the Chocolate Suite Blog

Commentary, Recipes

Chewy Crispy Chocolate Thins- the perfect wedding cookie

My first wedding of the season, held at Osborn Castle also known as “Catrock” in Garrsion, New York,  brought a beautiful bride in which a careful and thoughtful hand in planning all the details were part of her enjoyment.  When we first met, she said, “I know …I look like Reese Witherspoon”.  And she did, and as we began to work more and more together the famous Oscar winning celebrity image ceased to exist in my mind, and was replaced by a sincerely excited and somewhat nervous bride. All enjoyable.

People often ask if we do just the chocolate…the answer is “NO” we are a full service boutique agency as my career started as a pastry chef and caterer…we continue to cook and serve and manage the entire wedding, and received a really lovely and thoughful thank you note- and a “WOW” text the next morning.  For me,  during the entire day I always focus on the end…at the time when most guests are thinking nothing can “best” the dinner- what’s left- bad wedding cake? Forget it- lets keeping dancing and have another cocktail.. We strive to give them a delightful dessert or a really scrumptious piece of wedding cake made from scratch.  The compromise you ask?

We use only the best of quality ingredients, bake and mix from scratch and refuse to add or use ingredients that make the cake more stable for highly detailed decor- but taste like crap.  Sorry, but you have all had a slice of that before…the cake can stand out for two days and nothing happens to it- but the inside is sugar paste and scary taste.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MILK GLASS ROBYN COLLECTED FOR THE FLOWERS

Robyn and Kevin and I tasted and planned out all the details of the cocktail party along with the seated dinner down to the cake which was two tiers on a hob nail cake stand she owned as part of her collection. During the rush – I forgot to snap a photo of the cake- so for that I apologize in advance, but will make it up to my readers with a cookie recipe that i never give out…the wedding cake photo is by  Maggie Henzel-Neel www.photosforyourwedding.com

CRISPY CHEWY CHOCOLATE THINS


RECIPE: makes about 4 dozen

ALL PURPOSE FLOUR- 1 1/2 CUPS

DUTCH PROCESS COCOA POWDER- 1/2 CUP

SALT- 1/2 TEASPOON

UNSALTED BUTTER- 2 STICKS SOFTENED

CONFECTIONER’S SUGAR- 1 CUP

PURE VANILLA EXTRACT- 1 TEASPOON

EGG GRADE A LARGE- 1

COARSE SANDING SUGAR- FOR SPRINKLING

METHOD:

Sift together flour, cocoa powder and salt into a medium bowl and set aside

Put butter, sugar, egg and vanilla into a mixing bowl fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

Reduce speed and gradually add flour mixture until just combined.

Transfer dough to a 12 x 16 piece of parchment and roll into a log about 1 1/2 inches in diameter and chill 2 hours till firm enough to cut into disks.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, brush tops with water and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake until set about 15 minutes. Cool and store airtight up to one week…

if you can stop eating them.

 

Have a slice of cake Robyn’s cake:


 

 


 

Commentary

Chocolate Monopoly- the NEW RULES of enjoyment

THINK ABOUT IT- WHAT COULD BE BETTER?
Each player uses a chocolate token as their playing piece. What to use? Molded bon bons make excellent playing pieces. Another option, and somewhat less smear prone,are miniature bars used for tasting – these are often elegantly wrapped. I have seen them from Valrhona, Amedei, Michel Cluizel and others chocolatiers too.

    There are four opportunities to EAT your token.

One may not nibble without justified cause, as they throw the dice to play the piece around the board but must instead adhere to these four distinct moments of play and possibility:
1. DRAW A “GET OUT OF JAIL FREE” CARD
2. LAND ON FREE PARKING
3. PITCH $100 INTO FREE PARKING FOR EACH TOLKEN CONSUMED
- that’s right pay as you munch- eat all you want while enriching the game
4. BUYING A HOTEL- the reward is to enjoy your token. Go for it- you are in a new tax bracket!

Should a player max out on their chocolate intake (how could that happen?) they have the right to assign consumption to any player of their choosing.

What more is there to say? You tell me.

Recipes

ELLEN’S CHOCOLATE MADELEINES

This recipe is for a dear friend, when asked by me “if she wanted any of my recipes”- always responded by letting me know that it would be O.K. if I just dropped off the ingredients “already made” as she would be more than happy to “taste” not “test”.

INGREDIENTS
All Purpose Flour 2/3 cup
Cocoa Powder 2 tablespoons
Baking Powder ¾ teaspoon
Sugar ½ cup
Eggs 2 large, room temp
Vanilla Extract 2 teaspoons
Unsalted Butter ¾ Stick (6TAB)

METHOD
Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder.
Combine the eggs and sugar and beat on high speed until pale, thick and light, 2 to 3 minutes.
Add the vanilla
With a rubber spatula, very gently fold in the dry ingredients
Follow this by adding the melted butter
Chill for 2 hours ( 1 hour if you can’t wait)

BAKE
400 degrees for 10 to 13 minutes
Butter 12 full- size Madeleine molds, or up to 36 mini molds, dust the insides with flour and tap out the excess.
Spoon the batter almost to the top- the batter will spread out evenly as it bakes.
They are ready when the top springs back when gently touches.

Serve slightly warm or at room temperature. They taste best on the day they are made. If you must store them, wrap airtight and freeze.  Best treat in the world for Mahj Players- as I write this, the others players will read this, yes- I will bring them in honor of THE QUEEN- Ellen.

Commentary

THE CHOCOLATE MEDITATION GETS “KICKED” BY DR. OZ

The secret to complete mindfulness with overeating and chocolate is to learn to love what you are eating…

“You can learn to eat 40% less by visualizing the chocolate first”.

This was just discussed on the Dr. Oz show the other day in terms of breaking the habituation of eating too much of anything at one time.

Their highly habitual and addictive food choice was …you guessed it !!       M & M’s.

Were the show producers genuinely unaware of what M & M’s are , or reaching for the main stream of America’s secret chocolate habit?  You have to tell me…I cannot figure this one out by myself.

I’ve always thought that M & M’s are supposed to be enjoyed in large amounts- without regret- not one or two at a time with significant self control and appreciative restraint. Not counted in a test study.

When chocolate candy is sold in a bag- it is not meant for anything other than recreational pleasure. From the bag to your mouth. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat as often as desired.  It’s a pre-agreed upon decision, you and the bag have both decided to be together. The same agreement applies to potato chips- you shouldn’t have to eat just one.

Fine chocolate like fine perfume is an experience to be appreciated everyday without going too far or having to feel regret.

Start with a high quality chocolate bar or fine artisan truffle if you wish to begin to practice the art of meditating with chocolate. You’ll only need one or two tastes to experience appreciation and awareness.

THE CHOCOLATE MEDITATION…

Begins with the first aromatic breath of cacao.
Take the time to taste, breathe in the chocolate as it melts slowly and superbly on the tongue, become fully present and aware while flavors develop, appreciate what you have and where you are right now.

Recipes

Fastest Microwave Chocolate Cake Ever !!!!!!!

Below is a recipe sent to friends who love chocolate – not matter the place – no matter the time. You don’t have to keep a secret stash of high end product around the pantry. What you have will work fine…then after the first trial, you’ll know where to upgrade the chocolate related ingredients. Do you have any ice cream or whipped cream on stand by?  These two go well.

It zaps in a FLASH like this:
5 MINUTE CHOCOLATE CAKE that you can microwave
4 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa powder (this is not hot chocolate mix!)
1 egg
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons chocolate melted
A small splash of vanilla extract
1 large coffee cup (MicroSafe)
Add dry ingredients to mug and mix well.
Add the egg and mix thoroughly.
Pour in the milk and olive oil and mix well.
Add the chocolate melted and vanilla extract, and mix again.
Put your cup in the microwave and let it run for 3 minutes at 1,000 watts.
The cake will rise over the top of the mug, but don’t be alarmed!
Allow to cool a little, and tip out onto a plate if desired.
Then EAT! (This can serve 2 if you want to feel slightly more virtuous.)