Thursday, February 19, 2009

little britain:
lou and andy review chocolate

if you are not following little britain on bbc america, you are definitely missing out... especially with classic lines such as,
"dark chocolate has a bitter edge to it and lacks the oral ecstacy of its milky cousin".

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

mast brothers chocolate:
dark milk chocolate 60% + almonds + sea salt

mast brothers chocolate: dark milk chocolate 60% + almonds + sea salt
brooklyn, ny

you are in florence and strolling along the ponte vecchio. on the medieval bridge, you gaze over the arno river. the souvenir shops are teetery and depressing. however, out of the rough, a gorgeous paper and pen shop emerges. apparently, they have been making hand made florentine papers for centuries.

you proceed to the fenced statue of benvenuto cellini with your padlock in hand. carlos santana is there and nods - - - peculiar.
after you hear the faint click of the key securing the lock placed on the fence, you release a sigh knowing that you and your love will be eternally bonded. you hold the key for a slight second then toss it over the bridge.... it soars until it gently kisses the river.

avoiding the 50€ penalty, for those caught locking something to the fence, you discreetly walk back across the bridge. carlos catches up to you and hands you a bar wrapped in what seems to be florentine paper. after a second nod, he disappears. you gently open the fleur de lis wrapping and discover a deep, rich, and salty chocolate - - - you taste adventure, you taste history, you taste love.

Friday, February 13, 2009

happy valentine's day:
metromint giveaway

in honor of the metromint giveaway, i have written my review of the chocolatemint water in the form of a haiku:

peppermint patty
more fun than a dentist chair*
kisses to my mouth

and now for the giveaway details... metromint is giving away a free case of chocolatemint and cherrymint water! so, for chocolate snob's enjoyment, there will be a haiku contest. for the uninitiated, a haiku is a japanese poem divided into 3 lines of 5, 7, and 5 syllables. see my example above.

your challenge is to write a haiku that is inspired by valentine's day and it does not need to mention metromint. you are more than welcome to suck up to chocolate snob though.... you have until the 22nd of february to compose your winning haiku.

please email your response to

*i love going to the dentist!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

tortona chocolate cookies

here is something you may want to make for your sweetheart...
photo spencer weiner, article noelle carter - la times

Total time: 35 minutes, plus chilling and cooling time for the dough
Servings: 2 dozen cookies

Note: Adapted from chef Elena Guerrero-Berman of Massimo's Delectables. Be careful not to grind the nuts to a fine powder or flour; the nuts should have some texture (you will see small bits in the cookies when they are baked). A food processor will work best for grinding the nuts.

2 cups (4 sticks) butter, softened
2 cups sugar1 cup ground hazelnuts
1 cup ground almonds
1 tablespoon vanilla
4 cups pastry flour
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer using a paddle attachment, or in a large bowl using a hand mixer, cream the butter with sugar until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl periodically.
2. Gently fold the ground hazelnuts into the butter mixture until evenly combined, then fold in the ground almonds thoroughly.
3. Stir in the vanilla. Gently add the flour, 1 cup at a time, until thoroughly mixed. Slowly add the cocoa until combined. The dough will be very thick at this point, and you should easily be able to roll a small amount into a ball.
4. Shape the dough into a flat disc and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate dough at least two hours, but preferably overnight.
5. Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Roll the dough to one-half-inch thickness between 2 sheets of parchment paper or plastic wrap (this keeps the dough from sticking to the rolling pin and alleviates the need for flouring). Cut hearts or other-shaped cookies approximately 2 1/2 inches in diameter, and place the cookies on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake the cookies until puffed slightly and set on top, about 15 minutes. Rotate the cookies halfway through for even heating and coloring.
6. Remove the cookies, still on their sheets, to a rack to cool completely before serving (they're fragile just out of the oven and will crumble if moved while still warm).

Each cookie: 317 calories; 4 grams protein; 35 grams carbohydrates; 5 grams fiber; 20 grams fat; 10 grams saturated fat; 40 mg. cholesterol; 3 mg. sodium.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

jade chocolates: promotional code

jade is a fabulous chocolate manufacturer based out of san francisco. you should definitely try their creations... your taste buds will definitely be taken to new adventures.

click here to read past reviews - the dried mango dipped in chocolate is pictured above

use the code 'redhearts' for a 15% discount until february 17th.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

cholive: the cholive

brewing, manufacturing, frommage... who knew milwaukee would throw us a curve with chocolate? with a ganache center covered by a hard chocolate barrel, the chocolate olive is to accompany your favorite libation. a skewer easily pokes through the cholive for the perfect garnish - - - i like the way this drinking town thinks.

no olives were harmed in the making of the cholive.

i created a black russian with grills for my cholive… the recipe follows...

2 parts vodka
1 part kahlua
put into an ice filled shaker
shake, shake, shake, shake, shake, shake, pour
dust with gold leaf and add a cholive

Monday, February 2, 2009

first sign of chocolate in ancient U.S. found

attention all snobs... add this to your noesis!

Cylinder jars excavated from Pueblo Bonito in Chaco Canyon suggest residents were drinking chocolate as part of a ritual. Twelve jars, shown here, are housed in the Smithsonian Institution Department of Anthropology. Photo courtesy of American Antiquity.

By Jeanna Bryner, Senior Writer

Chocolate residues left on ancient jars mark cacao's earliest known presence north of what is now the U.S.-Mexico border.

The residues, found on pottery shards excavated from a large pueblo (called Pueblo Bonito) in Chaco Canyon in northwestern New Mexico, suggest the practice of drinking chocolate had traveled from what is now Mexico to the American Southwest by about 1,000 years ago.

Scientists have known about the early uses of chocolate in Mesoamerica, with evidence for rituals involving liquid drinks made from cacao beans dating back more than 1,000 years. (Mesoamerica extends from central Mexico to Honduras and Nicaragua.)

Chocolate debut

Now, researchers think a similar ritual may have taken place in villages in Chaco Canyon. Patricia Crown of the University of New Mexico and Jeffrey Hurst of the Hershey Center for Health and Nutrition found traces of theobromine, which is in the Theobroma cacao plant that bears beans from which chocolate is made, on the shards. (The Hershey Center was established by the Hershey Company in 2006.)

And Crown and Hurst suspect the shards came from cylinder jars, which measure an average of 10 inches tall (25 cm) and 4 inches (10 cm) wide. Only 200 such cylinder jars are known in the Southwest United States, almost all of which come from Pueblo Bonito.

Scientists have put forth various explanations for how the jars were used, including as containers to hold exotic items like turquoise and as drums (with a skin cover).

"If it was the form specifically used for drinking cacao, that would explain why it's such a specialized form," Crown said, referring to the jars.

In Mesoamerica, residents would make the drinks by grinding up roasted cacao beans and adding hot or cool water. Sometimes other ingredients, such as honey for sweetening, cornmeal and even chili peppers, were added. The researchers are not sure if any other ingredients were mixed in with the Chaco Canyon drinks.

Chocolate trade

Since the cacao plant is tropical and can't be grown in New Mexico and other places in the United States, the researchers think the chocolate beans came from Mesoamerica, with the closest source being about 1,240 miles (2,000 km) away from the Chaco site.

Next, Crown and Hurst hope to test wooden sticks found at the site for chocolate residues. The sticks have loops at the bottom, and Crown says perhaps they were used to stir and froth the chocolate drinks.

"An important thing in Mesoamerica was stirring it up so it had a froth in it," Crown told LiveScience. "The froth was considered the most delicious part of the drink."

The research pair also wants to analyze other material from different time periods and areas in the Southwest.

"It is the first known cacao north of the Mexican border in the United States, and as far as I know the only known cacao in the United States before contact," Crown said, referring to the time before European settlement of the area. "Unfortunately it's also the only cacao residue study that anyone has done using U.S. materials, so we need to find out how widespread chocolate was prior to contact in the American Southwest."

The new research is detailed this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The research was funded by the National Science Foundation, National Geographic Society, University of New Mexico and Hershey's Technical Center, among others.