I am pleased to announce that I have an article in this issue of COCOAROMA MAGAZINE . Read this excerpt of my profile of confectioner, Anthony Ferguson of CACAO ANASA . It was a joy to meet and interview Anthony.
Thanks to the article in this morning's SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE AND SFGATE.COM our website is getting a lot of traffic for a Sunday morning. We invite you to look around. Check out 'who we are and what we do' (left column). Perhaps a chocolate tasting party is in your future? Or why not join us next Sunday at Sur La Table on Maiden Lane in San Francisco for our new 'Feast of Cheese and Chocolate' party that we created with Bibby of Parties that Cook and Cheese Maker, Wil Edwards? Scroll down to the June 27 posting for details. Cheers!
Being forgetful has some lovely benefits. It means that one can often be pleasantly surprised. Take, for example, the article about POCO DOLCE, one of our favorite chocolate confectioners, in the Summer 2007 issue of EDIBLE SAN FRANCISCO. I picked up my copy last Saturday at the farmer’s market, grabbed a MORNING GLORY CHAI from the LA COCINA booth and sat down for a good read. About the third paragraph in I read that Karletta Moniz thinks that confectioner Kathy Wiley’s clean designs have a very modern sensibility to them. I agree. Good thing, too, or being forgetful would be the least of my problems.
Thanks to Marcia over at TABLEHOPPER for inviting us to ramble on about one of our favorite chocolate subjects, the pairing of chocolate and booze. While you are visiting her site (the best for SF dining info and gossip), consider subscribing. She almost always scoops a certain local food section.
TODO is a monthly 'urban action guide' that features the best new places to eat, drink and see around San Francisco. We thank the TODO folks for including us in their eTODO on line isssue for February 2007.
Join us today on ABC local station KGO’s THE VIEW FROM THE BAYwhere I will be demonstrating how to make the amazing ‘Chocolate and Sea Salt Cookies’ recipe that I developed a couple of years ago. If you aren’t near a television you can watch it streaming live!
Here is a sneak preview of the recipe:
Chocolate and Sea Salt Cookies yield: 30
3 cups chocolate chips or your favorite premium dark chocolate chopped into small chunks
¼ c (2 oz) unsalted butter, room temperature
¾ c brown sugar
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
½ c flour
¼ tsp baking powder
1 ½ c chopped walnuts
Maldon Sea Salt (flaky sea salt)
1.Place 1 1/3 cups of chocolate chunks in a bowl and melt in microwave or over a double boiler.
2. Meanwhile, whisk together eggs and vanilla extract. Set aside. Sift together flour and baking powder. Set aside.
3. Once chocolate has melted, stir in butter until completely incorporated. Add brown sugar, egg and vanilla mixture, mixing well. Add the flour mixture, mixing until smooth.
4. Stir in remaining chocolate chunks and chopped walnuts. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.
5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using a small ice cream scoop (capacity about a heaping tablespoon), scoop on to a greased baking sheet. Flatten with the palm of your hand. Sprinkle generously with fleur de sel then pat in gently. Bake on middle rack of oven for 13-14 minutes. Remove from oven. Rest on cookie sheet for 5 minutes. Transfer to rack to cool.
Academy Award winning actress, MARLEE MATLIN spent some time with us last week talking about our favorite subject, Chocolate. Marlee will be making her debut on THE L WORD this Sunday, January 28 on Showtime. And then she will be signing the National Anthem for Billy Joel at the Super Bowl next Sunday, February 4.
1. If chocolate had no calories, how many times a day would you indulge?
Are you kidding? They would call me the Queen of Chocolate. I would never stop eating it. I crave chocolate all the time! I especially crave it when I have a great sushi dinner. It probably has to do with balancing the savory with the sweet (or bittersweet!).
2. Who is your favorite friend to share chocolate with?
My husband. On his birthday which is the day before Valentine’s Day.
3. What was the last piece of chocolate that you ate and when?
A cup (or two, or three) of the creamiest, thickest, richest hot chocolate while shopping at Williams-Sonoma.
I had a most fabulous chocolate fountain for my fortieth birthday that my business partner got for me from a small Armenian restaurant in downtown Los Angeles. It just goes to prove that it’s not where you get the chocolate but how good the chocolate is. And as I said above, I did recently have a cup of the richest hot chocolate at of all places – Williams-Sonoma. I couldn’t believe how wonderful it was. I was like one of those old people at Costco who keeps going back for seconds at the food sample stands. I kept going back for more hot chocolate! It was so tacky but oh so good!
5. Favorite place to buy chocolate in LA? In the world?
When I’m up filming the L Word in Vancouver, I always stop by the Godiva shop around the corner from my hotel. They have all the new dark chocolates and I can’t get enough. I love to give birthday gifts of Godiva and Cristal and it never fails.
6. Do you have a chocolate (stash) hiding place? What chocolate is hidden there right now?
Hiding place? It’s not hidden, it’s right there in plain sight. And as for what’s there now? The cupboards are bare my dear; I’ve already eaten it all!
7. If chocolate was a song, who would sing it?
Billy Joel. "I Love You Just the Way You Are."
8. What would taste better covered in chocolate?
Can I reverse that? Can I say that I go crazy at the thought of my husband covered in chocolate? Ha!
9. If you had 50 pounds of your favorite chocolate on your desert island, who would you want there to share it with?
See answer to #8
10. How and when did chocolate change your life?
I realize this may be a family web site, but I hope I’m not too blunt when I say that it was when I found out that it was one of the few things that helped get me through my "time of the month." That’s when chocolate tastes the best!
Our 'Art of Tasting Chocolate' classes continue to be a success in the New Year. Just last weekend we were the delicious team building event for the governing board of a national charitable organization. And why not? What could be better than sitting down at a table with a few friends and colleagues who share a passion for or are just merely interested in learning about chocolate?
How did the 'Art of Tasting Chocolate' classes get started? There are so many more chocolate choices than there were just five years ago. With chocolate bars going for $8.00 each I knew that chocolate lovers needed a way to understand why they prefer one chocolate over another. The more information we have the better choices we can make. And this goes for chocolate, too. You may know that you prefer dark chocolate but do you know if a 72% cacao content is just too high for you? 60% might be just perfect. How about mouth feel? Silky, quick melting or gritty? And is it time to give milk chocolate a chance?
After a brief explanation of how chocolate gets from the equator to us we learn how to taste five different chocolates using all five of our senses. We look, we touch, we listen, we smell, we chew. And then we discover amazing things. We discover that the chocolate from France is sophisticated and refined. A chocolate from Spain smells like coconut but tastes like brewed American coffee with too much sugar in it. And an American chocolate is not so great to eat out of hand but would probably make killer brownies.
Our client list includes Time Inc., St. Regis Hotels, HLHZ investment banking firm, The Cheese School of San Francisco and more. If you are interested in hosting 'The Art of Tasting Chocolate' class for your next team building event contact firstname.lastname@example.org. What a great way to entertain guests at your next soiree or shower!
DAILY CANDY said it best. We look forward to being your COCOA TUTOR!
Our reviews are a highly personal view of what pleases our palate and amuses our sensibilities. There is no pay for play. You will only find us spending time with the chocolates and chocolate related books, links and people that tickle our fancy. If we can't find something nice to say, we just skip saying anything at all. No chocolate bashing here. Life, as we all know, is too short.