Monday, October 31, 2022

Cartoon of the Day: Pumpkin

Happy Halloween!


When I was growing up Halloween was my favorite holiday of the year. I'd choose what I'd want to be early and make sure my seamstress grandmother had time to complete it. I never wanted store-bought costumes. I had to have an original. I would design it, and my Bubby would sew it, and I'd be there every step of the way watching her and learning sewing techniques.

On Halloween night, all the children on my block were out. We had no safety worries. We knew every single house on the street would have a treat, almost always candy. There was always the disappointing small box of raisins, but that was o.k. After we moved to the suburbs, the ante went up, and we received whole candy bars and more expensive loot.

Needless to say, there was always a lot of candy left over. I mean, how much could one child eat? We weren't allowed to keep our stash in our rooms (the reason given by my mother -- to protect against bugs and mice), so all the candy was relegated to the kitchen. My sister and I noticed it being depleted, but usually too late. Most of it found its way into my doctor father's waiting room. Other kids who didn't walk those mean streets, knocking on doors, and yelling 'trick or treat' benefited from the fruit of our labor.

Now as an adult, I buy candy for trick or treaters. Every year that candy sits in a bowl by the door -- unloved, uncalled for. We don't get a lot of Trick or Treaters where I live. Maybe it's the times; maybe it's the hills. Several years ago, I started buying only candy that I liked. Who wants to be stuck with candy you'll never eat? So there's usually a lot of leftover candy at my house. I'm sure there is at yours, too, particularly if you have very few goblins and ghosts and superheroes who made the Halloween pilgrimage. Here are several ways to turn that left over candy into culinary delights or needed donations.

1. Use chopped Candy Corn or chopped Candy Bars in place of chocolate chips in cookies or brownies. (or use both as in this recipe for Candy Corn & Chocolate Chip Cookies from Christina Tosi at NYC's Momfuku)

2. Use Candy and Candy Bars as toppings for ice cream sundaes or over yoghurt.

3. Freeze the candy for another time when you get the munchies.

4. Make homemade flavored vodka. It needs some time to infuse, but experiment with different flavors.

5.  Make Trail Mix with chopped chocolate candy, raisins, peanuts and any other soft chewy candy.

6. Mix up a batch of biscuits and fold in some chopped Tootsie Tolls or Peanut Butter Cups.  

7. Add chopped candy corn to candied yams.

8. Make a Cookie Dough Pizza.  
Betty Crocker recipe: Mix 1 pouch of peanut butter cookie mix with 1/3 cup vegetable oil and an egg until soft dough forms. Press dough into ungreased 12-inch pizza pan. Sprinkle with your choice of toppings such as candy corn, candy bar pieces and nuts. Bake 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Sprinkle 1 cup miniature marshmallows on top. Bake for another 10-15 minutes until marshmallows are lightly browned and cookie is set at edge. Cool completely in pan.

9. Pudding/Candy Parfait: Layer instant pudding with candy.

10. Use the candy to decorate your Holiday Gingerbread House.

11. Keep some in the car or your purse for emergencies (probably not chocolate which melts).

12. Donate: Nursing homes, doctor's offices, women and family shelters will take wrapped candy. Check first. There's a real need, especially everything that's been going on for the past two years.

13: Donate: Operation Gratitude ships candy to U.S. troops in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Middle East for Christmas time. (chocolate is more perishable)

14. DonateRonald McDonald House will accept donations of wrapped Halloween Candy in many locations. Check first.

15. Make a Candy Massacre Pie (recipe from Cakespy).

16. Blend Chocolate-Peanut Butter Cups with soy and rice wine vinegar and serve as a Satay over rice and stir-fried veggies.

17. Here's a new one to me, and it's to die for. Almond Joy Candied Bacon.

And three more recipes in case you haven't baked enough for Halloween:


1 angel food cake, crumbled
1/2 cup unsalted butter
4 egg yolks
2 cups confectioners sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
16 ounces Cool Whip, thawed slightly
8 large Butterfinger candy bars

Freeze Butterfinger candy bars in wrappers for at least two hours.
Crush bars (while in wrappers) using rolling pin.
Cream butter, egg yolks, sugar and vanilla and add Cool Whip.
In a 9 x 13 inch pan layer half of angel food cake; layer half of Cool Whip mixture; then layer of half of crushed candy bars; repeat. Keep refrigerated.


Adapted from M&M/MARS. You can substitute other candy in place of Milky Way Bars... depending on what you have left over.

1 to 2 Tbsp vegetable shortening
1/4 cup finely chopped nuts
15 bite-size (mini) Milky Way bars
1 cup low-fat buttermilk, plain yogurt or sour cream, divided
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
4 eggs

5 bite-size Milky Way bars
2 Tbsp sweet butter
2 tsp water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 12-cup Bundt pan or 10-inch tube pan with shortening. Sprinkle coated pan with nuts; set aside.
In heavy medium saucepan over low heat, melt candy bars with 1/4 cup of buttermilk, stirring often until mixture is smooth.
In medium mixing bowl, combine flour, salt and baking soda. In large mixing bowl, beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Blend in vanilla. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Add flour mixture alternately with remaining 3/4 cup of buttermilk, mixing just until the dry ingredients are moistened. Then, blend in melted candy bar mixture until thoroughly incorporated.
Spoon  batter into prepared Bundt pan. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove from toven and cool 10 minutes. Invert onto wire rack and cool completely.

To Prepare Glaze: Melt candy bars with the butter and water until mixture is smooth. Drizzle glaze over cooled cake.

recipe from TasteofHome

1 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 cups packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup chopped pecans, divided
2/3 cup milk chocolate M&M's, divided
2/3 cup chopped candy corn, divided
2/3 cup coarsely chopped miniature pretzels, divided
2/3 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips, divided
2/3 cup butterscotch chips, divided
1 jar (12 ounces) hot caramel ice cream topping

Preheat oven to 375°.
Line13 x 9 inch baking pan with parchment paper, letting ends extend up sides; grease paper. In large bowl, beat melted butter and brown sugar until blended. Beat in eggs and vanilla.
In large bowl, mix flour, baking powder, and salt; gradually add to brown sugar mixture, mixing well. Stir in half of pecans, M&M's, candy corn, pretzels, chocolate chips, and butterscotch chips. Spread into prepared pan.
Bake 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack.
Spread caramel topping over bars; sprinkle with remaining pecans, M&M's, candy corn, pretzels, chocolate chips and butterscotch chips.
Lifting with parchment paper, remove from pan. Cut into bars.
Still want to make something? Cakespy suggests Deep Frying your Halloween Candy... be still my heart. Literally!

HALLOWEEN CHOCOLATE MOLDS: Witches, Cats, & Pumpkins, Oh My!

I love Vintage Chocolate Molds. Here are some great Halloween Chocolate Molds. After all, Halloween is all about chocolate! These are not all my molds (I only have four), but I love these vintage metal chocolate molds and wonder about the chocolatiers, the children, and everyone else who enjoyed the chocolate that was shaped in them.






Sunday, October 30, 2022

CANDY CORN DAY: History & Recipe for Candy Corn Truffles

Today is Candy Corn Day! I love candy corn. O.K. it's very sweet, but I only have it a few times a year. Candy Corn is an American Halloween Tradition! Shaped like real pieces of corn, candy corn is as fun as it is tasty. In addition to the original candy corn of yellow, orange, and white, there are different varieties, including Indian candy corn which is brown where the original candy corn is yellow, adding a hint of chocolate (it's only a hint and a bit waxy, and it's not real chocolate, but I don't care at Halloween).

The National Confectioners Association estimates that 20 million pounds (9,000 tons) of candy corn are sold annually. The top branded retailer of candy corn, Brach's, sells enough candy corn each year to circle the earth 4.25 times if the kernels were laid end to end. TMI?

Candy corn was created in the 1880s by the Philadelphia based Wunderlee Candy Company and, by 1900, was being produced by the Goelitz Candy Company (now Jelly Belly), which has continuously produced it for more than a century. Candy corn is shaped like a kernel of corn, a design that made it popular with farmers when it first came out, but it was the fact that it had three colors - a really innovative idea at the time - that made it popular.

Originally, candy corn was made of sugar, corn syrup, fondant and marshmallow, among other things, and the hot mixture was poured into cornstarch molds, where it set up. The recipe changed slightly over time and there are probably a few variations in recipes between candy companies, but the use of a mixture of sugar, corn syrup, gelatin and vanilla (as well as honey, in some brands) is the standard.

Candy makers use a process called corn starch molding. Corn starch is used to fill a tray, creating candy corn shaped indentations. Candy corns are built from the top to the bottom in three waves of color. First, the indentation is partially filled with white syrup. Next, when the white is partially set, they add the the orange syrup. The creation is then finished up by adding the yellow syrup and then cooled. The candy starts fusing together while it cools. After cooling the candies, the trays are dumped out, the corn starch is sifted away, and the candy corn is ready.

Here's a way to elevate Candy Corn for your discerning friends and family!


18 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup whipping cream
1 1/2 Tbsp Grand Marnier (orange juice if you don't do alcohol
1/4 cup Scottish or dark orange marmalade
1/4 cup unsweetened DARK cocoa powder (not Dutch-processed)
64 candy corns (about 3 ounces)

Line 8 x 8-inch baking pan with 12 x17-inch sheet of waxed or parchment paper.
In large heatproof bowl set over saucepan of hot water, use heatproof spatula or wooden spoon to stir together chocolate, cream, Grand Marnier, and marmalade, until chocolate is melted. Scrape chocolate mixture into prepared pan, smoothing top.
Chill until firm, at least 2 1/2 hours or (covered with plastic wrap) up to 1 week.
Put cocoa powder in shallow bowl. Remove chocolate mixture from pan. With long, sharp knife, cut chocolate mixture into 64 squares, each about 3/4 in. wide. Roll squares in cocoa powder to coat; place 1 square in each paper cup.
Gently press candy corn into top of each truffle.
Store between sheets of waxed paper in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Saturday, October 29, 2022


It's Halloween weekend, and if you're like me, there is a lot of chocolate in your house right now. Now you might be wondering why I am highlighting my golden retrievers on a Chocolate Blog, but there's a good reason. I've posted before that chocolate is dangerous for dogs. I'm careful when I cook and bake with chocolate, because golden retrievers -- well, most dogs -- will eat anything that drops on the floor, not to mention counter surfing. I only bake with good dark chocolate and that's exactly what can make dogs sick or worse.

Hills Pet Company has a very good article on Chocolate and Dogs that I want to share. I'm also reposting a Chocolate and Dogs Question &Answer about Halloween Candy. It's all good information for Dog Owners who also happen to be Chocoholics. Be safe!

Is Chocolate Bad for Dogs?

Chocolate is poisonous to dogs; however, the hazard of chocolate to your dog depends on the chocolate type, the amount consumed, and the dog's size. In large enough amounts, chocolate and cocoa products can kill your dog.

Why not chocolate?
  • The toxic component of chocolate is theobromine. Humans easily metabolize theobromine, but dogs process it much more slowly, allowing it to build up toxic levels in their system.
  • A large dog can consume more chocolate than a small dog before it suffers ill effects.
  • A small amount of chocolate will probably only give your dog an upset stomach with vomiting or diarrhea.
  • With large amounts, theobromine can produce muscle tremors, seizures, an irregular heartbeat, internal bleeding or a heart attack. The onset of theobromine poisoning is usually marked by severe hyperactivity.
A single piece of chocolate should not be a problem. A single piece doesn't contain a large enough theobromine dosage to harm your dog; however, if you have a small dog that has eaten a box of chocolates, you should go to the veterinarian immediately.

Different chocolate types have different theobromine levels. Cocoa, cooking chocolate, and dark chocolate contain the highest levels, while milk chocolate and white chocolate have the lowest. If you’re dealing with any quantity of dark or bitter chocolate, err on the side of caution. The high level of theobromine in dark chocolate means it takes only a very small amount to poison a dog. Less than an ounce of dark chocolate may be enough to poison a 44-pound dog.

The usual treatment for theobromine poisoning is to induce vomiting within two hours of ingestion. If you are worried that your dog may have eaten a large quantity of chocolate, call your veterinarian as soon as possible.

Of course, never consider chocolate as a reward.

And here's another article on Chocolate and Dogs and Halloween: 

It's a Q &A between Neenda Pellegrini and Dr. Sheppard Thorpe, an emergency veterinarian at Puget Sound Veterinary Referral Center in Tacoma about Halloween and Pets that appeared in the Seattle Times.  Read the entire article HERE.

Pet ingestion of Halloween treats can cause vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, pancreatitis, heart arrhythmias, seizures, liver disease, kidney disease, gastrointestinal obstruction and even death.

Dangerous or even fatal chocolate toxicity is rare because knowledgeable owners usually get their chocolate-eating pets into the clinic within a few hours of ingestion. Once the pet arrives, we do what is called "decontamination" -- vomiting is induced and then activated charcoal is administered.

We also see pets with general vomiting and diarrhea from gastrointestinal upset after they've eaten candy, wrappers and holiday decorations. This can be very serious if the pet develops pancreatitis or if the pet becomes very dehydrated.

A quick and timely response makes the treatment much easier on your pet and your wallet.

Question: Why is chocolate dangerous? Is some chocolate -- dark or bittersweet chocolate -- worse than others, such as milk or white chocolate?

Answer: Chocolate contains an active ingredient called theobromine, which is toxic to pets. Theobromine is a stimulant that pets are more sensitive to than people and can cause hyperactivity, elevated heart rate, twitching and tremoring, vomiting and diarrhea and, worst of all, seizures.

Dark chocolate is more potent, having a higher concentration of theobromine, and, therefore, is more toxic. All chocolate (cakes or brownies, milk chocolate, white chocolate, chocolate syrup, cocoa powder) is considered "rich." Although not as serious as theobromine toxicity, foods with high sugar and fat contents can cause serious stomach and bowel problems. Decontamination and quick treatment is key.

Question: What harm can one little candy bar do?

Answer: It depends on the size of your pet, the presence of any underlying conditions and the amount of chocolate your pet has ingested.

A Hershey's Kiss is safe for a 70-pound Labrador retriever to eat but harmful to a 3-pound Chihuahua.

Another problem with "just one little treat" is that dogs can develop a liking to chocolate and soon may be climbing on the table to help themselves to that whole bowl of Halloween candy.

The power of the dog nose can also help them find that wrapped box of chocolates under the Christmas tree or hidden away for Valentine's Day. I know one Beagle who learned to open the pantry, and he loved to eat the brownie mix.

Question: What should I do if my pet accidentally eats chocolate? What symptoms should I watch for?

Answer: Call your regular veterinarian or local emergency/referral veterinary hospital for recommendations.

It helps to have the candy wrapper with the list of ingredients and percentage of cacao or cocoa in the product.

Monitor your pet for hyperactivity, elevated heart rate, vomiting/diarrhea, tremors, twitches and seizures although preventive treatment long before any of these symptoms is the best approach.

Check out and look up chocolate toxicity. This website has an excellent chart comparing the number of ounces of chocolate a pet would need to ingest for toxicity. READ MORE HERE.  

SNOW GHOST COCOA CREAM PIE: Retro Ad with Recipe for Halloween!

Here's a Retro Hershey's Ad with Recipe for a Snow Ghost Pie aka Snow Ghost Cocoa Cream Pie. This is perfect for Halloween!! 

This Retro Ad from Hershey says "Snow Ghost Pie tastes as good today as it did when Granma baked in back in '33." I wasn't around in 33, and I doubt my grandmother would have baked this, but I've made it since. This recipe appeared in the original 1934 Hershey's Cookbook (and the facsimile). There's a story in the Advertisement that you'll want to read.  Not sure if Hershey was doing this as a take-off of the Baker's Chocolate Story Ads with Recipes..

So celebrate Halloween with Snow Ghost Pie!

Snow Ghost Cocoa Cream Pie 

1 9-inch baked pastry shell or crumb crust
1/2 cup Hershey’s Cocoa
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups milk
3 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
Sweetened whipped cream

Combine cocoa, sugar, salt, and cornstarch in medium saucepan. Gradually blend milk into dry ingredients, stirring until smooth. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until filling boils; boil 1 minute. Remove from heat; blend in butter and vanilla. Pour into pie crust. Carefully press plastic wrap directly onto pie filling. Cool; chill 3 to 4 hours.
Garnish with whipped cream.

Friday, October 28, 2022

Cartoon of the Day: Chocolate

Happy World Chocolate Day!

TRIPLE CHOCOLATE CAKE: National Chocolate Day!

Today is National Chocolate Day. To be honest there are several Chocolate Days throughout the year, and, of course, every day is Chocolate Day at So to celebrate, you can take a spin back over the past 13 years of daily chocolate recipes on this site, or you can make this Triple Chocolate Cake from Tommy Bahama Restaurant & Bar. This is a cake to share!

Triple Chocolate Cake

6 oz E. Guittard Cocoa Rouge cocoa powder
24 fl oz water
1 lb and 12 oz all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp iodized salt
2 1/2 Tbsp baking soda
2 1/2 lbs sugar
24 fl oz buttermilk
18 fl oz vegetable oil
7 whole eggs
1 Tbsp and 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Chocolate Ganache Frosting (see recipe below)
Chocolate Whipped Cream (see recipe below)

Bring water to boil, turn off heat, add cocoa powder, and stir until thick. Set aside to cool.
Mix dry ingredients in mixer with whip attachment on low-medium speed for 3 minutes. Mix all liquids at once, except the chocolate mixture, with the remaining dry ingredients for 2 minutes at medium speed. Scrape well. Add chocolate mixture and mix for about 1 minute on medium speed. Set the batter aside for 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease two 10” cake pans. Cut two circles, approximately 10” in diameter, out of parchment paper. Place them into greased pans. Spray parchment circles evenly with cooking spray. Pour half batter into each of the two pans.
Bake for 1 hour. (Insert toothpick into each cake after 1 hour; if comes out clean, cakes are done.) Cool cakes on wire rack.


4.8 oz E. Guittard 61% Lever du Soleil semisweet chocolate wafers
28.8 oz powdered sugar
19.2 oz sour cream
19.2 oz butter, cubed
9.6 oz E. Guittard Oban unsweetened chocolate wafers

In double boiler, melt chocolate at 110-112°F until there are no lumps.
Slowly add butter.
In small mixer with whip attachment, add all of powdered sugar and sour cream at once. Whip on high speed until incorporated for about 2 minutes.
Add chocolate mixture to sour cream mixture and whip until the color turns light brown (like the color of milk chocolate) for about 3-4 minutes.
Refrigerate frosting for 20-30 minutes while cutting layers of cake so it firms up.
The temperature of the frosting should remain around 60°F while building the cakes.


2 chocolate cakes, each sliced into two layers ¾” thick (for four total layers), top and sides trimmed 

60 oz Chocolate Ganache frosting
3 cups chocolate cake crumbs

Take cooled cakes out of the pans. Invert them on cutting board, with the tops facing up.
With cake cutter, slice each cake into two layers, each 3/4” thick. Be very gentle when handling, as the cakes are very moist.
Trim all layers until they are same size.
Place all cake trimmings in food processor and pulse until coarse. Place the cake crumbs on a sheet pan and put into an oven to dry out. Reserve for later.
Evenly spread 12 oz of frosting across the top side of the bottom layer.
Repeat previous step with each remaining cake layers, stacking them as you go.
Evenly spread 12 oz of frosting over sides. Make sure frosting is smooth all over.
Remove dried-out cake crumbs from oven and sprinkle over top and sides.
Place entire cake in refrigerator.


1 quart heavy cream
2 Tbsp E. Guittard Cocoa Rouge cocoa powder
8 oz Swiss Chalet white chocolate mousse powder

Whisk all ingredients in mixing bowl.
Transfer mixture to mixer with whip attachment and whip until cream has stiff peaks.

Instructions: Cut cake into 8 large pieces.


Thanks to Tommy Bahama for this recipe!

Thursday, October 27, 2022

CHOCOLATE CATS & BATS, WITCHES & BROOMS: Chocolate Halloween Cookies with Retro Cookie Cutters

A few years ago, I found these wonderful 1960s Halloween Cookie (Cooky) Cutters at the Alameda Flea Market. I love the box and the shapes.

I've posted some great chocolate cookie recipes, but here's one more. This one is adapted from a Martha Stewart recipe. Just a few changes, and since Martha uses this recipe with her own bat and cat cookie cutters, these cookies are great to make with these Retro Cookie Cutters. These chocolate cookies are very crisp. I think using dark cocoa gives them an even richer taste, too.

Chocolate Cats & Bats, Witches & Brooms: 
Halloween Cookies

Makes 40 to 50

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled) plus more for rolling and cutting out dough
3/4 cup unsweetened DARK cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
Small candies or sprinkles, for decorating (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, and salt; set aside.

In large bowl, with electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy; beat in egg. On low speed, mix in flour mixture. Divide dough in half, and form into 2 disks, each about 3/4 inch thick. Wrap disks in plastic; chill until firm, at least 45 minutes and up to 2 days.

On lightly floured sheet of waxed paper, using a floured rolling pin, roll dough 1/4 inch thick. (If dough becomes too soft to work with, refrigerate for a few minutes.)

Using 2- to 3-inch Halloween cookie cutters, cut out shapes, dipping cutters in flour as necessary to prevent sticking; place on baking sheet, spacing 1 inch apart.

Bake until surface is dry to the touch, 10 to 15 minutes (if decorating, press candies into dough halfway through baking-as in eyes on the cats, etc). 

Cool cookies 1 to 2 minutes on baking sheet; transfer to rack to cool completely.

DIY Pumpkin Spice: For all your Fall Baking Needs

I meant to post this yesterday for Pumpkin Day! For many, the Fall Baking Season means Pumpkin Spice. I've already posted several Pumpkin Spice recipes this season, but here's an easy recipe for DIY Pumpkin Spice recipe from BuzzFeed. Remember to use ground spices, and, as always, the fresher the better. So if your spices have been in your pantry for over a year, toss them and buy new. FYI: Pumpkin Spice is sometimes called Pumpkin Pie Spice in recipes.




Wednesday, October 26, 2022


Today is National Pumpkin Day.  Here's an easy recipe for Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins from

I use a natural pumpkin puree that I always have in the pantry for doggie stomach upsets (pumpkin is good for dogs), but you can use Libby's if that's what you have..or pumpkin puree you make yourself if you've already started carving your jack-o-lantern.

As always, use the best chocolate chips--and make sure your oil is fresh. These Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins are a great way to start the day!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

3/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
3/4 cup canned pumpkin
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Grease and flour muffin pan or use paper liners.
Mix sugar, oil, eggs. Add pumpkin and water.
In separate bowl mix together the baking flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices, and salt.
Add wet mixture and stir in chocolate chips.
Fill muffin cups 2/3 full with batter.
Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes.

Tuesday, October 25, 2022


I'm a major tea drinker, and I often pair tea with chocolate, so I was excited to see this Chocolate/Tea virtual pairing and tasting experience on November 11. I signed up, and I hope you will, too. Love to see you in the virtual tasting room. I'm a huge Delysia fan, so I'm sure this will be delicious--or Delysia! 

Here's the Deal:

Homemade Harvest: Tea & Chocolate Virtual Pairing Experience with Tea Forte and Delysia Chocolatier

To fully embrace autumn and all it embodies, celebrate with Delysia Chocolatier and Tea Forte at their Homemade Harvest: Tea & Chocolate virtual pairing experience. 

Imagine biting into Delyia's Rooibos champurrado chocolate truffle – with its blend of bittersweet chocolate, Mexican vanilla, and cinnamon – then taking a sip of the Winter Chai tea, full of exotic cardamom and sweet vanilla. Or perhaps you’ll favor our Orange sweet rolls chocolate truffle, which features white chocolate, cloves, orange zest, and fresh maple syrup and complements the warm, fruity notes of the Sweet Orange Spice tea. 

Chef Nicole Patel, a Master Chocolatier and Tasting Expert, will guide participants through the experience of pairing tea and chocolate together. From selecting the tea collection to handcrafting each chocolate truffle to pairing cacao and tea in inventive ways, Nicole personally designed every element of this unique tasting. This exclusive pairing experience is also joined by Piotr Miga, expert Tea Sommelier from Tea Forte, to introduce us to their elegant blends of organic teas from their ‘Warming Joy’ holiday sampler set. 

Broaden your culinary palate as you savor uniquely handcrafted chocolates alongside premium teas from a set menu personally curated by our Owner and Chocolatier. Enjoy the convenience of tea and chocolate shipped right to your front door. This package is sure to delight both chocolate and tea lovers alike with a set of 4 chocolate truffles, a 4 tea sampler pack, mug, and exclusive access to this live virtual event. 

Homemade Harvest: Tea & Chocolate pairing virtual event with Tea Forte and Delysia Chocolatier.

This experience includes: 

  • Artisanal 4 piece chocolate truffle tasting set 
  • Tea sampler 4 pack assortment 
  • Branded Delysia tea mug 
  • Instruction card for preparing teas 
  • Exclusive seat at this limited capacity virtual experience 


Halloween is all about Candy Corn, and Candy Corn Bark is easy to make and tastes terrific. Here's a simple 'recipe" from Ziploc. This is great to make with kids for Halloween

Melt 16 ounces of dark chocolate and spread in pan. Sprinkle with Candy Corn. Fill a Ziploc bag with melted white chocolate (make sure it's good quality 'real' white chocolate), cut the corner and drizzle over the chocolate and candy corn. As always, use the very best chocolate. Once you've chilled the Bark, break it into pieces. Yum!

Monday, October 24, 2022


I love Nordicware pans. So creative in shapes and sizes. Not surprisingly the Skull Cakepans are favorites. I particularly like the Skull Cakelette Pan...and Nordicware has a great recipe for Haunted Skull Dark Chocolate Cakes on its website that works well with this pan! You can never have too many chocolate cake recipes!  Dark Chocolate Skull Cakes are perfect for Halloween and Day of the Dead!



For cakeletes: 
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup cake flour
1 cup extra-dark cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cups butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon orange extract
1/2 teaspoon Fiori di Sicila (available at King Arthur's)
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon black food color, if desired

Chocolate Glaze:
3.5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 325°F. 

Prepare Skull Cakelet pan with baking spray or brush with butter and dust with cocoa.
Whisk flours, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt together.
In separate bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, mix butter and sugars together until creamy and lightened, about 2-3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each. Add extracts. Put mixer on low speed and add buttermilk alternately with  dry ingredients in 4 additions. Mix until smooth. Add black food color to desired shade if using.

Fill pan no more than 3/4 full in each well. Tap pan on top of a cutting board covered with heavy kitchen towel to evenly distribute batter and eliminate air bubbles from batter.

Bake for 30-35 minutes.

Allow cakelets to cool in pan 5-8 minutes before inverting onto cooling rack. Repeat with remaining batter.

Prepare glaze by adding chocolate to heat-proof bowl. Warm cream until just beginning to steam and pour over chocolate, stirring with spatula to incorporate while chocolate melts. When all chocolate has melted, pour over cooled cakeletes.

Garnish as desired with candy decorations or decorating sprinkles.

Makes 12 cakes.

Sunday, October 23, 2022

BLOOD RED HOT CHOCOLATE: Blood & Bones for Halloween

This recipe is perfect for Halloween: Blood and Bones! Source: Martha Stewart. I've adapted the recipe a bit, but it's an easy cocoa and bones recipe! And it's good for any blustery day!

Blood Red Hot Chocolate

5 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
4 cups whole milk

1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp red gel-paste food coloring (Wilton no-taste)

Bring milk, vanilla, and sugar to simmer in medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves, about 7 minutes. Pour over chocolate, and let stand. When chocolate begins to melt, stir until combined. Whisk in food coloring, being sure to scrape the bottom (it sticks). Serve immediately with marshmallow bones.

Sweet Bones

6 large egg whites
1-1/2 cups sugar

Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Put egg whites and sugar in heatproof bowl of electric mixer. Set bowl over pan of simmering water; whisk constantly until sugar is dissolved and mixture feels warm to touch, about 5 minutes.
Return bowl to mixer, and fit mixer with whisk attachment.Beat on high speed until very stiff peaks form, about 8 minutes.
Transfer meringue to pastry bag fitted with 1/2-inch plain round tip (Wilton #1A). Pipe bone shapes, each 5 to 6 inches long, onto two baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Pipe by making one long (not as curvy) S shape, followed by another mirrored S shape on top of first. Bake until crisp throughout, about 1 hour. Let cool completely on a wire rack.

BOSTON CREAM PIE DAY: History & Recipes

Today is National Boston Cream Pie Day. A Boston Cream Pie is a round cake that is split and filled with a custard or cream filling and frosted with chocolate. Not really a pie--actually a cake, it's been around since 1855 or 1856 (two different sources with different dates).

According to Wikipedia, Boston Cream Pies were created by French Chef M. Sanzian at Boston's Parker House Hotel, opened in 1855. This pudding/cake combination comprises two layers of sponge cake filled with vanilla custard or crème pâtissière. The cake was topped with a chocolate glaze (such as ganache) and sometimes confectioner's sugar or a cherry. The cherry and sugar topping is rarely used any more.

The real question is why this is called a pie? It's a cake, after all -- two layers of yellow cake filled with custard and topped with chocolate frosting. Suggestions on why it's called pie are welcome. And here's an esoteric fact: The Boston cream pie is the official desert of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. 

This Retro Ad (3/29/68) from Jello-O Pudding has a quick and easy recipe for Boston Cream Pie. I really prefer making the cake, filling, and ganache from scratch. You know I'm a sucker for good chocolate which for me will make or break the taste of a good Boston Cream Pie. However, if you don't have time, I've posted the Jell-O Pudding Boston Cream Pie recipe below.


1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sifted cake flour
2/3 cup sugar
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup cooking oil
2 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla
2 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
Pastry cream, recipe follows
Ganache, recipe follows

Pastry Cream Filling
2 cups milk
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped out
6 egg yolks
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 Tbsp unsalted butter

8 ounces good quality semisweet chocolate
1 cup heavy cream, boiling


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In medium mixing bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Make well in center of flour mixture. Add milk, oil, egg yolks, and vanilla. Beat with electric mixer on low to medium speed until combined. Beat additional 3 minutes on high speed and set aside.

In large mixing bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar on medium to high speed until soft peaks form. Pour egg yolk mixture over egg white mixture and fold in. Gently pour batter into 9-inch greased pie pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until top springs back when lightly touched. Invert pan onto wire rack. Cool completely.

Pastry Cream Filling
In medium saucepan, heat milk and vanilla bean to boil over medium heat. Immediately turn off heat and set aside to infuse for 10 to 15 minutes. In bowl, whisk egg yolks and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Add cornstarch and whisk vigorously until no lumps remain. Whisk in 1/4 cup of the hot milk mixture until incorporated. Whisk in remaining hot milk mixture, reserving empty saucepan.

Pour mixture through strainer back into saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat, whisking constantly, until thickened and slowly boiling. Remove from heat and stir in  butter. Let cool slightly. Cover with plastic wrap, lightly pressing  plastic against surface to prevent skin from forming. Chill at least 2 hours or until ready to serve. (Custard can be made up to 24 hours in advance. Refrigerate until 1 hour before using.)

In medium bowl, pour boiling cream over chopped chocolate and stir until melted.

To assemble pie
Remove cake from pan. Cut cake in half horizontally. Place bottom layer on serving plate or board, and spread with pastry cream. Top with second cake layer. Pour chocolate ganache over and down sides of cake. Store in refrigerator.

II. Jell-O Pudding Boston Cream Pie

Saturday, October 22, 2022

FUDGY-NUT BUNDT CAKE: Retro Ad with Recipe for National Nut Day

Today is National Nut Day and what could be better than this amazing Fudgy-Nut Bundt Cake. This is from a Retro Ad with Recipe from Betty Crocker c. 1974.  

"Very clever, this new Betty Crocker Chocolate Fudge Supreme Cake Mix. You can make it in layers, or bake it up in the round as our new Fudgy-Nut Bundt cake. Dedicated to you who like any cake, as long as it’s chocolate, this is deep, dark, fudgy heaven. Pass it around."

Friday, October 21, 2022


Today is National Apple Day, and since it's so close to Halloween, I was thinking about Caramel Apples. Not just any caramel apple, though, but Chocolate Caramel Apples. You can buy Chocolate Caramel Apples from many different purveyors, but it's really easy to make your own. 

And, there are so many ways to dress up your Chocolate Caramel Apples  -- drizzle techniques or rolling in nuts or chopped candy bars or sea salt, sprinkles, mini-marshmallows, candy corn. Have a look at the retro advertisement from Kraft for inspiration. For your chocolate, you can use milk, dark, or white chocolate or a mixture of all three. Experiment! Chocolate Caramel Apples are great to serve for Halloween!

Be sure and choose a firm round tart apple to go with your sweet toppings.


4 ripe firm apples
4 wooden skewers
14 ounces soft caramel candy
2 tbsp water
10 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
2 tbsp shortening
2 cups chopped candy bars, nuts, coconut, sea salt, M&Ms, or ??

1. Line baking sheet with waxed paper and and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Wash and dry the apples carefully or dip in boiling water for under a minute to remove any wax. Cool. Remove stems, and stick the skewers firmly in stem ends.
3. Place unwrapped caramels and the water in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 1 minute, then stir, then microwave for additional minute until completely melted and smooth (and liquidy)
4. Hold apple by skewer and dip in caramel, tilting bowl at an angle and rotating  apple to cover  completely with smooth, even layer. Set on wax paper. Repeat with remaining apples.
5. Refrigerate caramel-covered apples for 30 minutes to set.
6. Heat chocolate and shortening in  microwave-safe bowl and microwave until melted and smooth.
7. Dip caramel-covered apple in chocolate. Spoon  chocolate over top to cover apple completely.
8. While chocolate is still wet, dip bottom half in chopped candy bars, nuts, sprinkles, mini-marshmallows, or seasalt (or whatever!) and roll until bottom half is covered. Place back on baking sheet and repeat with remaining apples.
9. Chill apples in refrigerator until completely set-45 minutes.

Thursday, October 20, 2022


is Pumpkin Cheesecake Day, and I thought I'd get a jump on the holiday!
Here's an easy favorite recipe involving cheesecake and chocolate -- Chocolate Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars. This recipe for Chocolate Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars is adapted from Martha It's a good recipe as is, but I changed a few things. I make the filling using my mixer, not a food processor. I find the results are smoother, and I'm better able to control the consistency and not over-mix. I always use the very best quality dark chocolate. And, I love a chocolate cookie crust with pumpkin, so there's even more chocolate! These taste and look delicious. You can even stuff these in a school lunch...but they'll probably be eaten long before lunch.


20 chocolate wafer cookies, (half a 9-ounce package)
2 Tbsp sugar
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted

2 packages bar cream cheese (8 ounces each)
1 cup sugar
1 cup canned solid-pack pumpkin puree
3 large eggs
3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tsp pumpkin-pie spice
1/2 tsp salt
4 ounces dark chocolate, 65-75% cacao, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line bottom and sides of 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil, leaving overhang on all sides. Set aside.

In food processor, blend cookies with sugar until finely ground (you should have about 1 cup crumbs); add butter, and pulse until moistened.

Transfer crumb mixture to prepared pan, and press into bottom. Bake until slightly firm, 12 to 15 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Mix cream cheese in standing mixer until smooth. Add sugar, pumpkin puree, eggs, flour, pumpkin-pie spice, and salt; mix until combined. Set aside.

Place chocolate in microwave-safe bowl; microwave in 30-second increments, stirring between each, until melted--or melt in double boiler on stovetop. Add 1 cup pumpkin mixture; stir to combine. Set aside.

Pour remaining pumpkin mixture into prepared pan. Drop dollops of chocolate mixture onto pumpkin mixture; swirl. To create swirls, drag blade of paring knife through chocolate and pumpkin mixtures several times to make marbled pattern. Bake until cheesecake is set but jiggles slightly when gently shaken, 40 to 50 minutes.

Cool in pan. Cover; chill until firm, at least 2 hours (and up to 2 days). Using overhang, transfer cake to work surface. With knife dipped in water, cut into 16 squares. Serve.


Wednesday, October 19, 2022


Here's a really easy recipe from Martha Stewart for White Chocolate Ghost Pops! It's the perfect treat and activity for Halloween. The kids will love it.

Makes about 15

12 ounces white chocolate, chopped or white chocolate disks (I use Ghirardelli or Guittard -- be sure to use 'real' white chocolate!)
1 1/2 Tbsp vegetable oil
Lollipop sticks
Mini chocolate chips

Line baking sheet with waxed paper; set aside.
Melt white chocolate in heat-proof bowl over simmering water; stir occasionally.
Remove bowl; mix in oil.
Drop 1 tablespoon of mixture onto prepared baking sheet.
Use back of teaspoon to quickly spread into ghost.
Place lollipop stick at base, spinning to coat.
Add chocolate chip eyes.
Refrigerate ghosts 5 minutes, then peel off waxed paper.

Tuesday, October 18, 2022


Today is National Chocolate Cupcake Day, and with Halloween right around the corner, what's more fun than spooky Chocolate Halloween Cupcakes?

Country Living has 43 fabulous Cupcake Ideas with Recipes. You won't want to miss this. 

The Food Network has 24 Halloween Cupcakes that are Too Cute to Eat.

The Pioneer Woman has a round-up of 35 Easy Halloween Cupcake Ideas that are Both Sweet and Spooky. 

And this is just a start. Check out your favorite bloggers and dessert sites for other Halloween Chocolate Cupcake Ideas.

Have a favorite? Post a comment below with the link! Boo!