Friday, May 31, 2013

CHOCOLATE ALMOND CREAM ROLL: Summer Retro Ad & Recipe

Summer is here, and it's going to be a scorcher today. Thought I'd take you back to another time with a Retro Baker's Chocolate Ad. My parents bought a new house in suburbia in the late 50s. Since neither of my parents grew up with air conditioning, they didn't choose that option from the builder add-ons. What were they thinking? Philadelphia? In the summer? My grandmother lived with us, so there was always a hot oven since she loved to bake. Needless to say, a few years down the road, my parents added air conditioning. Thank goodness. O.K. I know it's a #firstworldproblem, but still.

So here's a great "Recipe for Getting Yourself Talked About this Summer." Gotta love the Baker's Chocolate Story/Recipe Ads. This really is a great recipe for Chocolate Almond Cream Roll (with a variation for Chocolate Tier Cake). Want to bring it inot 2013? Just substitute your favorite dark chocolate and cut down a bit on the sugar.


CHOCOLATE ALMOND CREAM ROLL


Thursday, May 30, 2013

BERKELEY CHOCOLATE & CHALK ART FESTIVAL

The 17th annual CHOCOLATE & CHALK ART FESTIVAL will take place this Saturday, June 1, along North Shattuck Ave in Berkeley's Gourmet Ghetto.

To EAT CHOCOLATE start by purchasing a packet of tickets (20 for $20) prior to the event online at chocolateandchalkart.eventbrite.com
or at the event HQ booths at 1451, 1495 or 1673 Shattuck. 
  
The to-go menu features picante habañero chocolate gelato, goat cheese truffles, adult brownies, s’mores pops, chocolate eclairs and tartes, or savory menu items such as chocolate ricotta pizza, Caribbean chocolate soup, chicken molé and more. Spend your tickets on these delights available in the local businesses then savor your chocolate as you stroll along the sidewalks, viewing the artwork. Or enter your tickets in a raffle for specialty chocolate items.
 
For the Chalk: Areas of sidewalk will be assigned to artists to create their own fanciful chalk drawings. A CHALK ART CONTEST for the best drawing will be judged after 4 p.m. Same-day art registration takes place 10AM-5PM in event booths located at 1495 and 1673 Shattuck Ave. where special artist's chalk is available for $10. See last year’s winners here.

Festival booths will fill the blocks between Rose and Vine Streets. Music includes Laura Weinbach of Foxtails Brigade, The John Brothers Piano Company, Berkeley High Jazz Bands, Sean Lee's One-Man Band, and lots more!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

LAYER CAKE PRIMITIVO

While shopping at Trader Joe's the other day, I came across this wine. I was definitely intrigued by the name: Layer Cake! And then I loved that a Primitivo is just another name for Zinfandel. I love a good Zin with dark chocolate, and this one tastes a bit chocolate-y.


Clearly the folks at Trader Joe's think the same way. Read the shelf talker below!


Have you tried this yet? Worth a taste!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

How to Remove Chocolate Stains, Part II: Other Surfaces

Barclay on Heriz
Last week I posted How to Remove Chocolate Stains from Fabrics, but there are plenty of other surfaces from which you might need to Remove Chocolate Stains such as your priceless Oriental Rug or the white carpets you installed before you had kids or pets. What were you thinking? And that's not even mentioning the tile and marble in the foyer that the kids were running through with their chocolate cookies. Let's face it: Chocolate can end up just about anywhere.

So today I'm posting How to Remove Chocolate Stains Part II: Other surfaces! As always I welcome any recommendations that you've found successful. Thanks to HowStuffWorks.com and Hints from Heloise for these suggestions.

Carpet  (Synthetic or Wool): 

Two possible treatments. CHOOSE ONLY ONE. Remember to get to the stains as quickly as possible.

I. Scrape off as much chocolate residue as you can.
Then, with a white paper towel or clean cloth, apply dry-cleaning fluid to the stain and blot.
If any stain remains, apply a solution of 1/4 teaspoon mild white detergent and 1 cup room-temperature water. Work from the outer edge of the stain to the middle -- always blotting, not rubbing.
Rinse with clear water to remove soap residue.

II. Blot up or scrape as much of excess as possible.
To prevent setting stain, flush with club soda.
Try an application of Spot Shot Carpet Stain Remover or a concentrated solution of a non-alkali carpet shampoo.
After drying and vacuuming, if stain remains:
Mix 1 tablespoon ammonia to 1 cup water and carefully drop small amounts onto the stain. (On wool carpets, test in an inconspicuous corner first, as ammonia can harm wool.)
Blot with an absorbent pad.
Flush area rugs or sponge carpeting with clear water. It is important to remove all traces of ammonia.
Place a clean absorbent pad over the area and weight it down.
When no more liquid is being absorbed, allow it to thoroughly air dry.

Alabaster and Marble
Carefully scrape excess.
Wipe with a clean cloth dipped in a solution of washing soda or detergent and water.
Rinse well and wipe dry.
If any stain remains:
Mix a few drops of ammonia with 1 cup of 3% hydrogen peroxide.
Soak a white blotter with the solution and place it over the stain.
Weight it down with a heavy object.
Continue applying the solution until the oil has been drawn out and any remaining stain bleached out.

Stone Surfaces
Granite, Brick, Concrete, Flagstone, Limestone, Masonry Tile, Sandstone, Slate, Terrazzo
Scrape to remove excess, taking care not to gouge the surface.
Wash with a solution of washing soda or detergent (never use soap) and water.
Use a cloth or a gentle brush.
Rinse thoroughly with clear water and allow to dry.

Wood
Mix dishwashing detergent in hot water and swish to make a great volume of suds.
Dip a cloth in only the foam and apply.
Rinse with a clean cloth dampened with clear water.
Polish or wax as usual.

Grout
Wipe excess with a cloth dipped in warm sudsy water.
If any stain remains:
Dip a wet toothbrush into baking soda or powdered cleanser.
Gently scrub the spot.
Rinse well and wipe dry.

Silver
Wash silver in hot sudsy water.
Rinse thoroughly in hot water.
Wipe dry immediately with a clean soft cloth to prevent tarnish.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day 1943: Chocolate is a Fighting Food

I find a lot of Chocolate Advertisements in Life Magazine, and during WWII there were many. I've posted some before, but thought that today, being Memorial Day, I would repost these two from Nestle's. "Chocolate is a Fighting Food."

Nestle's produced the D-ration chocolate that was sent to our infantry during WWII. "Chocolate supplies the greatest amount of nourishment in the smallest possible bulk. So wherever America fights, the Army uses chocolate in the form of emergency rations, selected because it contains so much quick energy."

Be sure and take time today to remember those who defended our country. 





Sunday, May 26, 2013

S'Mores Blondie Pie

With Memorial Day tomorrow, you might want to make S'mores on the Barbie or on the Campfire. At home? How about this fab S'mores Blondie Pie? Bake in advance and enjoy the party! Original recipe from Hershey's Kitchens, and let's face it, Hershey's and S'mores are synonymous. Want to upgrade? Use your favorite dark chocolate.

S'MORES BLONDIE PIE

Ingredients 
1/2 cup sweet butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 teaspoon baking powder
1-1/2 cups marshmallow creme 6 (1.55 oz. each)
HERSHEY'S Milk Chocolate Bars (about 1-1/2 cups), divided  (or high quality dark chocolate, chopped)

Directions
1 Heat oven to 350°F. Grease 9-inch pie plate. Unwrap chocolate bars; break into pieces (or break high quality dark chocolate into pieces).
2 Beat butter and sugar until blended in medium bowl. Add egg; beat until light and fluffy. Stir in flour, graham cracker crumbs and baking powder; beat until well blended.
3 Press half of dough onto bottom and up sides of pie plate. Spread marshmallow creme over bottom of crust. Sprinkle chopped chocolate evenly over marshmallow creme.
4 Form remaining dough into ball; place on sheet of waxed paper. With fingers, flatten and shape into 9-inch circle. Pick up waxed paper, supporting dough with hands. Flip dough onto pie surface; peel off waxed paper. Pinch edges of dough together and form crust edge.
5 Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely in pan on wire rack.
To serve, microwave slices at HIGH (100%) 15 to 20 seconds or until slightly warm and marshmallow starts to melt--or heat up in oven for 5 minutes.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

RED WINE BROWNIES: National Wine Day

Today is National Wine Day. What a great day and weekend to celebrate! Later today, I'll be stopping by one of my favorite wineries that also has an exquisite garden, Lynmar Estate. I'm sure to take a lot of photos plus taste a lot of Pinots, but in the meantime I thought I'd post one of my favorite recipes for Red Wine Brownies. Don't feel like baking? Buy a brownie and grab a glass of great red wine!

Red Wine Brownies

Ingredients
1 cup Merlot
3/4 cup sweet butter
4 ounces dark chocolate (80% cacao, if you have it)
1 1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon Madagascar vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup toasted chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts)
1/2 cup dark chocolate chopped into chunks

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Butter a 13x9-inch baking pan.
In small saucepan, simmer wine over medium heat until reduced to about a 1/4 cup. Pour into large bowl and set aside.
In top of double boiler (or a saucepan over another saucepan of simmering water), melt butter and chocolate. Pour into wine and whisk until smooth.
In top of double boiler, whisk together eggs, sugar, and vanilla until very light and thick. Pour into chocolate mixture and whisk until smooth. Stir in flour and 1/2 cup nuts and the 1/2 cup chopped chocolate chunks.
Pour into pan.
Bake 40-45 minutes (give it the toothpick test)

I don't usually frost my brownies, but here's a terrific chocolate red wine ganache that makes a great icing. Be sure and cool the brownies before frosting.

Chocolate Wine Ganache 
adapted from Brownies Chocolate-Wine Ganaches in Diana's Recipe Book

Ingredients
6 ounces dark chocolate (65-75% cacao), chopped
3 tablespoons sweet butter, room temperature
2 tablespoons whipping cream
1 tablespoon sweet red wine (or any sweet red wine/try a late harvest dessert Zin)

Directions
Whisk all ingredients in small saucepan over medium-low heat until melted and smooth.

Red wine and chocolate: Always a great pairing!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Memorial Day Chocolate Barbecue Sauces

When I was growing up barbecues at my house were mostly on holidays: Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day. My Dad would don his Westinghouse apron and hat and fire up the grill. I still have my Dad's apron, but not the chef's hat. Very nostalgic--and retro. Wish he were still with us. I miss him every day. He'd love these barbecue sauces (and this list of Barbecue Crime Fiction.)

If you're planning a Memorial Day barbecue, you'll want to check your stock of dark chocolate. I've posted several chocolate barbecue sauces and chocolate rubs before, but here are two more. Both use Hershey's products-- #1 Hershey's Special Dark Syrup and # Scharffen Berger Dark Chocolate, but you can use what you have and enjoy best!

The first recipe is from The BBQ Report. I use a different Dark Chocolate Sauce from an artisan chocolate company, but you can always use Hershey's. The flavors will be different, but both would be good. Season your meat with some cocoa powder (unsweetened) for double chocolate goodness.

#1 CHOCOLATE BARBECUE SAUCE

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups ketchup
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup Hershey’s Special Dark syrup (or another)
 1/4 cup olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp salt
1/2 tbsp cracked black pepper
1 tsp paprika
1 tbsp prepared mustard
1/2 tsp hot sauce

Directions
In sauce pan saute onions and garlic in olive oil, cooking until tender.
Stir in lemon juice, salt, pepper, paprika and hot sauce.
Simmer for 5 to 6 minutes and reduce heat.
Stir in ketchup, vinegar and Hershey’s Syrup.
Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.

#2 CHOCOLATE BARBECUE SAUCE

From the Hershey's Website comes this amazing and much more complex Chocolate Barbecue Sauce recipe, utilizing Scharffen Berger 82% dark chocolate (Scharffen Berger is now owned by Hershey's). Recipe adapted from Chef Ken Gladysz at the Hotel Hershey.

Ingredients
1 tablespoon sweet butter, soft
4 each garlic cloves, minced
1/2 Spanish onion, diced small
2 each Roma tomatoes, stem removed, diced small
1 1/2 oz. dark brown sugar
4 teaspoons ancho chili powder
4 oz. apple cider vinegar
8 oz. barbeque sauce
14 oz. vegetable stock
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
3 oz. SCHARFFEN BERGER 82% dark chocolate
2 tablespoons cilantro, fresh, chopped
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper, freshly ground

Directions
Melt butter in small sauce pan over medium heat.
Add garlic and onion, sauté 5 minutes until golden brown.
Add tomatoes, stir, and sauté an additional 5 minutes.
Add sugar and chili powder, mix well, and cook for 5 minutes.
Add vinegar, reduce for 5 minutes, mixture should have a paste consistency.
Add sauce, stock, cumin, cinnamon, cloves, salt and pepper. Mix well.
Bring to a boil and reduce to a slow simmer for 30 minutes.
Add SCHARFFEN BERGER chocolate and cilantro; allow to simmer for 5 minutes.
Remove sauce from heat and let stand for 10 minutes.
Puree sauce, transfer to a clean container and cool.
For best results, refrigerate for 12 hours before using.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Chocolate Turkish Taffy: National Taffy Day

Today is National Taffy Day. I haven't made taffy since I was a child, and then it was with my Aunt Anne. She was an inspiration for all things foodie, woodsy, gardening, and crafty, so this was a natural. She'd gather all the cousins, and we would make and pull taffy.

At the same time, I wasn't adverse to store bought taffy. It was a treat, really. There was a penny candy store I used to stop at after lunch (yes, we went home for lunch at my first elementary school) and buy a penny or two worth of candy. One of my favorites, and I think it may have cost a nickel, was Bonomo's Chocolate Turkish Taffy. My favorite was banana, but I also liked chocolate. You can buy Bonomo's Turkish Taffy online, although the price is more like $1.20. Times change.

Invented in Coney Island in the 1940s by Victor Bonomo, Bonomo's Turkish Taffy is a mixture of corn syrup and egg whites that are cooked, then baked. It's a hard taffy-like bar that you hit on the surface and eat the smaller broken pieces--or if you're like me--you just suck the whole thing into a sticky mess. Bonomo's Turkish Taffy is actually neither Turkish or taffy, but a kind of nougat, although Bonomo was a Sephardic Jew who traced his ancestry to Turkey. Bonomo died in 1999 at his home in Bal Harbour at the age of 100. He sold the company 40 years ago. It changed hands a few times becoming part of Tootsie Roll Industries of Chicago, which stopped making the candy in 1989, but it was revived in 2010 and is now available in vanilla, chocolate, strawberry and banana. This is truly a retro candy! Read more of the history at Old Time Candy.

So without a chocolate taffy recipe of my own, I went to Alton Brown on the Food Network, of course. Knew he'd have one.  Love to hear if you make this one---or if you have a taffy recipe of your own.

CHOCOLATE TAFFY

Ingredients
2 cups sugar
2/3 cup Dutch process cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons butter, plus additional for greasing pan and hands

Directions
In heavy medium saucepan, combine sugar, cocoa powder, and salt. Stir until thoroughly combined. Add corn syrup, water, and vinegar to pan and place over medium heat. Stir until sugar and cocoa dissolve, raise heat to high and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to low, clip candy thermometer to side of pan and cook until mixture reaches 260 degrees F. Remove pan from heat, add the butter and stir. Butter edges of sheet pan, line with silicone baking sheet and pour on taffy. Allow to cool until you are able to handle it.

Once you are able to handle the taffy, don vinyl gloves, butter them, and begin to fold taffy in thirds using the silicone mat. Pick up taffy and begin to pull folding the taffy back on itself repeatedly twisting as you go. Taffy is done when it lightens in color, takes on a sheen, and becomes too hard to pull. Roll into log, cut into fourths, roll each fourth into a 1-inch wide log, and cut into 1-inch pieces. Making sure to keep pieces separated or they will stick to each other. Wrap individual pieces of candy in waxed paper. Store in airtight container 3 to 5 days.

And, for your viewing pleasure, a Bonomo Turkish Taffy TV Ad from the 1950s


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Home-made Vanilla Pudding: Perfect for Eclairs

Today is National Vanilla Pudding Day, and I just had to post this Retro Ad for Jell-O Pudding Eclairs. The recipe on the Ad uses Jell-O Vanilla Pudding & Pie Filling, but scroll down for a recipe for easy and delicious Home-made Vanilla Pudding that you can use in Eclairs or chocolate cups.


HOME-MADE EASY VANILLA PUDDING
Ingredients
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups whole milk
3 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons sweet butter, cut into small pieces
2 teaspoons Madagascar vanilla extract
Directions
Combine sugar, cornstarch, and salt in  medium saucepan and whisk together. While continuing to whisk, slowly add in 1/4 cup of milk until smooth. Whisk in egg yolks and rest of milk.
Place saucepan over medium heat and cook, whisking often, until pudding begins to thicken and just starts to bubble, about 6 minutes. Reduce heat to medium low and switch to rubber spatula. Stir constantly, scraping  bottom and sides of pan, until pudding makes ribbons when drizzled over surface, about 5 minutes. 
Remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla until butter is melted and completely incorporated.
Transfer pudding to container or individual cups (depends what you plan to do with the pudding). Carefully press piece of plastic wrap on top of pudding to prevent skin from forming.
Chill in refrigerator until set, about 2 hours.

Use in recipe above ... replace packaged vanilla pudding!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

How to Remove Chocolate Stains, Part I

I cook and bake with chocolate, and I eat a lot of chocolate. Needless to say, I am not always stain-free, nor is my house. Chocolate seems to make its way into every room in my household.

So last night after a literary salon in my home, I found chocolate embedded in my couch. Before I started to scrub and spread the chocolate more, I went to an old post here on DyingforChocolate.com from 2011 on How to Remove Chocolate Stains. My own advice worked like a charm. So I thought I would repost How to Remove Chocolate Stains, Part I. This is one of two posts. Love to hear from you on your own chocolate removal techniques.

Today I'm covering Fabrics. First rule of thumb is to remove any stains immediately. However, you might have overlooked that blob of chocolate from the Chocolate Tasting or Chocolate Fountain. Always check the guidelines on the item of clothing or article. No directions? Try the following. Here's another helpful hint. If you can, try removing the stain from the opposite side of the fabric. This is not always available or practical, but thought I should mention it.

PART I: FABRICS

Washable fabrics: Cotton, Linen, Acrylic fabric, nylon, polyester, spandex

Luckily, many fabrics are washable, but you still need to take a few precautionary steps.
First, wipe off as much as possible without applying a lot of pressure. BLOT.
Rinse the stain with Club Soda. (this should be a staple in your pantry for lots of different stains)
At this point if the spot looks like it's gone, and the article can go in the washer, put a little Simple Green on the spot and throw it in and wash on cold. I don't dry anything in the dryer, until I'm sure it's out.

However, HowStuffWorks.com adds a few steps. If the article is important to you, I suggest adding these steps and not throwing the article into the washer.
Sponge the spot with a spot lifter.
Apply a dry spotter to the stain and cover with an absorbent pad dampened with the dry spotter.
Keep the stain moist with dry spotter.
Let it stand as long as any stain is being lifted.
Change the pad as it picks up the stain.
Flush with a dry-cleaning solvent.

If any stain remains:
Apply a few drops of dish washing detergent and a few drops of ammonia to the stain, then tamp or scrape.
Keep the stain moist with the detergent and ammonia and blot occasionally with an absorbent pad.
Flush well with water to remove all traces of ammonia.
Allow to dry or launder as usual.

Non Washable Fabrics: Acetate, Burlap, Rayon, Rope, Silk, Wool

I wear silk shirts all the time, so chocolate invariably finds its way onto these shirts. The shirts are washable. Who knew? Since I have over 25 of them in all colors, this was a wonderful discovery. What I do is blot and then use use a little dishwasher soap (very little), and rinse. I throw the shirt in the washer on cold for a short cycle, but don't dry them in the dryer until I check the spot.

HowStuffWorks.com has a more methodical way of removing chocolate stains from non-washable fabrics:
Blot up any excess, or scrape (the method of using a scraping tool to gently lift off excess solid or caked-on stains) any matter from the surface.
Flush (the method of applying stain remover to loosen staining materials and residue from stain removers) the stain with club soda to prevent setting.
Sponge (the method of using light strokes with a dampened pad working outward from the center of the stain) the stain with a spot lifter or cleaning fluid.
Then apply a dry spotter to the stain and cover with an absorbent pad dampened with the dry spotter.
Keep the stain and pad moist with the dry spotter. Let it stand as long as any stain is being removed.
Change the pad as it picks up the stain.
Flush with dry-cleaning solvent.

If a stain remains:
Moisten with an enzyme pre-soak (follow directions on label).
Cover with a clean pad that has been dipped in the solution and wrung almost dry.
Let stand at least 30 minutes.
Add more solution if needed to keep the stain warm and moist, but do not allow the wet area to spread.
When the stain is lifted, flush thoroughly with water and allow to dry.

And more from HowStuffWorks.com:

Felt and Fur: 
Different procedure to remove chocolate from the cat or dog. Since chocolate is dangerous to animals, you shouldn't allow chocolate near them anyway!

Gently scrape to remove excess.
Mix a mild soap in hot water and swish to make a great volume of suds.
Dip a cloth in the foam and apply to the fabric.
Rinse by wiping with a clean cloth dampened with clear water.

If a grease stain remains:
Powder the stain with an absorbent such as corn meal.
Give it plenty of time to work.
Gently brush (the method of using a stiff-bristled brush to gently remove dried stains and spots) it out.
Take care not to force the absorbent further into the hairs. Repeat if necessary.

Leather and Suede: 
This is very similar to felt and fur, except for the final step with leather.

Gently scrape excess from the surface.
Mix a solution of mild soap in lukewarm water.
Swish to create a great volume of suds.
Apply only the foam with a sponge.
Wipe dry with a clean cloth.

If a stain remains:
Powder it with an absorbent such as corn meal.
Give it plenty of time to work.
Gently brush it off.
Repeat if necessary
On leather only, follow with a leather cleaner or saddle soap to condition the leather.

How to Remove Chocolate from other surfaces to come in another post.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Devil's Food Cake vs Chocolate Cake

Since it's National Devil's Food Cake Day, I thought I might revisit a post about the difference between Devil's Food Cake and Chocolate Cake. There are many different interpretations. Some recipes use cocoa, some melted chocolate, some add coffee or hot liquid, and some increase the baking soda.

According to Wikipedia:

Because of differing recipes and changing ingredient availability over the course of the twentieth century, it is difficult to precisely qualify what distinguishes Devil's food from the more standard chocolate cake. The traditional Devil's food cake is made with shredded beets much the way a carrot cake is made with carrots. The beets add moisture and sweetness to the cake, helping it to be very rich. The red of the beets slightly colors the cake red and due to the richness of the cake it became known as the Devil's food. 

O.K. That's a beet cake or a 'natural' red velvet cake, and I make a good one, but it's not a Devil's Food Cake in my opinion.


Devil's food cake is generally more moist and airy than other chocolate cakes, and often uses cocoa as opposed to chocolate for the flavor as well as coffee. The lack of melted chocolate and the addition of coffee is typically what distinguishes a Devil's food cake from a chocolate cake, though some recipes call for all, resulting in an even richer chocolate flavor. The use of hot, or boiling water as the cake's main liquid, rather than milk, is also a common difference. 

Devil's food cake is sometimes distinguished from other chocolate cakes by the use of additional baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) which raises the pH level and makes the cake a deeper and darker mahogany color. Devil's food cake incorporates butter (or a substitute), egg whites, flour (while some chocolate cakes are flourless) and less egg than other chocolate cakes. Devil's food cake was introduced in the United States in the early 20th century with the recipe in print as early as 1905. 

A similar cake, the red velvet cake, is closely linked to a Devil's food cake, and in some turn of the century cookbooks the two names may have been interchangeable. Most red velvet cakes today use red food coloring, but even without it, the reaction of acidic vinegar and buttermilk tends to better reveal the red anthocyanin in the cocoa. When used in cakes, acid causes reddening of cocoa powder when baked, and before more alkaline "Dutch Processed" cocoa was widely available, the red color would have been more pronounced. This natural tinting may have been the source for the name "Red Velvet" as well as "Devil's Food" and a long list of similar names for chocolate cakes.

I'm partial to Devil's Food Cake.

Here are several mid-century recipes. Sorry about the light print on the first cookbook.

I've posted many Devil's Food Cake recipes in the past, but today I am posting four mid-century recipes. The first recipe is for Cocoa Devil's Food Cake from How To Get the Most Out of Your Sunbeam Mixmaster (1950). I posted a "Mix-Easy" Devil's Food Cake for Mother's Day last year, and you might want to look at that one, too. It's pretty much the same as the following recipe. This is a good page for this post since there's a Chocolate Cake recipe next to the Devil's Food Cake recipe.


This same cookbook has a recipe for Black Devil's Food Cake, so now we have Cocoa Devil's Food Cake, Black Devil's Food Cake, and below a Red Devil's Food Cake. As you see, the following Black Devil's Food Cake is made with cocoa and with the addition of strong hot coffee or boiling water.

The Red Devil's Food Cake is a variation on the Chocolate Fudge Cake on the same page, and to save space, they didn't reprint the entire recipe! It's a very small pamphlet. The baking soda is increased, but otherwise it's the same cake.

This recipe is from the Recipes for your Hamilton Beach Mixer-17 Delicious New Cakes (1947). Don't you just love that someone wrote "good" next to the recipe? It's the same recipe I posted (but from a different pamphlet) on Devil's Food Cake Day for Mother's Day. 


And one more Red Devil's Food Cake from the same mid-century period. This one is from Kate Smith Chooses her 55 Favorite Ann Pillsbury CAKE RECIPES.


Enough Devil's Food Cake recipes? Never! Have a look at Martha Washington's Devil's Food Cake which is from Capitol Hill Cooks: Recipes from the White House by Linda Bauer. This is a great Buttermilk Devil's Food Cake!

So what's the difference between Devil's Food Cake and Chocolate Cake? You decide.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Chocolate Cherry Cobbler: National Cherry Cobbler Day

Today is National Cherry Cobbler Day and fresh cherries are just starting to hit the market, but I'm posting recipes that use bottled (or canned) pie filling. I posted a recipe for Cherry Chocolate Crumble a few years ago when fresh cherries were abundant. Depending where you live and what you have available, check out that recipe.

However you can make these two Cherry Chocolate Cobblers using natural cherry pie filling. I love Chukar Cherries Sour Cherry Fruit Filling. Fabulous! Whole and tangy Montmorency cherries. Red and delicious!

Try both of the following recipes--they're completely different in taste.

Happy National Cherry Cobbler Day... and as I always say, everything tastes better with Chocolate!

I. CHOCOLATE CHERRY COBBLER

Ingredients
18 ounces Chukar's Sour Cherry Fruit Filling
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoon all purpose flour
1 cup dark chocolate, chopped

Topping
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup sweet butter, softened (I use Kerrygold)

Directions
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Mix cherries, sugar and flour. Spread evenly into 11 x 7 baking dish.
Sprinkle chocolate over top.

For topping
Mix together flour, sugars and pinch of salt.
Cut in butter until mixture is crumbly.
Sprinkle topping over cherry filling.
Bake cobbler until filling bubbles and topping is golden brown.
About 40 to 45 minutes.

****
This second recipe is all over the Internet. I've tweaked it a bit. It's easy and delicious. Again, I use Chukar Cherry Pie Filling, but use what you have!

II. CHOCOLATE CHERRY COBBLER  
aka Cracker Barrel Cherry Chocolate Cobbler

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sweet butter
6 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup milk
1 egg, slightly beaten
About 21 ounces Chukar's cherry pie filling
1/2 cup finely chopped nuts (almonds or walnuts)

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and butter. Cut with pastry blender until  crumbs are size of small peas.
In saucepan over saucepan of simmering water, melt chocolate. Allow to cool 5 minutes at room temperature.
Add milk and egg to chocolate mixture; mix well.
Blend into flour mixture; mix well.
Spread pie filling in bottom of 2 quart casserole.
Drop chocolate batter randomly over cherries. Sprinkle nuts all over top.
Bake at 350 degrees F 40-45 minutes.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Nancy J. Parra: Gluten-free Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins

Once again my Mystery and Chocolate worlds cross--this time Gluten-free. Nancy J. Parra is the author of the Baker's Treat Mystery Series that are set in a gluten-free bakery in a small Kansas town--yes, in the middle of wheat country. Her latest novel is Gluten for Punishment (Berkley Prime Crime). And coming up: All Fudged UP, a Candy Coated Mystery, Kensington (Nov 2013), Her Hand in Murder, a Perfect Proposal Mystery, Berkley Prime Crime (TBA 2014)

Nancy J Parra:
Gluten for Punishment

Hi, I’m Nancy J Parra and a chocolate lover from way back. Brownies were always my go to chocolate fix until I was diagnosed with gluten sensitivity. I’ve been gluten free for nearly six years now, and at first it was daunting. All my favorite baked goods tasted terrible. I had no idea how to bake homemade. All the blogs said you had to have some strange ratio of a variety of flours and xanthum gum. I went a full year with no baked goods. Horrifying! Then I got brave and taught myself how to bake gluten free using my own recipes. One of my favorite is Chocolate Chip Pumpkin muffins. 

When I posted my various experimental recipes on Facebook, a good writer friend suggested I blend my two favorite things-baking and writing cozy mysteries. The Baker’s Treat Mystery series was born. The mysteries are set in a gluten-free bakery in a small Kansas town – yes – gluten-free in the middle of wheat country.

My protagonist Toni Holmes is a divorcee starting over in her small home town – dealing with a large eccentric family, her brilliant Grandma Ruth, and an area of the country where gluten free is considered more than nonsense – it’s a threat to the economic survival. Luckily Toni takes it all in stride until she’s a suspect in the murder of a wheat farmer. Then it takes more than education and tact to get her through the conflicts of her life. Toni learns how to sleuth and discovers that a large nosey family isn’t all bad.

Kip's Favorite Gluten-free Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins 

Ingredients
1 ¼ cup gluten-free baking mix (I like Pamela’s Mix.)
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ cup honey
¼ cup water
1 egg
1 tsp gluten-free vanilla
½ cup canned pumpkin
½ cup gf chocolate chips – I like dark chocolate
½ cup flaked coconut
¼ cup pecans or walnuts chopped.

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Line muffin tins with paper liners.
Mix first eight ingredients.
Fold in chocolate chips, coconut and pecans.
Use ¼ cup measure cup to measure dough into muffin tins.
Bake 20-25 minutes until muffin tops bounce back with a light touch.
Enjoy!
Makes 6-8 muffins

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Chocolate Chips Recipe Round-Up: National Chocolate Chip Day

Today is National Chocolate Chip Day, but some would beg to differ. August 4 is also known as National Chocolate Chip Day, but let's face it, every day is Chocolate Chip Day at my House! So here's an updated round-up of some (but not all) Chocolate Chip Recipes from DyingforChocolate.com.

Chocolate Chips are so versatile. You're sure to have something to bake today to celebrate the holiday :-)

Post a comment, recipe or link about your favorite chocolate chip recipe!

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Toll House Cookies: Vintage Ad & Recipe

DoubleTree Chocolate Chip Cookies

Coffee Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Chip Bars

Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Sandwiches

Chocolate Chip Mandelbrot

Oatmeal Raisin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Chip Macaroons

Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies in a Jar

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies in a Jar

Kentucky Chocolate-Nut Pie Mix in a Jar

Chocolate Chip Cookies in a Jar

Toll House Stars & Stripes Cookies

Blueberry White Chocolate Muffins

Goat Cheese Chocolate Chip Cheesecake 

Cheesecake Chocolate Chip Cookie Cups  

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake

Coconut Almond Torte with Chocolate Chips

Nutty Chocolate Chip Caramel Squares

Zucchini Chocolate Chip Cookies  

Pumpkin Pie Chocolate Chip Bars in a Jar

Kentucky Derby Pie 

Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ruth Graves Wakefield, the Birth of Toll House Cookies  

Chocolate Chip Cookie Stuffed Pies

Chocolate Chip Pancakes

Chocolate Chip Macadamia Cookies

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

MEYER LEMON CHEESECAKE with CHOCOLATE CRUST

The Jewish holiday of Shavuot starts this evening, so I thought I'd post an easy and delicious recipe for the holiday. This is perfect for a festive dairy meal.. and the lemons are all about the holiday, too! MEYER LEMON CHEESECAKE with Chocolate Crust.

The Shavuot holiday celebrates the giving of the Torah. One of the most popular customs on Shavuot is to eat dairy foods. A possible explanation-- there are many-- comes from the Song of Songs, verse 4:11, that says "milk and honey are under your tongue." Some have said that the Torah is like the milk in this verse. Like milk, the Torah sustains its people. Therefore, a dairy meal on Shavuot celebrates the nourishing ability of the Torah. Shavuot is also known as Chag HaKatzir (the Harvest Festival), since it coincides with the annual wheat harvest in Israel. In ancient Temple times, Jews would bring their first fruits as sacrifices. So I think lemons are perfect to add to this dairy dessert. Make a Chocolate crust, and it's really delicious!

The recipe for the Cheesecake is adapted from Epicurious. I've changed it up in several ways. Since I have Meyer Lemons in my yard, I use them to give this recipe a tangy/sweet taste. I also make a Chocolate Crust. No big surprise there! And, this cheesecake is great just about any time!

MEYER LEMON CHEESECAKE WITH CHOCOLATE CRUST

Chocolate Cookie Crust
2 cups chocolate wafer cookies (grind in food processor)
6 tablespoons sweet butter, melted
Filling
5 8-ounce packages (Philadelphia brand) cream cheese, room temperature
2 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
7 large eggs
3 cups (24 ounces) sour cream
2 tablespoons (packed) finely grated Meyer lemon peel
2 tablespoons fresh Meyer lemon juice

Directions

For crust:
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Stir cookie crumbs and butter in medium bowl until evenly moistened.
Press mixture onto bottom of 9-inch-diameter removable-bottom cheesecake pan with 
3-inch-high sides.
Bake crust about 10-12 minutes. Cool completely. Reduce oven temperature to 325°F.
Stack 3 large sheets of foil on work surface. Place same cake pan in center. Gather foil snugly around pan bottom and up sides to waterproof.

For filling:
Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese in large bowl until smooth and fluffy. Gradually beat in sugar, then salt. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time. Beat in sour cream, grated lemon peel, and lemon juice. Pour filling into pan.
Place wrapped cake pan in large roasting pan. Pour enough hot water into roasting pan to come halfway up sides of cake pan. Bake cake until filling is slightly puffed and moves only slightly when pan is shaken gently, about 1 hour 25 minutes. Remove cake pan from water bath; remove foil. Cool cake in pan on rack 2 hours. Chill uncovered until cold; cover and keep chilled at least 1 day and up to 2 days.
Cut around pan sides; carefully loosen pan bottom from sides and push up pan bottom to release cake. Place cake (still on pan bottom) on platter.

Tip:
The pan: It must be three inches high to hold all the filling. If your nine-inch springform pan is that high, it can be used instead.

Monday, May 13, 2013

As American as Apple Pie: Chocolate Apple Pie

Today is National Apple Pie Day, and it's only fitting that it comes one day after Mother's Day. This Chocolate Apple Pie is "as American as Mom and Apple Pie." But what's the origin of this catch phrase?

 From Wikipedia: 
Although apple pies have been eaten since long before the European colonization of the Americas, "as American as apple pie" is a saying in the United States, meaning "typically American". In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, apple pie became a symbol of American prosperity and national pride. A newspaper article published in 1902 declared that “No pie-eating people can be permanently vanquished.” The dish was also commemorated in the phrase "for Mom and apple pie" - supposedly the stock answer of American soldiers in World War II, whenever journalists asked why they were going to war.

My grandmother made an awesome apple pie. I've written about it before. It did not contain chocolate. She made it in a huge rectangular pan. She made it because it was American, and when she came to these shores, she became an American!  My grandmother was born in the Ukraine, married in London, and settled in Philadelphia, the cradle of liberty. She took her new citizenship to heart, and she baked apple pie for her family every Friday. She did it because she saw herself as a true American. 

CHOCOLATE APPLE PIE

Ingredients
Pastry for a double-crust 9-inch pie, unbaked
8-10 tart apples (peeled, cored and sliced thinly--number of apples depends on their size)--Gravensteins aren't available this time of year, but they're my favorite, especially for pies!
1/3 cup sugar
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 cup 70-85% dark chocolate fair-trade organic, chopped

Directions
1. Apples: peel, core, and slice thinly.
2. Combine cinnamon & sugar = cinnamon sugar. (you may need a tiny bit more). I've also used the chocolate cinnamon sugar from Trader Joe's
2. Place 1 layer apple slices on bottom crust. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons cinnamon sugar. Repeat twice.
3 Spread chopped chocolate pieces over top.
4. Using remaining apples, make 3 more apple/cinnamon sugar layers.
5. Top with 2nd crust and seal edges. Make cut on top--or prick with fork in a few places.
6. Bake in preheated 450 F oven for 15 minutes (until golden).
7. Lower heat to 350F and continue baking for another 25-30 minutes, or until apples are tender.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day Retro Chocolate Whitman's Samplers Ads

Happy Mother's Day! Here are a few Retro Whitman's Sampler Chocolate Ads. I grew up in Philadelphia, home of Whitman's Samplers. Read more about Whitman's Chocolates HERE. You can never miss with a box of Whitman's Samplers.







Happy Mother's Day, Mom!

My Mother: 1942 & 2013





Saturday, May 11, 2013

5 DIY Chocolate Face Masks: Perfect for Mother's Day!

Chocolate Facial for Mom? Why not mix up one of these recipes? Or give Mom a gift certificate for a day at "your" spa!  This is the Perfect Mother's Day gift. Be sure to make a second batch for yourself!

We all know Chocolate is good for the heart, blood pressure, and a lot more. When I was growing up, we were told that chocolate was bad for the skin. That it actually caused acne. This is not true. Chocolate is full of antioxidants that actually gives the skin extra protection against free radicals and can nourish the skin. The following masks can increase hydration, support skin's defense against UV damage, decrease roughness, and actually improve blood flow. Give one or all of them a try.

Pros of Chocolate Face Mask: The skin becomes glowing and soft. The skin becomes firm and smooth. Even if the mask goes into your mouth, no problem; it tastes yummy. The final Chocolate Face Mask even has an alternative fudge recipe.

So here are 5 D-I-Y Chocolate Face Mask Recipes! They're all simple to make. Let me know which is your favorite.

1. Chocolate Mask from Household Magic: Daily Tips

Mix together a heaping Tbsp of unsweetened cocoa powder with heavy cream to form a paste.
Apply to clean, dry skin and leave  paste on for 15 minutes.
Wipe off mask with washcloth.
Rinse face with lukewarm water and pat dry.

2. Chocolate Yogurt Honey Mask from Flavor Fiesta

Ingredients:
1 tsp cocoa powder
1 tsp yogurt
1 tsp honey

Directions:
1. Blend cocoa powder with honey and yogurt. Cocoa powder can be difficult to blend, so be patient with this step. Keep mixing until mixture looks like melted chocolate.
2. Clean your face with lukewarm water. Dab dry and then apply the mask evenly all over your face except the eye and lip areas. Relax for 15-20 minutes and let the mask do it’s magic.
3. Wash off with lukewarm water and dab dry.
Apply moisturizer.

3. Chocolate Brown Sugar Sea Salt Mask from WikiHow

Ingredients
2 bars of dark chocolate, chopped
2/3 cup of milk
Sea salt
3 Tbsp Brown Sugar

Directions
Heat dark chocolate in double boiler for about 3 minutes.
Mix sea salt, brown sugar, and 2/3 of a cup milk in a bowl.
Remove melted chocolate from heat.
Mix melted chocolate with salt/milk mixture.
Allow to cool.
Apply to face while cool but not hardened.
Leave on until it hardens.
Wash or chip off with mild cleanser and warm water.
Add moisturizer when done.

4. Chocolate Oatmeal Honey Mask from Skin Care and Remedies

Ingredients
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup organic honey
2 Tbsp of heavy cream (or sour cream)
3 tsp oatmeal powder

Directions
Mix all ingredients until mass in consistent.
Apply to face, gently massaging so oatmeal can start exfoliating the dead skin cell layer.
Leave on for about 15-20 minutes
Rinse off with lukewarm water.

This is one of my favorites because it's so versatile.. with a tiny bit of tweaking, you can make fudge! How cool is that?

5. Chocolate Avocado, Honey, Oatmeal Face Mask (or Fudge)  
 from Meghan Telpner-Making Love in the Kitchen

Ingredients
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup organic honey
2 Tbsp smashed avocado
3 tsp oatmeal powder (leave this out if making soft fudge, leave in if you want a harder texture)

Directions: Face Mask
Mix all ingredients until mass is consistent.
Apply on face, gently massaging so oatmeal can start exfoliating the dead skin cell layer.
Leave on for 15-20 minutes.
Rinse off with lukewarm water.

Instructions: Fudge
Mix all ingredients (except oatmeal) until mass is consistent.
Spread in small pyrex dish or into individual ramikens.
Allow to set in refrigerator for at least two hours.



Friday, May 10, 2013

Mother's Day Chocolate Cake: Retro Sunbeam Mixmaster Ad

I adore Retro Advertisements and this one is particularly close to my heart. My mother had a Sunbeam Mixmaster. So many cookies, cakes and brownies were made with that Mixmaster. I don't have my mother's Sunbeam Mixmaster, but I have my Mother-in-Law's--the same model with all the attachments. I use my Kitchenaid Mixer mostly, but I love the functionality of the old Mixmaster War Horse. It still works, and I'll bet my mother-in-law got it in the 40s or 50s.

So, for Mother's Day, here's a Sunbeam Mixmaster Mother's Day Advertisement from Life Magazine, May 1, 1950, complete with Chocolate Cake recipe. What are you making for Mother's Day?




Thursday, May 9, 2013

Butter "Scotch" Brownies

May 9 is yet another esoteric Food Holiday: Butterscotch Brownie Day! Butterscotch Brownies, as good as they are, do not include chocolate, so it's not really a holiday I usually celebrate. So I've changed it up a bit, while still keeping with the spirit of the day. Here's my take on Butterscotch Brownie Day: Butter "Scotch" Brownies. Add Scotch to the batter, and you're good to go.  

I've posted bourbon brownies, and I've posted recipes for St. Patrick's Day Irish Whiskey brownies, so it's only natural to make these brownies with Scotch for Butterscotch Brownie Day. Hey, there's butter in the recipe! 

The following recipe is adapted from DrinkoftheWeek's recipe for Whiskey Brownies. So get out your kilt and do a highland fling!

This recipe, of course, can be made without the Scotch — but why would you want to do that?

BUTTER 'SCOTCH' BROWNIES!

Ingredients
3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter
2 tbs. water
2 eggs
6 ounces dark fair-trade 65-70% chocolate, chopped
1 tsp Madagascar vanilla
1/2 cup Scotch (yeah, it's pretty boozy!)


Directions
Preheat oven to 350 and grease 9-inch pan. Sift together flour, baking soda and salt in bowl and set aside. In saucepan, combine sugar, butter and water. Cook on low heat until boiling gently. Stir in chopped chocolate and vanilla. Then beat in eggs, one at a time. Now add flour mixture and stir well. (If you want to include half cup of nuts, fold in now.) Pour mix into pan and bake for 30 minutes.
The recipe at DrinkoftheWeek has an excellent chocolate icing, but for today's holiday, I thought I'd go go all the way with the "Scotch" Brownie theme, so here's a recipe for a Scotch infused icing. 

Scotch infused Icing
 

Ingredients
1-1/2 ounces unsweetened or very dark chocolate1/4 cup sweet butter
2 cups powdered sugar
3 Tbsp half-and-half
1 Tbsp good Scotch
1/2 teaspoon Madagascar vanilla extract

Directions 

In top of double boiler (or saucepan on top of saucepan with simmering water), melt chocolate with butter. Combine rest of ingredients in bowl and with electric mixer, beat in melted chocolate and butter. Beat until smooth. Mixture will be runny, but stiffens as it cools. Frost cooled brownies.

How's that for Butter "Scotch" Brownies?

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Chocolate Coconut Cream Pie from Scratch

Love these food holidays! Today is National Coconut Cream Pie Day! Add a Chocolate Crust and now you're talking! The advertisement on the right is from 1953 for "Coconut Cream Dreams -- in Minutes,"  but believe me, take a few more minutes to make your own. It will be 100% better!

This recipe is from Southern Living (April 2005) and also appeared in one of the Best of Southern Living collections. It's worth the time to make this great Coconut Cream Pie from Scratch.

COCONUT CREAM PIE FROM SCRATCH

Coconut Cream Pie Filling
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 cups half-and-half
4 egg yolks
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups whipping cream
1/3 cup sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
Garnish: toasted coconut

Directions

Chocolate Pie Crust:
2 cups chocolate wafers (in a pinch use Oreos)
6 tbsp butter

Melt the butter.
Put the chocolate wafers in plastic bag. Close bag and crush with spoon or rolling pin until you have tiny pea-sized chocolate bits.
Combine melted butter with chocolate bits.
Press ingredients into 9-inch buttered pie pan. Be sure and go up sides.
Bake 10 minutes at 325°F. 

Filling:
Combine 1/2 cup sugar and cornstarch in heavy saucepan. Whisk together half-and-half and egg yolks. Gradually whisk egg mixture into sugar mixture; bring to boil over medium heat, whisking constantly. Boil 1 minute; remove from heat.

Stir in butter, 1 cup coconut, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Cover with plastic wrap, placing plastic wrap directly on filling in pan; let stand 30 minutes (or put it in the refrigerator). Spoon custard mixture into prepared crust, cover and chill 30 minutes or until set.

Beat whipping cream at high speed with an electric mixer until foamy; gradually add 1/3 cup sugar and remaining 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla, beating until soft peaks form. Spread or pipe whipped cream over pie filling.

Garnish with toasted coconut

*To make toasted coconut, heat oven to 350. Put coconut in a pie pan and spread out to about 1/4 inch thick. Toast in oven for about 3-5 minutes.. check to make sure it doesn't burn. 

Monday, May 6, 2013

CHOCOLATE CREPES SUZETTE

Crepes Suzette. Ooh-la-la! What could be more French? Today is National Crepes Suzette Day, and you should celebrate. Add chocolate.

Of course you can always add add chocolate sauce to your traditional crepes suzette, but why not make Dark Chocolate Crepes?

History of Crepes Suzette from What's Cooking America?

Probably the most famous crepe dish in the world. In a restaurant, a crepe suzette is often prepared in a chafing dish in full view of the guests. They are served hot with a sauce of sugar, orange juice, and liqueur (usually Grand Marnier). Brandy is poured over the crepes and then lit. The dish was created out of a mistake made by a fourteen year-old assistant waiter Henri Carpentier (1880-1961) in 1895 at the Maitre at Monte Carlo's Café de Paris. He was preparing a dessert for the Prince of Wales, the future King Edward VII (1841-1910) of England. 

According to Henri Charpentier, in own words from Life A La Henri – Being The Memories of Henri Charpentier:

“It was quite by accident as I worked in front of a chafing dish that the cordials caught fire. I thought I was ruined. The Prince and his friends were waiting. How could I begin all over? I tasted it. It was, I thought, the most delicious melody of sweet flavors I had every tasted. I still think so. That accident of the flame was precisely what was needed to bring all those various instruments into one harmony of taste . . . He ate the pancakes with a fork; but he used a spoon to capture the remaining syrup. He asked me the name of that which he had eaten with so much relish. I told him it was to be called Crepes Princesse. He recognized that the pancake controlled the gender and that this was a compliment designed for him; but he protested with mock ferocity that there was a lady present. She was alert and rose to her feet and holding her little shirt wide with her hands she made him a curtsey. ‘Will you,’ said His Majesty, ‘change Crepes Princesse to Crepes Suzette?’ Thus was born and baptized this confection, one taste of which, I really believe, would reform a cannibal into a civilized gentleman. The next day I received a present from the Prince, a jeweled ring, a panama hat and a cane.”

DARK CHOCOLATE CREPES SUZETTE


For the Crepes: 

Ingredients
2 cups milk
2 eggs
2 1/2 Tablespoons melted butter
2 ounces dark chocolate, melted
1-1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup DARK cocoa
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions

Melt butter and chocolate together, mixing to combine and smooth out  chocolate. In large bowl combine the milk and eggs. 
In separate, smaller bowl, combine the dry ingredients.
Whisk together milk and eggs with dry ingredients, continue whisking as you incorporate butter and chocolate mixture.
Cover and refrigerate at least an hour, or overnight. Be sure to re-whisk batter before you cook the crepes.

To Cook the Crepes:
Butter hot skillet (small or medium, not large) or crepe pan, then wipe out excess butter with paper towel so it's dry-ish. Pour in small amount of crepe batter and tilt pan as needed so batter spreads and covers bottom of pan. As  edges begin to turn up, flip crepe with a spatula for few seconds to cook other side.


SAUCE & FINAL PREPARTION

Ingredients
4 tablespoons sweet butter
1/4 cup sugar
Juice of 6 oranges (with zest from one)
3 Tbsp Cointreau
3 Tbsp Cognac
12 dark chocolate crepes
Grated chocolate for garnish

Directions
Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Stir in sugar, zest, juice, and liqueur. Stirring constantly, reduce sauce to 2/3 cup. Carefully add each cooked crepe to  pan—one at a time—and coat with sauce.
Fold each crepe into quarters, and arrange on plate (3 per plate if you're serving four)
Sprinkle crepes with orange zest and grated chocolate chocolate.

Only if you're really careful: flambé sauce: reserve two tablespoons and add three more of Cognac. Stir together and remove the pan from heat. Ignite with match and pour flaming sauce over crepes.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Buttermilk Mexican Chocolate Chile Bundt Cake

I posted 3 different Molé recipes yesterday for Cinco de Mayo, but you'll want dessert! Here's one of my favorite chocolate cake recipes for Cinco de Mayo (or any time!): Buttermilk Mexican Chocolate Cake. I adapted this from a recipe in Southern Living a few years ago. I've added ground chiles and used Taza Mexican Chocolate with Chiles for a little more kick. I usually bake this pound cake in a bundt pan. This is quick and easy and delicious.

Buttermilk Mexican Chocolate Chile Bundt Cake

Ingredients
8 oz chopped dark (65-75% cacao) organic fair-trade chocolate (I use either Taza Chipotle Chili Chocolate Mexicano or Guajillo Chili Chocolate Mexicano, but you can use any dark chocolate)
1 cup sweet butter, softened
1-1/2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1/2 cup chocolate syrup
2 teaspoons Mexican vanilla
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ancho chiles
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk 

Directions
1. Melt chocolate in saucepan over saucepan of simmering water.
2. Beat butter at medium speed with electric mixer 2 minutes or until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating 5 to 7 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until yellow disappears after each addition. Stir in melted chocolate, chocolate syrup, and vanilla until smooth.
3. Combine flour and next 4 ingredients; add to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Pour batter into a greased and floured 12-cup Bundt pan.
4. Bake at 325° for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 to 15 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack, and let cool for another hour.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Cinco de Mayo: 3 Chocolate Molé Recipes

Cinco de Mayo and Chocolate! So many great recipes and such a natural combination. Cinco de Mayo (The Fifth of May) is a Mexican holiday celebrating the victory of the Mexican army over the French at the Battle of Puebla, May 5, 1862. Puebla's signature dish is Molé Poblano--a Chocolate spicy stew--the national dish of Mexico. It's not sweet, even with the chocolate, since there are groundnuts, seeds, bitter chocolate and spices. There are so many varieties. Here are a few variations. Want to go the easiest route? Try Molé paste with Mexican Ibarra chocolate. You'll still want to add some chicken broth and tomato juice and maybe some peanut butter, but it's quick -- or you can try one of these recipes:

MOLÉS

Chicken Molé, my favorite Mexican chocolate main dish, can be very complicated to make. Here's an easy recipe adapted from Paula Deen for a quick Chicken Molé. o.k. it's not all that quick, but faster than the traditional recipes.

1. Quick Chicken Molé

Ingredients
2 tablespoons good quality olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
1 bell pepper, chopped
2 chipotle peppers, roughly chopped
1 (10-ounce) can chicken broth
2 tablespoons peanut butter
2 ounces Taza Chocolate Mexicano, chopped
1 (5-pound) chicken, cut into 8 pieces
Toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds), for garnish
White rice, for serving

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Heat oil in saute pan over medium heat. Add onion and saute until translucent. Add garlic and spices and continue to saute to toast and develop flavor. Add diced tomatoes, peppers, chipotles, broth, peanut butter, and chocolate. Simmer for 10 minutes. Strain and puree until smooth.
Sear chicken in heavy bottomed hot saute pan over medium-high heat until browned on both sides. Add to casserole dish, cover with sauce and braise in oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Garnish with pepitas and serve with white rice.

You can also use this molé recipe with Enchiladas!

The following recipe is from Kendall Jackson. Pair a Kendall-Jackson Grand Reserve Malbec with this. 
 
2. Chicken Molé Poblano with Animal Crackers

For chicken:
1 whole chicken
3 quarts water
½ onion
3 garlic cloves
2 bay leaves
2 Tbsp. kosher salt
1 Tbsp. freshly ground black pepper
¼ tsp. oregano

Place all ingredients in large pot and bring to boil. Reduce to simmer and cook for 1 hour or until chicken is done. Strain and reserve liquid and chicken.

For mole sauce:
4 Tbsp. rice oil (or other neutral flavored oil)
8 dried mulato chilies, stems and seeds removed
4 dried pasilla chilies, stems and seeds removed
4 dried ancho chilies, stems and seeds removed
2 dried cascabel or chipotle chilies, stems and seeds removed
12 almonds
¼ cup peanuts
3 garlic cloves
¼ large onion
½ plantain, diced
12 animal crackers
5 raisins
3 whole black peppercorns
2 cloves
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
2 Tbsp. sesame seeds, toasted
5 cups reserved chicken stock
2 slices bacon
½ bar (1½ oz.) Mexican chocolate (Ibarra)

In large heavy bottomed pan over medium heat, add oil and sauté the chilies for approximately 3 minutes. Stir chilies constantly, being careful not to burn them. Using slotted spoon, remove chilies and reserve.

Add almonds and peanuts and cook for 2 minutes or until golden brown. Add garlic, onions and plantains and cook until golden brown, approximately 3 minutes. Add  animal crackers and cook for 2 minutes or until golden brown.

Add raisins, peppercorns, cloves and cinnamon and cook until aromatic. Remove from heat and place in blender, add chilies, 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds and the chicken stock. Purée until sauce is smooth consistency.

In small pan, cook bacon until fat has rendered. Remove bacon and all but 1 tablespoon of fat from  pan (bacon can be eaten or reserved for another use). Add  chocolate to pan. Once chocolate has dissolved, cook for 2 minutes or until aromatic. Add  bacon fat and chocolate mixture to purée and stir to combine.

To serve: Slice chicken onto platter and cover with mole sauce. Garnish with remaining sesame seeds. Serve with Mexican rice and tortillas on the side.

Extra mole sauce can be frozen for up to 2 months.
***
Here's a completely different mole recipe--this time for WHITE Chocolate Molé with Animal Crackers. Recipe from Judy Walker in the Arizona Republic a few years ago.

3. White Chocolate Molé with Animal Crackers

Ingredients:
1/2 cup unsalted peanuts
1/4 cup sliced blanched almonds
1/4 cup walnuts
2 cups water
1 cinnamon stick, broken into pieces
2 whole cloves
1 fresh poblano chile, seeded and chopped
2 fresh serrano chiles, seeded and chopped
1 small clove garlic
1/2 white Spanish onion, cut into chunks
5 animal crackers, toasted
1/4 cup sweet butter
1/2 cup chopped white chocolate
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread peanuts, almonds and walnuts on a jelly-roll pan. Toast in oven, shaking  pan occasionally, until nuts are slightly colored and fragrant, 3 to 5 minutes.

In blender, combine nuts, water, cinnamon stick and cloves; blend until nuts are very finely ground. Strain through medium-mesh sieve over bowl, pressing on solids with back of ladle or rubber spatula to release liquid. Reserve liquid and discard solids.

In blender, combine chiles, garlic, onion and nut liquid. Add animal crackers; puree until smooth. Strain through medium-mesh sieve over bowl, pressing on solids with back of ladle or rubber spatula to release liquid. Discard solids.

In large saucepan, heat butter. Stir in nut-chile liquid. Simmer, uncovered, over medium heat, scraping bottom of pan occasionally with a rubber spatula, until mixture is consistency of thick pea soup, about 15 minutes.

Stir in chocolate, salt and pepper until chocolate is melted. Use immediately.

Note: The molé without the chocolate can be made ahead and refrigerated, tightly covered, for up to a week. To serve, heat in a saucepan and stir in the chocolate.