Archive for Chocolate Recipes

Lorena-garciaBorn in Venezuela, Chef Lorena Garcia is a celebrity chef featured on  Univision, Utilisima, and Telemundo tv networks.  She specializes in authentic Latin cuisine infused with international influences, is adored by viewers around the world for her charismatic personality and contagious enthusiasm.  Lorena is the chef owner of Food Café and Elements Tierra restaurants, both located in Miami’s Design District, in addition to being the chef spokesperson for Nestlé.

In today’s chef recipe, she shares with us an a dessert recipe for Mexican Chocolate and Banana Empanadas, featuring Nestle’s delicious Abuelita Mexican chocolate.  Abuelita, if you haven’t tried it, is a yummy Mexican chocolate infused with cinnamon.  We found it in the Hispanic food section of our regular grocery store.

Mexican Chocolate and Banana Empanadas
Chef Lorena Garcia

12 (one 11.6-ounce package) frozen store-bought empanada dough discs, defrosted (These you should be able to find in most grocery stores, if not a Mexican grocer should have them. We used Goya brand.)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablets (90 grams each) NESTLÉ ABUELITA Chocolate, broken into pieces
3 tablespoons heavy cream
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, at room temperature
3 small ripe bananas, chopped
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Sweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream

Preheat oven to 375° F. Grease a large baking sheet.
Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl; reserve.
Heat the Abuelita chocolate and cream in small saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until chocolate is completely melted and smooth; remove from heat.  Beat cream cheese and melted Abuelita chocolate until mixed well.  Fold in chopped bananas.
Place 2 heaping tablespoons Abuelita mixture in center of each pastry disc. Wet edges with water; fold in half and crimp edges with fork. Place empanadas on prepared baking sheets; brush lightly with oil and sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar mixture.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden. Serve warm with whipped cream.

{Savory Tv is pleased to welcome Chef Renee Fontes as a delicious guest poster. Renee is a restaurant chef and caterer, and enthusiastically volunteered to help us out with our recent chocolate obsession! In our featured post today, she tells us how to make the perfect chocolate sauce for dipping, including a fail safe secret for tempering. For more delicious recipes, tips, and photos from Renee, visit her site here.}

Hot Tips For Dipping Chocolate

Temper, temper!  There is a trick to getting chocolate to coat and harden on anything you want dipped in its sweet, silky, delight.  The trick is called tempering.  Follow this easy method and you will be an expert at creating chocolate dipped fruit such as strawberries, raspberries or bananas,  nuts, candy or even bacon!

Chocolate becomes stable and glossy when it is properly tempered by a process of melting it to the right temperature and cooling it to the right temperature.  Without this process it’s impossible to create candy and chocolate decorations. When you buy chocolate it is already in temper, but melting it knocks it back out.  To get it back into the “zone” there is the classic way and a quick temper method I like to use.

The quick method I found in Food Lover’s Companion by Sharon Tyler Herbst ( love that book!) works and you don’t have to have a marble slab in your kitchen to participate.  Melt two thirds of the chocolate to be tempered to 115 degrees add in the one third remaining stir constantly until smooth and 89 degrees.  Spring for some great chocolate, chop into small pieces place in a double boiler and melt over simmering water. Keep a eye on the temp if it starts slipping under 89 degrees set it back over the water to maintain 89 temperature and stir occasionally.

Now you are ready to dip! Make sure your items are clean and dry. Really dry. Use tongs or skewers to lower items into chocolate allow excess chocolate to drip back into bowl. Put parchment paper down and place dipped goodies on it to set. Make sure items do not touch are they will become one when cool.

After you get good at fruit and candy, you can dip anything!  You could even propose with a chocolate covered engagement ring!  Chocolate is fun and you may lick the bowl after you are finished.

Chef Renee Fontes

Chef Renee on Twitter

{Chocolate obsessed like us? Visit more delicious chef chocolate recipes here.}

via creative commons, flickr user laowai kevin

Our friend Ariana (the email Santa!) just emailed us with the most delicious gift.  A recipe.  Not just any recipe, but a recipe for Café Angelina’s famous hot chocolate.   Café Angelina (226 rue de Rivoli) in Paris is notorious for their velvety rich hot chocolate called Chocolat L’Africain (named so for it’s Ivory coast cacao beans).  The tea room, close to the Louvre art museum, is a favorite venue of both local Parisians and tourists alike.  Fashion designer Vera Wang listed it as one of her favorite destinations, and Grammy Award winning soprano opera Renée Fleming states Angelina’s “is a must for hot chocolate.” We love Ariana’s description the best:  “so sinfully thick, it’s almost difficult to pour”!

Café Angelina’s Chocolat L’Africain (deliciously decadent hot chocolate)
This recipe serves 2 small cups, or one large cup. 2 serious chocolate lovers should double it!

1/4 cup whole milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tsp of confectioners’ sugar (aka powdered sugar)
4 oz of chopped 72% Omanhene brand bittersweet chocolate (you may use another brand here, but ensure that it is close to 70% cocoa. We chopped up half of a Lindt 70% bar, found in the baking section of our regular grocery store.)

Heat the milk, cream, and sugar over medium high heat until bubbles are created around the pot.
Remove the pot from heat.   Add the bittersweet chocolate.
Stir until melted adjusting heat as needed.  Serve topped with whipped cream.

{Tasting Notes: Our review after making this –  it’s similar to drinking a chocolate bar, and perfect for those evenings when you are craving sweets after dinner.  And put your guilt on the back burner, dark chocolate is antioxidant packed.}

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