Posts Tagged ‘milk chocolate’

Orange Chocolate Chip, Chocolate Muffins

Thursday, October 25th, 2012
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

Muffins are the all-American quick bread that is baked in small portions usually in the shape of cupcakes. Usually they are not as sweet as cupcakes and generally are not frosted. They may be filled with sweet fillings, such as chocolate, toffee or fruit—the most common being blueberries.

My muffins are made with both dark and milk chocolate. They are rich and tender, high-rising, and deep chocolaty—both in color and flavor—kissed with the flavor of fresh orange zest. Serve them warm right from the oven; spread them with butter, jam or better yet one of my chocolate butters. You will soon discover they are the totally decadent way to start the day.

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Ready In: 45 minutes
Yields 12 muffins

Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1/3 cup Choclatique 72% Ebony Dark Chocolate Pastilles, melted
1 tablespoon orange zest
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup Choclatique Milk Chocolate Chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400º F.
  2. Lightly spray a 12 cup muffin pan with food release, or line with paper liners.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  4. In a separate medium bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time along with the melted chocolate then stir in the orange zest, orange juice, vanilla extract and buttermilk.
  5. Pour into the flour mixture, and mix just until evenly moist.
  6. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  7. Spoon or scoop batter into muffin cups.
  8. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.
  9. Let muffins cool in the pan on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes before removing from the pan.

ChefSecret: To make sure the chocolate chips don’t drop down to the bottom of the muffin tin, lightly toss them in flour before folding into the batter and they will stay suspended in the middle of the muffin.

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Is It Rude To Blog with Your Mouth Full?

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

Are you someone who craves sweet nibbles or salty snacks? Or, do you prefer spicy or sour munchies? I must confess I’m a serial snacker. Even though I am a trained chef, my snack repertoire is not all that sophisticated. That’s not surprising among chefs who work long shifts and eat anything in sight when their hard day’s work is at an end. I’m a sucker for salted-in-the-shell peanuts—my trigger food—and I occasionally indulge on traditional sourdough pretzels. I like plain popcorn—I don’t like the artificial butter flavors—and I’ve never turned down a bag of Fritos. When it comes to sweets, I’m a chocoholic. I prefer dark, but a good milk chocolate is also fantastic when I’m in the mood and it’s usually Choclatique Prestige Milk Chocolate. At times like this I can even bring together some of my favorite flavors with our Chocolate Covered Peanut Brittle Bites.

With the excuse that I need more experience, I cranked my expertise in snacking up a notch. This week, I am insanely excited because I got to explore my snacking inner-child at Chicago’s Annual Sweets and Snacks Expo at McCormick Place. This is an annual “snackin’” trade show hosed by National Confectioners Association where over 14,000 buyers and 500 manufactures come to see what’s new. The expo offers everything from jelly beans to popcorn companies that put movie caliber snacks to shame (hello Popcornopolis) and chocolatiers who even challenge Willy Wonka’s magic. This is the largest confectionery, cookie and snack show in the Americas. The EXPO features companies showcasing their newest, sweetest, most sour, most crunchy confectionery and snack products in one place making it one of the most valuable, time-effective events in the industry. In fact, more than 130 new companies exhibited and more buyers than ever attended the event. The EXPO attracts all of the major US distribution channels and featurestop-notch experts in some of the educational keynote sessions, making it easier than ever to discover the latest trends and discover what’s new in the world of snacking.

As I walked the EXPO floor with more than 14,000 qualified confectionery and snack professionals, including nearly 1,000 international visitors traveling from more than 60 countries. We all munched the hall from one end to the other leaving trails of crunchy crumbs.

We snacked on lentil and hummus chips with unusual and exotic flavors like black pepper, dill, chili and mint, and sweets snacks that claimed to be fortified with vitamins slated to offer consumers greater snack options when the three o’clock munchies hit.

Consumers can expect to see more snack foods and sweets that layer multiple, complex, and sometimes unexpected flavors. Combinations like habanera and lemongrass-flavored sweets, dual-filled truffles, and gourmet, artisanal flavors like cracked pepper and Asiago cheese-flavored chips.

Napa Valley Wine ChocolatesI found wine-flavored chocolates by a New York company that are very similar to our Napa Valley Wine Chocolates that we introduced over 2 years ago. There was even a wine-flavored caramel—Cabernet to be exact—with a hint of sea salt. I discovered flower, troll and monster-shaped gummies, chocolate-coated jelly beans, straws filled with flavor beads like cookies and cream, strawberry, or vanilla that instantly transform a regular glass of milk to a snacking dessert, and crisp rice puffs dipped in dark chocolate, infused with vitamin D3 and sealed in a chocolate candy coating.

Despite a lagging economy, the snack and sweet markets experienced growth in 2010, as they’re considered affordable indulgences.

Designer DonutsThis month we are releasing our own “holey” indulgences—Choclatique Designer Donuts. Now you can enjoy the flavors of a chocolatiers’ dozen (15 different, wonderful flavors), including Almond Coconut Flake, Carrot-Cream Cheese, Chocolate Caramel, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Chocolate Sprinkles, Cinnamon Spice, Dark Chocolate Devil’s Food Cake, Fluff-a-Nutter, Jelly Donut, Johnny Appleseed’s Apple, Marshmallow Mint Chip, Mocha Kreme, Vanilla Kreme, Vermont Maple Crunch, and Wicked Red Cherry.

Shameless Plug: I know for many it’s too early to think about the end of the year holidays, but here’s a thought for some great gift giving—Choclatique (the book). And guess what? You don’t even have to wait for the end of the year. It’s the perfect gift for brides, grooms, grandchildren’s birthday, anniversaries… actually Choclatique (the book) is perfect for just about any occasion. Signed copies will be available after October 1st.

CHOCLATIQUE by Ed Engoron ––––––––––––––– Full-Color Throughout 256 pages • 8 x 10 $27.00 /$31.50 CAN /£14.99 UK ISBN 978-0-7624-3964-5 • hc Available on the Choclatique Website and Book Stores, September, 2011

CHOCLATIQUE by Ed Engoron
Full-Color Throughout 256 pages • 8 x 10 $27.00 /$31.50 CAN /£14.99 UK ISBN 978-0-7624-3964-5 • hc Available on the Choclatique Website and Book Stores, September, 2011

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Selecting the Perfect Chocolate

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010
— Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique

If you love to bake anything chocolate you may have found that choosing chocolate for baking has gotten a little complicated. It used to be pretty straightforward — dark, milk, white, sweet, un-sweetened, semisweet or bittersweet. But these days, sorting out which chocolate belongs in your brownies or chocolate chip cookies can seem more like selecting a fine wine than whipping up a batch of your kid’s favorite cupcakes. Your choices can be very confusing with all the different percentages listed on the package. You can find 33%, 47%, 64% or even 91% percent cacao is available on the market and some chocolate with no percentage of cacao listed at all. Then the question must be asked is one any better than the other? And, what’s all this percent stuff about cacao, anyway?

American chocolate companies have taken a page out of the wine and coffee industries’ marketing books and have begun labeling their bars with the source of origin, single origin (estate grown) and according to the percentage of cacao content which is the combined blend of cocoa solids and cocoa butter.

The biggest problem is there’s way too much emphasis on the percentage of cacao and not enough attention paid to the ratio of the ingredients. Most people think the higher the percentage of cacao, the better the chocolate. There are other factors that go into chocolate quality. It’s really misleading to just claim that one bar compared to another is better just because it has 80 percent cacao versus 70 percent cacao for another.

Good chocolate makers use simple ingredients, a blend of cacao—fats and solids—sugar and dairy in the case of milk chocolate. The ratio of the blend affects taste, texture and how it reacts in making chocolate both for eating or baking. A higher percentage of cacao doesn’t guarantee a more intense chocolate flavor, because cacao percentages represent the total of all cocoa solids (from which chocolate gets its flavor) and cocoa butter (which imparts chocolate’s lush mouth feel). While different chocolates may have the same percent of total cacao, they could contain vastly different ratios of solids and fats, and that dramatically influences both the taste, texture of and the “bakablity” of the chocolate.

Higher cacao percentages also don’t necessarily result in higher quality either. Taste is influenced more by the origin, drying, fermenting, roasting and the blend of beans. Better beans can produce better chocolate, even with lower percentages and cacao ratios.

Private Reserve Dark BarSo What Should You Buy?

For eating, stick to less than 70 percent cacao. Sugar enhances the flavor and texture of chocolate… bars with higher ratios, especially European chocolate can taste bitter and chalky depending on how the bean has been roasted. I recommend Choclatique’s Private Reserve Dark Chocolate Bar (64%).

Chocolate PastillesFor baking, I like to use and 70 to 80 percent dark chocolate depending on the ration of fat to solids. Our Ebony Dark Chocolate Pastilles (72%) are perfect for both flavor and mouthfeel. If you want a great milk chocolate, I suggest our Heirloom Milk Chocolate (41%) and for the best baking white chocolate I only use Choclatique’s Snowy-White Chocolate Pastilles (32%).

Of course, it ultimately all comes down to taste. If you’re looking for great baking chocolate, don’t use one that you wouldn’t enjoy eating.

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Napa Valley Wine Chocolates

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009

— Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique

Cakebread Cellars had been around for about 15 years when Joan and I first met Dolores and Jack Cakebread and their son Dennis on the “Big Island of Hawaii for the first Cuisines of the Sun cooking event. At that time, Choclatique® was not even a glimmer of an idea. Joan and I were completely tied up with The Food Show (ABC) and our consulting company, PERSPECTIVES/The Consulting Group, Inc.

While we were not yet making chocolate, Joan and I were certainly consuming a lot of it (and we still are, of course). During his afternoon cooking demonstration, Jack was trying to convince all that would listen that wine and chocolate was the perfect paring of nature’s finest foods. I made a comment to one of the other attendees that I had always enjoyed my wine with dinner and my chocolate dessert with a respectful interval of time in between. I was proved to be very wrong. Jack and Dolores changed my mind when I tasted their great Cabernet and Chardonnay with shards of dark, milk and white chocolate.

It was no surprise when we released Box of Bubbly—Dom Perignon Champagne Truffles—last year and they immediately became our second highest selling assortment in the Choclatique line. This popular flavor pairing of chocolate and wine opened the rest of the country’s eyes to wine chocolates.

Wine Chocolate Varieties

California’s wine country is an array of microclimates ideal for growing fine wine grapes and the source of wines used in the making of our Napa Valley Wine Chocolate assortments. We are pleased to offer:

Late Harvest Cabernet (Dark Chocolate)
A full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon ganache with the flavors of concentrated berry and plum notes layered with a hint of herbs and green peppers with sparks of smoky oak surrounded by our 64% intense Private Reserve Bitter Sweet Chocolate.

Fall Vineyard Merlot (Dark Chocolate)
A medium-body Merlot ganache with delicate hints of berry, plum, red cherry and currant, with a soft fleshiness of perfectly ripened vines, covered with our 64% Private Reserve Dark Chocolate.

Estate Chardonnay Chocolate (Milk Chocolate)
With the faint aromas of apple, lemon, peach and tropical fruits, the overall flavor is a delicately crisp, flinty flavor with overriding flavors of ripe, fleshy grapes with a buttery quality accented by the flavor of new oak. This full-bodied ganache delicacy takes on many of the qualities of sparkling California wines.

Sparkling Blanc de Chocolate (White Chocolate)
Blanc de chocolate is a dry and crisp white chocolate ganache (33%) made from California “Champagne” with barrel-fermented flavors for added complexity. The wine has aged notes and carries vibrant, fruitful and crisp natural flavors of the sparkling wine from which it is made.

Old Oak Barrel-Aged Port Chocolate (Dark Chocolate)
A big, rich Port wine flavor that is fuller, sweeter and a bit heavier than our other wine ganache. Made from fortified wine it is heavy-bodied, sweet and smoky and holds remembrance of the past and the dreams of the future.

First-Crush Fume Blanc Chocolate (Milk Chocolate)
In memory of an old friend, Robert Mondavi, we dedicate our milk chocolate ganache to the wine he made famous. The flavors of our Fume Blanc ganache are a bit tarter in natural fruit flavors such as gooseberry, honey citrus and green apple, with subtle hints of vanilla and tropical fruits like melon and pineapple and the tell-tale smoky finish.

Zinfandel Cuvée Chocolate (Dark Chocolate)
This elegant Zinfandel ganache has a good fruit concentration of mid-palate dark fruits including raspberry, black currant and subtle pomegranate flavors with white chocolate undertones. The subtle aromas of black raspberry and earthy minerals with a hint of purple violet are evident.

Pretty in Pink “Blush” Chocolate (White Chocolate)
A flirty, yet shy pink rose chocolate ganache with the fruity flavors of ripe strawberry, juicy peach and nectarine. The aroma is a delicate balance of raspberry and black cherry, plus hints of flint and slightly tart cranberry.

Chaîne des RôtisseursChoclatique Napa Valley Wine Chocolates were “un-corked” for the first time the last week in May at the Wine and Hospitality Network event at The Hess Collection Winery in Napa, California and the Wine Country Hilton, Santa Rosa, California for the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs—the world’s oldest and largest gastronomic society, founded in 1248.

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