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July 27, 2010

Recipe: Chocolate-Chambord Sorbet

Recipe time! I see a lot of recipes flow through my inbox, but tonight's recipe just seemed like such a great thing given the heat of the season (and it has been yucky hot). The recipe du jour is for a Chocolate-Chambord Sorbet. That'll help you beat the heat. Well, it'll help ME beat the heat. At least once I get an ice cream maker. It does require one. But I've been dying to get the ice cream maker attachment for my Kitchenaid stand mixer, so this could be just be the excuse I need.

Anyway, if you direct your browser toward the Grand Forks Herald you'll fine where Chef Jeff shares this piece of love alternate link at the Sun Sentinel to avoid some paywallage. I have a feeling that I might be making some of this in the near future. Not sure I have Chambord, though. I might need to try it with Grand Marnier instead. Which sounds just lovely to me.

June 25, 2007

Review: Vosges Caramel Marshmallows

I’ve had my eye on the Caramel Marshmallows from Vosges Haut-Chocolat for a while now. I’m not sure when I first ran across them, but every time I did I wanted to try them just a little more. But I prefer not to order my chocolate online. I like to go out and buy it myself and, sadly, I haven’t been back to Chicago since I started the blog. So I just haven’t had an opportunity to try them yet. And then they came out with Mo’s Bacon Bar and I had a lot more reason to place an order with them. I was still torn due to the high cost of shipping chocolate in the summer, but I got an unexpected check in the mail and decided that I may as well use it on a little chocolate. And I couldn’t order something from Vosges without getting the marshmallows.

First things first: these are no ordinary marshmallows. You have a marshmallow (made with real vanilla) topped with caramel mixed with walnut and pecan bits, which is then coated in chocolate and topped with caramel toffee. Yep, they are anything but ordinary. The packaging is lovely (as is always the case with Vosges) with a nice outer wrap surrounding a silver-stamped box.

Yes, it has attractive packaging (which I always focus on for some reason), but it’s what’s inside that really matters, right? Well, inside that nice package are nine chunky caramel marshmallows, each about an inch tall and an inch and a half square. They’re not one-bite marshmallows, not by a long shot. The chocolate has a good solid snap and is thick enough to give the whole thing a nice structure. I don’t know what really to say about the taste. It’s definitely greater than the sum of its parts and everything plays really well together. I’ve certainly torn through the box pretty fast.

These are flat-out awesome and well worth the seemingly high price of $27. For somebody like me with the full trio of weaknesses for chocolate, marshmallow, and caramel it’s a fantastic and addictive treat. I’m giving it a solid 9.25 out of 10. I was planning on having my sister bring me a box of truffles when she comes back to town next month, but now I might have to have her bring these instead (or, more likely, in addition to).

But we’re not done! Returning to the packaging that I was so enamored with there is a little section on the top that reads as follows:

THE VOSGES ANSWER TO A BAD DAY
Sandwich 1 caramel marshmallow between 2 fresh potato chips and bite … bite 1 caramel marshmallow following a foamy sip of a Belgian wheat beer … place 1 caramel marshmallow on 2 strips of sizzling bacon, slice and savor.
No, you didn’t misread it. The first two seem so simple and reasonable (and tasty), but the third… that is maybe a little out there. But when I see a recommendation like that I can’t help but take it as a challenge.

So, for the second time in a week, Chocolate Obsession is venturing into the realm of smoked pork products. I didn’t want a whole package of bacon (I don’t cook meat much because it scares the rabbit) so I swung by Whole Foods on the way home and grabbed a few slices from the butcher counter and headed home to give it a shot.

I will not eat bacon without trying to swab off as much of the grease as possible with paper towels and I think it lost a bit of heat in the process because the caramel relaxed, but didn’t quite melt.


Not terribly melty. Hmm...

So I shoved it in the microwave for a couple of seconds and pulled it back out. Now we had some good meltage going on.

Melty!

And the smell was fantastic. I love the smell of bacon and this added a little something extra to the whole thing. I was a trifle worried, but I cut in and took a bite. And it was good. Not something I’m going to eat every day for a number of reasons, but the sweet marshmallow and caramel and mellow chocolate go so well with the smoky bacon. I liked the Bacon Bar I tried a few nights ago, but this is a definite step above that and one heck of an indulgence.

February 7, 2007

Recipe Rundown

I'm a big fan of customized newsfeeds. They can save a person a lot of time and effort by putting just the news that they want in their inbox on a nicely regular basis. I have one set up to drop, what else, chocolate news in my inbox. One of the nicest things this does is drop a lot of recipes in my inbox and if there is one thing I can't get enough of it's recipes. This is a little rundown of some of the recipes that have shown up in my inbox lately.

First up we have a few recipes posted on the Daily Dispatch from the recently released cookbook "The Essence of Chocolate", by John Scharffenberger and Robert Steinberg, the two men behind Scharffenberger Chocolate. The first, Scotch Truffle Hearts, sounds a little iffy to me. I don't much care for Scotch. The Chocolate Liqueur recipe, however, is right up my alley and they even tell you how to make a martini with it.

Next up we have Morton's Legendary Hot Chocolate Cake. This is from the famous Morton's Steakhouse chain and it is their number one dessert (chocolate popular for dessert? really?). This recipe has popped up in quite a few places lately but the one I'm linking to is at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Why theirs and not another one? This one has some nice background and a few bonus recipes. Not dessert recipes, but still, a bonus is a bonus (especially when it's crab cakes).

The next item, from the Mercury News, sounds a little scary to me, but it's not so scary that I wouldn't give it a shot. It's a Chocolate Macadamia Nut Pie and it packs in a whole two and a half cups of macadamias. That's a whole lot of nuts. Is it too much? I'm can't say without trying it. But, hey, if pecan pie works then why not macadamia?

Rum-Soaked Chocolate Truffles is a recipe that doesn't throw too much of any one thing at you, but rum and chocolate and coffee all together sounds like it's at least a potent combination. It's a pretty unusual recipe and I might be forced to give it a shot at some point. I mean, how many truffles have you tried with gingersnap cookie crumbs in them? I'm pretty sure I've never had one.

Last up we have one of my recent obsessions combined with my longstanding chocolate obsession. Over at the Star Tribune is a recipe for Chocolate Chunk Challah which is also from "The Essence of Chocolate". It's a combination that really piques my curiosity and I can't help but want to try it out. I'm beginning to think that I'm going to be spending a lot of time with this cookbook. I keep seeing more and more recipes like this one that just grab my attention and get me hungry for more chocolate.

December 2, 2006

Hot Chocolate Week Prep Work

I figured that before I went and reviewed a stack of hot chocolate mixes I should first establish a standard for comparison. My belief is that most things are better homemade so I figured I would make a quick and simple hot chocolate myself and use it for my benchmark. This is the recipe I used for a basic hot chocolate and a little fresh whipped cream to top it off with.

Continue reading "Hot Chocolate Week Prep Work" »

May 22, 2006

Around the Web

As I have a tendency to slack off when it comes to posting I figure I’ll heap a few items I’ve run across lately into one post.

First up is a nice article about John Nanci, who may be known to some of my readers for his website Chocolate Alchemy. The site is dedicated to the idea of making your own chocolate. Take note that I’m not talking about rolling your own truffles or caramels, but the actual creation of chocolate from cacao beans. It’s an idea that has held a certain fascination for me and one that one of these days I will try my hand at. But his site is dedicated to this art and the article is all about him, his business, and his art.

This next bit I’m stealing from Robyn. It’s a little “how to eat chocolate” guide which is one of those things that just isn’t as well known as it should be. It’s a nice little read and more than a little useful.

Next we have a few statistics from Kiplingers. Not a news source I would usually go to for chocolate, but I think people are starting to take notice of the growth potential for the chocolate market and start talking numbers. I always find these things fun. I Like numbers. They help to add shape to things, or in this case size.

Next up we have a company that popped up in my email and I was intrigued by what I read. They are called Diva Chocolates and they make chocolate spice blends and grilling rubs. It’s an interesting idea that really has merit. In it’s unsweetened state chocolate is a fantastic flavoring for food and they base the business around that idea. Their site not only has their products, but some recipes as well. It’s a good idea and it sounds like they’ve put some thought into it. And they definitely have the right attitude. I’m quite liking the sound of a chocolate steak right about now.

Next up is an item that isn’t strictly chocolate, but still interesting and does feature a little of the good stuff. There is a new business in Bellevue, Washington that wants to become the Starbucks of green tea. I love green tea so I’m all on board with it so far but what happens when you toss some white chocolate in the mix? One of their teas has white chocolate and whipped cream. I’m not sure about it, but I’d definitely give it a try. I’ve got to try and find somebody to give it a try for me.

This next item I’m including just because it’s the shortest news story I’ve seen in a long time. It is all of one sentence and is about chocolate french fries. I can’t really say more without giving the whole article away.

Last on our round-up is a recipe for chocolate soup. Yes, I meant to type soup. Curious? I was. Read on!

March 23, 2006

Happenings at Scharffen Berger

scharffenberger.jpgThe Scharffen Berger email newsletter has come around again and this time it is packed with wonderful things.

First up, and most important in my eyes, is the introduction of a new limited edition chocolate bar: the Kumasi Sambirano. The bar is made with specially matched beans from the Ashanti region of Ghana and the Sambirano Valley in Madagascar. The combination of the two brings both earthy notes from the Ghana beans and citrus notes from the Madagascar beans. The bar has a 68% cocoa content and is limited to 1500 cases. I'm not sure how many bars that translates into, but I'm going to try and lay my hands on one before they disappear.

The rest of the newsletter is full of little wonders. First, they've brought back their Semisweet Dipped Matzo for Passover. I love matzo for some reason and I like the idea of it dipped in chocolate. Sounds darn tasty to me. Almost as tasty as chocolate dipped macaroons, which they share a recipe for. Rounding things out is a recipe for a flourless chocolate cake.

March 12, 2006

Recipe Roundup

recipes.jpgThis week has produced a bumper crop of chocolate recipes so I figured I would put up a quick rundown of them. They're pretty much all on news sites so be sure to get them before they disappear. This site has only been around a few months and already I've got batches of dead links, so grab 'em while you can!

First up we have a stack of recipes from the Idaho Statesman including a tasty sounding Grand Marnier Chocolate Mousse which just sounds awesome to me. Mmmm… orange and chocolate go so very well together.

Next we get a lovely pair of recipes from Delaware Online which, strangely enough, includes an Chocolate-Orange Mousse recipe using Grand Mariner! What were the odds of that?

The Sun-Sentinal offer up a recipe for Brenda's Chocolate Truffle Cheesecake. Can you ever have too many cheesecake recipes? As long as it’s good I’m always ready for one more.

CBS news gives us Bobby Flay's Triple Chocolate Cookie recipe which, in addition to using three kinds of chocolate (though I'm counting four), uses instant espresso powder to give them that extra zing. I love using instant espresso in cookies but I find it’s really important to eat them while they’re still warm – preferably with some ice cream melting all over them.

Finally my local paper, The Columbus Dispatch, dress up an old classic in some interesting new clothes with a recipe for Chocolate Crepes with Oranges in Grenadine-Orange Sauce.

Now if I just had more time for baking. I've got a lovely Kitchenaid stand mixer that I've only used like eight times sitting on top of my fridge and tons and tons of bakeware, some of which hasn't even been used. Not to mention a fat stack of chocolate cookbooks that I've only made maybe 15 or 20 things out of. It doesn't help that when I set foot in the kitchen I have to dodge a rabbit that believes that the only reason I go in there is to feed her.

March 5, 2006

Melt Chocolates

melt.jpgThere is a great article in the Independent today about a new London chocolatier called Melt which is headed by a man who seems to be well and truly chocolate obsessed. Chef Damian Allsop works in an open kitchen in the store creating what sounds like some amazing works of chocolate art - like jasmine tea truffles (which I think sound fantastic) - using only the finest ingredients. He has some very interesting ideas (using water instead of cream – I cannot imagine that to be easy) and a true passion for chocolate that should make Melt a very fun place to visit. The open kitchen sounds like real a treat to me because I would love to watch a true artisan chocolatier at work. The article is a nice read and, even better, has recipes! The fresh mint truffle recipe sounds like a winner to me and I’m at least curious regarding the chocolate soup.
Article Link
Melt Chocolates

February 6, 2006

Dangerous Dessert

dead.gifChef Antony Worrall Thompson may have just created the world's most dangerous dessert. His creation is called a Snickers Pie and it manages to pack over 1200 calories in a single slice. The recipe starts with Snickers bars and then adds on more goodness in the form of sugar and mascarpone and puff pastry. I'm not convinced that it would be good, but I'm one of those adventuresome souls who believe in trying new things so I would not be above trying a bite or three. There is a great article at Scotsman.com that details the creation and the horror it has provoked. And, as I believe in giving the benefit of the doubt, I will present the recipe (with a little minor editorializing).

    Snickers Pie
    Kills - I mean SERVES - 4.
    Preparation time less than 30 minutes.
    Cooking time 30 minutes to one hour.
    Recovery time incalculable.

    Ingredients:
    1 packet puff pastry
    140g/5oz mascarpone
    110g/4oz soft cheese
    50g/2oz caster sugar
    3 eggs
    5 Snickers bars, chopped

    Preheat oven to 200C/400/Gas 6.
    Roll pastry to 3-4mm thick and use to line a 20cm/8in fluted tart tin.
    Beat the mascarpone, soft cheese and sugar together in a large bowl, until smooth.
    Beat in eggs, one at a time. Add the Snickers bars and fold in.
    Pour into lined tart tin, and spread to the edges.
    Place in the oven for 10 minutes, then lower to 180C/350/Gas 4 for a further 25 minutes until golden and set.
    Allow to cool before serving.

January 26, 2006

Recipe: Chocolate Sauerkraut Cake

scharffenberger.jpgUpon seeing the words "Chocolate Sauerkraut Cake" on the screen in front of me I just didn't know what to think. The very concept of combining something as sublime as chocolate with something as strange as sauerkraut left me stunned and more than a little nauseous. But this recipe didn't come from just any old source, it was in the Scharffen Berger e-mail newsletter. If it comes from one of the best chocolate makers in the world I'm really forced to give it a little consideration before I close the page in knee-jerk revulsion. According to the recipe you can't taste the kraut and it just adds an interesting texture to the cake. And it's low in fat, too, which people seem to think is important these days. Being one of those people who will try most things at least once (just in case I'm missing something good) I figure I might be forced to give it a shot. I'm just not sure who is going to be willing to eat the rest of the cake.
Link

January 18, 2006

Chocolate Booze and D is For Death By Chocolate

BAILEYS.jpgThis may all be old news to some but there are some interesting and relatively new products from a couple of big names that I have just now become aware of and figured they deserved reporting on.

First off we have Godiva Cappuccino Liqueur. This new variety joins the original Godiva Liqueur and the Godiva White Chocolate Liqueur and offers some interesting new options for drink mixing. I've never partaken of their liqueurs before but this one sounds pretty tasty. They even have a few recipes making use of it up on their site.

Next up we have two new limited edition offerings from one of the companies I love: Baileys. For a while now they have been offering Caramel and Mint Chocolate Irish Cream in the Arizona market and starting in March they will be sharing the love nationwide as part of a Saint Patrick's Day promotion. I'm not entirely sure about the mint chocolate variety, but the caramel one really sounds good. I already have a couple of ideas for what to do with it.

So, continuing with Slashfood D-Day I figure I will share one of those little ideas with you in the form of an old recipe (starting with the letter D of course) with a new twist in the form of a little Caramel Baileys. Other options would be to use the Mint Chocolate Baileys or to use Godiva Cappuccino instead of the creme de cacao. Anyway...

D is for Death by Chocolate (Revised)
1/2 oz Brown Creme de Cacao
1/2 oz vodka
1 oz Baileys Caramel Irish Cream
1 Scoop Chocolate Ice Cream

Combine in a blender with a cup of crushed ice. Blend well and top with whipped cream and chocolate shavings or a little cocoa powder. If using the Mint Chocolate Baileys then a sprig of mint would make a cute garnish as well.

January 3, 2006

Chocolate Motherlode Cake

I hate to simply steal somebody else's great find, but now and then something comes along that I feel I just have to share. Once again Slashfood (much love) have one of those astounding items that I just can't read and not pass on. I'll not repeat everything they have to say, but try to add a little something of my own to the mix so be sure to read the original.

It is a cake. A cake like no other. It comes in three or, for those special occasions, six layers. The six layer version is nearly a foot tall and a single slice weighs in at three pounds and is divided into 10 servings. And it's beautiful. Some spectacular food porn. The cake comes from a California based restaurant chain called Claim Jumper (why don't these items ever show up at Ohio based restaurants I ask you) and is available for all occasions. Claim Jumper appear to be pushing ever eastward and I might stop in their Lombard, IL (really close to Chicago) location next time I'm up to visit my sister.

Being the ever-inquisitive web nerd I stuck chocolate motherlode into my favorite image searches and found some very interesting little items. First is a recipe for the beast (*EDIT* the recipe I first posted has disappeared - such is the net - here is another recipe for it that hopefully is still accurate *EDIT*). The recipe is attributed to Claim Jumper so it may even be real. Next up is one more porntastic shot of a slice of the cake that is floating in limbo on the AZ Central site with no story to be found to go along with it. Rather than spit in the face of Copyright I'm posting a link to the poor orphaned picture. Check it out!

It occurs to me that you only ever really see these utterly out of control desserts involving chocolate. There is no vanilla motherlode or strawberry avalanche. There are occasionally out of control ice cream dishes but you pour chocolate all over them so they don't count. What is it about chocolate that makes it such a perfect food for over the top presentation? I'll personally go with the concept that if the implied decadence of chocolate on it's own is off the chart then multiplying it a hundred-fold can only make it more amazing. Just a thought.

Slashfood Article
Claim Jumper Restaurants
Pure Food Porn
Recipe

November 29, 2005

Recipe: Dolce Torinese

recipes.jpgBella Online have posted a new recipe on their site for a Dolce Torinese (chocolate terrine). Ok, the name may not have clicked for me right away but when I saw the words "rum-soaked chocolate terrine" I was sold. The sixteen tablespoons of butter (2 sticks) don't even give me pause given everything else this recipe is offering. One more recipe to add to the ever-growing list of things I need to try. It sounds absolutely sinful, but in a good way.
Link

November 26, 2005

Recipe: Cinnamon Chocolate Brownies

recipes.jpgI love the combination of cinnamon and chocolate. The two flavors are so different but complement each other so well. AZCentral has posted up a recipe that combines these two flavors into one of my favorite types of food: the brownie. I'm considering trying these. Sounds good. My only issue is the name. Isn't 'chocolate brownie' redundant? I'm just picky.
Link

November 19, 2005

Recipe: Chocolate Pecan Pie

recipes.jpgThe Seattle Post-Intelligencer (big name) has posted an article that combines two of my favorite pie types in one evil confection, a Chocolate Pecan Pie. There doesn't seem to be a whole lot of chocolate in it, but it still sounds absolutely scrumptious to a chocolate fiend like me. Somehow I see this, warm, with some fresh whipped cream, as being just a spectacular way to end a meal (or, if you're ambitious like me, it could be a meal in itself).
Link

Recipe: Chocolate Pie

recipes.jpgJamie Dexter of the Marshall County, Kentucky Tribune-Courier has posted a recipe for Chocolate Pie. It's an old family recipe and I have great faith in old family recipes. When a recipe is good enough to be handed down through the family I tend to think that it's got to be good.
Link

Recipe: Best Chocolate Cake Ever

recipes.jpgTammy Page, Bella Online's Chocolate Editor, has posted her recipe for the "Best Chocolate Cake Ever" and it looks like it is worth giving it a try. The mocha icing recipe that she posted along with it also sounds great!
Link

November 17, 2005

Recipe: Chocolate Pumpkin Cake

recipes.jpgFarm & Ranch Guide have posted an interesting recipe that I might throw together for Thanksgiving. It's for Chocolate Pumpkin Cake and it sounds like an interesting combination to me. Chocolate and pumpkin is one of those combinations that I just can't help but be curious about. I've seen recipes before but I've never gone so far as to bake anything. This might be a nice opportunity to broaden my horizons a little.
Link

Recipe: Homemade Marshmallows

godiva_logo.gifThe Idaho Statesman have up a nice little article singing the praises of Godiva's Cocoa (which deserves to have it's praises sung) and include a nice looking recipe for homemade marshmallows with a candy cane twist. Sounds good to me and I've been meaning to try to make my own marshmallows for some time now. I think this is probably the recipe I'm going to try out first.
Link

Recipe: Chocolate Ganache Tart

everydayfood.gifEveryday Food, one of the family of Martha Stewart magazines, has some of it's November issue's recipes on their web site and this one caught my eye. It's for a Chocolate Ganache Tart and it looks quite good. I figured that since Martha was spreading the chocolate wealth as it were that I could do no less. And while you're there you can get a free trial issue of the magazine if you are so inclined. Double score!
Link

Quaker Oats Holiday Recipe Collection

quakeroats.jpgI read over at Slashfood that Quaker Oats has their Holiday Recipe Collection online for everybody to enjoy. Of course I had to check it out and it turns out there is some great looking stuff in there. Things like Raspberry-Topped Chocolate Oat Torte and Mocha Chip Cheesecake Bars. And it's all made with the goodness of Quaker Oats so it isn't quite as terribly unhealthy as it might otherwise be. Be sure to check it out, there is bound to be something to your liking in there.
Link