The Sweets & Snacks Expo happens every year in Chicago, and I've watched TV shows on it, read about it, and dreamed of attending for years. Finally, this year was it. Jen and I headed to the Windy City to check out this year's chocolate trends (you can find other highlights from the show here). Of course there are loads, but what were the ones that kept popping up?
'Serious Chocolate' on Serious Eats
The nuttiness of tofu provides a nice base for the rich chocolatiness and bitter edge of coffee in this mousse. The flavors play nicely together, but definitely don't bother making this if you're not a fan of tofu—there's no mistaking it.
This chocolate "clay" is great for modeling freehand, pressing into molds, or even as a substitute for rolled fondant.
Allow me to introduce you to one of my favorite words: eutectic. A eutectic, in confectionery terms, is a combination of fats that melts at a lower temperature than any one of the fats by itself. The eutectic you probably most often encounter on a day-to-day basis is milk chocolate. The magical power of the eutectic is particularly well (and tastily) illustrated in the center known as a meltaway.
This recipe calls for mint extract, but you can use any extract or oil you like - just add to taste.
I'm a huge fan of David Lebovitz's fantastic recipes and entertaining writing, and have always been intrigued by his chocolate bread. What in the world would it taste like? Chocolate mixed into the bread itself? But how bready would it be? Yeasty at all? What about the sweetness level?
This is my twist on a David Lebovitz's recipe. The resulting crumb is somewhat denser and crumblier than ordinary bread, but the taste is really fantastic, and goes well with a hot cup of tea or a cold glass of...
There are few things in this world more comforting to me than squishy, sweet, creamy desserts, especially when they come in a ready-to-eat cup. But pudding is really easy to make at home, too. I call these Le Snaque-Paques.
What I like about this recipe (aside from its simplicity and delightful flavor and texture) is that it uses egg yolks, which I hate throwing away after making a meringue or something. It can be layered in individual serving cups,...
Now, I love me some old-school Oreos, and subscribe to the "if it ain't broke" school of philosophy, but was curious about two unfamiliar varieties of Oreos. Peanut Butter Creme and Double Stuf Heads or Tails. ZOMG OREOS! Ehrm, sorry. It's my professional responsibility to stay abreast in the chocolate industry and report back. Find out how they tasted.
I have a confession to make, dear readers. Until just a few days ago, I had no idea that this week was American Chocolate Week. It seems to me a perfect opportunity to go learn something about chocolate that you didn't know before; or try a new kind of chocolate; or test out that chocolate recipe you've been staring at for the last few months. Now, you can celebrate however you want, but in the slideshow are just a few of my suggestions.
Where exactly in Philly did this cake come from? Who named it Philly Fluff? And why wasn't it the least bit fluffy in texture?
I had an insane hankering for chocolate chip cookies the other day, so I decided to bust out my copy of Dorie Greenspan's Baking and make a batch. But something caught my eye: a sidenote about how she prefers to chop chocolate from a block instead of buying premade chips. This called for a chopped vs. chips vs. chunks comparison.
How did Jeff get into chocolate? He accidentally bought some unfermented, washed cocoa beans at a farmers' market in Belize thinking they were almonds.
I didn't really know what to expect from a Chocolate Chickpea Cake recipe. Would it be at all like a cake? Would we miss the flour and the fat? The verdict: Score one for the health nuts, gluten-avoiders, and curious bakers of the world. This is one tasty cake.
This is a very dense, not-too-sweet cake with a nice chocolatey flavor. It's also pretty healthy, packing tons of fiber from the garbanzos and protein from the eggs, and is actually a really nice breakfast sweet. It keeps well in...
One of the first things that people generally give up when trying to get back on the health wagon is sweets—particularly chocolate. But let's not forget that chocolate is actually good for you; in moderation, of course. Here are my favorite three healthy(-er) chocolate treats to start the new year off right, and three more indulgent ones for those who, like me, don't bother with resolutions.
I upped the salt in this recipe significantly. Seriously, if you ever wondered what made a fancy restaurant dessert or an upscale bakery treat soooo tasty, it's almost certainly one of two things: lots and lots of salt, or lots and lots of butter. Both of these things are what make these cookies so tasty, and so very perfect for the holidays.
The chocolate extract is totally optional, as is the salt garnish, but feel free to mix up the nuts and filling however you like (you'll just have to rename them)! If you do go with caramel, make sure you buy candies that you know are reasonably fresh; if they've been hanging out on the shelf for a while, there's a chance that the filling will end up grainy.