By Guest Bloggers Andrew McMillan and Laurie Southerland from The Stocked Pot and Company Cooking School
Chocolate! Enough said, right? But did you know that the sweet treat you love so much carries a story of exotic places, long journeys and families that raise delicate tropical fruit trees? October 28th is National Chocolate Day, so for all you moms out there; let’s celebrate as you peel back the wrapper of your favorite treat!
As stressed out moms, we know that when we eat chocolate we get that “happy feeling,” like being in love. This is caused by a chemical in chocolate when it’s released in the brain. So we know it tastes fabulous, but do you know where chocolate originates? The cacao bean begins life inside a fruit on a tree in the tropics among banana trees and rubber trees. The beans then leave coca farms by hand, in carts or trucks, to be sold to local buyers and then to the processors. In the factories they are ground, pressed, heated and stirred to create luxurious chocolate. For over four thousand years chocolate has held allure for cultures worldwide as a medicinal cure, a holiday celebration, a ritual drink…and people give chocolate to show love!
Enough with the history lesson, let us bring on the recipes so we can start eating and experience those great feelings! Here are three of our favorites at The Stocked Pot (and this time of year, a cup of hot chocolate would go great with these recipes):
1/3 cup sugar
5 oz bittersweet chocolate chopped
3 large egg yolks at room temperature
6 large egg whites
Preheat oven to 375°F. Generously butter soufflé dish and sprinkle with sugar.
Melt chocolate in a microwave oven until smooth, stir in yolks (mixture will stiffen).
Beat whites with a pinch of salt in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until they just hold soft peaks. Add 1/3 cup sugar, a little at a time, continuing to beat at medium speed, and then beat at high speed until whites just hold stiff peaks. Stir about 1 cup whites into chocolate mixture to lighten, and then add mixture to remaining whites, folding gently but thoroughly.
Spoon into soufflé dish and run the end of your thumb around inside edge of soufflé dish (this will help soufflé rise evenly). Bake in middle of oven until puffed and crusted on top but still jiggly in center, 24 to 26 minutes. Serve immediately
CHOCOLATE CHEESE CAKE
½ stick butter
1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
¼ cup sugar
1 ½ lbs cream cheese softened
1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted
2 teaspoons vanilla
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Combine butter, graham cracker crumbs and sugar and press into
the bottom of a 9” springform pan.
In a large mixing bowl beat the cream cheese until creamy; gradually beat in the milk, and eggs
one at a time, add the vanilla. Fold in the melted chocolate chips.
Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake on a baking sheet for 1 hour. Test the cake
with a cake tester and when the tester comes out clean when inserted into the center of the cake,
remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack. Decorate the top of the cake with melted
chocolate or chocolate leaves. Refrigerate cake in between servings
Double Chocolate Biscotti Recipe
2/3 cup whole almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped
1 2/3 cups flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Position one of your oven racks in the center of your oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking liner and set aside.
In a large bowl sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.
Stir in the sugar.
Add two of the whole eggs, the egg yolks, and vanilla.
Mix with an electric mixer on low speed until just combined.
Add the nuts and chocolate chips and beat on low speed until incorporated.
Scrape the dough on to a lightly floured work surface and divide it in half.
Shape each half into a 2 1/2 inch by 12 inch flat log. The dough will be sticky so you may need to add more flour to your hands as you go along to accomplish this.
Carefully transfer the logs onto your prepared baking sheet, spacing them at least 3 inches apart because they will spread as they bake.
Beat the remaining whole egg and brush it over the logs.
Place the baking sheet on the center rack of your oven and bake for about 35 minutes, or until the logs are firm to the touch.
Place the baking sheet on a wire rack and allow the logs to cool completely.
Lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees F.
Transfer the logs to a cutting board.
Using a serrated knife, cut the logs on a slight diagonal into 1-inch thick slices.
Place biscotti slices on the baking sheet cut side down. It’s okay if they touch since they won’t spread.
Bake the biscotti until they are crisp, about 10 minutes.
Place baking sheet on a wire rack and allow the biscotti to cool completely on the sheet.
Catering by Simple Elegance and The Stocked Pot and Company Cooking School and Culinary Team Building. We Would Love to Hear From You, Get In Touch With Us!
Please send us an email and ask us a question about a recipe you are working on or need help with at http://thestockedpot.com/contact/
The Stocked Pot and Company Cooking School, Culinary Team Building and Catering by Simple Elegance, Serving the entire Triad area; Winston Salem, Greensboro and High Point, Charlotte and Raleigh and all surrounding cities. Located at 381 Jonestown Road, Winston-Salem, NC 27104.