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Food and travel captivate Janet Podolak, who chronicles both for The News-Herald. Get the back story of her three decades of stories here. Guest bloggers and fellow News-Herald staffers also periodically share details of their trips.

Friday, January 23, 2009

chocolate for lovers

Chocolate is almost certainly the most popular Valentine indulgence.
It’s sensual — first teasing with its scent, then melting on the tongue to spread its flavor among all the sweet, sour, bitter and salt-sensing taste buds. It’s temperamental — seizing up into an unmanageable mass when one tries to melt it at too high a temperature. But it’s so very, very satisfying.
Seven courses of chocolate pleasures will be paired with wines at a Feb. 7 Natural History of Chocolate dinner among the exhibits at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. It’s $150 a person, but for a chocolate lover, worth every penny. Reservations: (800) 317-9155, ext. 3279.
Hot chocolate soup is one of the decadent desserts that Loretta Paganini will teach folks how to make at a Feb. 10 cooking class. Reservations: (440) 729-1110.
Find details about both in the News-Herald’s Wednesday Jan. 28 Food section.
And then there’s this yummy Dark Chocolate Creme Brulee from Nestle. I’m stopping at Heinen’s on the way home from work today so I can get the ingredients.
1 cup whipping cream
1 cup half-and-half
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 ounces Nestle Toll House Chocolatier 53% Cacao Dark Chocolate Baking Bar, broken into pieces or 2/3 cup Nestle Toll House Semi-Sweet Chocolate morsels
4 large egg yolks
1/3 cup granulated sugar
6 teaspoons granulated sugar, divided
Preheat oven to 300. Place cream, half-and-half and vanilla extract in a large saucepan. Bring to boil. Remove from heat. Add chocolate. Whisk until melted and smooth. Whisk egg yolks and 1/3 cup sugar in a large mixer bowl. Gradually whisk in chocolate mixture. Pour mixture through fine sieve into six 4-ounce ramekins or custard cups. Place cups in larger pan to which warm water is added. Bake for 40 minutes or until custards are set but with a slight jiggle to them. Cool custards in water until cool enough to handle. Remove custards from water and refrigerate two hours, covered with plastic wrap. Continue to refrigerate several hours or overnight. Preheat broiler. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon sugar over top of each custard. Place custards on baking sheet. Broil for 3 minutes or until sugar is melted and caramelized. Refrigerate for 2 hours so topping can harden and custard can cool and set.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mmmm. Chocolate. Great recipe, looking forward to giving it a go.

January 26, 2009 at 1:41 PM 

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