Friday, September 30, 2011

Chocolate Covered Deep Fried Triple Double Oreos

This post is "reprinted" from with permission.

What could be more awesome than Chocolate Covered Deep Fried Triple Double Oreos? I think Bill Crider sent me to Nick's originally. I have to think so! I'm certainly enamored with the whole fried food thing at county fairs, but Nick takes it even further. First he takes Oreos, but not just any Oreos, the new Triple Double Oreos, and dips them in Dark Chocolate. And, if that's not enough, he then he fries them! Not for the faint of heart! It will clog your arteries, yes, but imagine the pure joy of eating one of these!


In case you missed it Nabisco recently launched a new type of Oreo cookie which they’ve dubbed the Triple Double Oreo. Each of these delicious new treats combines three wafers with a layer of vanilla creme and a layer of chocolate creme. In a way they’re sort of like the Big Mac of cookies.

The Triple Double Oreos are pretty good on their own straight out of the package, but you can read all about them on plenty of other websites. With this blog post I wanted to give you guys something a little bit different by taking these new cookies to the next level.

Now, Oreos have been covered in chocolate and Oreos have been deep fried, but as far as I’m aware no one has done both, let alone done it to the new Triple Double Oreos. Plus, as you can probably tell by now I’ll use any excuse at all to try out my new deep fryer.

I started off by heating up some semi-sweet chocolate chips in a bowl in my microwave. Once all the chocolate chips were melted I started dipping the Oreo cookies one by one into the chocolate and laying them on a piece of wax paper, before chilling them in my refrigerator overnight.

The next day I pulled the chocolate covered Triple Double Oreos out of my fridge, dunked them in a nice batter that I whipped up and started tossing them in my deep fryer. They sort of puffed out into little balls as they were deep frying, so they ended up almost like doughnuts. The deep fryer also softened up the Oreo cookies and melted their chocolate covering a little bit, which made biting into them almost feel like I was eating a freshly baked cookie that just came straight out of the oven.

I’ll have to admit that prior to trying these I was a little worried that covering them in chocolate AND deep frying them might be overdoing it a little bit, but they turned out amazing. If I don’t see chocolate covered deep fried Triple Double Oreos being sold at state fairs all across the country next summer I’m seriously going to be disappointed.


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Chocolate Rugelach for Rosh Hashana

One more recipe for Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year.  I adore Rugelach, and I must admit, I usually buy them at the bakery, but sometimes you just want to make your own. Rugelach are made with a cream-cheese dough that is wrapped around a filling. Sometimes the filling is nuts or jam, but, of course, for me it's always chocolate!

This recipe for Chocolate Rugelach is adapted from Giora Shimoni on  She calls them Israeli Chocolate Rugelach, because she says Americans tend to fill their chocolate rugelach with mini-chocolate chips, while Israelis make their own filling. Since I always have chocolate around,  I make my own filling. This is a go-to recipe. It's easy.-- 25 minutes to make and 25 minutes to bake! Be sure to scroll down for Giora's tips on rugelach making. Even if you're not celebrating Rosh Hashana, you'll love these pastries for breakfast or brunch or with morning coffee. Yum!


7 ounces sweet butter
8 ounces cream cheese
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon Madagascar vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon DARK cocoa
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup grated bitter-sweet chocolate  (65-85% cacoa, fair-trade chocolate)
butter, melted

1 egg
1/8 cup sugar  (if you don't add cinnamon, use 1/4 cup sugar)
1/8 cup cinnamon (optional)

1. In mixing bowl, cream butter and cream cheese together. Add sugar and vanilla, and mix until smooth. Add flour and mix lightly. Refrigerate dough for an hour or more.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
3. Divide  dough into four balls. On floured surface, using floured rolling pin, roll one ball out into circle until about 1/8 inch thick.
4. In small bowl, mix  first four filling ingredients together (cocoa, cinnamon, sugar, grated chocolate). Spread some melted butter on the center of the circle. Sprinkle the chocolate mixture on top.
5. Cut the pastry into pie-shaped wedges. For bite-size and nice looking rugelach,  thick end of wedge should be about 1 to 1 1/2 inch wide.
6. Start at  wide edge of the wedge and roll the dough up toward the point.
7. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper. Place each pastry, seam side down, on  paper.
8. Brush each pastry with the egg and sugar/cinnamon.
9. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden.
And here are some great tips from Gloria for making perfect rugelach

1. Using too much filling leads to messy looking rugelach.
2. A pizza cutter makes it easier to cut the dough into pie-shaped wedges.
3. If you don't want to use parchment paper, you can spray the cookie sheets with non-stick spray.
4. After rolling dough up and placing on parchment paper, you can stick them in your freezer. When you need fresh rugelach, take them right from the freezer into the oven and add a few minutes to the baking time.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Dark Chocolate Pomegranate Seeds for Rosh Hashana

Rosh Hashana starts Wednesday night, and I haven't posted a single recipe for the Jewish New Year. Honey Cake, symbolizing a sweet New Year, is often associated with Rosh Hashanah. Here's a link to Chocolate Honey Cake to make for the Holiday.  Honey Cake would be great for the first night of Rosh Hashana.

For the second night, though,  I suggest you make this easy recipe for Dark Chocolate Pomegranate Seeds. On the second night of Rosh Hashanah,  a "new fruit" is eaten.   It's usually a fruit that has recently come into season but that you haven't yet had the opportunity to eat. Traditionally, one says the shehechiyanu blessing thanking God for keeping you and yours alive and bringing you to this season. This ritual reminds everyone to appreciate the fruits of the earth and being alive to enjoy them.

A pomegranate is often used as this new fruit. In the Bible, the Land of Israel is praised for its pomegranates. It is also said that this fruit contains 613 seeds just as there are 613 mitzvot (commandments). Another reason given for blessing and eating pomegranate on Rosh Hashanah is that we wish that good deeds in the ensuing year will be as plentiful as the seeds of the pomegranate.

For this recipe, I buy packages of Pomegranate seeds at Trader Joe's, but you can always go the old fashioned way and buy two whole pomegranates and remove the seeds.  The rich dark chocolate flavor goes very well with the tart pomegranate flavor, and the textures meld well. Even if you're not celebrating the Jewish New Year, Chocolate Covered Pomegranate Seeds make a great snack, and you'll enjoy the benefits of both sources of antioxidants.


Quantities are guestimates:

Pomegranate Seeds
About 7 ounces (depending how many seeds you have) of Dark Chocolate, broken up

1. Line a cookie sheet with wax paper.
2. Melt dark chocolate in a double boiler or a pot on top of a pot of simmering water. Stir to make sure the chocolate doesn't burn.
3. Add dry pomegranate seeds to melted chocolate and fold gently with rubber spatula until the seeds are thoroughly covered.
4. Spoon clusters of mixture onto wax paper.
5. Place wax papered cookie sheet in refrigerator and let chocolate covered seeds cool for several hours or overnight.
Keep refrigerated. Will last 3-4 days.

No time to cook? Trade Joe's sells chocolate covered pomegranate seeds. They're in very small clusters. Delicious and easy.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Chocolate Souffle Cake: Gauravi Prabhu guest post

Today I welcome Guaravi Prabhu with a guest post and recipe for Chocolate Souffle Cake. You're going to love this recipe! 


My name is Gauravi Prabhu. I am a recent college graduate who is obsessed with baking. It is something that has always relaxed me. I have been a dedicated foodie since a young age, and my appreciation for food has led me to experimenting and concocting various dishes. You can find my own recipes along with some borrowed recipes at


This cake is a cross between a brownie and angel cake. It gets a lift from the egg whites alone, so no baking powder or baking soda is needed. The inside of the cake is light and soft- almost sponge-like, while the top is flaky and crunchy. But, I think the best thing about this cake is that it is not too sweet and not too rich so you can self indulge and not feel too guilty!

I stumbled upon this recipe on Christina Marsigliese's blog: Food V Artisan. She is currently in the process of writing a cooking book and was experimenting with making the perfect souffle cake. The only changes I would make to the original recipe is using 3 egg yolks instead of 2. The extra egg gives the cake an extra lift. Also, I used salted butter and did not add in the extra 1/8 tsp of salt (this is a trick I often use when baking). Please note that my souffle cake came out small because I split it between three small pans.

3 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 cup plus 1/3 cup granulated sugar, divided
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup boiling water
3 large egg yolks at room temperature
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 large egg whites, at room temperature
1/2 tsp lemon juice
2 to 3 tsp icing sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line the bottom of an 8-inch springform pan with a round of parchment paper and line the inside circumference with a strip of parchment. Combine the chocolate, 1/4 cup sugar, cocoa and salt in a medium bowl. Pour in the boiling water and whisk until mixture is smooth and the chocolate is completely melted. Let cool while you beat the egg yolks.

In a separate bowl, beat egg yolks with vanilla extract using an electric mixer on high speed until blended. Gradually beat in 1/4 cup sugar until pale yellow and thick, about 2 minutes. Fold in chocolate mixture using a rubber spatula until well combined. Combine the egg whites and lemon juice in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining 1/3 cup of sugar and beat on high speed until stiff but not dry peaks form.

Sift flour into chocolate mixture and fold it in until well blended. Quickly fold about a one third of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten it, and then gently fold in the remaining egg whites in two parts. Pour batter into prepared pan and gently smooth the top if necessary. Bake until puffed and cracked at the surface, about 30 minutes. A toothpick or wooden skewer inserted into the center should come out with a few moist crumbs clinging to it. Cool the pan on a wire rack. The torte will sink as it cools like a soufflé should.

Remove the sides of the pan and pull off the parchment paper. Using a fine mesh sieve, sift a little powdered sugar over the top and serve with a little whipped cream or ice cream if desired.


Thanks so much, Gauravi, fabulous recipe and tips!!!

Friday, September 23, 2011

White Chocolate Orange Poppy Seed Cake

Today is National White Chocolate Day. I've never met a chocolate I didn't like, and white chocolate is no exception. I know it's not really chocolate, but I still love the taste. It's just different. White chocolate is a confection of sugar, cocoa butter, and milk solids that has a pale yellow or ivory appearance. The melting point of cocoa butter is high enough to keep white chocolate solid at room temperature, yet low enough to allow white chocolate to melt in the mouth.

I've posted recipes for white chocolate truffles, muffins, cheesecake and cookies. This is a great recipe for White Chocolate Orange Poppy Seed Cake. You can bake it in a bundt pan, a square pan or a cake pan. This cake is a perfect for a weekend brunch.

White Chocolate Orange Poppy Seed Cake

1/2 cup butter, at room temp
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 1/4 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 cup sour cream  (you can always substitute plain or Greek yoghurt for a tangy-er taste)
1 cup water
4 ounces white chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup poppy seeds
1 tablespoon grated orange rind

Preheat oven to 325°F.
Grease and lightly flour a 13x9-inch cake or bundt pan.
In mixing bowl,  beat butter and sugar together until fluffy.
Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Alternately add flour and baking soda along with the sour cream and water.
Once combined, mix on low until well blended and smooth.
Fold in chopped chocolate, poppy seeds and orange rind.
Pour into prepared pan and bake for 50-60 minutes.
When done, remove and let cool on wire rack.
Remove cake from pan and allow to cool completely. 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Chocolate Dipped Sugar Cones: National Ice Cream Cone Day

Today may be National Ice Cream Cone Day, and I'm sure I'll have chocolate ice cream, but what about the cone itself? How many of you have actually made an ice cream cone? A chocolate dipped ice cream cone?

Here's a recipe for Chocolate Dipped Sugar Cones. They may look like weird blobs when you bake them, but they will actually be quite uniform once you shape them. Work quickly, and if for some reason they harden up, pop them back in the oven for a minute or so (before you dip them in chocolate, that is).

Chocolate-Dipped Sugar Cones

1/2 cup softened sweet butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 egg whites
1 tsp. Madagascar vanilla extract
3 oz. bittersweet chocolate
1/2 cup dark chocolate (60-70% cacao), chopped

Preheat oven to 400 F.
Grease 4 cookie sheets.
Using a large bowl, beat together sugar and butter until fluffy. Blend in flour.
In separate bowl, beat egg whites.
Blend in butter mixture and add vanilla.
Place 4 mounds of dough on your each cookie sheet, spreading into 3-inch wide discs.
Bake for 5 minutes or until golden. The discs should still be malleable (do not overbake).
Use a spatula to remove from cookie sheets.
Shape discs into cones, letting them firm up as they cool.
Melt chocolate in a bowl over hot water, stirring regularly.
Dip flared ends into melted chocolate. Let stand until chocolate hardens.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Fall Luxury Chocolate Salon: San Francisco

TasteTV and the International Chocolate Salon announced the lineup for the 2nd Annual FALL CHOCOLATE SALON in San Francisco on November 13, 2011.

This is a unique event with limited tickets. Participants include over 30 chocolatiers, confectioners, wineries and other culinary artisans. In an intimate setting, the Fall Chocolate Salon is the perfect place to find the perfect Holiday gift, while tasting and savoring the chocolate lovers experience.

Participants include Amano Artisan Chocolate, CocoTutti, Choclatique, Snake & Butterfly, Permano, Willet's Mini Creations, Leonidas Fresh Belgian Chocolate, Saratoga Chocolates, Victoria Chocolatier, Nicole Lee Fine Chocolates, Sterling Truffle Bar, Toffeeology, The TeaRoom Chocolate Company, Monterey Chocolate Company, Marich Confectionary, Sixthcourse Artisan Confections, Toffee Talk, Dandelion Chocolate, MDP Signature Chocolates, Au Coeur Des Chocolats, Be A Gourmet, TasteTV, and more.

Salon highlights feature chocolatiers, confectioners and other culinary artisans, with chocolate tasting, demonstrations, chef & author talks, wine tasting and ongoing interviews by TasteTV's Chocolate Television program. (Salon Entry includes all chocolate & wine tastings, demos, etc).

Advance Tickets available through November 12th, while quantities last. (No Tickets at Door).

San Francisco, Fort Mason Conference Center
Date: November 13,  2011
Hours: 10am-5pm

Monday, September 19, 2011

Mrs Johnson's Chocolate Cake

I love vintage recipe ads. Here's one for "Mrs. Johnson's Chocolate Cake"  This is a Hershey's Cocoa Ad from 1980. O.K. maybe not vintage, but certainly retro!

No more scorching, if you use cocoa!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Chocolate Covered Strawberries Redux

What could be better than Chocolate Covered Strawberries for the end of the summer? They always look fabulous, and they're so simple to make. You can stuff them or drizzle them, but dunking them in good quality chocolate is the key. And, yes, this is my kitchen! I have a dark blue O'Keefe & Merritt stove.

Here are a few links to Chocolate Covered Strawberries.

Chocolate Covered  Stuffed Strawberries: Cookie Dough, Cheesecake, Marscapone

Strawberrries Stuffed with Chocolate Cream

Why not try stuffing them with Nutella or Goat Cheese (not too strong!)?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Isaac Hayes: Cooking with Heart & Soul: Chocolate Pecan Toffee Mousse Pie

As I've mentioned several times on this blog, I collect tie-in, literary, TV, movie, mystery and other cookbooks. So today I'm continuing this series with a fabulous recipe from the Isaac Hayes Cooking with Heart & Soul cookbook: Making Music in the kitchen with Family and Friends (2000). The recipe I chose is a very soulful rich Southern Chocolate recipe for Slammin' Chocolate Pecan Toffee Mousse Pie with "To Die For" Sauce.

The late great Isaac Hayes (1942-2008) was an American songwriter, musician, singer, actor and record producer. But he was also a man who loved to cook. FYI: From 1997 to 2005 he was the distinctive voice of Chef on South Park (see photo below).

Cooking with Heart & Soul has some wonderful memories, anecdotes and dedications, especially to Isaac Hayes' grandmother. Since this is a chocolate blog, I singled out one specific recipe, but there are great recipes for other Southern foods, as well as photos and more. Definitely a welcome addition to any Tie-In Cookbook Shelf!
Isaac Hayes was the Voice of "Chef" on South Park

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Chocolate Bytes: Chocolate Bar Tops 12,000 Pounds

Guinness Verifies World's Largest Chocolate Bar in Chicago

World's Finest Chocolate has made a 6-ton bar measures nearly 3 feet high and 21 feet long. The bar is to be unveiled before a World Guinness Record judge before beginning a cross country tour of schools.

The tour is part of the company's "Think Big, Eat Smart" campaign, bringing to life the concept of "portion distortion," the company said.

The company said the bar will provide 209,000 1-ounce servings -- enough servings for every fan in Chicago's Wrigley Field, U.S. Cellular Field, Soldier Field and United Center with 45,000 leftovers.

However, it looks like milk chocolate to me. I'll need to find out more before I Think Big, Eat Smart! I prefer dark chocolate.

HT: BV Lawson, a fellow chocoholic

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Peanut Patch Bundt Cake: National Peanut Day

Today is National Peanut Day! Chocolate and Peanuts go hand in hand. I've posted about Goobers, and I've posted all kinds of chocolate and peanut recipes, but one of the best sources for peanut chocolate recipes are tPeanut Associations.

Growers love to educate the public on recipes and uses for peanuts. This recipe for Peanut Patch Bundt Cake is adapted from Virginia-Carolinas Peanuts. The original recipe called for dates, but somehow I stopped using dates and just added a cup of peanut butter chips instead. So this is a very peanut-y recipe: chopped roasted peanuts, peanut oil, peanut butter chips, and peanutbutter.  Another variation on this bundt cake is to use a chocolate cake mix with chocolate pudding.

Peanut Patch Bundt Cake
Softened butter or cooking spray
1/2 cup finely chopped roasted peanuts
1 package (1 pound, 2.5 ounces) yellow cake mix
1 package (3-3/4 ounces) instant vanilla pudding mix
1/2 cup peanut oil
1-1/4 cups water
4 eggs
1 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup peanut butter chips
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat Oven to 350.
Grease a 10-inch Bundt pan with softened butter or cooking spray.
Sprinkle 1/2 cup finely chopped peanuts in pan. Shake pan in order to coat surface with nuts.
In a mixing bowl beat cake and pudding mixes, oil, water and eggs until well blended or four minutes on medium speed. Beat in peanut butter.
Pour 1/3 batter into pan; sprinkle with a layer of peanut butter chips and then a layer of chocolate chips. Repeat.
Pour remaining batter into pan and bake for 45- 50 minutes or until cake tests done.
Cool cake in pan for 10 minutes; turn out onto rack and cool.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Chocolate Covered Dates

I love dates. When I was younger, and we drove to the desert, we always stopped by Shields Date Garden in Indio to see the movie, "The Romance and Sex Life of the Date." The title was risque, but the actual film was reminded me of 50s school science films, right down to the projector noise and faded images. But, as I said, I love dates, and there were so many different date items to buy from slides to booklets to souvenirs to foods.  Chocolate Covered Dates were always my favorite. Here's an easy recipe for Chocolate Covered Dates.

Don't you just love this Dromedary Choco-Date sign? I collect metal signs, and sadly, I don't own this one. If you ever see it again, please let me know. Love to include this sign in my collection!


16 oz semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
20-25 pitted dates
Toasted almonds, walnuts or pistachios, whole or chopped
Coconut flakes
Skewers and parchment paper

1. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Stuff each date with the nut of your choice.
3. Melt chocolate in microwave safe bowl for about 3 minutes, stirring halfway through cooking time or melt in a doubleboiler.
4. Using a skewer, dip each date in chocolate. Allow excess chocolate to fall off by rotating skewer (slowly).
5. Place dipped date on parchment and sprinkle with coconut flakes. Repeat with remaining dates.
6. Allow dates to set in the refrigerator for about 20-30 minutes before serving.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

National TV Dinner Day: TV Dinner Buttermilk Brownies

Today is National TV Dinner Day. When I was growing up, the idea of eating in front of a TV was a foreign concept to my family. We weren't allowed to have TV dinners for so many reasons.  I saw them advertised on TV and in the magazines, but dinner was a sacred time for our family. We ate promptly at 5:30. (I learned later that that was really early for dinner.) From 5:30-6:00 no one answered the phone; everyone was at the table. My father, a pediatrician, had to call his 'exchange' and sign out for the half hour.

And, as far as frozen ingredients in a TV Dinner? My mother shopped every day for fresh meat, fish, and bread. I know we had a freezer in the utility room when I was little and in the garage later, but that was for meat or fish she purchased fresh. No TV Dinners at our house.

If it had been allowed, I would have been the only one who wanted to eat dinner off a tray in front of the TV. My father might have wanted to watch Westerns or Cop shows, but they weren't on at 5:30, anyway. My sister would have loved to bring a book to dinner, but that was banned, too. It was family time--a time to talk about the highlights and problems of the day.

But today is National TV Dinner Day, so I thought I'd post a bit of history. Swanson TV Dinners were introduced in the U.S. in 1953. Seven years later, the company stopped calling them TV dinners because they didn't want to discourage people from eating their meals anytime. The generic title TV Dinners, though, did not disappear.

The original TV dinners were on foil trays with foil wrapping and little sections delineated in the tray for different foods. You just heated the entire tray in the oven. O.K. you're saying why not the microwave? Because there weren't any at that time. The TV dinner--heat and serve-- was new and innovative.

According to Wikipedia, the first Swanson-brand TV Dinner produced in the United States was a Thanksgiving meal of turkey, cornbread dressing, frozen peas and sweet potatoes packaged in a tray like those used at the time for airline food service.  The trays proved to be useful: the entire dinner could be removed from the outer packaging as a unit; the aluminum tray could be heated directly in the oven without any extra dishes; and one could eat the meal directly from the same tray. The product was cooked for 25 minutes at 425 °F and fit nicely on a TV tray table. The original TV Dinner sold for 98 cents, and had a production estimate of 5,000 dinners for the first year. Swanson far exceeded its expectations, and ended up selling more than 10 million of these dinners in the first year of production. 

The early TV dinners did not have dessert, but that changed in 1960 and sometimes there was an Apple Brown Betty, chocolate pudding, or a brownie.

Other brands followed suit, but not for awhile. There were Swanson TV Dinners and Bird's Eye dinners. Now of course we have lots of prepared meals that can be nuked in the microwave or baked in the oven. It's all about convenience. On the commercial side, Marie Callendar, Claim Jumpers, Banquet, Stouffers, Heatlhy Choice, Lean Cuisine and Hungry Man (Swansons) sell full dinners, but I've never tried them. It's just not the same. There was something so futuristic about the TV Dinner in the tiny foil tray that intrigued me.

This recipe for TV Dinner Buttermilk Brownies is reminiscent of the TV Dinner Brownie on the tray. These Brownies are cake-like with icing, so they might not be my brownie of choice, but they're tasty. Here's a blast from the past.


1 cup sweet butter
1/4 cup unsweetened DARK cocoa
1 cup water
2 cups sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/4 cup unsweetened DARK cocoa
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 pound confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

In a saucepan, bring butter, cocoa and water to a boil. Cool.
In a large mixing bowl, combine sugar, flour and salt.
Pour cocoa mixture over dry ingredients; mix well.
Combine buttermilk and baking soda; add to batter along with eggs, vanilla.
Mix until well combined.
Pour into a greased 15 x 10 x1 greased and floured baking pan.
Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.
Frosting: Melt butter, cocoa and buttermilk in a saucepan. Stir in sugar, vanilla and salt. Spread over warm cake.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Grilled Chocolate Marmalade Sandwiches

The weekend is starting, and I know what I'll be making: Grilled Chocolate Sandwiches. Here's a variation on a standard grilled chocolate sandwich. This recipe from Weber's Time To Grill by Jamie Purviance adds marmalade. Chocolate and Orange Heaven! Italics are my notes.

Grilled Chocolate Marmalade Sandwiches

8 slices country-style white bread, 1/2 inch thick
2 tablespoons PLUS 2 teaspoons orange marmalade (I used Robertson's Scotch Bitter Orange)*
2 (4-ounce) bars good-quality bittersweet chocolate (I used Green & Black 70% Dark Chocolate)
6 tablespoons sweet butter, melted
2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar

Lay 4 slices of bread on a work surface and spread 2 teaspoons marmalade on each. Place one-fourth of the chocolate on each of the four slices, breaking the chocolate to fit the shape of the bread. Top each one with another slice of bread and brush melted butter onto both sides of each sandwich.

Grill over direct, medium-low heat until the bread is golden brown and crispy and the chocolate is melted, 4-5 minutes, turning once. Let the sandwiches rest for a minute, slice in half with a serrated knife, and lightly dust with confectioners’ sugar.

Yield: 4-8 servings 
Hat Tip: Janet Appel

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Dromedary Date Nut Bread w/Chocolate Chunks: Vintage Ad & Recipe

Today is Date Nut Bread Day. Has this wonderful quick bread fallen out of favor? I think not. It's a great bread to smother with cream cheese.. or more upscale marscapone. Date Nut Bread makes fabulous sandwiches, and it's also great toasted and smeared with butter. Add some chocolate chunks to the recipe, and it belongs on this blog!

This wonderful advertisement from 1941 not only reflects the popularity of this quick bread in the U.S., but it's an historical testament to nylon hose and prepared foods at that time. Want to sell a product in the 1940s? Appeal to women. To win a pair of nylons, all you needed to do was finish the jingle. 1000 lucky women won nylons. In 1939  DuPont introduced nylon stockings at the New York World's Fair, whose theme was the "World of Tomorrow." DuPont then went into full scale production, and "by May 1940, nylon hose was a huge success and women lined up at stores across the county to obtain the precious goods."  Just an FYI, nylon went to war in 1942  to be used  as parachutes and tents (as silk had been before nylon) and became in short supply.

Dromedary Date Nut Bread in a Can is no longer in production, but isn't the concept and ad fabulous. I used to bake a lot of quick breads in a can, but they didn't come already baked in a can, right on the shelves. FYI: Dromedary Date-Nut Bread in a can did not contain chocolate.

Dromedary Dates, which were also sold at the market, had a recipe on the back of the package for Date-Nut Bread. Here's a recipe that's pretty close to the original Dromedary Date-Nut Bread Recipe -- with the addition of Chocolate Chunks. If you want your finished Date-Nut Bread to look similar to the ad above, bake the date-nut breads in 4 soup cans!


3/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1 cup chopped pitted dates (Dromedary chopped dates from the original recipe- one package-8 ounces-equals 2 cups)
1 1/2 teaspoon Baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tbsp oil  (or 3 tbsp melted butter-original recipe mentions margarine, but I don't use margarine)
3/4 cup boiling water
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup sifted flour, unbleached
1/2 cup dark chopped chocolate chunks

Preheat Oven to 350.
With fork, mix walnuts, dates, soda + salt in a bowl. Add oil and boiling water. Let stand 20 minutes. With fork, beat eggs slightly, add vanilla. Stir in sugar and sifted flour. Mix in date mixture. Fold in chocolate chunks. Do Not Overmix. Place in greased 9x5x3 inch loaf pan (or a coffee can or soup cans). Bake at 350 for 1 hour until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Move to wire rack to finish cooling.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Cat Who ... Cookbook: Chocolate Whoppers

Today I chose another Chocolate Recipe from my "Tie-in" Cookbook collection. This one is from The Cat Who ...  Cookbook: Delicious Meals and Menus Inspired by Lilian Jackson Braun by Julie Murphy and Sally Abney Stempinski (2000).

'The Cat Who ...  series' of mysteries was created by Lilian Jackson Braun starting in 1966 with The Cat Who Could Read Backwards. Two more followed in 1967 and 1968, but it was 18 years before the next book was published in the series. But after that, Ms Braun wrote another 27 novels. All and all, she wrote 29 "Cat Who.." books.

The main characters in the books are James Mackintosh Qwilleran and his Siamese cats Koko and Yum-Yum. These books are what I would call 'palette cleansers': light reading in the world of mystery fiction. However they include three things I enjoy: Good Food, Siamese Cats, and a Mystery.

The recipe I chose for today's Tie-in Cookbook post is for Vonda's Chocolate Whoppers. The Chocolate Whoppers appear in The Cat Who Moved a Mountain. These are fabulous cookies with chocolate and walnuts chunks... and, yes, 'they're a trifle excessive...', as Vonda says.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

White Chocolate After Labor Day? White Chocolate Angel Food Cake

No White Chocolate After Labor Day? I don't go by those rules. Here's a White Chocolate recipe for White Chocolate Angel Food Cake from Godiva Chocolate.

White Chocolate Angel Food Cake with Whipped Cream and Fresh Berries

1 1/2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
1 cup sifted cake flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups egg whites, at room temperature (about 11 to 12 large eggs)
1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 bars (1.5 ounces each) Godiva Ivory Chocolate, grated or finely chopped

Whipped Cream:
2 cups heavy cream, chilled
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup fresh red raspberries
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 cup fresh strawberries, sliced
1/2 cup fresh blackberries
White chocolate curls 

Make The Cake:
1. Position oven rack in lower third of oven. Heat oven to 350°F.
2. Sift together confectioners’ sugar, cake flour and salt onto a sheet of waxed paper.
3. Place egg whites in clean, dry bowl of electric mixer. Beat egg whites at medium-low speed until frothy. Add cream of tartar and beat at medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add granulated sugar in steady stream, beating just until whites are thick and form slightly stiff peaks. (Do not over-beat)
4. Gently fold in 1/3 of sifted dry ingredients over whites just until dry ingredients are moistened. Fold in remaining dry ingredients with vanilla and grated white chocolate in two additional batches.
5. Gently pour batter into ungreased 10" angel food or tube pan, spreading evenly. Tap gently on counter to remove any air bubbles. Bake 35 minutes or until top is firm and springs back when lightly touched. Invert pan on a large bottle (such as wine bottle or olive oil bottle) and cool completely.
6. To remove cake from pan, run long knife or thin metal spatula around outside edge of cake and gently remove side portion of pan. Then, run knife around inside of center tube, loosen bottom of cake with long knife or thin metal spatula and remove cake from remaining portion of pan. Place on cake plate; cover with plastic wrap if not serving immediately.

Make Whipped Cream:
1. Combine heavy cream and granulated sugar in a medium, chilled bowl. Beat at medium speed with electric mixer until soft peaks form; whisk in vanilla.
2. Place sweetened whipping cream in refrigerator until ready to serve cake, up to 2 hours.
3. Combine berries in a medium bowl and toss lightly.

Cut cake with serrated knife using a sawing motion. Serve with sweetened whipped cream and berry mixture. Garnish with white chocolate curls.

Photo: Godiva Chocolate

Monday, September 5, 2011

Coeur d'Alene Chocolates

I love truffles, and I'm always happy to try new chocolates. Recently I had the pleasure of sampling truffles from Coeur D'Alene ChocolatesCoeur d'Alene Chocolates, based in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, just celebrated their second anniversary, and they're expanding. Now that I've tasted their truffles, I can see why.

Coeur d’Alene Chocolates is a family owned and operated business devoted to making handmade gourmet chocolates and confections. The company controls the entire process from start to finish.

At Coeur d'Alene everything is handmade, in small batches, with a focus on freshness and flavor and that translates into taste. They start with fresh creamy butter and heavy whipping cream. Then they add fondant and other raw ingredients to arrive at the desired taste.  Each truffle is covered in semi-dark or white chocolate. Their chocolate is my chocolate making chocolate of choice Guittard.  Each truffle is unique--in flavor, ingredients and design! What I wouldn't give for the recipes, but they, too, are a family secret. Guess for now I'll just have to 'settle' for ordering more Coeur d'Alene Chocolates!

I judge a lot of chocolates, so let me tell you what I look for in a truffle. Overall Flavor! But also, filling, chocolate and appearance. I really love that each truffle I tasted was a beautiful work of art!

I'm not usually a fan of white chocolate but the Lemon Butter Cream truffle is awesome, not to be confused with the Key Lime truffle which is like being in the Florida Keys. The Kahlua Truffle is incredibly smooth like a good cup of coffee with sweet cream and a hint of liqueur. My favorite of the ones I tasted was the Peanut Butter Truffle. It's a gold painted candy: Gorgeous design and delicious. Nutty and earthy and sweet. Just the right balance.

If you order the truffles online you'll get a mix of Chocolate Truffle, Chocolate Pudding Pie Truffle, Pecan Pie Truffle, Bailey’s Irish Cream Truffle,  Strawberry Cheesecake Truffle, Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffle, White Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffle, Blueberry Truffle, Bordeaux Chocolate Truffle, Key Lime Truffle, Espresso truffle, Toasted Coconut Truffle , Mint Truffle, Grand Marnier Truffle, Milk Chocolate Truffle, and Kahlua Truffle. Depends on how many you order. If you're on Facebook, you'll want to "like" Coeur d'Alene.

They have seasonal chocolates that sound awesome. I'm not sure if they're all available by mail. Might just take a trip to Coeur d'Alene! 

I didn't try the sugar free truffles, but if they're anything like the 'real' chocolates, they're scrumptious.

Scharffen Berger Cacao Nib Rub for Tri Tip

I love cacoa nibs (or cocoa nibs) in my salads for crunch, and I throw them into cookie dough sometimes, too. Dry rubs are great for Tri Tip, and I've posted a few recipes before, usually using cocoa, but this recipe from Scharffen Berger is easy and terrific, and you have that added crunch. This Dry Rub for Tri Tip is perfect for Labor Day.

Cacao Nibs are roasted cocoa beans separated from their husks and broken into small bits. Nibs add crunchiness and subtle chocolate flavor to baked goods and savory dishes. They make a great substitute for roasted nuts or chocolate chips, without added sweetness.

This DRY RUB adds an unexpected, sophisticated flavor to your favorite grilled items. The nibs offer a slightly nutty, earthy flavor with slight chocolate overtones. Recipe is for a Tri-Tip, but skirt steak and flank steak work just as well. The rub can stay on the meat overnight, or can be patted on a few hours before grilling.

Scharffen Berger Cacao Nib Rub for Tri Tip

2 tablespoons Scharffen Berger Cacao Nibs
2 teaspoons dried red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground (dry) mustard
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon allspice
2 tablespoons brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons Kosher salt
1 2.5 pound tri tip roast (fat cap left on)

1. To make the rub, combine all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor, spice grinder, or mortar and pestle. Grind until the nibs break into particles about the size of coarse cornmeal. Use immediately or store in a tightly covered jar for up to one month.
2. Rinse and pat the roast dry with paper towels. Generously cover the meat with the rub and wrap in foil or saran wrap. The roast can marinate overnight in the refrigerator.
3. Remove the roast from the refrigerator and bring to room temperature. In the meantime, fire up the grill. Prepare the grill for indirect cooking, with the coals to either side. Place the meat on the grill, fat side up, not directly over the coals. The internal grill temperature should be between 275 and 300 degrees F. Grill the meat for 40 minutes. Check the temperature with an instant read thermometer. For medium rare meat, remove from grill when the thermometer reads 125 degrees F. Let the roast sit, loosely covered with foil, for several minutes before slicing.

Photo: Scharffen Berger

Sunday, September 4, 2011

S'mores Girl Scout Badges

Have you earned your S'mores Merit Badge yet? You all know that the Girl Scouts of America originated S'mores, and there are various S'mores Badges, some official and some not.

 Love this patch from Demeritwear

This apparently is a real patch available from the Girl Scouts: S'mores Squirel Patch

And, not exactly S'mores but love this wonderful Girl Scout Camp Patch!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cookie Stuffed Pies

If you're like me, there are those times when you just want something sweet. O.K. that's all the time, but sometimes you want something more than raw cookie dough.

Pillsbury posted a recipe on their site that I consider absolutely brilliant. 5 minutes to prep and 25 minutes to bake.

You can always use your own pie crust if you have some in the freezer...or you can make fresh and use your own chocolate chip cookie dough. But...this is sooo simple and delicious.


1 box Pillsbury refrigerated pie crusts, softened as directed on box
8 Pillsbury Ready to Bake! refrigerated chocolate chip cookies (from 16-oz package)
8 milk chocolate candy drops (Hershey's Kisses) or dark chocolate pieces, unwrapped
1 teaspoon sugar

1. Heat oven to 450°F. Remove pie crusts from pouches; unroll on work surface. Cut eight 3 1/2-inch rounds from each crust.
2. Place 1 unbaked cookie in center of each of 8 of the rounds; top each with 1 candy, pointed end into cookie. Brush edge of each crust with water. Top with remaining 8 rounds. Press edges together with fork to seal. Brush top of each with water; sprinkle with sugar.
3. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.

Photo: Pillsbury

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Labor Day Chocolate Ricotta Icebox Cake

Chocolate Ricotta Icebox Cake is perfect for Labor Day. Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart (2006), this Icebox Cake is great to make for a cookout. It's egg-less, so no worries about raw eggs in this dessert. Let your refrigerator do the baking! This cake is labor and egg free!

Love this Vintage Refrigerator Ad from the 30s. I imagine your 'icebox' is a bit more up-to-date.

Chocolate Ricotta Icebox Cake

14 ounces dark chocolate (55-70% cacoa, fairtrade) - do not use chocolate chips
30 oz. part-skim ricotta cheese, room temperature
3/4 cup heavy cream
9 ounces chocolate wafers


Prepare pan:
Line 9″ springform pan with plastic wrap (or waxpaper) so that it completely covers bottom and sides of pan. Allow 4″ overhang over the sides of the pan (you'll fold this over the top the cake as it chills).

Make Chocolate Ricotta Mixture:
Break 12 ounces of chocolate into pieces. Place in heatproof medium bowl set over pan of simmering water. Cook, stirring occasionally, until chocolate has melted, 8 to 10 minutes.
In food processor, blend ricotta until very smooth, about 1 minute, scraping down sides of bowl.
Add warm chocolate; blend until smooth.
In large bowl, beat cream until stiff peaks form.
With a rubber spatula, gently fold in chocolate-ricotta mixture.

Assemble cake:
Arrange half the cookies in an overlapping pattern to cover bottom of pan. Spoon half the chocolate-ricotta mixture on top of cookies; smooth top. Cover with remaining cookies; top with remaining chocolate-ricotta mixture, and smooth top.
Cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate at least 6 hours and up to 2 days.
Before serving, using a vegetable peeler, shave remaining 2 ounces chocolate over top of cake (or just eat the two ounces of chocolate)