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Chocolate: Sweet Recipes and Tips | Great Performances


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Chocolate: Sweet Recipes and Tips
by Chefs Anna Kosa and Regina Anderson

We all know and love chocolate. Here are some tips and little-known facts to make your next sweet bite taste even sweeter.

Baking Tips for Smooth Success

Executive Pastry Chef Anna Kosa sources the perfect ingredients to minimize added sugar in her delicious desserts. When it comes to chocolate, taste, origin, cocoa percentage and method all matter in creating expertly crafted baked goods.

How to Melt
1) Be careful when melting chocolate, always melt chocolate on a water bath - especially for white chocolate! The water bath should be simmering, not rapidly boiling.

Favorite Chocolates
2) One of my favorite chocolates is Manjari 64% Chocolate from Valrhona; I love the cherry tone in this chocolate. I also like a 90% dark chocolate.

Flavor Combinations
3) I like chocolate with candied orange and walnut. I don’t really like mint, but After Eight is a great chocolate thin!

Anna's Favorite Recipes:

Pots de Crème

Chocolate Fudge Cookies

Nero Sandwich Cookies

Chocolate Loaf Cake

Chocolate Chip Cobbler

The Health Benefits of...Cake?

For our Event Chef Regina Anderson, chocolate is the perfect ingredient to fight the winter blues and impress a loved one. More from the mind of a chef below.

Impressive and delicious. Cake. 

Just saying the word makes me feel happy and giggle. In English we can’t say it without smiling, and the Swedish word for cake, “Kaka,” is just silly and fun itself.  

Generally I’m not big on sweets, but my hobby is baking and I’m hooked on chocolate - the more bitter the better. I’m also big on anatomy and nutrition and find pleasure in creating dishes that aid in benefitting the body and soul. Chocolate is a perfect panacea, especially this time of the year, for the winter blues. It’s "choc" full of magnesium, which is great for the heart and blood vessels, and calms the nerves and stimulates the senses. But most importantly it gives muscles energy, and that might come in handy later on with that loved one I’m aiming to impress. 

Nigella Lawson has a brilliant recipe for a simple chocolate cake. It just so happens to be vegan but no one has to know. For this recipe I love using some of that dark, earthy unsweetened cocoa powder. Valrhona makes a good product. If I’m fresh out of rose petals and pistachios for the garnish I’ll sub something else that’s crunchy and colorful - pomegranate or pumpkin seeds or nothing at all. 

The cake can be wrapped and frozen ahead of time (unfrosted) so there’s no stress and more time to do paint my toenails or something. 

Serve the cake with a big hearty salad beforehand to balance out the indulgence. Wash it down with a fat glass of red wine. And have a happy Valentine’s Day. ❤️

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