Friday, January 30, 2015

Trader Joe's Chocolate Croissants

Today is National Croissant Day. There's nothing quite like waking up to a flaky buttery croissant. I have my favorite sources for croissants. I love the ones at the Hotel Sofitel, and, of course, many cafes and bakeries in Paris.

Just an FYI: Starbucks (at least in the Bay Area) is utilizing a new baking company, and their croissants are better than they used to be. Today, in honor of Croissant Day, Starbucks is offering 50% off their croissants while supplies last--to Starbucks card or app holders.

I've mentioned Trader Joe's Chocolate Croissants, but time for a revisit. These are some of the best frozen croissants you'll ever taste. The 'proof' is in the pudding, as they say, and these croissants are proofed (allowed to rise) overnight before they're baked for 20 minutes the next morning. The heavenly smell will take over your kitchen. Perfect for the weekend or National Croissant Day.

And, the price can't be beat--just $3.99 for 4! Chef Jean-Yves Charon from Galaxy Bakery is the genius behind Trader Joe's Chocolate Croissants.

O.K., these "Croissants" are really Pain au Chocolat, as anyone can see by the shape, so feel free to imagine yourself at a sidewalk cafe in Paris when eating these! The croissants are incredibly flaky and buttery, so light and airy, and the Callebaut chocolate is rich and delicious. Since there are four to a box, and each croissant contains 18 grams of fat, you might want to offer a few to family or friends. If you don't care what they'll do to your waistline or thighs, indulge. They're terrific!

This is one product that outshines most home baked croissants. Yes, you can make your own Chocolate Croissants, but these are so good, why bother?

You'll find TJ's Chocolate Croissants in the freezer section. This product was voted by Trader Joe's Fans as one of the top 10 of 2011. I totally agree.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

CHOCOLATE CROCKPOT CAKE



Yesterday was Chocolate Cake Day. I've blogged about Cake in a Mug. How simple is that? But suppose you're having company, and you need more. This recipe for Cake in a Crockpot is simple and easy--but not fast. But... you can put the ingredients in the crockpot in the morning, set the time, and come back to an incredibly delicious moist rich chocolate cake.

CROCK POT CHOCOLATE CAKE

Ingredients
1 pkg dark chocolate cake mix
8 ounces sour cream
1 package chocolate pudding (instant or cooked)
1 cup or 8 ounces chocolate chips (or broken chocolate bits/I put in more, but I'm a chocoholic)
4 eggs
3/4 cup oil
1 cup water

Directions
Mix all ingredients together. Pour into lightly greased 5 quart crock pot. Cover.
Cook 3-4 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low.
Serve with whipped cream or ice-cream!


Monday, January 26, 2015

Chocolate Pistachio Cake: Green & Black's

Photo: Green & Black's
Today is National Pistachio Day, and I just had to post this recipe for Chocolate Pistachio Cake from Green & Black's Chocolate. Green & Black is a favorite chocolate--Fair Trade Earth Friendly Chocolate! I love this cake!


Chocolate Pistachio Cake

Ingredients
Butter and flour for coating pan
8 ounces dark chocolate, minimum 70% cocoa content, finely chopped
6 Tbsp (3/4 stick) sweet butter
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs
2 tsp pure Madagascar vanilla extract
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup shelled pistachios, coarsely chopped plus extra to decorate
* 1-2 teaspoons organic unsweetened cocoa powder

Directions
Position rack in middle of oven. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter cake pan. Swirl some flour around to coat completely. Invert pan and tap out excess.

Put chocolate and butter in saucepan over another saucepan of simmering water. Stir occasionally until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth, about 5 to 8 minutes. Remove bowl and set aside to cool. Meanwhile, sift flour, baking powder, and salt into bowl; whisk well and set aside.

Combine eggs and vanilla extract in large bowl. Whisk until foamy. Add sugar and whisk until light and frothy, about 1 minute. Blend in chocolate mixture. Add flour mixture in 2 batches, whisking to blend completely each time. Fold in pistachios.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 22 to 25 minutes until skewer inserted 1 inch from edge comes out clean. When inserted in center, a bit of moist batter will cling to it. Do not over bake.

Cool cake on rack for 10 minutes, then invert onto plate. Invert back onto rack so shiny side is up. Cool cake completely before sliding it onto serving plate. Sift the cocoa over the top and sprinkle with extra chopped pistachio nuts. Serve.

British Chocolates Won't Cross the Pond

As a result of a settlement with the Hershey’s Company, Let’s Buy British Imports, or L.B.B., agreed this week to stop importing all Cadbury’s chocolate made overseas. The company also agreed to halt imports on KitKat bars made in Britain; Toffee Crisps, which, because of their orange packaging, and yellow-lined brown script, too closely resemble Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups; Yorkie chocolate bars, which infringe on the York peppermint patty..

Read the rest of the NYT article Here. What do you think?

I'll have to have my British friends send care packages!