Monday, March 12, 2007


(Z. Cioccolato in San Fran! best fudge I've ever had)


What could be better than picutres of chocolate? well, ok, maybe eating it. but let's say you dont' have your pick of the litter, or enough money to to indulge all your chocolate dreams?

I say slap yourself silly with imagination and gentle lust looking at chocolate pictures.

In the slow and ever changing attempts to start a small business focused on chocolate, I have my share of pictures! After just writing my hot chocolate blog I got amped up and spazed out on the thought of the lovely stuff, and I just want to share some of my pictures with you. enjoy.

This is probably my favorite picture of all time (that I took)
Not only is a picture of a chocolate 'gateau' like this enough to knock me out for days, but the fact that I have the glorious glory of remembering what it was to EAT it...? whew, lord hold me back. Everyone go to Paris.

These pictures are from my days of obsessive chocolate truffle/candy testing.

mmm melty chocolate goodness.
more chocolate pictures to come, I'm inspired!


Hello everyone! Are you ready to get the best hot chocolate recipe of your life? yea.

Although it's been a while since I've indulged on a nightly basis, I got a hankering for hot chocolate today, even though it's sweltering outside.
The Valley. psh. whadya gonna do?

Months ago when I was in the throes of trying to develop gourmet hot chocolate to sell, I did a lot of research on thick, rich and european inspired recipes. This is the result of my labors. Now we are not, or course, talking your normal cocoa powdered drink. If you are a chocolate lover, than the versatility, ease and induglence factor of this recipe will soothe your soul. or any other parts of you, mm. (easy now!)

Hot Chocolate Recipe part ONE (the joy of anticipation)

To make the ganache: (hot chocolate base)

8oz DARK chocolate, very finely chopped (food processor/blender if you got it) bittersweet is of course fine too, if you are not into super dark chocolate.
(This is the best part, where you get to pick your favorite chocolate to really tailor-make the taste)
8oz (plus 2 tablespoons extra) HEAVY CREAM
2 tbls Honey
Sea Salt 1/8tsp/pinch

In a small saucepan bring the cream to a simmer on low heat (Keep your eye on it, it will happen fsat, when bubbles start to form all around the edge of the pan, that's when you take action!)
Pour HALF of the cream over your bowl of chopped chocolate, and let it SIT for about 30 secs or a minute. The idea is to let all the chocolate start to melt and get used to the temperature change.
Take a rubber spatula (wood has too much potential moisture, and chocolate hates moisture!) and SLOWLY start to stir, from the inside out, until all the chocolate is melted well with the cream and glossy. Add the remaining cream (you may want to throw it back on the burner to give it a quick heat, that's what I usually do) and incorperate it into the chocolate mixture in the same manner.
Give a semi-generous pinch of sea salt to the mix while it's still warm and stir to dissolve. Add the 2 tbls. honey and stir to dissolve.

*NOTE* Don't worry TOO much about being precise and slow, the idea is just not to maniacally stir and smash and rush it. There is an emulsification process that has to take place. Gentle, consistent stirring is good.

You can now store your Hot Chocolate base in the fridge for 2 weeks, tightly covered, or in the freezer for a month, OR set at room temp if you are not in a rush, for 4-5 hours.

Hot Chocolate Recipe Part TWO (the joy of acquisition!)

This is the easiest part of all!
Get yer cup ready and:

In a small saucepan over low heat melt 1 Tbls whole milk for every 1Tbls hot chocolate base (ganache)
When everything is all melted nice and warm, pour the elixir into your cup of choice and top with some freshly whipped heavy cream, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, chocolate fudge, heck anything you want!

mmmmyum! I think I want to go have some right now. hopefully you live in a cooler climate than me.

Nothing compares to homemade, gourmet hot chocolate. Especially when the recipe is this easy.
hold me back.


Friday, March 02, 2007


I just cleaned the oven. It wasn't terrible, it wasn't great, it just was. And now here I am, Friday night wondering not, "why am I cleaning an oven on Friday night?" but rather, "why am I not CARING that I'm cleaning an oven on Friday night?" eh?
It was in my semi-dazed sort of scrub-up that I began to really feel the pull of my current, 1-week, 'see if this clears up my skin' diet of no carbs (no sugar)
It started out as a hearty "hell ya!" for health and is now dribbling somewhere between a mess of overly browned meat and vegetables, and a 5th grade altercation between my best friend and I over the, supposed, perils of bacon fat.
Wikipedia explains the caveman diet thusly:
I just go "ooga."
I cannot for the life of me make sense of (read: DECIDE) which diet is the one I am on. If I truly want to avoid all sugar and carbs, then fruit is out...dear, innocent fruit. Which means then I am NOT on the caveman diet. But if I stick to my no carb thing really truly, then I AM on the caveman diet...but without the fruit...? like...right?
So what I am discovering now in my heavy-lidded stupor of hunger pains after dinner, is that it's an utter complete mess if I'm left trying to eat only frickin' meat and veg!
I want my sweeeeeeeeeets!!!! waaahugugu..

So instead of caving (ahem, aha, ahememamgugururug), I am sending my unrequited love song for sweets out into the universe with a particularly hearty and tragic fog of yearning in the direction of my dear pastries.
As I wiped vegetable flotsam off the kitchen counter just an hour or so ago, a gentle phantom pressed it's pasrty self upon my memory, and in it I tasted something so fresh, so light and richly trembling with delicacy... oh, oh my, my dear baked and breaded, bready puffy sugar puffs of bread and sugar butter puffs.... I stumbled into the memory of BEARD PAPA's cream puffs.
It hit me so suddenly as if some long lost kiss from a long lost first love had magically appeared so strongly out of time and memory that I could swear it was there on my tongue. I had never even realized how much I was missing it until now, in the paleolithic age of my life.
pimples, i curse you!!!!!!!!!

ladies and gentlemen


you eat now.
you love.
ooohh woooo whoa whoaaaa is mee!!!