers in the Chocolate Studio did a terrific job this season and all year ‘round. Our chocolate continues to win awards and is on the WSJ Top Ten list. Sebastian has taken over the management of the Chocolate Studio and scurries from 8am until 5pm daily making sure that every single order is logged, correctly pulled and sent out promptly at 5PM nightly on the UPS truck. Special thanks to Chef Jonathan, Sebastian and his team of artisans and decorators—Mary Jo, Victor, Hugo, Karen, and Lydia—you make our chocolate so magically beautiful.

All of us realize that we’re not just selling chocolate, but memories. What would Aunt Betty think if she didn’t get her favorite box of chocolate for Christmas? Arriving a day late just wouldn’t do. It was a bit challenging this year with all of the snow storms in the mid-west and on the east coast, but UPS did all they could to deliver on time.

As we enter 2014 we also celebrate Choclatique’s tenth anniversary. To all of you who have been reading and commenting on this blog—thanks for making 2013 a great year for Choclatique. It’s been quite a ride.

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The ChocolateDoctor’s Frozen Chocolate Eggnog

Friday, December 13th, 2013
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

I really love this time of year in California where many people go to the beach on Christmas day. Yes, Christmas weather in Los Angeles can be in the 80’s. Eat you heart out Minneapolis!

This is beverage sort of like an eggnog Frappuccino—Eggnogaccino. It is made in a blender with my Basic Eggnog recipe  or even with the store-bought stuff you find around the holidays. It can be made with or without alcohol. It’s indulgent, great tasting, quick to make and loaded with chocolate flavor.

Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Yield: Makes one 16 ounce serving

Ingredients:
1 cup prepared eggnog (store-bought)
1 cup of ice
5 tablespoons Choclatique Dark Chocolate Drinking Mix
2 tablespoons chocolate liqueur, crème de cacao or light rum
2 ounces whipped cream, the aerosol can will do
1 teaspoon Choclatique Dark Chocolate Curls

Directions:

  1. Using a blender combine the prepared eggnog, ice, Dark Chocolate Drinking Mix and chocolate liqueur.
  2. Blend until smooth.
  3. Top of the frozen eggnog with whipped cream and garnish with chocolate curls over top.
  4. Serve immediately.

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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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