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Chocolate fondue is an easy and simple desserts. Chocolate fondue is the perfect way to end a romantic meal. The set up can be done way in advanced and the only thing you have to do later is turn on a little flame. Although a fondue pot does make it easier, it isn’t necessary. You can just heat the sauce beforehand in a small saucepan and pour in a bowl. Serve with different fresh or dried fruits, cakes, and cookies that are placed on attractive platters along with small wooden skewers for dipping. Reheat the sauce as necessary in the microwave.

6 ounces semisweet, or bittersweet chocolate, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 Tablespoon Kirsch brandy, Grand Marnier or rum, or to taste (optional)
A pinch of salt
Assorted fruits (such as whole strawberries, pineapple slices, pear slices, banana slices, apple slices)
Dried Fruits (such as apricot, candied ginger)
Angel-food cake, brownies, pound cake cubes, and pretzels

1. In the top of a double boiler placed over gently simmering water, or in heavy small saucepan, combine the chocolate pieces, salt, and 1/4 cup cream. Heat, stirring constantly, over low heat until chocolate is melted and smooth. Stir in additional cream, 1 tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency.

2. Pour mixture into a fondue pot and stir in the brandy or rum(if using). Place over fondue burner set on low. With fondue forks or long bamboo skewers, dip fruit dippers, cake cubes and/or marshmallows into chocolate mixture. (Will hold up to 1 hour on low. If mixture gets too thick, add cream 1 tablespoon at a time and stir.)

Note: Fondue can sit at room temperature for several hours or in refrigerator for several days. Before serving, reheat until warm. Fruit should be patted dry to allow fondue to adhere to surface.

Posted on Feb 12, 2008


These thick and chewy chocolate chip cookies are delicious served warm from the oven or cooled. You can substitute white, milk chocolate, or peanut butter chips for the semi- or bittersweet chips called for in the recipe. In addition to chips, you can flavor the dough with one cup of nuts, raisins, or shredded coconut. You may freeze the scooped chocolate chip cookie dough for up to a month. (more…)

Posted on Feb 9, 2008


We first came across SENCE Rose Nectar, at the Fancy Food Show 2008, in San Diego. We like it so much that we had to develop a recipe along with the article featured in our first issue of Desserts Magazine. It is only fitting to call SENCE Rose Madeleines, miniature French sponge cakes, made in special shell-shaped pans enhanced with SENCE Rose Nectar.

3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and room temperature
2 tablespoons SENCE Silver
Rose Nectar or Natural Essence of Rose Water
Cooking spray

1. In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the butter, being sure to not let the butter brown. Let stand until room temperature. In a small bowl, whisk together, flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, using a whisk, mix the eggs 1/2 cup sugar, and vanilla until combined. Fold in flour mixture, until just combined. Add the cooled butter mixture, and continue to fold until combined. Cover the bowl, and refrigerate until chilled for 30 minutes, or overnight.
3. Make rose-water syrup by combining remaining 1/2 cup granulated sugar with 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar; reduce to a simmer, and cook over low heat 2 to 3 minutes to combine. Set aside to cool. When cool, stir in SENCE Silver Rose Nectar.
4. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F, with rack in center. Spray madeleine molds with cooking spray; set aside.
5. Fill each mold three-quarters full, using a spoon or a pastry bag. Do not overfill the molds. Bake until puffed, and the edges are golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes.
6. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack until pan is just cool enough to handle. Invert onto wire rack.
7. Lightly brush the madeleines,under the seashell side, one at a time with the rose syrup. Madeleines are best served within 1 to 2 days of baking. Store in airtight container at room temperature.

Posted on Feb 9, 2008


These cookies are used to make the crust for the Heart of Darkness Cheesecake. (Recipe courtesy of Coconut & Lime.)

3/4 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder, dissolved in 1 tablespoon water
4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla paste
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs

WARNING: this must be done a minimum of 2 hours before you want to bake the cookies.

1. Combine butter, sugars and vanilla and beat until fluffy. Add the espresso, eggs and mix. While the mixture is beating, add the cocoa, flour, baking powder and salt. Mix on until incorporated.

2. Using a spatula, scrape the dough (it will be very thick and rather sticky) on a large piece of plastic wrap. Shape into a approximately 2-inch thick log. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough until it is firm (about 2 hours) or overnight*.

3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper. Unwrap the dough and cut into 1/4-inch slices using a serrated knife (a bread knife works well). If the dough begins to soften as you cut, return it to the refrigerator to chill until it is firm again, normally about 5-10 minutes. Arrange the slices on the cookie sheets about 1/2-inch apart. Bake about 12 minutes or until they are just starting to brown on the bottom and the sides are no longer shiny. Yield: about 2-1/2 dozen cookies

*You can actually keep the dough refrigerated for a week or so, slicing off as many cookies as you want to eat at a time.

Tip: Decorate the cookies by rolling the log of dough in coarse sugar or nonpareils before slicing.

Posted on Feb 9, 2008


dark chocolate raspberry cake recipeThis recipe consists of a génoise-type dark chocolate cake as the base, topped with a layer of fresh raspberries and covered in a smooth chocolate mousse flavored with a hint of freshly grated ginger. Beatrice Peltre, the mastermind behind award-winning blog, La Tartine Gourmande, is kind enough to share this recipe with us. Bea, as she calls herself, is a French expatriate living in Boston. She writes about her experiences with food, and provides breathtaking photos and step-by-step recipes in English and French. Do not be intimidated by the look of this cake. This recipe is not difficult to make. Try it, you will not be disappointed.

Makes 7″ to 8″ in diameter cake, or 3″ x 3″; individual ones

Chocolate Cake
2-2/3 oz dark chocolate, 64 % cocoa contents, Valrhona Manjari
1 Tablespoon unsweetened cocoa (I used Scharffen Bergen)
3 large eggs
1-1/2 oz confectioner’s sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch

1. Melt the chocolate in a double-boiler. Separate the whites from the egg yolks. Beat the egg yolks with the sugar until white in color, then add the cocoa and cornstarch. Mix well before adding the melted chocolate. Whip the egg whites firm with a pinch of salt and add them delicately to the chocolate batter.

2. Pour in a mold covered with a sheet of parchment paper and cook in a preheated at 350 F oven for 15 minutes. When cooked, let rest and cool down on a rack.

3. Take mold rings and cut chocolate cake rounds serving as the basis. Line the ring molds with cake strips. Place them on a baking sheet and add a chocolate cake basis in each mold. Arrange fresh raspberries on top, pointing up.

Raspberry Sauce
5-1/4 oz fresh raspberries (or frozen)
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1-1/2 oz confectioner’s sugar

Blend the raspberries with lemon juice and confectioner’s sugar. Place in a fine sieve to remove the seeds.

Chocolate-Ginger Mousse
1-3/4 oz dark chocolate, 64 % cocoa, Valrhona Manjari
1/4 cup (minus 2 teaspoons) milk
1 gelatin sheet
1 teaspoon finely grated ginger root
2 Tablespoons confectioner’s sugar
1/2 cup (minus 1 Tablespoon) cold heavy cream

Decoration and Fruits
Fresh raspberries
Dark chocolate, 70% cocoa Valrhona, for the decoration
Unsweetened cocoa, to sprinkle

1. Heat the milk with the finely grated ginger. Add the confectioner’s sugar and mix well. Keep warm.

2. Soak the gelatin in cold water for a few min and squeeze out the excess water. Add it to the milk and mix to dissolve.

3. Melt the chocolate using a double boiler. Pour the hot flavored milk into the chocolate, in 2 to 3 times, mixing well at each time.

4. Whip the cold heavy cream firm. Fold it gently into the chocolate batter. Pour the mousse on top of the raspberries in each mold. Place in the fridge for 1 to 2 hours, or until the mousses are set.

5. When you are ready to serve, remove the ring molds carefully, then the cake strips. Decorate with fresh raspberries and chocolate twirls. Sprinkle bitter cocoa on top and serve with the raspberry sauce.

Note: For 6 individual cakes, simply double all the quantities in the recipe.

Posted on Feb 4, 2008

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