Posts Tagged ‘Desserts’

The ChocolateDoctor’s White Chocolate-Pumpkin Cheesecake

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2016
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Choclatique—150 Simply 150 Elegant Desserts, Running Press, 2011

It’s time to be thankful and celebrate America’s favorite food holiday. We’re combining America’s favorite cheesecake-based dessert with America’s favorite holiday pie and white chocolate. There are a lot of ingredients to keep track of (well worth the effort), but the good news is it’s super-easy to do. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkling of toasted, cinnamon pumpkin seeds. Happy Thanksgiving!

Prep time: 30 minutes
Bake time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Cool down time: 1 hour
Chill time: 2 to 3 hours
Refrigerate time: at least 5 hours, preferably overnight

Ingredients:
For the crust:

2 cups gingersnap cookie crumbs
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 egg yolk
Non-stick cooking spray

For the cheesecake filling:
4 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 (15 ounce) cans pure pumpkin puree
1/4 cup Choclatique Snowy White Chocolate, melted
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon American bourbon whiskey
1/4 cup corn starch
1/4 cup sour cream
4 large eggs
2 large egg yolks

For the sour cream topping:
1 pint sour cream, room temperature
2 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract

Directions:
For the crust:

  1. Move a rack to the center position in oven. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. Spray a 10-inch springform pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  3. Stir the gingersnap crumbs, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 3 tablespoons flour, and melted butter together in a bowl until mixture resembles sand. Stir 1 egg yolk into crumbs until thoroughly combined until the crust mixture holds its shape when pressed.
  4. Evenly spread the crumbs into pan and press the crust mixture into a firm crust going about 1 inch or more up the sides of the pan.
  5. Bake the crust for 10 minutes and cool on a rack.
  6. Place the pan on a heavy sheet of aluminum foil and bring the foil up the sides of the pan to the rim, crumpling it close to the pan and making a barrier to prevent water from leaking into the cheesecake.
  7. Place the foil-wrapped springform pan into a large roasting pan.
  8. Place the cream cheese, 1 cup brown sugar, and granulated sugar into the work bowl of a large stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment (do not use a whisk attachment); mix on low speed until smooth, about 3 minute. Raise speed to high and mix until light and silky, about 3 or 4 more minutes.
  9. Place the pumpkin puree in a separate large mixing bowl; stir in the melted white chocolate, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, salt, vanilla extract, and bourbon whiskey until combined.
  10. Whisk 1/4 cup of cornstarch into pumpkin mixture, followed by the sour cream, eggs and egg yolks.
  11. Whisk the cream cheese mixture into the pumpkin mixture until the filling is completely smooth and free of lumps.
  12. Pour the filling into the crust; use a spatula to lightly and rapidly jiggle the filling in the center of the cheesecake to smooth off the top and shake out any bubbles.
  13. Carefully place the filled springform pan in the roasting pan on the center rack of the oven and fill the roasting pan with enough very hot (almost boiling) water to reach halfway up the side of springform pan.
  14. Bake the cheesecake until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the filling reads 160°F; about 1 hour and 45 minutes. Check the temperature after 1-1/2 hours. The filling will still be slightly jiggly in the center.
  15. Open the oven door for a few seconds to let out most of the hot air. Use a thin knife to separate cheesecake edge from inside of pan to help prevent cracking.
  16. Pour the sour cream topping over the cheese cake and bake for another 8 minutes.
  17. Turn off the heat and leave the oven door a jar (about 1 inch) to release additional heat. Let the cheesecake cool down in the warm oven for 1 hour to finish setting.
  18. Carefully remove the cheesecake from the water bath and let it cool to room temperature on a rack for 2 to 3 hours.
  19. Cover the cheesecake with aluminum foil and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, at least 5 hours but preferably overnight.

For the Sour Cream topping:

  1. Whisk together sour cream, granulated sugar, vanilla and almond extracts.

ChefSecret: Most spice companies make a reasonable pumpkin pie spice. You can substitute the cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and allspice with 2 to 2-1/2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice.

Use a folded paper towel to remove any moisture that has formed on top of the cheesecake before releasing and carefully lifting the springform pan from the cheesecake.

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The ChocolateDoctor’s Catalan Chocolate Cake

Thursday, October 13th, 2016
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Choclatique—150 Simply 150 Elegant Desserts, Running Press, 2011

In the 12th century, Catalonia was brought under the same royal rule as the neighboring kingdom of Aragon, going on to become a major medieval sea power. Catalonia has been part of Spain since its genesis in the 15th century, when King Ferdinand of Aragon and Queen Isabella of Castile married and united their realms.

Barcelona was the cultural hub of the Catalan people. Barcelona today is a food lover’s paradise. It’s not all about tapas, fresh-cured olives and wonderful hanging Spanish hams. The city is a mecca for sampling some of the best xocolata (chocolate) in the world. There is nothing better than fresh-lady fingers dipped in a cup of steamy, thick Barcelona-style hot chocolate first thing in the morning.

You can find chocolate of all sorts of chocolate products at Las Ramblas the busy tourist area where it’s hard to resist the cakes and pastries at some of the greatest bakeries in the world. Barcelona is filled with chocolate, with chocolate specialty shops galore and bakeries. There is even a chocolate museum. Museu de la Xocolata is a must see private museum in Barcelona owned by the Gremi de Pastisseria de Barcelona.

Prep time: 15 minutes
Bake time: 20 to 30 minutes
Yield: Serves 6-8

Ingredients:
3/4 cup unsalted butter (I use Plugra European-style butter, but you don’t have to)
5-1/2 ounces Choclatique Private Reserve Dark Chocolate, rough chopped
3 large eggs
3/4 cup granulate sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup black cherry preserves, for serving
Crème fraîche, for serving (see recipe below)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. Lightly butter and dust with cocoa powder a 9-inch round cake pan.
  3. In a large microwave-safe bowl combine the butter and chocolate. Melt the mixture for about 2 minutes in 15 to 30 second increments, stirring frequently, until smooth.
  4. Set aside and let cool slightly.
  5. In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, cream the eggs with the sugar at high speed until thick and pale, about 4 minutes.
  6. Add the flour and salt and mix at low speed until just until combined.
  7. Using a rubber spatula fold in one-third of the melted chocolate, then gently fold in the remaining chocolate. Do Not Over Mix.
  8. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 20 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  9. Invert the cake onto a rack and let cool.
  10. In a saucepan, warm the cherry preserves over moderate heat.
  11. Cut the cake into wedges and serve with the cherry preserves topped crème fraiche or whipped cream.

ChefSecret: When flouring your cake pan use cocoa powder instead of white flour to prevent white streaks at the edges of the cake. For the Black Cherry Preserves I like to use Casa Giulia Amarene. There are also a few wonderful Italian brandied black cheery preserves. Can’t find these, any black cherry preserve will work, just not as well.

Want to make your own Crème fraîche? It’s easy.

Crème Fraîche

Ingredients:
1 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons buttermilk

Directions:

  1. Combine 1 cup of whipping cream and 2 tablespoons of buttermilk in a glass container.
  2. Cover and let it stand at room temperature (about 70°F) for 8 to 24 hours or until very thick.
  3. Stir well before covering; refrigerate for up to 7 days.

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The ChocolateDoctor’s Fair-Stoppin’, Blue Ribbon Basic Cobbler

Thursday, September 8th, 2016
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Choclatique—150 Simply 150 Elegant Desserts, Running Press, 2011

Stone fruit in California started out really strong and is not at the tail end of the season. I hate to throw any food away, especially stone fruit and berries that are starting to get peaked. What do I do? I toss the fruit in a cobbler.

This was my friend Stu’s grandmother’s cobbler recipe from the 1940′s. It is the best only made better with some Choclatique White Chocolate Chips. She entered her cobbler in the California State Fair in Sacramento. Nana Barlet’s cobbler won First Place and Blue Ribbon Best In Show. Not too bad for a first-time entry.

Prep time: 15 minutes
Bake time: 45 minutes
Ready to eat in: 2 hours

Ingredients:
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup melted butter, unsalted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups fresh berries, stone fruit chunks or apples
1/2 cup Choclatique White Chocolate Chips
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup water

Directions:

  1. Preheat an oven to 350°F.
  2. Grease a 9 x 9-inch baking dish (I used an 8 x 13 baking dish).
  3. Whisk 1/2 cup of the sugar together with the flour and baking powder in a mixing bowl. Stir in the milk butter and vanilla extract until a batter forms.
  4. Scrape into the prepared baking dish. Add the fruit, chocolate chips and sprinkle with 1/2 cup sugar. Pour in the water.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven until the batter has risen and the top is brown, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Cool before serving.
  6. Serve with a scoop of ice cream.

ChefSecret: Trust me, just pour the batter over the fruit – it works. This recipe doesn’t work well with all strawberries.

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The ChocolateDoctor’s Molten Lava Chocolate Cake

Friday, July 29th, 2016
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Choclatique—150 Simply 150 Elegant Desserts, Running Press, 2011

You can thank the French for this culinary inspiration. People in the know, know this typically continental dessert was first made by 1Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, who is known for the reinvention of the French flourless chocolate cake which has become one of America’s most popular desserts.

Molten Lava Chocolate Cakes are small, rich, moist desserts that contains a warm flowing, intensely chocolate-flavored surprise center when cut chocolate seeps from within. This dessert can be made two ways—my book recipe prescribes a chocolate ganache ball drop into the middle of the batter or under baking the cake as noted in this recipe. Either way, it’s chocolate—so, what could be better?

This recipe is a restaurant operation’s ideal a la minute hot, made–to-order dessert. It is also as easy to make at home for those special/romantic (and not so special) dinners. The batter can be made well ahead, then cooked on demand just before serving.

A well-stock larder will have these basic ingredients on hand—Choclatique Chocolate, eggs, butter, granulated and confectioner’s sugar, and a small amount of flour.

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Chilling Time: 30 minutes
Bake Time: 10 minutes
Cooling Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:
Unsalted butter as needed to grease ramekins
2 large eggs
2 egg large yolks
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
3-1/2 ounces Choclatique Private Reserve Dark Chocolate (64%), chopped
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 teaspoons Choclatique Natura Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 pinch table salt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar

Directions:

    1. Liberally butter the inside of 4 to 6 3-inch ramekins. Place them in a glass baking dish.
    2. Whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, and granulated sugar in a bowl until light, foamy, and lemon colored.
    3. Melt the chocolate and butter in a microwave-safe bowl in 30-second intervals at 50% power, stirring after each melting, 2 to 5 minutes. If it burns toss it away and start over. Let this mixture cool so you don’t cook the eggs.
    4. Stir warm the chocolate mixture into egg and sugar mixture until combined.
    5. Sift the cocoa powder into the mixture; stir to combine.
    6. Sift the flour and salt into the mixture; stir to combine into a batter.
    7. Stir vanilla extract into the batter.
    8. Fill a re-sealable plastic bag (or disposable pastry bag) with the batter; snip off one corner of the bag with scissors to create a tip.
    9. Making lazy circles divide the batter evenly between the prepared ramekins; tap gently on the counter to remove any air bubbles.
    10. Chill the ramekins in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes before baking.
    11. Preheat an oven to 425°F.
    12. Arrange the ramekins in a baking dish pouring enough hot tap water into the dish to reach halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
    13. Bake in the preheated oven for about 10-12 minutes. Set aside to cool for 15 minutes.
    14. Loosen the edges from the ramekin with a knife. Invert each cake onto a plate and dust with confectioner’s sugar. Serve while still warm.

Note: What happens if the cakes break apart on the plate? Simply top with confectioner’s sugar with authority and pretend that’s the way you meant it to be. 

ChefSecret: If you overbake the cakes you’ll have flourless chocolate cake instead of a wonderful oozing center. If under baked, the cake will not properly demold.

Another version, which is in my cookbook, Choclatique-150 Simply Elegant Desserts you can make a failure-proof liquid center by inserting a chocolate ganache ball in the center of a higher-flour content batter.

Don’t be two-dimensional—add a touch of cinnamon, honey, espresso, some almond extract or orange flavors to bring out the full potential of this dessert.


1I was interested to learn that Chef Jean-Georges is from Alsace, France. That is where my ancestral Celtic family is from. I have been there many times. Alsace is the beautiful northeastern French region on the Rhine River plain bordering Germany and Switzerland. Due to the spoils of war it has gone between German and French control over the centuries and reflects a mix of both cultures. Its capital, Strasbourg, is centered on the Ill River’s Grand Ïle Island, bordered by canals and home to the magnificent Gothic Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Strasbourg, with its animated astronomical clock. Alsace is known for some of the best food in all of France. Alsatian cuisine incorporates many Germanic culinary traditions and is marked by the use of pork (fantastic sausages) in various forms. The region is also known for its wine and beer. Some of the more traditional dishes include baeckeoffe, flammekueche, choucroute, and fleischnacka.

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The ChocolateDoctor’s Midnight Chocolate-Almond Cake

Thursday, July 21st, 2016
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Choclatique—150 Simply 150 Elegant Desserts, Running Press, 2011

Julia Child’s brought her famous Almond Cake to the taping of The Food Show one Saturday morning for our crew to enjoy. So thoughtful of her—we always loved having Miss Julia as a guest. It was a great cake, but something was missing. What could it be? Maybe a little chocolate? In this recipe I have enhanced Julia’s masterpiece with a little bit of own—Choclatique Chocolate—well, maybe a lot of Choclatique Chocolate.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Bake Time: 20-25 minutes
Total Time: 30-35 minutes
Yield: 1 (9-inch) cake

Ingredients:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted, cooled, plus more for greasing the pan
1/2 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
2 tablespoons Choclatique Rouge Unsweetened Cocoa Powder, sifted
2 large eggs
3/4 cup granulated sugar, plus 2 tablespoons
1 teaspoon pure almond extract
1/2 teaspoon instant coffee crystals
1/4 cup sliced almonds
2 tablespoons sanding sugar

Directions:

  1. Preheat an oven to 350°F.
  2. Butter and flour 9-inch pie plate or loose bottom tart pan.
  3. Whisk the eggs, granulated sugar, almond extract and salt in a large bowl until frothy and pale; about 2 minutes.
  4. Add 1/2 cup butter, 1/2 cup flour and cocoa powder and stir until incorporated.
  5. Pour into prepared pie plate or pan. Top with the almonds and sanding sugar.
  6. Bake the cake until top is golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 20-25 minutes. Be careful not to overbake.
  7. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the cake cool slightly before serving.

Store: This cake can be made one day ahead wrapped (un-iced) in food film and stored at room temperature. About an hour before serving, ice it up and let it set before cutting.

ChefSecret: Fancy it up. Yes, everything tastes better with chocolate. You can make the perfect icing as a topper for this perfect cake in either Dark or White Chocolate.

Ingredients:
For the chocolate icing:

4 ounces Choclatique Private Reserve Dark Chocolate, chopped (for a white chocolate icing use Choclatique Snowy White Chocolate)
4 tablespoons rum (for white chocolate icing substitute orange liquor, like Grand Marnier)
3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature, cubed

Directions:
To make the icing:

  1. Combine the chopped chocolate and liquor in a small bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir continuously as the chocolate melts and remove from heat as soon as it’s smooth.
  2. Add the butter a tablespoon at a time and use a whisk to beat it into the chocolate. Whisk until creamy and smooth.
  3. Let the icing cool to a drizzling consistency, stirring it every 5 minutes or so. It should take about 10-15 minutes.
  4. Drizzle the icing on top of the cooled cake and spread it to cover.

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The ChocolateDoctor’s Orange-Blueberry-Marble Chocolate Cheesecake Bars

Friday, July 15th, 2016
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Choclatique—150 Simply 150 Elegant Desserts, Running Press, 2011

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Bake Time: 45 minutes
Chill Time: 3 hours (or overnight)
Total Time: 4+ hours
Yield: 10 bars

Ingredients:
For the base:

Butter, for greasing the pan
2 tablespoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
9 graham crackers
1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup orange marmalade

For the filling:
16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
2 tablespoons of vanilla or vanilla flavored yogurt
2 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon orange zest
1/2 cup granulate sugar
1/2 cup dark chocolate ganache (or store-bought chocolate sauce)

For the dark chocolate ganache (makes about 2 pounds—reserve the rest for other uses):
1-1/4 cups water
2/3 cup light corn syrup
2 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1-1/4 pounds Choclatique Dark Chocolate, coarsely chopped

For the topping:
1-1/4 cups fresh blueberries
1-1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar, sifted for dusting


Directions:
For the base:

  1. Preheat oven to 325° F.
  2. Grease the bottom of a 9 by 9-inch baking pan with butter. Then place a layer of aluminum foil over the top, pressing down at the corners allowing enough foil to facilitate easy lifting of the finished bars. Lightly butter the foil as well.
  3. In a food processor, process the sugar, cinnamon and graham crackers until you have the texture of bread crumbs.
  4. Add the melted butter and pulse a couple of times to fully incorporate.
  5. Pour the crumbs into the lined baking pan and gently pat down with the base of a glass.
  6. Bake in the oven for 12 minutes until golden. When done, set aside to cool.
  7. Evenly spread the orange marmalade over the baked crust.

For the filling:

  1. Add cream cheese, eggs, orange zest, orange juice and sugar to the food processor and mix until well combined. It should have a smooth consistency.
  2. Divide the filling in half and add the warmed dark chocolate ganache to half, blending thoroughly.
  3. Pour the chocolate filling onto the cooled base and then add the blueberries that have been lightly dusted with flour to prevent the blueberries from bleeding.
  4. Top with the white base.
  5. Using the tines of a fork run it through the mixed fillings to create a marble effect.
  6. The blueberries will rise slightly so they may still be half exposed.
  7. Bake in the oven for 35 minutes or until the center only slightly jiggles.
  8. Remove from the oven and cool completely before refrigerating for at least 3 hours.
  9. Once set, remove from pan using the foil lining and slice into 10 rectangular bars. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.

For the ganache:

  1. In a large, heavy saucepan, bring the water, corn syrup, cocoa powder, and salt to a boil over medium-high heat. Whisk until blended. Remove the pan from the heat.
  2. Pour the heated mixture over the chocolate and whisk until smooth. Set aside for about 1 hour to cool completely, whisking every 15 minutes or so to keep the ganache emulsified.
  3. When cool, transfer the ganache to a rigid plastic or glass container, cover, date, and refrigerate for up to 3 months.

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The ChocolateDoctor’s Cinnamon-Cocoa-Grahams Chocolate Chippers

Thursday, June 30th, 2016
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Choclatique—150 Simply 150 Elegant Desserts, Running Press, 2011

Oh yum, CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES! Not just any chocolate chip cookie; my chippers are a bit different with the texture of the crushed graham cracker combined with pools of milky chocolate chips. Eat them while they are still warm for a delicious and gooey treat. No lie, I make these cookies for EVERY occasion I can. You don’t even need to have a reason to bake these. They deserve to be around all day every day. Day old cookies can still have that fresh baked flavor and texture by popping them in the microwave for about 10 seconds.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Bake Time: 7 to 8 minutes
Cool Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Yield: 16 cookies

Ingredients:
3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 large egg, room temperature
1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
3/4 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon Choclatique Natura Cocoa Powder, sifted
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup Choclatique Milk Chocolate Chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat an oven to 350°F.
  2. Spray a baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugars until creamy.
  4. Add the vanilla, almond extracts and egg and beat until well combined.
  5. In a medium bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cocoa powder and salt.
  6. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture until just combined.
  7. Hand-stir in the chocolate chips with a wooden spoon.
  8. Scoop tablespoon sizes dough balls and bake on a prepared pan for 7 minutes.
  9. Remove the cookies from the oven and place the pan on a cooling rack for five minutes. The cookies may appear to be under bakes, but wait—they will continue to bake while out of the oven and will set up nicely as they continue to cool.
  10. Eat them while they are still warm.

ChefSecret: For best result the longer you cream the butter and sugar together the better the texture—give it a full 5 minutes. Personally I love the flavor of milk chocolate chips in this recipe, but some of my co-workers in the test kitchen prefer the less sweet flavor of Choclatique Dark Chocolate Chips. Either way, these are still a favorite. If they’re not sweet enough for your tastes or you have a group of Girl Scouts coming over you can easily turn these into a sort of S‘mores cookie by adding 1/2 cup of miniature marshmallows.

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The ChocolateDoctor’s Mille-Feuille Aux Chocolat (French Chocolate Crepe Cake)

Friday, June 24th, 2016
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Choclatique—150 Simply 150 Elegant Desserts, Running Press, 2011

This cake was originally made at the Palm Grill in Burlingame, California and was one of my favorite recipes reserved for brunch only. It was a recipe I shared in my first cookbook, Stolen Secrets. I tried to squeeze it in to Choclatique, but it wound up on the cutting room floor.

If you are looking for dessert drama without all the drama of making what appears to be a professional pastry chef’s labor of love, then try this Mille-Feuille Aux Chocolat. It’s just cocoa crepes and chocolate cream cheese frosting. A little bit of patience is required to stack the crepes and frost the layers. You do need to let it chill for at least 6 hours before attempting to cut it, but the results are well worth the modest effort. Hint: Most of the flavor is in the frosting.

Prep Time: 40 to 50 minutes
Chilling Time: 8 hours (2 hours for crepes plus 6 hours for the completed cake)
Yield: One 8-inch cake (serves 60 to 8 people)

Ingredients:
For the cocoa crepes:

3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons cake flour
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons Choclatique Unsweetened Natura Cocoa Powder
2 teaspoons kosher salt
4 large eggs
5 large egg yolks
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
2-1/4 cups whole milk
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
Butter for the pan

For the filling:
1-1/3 cups confectioners’ sugar
4 cups cream cheese, room temperature
4 tablespoons Choclatique Unsweetened Natura Cocoa Powder, sifted
1/3 cup Choclatique Private Reserve Dark Chocolate, melted
1/3 cup orange liqueur (or 3 tablespoons of frozen orange juice concentrate)
1/4 cup orange marmalade
1 tablespoon cold strong coffee
1/4 cup Choclatique Chocolate Curls (for decorating)

Directions:
To make the crepe batter:

  1. In a fine-mesh sieve set over a medium bowl, sift together the cake flour, all-purpose flour sugar and cocoa powder. Whisk in the salt.
  2. In another medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and egg yolks. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and whisk until smooth and webby (it will be very thick).
  3. In a slow, steady stream, whisk in the butter, then the milk and the vanilla and almond extracts, until the batter is smooth (if there are any lumps, strain the batter through a fine-mesh sieve and into a medium bowl).
  4. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour (the batter can be made a day ahead and held refrigerated).
  5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  6. Set an 8-inch nonstick skillet or crepe pan over medium-high heat. Lightly brush a little butter on the pan for the flavor, browning and texture.
  7. Gently stir the crêpe batter, then pour 1/4 cup of batter into the skillet. Holding the skillet by the handle, tilt and turn the skillet to quickly disperse the batter; pour off any access batter back into the bowl.
  8. Cook the crepe until the underside pulling away from the sides, about 1-1/2 minutes. Lightly jerk the skillet to loosen the crepe, then flip the crepe over using a spatula, a more vigorous jerking motion or your fingers.
  9. Cook on the other side for about 30 seconds, then slide the crepe onto the parchment-paper-lined baking sheet.
  10. Repeat until all of the batter is used (you’ll end up with about 20 crepes total, and will need 18 for the cake). Refrigerate the crepes on the baking sheet until completely chilled, at least 2 hours or overnight.

To make the cream cheese filling:

  1. In a fine-mesh sieve set over the bowl of a stand mixer, sift the confectioners’ sugar and cocoa powder. Add the cream cheese, orange liquor, orange marmalde and the cold coffee. Using the paddle attachment of a stand mixer combine the mixture on low speed until well blended and smooth.
  2. Lightly butter the bottom of an 8-inch springform pan to make it easier to release.
  3. Remove the crepes from the refrigerator. Place 1 crepe in the bottom of an 8-inch springform pan so it lies flat. Add 1/4 cup of the filling to the center of the crepe and use a small offset spatula to evenly spread the filling over the crêpe. Repeat with the remaining filling and 17 more crêpes.
  4. Cover the springform pan with food film and chill the cake layers in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours or, better yet overnight.
  5. Refrigerate the leftover filling this will be your final frosting to finish the cake.
  6. Remove the cake from the refrigerator, undo the springform pan and set it on a cake plate or platter.
  7. Evenly spread the remaining filling on top and sides of the cake.
  8. Sprinkle chocolate curls over the top of the frosted cake.
  9. Slice and serve.

ChefSecret: Crepes are amazingly easy to make, but if you’re feeling a bit lazy and don’t want to bother making the cocoa crepes fresh you can find frozen plain crepes in your grocer’s freezer.
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The ChocolateDoctor’s Twisted Chocolate-Filled Babka Muffins

Friday, June 17th, 2016
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Choclatique—150 Simply 150 Elegant Desserts, Running Press, 2011

Watch out Carnegie Deli, Choclatique is in the house (or at least in the bakery). Who doesn’t love a beautiful Babka… that’s a crumb-topped coffee cake?

This famous New York-style coffee cake recipe is derived from Eastern European Jewish bakeries and today is most often found in better delis and bakeries in New York City. While you may know it as a loaf cake, it is also luscious in the form of a muffin. You can devour this delectable hot-out-of-the-oven and consume every sweet, gooey, crumb faster than you can say, “What’s up?”

Prep and proof time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Bake time: 15 minutes (the internal temperature should be 190°to F 200°F)
Yield: 40 medium babka muffins

Ingredients:
For the dough:

6 packets or 4-1/2 tablespoon active dry yeast
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1-3/4 cup warm water
7-8 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
1-1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup sour cream
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons sea salt

For the chocolate filling:
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
6 ounces box instant chocolate pudding (I’m not one to use boxed ingredients, but this one works)
1 large egg
1/2 cup Choclatique Rouge Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
2 cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 cup water

For the crumb topping:
1/2 cup (one stick) unsalted butter
2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract

For the chocolate drizzle:
1-1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
2 tablespoons Choclatique Rouge Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 teaspoon instant espresso granules
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2-3 tablespoon warm milk (just to get the perfect drizzle consistency)

Directions:
For the dough:

  1. Start by mixing the yeast, sugar and warm water. Let it sit until it begins to dissolve and foam.
  2. Add the remaining dough ingredients and mix well. The dough should have a smooth, springy consistency. If it’s a bit sticky, you can add a little more flour and knead until smooth. Don’t add too much or it will be tough and dry.
  3. Cover the dough with food film and let rise for one hour in a warm place in your kitchen.

For the chocolate filling:

  1. Combine all the ingredients and whisk until smooth. Set aside.

For the crumb topping:

  1. In a medium-size bowl, use forks or your fingers to combine crumb topping ingredients to create large clumps of crumb topping. Set aside.

Preparing the muffins:

  1. Line two muffin tins with paper cupcake liners and coat with non-stick spray. Punch down the dough and divide into 4 equal pieces. Sprinkle a bit of flour on your work surface and on your rolling pin. Working with one piece at a time, roll into a large rectangle, working the dough until it’s very thin; about 1/4-inch.
  2. Spread 1/4 of the filling thinly over the dough, to about 1/2-inch from edge. Roll up lengthwise, fold in half, and then cut through at the fold to get two evenly sized ropes. Turn one rope around so that you have a thin end matched up with a thicker end of the rope. Pull on the dough robles gently to stretch.
  3. Twist both ropes together until they start cracking.

Forming the muffins:

  1. Pull gently on the twisted rope again to make it as long as possible. You will be slicing 10 pieces out of each rope. Cut rope in half, and then cut each half into five even slices. They will be very messy and gooey at this point, but you can just drop them into the muffin liners and not worry about placement—neatness doesn’t count.
  2. Repeat process with remaining the three (3) pieces of dough and remaining filling.

Baking the muffins:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350º F.
  2. Sprinkle muffins with crumb topping and allow to rise for 20 minutes. Bake for 15 minutes or until muffins are set.
  3. Check bottoms for doneness, as this is a heavy dough and tops can look finished before inside is set. An instant read thermometer should read 190° to 200°F. Using an instant read thermometer is the best way to test all fresh-baked goods.

For the glaze:

  1. Combine the powdered sugar, cocoa, instant espresso granules and warm milk. Add more milk or more sugar as needed until the proper glaze consistency is achieved.
  2. Drizzle over babka muffins and allow to harden before handling or freezing.

ChefSecret: Babka is best served warm and fresh. Yeast-style cakes go stale quickly, so freeze them as soon as they are cool if they will not be eaten within 24 hours. Re-warm in an oven (not a microwave) to bring back that wonderful fresh-baked taste.

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The ChocolateDoctor’s Sticky-Fingers Chocolate Monkey Bread

Friday, May 13th, 2016
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Choclatique—150 Simply 150 Elegant Desserts, Running Press, 2011

My friends in Lisbon at A Padaria Portuguesa (the Portuguese Baker) had never heard of Monkey Bread. Over and over again they kept dipping and pulling out another ball of bread. It was easy to see how when one monkey saw the others do it, he fell right in and did it over and over again—monkey see, monkey do.

Monkey Bread is like a giant addictive cinnamon roll on steroids. It is buttery, sticky, cinnamon-y and rich in pecans which is what makes it so delicious. If you don’t have time to make the sweet dough from scratch , try using refrigerated tube dough and tearing and rolling that dough into balls and baking to a golden brown.

Prep time: 45 minutes
Proof time: 30 minutes
Bake time: 55 to 60 minutes
Yield: 12 servings

Ingredients:
1 cup pecans, chopped
1-1/2 sticks unsalted butter
1 cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons dark rum
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 batch Basic Sweet-Roll Dough, without nutmeg (see recipe below)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Spread the pecans on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake until lightly toasted, about 8 minutes; set aside. (Set a timer as a reminder so the nuts don’t burn). You can shut the oven off until ready to bake.
  3. Melt 1 stick butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the brown sugar and heavy cream; boil until slightly thickened, about 4 minutes.
  4. Stir in the vanilla, vinegar, rum, salt and the toasted pecans. Pour all but 1/2 cup of the pecan mixture into an 8-inch-round, 3-inch-deep cake pan. Refrigerate until almost set, about 15 minutes.
  5. Set the remaining pecan mixture aside at room temperature.
  6. Put the remaining 1/2 stick butter in a microwave-safe bowl; microwave until melted.
  7. Put the granulated sugar in another bowl. Pinch off tablespoonfuls of dough and roll into 1-inch balls. Dip the balls in the melted butter, letting the excess drip off, then roll in the granulated sugar.
  8. Arrange in the prepared cake pan in 2 layers, leaving a bit of space between the balls.
  9. Let rise, uncovered, in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour, 30 minutes.
  10. Preheat the oven to 350°F (325°F if using a dark or anodize cake pan.).
  11. Bake the bread until puffed and golden brown (a thermometer inserted into the center should register 175°F), about 55 minutes; tent with aluminum foil if the top is getting too dark.
  12. Remove the bread from the oven and immediately spread the reserved 1/2 cup pecan mixture on top. Transfer to a rack and let cool 10 minutes in the pan, then invert onto a plate.
  13. Pull off pieces to serve.

Basic Chocolate Chip Sweet-Roll Dough

Prep time: 1 hour
Chill time: 4 hours or over overnight
Yield: 1 3/4 pounds dough

Ingredients:
1/2 cup whole milk
3 1/4 -ounce packet active dry yeast
1/4 cup granulated sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled, plus more for brushing
1 large egg yolk
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (optional)
1 cup Choclatique Semisweet Chocolate Mini Chips

Directions:

  1. Warm 1/2 cup water and the milk in a saucepan over low heat until a thermometer registers 100° to 110°F. Remove from the heat and sprinkle the yeast on top, then sprinkle with a pinch of the sugar; set aside, covered with a kitchen towel undisturbed, until foamy, about 5 minutes.
  2. Whisk the melted butter, egg yolk and vanilla into the yeast mixture until combined.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, the remaining sugar, the salt and nutmeg (if using).
  4. Make a well in the center, then add the yeast mixture and stir with a wooden spoon to make a thick and slightly sticky dough.
  5. Add the chocolate chips.
  6. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead until soft and elastic, about 6 minutes. Shape into a ball.
  7. Brush a large bowl with butter. Add the dough, turning to coat lightly with the butter. Cover with food film and let rise at room temperature until the dough is doubled in size, about 1 hour, 15 minutes.
  8. Turn the dough out of the bowl, knock it down and knead briefly to release excess air; re-form into a ball and return to the bowl.
  9. Lightly butter a large piece of food film and lay it directly on the surface of the dough. Cover the bowl tightly with food film and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.

ChefSecret: If you choose to refrigerate the dough overnight make sure you take it out early enough to bring it back too warmer than room temperature. When touched you shouldn’t feel any chill to the dough.

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