Tag Archives: chocolate

In the Kitchen: Dark Chocolate Toblerone Brownies with Hawaiian Pink Salt

A friend of mine who lives in the Midwest swears by these for parties and potlucks. I couldn’t wait for her to send me a batch, so I looked the recipe up online and then proposed to my fellow poster on A Year of Baking Dangerously that we try it out. Here it is, with a few tweaks! It’s fairly easy- most bakers would have baking chocolate and cocoa in their pantries already, so the only thing left to get is the Toblerone bar. And the challenge is to not eat all the good stuff before you start.

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In the kitchen: Chocolate Truffles

Remember when you were a teenager and hearing the words “cheap” and “easy” uttered in the same breath made you blush, giggle uncontrollably, and clutch your imaginary pearls?

As a grown foodie, do the words “cheap” and “easy” make you feel the same way?

On the shelf: The Perfect Scoop

>Having not yet invested in a CrackBerry I still get the bulk of my news from a daily digest of The Post (I’m a Washingtonian, sue me) called “Express” which is available free from boxes near Metro stations and bus stops, and The Today Show when it’s on at the gym and I’m up.

Sad, I know.

This is why I have just now learned of David Leibovitz’s “The Perfect Scoop.” Never mind that it’s been talked about on his blog since March. I never claimed that this site was a bastion of timely news, so there.

Anyway, I’m still excited about it. Even though I am too late to check out the California classes, I am taking a short vakay (ew, I said “vaykay“) at the end of this month and the thought of trucking out to Seattle for 1 or 2 days isn’t all that unappealing, but New Orleans still beckons. Alas, New Orleans wins, but since I am visiting friends in London soonish-like, I will be making a detour to catch David when he is back in Paris. I’ll be the one inappropriately clad in Bermudas and Christian Louboutins.

I will, nonetheless, be getting my copy toot sweet, because I am an ice cream and sorbet fiend and if David was kind enough to publish a recipe for Guinness-Milk Chocolate (possibly a rival in my affections for the Guinness-Dark they serve at The Irish Inn on occasion?) then the very least I can do is try it out. So it’s off to Crate and Barrel for an ice cream maker then off to Barnes & Noble for my new ice cream bible.

And from now on I’ll be checking David’s blog more often. Even though it, and he, makes me feel like a giant slacker.

Chocolate bars and feeding your coworkers

>I recently started a fab new job, rife with opportunity and… food. I was warned when I started that my office was all about food and so far it has, as advertised, been all about food. We’ve been out to some really fantastic local ‘strants including an Indian place and a kabob place, both of which left me stuffed to the gills and happy as a clam. (How’s that for a mixed image- can you tell NaNoWriMo is kicking my arse?)

We have weekly lunches Takeout Taxi’s in from local restaurants, and in the conference room between bites of barbeque, we talk about everyone’s pets (this is a dog-friendly office), the sand someone found in their grocery store bought salad, and plans for the weekend. Because I’m new, and even as a grown-up I feel this incredible sense of insecurity about being in a new place with new people and struggling with my new job, I brought a small vat of homemade Walnut Chocolate Chip cookies to share.

Walnut Chocolate Chip cookies are just like Tollhouse Cookies except that they are chock full o’ nuts, which I diced (chopped? minced?) by hand and added, alternating with the dry ingredients. An overabundance of nuts adds a subtle flavor and a knobbly texture to the cookie that I quite like. My coworkers apparently like them too, because when I removed the container from the table several people lunged at me. Lunged like rabid wolves, in fact. So basically the response to my efforts was good and I might try doing it again. That’s fine- an evening of trashy t.v. and baking once a week is good for the soul if not the waistline.

(Being a tea phreak the next batch will test my coworkers’ mettle. I’m planning to try out this little number– either the response will be joy and rapture or I won’t have to bake for work ever again.)

On the other hand, maybe I should stick to chocolate, which seems to be the food of choice for plying, soothing, and rewarding your coworkers. When my coworker, a lovely person I was really looking forward to working with, suddenly announced she was resigning, she took me to B&N for some computer books to get me up to speed. Then we went into Trader Joe’s, where she attempted to assuage my disappointment and panic with a bar of Valrhona 85% dark. Yowza. It didn’t quite work, but I’m a little less cranky. M-m-m-my Valrhona!

Another coworker, pleased at the results of a project I was working on for her, dropped off a bar of Astor Premium Dark. She swore me to silence (“Or everyone will wonder where I got it!”) because she’d swiped it off a cart at the Times Square Marriott Marquis during a recent business trip. Hoity toity! At the hotels I stay at, the pillow mints are Starlights or Andes.

(Side note: New York hotels are lovely, ’tis true. I’ve stayed at the Hotel Paramount, the HoJo’s and the Edison, but generally I’m the kinda girl who goes traveling and tends to reserve something super nice the first and last nights of the trip- when I’m acclimating and decompressing respectively. In the middle I tend to go for holes-in-the-wall, because I don’t go traveling to stare at the four walls of a gorgeous suite and would rather put the money toward a good dinner or Prada lipgloss. But I think, based on this yummy bar o’ heaven, I may have to evaluate that stance.)

When I start decorating my office the first thing to go up will be a sign- “Will work for food.”

No, scratch that. Chocolate.