Daily Dish

The inside scoop on food in Los Angeles

Category: Chocolate

Eat Beat: Julienne's double-chocolate espresso cookies

This Eat Beat features a Culinary SOS request from Pat Schwanhausser in Elkin, N.C.:

I am from North Carolina and recently visited Los Angeles. While there I visited Julienne in San Marino. The double-chocolate espresso walnut cookie is the best I have ever eaten. Would it be possible to get the recipe for this cookie?

Julienne was happy to share its recipe for amazing chocolate espresso cookies. In this Eat Beat, Test Kitchen manager Noelle Carter demonstrates the cookies. You can find the recipe here.

Catch our televised recipe demonstrations on KTLA select weekdays toward the end of the 1 p.m. news hour; you can also watch the videos on Food's homepage.

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Go behind the scenes at the Test Kitchen

Browse hundreds of recipes from the L.A. Times Test Kitchen

-- Noelle Carter
You can find me on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter

Video credit: KTLA

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Madame Chocolat is moving, closes Beverly Hills shop this week

Hasty Torres of Madame Chocolat, which is closing its Beverly Hills shopChocolatier Hasty Torres is moving Madame Chocolat, her 5-year-old Beverly Hills chocolate shop. Her last day on North Canon Drive will be Saturday, when she plans to pour Champagne and pass out chocolates to customers. "You know, fun times! It's kind of a 'see you later!'" Torres says. 

Torres, who is married to master pastry chef Jacques Torres of Jacques Torres Chocolate in New York, says she plans to relocate in Los Angeles by the end of the year. In the meantime, "I'm going to be working on my own bonbon," she says. "A lot of my business is fall through Mother's Day, so summertime is the best opportunity to start a family." 

In the meantime Madame Chocolat will continue to operate from Jacques Torres' factory in New York and sell chocolates online. "I'm definitely coming back to Los Angeles," says Hasty Torres, who adds that she is looking for locations on 3rd Street in Los Angeles and on Montana Avenue in Santa Monica, as well as in Beverly Hills. "Chocolate runs through my veins."  

She and Jacques Torres also will be in L.A. to host a chocolate demonstration at the Los Angeles Food and Wine Festival on Aug. 12. 

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Photo: Hasty Torres. Credit: Spencer Weiner / Los Angeles Times

Eat Beat: Chocolate pot de creme

Recently, reader Shirley Burke contacted us with a Culinary SOS request for chocolate pot de creme:

My husband and I recently visited downtown Napa, Calif. The amazing chocolate dessert at Carpe Diem is absolutely the best chocolate dessert I've ever tasted! And I am not a big dessert person. Satin-smooth chocolate with a texture between a pudding and souffle, but better. Not too sweet and topped with a small drop of whipped cream and then sprinkled with perfectly roasted and salted pepitas [pumpkin seeds]. Divine.

In this Eat Beat, Test Kitchen manager Noelle Carter demonstrates how to make Carpe Diem's amazingly rich Mexican pot de creme. You can find the recipe here.

Catch our televised recipe demonstrations on KTLA-TV, Channel 5 every Wednesday and Friday toward the end of the 1 p.m. news hour; you can also watch the videos on Food's homepage.

ALSO:

Mac 'n' cheese recipes galore!

Go behind the scenes at the Test Kitchen

134 recipes for your favorite restaurant dishes

-- Noelle Carter
You can find me on Google+ and Twitter.

Video credit: KTLA

Our favorite recipes for National Chocolate Cake Day

Today is National Chocolate Cake Day

Today is National Chocolate Cake Day -- as if we needed an excuse to indulge. To celebrate, we're sharing some of our favorite recipes for rich, satisfying chocolate cake:

Nancy Silverton's bittersweet chocolate cake with hot fudge sauce and cioccolati perugini

Classic flourless chocolate cake

Mint chocolate cake

Royal Sonesta double chocolate cake

Old-fashioned milk chocolate cake with milk chocolate frosting

Two-toned honey chocolate marble cake

Enjoy! And whatever you do, don't forget the milk!

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Good Food Awards winner: Dandelion Chocolate

Green Truck to visit the LAPD festival of skid row artists

-- Jenn Harris
twitter.com/jenn_harris

Photo: Double chocolate layer cake. Credit: Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times

Good Food Awards winner: Dandelion Chocolate

Dandelion Chocolate
I saw Ruth Reichl the other day. I seriously don't think I need to explain who she is, but for anybody who doesn't know, she's a former Los Angeles Times food editor, former New York Times restaurant critic, former editor in chief of Gourmet magazine and now an author, editor, and editorial advisor to the online site Gilt Taste

Anyway, she'd just attended the Good Food Awards in San Francisco as a judge and speaker and brought a present to dinner: a plain-looking chocolate bar from Dandelion Chocolate in San Francisco. 

I opened up the wrapper the other night and broke off one of the little squares. This stuff is incredible -- intense and velvety, very dark and deep, with brilliant fruit overtones. One little square is like fireworks going off in your mouth. This one was labeled 70% Sambirano Madagascar. They won for their 70% Costa Rica;  after tasting this one, I wonder what that's like. 

Says the package: "We roast, crack, sort, winnow, grind, conch and temper small batches of beans. Then we mold and package each of our bars by hand."

All their single-origin bars are just cocoa beans and sugar. Nothing else. "No added cocoa butter, lecithin, or vanilla." So what you taste is just the chocolate itself. It's sold in 2-ounce bars for $8; a gift set of three bars is $20.

Whoops, I'll have to wait a while. When I went to their Internet store, a message announces: "We’re sold out of bars at the moment. We’re hoping to have more available in the next week or two, so please check back then."

And soon you'll be able to stop by Dandelion's chocolate factory and cafe in San Francisco, opening in the next few months. That definitely is going on my to-do list for San Francisco.

If you're interested in learning more about chocolate, check out the Dandelion Chocolate blog or follow the chocolate makers on Twitter. 

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-- S. Irene Virbila

Twitter.com/sirenevirbila

Photo: Dandelion Chocolate Sambirano Madagascar bar. Credit: S. Irene Virbila/Los Angeles Times

Holiday chocolate pop-up: Madame Chocolat + Jacques Torres

Chocolat1

Last-minute gift shopping? You're in luck. Husband-and-wife chocolatier duo Hasty Torres of Madame Chocolat in Beverly Hills and Jacques Torres of Jacques Torres Chocolate in New York have popped up at the Grove at the Original Farmers Market on 3rd Street and Americana at Brand in Glendale.

Look for Madame Chocolat's bon bons, truffles, chocolate high heels, blinged watches and Eiffel Towers, chocolate-covered Corn Flakes and Cheerios. Meanwhile, Torres' holiday chocolates include: chocolate caramel corn, espresso beans, chocolates Christmas trees, snowmen and Santa boots, chocolate bars and chocolate-covered marshmallows. Something for everyone.

At the Grove at the Original Farmers Market: Near the foot of the Christmas tree across from Crate & Barrel, open daily 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. (until 11 p.m. next week). At Americana at Brand in Glendale (102 Caruso Ave.): across from Trattoria Amici restaurant and Barnes & Noble, open Sunday to Thursday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday (open daily until 11 p.m. next week). 

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-- Betty Hallock 

Photo credit: Madame Chocolat

Stocking Stuffer: Sqirl

Jams 666

Los Angeles-based company Sqirl makes some pretty tasty preserves -- jams, jellies and marmalades -- for stuffing inside stockings this year. Jam maker Jessica Koslow playfully displays her products for purchase alongside eccentric props and colorful backdrops on the company's website. Made with local produce from family-owned farms no more than 200 miles from her kitchen, Koslow's jams incorporate flavorful fruits -- some of which are on the Ark of Taste.

Among Sqirl's preserves is a strawberry and rose jam, made with McGrath Family Farms Seascape strawberries, Rancho Del Sol Sorrento lemons and Earthtrine Farms rose geranium. Another favorite is the Santa Rosa plums and flowering thyme jam made with plums from Flora Bella Farm, Sorrento lemon juice from Rancho Del Sol and Shear Rock Farm flowering thyme.

Sqirl's preserves range in price from $12 to $14 and can be purchased online or at Proof Bakery in Atwater Village.

Strawberry_rose 600

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This week's recipes from the L.A. Times Test Kitchen

Choccakemyungchun

This week's cover article is from Master Class chef Nancy Silverton. The topic? Chocolate. She writes:

In my life as a pastry chef, I've always held fast to the belief that there are certain flavors — specifically coffee, lemon and chocolate — that are best taken to the extreme. If I create a coffee dessert, it should taste like it's going to keep you up at night (even though it is very likely made with decaf!). If I'm making something with lemon, it should make your mouth pucker. And if I'm doing a chocolate dessert, I want it to be unapologetically, unabashedly hitting you over the head with chocolate.

The perfect example is the signature chocolate dessert at Osteria Mozza, a dense, creamy chocolate cake that we serve with chocolate-covered almonds, hazelnuts and honeycomb on top and on the side and — against all reason — hot fudge on top. It's what I think of as a black-tie dessert. It's elegant, decadent and beautifully accessorized, which makes it perfect for serving or gift-giving during this time of year.

No worries -- she includes recipes. Plenty of them. You can also watch her step-by-step video here.

This week's recipes include:

When you try one of this week's recipes or any L.A. Times recipes, let us know! Upload a photo onto the "Our recipes, your kitchen" gallery to share your take on the recipe and tell us about yourself. Your photo will be posted online and may be selected to run in print with our weekly section.

ALSO:

Go behind the scenes at the Test Kitchen

134 recipes for your favorite restaurant dishes

Browse hundreds of recipes from the L.A. Times Test Kitchen

-- Noelle Carter
Twitter/noellecarter

Photo credit: Myung Chun / Los Angeles Times

Tickling chocolate: Chuao's Firecracker

Firecracker (1 of 1) Just discovered: thrilling chocolate bars from  San Diego County's Chuao Chocolatier. How do you pronounce it, though? Chew-wow.

If the dark stuff laced with hazelnuts and liqueurs doesn’t tempt you anymore, try one of the gutsy flavors from two Venezulan-born brothers, Michael and Richard Antonorsi. Named for the famous cacao-producing region of Venezuela, the bars are made with ethically sourced chocolate. The founders also contribute funds to La Fundación Proyecto Paria, which provides technical assistance to cacao growers in Venezuela’s Paria Peninsula. 

My favorite is the Firecracker, caramel chocolate truffle fired up with chipotle chile. But there’s also some devious popping candy in there to tickle the tastebuds. The Panko bar is fun, too: dark chocolate with toasted panko breadcrumbs and sea salt. For best effect, chill the chocolate bars in the freezer before eating, especially in this weather. About $4.99 for a 2.8-ounce bar.

Available at Chuao Chocolatier Cafes in San Diego, Del Mar and Encinitas and at select Whole Foods Markets, Bristol Farms and Gelson’s, as well as the occasional wine shop.

 For more info visit www.chuaochocolatier.com. You can also order online or by calling (888) 635-1444.

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—S. Irene Virbila

Photo credit: S. Irene Virbila/Los Angeles Times

Keeping cool in L.A.: Today is National Ice Cream Sandwich Day

Ice Cream Sand600

Whether part of the food truck scene or as a creamery's menu staple, ice cream sandwiches are a frozen treat geniusly invented to get the best of both worlds -- cookies and ice cream -- in the realm of sweets. Angelenos can get their fix from local producers with flavors, from classic to wacky, to satisfy a spectrum of cravings during summer's warm months. Or, as it so happens, on National Ice Cream Sandwich Day.

Beachy Cream: Made in small batches with local and organic ingredients, Beachy Cream’s ice cream sandwiches are made with a spin on names and flavors sure to fit the SoCal scene: Key Lime Cowabunga, Strawberry Surfer Girl, Surfin' Safari Chocolate Chip and Ginger Wipe Out. These tasty treats can be found on the streets of Malibu, at select stores and online. Beachycream.com

Father's Office: A recent addition to the menu, ice cream sandwiches are now offered at the Culver City location. Creations include the hazelnut and foie gras ice cream on oatmeal cookies and the buttermilk ice cream and raspberry sorbet on lemon shortbread. 3229 Helms Ave., L.A., (310) 736-2224, fathersoffice.com

MILK: The brightly colored sandwiches are made of fresh macarons and ice cream flavors such as grasshopper (mint chip), Thai tea, rocky road, coffee toffee and red velvet. 7290 Beverly Blvd., L.A., (323) 939-6455, themilkshop.com

Sweet Rose Creamery: Located in the Brentwood Country Mart, the shop bakes its cookies on site daily, and ice cream flavors change regularly in accordance with what's in season at the farmers market. Classics include fresh mint with homemade chocolate chip and salted caramel while August's ice cream flavors include melon, summer corn, peaches 'n' cream and watermelon granita, among others. 225 26th St., Ste. 51, Santa Monica, (310) 260-2663, sweetrosecreamery.com.

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Daily Dish is written by Times staff writers.