Category Archives: Chocolate

Brandied Apricot Beignets with Chocolate Sauce

Chocolate Sauce

Bring just to a boil:

¾ C heavy cream
1T honey
1 T brandy

Remove from heat and add 10 ounces of chocolate (semi or bitter sweet). Wait 30 seconds, then whisk until smooth. Cover and chill.


Bring to a boil:

½ C dried apricots, chopped
3 T water
3T brandy
3 T sugar

Cover and steep for 30 minutes. Drain and reserve both apricots and syrup.

Bring to a boil:

½ C water
½ C whole milk
6 T butter, diced
½ tsp salt.

Remove from heat and add 1 cup of flour and stir until ball forms. Return to medium heat and cook until a film forms on the bottom,about 2 minutes. Remove from heat again and using electric mixer add 4 eggs, one at a time and then add apricots.

Bring 1 ½ inches of oil to 350 degrees and drop batter by teaspoonfuls into oil. Fry until golden brown, about 5 minutes.
Rewarm chocolate sauce by adding apricot syrup and heating over low. Either pour sauce over or use as a dip.

From Bon Appetit March 2008


Chocolate Profieroles with Chocolate Sauce

For Profiteroles

¾ C unsalted butter, cut into pieces
¾ C water
¼ tsp salt
¾ C all-purpose flour
¼ C cocoa
3 large eggs

Preheat oven to 425.

Bring butter, water and salt to boil in small saucepan.
Reduce heat to medium then add flour and cocoa all at once and cook, beating with a wooden spoon, until mixture pulls away from side of pan and forms a ball, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a bowl and cool for 3 minutes.
Add eggs one at a time, beating well with electric mixer after each addition.

Pour into 18 mounds onto baking sheet and bake 20 to 25 minutes until puffy & golden.
Cool on rack.

Split profiteroles open and place a small scoop of vanilla ice cream inside.
Plate 3 per dish and cover with a fine quality chocolate sauce.

Source: Gourmet, March 2008

Loie’s Croissant Melba

Several 2-day old croissant, sliced into 3/8″ thick rounds
Place onto dry cookie sheet and bake at 350 (watching closely) until golden brown.
Now call them crostinis.

Plate the crostinis and top with a very high quality (about 80% ) chocolate wafer. (We used a South American chocolate). Mix a blue cheese of choice (we used Cambazola, a mixture of Gorgonzola and Camembert) with fresh chocolate nibs ( the nutty and crunchy part of the plant) and place on top of the chocolate. Sprinkle with a few more nibs and garnish with fresh apple pieces.

Chocolate Source: With the help of Dennis at Chocolate Exquisite, aka my Chocolate Nazi, purveyor of the best single source chocolates the world round, and a true connosieur.

We made up the rest.

Chocolate Pasta with Savory Fillings

For the Pasta

3 large eggs
1 C unbleached flour
½ C unsweetened cocoa (I used the dark or brut cocoa)
1 T milk

Sift the flour and the cocoa powder onto a work surface. Make a well and break the eggs into the hollow, add milk. Lightly beat the egg mixture and then draw the flour in until you can work it with your hands. Knead for about 8 minutes (do not skimp) Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for a minimum of 15 minutes and up to 3 hours. Roll out and cut as desired.

For the Spinach and Ricotta Filling

1 lb spinach
½ C Ricotta cheese
¾ C of crumbled blue cheese (such as Stilton)
Freshly grated nutmeg

Cook the spinach for 2 or 3 minutes either by steaming or blanching in boiling water. Drain and squeeze out as much water as possible. Chop roughly. Mix with the cheeses. Season to taste with salt, pepper and nutmeg.

For the Beet and Goat’s Cheese Filling

1 lb raw or cooked beets (not vinegared)
½ C Ricotta cheese
4 oz goat’s cheese

Cook the beets whole with the skins on. Do not pierce the beets. Peel beets and leave to cool. Chop and mix with cheeses and seasoning.

Cashew Chicken Filling

2 chicken breasts
1 bay leaf
¾ C chopped cashews
¼ tsp dried basil
1/3 C onion, finely chopped
¼ tsp thyme
1/8 tsp paprika
½ tsp salt
1T butter
2 eggs, beaten
1 C asiago cheese

Poach chicken in 2C water and bay leaf, 20 min. Remove breasts to cool slightly, then chop finely. Cook onion, basil, thyme, paprika and salt until tender, Add chopped cashews. Remove from heat, blended in eggs, cheese, chicken.

To Assemble

Cut the pasta into rectangles and place a good amount of the filling inside and warp up. Wrap in clean towels, tie with string and immerse in boiling salted water until cooked. Remove wrap and cut each roll into serving pieces.

To Serve

2/3 cup pine nuts
1 C unsalted butter
Big handful of fresh sage

While cooking the pasta, toast the pine nuts until golden. Make a sage butter by melting the butter in a pan, dropping in the sage and cooking for a few minutes. To serve, untie the bundle and cut into slices, discarding the ends. Arrange one slice of each slice on their ends on a plate and serve with the sage butter.

Originally called Reverend Mother Arm taken from Real Chocolate Delight.

Mocha Sambuca Shooters

Loved the presentation of this dessert. Had to try it and it turned out beautifully.
See below for two day method of preparation if you do not want to do this all at once.

Cocoa Sambuca Mini-Cakes

1/2 C all purpose flour
1/2 C unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 C. granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/4 C black sambuca

Preheat oven to 325 F.

Line each miniature muffin cup with mini size (15/8″) foil bake cups.

Sift flour, cocoa powder and baking powder onto large piece of parchment paper and set aside.
Place sugar, egg, and egg yolk in an electric mixer bowl fitted with a paddle.
Beat on high for 2 minutes until mixture is thickened and light in color.
Operate mixer on low and add butter slowly in a steady stream. Mix until incorporated, about 1 minute.
Continue to operate on low and add the dry ingredients. Mix until incorporated, about 1 minute. Scrape down sides with a spatula.
Continue on low while adding the black sambuca in a slow steady stream, mix until incorporated about 30 seconds. Now beat on medium for 30 seconds.
Remove bowl from mixer and use rubber spatula to finish mixing.

Position 1 tablespoon of the cake batter in each bake cup.
Place muffin tins in top and centre of oven, rotating halfway through baking time.
Bake 10-13 minutes until toothpick comes clean from the centre of muffin.
Remove from oven and cool at room temperature in the tins for 10 minutes.
Remove the muffins from the tins at set aside at room temperature.

Mocha Sambuca Ganache

4 oz semi sweet baking chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/3 C heavy cream
3 T whole expresso beans
1/2 oz unsalted butter
1 T black sambuca
2 tsp granulated sugar
24 chocolate covered espresso beans
Makes 24 shooters

Place the semi sweet chocolate in a medium bowl.
Heat the heavy cream, espresso beans, butter, black sambuca and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. When hot stir to dissolve the sugar and butter. Bring to a boil.
Pour the boiling cream mixture through a strainer held over the chopped chocolate; stir with a whisk until smooth.
Transfer the ganache to a baking sheet with sides and spread evenly. Refrigerate 45-60 minutes until firm to the touch.
Remove the firm ganache from refrigerator and transfer to the bowl of the electric mixer, fitted with a paddle. Beat on medium for 30 seconds until slightly lighter in color. Remove from mixer and finish mixing with rubber spatula.
Transfer ganache to pastry bag fitted with a medium straight tip.
Pipe approximately 1 heaping teaspoon of ganache onto each cake.
Place a whole chocolate coated espresso bean onto the ganache of each mini cake and serve immediately.


The shooters may be prepared over 2 days.

Day 1: Bake the individual cocoa sambuca mini cakes. Once they are cooled, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
Day 2: Remove the mini cakes from the refrigerator. Make the Mocha Sambuca Ganache. Pipe the ganache onto the mini cakes. Garnish with chocolate covered espresso bean.
Assemble Shooters: A long stemmed shooter glass works best. Pour white Sambuca in bottom bottom third of shooter glass. Using a spoon, angled in the glass, slide the black sambuca onto the white sambuca in the second third of the glass (layered look).

Place the finished Cocoa Sambuca Mini Cake on the top and serve. (Mini Cake should be suspended on the top of the glass over the Sambucas)

Taken from Celebrate With Chocolate by Marcel Desauliniers.

Doug’s Grilled Duck with Cherry BBQ\Mole Sauce on Field Greens

This is a long recipe, but it is worth it, and most of it can be made ahead of time.

For the Rub, combine the following:

1 ½ C dark brown sugar
¼ C coarse kosher salt
½ C paprika
3 T dried parsley
2 T each of dried basil, dried oregano, dried thyme, dried onion flakes
1 ½ T dried Worcestershire Sauce (I used regular – dried is hard to find)
1 ½ T lemon pepper
1 T garlic powder
1 tsp each of allspice and cinnamon

Seal in jar or Tupperware container. If using liquid Worcester, the rub may harden somewhat over time but just throw it in the food processor to break it up. It’s also great on pork.

(BBQ Bible Sauces Rubs and Marinades by Steven Raichlen)

Preparing the Duck

1. Trim excess skin and fat from the breasts leaving a strip of skin about 1 ½ to 2 inches wide down the middle of the breast.
2. Apply generous amount of rub to all sides of the breasts. You cannot put too much of this on. It is gorgeous!

For the BBQMole Sauce

1. Melt 3 T unsalted butter in sauce pan over medium heat.
½ medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced and
2 C pitted Bing cherries (fresh, canned or frozen), drained.
Cook until onions are soft but not brown.

2. Add:
2 T high-quality, pure cocoa powder
1 tsp pure chili powder (not a blend)
1 ½ C port
½ C sherry vinegar
4 tsp ketchup
1 tsp grated lemon zest
2 canned chipotle, minced or teaspoons chipotle chili powder
½ tsp caraway seeds
½ tsp course kosher salt, or more to taste
½ tsp fresh ground pepper
½ C honey
And bring to a boil.

3. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until reduced to about 2 cups – stirring occasionally.

4. Correct the seasoning, adding salt, lemon juice or honey, or more to taste, the sauce should be a little sweet, a little sour and VERY flavorful. Use right away or put it in a jar and refrigerate. It will keep several weeks.

(BBQ Bible Sauces Rubs and Marinades by Steven Raichlen)

For the Balsamic Drizzle:

Combine in saucepan:

1 C good commercial balsamic vinegar
1/2 C honey
1/3 C sugar
3 T soy sauce

Place over medium heat and bring to a boil.
Simmer until reduced to 1 cup.
Skim and discard foam.
Strain into a jar and cool to room temperature.
Cap the bottle.
The drizzle will keep for several months at room temperature.

(BBQ Bible Sauces Rubs and Marinades by Steven Raichlen)

For the Tangerine Shallot Dressing for the Field Greens

Mash into a paste:

1 clove garlic
2 or 3 pinches of kosher salt
Remove to a jar with a tight fitting lid.

Add and whisk together,
¼ C fresh tangerine juice
2 T fresh lemon juice
2 small shallots, minced

Add 2/3 C of olive oil in a slow steady stream, whisking constantly until smooth:

Taste and adjust seasoning.
Keep in jar for up to two weeks in the refrigerator.

(Joy of Cooking – All About Grilling by Rombauer, Rombauer Becker and Becker)

Bringing it all Together

BBQ rubbed duck breasts to an internal temperature of 145 degrees.
Remove and cover with tin foil for five minutes.

Toss field greens in dressing and put a handful in the centre of the plate.

Slice duck breast and fan pieces out on top of field greens.

Spoon a small amount of BBQMole sauce over duck. Place one or two of the Bing cherries beside the duck.
Drizzle the balsamic reduction around the perimeter of the plate.

Bon Appetite!

Paul’s Steak with Chocolate Brandy Sauce and Habanero Jelly

This was presented as an appetizer but it could be an entree.

Barbecue a good cut of steak however you like it but medium rare probably is best.

While this is on, but don’t forget about it, make the Chocolate Brandy Sauce.
Just melt some unsweetened chocolate, and add brandy until thickish but still spreadable. You can add a little cream too if its getting too tough to stir but don’t make it thin. Set aside.
(By itself this doesn’t taste that good but the sweetness comes with the Habanero Jelly.)

And heat up a can of dark brown beans (Libby’s Dark Brown in Tomato Sauce is good).

When steak is done, cut into small pieces.

On the bottom of each piece spread a layer of Habanero Jelly.
(See the Habanero Jelly recipe here.)
Then smear a layer of the Chocolate Brandy Sauce.

Place the piece on the plate and top with just a few of the beans.

I know, I know, but really, it will knock your socks off.