Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Tuesday Tips: How to Store Chocolate

Welcome to Tuesday Tips. Today's Tip is on How to Store Chocolate. First off, why are you storing chocolate? If you have truffles or bonbons, eat them as soon as possible.

The most important thing about storing chocolate is to keep it in a cool, dry place. If you have chocolate bars or chocolate for baking, wrap the chocolate in plastic wrap,  ziploc bag or plastic storage containers and put it in a dark cupboard or pantry. The ideal temperature is between 60-75 degrees. I usually just stack the bars in the pantry, but my pantry stays cool.

Stored improperly, chocolate can develop bloom (a whitish tint on the chocolate). Bloom appears when chocolate becomes too warm, causing the cocoa butter to separate out, or because condensation has taken place, melting sugar in the chocolate's surface. Don't fear, though. If bloom appears, the chocolate will be ok for baking, although it might not have the same mouth-feel for eating.

How to Store different types of chocolate.  First off, I have to say that high end artisan chocolate is different from baking chocolate or commercial chocolate. I personally NEVER store any chocolate in the refrigerator or freezer. I remember giving a good friend 10 fabulous artisan chocolate bars as a gift, only to see her toss them in the freezer for later consumption. No bag, no plastic wrap. I fear that by the time she got to them, they weren't very tasty at all. But a gift is a gift, and I knew the recipient would not take my advice on how to store.

So if you intend to store chocolate, here are more tips and info:

Since Chocolate keeps best between 65 and 75°F, away from direct sunlight, and protected from moisture, storing in a dark pantry or shelves is best. Then consume the chocolate as quickly as possible.

If you do decide to refrigerate or freeze chocolate, make sure to seal the chocolate in an airtight container (Ziploc baggies are great). Make sure to take out as much air as possible to avoid freezer burn--and don't leave the chocolate in the fridge/freezer too long. Tip: Always thaw frozen chocolate in the refrigerator. If it goes straight from the freezer to room temperature, condensation will form and alter the appearance and texture.

A wine refrigerator is perfect. You can reset the temperature and keep bloom off the chocolate. Still, keep your chocolate wrapped up.

Going to use it from the regular refrigerator? Allow chilled chocolate to come to room temperature before eating or baking with it. Tip: You might want to wrap it in a dishcloth after taking from the fridge .. in order to let it reach room temperature a bit slower.
Truffles (or bonbons): OK, I NEVER store truffles in the refrigerator or freezer. I suggest you consume them as quickly as possible. Lots of artisan truffles and bonbons will have a use-by-date. There's a reason for this. Although, some ganache centers are ok if frozen; most cream and caramel centers will become grainy when stored in the refrigerator or freezer. If you must put them there, make sure they're wrapped up tightly, and defrost slowly (in refrigerator as above) before eating. 

If you have a lot of chocolate, here are some Ultra-Cool  (and efficient) Ways to Store Chocolate from  the Candy Blog. I think you'll love the ideas here. Ice packs and thermoses and more!

What questions or tips do you have about chocolate storage?

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Morroco Chocolate Cake: Retro Ad & Recipe

Not sure what makes this Morocco Chocolate Cake Moroccan.. maybe the Raisin Nut Frosting? This Baker's Retro Ad and Recipe from November 11, 1940 is really delicious and unique. It's a really moist chocolate cake, and, of course, you can always substitute with your favorite dark chocolate (and cut down on the sugar a bit). And, if you're wondering the Bob Hope/Bing Crosby movie Road to Morroco wasn't released until 1942.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Milk Chocolate Chip Cookies: National Milk Chocolate Day

Photo: Martha Stewart Living-not mine :-()
Today is National Milk Chocolate Day. If you read this blog, you know I'm a bigger fan of dark chocolate, but in the past week, I've used milk chocolate in several recipes. I was going to post a recipe for Milk Chocolate Truffles, but I always seem to have trouble making the ganache work and not turn out too soupy. O.K. I could work hard, but since I prefer dark chocolate, I don't seem to want to take the time.

But with National Milk Chocolate Day, I thought of the perfect recipe. Chocolate Chip Cookies with Milk Chocolate Chips. How easy is that? I've posted lots of chocolate chip cookie recipes, but the following recipe is from Jacques Torres, the King of Chocolate. It's a no brainer. You can't go wrong with this recipe and the resulting delicious cookies. I did substitute milk chocolate chunks, but otherwise, the recipe is the same. It's real name is Jacques Torres' Secret Chocolate Chip Cookies. The secret I think is in the mix of flours. Of course, you can add dark chocolate chunks or chips.




  • 1 pound sweet butter
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 1/4 cups packed light-brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 cups plus 2 tablespoons pastry flour
  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 pounds milk chocolate, coarsely chopped



  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick baking mats; set aside.
  2. In bowl of ith the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugars. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Reduce speed to low and add both flours, baking powder, baking soda, vanilla, and chocolate; mix until well combined.
  3. Using a 4-ounce scoop for larger cookies or a 1-ounce scoop for smaller cookies, scoop cookie dough onto prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart. Bake until lightly browned, but still soft, about 20 minutes for larger cookies and about 15 minutes for smaller cookies. Cool slightly on baking sheets before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Photo: Martha Stewart website for Jaques Torres Chocolate Chip Cookies

Friday, July 27, 2012

Creme Brulee Truffles: National Creme Brulee Day

J Truffles-Creme Brulee
Today is National Creme Brulee Day. I love Creme Brulee, and I love Truffles. So instead of a recipe today, I thought I'd do a mini-review of some of my favorite Creme Brulee Truffles.

One of my favorite Creme Brulee truffles is made by JTruffles (Seattle Truffles). Not just is it fabulous with a rich vanilla custard ganache made with pure vanilla, 40% cream and a layer of carmelized sugar, but it's cover in a dark chocolate shell in a classic decor pyramid shape. I love J Truffles, if I haven't mentioned it before. I was lucky to meet the creator at the Napa Chocolate Salon a few years ago. Definitely a treat into the whole candy making and design philosophy. 

Kee's Chocolates in New York also makes a great Creme Brule Truffle. It's a dark chocolate bonbon filled with creme brulee. This beauty needs to be eaten within two days. Very fresh and yummy!

Chocolatier Blue makes a mean Creme Brule Truffle. Haven't had this specific truffle in awhile, but I'm always amazed at the truffles from Chocolatier Blue! Chris Blue makes the most amazing tasting and looking truffles. Love all the truffles! Unique flavors made with fabulous organic products.

Want a unique twist on a Creme Brulee Truffle?  Moonstruck Chocolate Company makes a wicked Creme Brulee Werewolf Truffle. It's a seasonal treat composed of a milk chocolate ganache, heavy cream and carmelized sugar inside a milk chocolate werewolf shaped shell.

Godiva makes a fabulous Creme Brulee Truffle. Their Creme Brulee Truffles have a shell of white chocolate, filled with dark chocolate and vanilla ganache and an outside coating of candied sugar.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Luba Lesychyn: Confessions of a Chocolativore & Giveaway

Today I welcome author Luba Lesychyn. Theft By Chocolate is Luba Lesychyn’s (le-si-shin) debut novel, though she has been amusing people with her writing since the age of eight. Her love of chocolate precedes this age and she has been in and out of chocolate rehab for most of her adult life. When not writing or looking for her next chocolate fix, Luba can be found in dance classes, trekking to remote waterfalls in the mountain rain forest in Puerto Rico, running through the streets of Paris or doing any other number of calorie-burning activities that help offset the calories consumed in her chocolate intake.  

$150 Gift Certificate Giveaway: Gift certificate to a delectable chocolate online retailer. Winner chooses from one of three sites:, , or . To be eligible for the Grand Prize, enter the Rafflecopter. Remember to sign up for Luba’s email announcements (worth five entries). On occasion she’ll send out exclusive announcements for special events, blog posts, giveaways and free swag! On July 31st, the winner will be chosen at random and notified via email.

LUBA LESYCHYN: Confessions of a Real Life Chocolativore

When I first developed the concept for my book Theft By Chocolate, I knew there was no shortage of chocolate addicts on this planet that might identify with lead character Kalena Boyko, a high functioning chocolate addict. But what I was less certain about was whether readers would be interested in a sassy museum mystery about a woman of a certain age looking for chocolate, love and an international art thief in all the wrong places. But, as it turns out, taking inspiration from my own embarrassing chocolate addiction and drawing from my more than twenty years of working in Canada’s largest museum has resulted in a story hitting a cord with readers.

As a writer, you expose a part of your psyche to the world that often leaves you vulnerable. But this is amplified a hundred-fold when characteristics of your protagonist are based so closely on your own life – particularly on one’s flaws. But I thought it worth the risk – surely, I was not the only person who had eaten an inappropriate number of pieces in a box of chocolates gifted to the office (“who ate all the chocolates?”). And certainly there were other people who have shuffled around papers in their workplace recycling bin so all the candy bar wrappers don’t remain visible at the top of the refuse pile. Over the years, I learned to laugh at my own sneaky antics, and it was time to invite the world to laugh along with me.

But my amusing chocolate escapades weren’t the only experiences in my life giving me the giggles. It seemed as if every time I turned a corner in Toronto’s Royal Ontario Museum, I encountered some hilarious new situation. Whether it was working with a world-renowned expert in their field who wore their clothing inside-out or watching a live crab being flung twenty feet in the air after a child stuck their hand in a crab tank during a public presentation, working in a museum was never dull.

But, so often museums are portrayed in books and film with a weighty sense of gravity and are the setting for murderous events and high tech heists. There’s no doubt that stakes are high in places that safeguard the world’s most valued treasures. But they can also be places of hijinks and hilarity, and that was the portrait I chose to paint in Theft By Chocolate. It was my intention to unlatch a very particular door, one that has rarely been opened, into what is normally perceived as a rarified world. To me, this side of museum life was so utterly endearing that it kept me in one spot for more than twenty years, and that in a society in which people change places of employment more frequently than they change their socks.

Theft By Chocolate is my first book and I can’t express the delight I experienced crafting the story about two of my personal obsessions, chocolate and museums. But I have also always adored a page-turning mystery or a clever museum heist tale. So it was with even greater pleasure that I was able to interweave a plot line based on a real-life and never-solved theft that took place at the Royal Ontario Museum in the 1980s. What was particularly surprising was that this theft was perpetrated with such ingenuity and simplicity that it shocked the security industry around the world and led to global changes in corporate and cultural security technology.

So just how was this heist carried out? Well, that’s where I am going to leave the blog readers hanging. You’ll have to pick up a copy of Theft By Chocolate to learn about the intriguing and ingenious circumstances. Although chocolate may not have been involved in the true-to-life theft, that didn’t prevent me from entwining the delectable substance into my own fictional rendering!


One of my favorite combinations is chocolate and orange. Mix these two ingredients into a cheesecake and you have perfection. The secret to the creamiest cheesecake ever is to use organics. They make the biggest difference in this kind of textured dessert.

Chocolate Crust
1 1/3 cups crushed chocolate wafers
1/3 cup melted butter
(or look for a pre-made chocolate crust in places like Whole Foods - you may end up with left-over filling if using a pre-made one)

1 pound softened cream cheese (try using a lower fat organic option)
2/3 cup sour cream
1/2 cup sugar
1 tbsp orange juice concentrate
2 tbsp orange liqueur
6 oz semisweet chocolate
1 oz bitter chocolate
2 large eggs

1 cup whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla
(the recipe calls for 2 tbsp icing sugar, but I omit it)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. To prepare crust, combine crushed wafers and melted butter and press into a 9-inch spring-form pan.
3. Bake five minutes and cool.
4. To make filling, combine cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, orange juice concentrate and orange liqueur in a bowl and beat until smooth.
5. Melt semi-sweet and bitter chocolate in the top of a double boiler set over hot water. Add to cheese mixture, beating until smooth.
6. Add eggs and beat five minutes.
7. Pour mixture into crust and bake 35 to 40 minutes.
8. Allow cake to cool to room temperature, then chill about two hours.
9. To make topping, beat whipping cream and vanilla until soft peaks form. Spread or pipe over chilled cake.
10. Chill one hour before serving.
Serves 10  to 12 (or in my case 1!)

Theft By Chocolate:
Chocolate addict Kalena Boyko wasn’t prepared for this. Heading to work at Canada’s largest museum as an administrator, she hopes for quiet and uninterrupted access to her secret chocolate stash. Instead she’s assigned to manage the high-profile Treasures of the Maya exhibition with her loathed former boss, Richard Pritchard.

 With no warning, her life is capsized and propelled into warp speed as she stumbles across an insider plot that could jeopardize the exhibit and the reputation of the museum.

 After hearing about a recent botched theft at the museum and an unsolved jewel heist in the past from security guard and amateur sleuth Marco Zeffirelli, Kalena becomes suspicious of Richard and is convinced he’s planning to sabotage the Treasures of the Maya exhibition. 

Her suspicions, and the appearance of the mysterious but charming Geoffrey Ogden from the London office, don’t help her concentration. The Treasures of the Maya seems cursed as problem after problem arises, including the disappearance of the world’s oldest piece of chocolate, the signature object in the exhibit.

 Theft By Chocolate is inspired by a real-life and never-solved heist at a Canadian museum in the 1980s.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Hot Fudge Sundae Sauce and Cake Recipes

Today is National Hot Fudge Sundae Day, and given that most of the U.S. is scorching, it's the perfect treat!

The classic Hot Fudge Sundae is a creation of vanilla ice cream, hot chocolate sauce ("hot fudge"), whipped cream, nuts, and a single maraschino cherry on top. A Hot Fudge Sundae can be made with any flavor of ice cream, but vanilla is preferred!

There are lots of theories about the origins of the Hot Fudge Sundae. According to Wikipedia, a frequent theme is that the dish arose in contravention to so-called blue laws against Sunday consumption of either ice cream or ice cream soda (the latter invented by Robert M. Green in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1874). The religious laws are said to have led druggists to produce a substitute for these popular treats for consumption on Sunday. According to this theory of the name's origin, the spelling was changed to sundae to avoid offending religious conventions. Since I grew up in Philadelphia, I remember the Blue Laws, although at that time they pertained to alcohol and not ice cream.

In support of this idea, Peter Bird wrote in The First Food Empire: A History of J. Lyons and Co. (2000) that the name 'sundae' was adopted as a result of Illinois state's early prohibition of ice cream consumption on Sundays, because ice cream with a topping that obscured the main product was not deemed to be ice cream. However, according to documentation published by the Evanston, Illinois Public Library, it was the drinking of soda, not the eating of ice cream, that was outlawed on Sundays in Illinois.

There are lots of fabulous Fudge Sauces out there from great chocolatiers, but if you want to make your own, here's a delicious recipe for Hot Fudge Sauce! As in most recipes, it's the quality of the ingredients that makes all the difference!


2/3 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
 6 oz dark chocolate (65-75% cacao), chopped
2 Tbsp sweet butter  (room temperature)
1 tsp Madagascar vanilla

Bring cream, corn syrup, sugar, cocoa, salt, and half of chocolate to a boil in saucepan over moderate heat, stirring, until chocolate is melted.
Reduce heat and cook at low boil, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes, then remove from heat.
Add butter, vanilla, and remaining chocolate and stir until smooth.
Cool sauce to warm before serving.

Hot Fudge Sundae Cake is a great variation on this traditional treat, and it can be made in a pan in the oven or in a Slow Cooker. See recipe HERE.

Check out the recipe adapted from Betty Crocker for Hot Fudge Sundae Cake in a pan. It's an easy one bowl/pan recipe. What's especially delicious about this cake is that as the cake bakes it separates into a chocolate cake and a dark fudgy sauce. Now that's what Hot Fudge Sundaes are all about! Add the ice cream and you're all set.

Hot Fudge Sundae Cake

1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons DARK unsweetened cocoa
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon Madagascar vanilla
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened DARK cocoa
1 3/4 cups very hot water

Vanilla Ice cream

1 Set oven to 350ºF.
2 Mix flour, granulated sugar, 2 tablespoons cocoa, baking powder and salt in ungreased square pan, 9 x 9 x 2 inches. Mix in milk, oil and vanilla with fork until smooth. Stir in nuts. Spread in pan.
3 Sprinkle brown sugar and 1/4 cup cocoa over batter. Pour water over batter.
4 Bake about 40 minutes or until top is dry.
5 Spoon warm cake into dessert dishes. Top with ice cream. Spoon sauce from pan onto each serving.

Rather have Hot Fudge Sundae Cupcakes? Check out Joy the Baker's recipe and photos.

Want Hot Fudge Sundae Macarons? Barbara Bakes has the perfect recipe

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Tuesday Tips: How to Melt Chocolate

I've posted many times on how to melt chocolate, but usually within recipe posts, so today's Tuesday Tip is on how to melt chocolate. You decide how you'd like to use that melted chocolate :-)

Today's Tuesday Tip: How to Melt Chocolate

If truth be told, I always melt chocolate in the top of a double boiler--well, a saucepan over another saucepan. Not sure why I prefer this. Maybe it's because I can see the chocolate and monitor its progression? However, lots of people swear by the microwave method. As always, do what works best for you!

First, chop the chocolate into chunks. This will help with even melting. Chop finely if you are melting milk or white chocolate since they are more likely to scorch than dark chocolate. You can chop dark chocolate into bigger pieces.

Double Boiler Method:

Put chocolate in the top of a double boiler (or a saucepan over a saucepan). Since chocolate should be melted over low heat,  make sure the water in the bottom of your double boiler is just simmering. 

Stir the chocolate slowly as it melts to keep it smooth.

Never cover the chocolate (moisture!)

Chocolate's biggest enemy is water! Never allow water to come in contact with melting chocolate. This includes even a drop of water or steam from the bottom of the double boiler. Water can cause chocolate to seize up and become stiff and grainy or lumpy. Also make sure to use dry utensils (rubber spatula is great) to prevent chocolate from seizing.

O.K. Let's say you followed these directions, but your chocolate seizes anyway. Add a bit of vegetable oil (NOT butter or margarine) to smooth out the chocolate. It really works. There's a formula for this, but I just add a bit and stir. Formula: 1 tsp for every 6 ounces chocolate.

Have a lot of chocolate to melt? Start with a smaller amount. Melt and then add the next portion. Stir frequently to distribute heat.

Microwave Method:

Chop chocolate and put in microwave safe bowl and heat on 50% power for 1 minute. Remove from microwave and stir. If necessary, microwave at MEDIUM an additional 15 seconds at a time, stirring after each heating, until chocolate is melted and smooth when stirred.

Melting With Other Liquids Method: 

Chop chocolate into small even pieces.

Chocolate can be melted with a small amount of liquid, (milk, cream, butter, or alcohol) if they are placed in the pan or bowl together at the same time.

Chocolate should never be melted with very small amounts of liquid. The amount of liquid added should be at least 25% of the chocolate.

For chocolate with 55-60% cacao, use 1 Tbsp liquid for every 2 ounces chocolate.

For chocolate with 60-75% cacao, use more liquid, 1-1/2 Tbsp for every 2 ounces chocolate.

Cold liquids should never be added to melted chocolate. They can cause chocolate to seize. Be sure liquids are warm (but not boiling) when you add them to chocolate.

Monday, July 23, 2012

S'mores Pops: S'mores on a Stick

I was invited to a Garden Party this past weekend, and although I wasn't asked, I wanted to bring something chocolate. It was a hot day, and not being sure if a grill would be involved with the meal planning, I opted for S'mores Pops! Less mess, no grilling, and oh so tasty.  Perfect way to end the meal.


Marshmallows (didn't have time to make my own)
Chocolate ( I used several squares of Guittard Milk Chocolate 38%. Fab!)
Graham Cracker (again, not home-made) crumbs  (Crumb the graham crackers by putting them in a plastic bag and using a rolling pin.)
Lollipop sticks (I use blunt sticks. Safer than skewers)

Melt the chocolate in the top of a double-boiler. (I added a tiny bit of oil to keep it the right consistency. Also since I made a lot of pops, I had to reheat and re-whip.)
Put marshmallow on a stick and dip (swirl) in the chocolate, coating almost all of the marshmallow.
Put graham cracker crumbs in bowl and spoon crumbs over the chocolate covered marshmallow. (I found that easier than dipping.)
Place S'mores Pop on cookie tray covered with wax paper.
Put S'mores Pops in refrigerator for a few hours to harden.

Since I wasn't sure exactly how many people were coming to the garden party, I made a few dozen. I placed them in several low clear jars, tied a ribbon, and they were good to go. And, since it was a very hot day, I put them in the hosts' winecellar to keep until the end of the day. I live in California, so that wasn't a problem. If it's hot where you are, stick them back in the refrigerator until ready to serve. But you will want to bring them to room temperature, if possible.

Extra: You can always brush any exposed marshmallow with a flame for more 'authenticity'. I didn't do that fearing the milk chocolate would melt.

These are also fabulous with dark chocolate. Experiment.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Elsie at the County Fair: Magic Chocolate Ice Cream II

A few weeks ago I posted a fun Borden's Elsie the Cow Ad from July 1941. Here's another of the Retro 'Story' Advertisements from the same summer (August 1941). This time Elsie's Magic Chocolate Ice Cream wins at the County Fair--judged the Smoothest and Creamiest Home-made Ice Cream.

Happy Ice Cream Month!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Fralinger's Molasses Paddle Pops

Today is National Lollipop Day, and I just want to mention a Pop that I adore: Fralinger's Molasses Paddle Pop! 

I grew up in Philadelphia. Every summer we went down the Shore to Atlantic City, Margate or Ventnor. Names you'll recognize if you've ever played Monopoly. One of the big attractions for me as a kid was salt water taffy. I loved it, and I remember thinking that my friend Margie had the best and most glamorous job selling salt water taffy at Fralinger's on the Boardwalk. In retrospect, it probably was not an easy job, but all I could think of was all that candy!

My favorite candy at Fralinger's was the Molasses Chocolate Covered Paddle Ppop.  Essentially it is Fralinger's fabulous molasses salt water taffy covered in delicious dark chocolate and shaped into a Paddle Pop! These Paddle Pops now come in other flavors, but Molasses was the original. I hadn't thought of this 'retro' treat in a long time, but I saw these Fralinger's Molasses Paddle Pops at the Fancy Food Show this year. Not going down the Shore this summer? These candy treats are available online. Yum!

One caveat: Hold on to your teeth.. this is like a hard taffy pull... the chocolate is easy.. the taffy is challenging, but it's worth the effort. Of course you could lick it. It is a pop, after all, but then you wouldn't enjoy the chocolate with the molasses. Technique is up to you!

I couldn't find a recipe that replicated this Molasses Paddle Pop. Let me know if you have one. Maybe sometimes, you just can't make it at home.

A little history from the Fralinger's website:

While the origins of Salt Water Taffy remain a mystery, one thing is for certain. No one did more to promote this popular confection than Joseph Fralinger.

A former glassblower and fish merchant, Joseph returned from Philadelphia to his Atlantic City roots in the mid 1880s. After taking a job with a bricklayer, he earned enough money to open a small concession on the Atlantic City Boardwalk from which he sold fruit, soda, and the latest summer sensation, "lemonade."

By 1884, Joseph was approached to take over a taffy stand on Applegate Pier. He agreed and began to perfect his own recipe for Salt Water Taffy, introducing his first batch of molasses taffy in 1885. Throughout the years he developed a number of new flavors, eventually offering Atlantic City's largest selection with 25.

As Fralinger's grew to six locations, he decided that Salt Water Taffy should return home with resort visitors. Using experiences from his fish merchant days, he packed one pound oyster boxes with Salt Water Taffy, making it the first "Atlantic City Souvenir." The one-pound box still remains the most popular souvenir over 125 years later. And by 1899 Salt Water Taffy had become a household word across America!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Snowballs in July! Retro Ad & Recipe

Sweltering in New York City? Then take a gander at this advertisement from July 11, 1949 featuring that popular New York Night Spot, the Stork Club. Stork Club Snowballs!

Recipe: Top a scoop of vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce, then 'snow it' under with coconut flakes! Snowballs in July! "The Stork Club knows how to serve ice cream."

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Death by Chocolate: Winston Churchill Chocolate Cigars

I posted this on my other blog Mystery Fanfare yesterday, but I had to post it here as well: My worlds of chocolate and mystery collide again.

From the Telegraph:

A Nazi plot to kill Sir Winston Churchill with a bar of exploding chocolate during the Second World War has been revealed in historic papers. 

Giving a new meaning to the dessert name “death by chocolate”, Adolf Hitler’s bomb makers coated explosive devices with a thin layer of rich dark chocolate, then packaged it in expensive-looking black and gold paper.
The Germans apparently planned to use secret agents working in Britain to discreetly place the bars - branded as Peters Chocolate - among other luxury items taken into the dining room used by the War Cabinet during the conflict.
The lethal slabs of confection were packed with enough explosives to kill anyone within several metres.
The plot was foiled by British spies who discovered the chocolate was being made and tipped off one of MI5’s most senior intelligence chiefs, Lord Victor Rothschild, before the wartime prime minister’s life could be endangered.

Want to make your own chocolate cigars (non exploding)? LemonPi has a great recipe for chocolate cigars using chocolate mousse.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Tuesday Tips: What to do with Leftover Ganache

Tuesday Tip: 
What to do with Leftover Chocolate Ganache.

O.K., maybe you've already eaten it all.. but if you didn't, put leftover Ganache in the freezer. It will freeze for up to 3 months.  Be sure to defrost before using.

Ganache is the French term for a smooth mixture of chopped chocolate and heavy cream. To make ganache, hot cream is poured over chopped chocolate and the mixture is stirred until smooth.  (see easy recipe below)

What to do with Leftover Ganache:

1. Truffles: Roll chilled (not frozen) ganache into balls, roll in cocoa or nuts. Instant Truffles.  Or warm and whip with your favorite liqueur, chill and roll into truffles!

2. Chocolate Fondue: Thin with half and half and use as chocolate fondue.

3. Chocolate Mousse: Reheat in double boiler to soften, add whipped cream and whip it all up to make a quick chocolate mousse.

4. Chocolate Sauce: Thin with more cream and use as chocolate sauce over ice cream.

5. Sandwich Cookie Filling: Use as filling in sandwich cookies. Put cookies in the freezer, and it's almost like having ice cream sandwiches!

6. Mocha Latte: Add to coffee and stir for mocha latte.

7. Rocky Road Fudge: Warm it up, stir in nuts and mini-marshallows, pour into cake pan, put in fridge for great Rocky Road Fudge.

8. Icing: Use as icing on cake or cupcakes. Warm and beat in powdered sugar or use as is.

9. Dip for Fruit: Use to coat strawberries. Dip strawberries (or any fruit) in warm ganache. Cool and serve.

10.  Dip for Cookies: Just like fruit, dip cookies in warm ganache for double the chocolate!

11. Tarts: Warm and pour into prepared tart cups, for instant chocolate tarts.

12. S'mores: Spread on graham crackers, add marshmallows and put on grill for S'mores.

13. Hot Chocolate: Whisk in hot milk for some super hot chocolate!

14. Croissants: Spread over croissants, warm in oven --instant chocolate croissants!

15. Breakfast Spread: Spread on any bread for a sweet breakfast.

16. Crepe filling: Mix with equal part mascarpone and fill crepes! 

17. Just eat it!

What do you do with leftover Chocolate Ganache?

Like any other good chocolate based product, the taste and quality of the Ganache depends on the quality of chocolate you start with. FYI: Chocolate with a higher cocoa butter content will produce a ganache that is firmer than one made with a chocolate that has a low cocoa butter content. Most important when choosing a chocolate for making ganache is whether you like the chocolate when you eat it.

There are so many Ganache Recipes out there. I don't have a favorite, but would love to hear if you do. Here's an Easy Ganache Recipe. I'm a purist, but many people add cognac or brandy to their recipes. 


12 ounces good quality chocolate, chopped
2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons sweet butter


Place chocolate in medium sized bowl. 
Heat cream over medium low heat until just barely begins to boil. Remove from heat immediately. Do not over-heat! 
Pour hot cream over chocolate and let sit for about a minute. 
Stir mixture (gently) until chocolate is melted and blended with cream. 
Add in butter and combine. Do not beat mixture.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

CHOCOLATE TAPIOCA PUDDING: National Tapioca Pudding Day

Tapioca, along with junket and pudding, were standard desserts when I was growing up. I knew what pudding was, but never junket or tapioca. As a child that was fine, but as an adult interested in food and food derivations, this holiday--National Tapioca Pudding Day--got my attention.

According to Ask.Yahoo, tapioca is a root starch derived from the cassava, or yuca plant. It's often used to thicken soups and sweeten the flavor of baked goods, and it makes a great pudding. The cassava plant is native to South America and the West Indies, where its thick, fibrous roots are used in a variety of forms: bread flour, laundry starch, an alcoholic brew, and of course, tapioca pudding.

From Wikipedia: The pudding can be made from scratch using tapioca in a variety of forms: flakes, coarse meal, sticks, and pearls. Many commercial packaged mixes are also available. British schoolchildren have traditionally nicknamed the dish frog spawn, due to its appearance. American children often call it fish eyes and glue.

And the reason not to make tapioca at home, cassava roots have traces of cyanide in them! The ever-resourceful Mayans, the first known to use tapioca, figured out how to extract this poison for their blow darts, leaving the uncontaminated roots free for eating. Perhaps this information would be better served on my other blog, Mystery Fanfare.

So a processed tapioca should be used in the following recipes. The first recipe for Dark Chocolate Tapioca Pudding recipe is adapted from Kraft recipes and uses instant tapioca. The second recipe uses tapioca that needs to be soaked overnight. I think the flavor is much better, but really for me, it's all about the chocolate.

1. Easy Dark Chocolate Tapioca Pudding 

1 egg
1/4 cup sugar
3 Tbsp. MINUTE Tapioca
3-1/2 cups whole milk
3 ounces dark chocolate (60-75% cacao)
1 tsp. Madagascar vanilla

Beat egg lightly in medium saucepan with wire whisk.
Add sugar and tapioca; mix well.
Gradually add milk, beating well after each addition.
Let stand 5 minutes. Add chocolate.
Bring to boil on medium heat, stirring constantly.
Reduce heat to medium-low; cook until chocolate is completely melted, stirring constantly.
Remove from heat.
Stir in vanilla.
Cool 20 minutes; stir. (Pudding thickens as it cools.)
SERVE warm or chilled.

2. Longer to make but worth it Dark Chocolate Tapioca Pudding
adapted only slightly from JamHands (a great site)  

1/2 cup Tapioca Pearls
2-1/2 cups Whole Milk
Pinch of Salt
2 Eggs, Separated
1/2 cup Sugar
1 Tbsp Madagascar Vanilla
4-6 ounces dark chocolate, chopped

Soak tapioca in 2 cups of room temperature water overnight. Drain water in morning.
Heat milk over medium low heat in top of double boiler (for just a very short time, do not boil). Add salt and tapioca. Continue to heat until small bubbles appear. Cover, turn heat to very low and cook for one hour. Make sure the milk mixture does not simmer or boil.
Separate egg whites from yolks.
Beat egg yolks and sugar together until light yellow in color. Add a little of hot milk mixture to egg yolks and blend thoroughly.
Add egg yolk mixture into hot milk mixture, stirring constantly.
Place double boiler over medium heat and cook until tapioca mixture is very thick, from 15 – 30 minutes.
Beat egg whites until stiff.
Slowly fold hot tapioca mixture into egg whites.
Stir in vanilla and chopped chocolate and combine thoroughly until smooth.
Serve warm or chilled.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Crepes a la Bastille: Triple Chocolate Crepes

Just as the bricks came tumbling down when the French stormed the Bastille, ice cream and chocolate will tumble from your fork when you cut into these fabulous Triple Chocolate Crepes for the Bastille Day Holiday today. Crepes a la Bastille! Crepes are so French, after all.


2 cups whole milk
2 eggs
2-1/2 Tbsp sweet butter, melted
1 oz. dark chocolate (65-85% cacao), melted
1-1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup high quality DARK cocoa 

1/3 cup sugar
pinch of salt

Making the Crepes
Melt butter & chocolate together, mixing to combine and smooth out  chocolate. 

In large bowl combine milk and eggs. 
In separate bowl, combine dry ingredients.
Whisk together milk and eggs with dry ingredients, continue whisking incorporating butter and chocolate mixture.
Cover and refrigerate at least an hour, or overnight. 

Be sure to re-whisk batter before cooking the crepes.

Cooking the Crepes
Butter a hot frying pan (small or medium) or crepe pan, then wipe out  excess butter with paper towel so it is 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 peel up, flip crepe with spatula for a few seconds to cook other side.

Chocolate Sauce

1/3 cup half-and-half
2 Tbsp honey
3 ounces Dark chocolate (65-75% cacao), chopped

Combine half-and-half and honey in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook 3 minutes or until tiny bubbles form around edge of pan, stirring frequently (do not boil).
Remove from heat. Stir in chocolate until smooth.

Fill with Dark Chocolate Ice Cream or Chocolate Ganache and Drizzle with Chocolate Sauce.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Grand Marnier Hot Chocolate

The rest of the country is sweltering in the heat, but here in the San Francisco Bay Area we're covered with a thick layer of coastal fog. Brrrr... Hot Chocolate is definitely called for, so why not add some Grand Marnier to warm yourself up! Especially since tomorrow is National Grand Marnier Day. La Vie Grand Marnier! And, of course, it's Bastille Day. Celebrate both holidays with Grand Marnier Hot Chocolate!

Grand Marnier, an orange flavored brandy, has been an icon of authentic French "joie de vivre" for over 150 years. Still owned by the Marnier Lapostolle Family, this acclaimed liqueur has a luxurious taste and still uses the same secret recipe. Grand Marnier is a blend of Cognac, distilled essence of bitter orange, and sugar.

One of the most important ingredients in Grand Marnier is Citrus Bigaradia Oranges. This variety of tropical orange stands apart from the sweet oranges we usually eat as it is bitter and has an intense aroma. Though the Citrus bigaradia is not a particularly rare orange, the way in which the oranges are harvested and then distilled to obtain the orange essence that goes into Grand Marnier® liqueur is very specific. The oranges are handpicked while they are still green-- when they are at their most aromatic. In order to preserve optimal concentration of the aroma of the peels, they are left to dry naturally under the Caribbean sun for several weeks on the Marnier Lapostolle family plantation. Their slow distillation extracts an orange essence that is particularly aromatic.

Oranges and Chocolate go so well together that Grand Marnier Hot Chocolate is a perfect match! Here's a recipe I've posted before. It's a favorite, and so easy. Some additions or alternatives: To spice this up, add 1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper to each mug. You can also make your hot chocolate from scratch using your choice of dark chocolate. Mix some Grand Marnier into the whipped cream for a double treat on this fun holiday!


2 ounces Grand Marnier
3 Cups Hot Chocolate (I like Scharffen Berger)
1/2 Cup whipping cream, lightly whipped
Orange Peel (or zest) for garnish

1. Make hot chocolate according to package directions (or follow your favorite recipe-- I use whole milk when making hot chocolate).
2. Pour one ounce of Grand Marnier into each mug and fill mug with hot chocolate.
3. In a bowl whip fresh cream and spoon on top of hot chocolate.
4. Grate some orange zest over the top or add a curled orange peel.

And here's a fun Grand Marnier advertisement from 2011! Very French!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Magic Chocolate Ice Cream: 1941 Retro Ad & Recipe

July is National Ice Cream Month. No surprise if you're sweltering in the heatwave that has embraced the U.S. In order to celebrate, I dug into my retro advertising files and found this wonderful Borden's Eagle Brand recipe from August 8, 1941 for Magic Chocolate Ice Cream.  I love Elsie the Cow, and I'm definitely take her advice on bringing "homemade ice cream to the social." Luckily, I have an automatic refrigerator! Gotta love these 'story' ads. "If it's Borden's, it's got to be good."

Monday, July 9, 2012

National Sugar Cookie Day: Guest Post

Today I welcome 12 year old blogger Maddie Tamashiro from SweeetCooker. I only say 12 year old because I'm in awe of this young woman. I first saw a post she did about a Flourless Chocolate Almond Cake. Yum. So I asked her to do a guest post.

Since today is National Sugar Cookie Day, this is the perfect post! I would, of course, frost with chocolate frosting, but whatever you choose, you'll love these cookies!

Maddie of Sweeetcooker:

Lofthouse Style Frosted Sugar Cookies

Wow! These cookies taste amazing! I posted this recipe on my blog,
And then I got asked to do a guest post on Janet's blog, DyingforChocolate, so I thought these would be perfect. I am 12 years old, and I love to cook. I REALLY love to bake. When I get older I hope to go to culinary school. When I cook and bake I get to release all of my stress from the day and have a blast doing it. On my blog, I post mostly food recipes, but sometimes I just like to blog about my hobbies. Please come and check my blog out and comment, subscribe, and request recipes you want me to make. Thank you, Maddie.

NOTE: These cookies are pretty darn close to the ones you buy in the store however, I am sure that original lofthouse recipe is under "lock and key" so we may never be able to completely duplicate it 100%. I used the recipe that I found (as noted in the body of the post) and basically increased the amount of vanilla and working the dough in small batches, while keeping the rest chilled, works best.  It is a very soft dough. I thought they were quite tasty, but I know that they may not appeal to everyone, since they do taste a bit different than the ones in the store but pretty close.

Lofthouse Style Frosted Sugar Cookies

6 cups all purpose flour
1 t. baking soda
1 t. baking powder
1 c. butter, at room temperature
2 c. granulated sugar
3 eggs
2 t. vanilla extract
1 1/2 c. sour cream

1 c. butter, room temperature
1 t. vanilla extract
4 c. powdered sugar
6 T. heavy cream
Several drops food coloring
Multi-colored Sprinkles


In the bowl of a stand mixer with the flat beater attached, cream the butter and granulated sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Add the eggs, one at a time beating until each is incorporated. Add the vanilla and sour cream and beat at low speed until combined.

Add the dry ingredients and beat at low speed until just combined, scraping down the bowl as needed. Dough will be a bit “sticky”. Divide dough into two sections. Flatten into rectangles about 1 1/2 inches thick, then wrap with plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator overnight or at least two hours until firm.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or spray them with nonstick cooking spray, set aside.

Use the plastic wrap that you chilled the dough in. Dust the top of the dough and then flip and flour the other side, keeping it on the plastic wrap. With a rolling pin, roll the dough out to 1/4-inch thickness. Using a 2 1/2-inch round cookie cutter, cut out circles and transfer to a baking sheet. Bake for 7 minutes, until pale golden. Immediately transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool. Best to work in small batches while keeping the remainder of the dough chilled.

To make the frosting, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and vanilla. Slowly beat in the powdered sugar. Once smooth and creamy, add in heavy cream, 1 tablespoon at a time until the desired spreading consistency is achieved. If desired, add food coloring and beat until combined.

Once cookies have cooled completely, frost and add sprinkles. Allow frosting to set, then store in an air-tight container. Let cookies sit for several hours before serving to allow the flavors to develop.

Makes approximately: 5 to 6 dozen cookies (will vary on the thickness of the dough)

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Homemade Almond Joy: Sometimes you feel like a nut!

Today is Chocolate Covered Almond Day, so I decided to do a repost from National Almond Day in February For me, Almonds and Chocolate are all about Almond Joy.

Today, Almond Joy candy bars are manufactured by Hershey's. Almond Joy has a coconut-based center topped with two toasted almonds and covered in a layer of milk chocolate. Almond Joy is the sister product of Mounds, which is the same confection but without the almond and coated with dark chocolate. I'm actually partial to Mounds, but for the purposes of today's holiday, I'm posting about Chocolate Covered Almonds and Almond Joy. One concession, in the recipe for Homemade Almond Joy Bars, I use dark chocolate! Almond Joy bars have milk chocolate.

According to Wikipedia, Peter Paul Halajian, a candy retailer in Connecticut in the 1919, along with other Armenian investors, including Dutch candy manufacturer Jett Schaefer, formed the Schaefer Candy Manufacturing Company in 1919. The company first sold various brands of candies, but following sugar and coconut shortages in World War II, they dropped most brands and concentrated their efforts on the Mounds bar. The Almond Joy Bar was introduced in 1946 as a replacement for the Dream Bar (created in 1936) that contained diced almonds with the coconut. In 1978, Peter Paul merged with the Cadbury company. Hershey’s then purchased the United States portion of the combined company in 1988.

During the 1970s, the Peter Paul company used the jingle, "Sometimes you feel like a nut / Sometimes you don't / Almond Joy's got nuts / Mounds don't," to advertise Almond Joy and Mounds together. In a play on words, the "feel like a nut" portion of the jingle was typically played over a clip of someone acting like a "nut", engaged in some funny-looking activity. See the Retro Commercial Video below.

Did you ever try any of these? In the 2000s, Hershey began producing variations of the product, including a limited edition Piña Colada and Double Chocolate Almond Joy in 2004, a limited edition White Chocolate Key Lime and Milk Chocolate Passion Fruit Almond Joy in 2005, and a limited edition Toasted Coconut Almond Joy in 2006. Although Peter Paul as a company no longer exists, the name still appears on the wrapper as part of the bars' brand names.

Want to make your own Almond Joy Bars? Simple and delicious. I know that Almond Joy uses milk chocolate, but I'm partial to dark which is why I probably always liked the Mounds Bar better. You can use either type of chocolate in the recipe below. As always use the very best chocolate for the very best candy!

Homemade Almond Joy Recipe

7 ounces sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup sweet butter, softened
Pinch of Salt
1 teaspoon Madagascar vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar
14 ounces sweetened flaked or shredded coconut
24 ounces dark chocolate, chopped  (milk chocolate if you're a traditionalist)
3/4 cup whole almonds (that you'll toast-see recipe)

Preheat oven to 350F
1. Spread raw almonds on baking sheet and toast for about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool.
2. In big mixing bowl, blend milk, butter and vanilla. Add powdered sugar a little at a time. Add coconut a little at a time and mix until combined. The mixture will be thick. Place mixture in refrigerator for 30 minutes. (You can use your Kitchen Aid flat beater, but I prefer the texture that comes from hand mixing.)
3. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove coconut mixture from refrigerator. With hands, shape one tablespoon of coconut into small log - 2 inches long and 3/4-inch thick. Press coconut mixture tightly together. Place logs on lined baking sheet and continue until all coconut mixture is finished.
4. Press an almond on top of each coconut log.
5. Place baking sheet in freezer to chill while you melt chocolate.
6. In medium microwave safe bowl, melt chocolate in tmicrowave 2-4 minutes at 30 SECOND intervals until chocolate is melted (or melt in top of double boiler or pan over saucepan of simmering water).
7. Remove coconut logs from freezer.
8. Dip in Chocolate: See next step

How to Dip in Chocolate:  Two Ways

1. Place one coconut almond log on fork. Use spoon to scoop a bit of chocolate over almond. This helps almond stick to coconut log during dipping. Lower fork into chocolate and spoon chocolate over candy to coat. Lift fork and gently shake to release some of the chocolate. Scrape bottom of fork along the side of bowl and place on lined baking sheet. You might need a toothpick to help get the candy off the fork. Repeat until all candy is coated in chocolate. If chocolate gets thick, return to microwave or heat for a tiny bit more.
Let dipped candy harden for 45 minutes. Store in airtight container at room temperature.

2. Using Two Fork method (or a special dipping tool-I find this handy), dunk coconut logs in chocolate, bring up and tap on lip of bowl to remove excess chocolate. Place on parchment lined baking sheet and repeat.

Do You Remember this Almond Joy Commercial?


If you'll be in the San Francisco Bay Area on July 16, you'll want to attend this program:

The Commonwealth Club presents Success and Chocolate, a panel with Bay Area Chocolatiers and Business Women

Kathy Wiley, Owner, Poco Dolce
Ellin Purdom, Director of Social Media, Toffee Talk 
Wendy Lieu, Chief Chocolatier, Socola Chocolatier  
Sohara Mapes, Chocolate Maker, TCHO 
Peggy Butler, Blogger, Success & Chocolate Blog - Moderator

Everyone loves chocolate, and these women entrepreneurs have created some of the most successful chocolate businesses in the Bay Area. The panel of chocolatiers and business women will share the joys and challenges of creating a business around this most beloved treat!

Location: The Commonwealth Club, Gold Room, 595 Market Street, 2nd Floor, San Francisco
Time: 5:30 p.m. networking reception, 6 p.m. program
$20 standard, $7 students

There will be a raffle for a basket of chocolate goodies at the end of the program.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Chocolate Syrup Swirl Bundt Cake

This recipe for Chocolate Syrup Swirl Bundt Cake is adapted from the Hershey's Kitchens. I grew up with Hershey's syrup, and I've made this bundt cake. I love that it also has coconut. If you're a purist, substitute an artisan chocolate syrup--or make your own chocolate syrup to use in the cake. I've also added a chocolate drizzle on this cake. Can you ever have enough chocolate?


1 cup sweet butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons Madagascar vanilla
3 eggs
2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/4 teaspoons baking soda, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup HERSHEY'S Syrup
1 cup  Sweetened Coconut Flakes

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour 12-cup or 10-inch bundt pan.
2. Beat butter, sugar and vanilla in large bowl until fluffy. Add eggs; beat well. Stir together flour, l teaspoon baking soda and salt; add alternately with buttermilk to butter mixture, beating until well blended.
3. Measure 2 cups batter in small bowl; stir in syrup and remaining 1/4 teaspoon baking soda. Add coconut to remaining vanilla batter; pour into prepared pan. Pour chocolate batter over vanilla batter in pan; do not mix.
4. Bake 60 to 70 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool l5 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack.
Cool completely; drizzle with Chocolate.. (optional)

Here's my favorite chocolate drizzle recipe..
Chocolate Drizzle 
1/3 cup dark chocolate, chopped 
2 tablespoons milk 
Combine chocolate and milk in a small saucepan over another saucepan (on simmer), stirring until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Drizzle over cooled cake. 
Serve immediately or let stand until the chocolate is set, about 45 minutes. 
Photo: Hershey's Kitchens

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Independence Pie: Happy Fourth of July!

Retro Ad from July 5, 1943 for Independence Pie! This Carnation Milk ad was created when the U.S. was at War. Notice the Buy U.S. Savings Bonds in the lower right hand corner.

"Eat your milk" and try this Independence Pie: A Basic Cream Pie Recipe for Various Fruits. For today add Strawberries and Blueberries. I, of course, would make a chocolate crust.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Patriotic Strawberry, Chocolate, Blueberry Salad

Here's a Patriotic Salad for the Fourth of July. Simple and easy.

Strawberry, Blueberry, and Chocolate Salad

Combine a basket of strawberries with a basket of blueberries.
Chop dark chocolate into chunks.
Combine chocolate and fruit and toss in a raspberry vinaigrette.
One of my favorites is Brianna's Blush Wine Vinaigrette... or make your own. Keep it slightly fruity.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

BEAT THE HEAT! FRESH UP WITH 7-Up (Chocolate Cake!)

Love this Beat the Heat! "fresh up" with Seven-Up! Great Ad from July 5, 1948! Family days at the Beach. Mom packs the picnic basket, Dad drives, and the kids fill the cooler with 7-Up. Seems like a lot of 7-Up from the photo. But they all look like they're having fun at the Beach--with 7-Up.

Another way of enjoying 7-Up, a very retro carbonated beverage, is to use it as a leavening agent in a chocolate bundt cake. I've posted 7-Up Chocolate Cake recipes for my Mad Men Marathon, but this is a 'from scratch" easy recipe. I usuallAs I mentioned, the 7-Up is the leavening agent. Enjoy! Try to beat the heat!

7-Up Chocolate Cake

2 cups butter, softened
2 tsp Madagascar vanilla
3 cups sugar
5 eggs
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup DARK cocoa
1 cup 7-Up
1 cup dark chocolate chips  (or a cup of dark chocolate broken into chunks)
Cream butter.
Add sugar and vanilla and beat until light and fluffy.
Add eggs, beating well after each one.
Stir in salt, flour and cocoa. Blend thoroughly.
Add 7-UP.
Fold in chocolate chips or chunks.
Bake in greased and floured Bundt pan for 60 minutes (or until tester comes clean).
Cool on wire rack. 

Optional: Glaze when cooled with dark chocolate Dobash Frosting. 

Dobash Frosting
1 1/2 cup water
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup Ghirardelli cocoa
pinch of salt

Combine all in saucepan and bring to a boil.
Add 1/2 cup water to make a paste. Stir into cocoa mixture with whisk over heat until it thickens. Pour while hot over cake and spread.