When Culinate announced its Death By Chocolate contest I was all over it. I simply had to choose a blog entry that highlighted my love of chocolate and hope for the best. It seemed so easy, but what the folks at Culinate didn’t account for was my inability to make decisions. I started to go through my archives to look for my favourite chocolate post and realized very quickly that this was not going to be an easy decision. Most recently I made a Chocolate Mousse Cake for Dad’s birthday and it was certainly decadent enough to qualify. Then I stumbled upon a myriad of brownie posts, all of which celebrate the food of the Gods. But what about my chocolate ice creams? There’s been Chili Chocolate, Blueberry Chocolate and Chocolate Chai just to name a few. And on and on I scrolled through posts about chocolate. But I came no closer to making a decision on which one to use for the Culinate contest.
The only thing that became clear was that I was getting a serious craving for chocolate and that’s when my solution became clear: make a whole new post about chocolate. It was the perfect excuse to make all things chocolate, I had to do it. This meant that once again I had to decide which recipe to make and as I’ve made clear, I’m not good at that. So I cheated and made lots of chocolate recipes instead of choosing just one. Feast your eyes on Cat Cora’s Chocolate Crème Brulee, an adapted version of Alice Medrich’s Cocoa Brownies, (with dried strawberries and pear sauce) Bon Appetit’s Ultra Rich Hot Chocolate and Dorie Greenspan’s Chocolate Chocolate Cupcakes, (with bonus M&M’s on top).
Ok, more about the actual contest: Culinate is offering a reader and a blogger the chance to win a trip for 2 to Napa Valley to attend the Copia Center’s annual Death by Chocolate Festival on Feburary 23, 2008, featuring a day of chocolate and wine tasting, demonstrations by pastry chefs, and other sessions with chocolate aficionados and experts. The contest includes daily drawings for cookbooks, additional festival tickets, and Valentine chocolates. The winner among readers will be chosen at random from all entries. Readers will vote for their favorite blog posts, and the winning food blogger will be selected by a panel of judges from the top 10 reader favorites. So what are you waiting for? Go sign up and get yourself in the running to win and then remember to go back on Monday to vote so that I can meet up with you there! I leave you with Cat Cora’s recipe for Chocolate Crème Brulee and a collage of some of my previous chocolate posts, enjoy!
Chocolate Crème Brulee (from Cat Cora via Foodnetwork)
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
1 vanilla bean
4 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
4 egg yolks
1 tablespoon sugar
4 to 6 tablespoons cane sugar, for topping
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
Mix the cream and vanilla bean together in a double boiler. Heat the mixture for 10 to 15 minutes and stir in the chocolate. Remove the vanilla bean.
Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together in a mixing bowl. Slowly pour the chocolate cream into the egg mix, continuously whisking. Place the bowl over simmering water until the cream mix thickens and coats the back of a spoon, about 6 to 8 minutes. Pour into 4 (4-ounce) custard dishes. Place in a large baking pan and add enough water to come up halfway up the sides of the cups. Bake until the custard is set, about 1 hour. Remove from the water and cool. Cover and refrigerate. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of sugar on top of each one and with a brulee torch, caramelize the top and serve.