Posts Tagged ‘Desserts’

The ChocolateDoctor’s Wilshire Crest School (Gloria’s) Sheet Cake

Friday, February 5th, 2016
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Choclatique—150 Simply 150 Elegant Desserts, Running Press, 2011

I went to Wilshire Crest grade school in Los Angeles for a year, met and fell in love with Gloria. Well, not so much in love with Gloria, but I did love with Gloria’s chocolate cake. Gloria was the cafeteria worker who had the responsibility for all of the baking.

I ran into Gloria at LA’s Farmer’s Market years later. I told her how much I missed her delicious cake—it really was (and is) so moist and delicious. She told me former students and parents have asked her for the recipe for years and she always obliges. I’m sure you’ll find it reminds you of happy days in grade school and it is so very easy to make—30 minutes.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Bake Time: 30 minutes
Ready In: 30 minutes
Yield: 24 to 36 slices

Ingredients:
For the cake:

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sour cream
2 large eggs
1 cup butter
1 cup water
4 tablespoons Choclatique Rouge Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 tablespoons Choclatique Onyx Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1-1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the frosting:
6 tablespoons milk
4 tablespoons Choclatique Rouge Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 tablespoons Choclatique Onyx Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1/2 cup butter
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 Teaspoon pure almond extract
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

Directions:
For the cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. (325°F if using a glass baking dish)
  2. Grease and *flour a 10 x 15 inch pan.
  3. Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt.
  4. In a medium bowl beat in the sour cream and eggs. Set aside.
  5. Melt the butter on low in a saucepan, add the water and 5 tablespoons cocoa. Bring mixture to a boil then remove from heat. Allow to cool slightly, then stir cocoa mixture into the egg mixture and vanilla, mixing until blended.
  6. Mix the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients.
  7. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.

For the icing:

  1. In a large saucepan, combine the milk, 5 tablespoons cocoa and 1/2 cup butter. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat.
  2. Stir in the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla and almond extracts, then fold in the nuts (if using), mixing until blended.
  3. Spread the frosting over the warm cake.

ChefSecret: *When you grease and flour the pan dust with cocoa powder instead of flour so you don’t leave any white streaks on the cake. I use the 2 Choclatique cocoa powders—Rouge for flavor and Onyx for the deep rich, dark chocolate color.

Choclatique on FacebookChoclatique on TwitterChocolate Doctor

The ChocolateDoctor’s Chocolate-Cinnamon Marble Pound Cake

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

When the early pioneers were crossing the country to discover their fortunes in the west, one of the only deserts they may have eaten was a piece of pound cake. Back then it was very simple—a pound of flour, a pound of eggs, a pound of butter and a pound of sugar was all that was required—thus the name pound cake.

This Chocolate Marble Pound Cake is not your great, great grandmother’s prairie recipe. It is a lot lighter and swirled with the taste of chocolate. It is a simple recipe to make with a very complex flavor to enjoy. Best of all, after a few days it’s as good as fresh-baked with just a minute or so in the toaster.

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Bake Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Yield: 8 to 10 servings

Ingredients:
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus 2 tablespoon for the pan
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon fresh orange zest
2 tablespoons sour cream
2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup Choclatique Rouge Cocoa Powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup Choclatique Dark Chocolate Chips
1 tablespoon crystalline sugar

Directions:

  1. Butter (or spray with food release) a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan.
  2. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven.
  3. Preheat the oven to 325°F.
  4. Sift the flour and salt into a medium bowl.
  5. Whisk together the eggs, orange zest, sour cream and vanilla in a small bowl.
  6. Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until smooth and the butter is a pale yellow.
  7. Continue to beat the butter mixture until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Scrape down the bowl as needed.
  8. Reduce the mixer speed to low. Add the flour, 1/4 cup at a time, then beat the batter for 30 seconds. Gradually beat in the egg mixture. (Do not to overmix.)
  9. Transfer about 1/3 of the batter to a medium bowl, and whisk in the cocoa powder and cinnamon, then fold in the chocolate chips.
  10. Spoon 1/2 the remaining vanilla batter into the prepared loaf pan, and smooth over the top with a spatula.
  11. Using 1/2 the chocolate batter, drop spoonfuls on top of the vanilla batter. Repeat with the remaining vanilla and chocolate batters. Run a knife through the pan to create swirls in the batters. Tap the pan on the counter to get rid of any air pockets.
  12. Sprinkle loaf top with the crystalline sugar.
  13. Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. The top should spring back when lightly pressed.
  14. Let the cake cool in the pan for a few minutes, then invert and let cool completely on a rack.

ChefSecret: I have been known to make a sweet breakfast French toast with leftover pound cake. Treat it gingerly so that the slices don’t break.

Choclatique on FacebookChoclatique on TwitterChocolate Doctor

The ChocolateDoctor’s South-Of-The-Border Hot, Hot-Chocolate Cookies

Friday, January 22nd, 2016
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Choclatique—150 Simply 150 Elegant Desserts, Running Press, 2011

This is just what the doctor ordered—The ChocolateDoctor. If you love hot cocoa and you like chocolate with a little bit of heat this is the cookie you will be coming back to time and time again. It is kind of like a chocolatier’s chicken soup. It will cure all that ails you. Take two cookies and call me in the morning.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Bake Time: 10 minutes
Yield: 24 to 30 cookies

Ingredients:

2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup Choclatique Unsweetened Rouge Cocoa Powder
1 tablespoon Choclatique Unsweetened Onyx Cocoa Powder
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup Choclatique Semi Sweet Chocolate Mini Chips
1/4 cup crystalline sugar (large crystal sugar)
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Place racks in upper and lower thirds.
  3. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, coco powders, cream of tartar, baking soda, cayenne pepper and salt.
  4. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and 2 cups sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down side of bowl.
  5. Add eggs and beat to combine.
  6. With mixer on low, gradually add flour mixture, chocolate chips and beat until combined.
  7. In a small bowl, combine cup crystalline sugar, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper.
  8. Using heaping tablespoons, form balls of dough and dip the top of the cookies into the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Place cookies, about 3 inches apart, on two parchment-lined baking sheets.
  9. Bake until cookies are set in center and begin to crack, 10-12 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through.
  10. Let cookies cool on sheets on wire racks 5 minutes before transferring them to racks to cool completely. (Store in an airtight container)

Choclatique on FacebookChoclatique on TwitterChocolate Doctor

The Chocolate Doctor’s Chocolate Pudding-Peanut Butter Whipped Cream Parfaits

Thursday, January 14th, 2016
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Choclatique—150 Simply 150 Elegant Desserts, Running Press, 2011

I love the blend of flavors of chocolate and peanuts (peanut butter). My favorite confection in the Choclatique Collections is still the Peanut Butter & Jelly Cup. Still better yet, there is nothing in the world better than fresh-made chocolate pudding. It is easy to make and you don’t have to subject your taste buds to the boxed puddings that you can buy at the grocery store. While it takes a little longer to make the parfait components, it only takes a few minutes to assemble these right before you serve them. You can follow the recipe exactly or you can improvise and add or delete a few ingredients to suite your own tastes.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Assembly Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:
For the chocolate pudding:

1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup Choclatique Natura Unsweetened Cocoa Powder, sifted
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups whole milk
4 tablespoons Choclatique Private Reserve Dark Chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the peanut butter whipped cream:
2 cups cold whipping cream
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon of salt

For layering:
6-8 chocolate wafers, chopped
1/2 cup honey roasted peanuts, chopped

Directions:
For the chocolate pudding:

  1. In a 2-quart. microwave-safe bowl, combine the first four ingredients.
  2. Add in 1/2 cup of the milk and stir until mixture is smooth with no lumps. Stir in the rest of the milk until smooth.
  3. Microwave uncovered on high for 3 minutes; stir.
  4. Continue microwaving in small increments (30-60 seconds at a time) until thickened, stirring after each time. Stir in chopped chocolate and vanilla extract.
  5. Chill until ready to layer.

For the peanut butter whipped cream:

  1. Place all ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer. Whip together until stiff peaks form. Keep cold until ready to layer.

For constructing:

  1. Deposit a tablespoon of wafer crumbs in the bottom of each individual serving dish.
  2. Layer whipped cream then a layer of chocolate pudding. Add a layer of crushed wafers and chopped peanuts, leaving a few of each for garnish.
  3. Finish with whipped cream and garnish with wafers and peanuts.
  4. Chill until ready to serve.

ChefSecret: I like to take the whipped cream and pudding and deposit them using disposable pastry bags. I also like to add a quartered Choclatique Peanut Butter Cup on the very top as a special garnish when available.

Choclatique on FacebookChoclatique on TwitterChocolate Doctor

The ChocolateDoctor’s Chocolate Sopapillas – Deep Fried Crispy Chocolate Mexican Flatbread

Wednesday, October 28th, 2015
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Choclatique—150 Simply 150 Elegant Desserts, Running Press, 2011

When I lived in Dallas, I got hooked on Sopapillas, the Mexican equivalent of New Orleans Beignets. While they’re not found in the French Market, they can be eaten in many casual Mexican restaurants throughout the Southwest. They are usually sprinkled with powdered sugar and topped with honey. They are really so good I didn’t think I could make them any better until I added chocolate. Add a new dimension to your south-of-the-border dinner, dessert, or snack with spiced coffee with these tasty Chocolate Sopapillas.

Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Fry Time: 15 Minutes
Ready In: 45 Minutes
Yield: 30 Pieces

Ingredients:
3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon Choclatique Rouge Cocoa Powder
2/3 cups granulated sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons vegetable shortening (or lard)
1-1/2 cups warm water
2 quarts oil for frying

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, salt and shortening.
  2. Stir in water; mix until dough is smooth. Cover and let stand for 20 minutes.
  3. Roll out on floured board to 1/8-inch thick.
  4. Cut into 2-inch squares.
  5. Heat oil in deep-fryer to 375° F.
  6. Fry for 3 to 4 minutes on both sides. The dough will puff.
  7. Drain on paper towels.
  8. Top with confectioner’s sugar, honey or chocolate sauce.
  9. Serve hot.

Choclatique on FacebookChoclatique on TwitterChocolate Doctor

The Chocolate Doctor’s Tiramisu Chocolate Mousse

Friday, August 21st, 2015
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

What is tiramisu, who invented it and when was it invented? Some say the origin of this popular coffee-flavored Italian dessert dates back to the 1960s in the region of Veneto, Italy, at the restaurant “Le Beccherie” in Treviso. Others claim that the dish was first created in Treviso in 1967 by a baker named Roberto Linguanotto and his apprentice, Francesca Valori. Regardless of who invented it, it is a great tasting Italian coffee-chocolate-mascarpone mixture.

In traditional pastry, tiramisu has similarities with some Italian cakes in addition to Zuppa Inglese. While tiramisu is easy to make, I wanted to deconstruct it a little making a Tiramisu Chocolate Mousse with a ladyfinger garnish.

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Ready In: 2 hours 30 minutes
Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients:
4 tablespoons brewed espresso
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
3-1/2 ounces Choclatique Private Reserve Dark Chocolate, broken into small pieces
2 tablespoons Marsala wine, rum or brandy (optional)
2 large egg yolks
4 teaspoons granulated sugar
4 tablespoons mascarpone cheese
3/4 cup heavy cream
4 ladyfingers or ladyfinger chunks

Directions:

  1. Combine the espresso and butter in the top of a double boiler over simmering water. Do not let the simmering water touch the bottom of the pan.
  2. Place dark chocolate pieces in the espresso mixture; cook without stirring until chocolate starts to melt, about 3 minutes. Whisk chocolate and espresso mixture until well combined. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Combine the Marsala wine, egg yolks and sugar in a saucepan over medium-low heat, whisking constantly until frothy and thickened, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
  4. Stir mascarpone cheese into the Marsala mixture.
  5. Combine chocolate mixture with mascarpone mixture. Set aside and let it cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
  6. Whip heavy cream in a bowl until soft peaks form, 2 to 3 minutes.
  7. Fold half of whipped cream into cooled chocolate mixture.
  8. Fold second half of whipped cream into chocolate mixture until there are no longer white streaks.
  9. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
  10. To serve, spoon it out on a flat plate, garnish with an upright ladyfinger placed vertically in the mousse and dark or white chocolate curls or a drizzle of chocolate syrup.

ChefSecret: If you are down to broken ladyfingers in the bottom of the box, take the largest chunks and sprinkle them on top if the mousse for added texture. No ladyfingers in the house? Any broken cookie will do the job.

Choclatique on FacebookChoclatique on TwitterChocolate Doctor

The ChocolateDoctor’s Chocolate Fluffle Pie

Friday, August 14th, 2015
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

It’s not quite a truffle ganache or a fluffy mouse filling… it’s a Fluffle. You can make this rich Choclatique Private Reserve Chocolate Fluffle Pie a day ahead—no baking required.

With only seven ingredients you can create a masterpiece of chocolate goodness. It is a blend of whipped cream, sour cream, sugar and pure vanilla extract (or vanilla beans if you like) all blended to form a beautiful ganache1. The ganache is then further blessed with freshly-whipped whipped cream and placed into a dark chocolate cookie crust. All that’s left for you to do is chill, serve, and take the compliments. This pie could even get you a great Yelp review.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Refrigerated Time: 8 hours (or overnight is even better)
Yield: 8 Servings

Ingredients:
12 ounces Choclatique Private Reserve Dark Chocolate, Chopped
1-1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup sifted confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons cold strong coffee
1 (9 inch) prepared chocolate cookie crumb crust (your recipe or store-bought is okay)

Directions:

  1. In microwave dish combine the chocolate and 3/4 cup of the cream. Cook on medium power level for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds until smooth. Cool to room temperature. Stir in the sugar and vanilla extract. Set aside.
  2. In small bowl, beat the rest of the cream until soft peaks are formed. Add the sour cream and coffee: continue to beat until medium peaks appear.
  3. Beat in chocolate and cream mixture on high speed about a quarter at a time until there are no white streaks.
  4. When the mixture is combined and light and fluffy gently spoon into crust being careful not to deflate the filling.
  5. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours before serving.
  6. Top with a dollop of sweetened whipped cream and serve.

_______________________
1
If you love this recipe that uses a ganache base, then you will love all the recipes in my ganache-based book, Choclatique, Running Press.

Choclatique on FacebookChoclatique on TwitterChocolate Doctor

The ChocolateDoctor’s Orange Cornmeal Cake with Orange-Chocolate Glaze with Blueberry Sauce Topping

Friday, August 7th, 2015
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

This is a great, light summertime cake that brings corn, orange zest, blueberries and, of course, chocolate together to make this seasonal dessert. It gets a special punch from the tangy orange-chocolate glaze of course, and blueberry sauce that dresses up the cake with the freshness of blueberries. With a few time adjustments for baking, this recipe is applicable for making cupcakes.

Prep Time: 40 minutes
Bake Time: 30 minutes
Assembly Time: 10 minutes
Yield: Makes 8 to 10 servings

Ingredients:
For the blueberry topping:

3 cups fresh blueberries (13 to 14 ounces), divided
1 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
4 teaspoons fresh orange juice
1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
Pinch of salt

For the glaze:
1-1/4 cups (packed) confectioner’s sugar, sifted
1/4 cup , sifted
2 tablespoons (or more) fresh orange Juice

For the cake:
1-1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup yellow cornmeal
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted, cooled
Chocolate Glaze (see recipe)
Blueberry topping (see recipe)

Directions:
For the blueberry topping:

  1. Combine 1-1/2 cups blueberries and all remaining ingredients in medium saucepan. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves and mixture comes to simmer, about 7 minutes.
  2. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until berries are very soft and liquid is syrupy, stirring often, about 7 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat; add remaining blueberries.
  4. Using back of spoon, gently press fresh blueberries against side of pan until lightly crushed.

ChefSecret: Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and chill. Serve chilled or re-warm before serving, if desired.

For the glaze:

  1. Combine the powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons orange juice in small bowl. Stir with spoon until smooth and paste-like, you can add more orange juice by 1/2 teaspoonfuls if glaze is too thick to spread. Set aside.

For the cake:

  1. Position a rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F.
  2. Butter a 9-inch-diameter cake pan with 2-inch-high sides; line bottom with parchment.
  3. Combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt in large bowl; whisk to blend.
  4. Whisk the buttermilk, eggs, orange zest and vanilla extract in small bowl. Pour buttermilk mixture and melted butter into flour mixture.
  5. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold liquids into flour mixture until just blended (do not stir or over mix). Scrape batter into pan; spread evenly.
  6. Bake the cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean and cake pulls away from sides of pan, about 30 minutes.
  7. Immediately run knife around sides of cake.
  8. Place the rack atop cake in pan. Using hot pads hold pan and rack firmly together and invert cake onto rack. Remove pan from cake.
  9. Place another rack on bottom of cake; invert 1 more time so that cake is top side up.
  10. Stir the glaze until blended. While cake is still very hot, drop glaze by tablespoonfuls onto cake; spread to within 1/2 inch of edge (some glaze may drip down sides of cake—that okay).
  11. Cool completely. Serve with a drizzle of blueberry topping.

Choclatique on FacebookChoclatique on TwitterChocolate Doctor

The ChocolateDoctor’s Orange-Cheesecake-Topped Brownies

Friday, July 31st, 2015
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

As if brownies aren’t rich enough we added a layer of decadence that makes these the richest ones ever to come out of our test kitchens and chocolate studios. These cheesecake brownies consist of a rich base layer of fudgy brownie topped with New York-Style cheesecake that blends cream cheese with sweetened condensed milk.

Prep time: 15 minutes
1st Bake time: 15 to 20 minutes (check it; they may take longer in your oven)
2nd Bake time: 20 to 25 minutes
Yield: 24 Servings

Ingredients:
For the brownie layer:

4 large eggs
1-1/4 cups Choclatique Rouge Cocoa Powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon espresso powder (optional)
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon orange extract
1 tablespoon very strong coffee
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 cups granulated sugar
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/4 cups Choclatique Dark Chocolate Chips

For the cheesecake layer:
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon cornstarch
14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
1 large egg
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoon fresh orange zest (try not to get any of the white pith)

Directions:

  1. Preheat an oven to 325° F. Grease a 9×13-inch pan.
  2. Make the brownies: In a medium bowl, beat the eggs with the cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, espresso powder (if using), extracts and coffee; beat for a few minutes until well combined.
  3. In a microwave or in a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter with the sugar and stir until the sugar dissolves. Add the hot sugar and butter mixture to the bowl with the cocoa mixture. Stir to combine well. Add the flour and chocolate chips and mix well until shiny.
  4. Pour the brownie batter into the prepared pan and bake for 15 to 20 minutes—the crust should be just set, but the brownies shouldn’t be cooked through.
  5. While the brownies bake, make the cheesecake layer. In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat together the cream cheese, softened butter, and cornstarch. Slowly add the condensed milk, egg, vanilla and orange zest; mix until very well combined.
  6. When the brownies have finished their first bake, remove them from the oven and pour the cheesecake batter over the top. Return the pan to the oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the top is just beginning to brown.
  7. Let them cool for about 2 hours; then slice into 24 even squares.

Choclatique on FacebookChoclatique on TwitterChocolate Doctor

The ChocolateDoctor’s Ode To Reverend Sylvester Graham (1794 – 1851) Featuring My California Cream Cheese Pie Recipe

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

You can’t write fiction this good.

This is the story of Reverend Sylvester Graham for whom the graham cracker was named. He was an early advocate of dietary reform in the United States, most noted for his emphasis on vegetarianism and temperance as well as lean and bland dietary habits.

Graham was a Presbyterian in Bound Brook, New Jersey, and came up with the idea of the graham wafer in 1829. The original wafer was made with graham flour (of course), a combination of finely-ground, unbleached wheat flour (with the wheat bran and germ coarsely-ground and added back into the flour providing a good source of nutrition) and additional flavor, negating the need for sweeteners. While graham crackers started out as a mild unsweetened food, today they are more commonly known as honey grahams.

The Reverend originally conceived graham crackers as sort of a health food for both the body and the mind to become part of what was to be known as the Graham Diet. This regimen was supposed to suppress what he considered unhealthy thoughts (carnal urges), the source of many maladies according to Graham. Reverend Graham often lectured his flock on the evils of “self-abuse.” He stated these experiences were inspired by children eating sugar and sweetened cookies. One of his many now outdated theories was that one could curb one’s sexual appetite by eating bland foods. Another man who held this belief was John Kellogg, the inventor of the Kellogg’s Corn Flakes. You can only imagine what Kellogg and Graham would think of today’s Frosted Flakes and chocolate-covered graham crackers.

Today, commercially produced modern graham crackers are comprised mainly of the refined, bleached white flour to which the Reverend Graham was opposed, and others are made with blends that use unbleached, white flour as a base. Graham crackers have remained popular in North America as a snack food, breakfast cereal and the base of a really great cheesecake. Most commercial graham crackers could no longer be considered a health food. In fact, some of these commercially-baked “graham crackers” are more notable for being topped with a thick crust of cinnamon and sugar or having cocoa powder added to the mix.

Despite all of this, basic modern graham crackers are common in America as a snack for young children (at home or at preschool, elementary school and other child care facilities) usually accompanied with fruit juice or milk.

Graham crackers, along with roasted marshmallows and milk chocolate bars, are used to make a Girl Scout campfire treat—S’mores. Graham crackers have moved on to a higher plane or as what the good Reverenced might have said, same church different pew.

The ChocolateDoctor’s California Cream Cheese Pie

Made with a Graham Cracker Crust

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Baking Time: 30 minutes
Cooling Time: 5 hours, plus 10 minutes
Total Time: 6 hours 30 minutes
Yield: Serves 8 to 10

Ingredients:
4 (3 oz.) packages cream cheese (room temperature)
2 large eggs, beaten (room temperature)
2 tablespoons sour cream
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

For the graham cracker crust:
12 to 14 graham crackers, finely crumbled
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

For the sour cream topping:
1 cup sour cream
3 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon zest

Directions:

  1. Preheat an oven to 350º F.
  2. Combine all the ingredients above and beat until light and frothy.
  3. Pour into the prepared graham cracker crust (see recipe below) and bake in 350 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes.
  5. Reduce the oven temperature to 325º F.
  6. Pour the sour cream topping (see recipe below) over the baked pie. Return to the pie to the oven and bake 10 minutes longer.
  7. Cool for 30 minutes on a rack.
  8. Refrigerate at least 5 hours before serving.

For the graham cracker crust:

  1. Combine cracker crumbs, cinnamon and butter thoroughly. Pat into 9-inch pie pan running up the sides.

For the sour cream topping:

  1. Blend all ingredients together and set aside unrefrigerated.

Choclatique on FacebookChoclatique on TwitterChocolate Doctor