The Ghirardelli Chocolate Festival was a lot of fun with great chocolate treats, but the highlight for me was watching Top Chef Casey Thompson prepare Chocolate Waffles.
I always love chef demos and this was filled with all the elements of San Francisco: crowds, wind and noise. Top Chef Casey did a great job interacting with the audience while working with what looked like a temperamental waffle maker. She shared lots of good tips like giving the waffle maker a quick spritz of non-stick organic canola oil. The first batch did stick a little but that was o.k. Smooth sailing really. All this took place while overlooking San Francisco Bay. Pretty cool.
I found a wonderful spot to stand... oh yes, all the seats were taken early, but I was up right up front on the side. Great for photos, easy to hear and see. The recipe for chocolate waffles was from The Ghirardelli Chocolate Cookbook. Surprisingly I didn't have this one in my collection. That was remedied when Casey started asking questions about Chocolate and Ghirardelli. First question: When was Ghirardelli chocolate started? Frank Price who leads our TeamBuilding Unlimited Chocolate Tours and Tastings came closest to the correct answer, and he won a copy of the cookbook! (the right answer was 1852) Cool. Of course, he gave it to me, hoping I would make something for him from the cookbook! A guy can dream...
Here's the recipe. Top Chef Casey also made the Chocolate Sauce. Delicious!
Chocolate Waffles (makes 6 servings)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup Ghirardelli Unsweetened Cocoa
1 tbsp baking powder
2 tbsp granulated white sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups whole milk
4 large eggs, separated
4 tbsp canola oil
1 1/2 cup Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
Preheat a waffle iron according to the manufacturer's directions.
Sift the flour, cocoa, and baking powder into a bowl. Add the sugar and salt and whisk to thoroughly mix. In another bowl, whisk together the milk, egg yolks, and oil. Add to the flour and whisk gently until just combined.
In a clean, dry bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric beater at medium speed until they form soft peaks. Fold into the batter and mix in the chocolate chips.
Ladle one-third of the batter onto the center of the waffle iron. Close the top and cook until the waffle is crispy on both sides. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for cooling time. Serve immediately.
Drizzle with chocolate sauce.
Chocolate Sauce (make this first)*
4 oz Ghirardelli 70% Cacao Extra Bittersweet Chocolate baking bar, broken or chopped into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup heavy cream
Combine the chocolate and cream in a double boiler or in a heatproof bowl over barely simmering water, stirring occasionally until very smooth. Keep warm, or reheat before using.
What a great way to start the day!
Read an interview with Top Chef Casey Thompson on Serious Eats.