CHOCOLATE RSS feed for this section

My perfect dark chocolate pairing

My-perfect-Pairing-Dark-chocolate_Yes,-more-please!

A cappuccino can rescue any morning or afternoon. Taking a break and indulging in a foamy creamy cup of coffee is like taking a bubble bath. I’m always craving something sweet in the middle of the afternoon, and this pairing does the trick for me. A warm cup of cappuccino and a piece of dark chocolate that I dunk into the coffee. The dark chocolate starts to warm up and slowly melts becoming sinfully silky. The flavor of coffee intensifies the chocolate notes as you sip it. The frothy warm milk foam creates an ethereal chocolate bite!…*sigh*

Last Sunday I sat and watched migratory birds under our small tree eating from our feeder. Ian help me set up a camera and I took photos through my front window while I had my cappucino and chocolate treat. It is often the little things that give my day something special.
For me cappuccino and dark chocolate is the perfect recipe for a little boost for a happy endorphinated afternoon…

My perfect Ghirardelli Intense Dark Chocolate~Yes,-more-please!

My perfect dark chocolate pairing…

Cappuccino and dark chocolate

What about your favorite pairings?…I’d love to read you, leave us a comment!
There is always a great deal of listening when it comes to chocolate…

View Post or View Comments 0

Stout Marshmallows, my favorite creatures!

Stout-Marshmallows-texture~Yes,-More-please!

This sounds so wrong, but it taste so right that you will be stumbling back for more.
Homemade marshmallows are totally different creatures than store-bought, and incredible easy to make. Despite the intimidating words ”candy thermometer” and “powdered gelatin” Hey! Its easy, easy potatoes!,
You will need to flatten some dark beer, hydrate some gelatin, boil some sugary mixture, whip the hell out of it , add a powdery cloud of confectioners sugar and let it set…it is a fun process. To finish them up, drizzle chocolate and crunchy pretzels…What’s not to like?
Making candy and these confections is fun and if there is some leftover beer you should have a little glass, to cook along with … Music? Yes, more please! I was listening to one of my favorite bands “The Squirrel Nut Zippers” . For me, this is marshmallow music and I’m sharing the link:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VdAt4qWvz_8

My twist in this recipe has to do with the choice of stout I used. My friend Andrea introduced me to this amazing stout from Adelbert’s “Barrel of Love”.  Adelbert’s is a local brewery that produces hand-crafted Belgian style ales here in Austin,Texas. Crazy good stuff! This beer was recently released, a dark beer with chocolate and whiskey notes…kiss me now!… Wait until you try these beer marshmallows creatures…Holy Shubangwaaa!
Ok too much Blah, blah blah, let’s get started. Hands up!
I will not describe the flavor for you… be brave, be adventurous and try this… you will go bananas… it is the best way to get happy-drunk on marshmallows! Have fun.

You want to know more about where to get this fantastic beer: http://adelbertsbeer.com

Stout-Marshmallow-Creatures~Ingredients-~Yes,-more-please!

Stout-Marshmallows~Yes,-More-please!

Stout Marshmallows, my favorite creatures!

Makes 9 large glutton size, or 120 skinny jeans size.
Technically if you use a 8×8 pan 36 pieces of 1.5×1.5 inches…

3 envelopes unflavored gelatin /approx. 21 grams (I used powder, you’re welcome to use gelatin sheets )
1 cup cold, flat beer, divided in two (I used Adelbert’s brewery “Barrel of Love”) You can use any dark stout like Guinness will be fantastic too!
For Kids version: 1 cup of Miller light… not! …Use 1 cup of  Cherry soda, Dr. Pepper soda, Cream of soda and use the same method of removing the gas as much as you can see step 1. Other options can be fruit juices, like apple, beet, carrot, they will taste delicious and will give a hint of color to the fluff.
2 cups granulated white sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
2 pinches of sea salt
2 large egg whites beaten until stiff peaks.
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

To dust:

½ cup confectioners sugar
½ cup cornstarch

Toppings:

1 cup dark chocolate for melting.
3-4 tablespoons roasted salted peanuts crushed.
Salty, pretzels. (I used Snaps from Snyder’s)
1 teaspoon of sea salt.

Method:

1. Whisk the beer to flatten the beer. Remove some of the foam if necessary.
2. Lightly oil your 8×8 pan and generously dust with the confectioners sugar and cornstarch mixture. Reserve the rest for when cutting the marshmallows.
3. Using the mixing bowl of your stand mixer, place ½ cup of beer and sprinkle the 3 envelopes of gelatin powder.
4.Whisk your egg whites until stiff peaks set aside.
5. In a medium saucepan over medium high heat mix the sugar, corn syrup, and the other ½ cup of flat beer until the sugar is dissolved. At this point attach the candy thermometer to your saucepan and bring this sugary mixture to a slow boil until it reaches 240F/ 116C . Remove from heat.
6. Fitted with the whisk, start your stand mixer on the slowest speed. Being very careful, start adding the hot syrup in a low stream to incorporate with the bloomed gelatine.
Stout-Marshmallows_Blooming-gelatin,-soft-ball-syrup,-whisking
7.Once you poor all the syrup,mix for 2 minutes and proceed to add the fluffy egg whites along with the vanilla extract.
8.Mix  on high for about 10-12 minutes, until the mixture has double or tripled in size, it turns an off-white color, it has a nice shine to it and it holds stiff peaks.
9. At this point with the help of a spatula (lightly spray the spatula with some nonstick spray), Poor all this fluffy and highly sticky gooey goodness into your greased and powdery pan.
10. Flatten the top and allow the marshmallow to dry for at least 4-6 hours. Overnight is best. The marshmallow should fill springy and soft  to the  touch.

Stout-marshmallow_molding-drying-overnight

11. Once dry, over a piece of parchment paper generously dusted with powder sugar and cornstarch mixture, un-mold the marshmallow sheet with a little spatula pulling from one corner and place the big square on top of the paper. With the help of a dusted knife, pastry cutter, pizza cutter or scissors, cut your marshmallows into squares. Start by dividing them in half and then, thirds. When cutting any kind of pastry, it helps a lot start visualizing “half of the half” rather than five or six equal pieces. In this way you can end up with pretty much equal size marshmallows. Do not worry about the round edges, people is gonna eat them any way!…Although if you are going for perfect little squares just trim all the round edges to have a perfect square and then proceed to cut. (see photo below)
12. Once they are cut, place the remainder of the confectioners sugar and cornstarch mixture in a bowl and toss the squares, so every side is covered with powder to avoid sticking. Shake the excess powder, and place the marshmallows on a clean cookie rack.

Stout-Marshmallows_Cutting-and-dustingStout-marshmallows_Mariana_Yes,-more-please!

13. Melt the dark chocolate, and drizzle the marshmallows, sprinkle with pretzels and crushed peanuts.
14.Eat while the chocolate is warm…its crazy good!!!

Stout-Marshmallows_toppingsStout-Marshmallows-drizzle-chocolate,-pretzels,-peanuts,-and-sea-salt~yes,-more-please!

Stout-marshmallows-bite-size~Yes,-more-please!

Stout Marshmallow creatures…Yes, more please!

Stout-marshmallow_Ian

Ian Loved them!

View Post or View Comments 5

Cherry and Cacao Nibs Brownies

Cacao-Nibs-and-Cherry-Brownie-a-sublime-bite~Yes,-more-please!One of Ian’s greatest discoveries at my little Sunday Farmers Market, at Muller here in Austin, it’s Kiskadee Chocolates. Ian was wandering around the market and ran into this amazing hot cocoa drink. He got a sample for me and when I drank it! Immediately I was deeply in love with the chocolate elixir drink. So the next weekend I walked to the market and I had the opportunity to meet the owner, Laura Atlas, who happens to be my neighbor as well! That’s what I call luck!. We went for a walk and she told me her story.

She started her business after tasting handcrafted chocolate truffles given to her by her husband on their anniversary; that’s how her chocolate making journey began. She handcrafts chocolate bars, cacao nibs, and her recent addition to her fantastic quality chocolate collection: “The Baking Chocolate Bar” of 85% cacao and uses very little sugar. Her chocolate is organic, from single-sourced cacao from the Dominican Republic. The variety is called “La Red”. The farmers who grow the beans are part of a co-op called Guaconejo. If you would like to know more about the co-op:
http://www.raakachocolate.com/pages/cacao-origin-profile-la-red-guaconejo-dominican-republic.

Laura shows a great passion for her chocolate and you can taste the fantastic chocolate products at the Cedar Park and Mueller Market, In.gredients, Frofoyo…I totally recommend you to meet her at the farmers market, she can tell you all about her journey and you can taste and learn how to make a delicious chocolate drink.

Cacao-Nibs-and-Cherry-Brownies~Kiskadee-Baking-Chocolate-cherry-brownies-guaconejo~Yes,-more-please!Cacao-Nibs-and-Cherry-Brownies

As you can tell I really loved the chocolate. I been working on this recipe for about two weeks now.
I wanted to create a great a brownie bite showcasing the flavor profile of this unique chocolate baking bar. The results…Kiskadee chocolate is on my top favorites on my chocolate list. The chocolate profile flavor its remarkable, it’s a dark chocolate that has intensity and great aroma. It finishes clean and feathery light, with a fruity natural sweetness. What to do with this lingot of chocolate gold?… Brownies.

I love brownies in small doses (yeah, right). I made these decadent little Cherry and Cacao nibs brownie bites pairing the chocolate with fresh cherries, to bringing out the fruity natural notes on the kiskadee baking chocolate. I added some cocoa nibs for extra crunch and texture contrast. These brownies are right in the middle, not overly fudg-y not too cake-y. I baked them in a mini-cupcake pan, they bake so beautifully, if you are a brownie edge lover, you are gonna  love this mini brownies, they get a nice crust all around, and a soft fudge center. I find they have a great balance and 2 or 3 bites will beyond satisfy your chocolate craving. You are gonna love them.

Remember when baking use the best ingredients, good organic eggs, great butter and if you can not have access to this chocolate, search what is your best possible option beyond the supermarket limitations. (A few of my favorite suggestions for amazing baking chocolate will be: El Rey, Cacao Barry, Valor, Valrhona, Scharffen Berger. in that order.)

I hope you enjoy them as much as Ian and I did…they are gone now, sharing with friends was great. Enjoy!

Cacao-Nibs-and-Cherry-Brownies--whant-a-bite--Yes,-more-please!

Cherry and Cacao Nibs Brownies

Makes 24 brownie bites.

24 Fresh red Cherries pitted and steams on
1 large metal paper clip (see the super easy instruction photos below)
¼ cup Dark Rum *optional

½ cup unsalted butter= 1 stick of butter
6 oz. bitter sweet baking chocolate (El Rey, or Valrhona would be in my top favorites.)
1 tablespoon of ground cacao nibs
½ cup turbinado sugar
½ cup white sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
5-6 drops almond extract
½ cup unbleached-all purpose flour, sifted after measuring.
2 pinches of sea salt.

1-2 tablespoons cacao nibs

Preparation method:

How to Pitt a cherry?

It is extremely easy, you just need a paper clip, yes you read well a large paper clip, unfolded, cut a little cross on the back of the cherry, insert the clip hook, gently twist, and the pit is out!no need of a fancy equipment…unless you own a cherry tree then buy one.

Cacao-Nibs-and-Cherry-Brownies~Cherry-pitting-technique

 Soak the pitted cherries in a little dark rum or kirsch, while you prepare the brownie batter.

Cacao-Nibs-and-Cherry-Brownies~SOAKING-CHERRIES-IN-DARK-RUM~YES,-MORE-PLEASE!Cacao-Nibs-and-Cherry-Brownies-INGREDIENTS~-Yes,-more-please!

Preheat oven at:
325F/165C  if is a dark metal non stick pan, if you have a light metal pan bake at 350F/175C

In a metal bowl over a double boiler melt butter and chopped baking chocolate. Be carefully, that the metal bowl do not touch the water, to prevent scorching the chocolate.
Once the chocolate and butter are almost melted remove from heat and stir until smooth.
Add both kinds of sugars into the chocolate mixture, vanilla and almond extract. With the help of a spatula mix well.
Add eggs one a at a time until well incorporated.
At last add the sifted flour and salt in folding movements until well incorporated, do not over mix.

Cacao-Nibs-and-Cherry-Brownies~Mixing-the-brownies~Yes,-more-please!

Grease pan with soft butter and dust with cocoa powder, to prevent brownies from sticking.
Using a small ice cream scoop, scoop 1 load of the brownie batter into each mold.
Top with cherry pressing half way through the batter. (See photo below) Sprinkle some cacao nibs.

Cacao-Nibs-and-Cherry-Brownies-scooping,-cherring-and-cacao-nibs-sprinkles~Yes,-more-please!

Bake for 12-15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with a few sticky cooked crumbs.

Remove from the oven and let them cool for a few minutes in the pan. Once they have cool down slightly, remove carefully from pan with the help of a small spatula, press and twist to release them intact.
Cool them in a wire rack. Serve room temperature or slightly warm. Dust with confectioners sugar.
Enjoy!

Cacao-Nibs-and-Cherry-Brownies-out-of-the-oven~YES,-MORE-PLEASE!

Notes: If you are more into brownie squares, this recipe will make an 8×8 square, use a ceramic or glass dish for best results, lining the bottom with parchment paper and living enough parchment paper hanging on the sides for easy pulling. Bake time: 22-25 minutes check the center, if is not done give it another 2-3 minutes.

Cacao-Nibs-and-Cherry-Brownies-have-you-had-your-chocolate-today-~Yes,-more-please!

Sinfully delicious!

View Post or View Comments 3

Devil’s Chocolate and Ganache Cake…get happy!

Devil's Chocolate and Ganache Cake_close up delight

Chocolate, One of the most beautiful words in the world!… Just to say the word makes me happy, and reminds me of the Judy Garland song… when I’m making this Devil’s Chocolate and Ganache Cake. I always think positive thoughts. When it comes out of the oven, Hallelujah!.. get happy… forget your troubles…you better chase all you cares away… Oh yeah! That’s how happy this chocolate cake makes me. And well what else is there to say about the comfort that brings you when you bake your own cake?. The whole house smells like warm endorphins that activate your happy brain cells.
It’s a simple batter. You’ll need one bowl or two, and the best quality butter and cocoa powder you can get. The better your ingredients, the better results you will get.
That’s one of the keys when you are baking: always use good quality ingredients (from the eggs to the vanilla extract). If you care about them, it will be fantastic!. All ingredients when you are baking MUST be at room temperature. Read the recipe twice. Measure everything correctly using measuring cups for dry ingredients and a larger liquid measuring cup for wet ingredients. Get in the baking groove, nice music, enjoy yourself…
Here is some music link that will set your baking mood…  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VGk3tY4yP7k

Devil's Chocolate and Ganache Cake_Coseup slice

Devil’s Dark Chocolate Cake… get happy!

Makes 1 -12 cup bundt cake

4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped *
½ cup Vegetable Oil
1/2 cup melted butter
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
½ – ¾ cup dutch Process cocoa Powder (Valrhona, Cocoa Barry)
1 tablespoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon salt
1 cup strong-brewed coffee -not hot just warm.(I used Medaglia D’Oro instant espresso powder)
1 cup of butter milk ( or 1 cup of whole milk + 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice)
1 teaspoon Vanilla extract

Method:

Preheat the oven 350F / 176C
Butter and dust with cocoa a 12 cup bundt pan.
Melt the bitter sweet chocolate, using a double boiler on low heat, stirring constantly. Scrape the melted chocolate into a medium size bowl and let cool slightly.
Whisk in the melted butter, oil, and sugar until smooth. Add eggs one at a time and mix.
In a small bowl, Mix the dry ingredients, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt.
Start by combining half of the dry ingredients to the chocolate mixture along with ½ cup of the coffee and ½ a cup of the butter milk. Whisk until smooth. Add the remaining dry ingredients, coffee and butter milk and whisk. until smooth.
Poor the batter into the prepared pan and bake in the lower third of the oven for about 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Remove from oven and cool on a rack for about 10-15 minutes, then turn it out and let it cool completely.

Devil's Chocolate and Ganache Cake_baking chocolate

* My favorites: 70% Cacao Bittersweet Scharffen Berger, 72% bitter-sweet Michael Cluizel, El Rey Venezuelan chocolate, 70%- 80% Callebaut.

Chocolate Ganache:

1 cup heavy cream
10 oz. Semi-sweet or bitter-sweet chocolate finely chopped.
1 tablespoon of butter
1 tablespoon of agave nectar
1 tablespoon of brandy or cognac or any liquor of your preference. ( omit this ingredient if cooking for kids)

Method:

In a small pot heat the heavy cream until small bubbles form around the pan ( do not let it boil)
Place the chopped chocolate in a medium size bowl, pour the hot heavy cream over the chocolate let it stand for 3-4 minutes so the chocolate warms through. Whisk gently until the mixture is smooth, add butter mix until is melted, add the liquor mix. Add the agave nectar for a shiny finish.

Devil's Chocolate and Ganache Cake_How to make Ganache

Spoon the Ganache over the cake… save extra for plating.. for when you want a little more …

Devil's Chocolate and Ganache Cake_spreading ganache
Sprinkle cayenne pepper or cinnamon for a little  accent on the cake…

Devil's Chocolate and Ganache Cake_Cayenne

Devil's Chocolate and Ganache Cake_ with cayenne

Get happy, Chocolate cake!

Music Pairing:Judy Garland “Get Happy”

View Post or View Comments 6

Privacy Policy Contact Us Yes, more please!

Top