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Posts Tagged ‘Types of chocolate’

English: "Holyland" brand matzah, ma...

“Holyland” brand matzah, machine-made in Jerusalem and purchased at Trader Joes in the United States (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tonight which as you know is unlike any other night or if you don’t, you can check out a previous blog of mine https://pbenjay.wordpress.com/2010/03/30/why-is-this-night-different-from-all-other-nights/.  Anyway tonight we are going to my sister-in-law’s home for a Seder dinner.  It will of course be a feast, and being the balabusta  she is, she is cooking a very traditional meal as well as adding vegetarian dishes for the one or two non-meat eaters in the group.  And by group I mean she is seating and serving 11 people tonight!

I asked what I could bring and was assigned an asparagus dish.  I’m going to make a room temperature asparagus platter with an egg sauce on top.  If I haven’t already posted this recipe previously, I will tomorrow.  It was a traditional Easter Sunday dinner side in my family for years.

And then if I can organize myself, I plan to make some Matzo Crack!  This is a surprise addition to the meal.  Naturally Stacey, our hostess, who is size 2 is planning on serving strawberries and cream for dessert, something light and moderately healthy.  I, on the other hand, am hoping for the taste of chocolate and in keeping with the holiday tradition of no leavened bread, I’m going to make chocolate toffee matzoh! 

So simple to do (they say) and since I’m posting this prior to actually making it, I can’t attest to that but I do believe this is not going to be difficult at all.

4-5 pieces of matzo

1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar

1 cup ( 2 sticks) unsalted butter

1 cup bittersweet chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate bits

Toppings as desired

Preheat oven to 375º

Line baking sheet with aluminum foil and/or parchment paper.  Place matzo in one layer on baking sheet, breaking it when necessary to fill pan complexly.

In large sauce pan, melt the butter and brown sugar together over medium heat, stirring constantly.  Once mixture reaches a boil, continue to cook for additional 3 minutes, still stirring, until thickened and just starting to pull away from the sides of the pan.  Remove from heat and pour over matzo, spreading evenly with a heat proof spatula.

Put the pan in the oven, then immediately turn the heat down to 350 degrees.  Bake for 15 minutes, watching to make sure it doesn’t burn.  If it looks like it is starting to burn, turn heat down to 325 degrees.

After 15 minutes, the toffee should have  bubbled up and turned a rich golden brown.  Remove from the oven and immediately sprinkle the chocolate over the pan.  Let sit for 5 minutes and then spread the now-melted chocolate evenly with a spatula.

You can leave as it is or add a topping such as sea salt or toasted nuts.  Let cool completely, then break into smaller pieces and store in airtight container.

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I admit I have been BAD.  Today seemed like license to kill day in terms of eat-all-the-sugar-you-want because tomorrow dawns early.   Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday and like almost every year, I decide to give up all kinds of things mainly based in sugar.  Some years it’s ice cream, some years it’s chocolate and this year I’m shooting for the moon.  It’s got to be sugar this year for sure.  Because sugar is bringing on some addictive-like behaviors in me.  Not to mention a total loss of self-discipline and more importantly total disregard for the action/reaction results!  Sugar in, hips out. 

So like any true junkie about to attempt to go straight, I have over-indulged in chocolate and sugar for the last two days.  I didn’t start out with that intention, but things sure did escalate quickly into maniacal sugar begets sugar syndrome that every diet book warns you about.  

Last night, my Mah Jongg group met at my house and JUST to be nice (to whom I wonder) I decided to buy some dark chocolate-covered cranberries(well they sounded healthy) and overly-dyed red meringue.  Other than one bite someone else took I believe I ate the entire meringue!  Again, it was only egg whites AND sugar, lots of it.  What was left of those two treats were finished off by me tonight.  And you know sugar takes many forms; I had a huge bowl of pasta tonight with two meatballs and big slice of Tuscan bread and butter.  I know, I know, it sounds like a person on a suicide mission and there you see that is junkie behavior.  

SO tomorrow I have got to go cold turkey on sugar and most carbs.  If for no other reason than health.  Everyone in family has or had diabetes and many died from it.  My own sugar level is getting close to borderline and so I’m going to try and focus on that factor alone and as a side bennie lose some weight along the way.  

Wish me luck and strength and strong will and conviction and maybe I’ll make it not to Easter, but rather one day at a time.

English: Ashes imposed on the forehead of a Ch...

Ashes imposed on the forehead of a Christian on Ash Wednesday.

 

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I wish I were a better cookie baker but I’m not!   Luckily I have two friends who are fantastic cookie makers/bakers!  My friend Susan in CT brought a large plate of assorted delicious cookies last week.   I had to finally put the last of them in the freezer because I was eating Ginger Snaps for breakfast, Christmas trees for lunch, Milk chocolate and white chocolate chip cookies and Pfferneuse for late night noshing! And my friend Dorothy brought me a plate of cookies ostensibly for Finley, however, I don’t think Finny even got one – they were yum yummy!

Christmas cookies, doves, holiday cookies

Sugar Cookie Doves

Makes 18 cookies| Hands-On Time: 25m | Total Time: 1hr 25m

Ingredients

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  2. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until smooth. Add the egg and beat until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the vanilla.
  3. With the mixer on low, gradually add the flour mixture, mixing until just incorporated (the dough will be stiff). Shape into a disk and (unless otherwise specified in an individual recipe) refrigerate, wrapped, for at least 1 hour and up to 3 days. 

Recipe from Real Simple

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The word "chocolate" originates in M...

Hot Cocoa

If you’ve been faithfully reading this blog, then you know that I’ve been all about February being the month of RED, as in American Heart Month and Valentine’s Day.  Ahhhh but of course February is also all about  CHOCOLATE.

Here in New York City, Maury Rubin’s City Bakery celebrates HOT CHOCOLATE like nobody else. They hold an Annual Hot Chocolate Festival every February;  each day City Bakery offers a special Hot Chocolate such as Bourbon Hot Chocolate,  Banana Hot Chocolate, Malted Milk Hot Chocolate and on and on and on.  I used to try to get there at least once during February to experience the world’s greatest hot chocolate.  Unfortunately, most of February is usually spent bemoaning my weight which has been enhanced over the holidays OR it’s Lent and I, in the spirit of sacrifice (read dieting lol) decide to give up chocolate!  This year with only a handful of days left in the month, I’m committed to a 17 day diet and even if I fasted for two days, I think the caloric intake of one cup of Maury’s hot chocolate would put me over the calorie count edge 😦 THEY MAKE IT OUT OF MELTED CHOCOLATE !!!!  Below is a link to City Bakery’s web site – http://www.thecitybakery.com/hot-chocolate.html

But if you don’t live in New York City, try these two delicious make-at-home Hot Cocoa treats.

Milk Chocolate and Peanut Butter Hot Cocoa

2 cups whole milk

1 cup heavy cream

5 oz milk chocolate chopped (1 cup)

1/4 cup creamy peanut butter

Warm milk and cream in a medium saucepan overa medium-low hear.  Add chocolate, and whisk until melted and combined.  Continue to warm mixture until thick, about 5 minutes.  Whisk in peanut butter until smooth.

Dark Chocolate Hot Cocoa

2 cups whole milk

1 cup heavy cream

5 oz bittersweet chocolate chopped (1 cup)

2 TBS light-brown sugar

1/4 tsp grated fresh nutmeg (probably use ground)

Warm milk and cream in a medium saucepan over a medium-low heat.  Add chocolate.  Whisk until melted and combined.  Add sugar and whisk until dissolved.  Continue to warm mixture until thick, about 5 minutes.  Whisk in nutmeg.

Recipes from Martha Stewart Living

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Peanut butter 14juni09 001

Image via Wikipedia

Late, late just like the White Rabbit who sings: I’m late / I’m late / For a very important date. / No time to say “Hello.” / Goodbye. / I’m late, I’m late, I’m late.” Not late with this recipe BUT this bark is supposed to be a Christmas present for my daughter and I’m making it tomorrow!

PEANUT BUTTER SWIRL BARK

Smooth peanut butter and two types of chocolate make up this version of the beloved peanut butter cup.

Vegetable oil cooking spray

12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

4 ounces of milk chocolate, chopped

1/4 cup creamy peanut butter

Coat a 9-by-12 1/2-inch rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray, and line with parchment, leaving an overhang on ends.  Melt bittersweet chocolate in a double boiler or a heat-proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stirring.  Pour into baking sheet, and spread in an even layer.

Melt milk chocolate with peanut butter in a double-boiler or a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water.  Drizzle chocolate-peanut butter mixture over bittersweet chocolate, and swirl with a skewer.  Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.  Break into pieces.

Recipe from Martha Stewart Living magazine

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