Tag Archives: chocolate

Desserts in Jars: A Winning Cookbook

 

When Desserts in Jars: 50 Sweet Treats that Shine by blogger Shaina Olmanson landed in my mailbox, my first reaction, quite frankly, was to roll my eyes. Come on. Can’t we make really good desserts without relying on gimmicks like cakes on sticks and pies in jars?

But after sitting down with this new cookbook, I’m pretty much wowed. Published by the highly regarded Harvard Common Press, Desserts in Jars boasts gorgeous photos, and clearly written text. The recipes for cupcakes, frozen treat, pies and the like are straightforward and easy to follow. Read more on Huffington Post.

 

 

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Ice Cream Times in Philadelphia

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By Laura B. Weiss

Enough with the Liberty Bell. I go to Philly to eat. And as nearly everyone knows, Philly is known for its ice cream.

Philadelphia is loaded with great ice cream places, but I like the old timey ones. There’s Bassets in Reading Terminal Market. When we lived in Philly awhile back, I’d stop by there every day for a luscious, rich vanilla cone.

Philadelphia ice cream is made without eggs. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t delicious and rich. What makes ice cream taste creamy and smooth is the amount of of air pumped into it, not so much the amount of butter fat or whether it contains eggs.

 

Ice cream sundae. Photo: Franklin Fountai

If you want a faux ice cream parlor ice cream experience, try Franklin Fountain. The waiters sport facial hair, and there’s an old fashioned marble counter. Just be sure to prepare yourself for a mob scene, regardless of the season.

The night we tried to get into Franklin Fountain in the Old City section, the line snaked down the block so I can’t tell you if the ice cream is any good. We went next door to Shane Confectionery, selling handmade candies since 1910, including local favorite, Wilbur Buds, overly sweet Hershey Kisses-like chocolates, crafted in Lititz, PA. The Franklin Fountain folks have bought the ornately decorated place.

Click here for the Franklin Fountain menu.

Franklin Fountain
116 Market St.
Philadelphia, PA
215-20627 1899

Shane Confectionery
110 Market St.
Philadelphia, PA
212-922 1408

 

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Recipe: White Chocolate Truffles with Cashews, Coconut and Drunk Raisins

Chocolate truffles. Photo: Ayala Moriel via flickr.

Chocolate truffles. Photo: Ayala Moriel via flickr.

With Christmas and New Year’s coming up, you’re going to want to have a recipe for making a sweet treat—my vote is always for chocolate truffles—that’s rich and decadent. This one, White Chocolate Truffles with Cashews, Coconut and Drunk Raisins, from Chef Renee Marton, fits the bill:

WHITE CHOCOLATE TRUFFLES WITH CASHEWS, COCONUT AND DRUNK RAISINS
© Renee Marton

INGREDIENTS
1 pound white chocolate
1 cup heavy cream
4 oz butter, cut in 8 pieces, and kept cool
½ cup golden raisins
½ cup single malt Scotch
½ cup cashews
½ shredded unsweetened coconut
Pinch salt
2 large egg yolks
Whole nutmeg, for grating

METHOD
1. Soak raisins in Scotch at least 2 hours before using. Strain raisins; chop coarsely and save the liquid.
2. Toast the coconut and cashews lightly in a pre-heated (350 ° F.) oven for about 10 minutes.  Coarsely chop the cashews, after they have cooled.
3. Heat the cream until very warm.
4. Chop the chocolate coarsely and put in food processor. While the food processor is running, add the cream and the butter. Process until you almost have a smooth paste – there will be little “dots” of white chocolate – that is what you want.
5. Place the mixture in a mixing bowl. Mix yolks with 7 TB of  Scotch, and strain into the white chocolate ganache. Stir until well blended.
6. Add raisins, cashews and ½ of coconut, pinch of salt and pinch of freshly grated nutmeg.
7. When well combined, place mixture in a plastic bag. Cut off one corner—one inch from tip. Squeeze dollops of truffle mixture onto parchment lined cookie sheets, and refrigerate until firm. (You can also drop by spoonfuls.) The truffles should be the size of very large marbles.
8. When the balls are firm, roll them quickly between your chilled palms to shape them into balls, then roll them in the leftover coconut. powdered sugar, etc.
Keep refrigerated until ready to serve. Letting them come to room temperature for will bring out the flavor.
Yield:  30 to 35 truffles

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Upper West Side: Jacques Torres Unveils Thanksgiving Chocolates

Want a change from those those holiday dessert staples, apple pie and its Thanksgiving twin, pumpkin? Jacques Torres, with a shop on Amsterdam Avenue, can supply you with chocolate bars packed with seasonal flavors. There’s a white chocolate one laced with apple pie filling and a dark chocolate morsel that’s enriched with a layer of pumpkin puree.

Photo: Chocolate Springs.

Photo: Chocolate Springs.

These somewhat odd confections showed up at last week’s Chocolate Show, the annual display of the chocolatiers’ art that takes place at the Metropolitan Pavilion in Chelsea.

Chocolate makers collected in the spacious hall from all over the world. There were the large commercial operations like Godiva, which was showing off its new line of cupcakes. And there were small artisanal outfits, such as 2 Chicks with Chocolate and Roni-Sue’s Chocolates, which boasts a location in the Essex Street Market.

Among the best chocolates I sampled at the show were the exquisite bars from Chocolate Springs, a Lenox, MA confectioner.  Salty caramel chocolates are everywhere these days. But the ones from this Berkshire chocolate maker exploded with flavor. In fact, the distinctive taste of each ingredient shone through enhancing, rather than masking, the chocolate. Also sensational were Chocolate Spring’s passion fruit white chocolate ganache bars. Click here to order online.


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The Best Coffee and Pastries? Try NY’s Macchiato Espresso Bar

Last Friday, I was lugging my computer down 44th Street just east of Grand Central on my way to catch the Hampton Jitney.  I felt an urge for caffeine that could not be denied. You know the feeling. If you’re not inhaling coffee immediately–as in the next three minutes–you’re going to have yourself a good cry.

What’s your favorite coffee spot in NY?

Then I spotted Machiatto Espresso Bar, a coffee place that also serves up pastries and sandwiches. I’ve walked by it before, mostly on my macchiato-espresso-barway to catch the Jitney, which makes a stop at the corner of 44th and Third. But the scrum of coffee-craving suits crowding the place always kept me walking on by.

Last Friday morning around 9:30, I stopped in. Miraculously, Machiatto was relatively empty, so I ambled inside and ordered an iced coffee ($2.00/small, $2.75/medium, $3.75/large). Naturally, I needed something sweet to go along with my caffeine fix. So I had the pixieish barista snag a chocolate and hazelnut Danish for me ($2.75).

One bite and I was totally entranced by this buttery, flaky confection. Notably, it delivered an intense chocolate hit without being cloyingly sweet. “They’re homemade,” chirped the barista when I inquired after the provenance of these goodies that, truth be told, are more puff pastry than classic Danish.

Go for the coffee at Machiatto. It’s really good. Then throw calorie caution to the wind and throw yourself an impromptu party with their pastries. I haven’t tasted the other items on the menu–which include a yummy looking chocolate cigar–but I bet they’re mouthwatering as well.  There are also sandwiches, including a tuna, turkey and egg salad, all priced between $7.50 and $8.95.

Macchiato
141 East 44th Street
New York, NY
212 867 6772
M-F 7 a.m.  6 pm , SAT 10a.m. – 2 p.m.

Related

NY Coffee Summit Set to Give a Jolt to Java Lovers

Upper West Side: Dog Days at Your Espresso Bar

West Village: Think Coffee Serves Up Great Java

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