This weekend in the test kitchen, a combination of delicious nutty dark chocolate, a whiff of the creamiest & richest smelling maple sugar we've ever tasted in Vermont (& yes, we've had many over the years!), & applewood smoked sea salt just made us actually look forward to winter. And snow. And the bitter cold. Behold, the power of chocolate.
Monday, September 1, 2014
Sunday, August 31, 2014
Sunday, August 24, 2014
The weekend has a chill, leaves are just beginning to show their first blush, & spicy, rich chocolates are still something we crave. I made some Thai peanut butter cups with candied local chili peppers from Guerrilla Grown Produce, creaming the nut butter with the resulting reduction of chilis & turbinado sugar syrup, infused fresh local Thai basil from the Greenfield Farmers Market, ginger, & raw North Country honey.The crunchy nut butter has a sweet, juicy, fresh heat, delicious with the counterpoint of nutty & bittersweet chocolate.
Saturday, August 9, 2014
For late summer the nights have been cool with a distinct crispness to the air, & we've found ourselves craving warm spices & rich, hot foods. An aromatic drinking chocolate with traditional Mayan spices, frothed with a molinillo & then poured from a pitcher as high as we could reach created a thick, rich hot chocolate that has a surprisingly delicate mouthfeel & complex mosaic of piquant flavors. Paired with currant & hazelnut bread from Orchard Hill Breadworks which we toasted & spread with our thick, creamy chocolate pate, this would be a delicious way to enjoy a cozy backyard campfire, don't you think? Happy August!
Monday, July 14, 2014
We celebrated Bastille Day & raspberry season with a festive & elegant way to serve our chocolate pâté: place a thick slice on top of a pooled tangy & sweet raspberry port wine reduction, pile high with local, fresh fruit & add a dollop of freshly whipped cream. The port wine contributes a deep, rich character to the sauce, without it becoming too sweet. Add champagne as the perfect accompaniment. Bonne fête!
Raspberry Port Wine Sauce
you can use frozen berries as well, although you may have to cook the sauce a little longer to reduce the liquid until you get a syrupy consistency
1 pint fresh raspberries, strawberries, currants or mixture of all 3 (or equivalent frozen)
2 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. port wine
Combine berries in a sauce pan with sugar, & cook on medium-low until the berries break down & emit their juices to create a thick, bright sauce. Stir in the port wine. Strain through a chinois (strainer) to remove the seeds, lightly pressing on the fruits to remove all of the juices. Let cool, & pool on a plate before placing a thick slice of chocolate pâté on top. Dust with cocoa powder & put a dollop of fresh, unsweetened whipped cream on the side. Voila!
Friday, July 4, 2014
To celebrate the holiday, we breakfasted on a rich & moist coffee cake loaded with strawberries & blueberries from Walker Farm, with a creamy white chocolate créme anglaise to give it a festive twist. Enjoy the holiday, & cook something delicious with friends & family!