Archive for the 'chocolate' Category

22
Oct
12

Chocolate Meringue Tart


Whenever I need a chocolate fix, I either turn to a fine chocolatier’s products (here and here) or to Jacqueline Bellefontaine‘s What’s Cooking Chocolate (here, here and here), or François Payard‘s Chocolate Epiphany (here and here) and others, for an incredible recipe featuring that delicacy as a main ingredient.

Last evening I made another of Pâtissier Payard‘s recipes, from his Chocolate Epiphany and, as expected,  it was superb… From page 136

Chocolate Meringue Tart

Photo by: Rogerio Voltan – Chocolate Epiphany

Makes one 9-inch tart; serves 8-10

I created this tart with one of my childhood favorites in mind: lemon meringue tart. They obviously share technique rather than flavor; both are made with a buttery dough and a thick , fluffy meringue. The filling is simple, to allow the dark chocolate flavor to come through. In addition to the two methods for covering the filling with meringue described below, you can pipe it in nickel-size mounds, pulling the pastry bag straight up to form small peaks, as pictured.

Chocolate Filling

  • 10 ounces 60% chocolate, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces), unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Swiss Meringue

  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 4 large egg whites

Tart Shell

  • One 9-inch tart shell made from Sweet Tart Dough***, fully baked and cooled

Make the filling: Put the chocolate in a medium bowl. Bring the heavy cream to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Pourr the hot cream over the chocolater, and mix until smooth. Add the butter and stir until it has completely incorporated.

Make the meringue: Fill a medium pot one-third full of water and bring it to a gentle simmer over medium heat.
Whisk together the sugar and egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer. Reduce the heat to low and place the bowl over the pot, making sure that it is not touching the water. Whisk continuously until the mixture is hot and the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat, place the bowl in the mixer, and fit it with the whisk attachment. Whisk on medium-high speed until the whites hold stiff peaks and are cool.

Assemble the tart: Pour the warm chocolate filling into the tart shell, stopping about 1/8 inch from the top. Refrigerate the tart until the chocolate is set, 15 to 30 30 minutes.
With a spatula, spread the meringue over the ganache , creating a slight mound. For a fancier finish, fill a pastry bag or a resealable plastic bag with the meringue. Cut a 1/2-inch opening in the tip or corner, and pipe the meringue in a spiral over the top of the filling.
Brown the top of the meringue with a small blowtorch, or by placing the tart in a preheated 500 F oven for 1 to 2 minutes.

–OoOX0XOoO

***Sweet Tart Dough

This dough is also known as pâte sucree. It works with most tarts, since there are few things thatcan’t be complemented by its rich, buttery taste. Freeze it, tightly wrapped in plastic wrap., for up to one month, and thaw it out in the refrigerator. You can also place it in a tart shell, wrap it and freeze it in the tart shell. Make individual tarts by using small fluted tart pans (four-inch molds are perfect).

  • 4 sticks (1 pound), unsalted butter (or unsalted margarine, for a parve version), at room temperature
  • 1 cup, and 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 large egg
  • 6 1/2 cups all purpose flour

Make the dough: Combine the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until they are fully combined.
With the motor running, incorporate the egg yolks and the egg one at a time. Do not add an egg until the previous one is completely incorporated. Add the flou, and mix until everything is incorporated and the dough is smooth.
Remove the dough from the bowl, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until it is completely chilled, at least 1 to 2 hours, preferably overnight.

Prepare a tart shell: Brush the sides and bottom of a fluted 9-inch tart pan with  removable bottom, with butter.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough in all directions until it forms a circle about 1/4 inch thick and 12 inches in diameter. Drape the dough over the rolling pan, and unroll it over the the pan. Gently press the dough into the pan, making sure it fits snugly. Roll the the pin over the top of the pan to remove the excess dough. Dock (prick)_ the dough with a fork. Place the pan in the refrigerator for 30 minutes, to let the dough rest.

Partially bake the tart shell: Place a rack in the center of the oven, and preheat the oven to 375 F.
Place a circle of parchment paper over the dough and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake the for 12 minutes, until the tart turns slightly golden and is about three quarters of the way done. Let it cool in the pan in a wire cooling rack.

Fully bake the tart shell: Place a rack in the center of the oven, and preheat the oven to 375 F.
Place a circle of parchment paper over the dough and fill with pie weights or dried beans.
Bake for 13 to 15 minutes, remove the paper and the weights and continue baking for another 8 to 10 minutes, until golden brown. Let it cool in the pan on a wire cooling rack.

Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!

CS

18
Oct
12

Chocolate or Art?


In my everlasting quest to find the best in edible products, I had the pleasure yesterday of finding myself among heart shaped plates, ice cream cones, teaspoons, coffee cups and bottles of various sizes, all of them made from… chocolate! I went to visit Mendel Soussan – Chocolatier. The collection of unusual chocolates in all shapes was truly mouth watering and a pleasure to behold.

Pralines, ganache, chocolate and more, all of it in beautiful shapes and some with fillings such as crunch, hazelnuts, pistachios, etc…

Dark Chocolate Mandiants in a heart shaped dish with a spoon…

Fro the whimsical to the every day shapes, everything washere, elegant, and inviting…

A Chanukia and some “ancient” coins…

The detail in these chocolate sculptures was incredible, it beckoned you to taste, and of course I did. I started with Rum Raisin Ganache in the shape of a pirate’s chest, the chocolate was rich and flavorful the rum and basin combined for a perfect balance. I followed with a Praline with Roasted Almonds which was a perfect combination of sweet and bitter, the Coffee Ganache, tasted like coffee at its purest!  Praline with Nuts and Almonds Effiillées rounded off my sweet tooth’s visit to paradise.

Unlike most American manufacturers, Monsieur Soussan does not use lecithin, no emulsifiers, all that goes into his confections are cacao butter, vanilla beans and a little sugar. While he prefers 70% cacao content, because of the American market his creations average between 53% to 60% cacao. Still above the American manufacturers’ norm!

Not just for chocoholics only!

I brought some samples back for SYR, who only likes sweet chocolate and even she thought the selections including the bittersweet ones were amazing.

After graduating from yeshiva in Crown Heights and getting married, he went back to his native France to apprentice in the family business Golden Delice Chocolatier under his uncle’s guidance. After graduating from a prestigious French school on Pastry Making and chocolate, he came back to the US and recently started with hashgacha from the OK Labs. All products are parve  The website is still under construction but you need not wait, for a real treat that looks great and tastes even better place your orders with Mendel Soussan Chocolatier at: 718-207-7803

This is the best edible art, I’ve savored in a very long time. Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy. I did!

CS

14
Aug
12

Triple Chocolate Financiers


Hardly anything beats these “Financiers” as my idea of a coffee accompaniment, Ive adapted the following from François Payard‘s Chocolate Epiphany:

Triple Chocolate Financiers

Yield: 40 financiers

If you can not get financier molds, you can make this recipe in mini muffin pans, lining them with paper baking cups before pouring the batter in the molds. The resulting financiers will be a bit larger, so you’ll have fewer, but they’ll taste just as good.

Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!

CS

Ingredients

  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons finely ground blanched almonds
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons  Dutch processed cocoa powder
  • 4 large egg whites, slightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon dark rum
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted margarine **
  • Vegetable cooking spray, for the molds
  • 3 tablespoons semisweet mini chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa nibs

Directions

Make the Batter: Sift together the confectioners’ sugar, finely ground blanched almonds, all-purpose flour,cocoa powder, and baking powder over a large bowl.Whisk in the egg whites, rum, and vanilla extract, until just combined.

Whisk the honey into the margarine and whisk the mixture into the batter until everything is combined, and lump free. Cover the batter and refrigerate it overnight or up to 4 days. This allows the flour to relax.

Bake the Financiers: Place a rack and preheat the oven  to 375 F. Spray to 20 count financier molds with vegetable cooking spray. If using silicone molds, arrange them on a baking sheet.

Sprinkler 8 to 10 mini chocolate chips in each cup. Spoon the batter into a pastry bag or resealable plastic bag, and cut a 1/4 inch opening in the tip or corner of the bag. Pipe the batter almost to the top of each cup, and sprinkle cocoa nibs on the top.

Bake 10 to 12 minutes, or until the financiers spring back when you lightly press on them and the sides slightly pull back from the edges of the molds. Remove the molds from the oven and leave them on the baking sheet. Let the financiers cool in the molds. They can be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry environment for up to 2 days.

–OoOX0XOoO

Browned Margarine

Put the quantity of margarine required by the recipe in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Let it bubble and cook until it turns light golden brown. Whisk a couple of times during the process to ensure that all the butter melts and browns evenly. Once it reachers the desired color, immediately remove the butter from the heat and transfer to a bowl to stop the cooking process. Use immediately, or let cool until just warm to the touch but still melted, as directed in the recipe. [They taste great as parve cookies, but will taste far better as dairy ones. Use butter instead of margarine; browned butter has a nutty taste that goes fantastically well in desserts.]

19
Apr
12

Italian Chocolate Truffles


I found this delicious, easy to make, recipe in Jacqueline Bellefontaine‘s What’s Cooking – Chocolate, I changed one ingredient (butter) to make it parve and it still tasted great, in fact these truffles disappeared in no time!

Photo by: St John Asprey - What's Cooking Chocolate, page 251

Italian Chocolate Truffles

Yields: 24 truffles

Ingredients

  • 6 ounces dark chocolate
  • 2 tbsp almond flavored liqueur (amaretto) or orange flavored liqueur
  • 3 tbsp unsalted margarine
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 cup ground almonds
  • 1 3/4 ounces grated chocolate

Directions

  1. Melt the chocolate and the liqueur in a double boiler, stirring until combined.
  2. Add the margarine and stir until it has melted. Stir in the confectioners’ sugar and the ground almonds
  3. Leave the mixture in a cool place until firm enough to roll about 24 balls.
  4. Place the grated chocolate on a plate and roll the truffles in the chocolate to coat them.
  5. Place the truffles in paper candy cases and chill.

Cook’s Tip: These truffles will keep for about 2 weeks in a cool place.

Variation: For a dairy, sweeter, truffle use milk chocolate and sweet butter instead of dark chocolate and margarine. Dip the truffles into melted chocolate to finish, if desired.

Either variation goes great with coffee. Personally, I can’t wait to make the dairy variation. These truffles could then become a great breakfast, or dairy lunch (or dairy dinner) treat.

Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!

CS

03
Apr
12

Holy Macaroons and More!


Last year we wrote a couple of times about a line of delightful new products, Matzel Toff. This brand specializes in covering matzah with toffee and an excellent chocolate. While chocolate covered matzah is far from being a new idea, the way Matzel Toff executes it is more than worthy of even a very sophisticated palate.

About six weeks ago, we got their latest offerings Matzel Bits! and Holy Macaroon!. While both SYR and I felt it was a great product, we never got around to post it (a serious oversight, we are thoroughly ashamed of!!!).

Matzel Bits! is made with Parve dark chocolate (kosher for Passover). Starting with Streit’s finest matzah, they cover it with a layer of delicious toffee and the whole confection is then covered with dark chocolate (made from Passover sugar, Passover chocolate liquor, and Passover chocolate cocoa butter.

Holy Macaroon! is a very good, dairy, coconut macaroon covered in dark chocolate and topped with dried cranberries. Frankly, I do not much like traditional macaroons, even as a kid I couldn’t stand them. These macaroons, however, are quite good and make for an interesting variation of a traditional Passover sweet.

You can order the items online at http://matzeltoff.com/ or you can pick it up at a variety of stores. In the New York area you can find these products at Pomegranate in Brooklyn, Zabar’s and Eli’s in Manhattan and many more.

Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!

CS

RELATED POSTS

Matzel Toff

Matzel Toff – Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt

17
Jan
12

Viennese Chocolate Fingers


SYR and I are both confirmed, hopeless, chocoholics. Yes, we love chocolate in almost any shape or form. Here is a recipe she adapted (to make it pareve) from Jacqueline Bellefontaine‘s What’s Cooking Chocolate:

Viennese Chocolate Fingers

Makes about 18

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup sweet margarine
  • 6 tbsp confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups self – rising flour, sifted
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch
  • 7 ounces dark chocolate

Warning: very addictive!!!Directions

  1. Lightly grease 2 cookie sheets. Beat the sweet margarine and sugar together in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Gradually beat the flour and cornstarch into the mixture.
  2. Melt 2 1/4 oz of the dark chocolate and beat into the cookie dough.
  3. Place in a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip and pipe fingers bout 2 inches long on the prepared cookie sheets, slightly spaced apart to allow for spreading during cooking.
  4. Bake in a prepared oven at 375 F for 12-15 minutes. Cool slightly on the cookie sheets, then carefully transfer with a spatula to a wire rack and let cool completely.
  5. Melt the remaining, dark chocolate and dip one end of each cookie in the chocolate, allowing the excess to drip back into the bowl.
  6. Place the cookies on a sheet of baking parchment and allow to completely set before serving.

Not only do these cookies practically “melt in your mouth,” but the taste is almost unequaled by anything else I can remember. They went so fast, I never got a chance to shoot my own picture and had to use the photo above, a detail from the one appearing  in the book!

Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!

CS

17
Jan
11

Matzel Toff – Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt


Just when I thought nothing could top the taste of Matzel Toff‘s Milk Chocolate covered matzah, I found out how grievously wrong I was. Matzel Toff‘s Dark Chocolate With Salt covered matzah is even better yet! Sea salt and chocolate?!?!? Sounds strange, right?  Try it, you’ll love it.

I just came across this delicacy and couldn’t wait to taste it.

Matzel Toff's Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt

I wasn’t disappointed, an amalgam of contrasting and complimenting flavors, this was a great exotic treat. Covered with toffee (which immediately sets this bar miles ahead of other plain chocolate covered matzah), followed by a thick layer of dark chocolate sprinkled with sea salt, it combines the complex mineral taste of sea salt with dark chocolate (less sweet than its full milk sibling) and a rich toffee that gives it that extra crunch.

This is truly a gourmet treat. Like the last bars we tried, this one also barely lasted a few minutes. Neither SYR nor I could resist it! Phillip Guttman and Abigail Levy, Matzel Toff‘s owners/partners, have done it again!

We’ve received quite a few inquiries as to where it’s available, having contacted the company I was assured that their products will be available at a number of places in the five boroughs and in various states in March, with various products being introduced specifically for Pesach. Meanwhile, starting in March also, you may order from their current stock or pre-order the Passover products at their website.

Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!

CS

RELATED POSTS

Matzel Toff




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