Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Layers of energy deserve layers of flavor

I've never used barley flour before and a gingersnap recipe I found calls for it. Any suggestions I could use? They may be a huge success and if indeed they are, they're on the menu for the upcoming chocolate tasting. Ginger is the heat to offset some sweet or to enhance the savory-so it will be a perfect dipping tool. Try a twisted pretzel coated in nibs for another idea and mmm...I can't wait to hear what you think. Sign up if you haven't yet because registration will be closing. I'd love to have a huge class-all that energy and discussion is so much fun. We learn from each other as we compare what our taste buds prefer.
Caramel is a great conductor because of the butter and heavenly smooth taste it offers to conduct along with the chocolate. Have you had my brownie bites with caramel? Just another good reason to sign up today!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Cardamom and citrus

Flavors for infusions were abundant at the Indian market in Montgomeryville so I picked up some spices to play with. I still haven't decided on whether to add it to a melted chocolate to dip or to infuse it and use it to fill yet cardamom and citrus seem like a perfect pair to start. Going through some of my favorite cookbooks like Michael Recchiuti ( a Phili native), BabyCakes NY (gluten free) the menu for the tasting next week is getting finalized. Offering ideas that you can recreate and ways to experience the sweet and savory is so much fun. From appetizers to the final sip of drinking chocolate it all comes together to be an experience about 'The World of Chocolate'.  Did you sign up yet?

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Waking up with chocolate

It's been a long time since I visited...don't get me wrong it doesn't mean I haven't been thinking about chocolate. Life took me on a major detour yet here I am again getting ready to create a menu for the Chocolate Tasting at the New Hope-Solebury Community School on October 18th.
Stay tuned and I promise I'll share. Thinking about crazy delicious things to infuse the ingredients with, toppings to add to mix-it-up, and ways to plate so that it's the best adventure your taste buds could experience.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Sweet and Savory...just like love

Love is filled with lots of flavor and sweet and savory captures lots of experiences.
So I made the brownie recipe below and substituted gluten free all purpose flour, used a mix of coconut oil and olive oil, about 1 tsp rosemary, 1 tsp paprika and some crushed pepper. On top I added toasted sliced almonds mixed with the chocolate cover and plain cocoa nibs and drizzled the caramel.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

planning ahead...it's still a loving way to share

why not freeze some dessert for Valentines Day and take it out-zap it or pop in the oven for a short time and it's like fresh baked. These freeze great and taste like you spent hours even though you don't. Perfect for any occasion yet since we're being flooded with Valentines Day ideas...go for it!

Delightfully Chocolate Caramel brownies
These are a delicious blend of textures and flavors that are rich yet not too sweet. Pair them with a variety of fruit and teas, coffee or wine.

Preheat oven to 325° and prepare the pan by spraying it lightly and overlapping parchment paper going in both direction. It will make it so the brownies lift out easily when they’re done cooking and the parchment lines the pan as you press the sided of it into the edges of the pan. Prepare either two mini-muffin tins lightly spray and place muffin tin liners (for brownie bites) or prepare a 8”sq pan.
Caramel center
Melt about 1 1/3 cups of caramels and mix in aprox. 1 Tbs strong, smooth coffee like Columbian.
Right before you need it, pour it into a parchment paper cone or something that you can work quickly to place the caramel into the brownie batter or finished brownie bite.

Brownie batter
10 Tbs unsalted butter
1 ¼ c sugar (I made it with half coconut crystals half white sugar)
¾ cup plus 2 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp pure vanilla
2 cold large eggs
½ cup tapioca flour
2/3 cup chopped walnuts

Combine the first four ingredients in the top of a double boiler pan. Stir occasionally so the ingredients get warm to touch as they melt and get mixed together. The texture stays granular so don’t worry, it’s ok because it gets smooth and rich with the next step. After they melt and are really warm, remove and let sit for about 3 minutes depending upon how the batter is. You don’t want it to cook the egg when the next set of ingredients get added.
Add each of the remaining ingredients until well combined, without over mixing. Mixing makes brownies tough even if they are gluten free.
Bake for about 15 minutes for brownie bites and between 20-25 for brownies *
(until the toothpick is almost clean)

*For the brownie: after about 10 minutes of the bake time squirt about ¾ tsp of caramel into the center of what will become the center of the brownie serving after they’re cut. This will be about 4-5 squirts of caramel across for four to five small brownies.
For brownie bites: after they’re cooled less than five minutes, press the point of the parchment paper cone into the center of the top of the brownie and then squirt. It will sit on the top mostly and that’s ok.

Place a chocolate covered nut or coffee bean into the caramel spot and then sprinkle chocolate covered cocoa nibs around it. You want them to stick to the caramel as it cools so you need to do this right after they come out of the oven
If your decorations are falling off still you can thin the caramel a little more with coffee and drizzle over the top of the brownies or brownie bites.

Cut small brownies so they’re bite size and enjoy!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Menu ideas for the Week...Valentines Day Week

There's lots of ways to get ready for Valentines Day and I say taking care of being happy with yourself is a good start. I'm going to see if I can share a different menu pairing for your chocolate, each day this week as we approach Valentines Day. I may be able to sustain it after...we'll see how much shoveling there is.
Today the breakfast idea to warm up your day..
Put blue corn tortilla chips with two eggs and some chipotle goat cheese-cover the bowl with a slight gap for breathing and poach for shy of two minutes in the microwave. Top it with slices of grilled chicken apple sausage and have your hot chocolate made with almond milk. You're ready to go.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

appreciating all the reminders of why I love 'The World of Chocolate'

Corne Port Royal chocolate...I try not  to be wooed by packaging because it's what makes prices go up on the end product..yet this packaging was so seductive as the neat folds of the box opened to a delicately layered tissue that had a fold. The fold was the perfect tab to lift up and reveal these most delicous chocolates. What a treat to open it and find the whole box full of dark Belgian chocolates. Smooth melt in the mouth flavor and qualities that sing with the essence of the flavors themselves. Just another reminder why I love 'The World of Chocolate'!