I am always hesitant to post a blog at the first of a new year. It seems that one should say something profound or wise about the past year or the one upon us. I do not make resolutions to break, nor promises to myself that I have no intentions of keeping. Although it can be a time for reflection I approach it as a time to regenerate and pretty much do “nothing”.
How does one do “nothing”? The answer for me is very intentionally and purposefully. In fact I have been doing “nothing” with gusto! I have playing in my kitchen trying out recipes from my ever-growing list, watching BBC shows on cable on rainy days, reading, taking long walks, having lunch with friends, reading, having coffee in bed while reading, eating at new restaurants we have been intending to try all year, spending fun time with the family, seeing a movie or two! That is how I have spent a lot of the Holiday week…”doing nothing”…..really!
One chilly morning this week, while again attending to my art of “doing nothing”, I made myself a hot cup of “Le Chocolat Chaud”. This very Parisian hot chocolate has been on my list of things to try for a long time. I had it in Paris many, many years ago and have never forgotten it. My version is based on a recipe by David Lebovitz with my addition of a splash of vanilla and I used turbinado sugar instead of classic brown baking sugar.
Very good bittersweet chocolate is the starting place. I used Callebaut from Belgium.
A large cup or mug, steaming hot milk, turbinado sugar and a splash of vanilla extract along with the chocolate is all you need to make the most heavenly flavored cup of hot chocolate you will ever drink.
May your days be bright, your nights be cozy, and your 2016 the best year you can possibly have. Stay well.
Drinking Le Chocolat Chaud While Doing Nothing on New Years
- 2 cups hot milk (I use whole, but any including Almond milk will work)
- 6 ounces of good quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- turbinado/raw sugar
- options: vanilla extract; a pinch of cayenne pepper; a pinch of cardamom
- Into two cups or mugs place 3 ounces chopped bittersweet chocolate.
- Add turbinado sugar to each cup to taste.
- Pour steaming hot milk into each cup and let sit for 1 minute.
- Stir until the chocolate has melted and the sugar dissolved. Add a splash of vanilla if desired. Sip!
Note: You can also make this recipe by putting the ingredients (or doubling for 4 or more people)into a saucepan and heating over medium heat while whisking.
Teresa Blackburn http://www.teresablackburnfoodstyling.com
Adapted from a recipe by David Lebovitz, living the sweet life in Paris his really fabulous blog.
One of the many things I love about traveling in Mexico are the pastelerias or pastry shops that seem to be on every corner where subtle aromas of vanilla & sugar waft out from doorways. Last year my friend Terry and I found a wonderful chocolate “cakelet” that was baked in a pie crust. Encantado con esta postre.. Que magnifico!
Here is my iphone image from my trip…
It was my first time to see a cake baked in a pie crust…easy eaten out-of-hand..not a pie, not a cake exactly…a wee “cakelet”.
I had to give this idea a try upon returning home. I made a dark chocolate batter and an almond pie crust, drizzled with chocolate sauce and dusted with sugar for my version.
Rings of almond dough await the batter.
Filled & ready for the oven.
Freshly baked and cooled.
A simple chocolate drizzle…..a sprinkling of icing/sanding sugar…
Served with Mexican Vanilla flavored ice cream! Perhaps for your special Valentiine?
Deep, Dark Chocolate Cakelets in an Almond Pie Crust
Ingredients for Almond Pie Crust strips:
- 1 stick unsalted butter, room temp
- 2 tbsp powdered sugar
- 1 egg beaten
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup almond flour
Directions for Pie Crust strips:
- Using an electric mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the butter & sugar together until creamy. Add egg and mix, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.
- Mix together in a small bowl the all-purpose & almond flours using a whisk.
- Add flour mixture to butter-sugar mixture and mix until well blended. Scrape dough from mixer bowl out onto a work surface lightly coated with additional flour.
- Form dough into two disks, wrap each with plastic wrap & chill for 1 hour before using.
- When ready to bake cakelets remove 1 dough ball from the refrigerator. Roll out on floured surface creating an oblong circle about 10-12 inches long. Cut dough with a knife (on one side of each strip) and a fluted pastry cutter (on the other side of each strip) into 10-12 inch long strips. Make 8 strips total.
- Stand each strip of dough on its flat edge and wrap to make a circle overlapping where dough meets. Dab one end of dough strip with water and seal together. Repeat with all dough to make 8 standing-up on edge dough strip circles. Place these on a parchment lined baking sheet. Cover lightly with plastic and put back in the refrigerator until ready to fill with cake batter.
Ingredients for Dark Chocolate Cakelet Batter:
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 cup dark cocoa
- 8 ounces good quality bittersweet chocolate cut into chunks
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) + 2 Tbsps unsalted butter room temp
- 4 large eggs
- 3/4 cups dark brown sugar
- 2 tsps Mexican pure vanilla extract (or any other you like or happen to have)
Directions for Cakelet Batter:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Sift together the flour, salt, baking powder, cinnamon and cocoa into a medium bowl. Set aside.
- Melt 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate with the 1/2 cup butter in the top of a double boiler or in the microwave until smooth and blended. Set aside.
- Beat together the eggs & brown sugar in a large mixing bowl until thickened. Reduce mixer to low and add the chocolate/butter mixture and vanilla extract and beat until well blended.
- Add flour mixture in batches and beat on low until all of it is incorporated into the batter.
- Remove the chilled pie crust rings from the refrigerator & fill each 3/4 full with the batter.
- Bake for about 30-40 minutes or until batter is set in the center(s) and pie crust rings are lightly browned. Remove pan from oven and cool on a rack.
Ingredients for Chocolate Drizzle:
- 8 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate melted
- 1/3 cup sanding sugar
- Drizzle all the cakelets randomly with melted chocolate & sprinkle with bakers/sanding sugar.