Thursday, September 18, 2014

fall flavors

Rich, creamy fall flavors inspired by the leaves taking on their first blush: dark chocolate porcini mushroom with burnt caramel & homegrown rosemary domes; a deep chocolate local chèvre terrine with local honey & a whiff of our own homegrown lavender blossoms; & sweet & spicy local chili pepper caramel with locally grown Thai basil & lime zest. Time to open a tempranillo!

Friday, September 5, 2014

ballet husk

Pretty little local husk (ground) cherries from Walker Farm dipped in a 64% Madagascar chocolate are ready for a cocktail party. From the same family as the tomatillo, these delicious little fruits have a sweet & creamy gooseberry/blueberry/melon-y flavor, perfectly set off by the fruity & tangy chocolate variety. We suggest a glass of Roussanne to go with. Bon appétit! 

Monday, September 1, 2014

bonfire in a cup

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.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

inspiration & history

My grandmother, Florence, was a masterful cook & baker, & we always looked forward to visiting her for her delicious dinners, but most of all her outstanding cheesecake. Light & silky, but with incredibly rich flavor, I have had a hard time duplicating the incredible taste & texture, testament to her culinary talents & instincts. A perfectionist with more energy than a hive of bees, Florence's kitchen was always spotless & her creations looked as good as they tasted. Even my mother looks impressed while gazing upon her first birthday cake, wondering if she should continue to admire it or dig in. Florence remains an influence, as we strive to create outstandingly delicious & beautiful things.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

spice it up

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

fire in the belly

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

La Fête Nationale

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!