Melted Chocolate Running from a Whisk
Melted Chocolate Running
from a Whisk
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Zogbaum, Armin
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La Belle Cuisine - More Chocolate Treats

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Laurie Colwin on Chocolate



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|“In the beginning, the Lord created chocolate, and he saw that it was
good. Then he separated the light from the dark, and it was better.”

~ Unknown

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Chocolat Ideal
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Alphonse Mucha
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Kamp, Eric
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La Belle Cuisine



Home Cooking:
A Writer in the Kitchen

© Laurie Colwin 1988,
HarperCollins editions 1993/2000

“My sister, who is in most other ways a perfectly normal person, is so addicted to chocolate that she routinely compromises her expensive dental work by eating something that I believe is called Rose Schaeffer’s Chocolate Lace. This particular confection is made by covering a Jackson-Pollock-looking lattice of sticky, filling-and-bridgework-pulling toffee with chocolate. My sister believes that milk chocolate is for twinks and wimps. She eats bittersweet chocolate by the pound and still remains thin. [?]
There are those who must have chocolate and those who can take it or leave
it alone. For the afflicted there are magazines devoted to the subject, choco-late cookbooks, candy-maker’s instruction guides, antique chocolate molds, chocolate dipping courses. There is high-ticket imported chocolate imported chocolate, often in the form of a truffle and often costing only a little less
than a real truffle, and novelty chocolate in the form of chocolate arms and legs and telephones. There is weird chocolate*, as in chocolate-covered grasshoppers. And then there are candy bars, which those in need of a fix
can find almost anywhere.
I like chocolate but I don’t love it. I think it is nice every once in a while. I
am however a sucker for fudge, which, in my opinion, is chocolate in its
most sublime form. On the other hand, I do not like chocolate cake or ice cream and I find the taste of chocolate mixed with liquor just plain awful [!] except in the case of the chocolate-covered cherry, which is the food of my childhood. [Yes!]
In some form or another, chocolate figures in every American’s childhood.
I remember walking home from school with a candy bar in the days when Three Musketeers really had three pieces. I remember my first taste of
Rocky Road ice cream [and Jamoca Almond Fudge!], which my sister
adored and I hated. [Go figure…] To this day my idea of a perfect dessert
is a slightly undercooked chocolate chip cookie made from the recipe on
the back of the chocolate morsels’ bag. I remember the kind of chocolate pudding that formed a tough skin on top, and the instant kind [yuck!] that
did not.
We did not have chocolate cakes for our birthdays but chocolate played an important role in the cakes we ordered. They were always the same: yellow cake with split layers, the layers alternatingly spread with mocha and apricot jam. The middle layer was marzipan, and the whole thing was covered with bittersweet chocolate icing and decorated with sugar roses, not buttercream, because my mother believes that buttercream turns in the hot weather, when all of our birthdays take place. We always found bakers to make this cake, which would have been insipid without that dark, not too sweet icing.
The world is full of chocolate lovers and I have come to rely on three recipes to help those who invite them for dinner: flourless chocolate cake, steamed chocolate pudding [recipe follows], and chocolate bread pudding, which when it bubbles over fills the house with what Mary McCarthy describes in ‘The Groves of Academe’ as ‘a rich smell of burning.’ The smell of  chocolate bubbling over and slightly burning is one of the most beautiful smells in the world. It is subtle and comforting and it is rich. One tiny drop perfumes a room as nothing else...
…Steamed chocolate pudding is a throwback to a cozier time in American life and is definitely worth making. The 1964 edition of ‘The Joy of Cooking’ has one recipe for it – an elaborate one containing six eggs and nuts, not my idea of a good time. But the 1943 edition (the one with the recipe for gum-drop cookies which begins: ‘Good for soldiers’ boxes as they keep fresh and do not crumble’) contains the real winner – a plain, easy and sincere steamed pudding, made as follows:

Old-Fashioned Steamed
Chocolate Pudding

1. Melt 2 ounces of unsweetened chocolate. Let cool.
2. Sift 1/2 cup of sugar.
3. Beat one egg until light. Add the sugar to it gradually and beat
until creamy.
4. Add melted chocolate and then add 1 tablespoon melted, cooled
5. Sift 1 cup of all-purpose flour. Resift with 1/2 teaspoon baking
. Add to the egg mixture in three parts, alternating the thirds
with 1/2 cup of milk in three parts. Beat until smooth after
each addition.
6. Pour into a buttered pudding mold. Cover with waxed paper tied
down with a rubber band and steam in a kettle for about one hour.

This pudding tips nicely out of its mold and looks like a baked hat. It is delicious with a raspberry purée, or with whipped cream. Some people
like it sliced with a little jam. Steamed puddings have a wonderful satiny texture: half a pudding, half a cake and the nicer half of each.
As for chocolate bread pudding, there is nothing more consoling on a
horrible cold night. Any standard cookbook has a recipe for bread pud-
ding, to which you simply add chocolate to the milk and egg. The version
I first ate was made of lightly toasted bread spread with sweet butter and
set in a dish. The egg, milk and chocolate were poured over it, and the
whole thing stood soaking for an hour before being baked in a 300-degree
F oven for forty- five minutes.
When it comes to chocolate, I prefer the simplest and plainest. To this end
I have made chocolate meringues, which must be made when the weather
is nice, and chocolate wafers, which taught me a lesson.
These wafers come from ‘The Settlement Cook Book' by Mrs. Simon
Kander (copyright 1926). I have my mother’s copy, which is falling to
 pieces and has written on the endpaper the telephone number for Charlie’s vegetable truck service from 1947.

Chocolate Wafers

1. Melt 2 ounces of chocolate.
2. Add 1 cup sugar and 1/2 cup melted butter.
3. Add the yolks of two eggs into the beaten egg whites and stir into
the chocolate mixture.
4. Add 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla.
5. Spread on a well-buttered pan. Place in a 350-degree F oven but
gradually decrease the heat to 300 degrees F.
6. This recipe does not tell you how long to bake. I would say about
ten to twelve minutes. Cut into squares while still warm.

I made these cookies to serve with a fruit salad one spring night and was alarmed at how tasteless they were. No one liked them very much but I
could not bear to throw them out, so I put them in a tin and left them for
a couple of days. One afternoon when my blood sugar dropped and it was
time for tea, I remembered the chocolate wafers. ‘Better than nothing,’
I said to myself, biting into one. To my amazement, they were delicious.
They tasted strongly and wonderfully of chocolate and were hard and
crunchy, too. It had taken a couple of days for the taste to bloom and it
was worth the wait. And so I add to Mrs. Simon Kander’s admirable
recipe a seventh step:

7. Let cool, put in a tin and do not eat for at least two days.

And of course, for those of you about to give a dinner party for choco-
late nuts, you know what bakeries are for: so that, at the end of dinner,
you can put your feet up and have the chocolate dessert you didn’t bake.”

And while we're at it.....

Chocolate Pear Pudding
Laurie Colwin
Gourmet Archives

from "Book of Puddings, Desserts and Savouries"
 - Josceline Dimbleby


1. Peel, core and slice thin (or cut into chunks) 1 pound
and arrange them on bottom of buttered baking
dish, sprinkle them with sugar and dot with about
2 tablespoons butter
2. You then mix together
3/4 cup flour
1 generous tablespoon unsweetened
cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
a scant
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons Lyle's Golden Syrup
1 large egg, beaten
4 tablespoons melted butter
1/4 cup milk
and beat it all into a batter. The whole performance
takes about 20 minutes.
3. Pour the batter on top of the pears and bake pudding 45
to 50 minutes in a 325-degree F. oven. This pudding
can be eaten hot, cold, or at room temperature and is
especially good with ice cream.

*...Master Confectioner Utz of Schwetzingen found the local asparagus
so enchanting that he was inspired to create a delectable filled-chocolate
version of asparagus tips, a local specialty. He even offers a choice of
white (asparagus-colored) or milk chocolate. No, the chocolate is not
filled with asparagus, nor is the asparagus filled with chocolate. The
chocolate is filled with Buttertrüffel and Himbeergeist (raspberry
brandy) -  it just LOOKS like asparagus. As a matter of fact, the
special asparagus- tip form used to create these luscious chocolates
was designed by Utz and is patented.
(From Asparagus - The Royal Vegetable)

Featured Archive Recipes:
Laurie on Chocolate Cake
Chocolate Pudding
Chocolate Silk Bread Pudding
Emeril's Chocolate Bread Pudding
Apricot-Glazed White Chocolate Rice
Pudding with Bitter Chocolate Sauce

Black Gold Cookies
Chocolate Rads
Pennsylvania Dutch Chocolate Cookies
Plain, very dark, intensely chocolate wafers)

Index - Chocolate Recipe Archives
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