Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Chocolate Waffles

For breakfast? Sure why not! Of course you could make them as a dessert, but if you could wake up to a delicious plate of chocolate waffles topped with fresh whipped cream and drizzled with strawberry syrup, wouldn't that give you an incentive to jump right out of bed? It would for me.

Anyway, this is the first of many recipes I want to prepare from the chocolate cookbook, "CHOCOLAT" that I wrote about in my previous post. If you'll notice, Gloria Chadwick's Strawberry Blossoms are peeking out at the upper right-hand corner of the picture. If you would like to see how to make these wonderful little bite-size bits of pleasure, check out my Mexican Food blog. It turned out to be a lovely combination. I'm trying to hurry in writing this post because my waffles are waiting for me. Hope you try the recipe. It's yummy.

Chocolate Waffles

1/2 cup butter
1 vanilla bean
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 1/4 cups flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups milk
powdered sugar
whipped cream
fresh strawberries
strawberry syrup

Melt the butter over low heat and leave to cool. Cut the vanila bean in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds with the point of a knife.

Beat the sugar and eggs together in a bowl. Sift in the flour, baking powder and cocoa. Gradually beat in the milk until you have a fairly liquid batter. Finally, add the melted butter and vanilla seeds.

Cook the waffles in a waffle maker and serve them while still warm. Sift some powdered sugar over the top.

Offer whipped cream, fresh strawberries and strawberry syrup to complement the waffles. Enjoy.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Chocolate and Chef Bear

Chocolat, by Stephan Lagorce, is a chocolate lover’s handbook. I bought this book on a whim. Why? Well, because when I was looking through the cookbook aisle at B & N I saw what looked to be an enormous chocolate bar sitting up there on a shelf. I mean BIG!

I pulled it off the shelf and sat down on one of their comfy chairs and started leafing though it. Goes without saying, I paid for it and brought it home.

The information contained in this book is total heaven for us chocoholics.
Some of the items you will read about in this delightful book are:

1. The types of chocolate available.
2. A detailed manner in having a Chocolate Tasting party.
3. Tasting with your different senses: sight, taste, sound, smell.
4. Having a drinking chocolate tasting party.
5. A tasting glossary.
6. How chocolate is paired with alcohol and various spirits.
7. Chocolate and coffee.
8. Chocolate and spices.
9. Ganache types.
10. Decorating with chocolate.
11. How to store chocolate.
12. How chocolate is made.

And of course there are the recipes.
* Chocolate waffles
* Marble cake
* Viennese hot chocolate
* Pound cake
* Butter chocolate squares
* Chocolate Madeleine’s
* Éclairs
* Chocolate Soufflé
* Iced Chocolate
* And many more

I will be baking some of these recipes and posting about them in future posts. I can hardly wait!

Meet Chef Bear. I crocheted Chef Bear over the holidays when I needed to “escape” from reality. Boy was I surprised to find out she had developed a personality of her own. She dreamt of traveling and meeting other foodies like me (her mama) and learn from them as well. So I decided to send her to Gloria Chadwick from Foods and Flavors of San Antonio. As you can see in the picture, she traveled with her best (handmade) apron and chef’s hat, a journal so that she could keep a diary of her travels, and her trunk. In her trunk, she carried a small assortment of souvenirs from El Paso to her new friend Gloria. From San Antonio she is to travel to her next destination ( a birdy tells me it would be Tiersa from Chef Bliss). In the interim, Chef Bear sent me some souvenirs from San Antonio.
How lovely is that! I’ve asked Chef Bear to mind her manners and to be friendly and courteous to all she meets. I hope you get a visit from her. She’s well behaved and has a strong desire to learn. I miss you Chef Bear. I hope you’re having fun and learning a lot. Hugs and kisses, Mama Bear.

Monday, April 6, 2009

CASCARONES - Confetti Eggs

I guess this post falls under the "and more" portion of my chocolate blog. I felt guilty about neglecting this blog after all the hopes and dreams I had for it.

My daughter Lily and her BF Brian made next Sunday's Easter Eggs yesterday. It was a moment designed to keep her happy, stress-free and relaxed as I hope we can accomplish before her surgery on the 17th. With the gathering of the Cordero Family on Easter weekend, Lily and my nephew Chase (4 years old) will be handing out these colorful confetti filled eggs to everyone in the family. (I heard that Chase might be dressed in an Easter Bunny outfit! I hope so. If he does, I'll take pictures.)

Have a lovely Easter.


Cascarones are confetti-filled eggs that are enjoyed at Easter and many other holidays and fiestas in Mexico and the Mexican-American communities here in the United States. They have been a tradition for many centuries. It is said that not only will your wish come true if you break a confetti-filled egg on someone's head, but it will also bring that person some good luck. Here are the instructions on these easy-to-make confetti-filled cascarones. Enjoy them on Easter or any holiday or fiesta of your choosing. Make your own wishes come true and bring someone good luck while having some good old fashion fun!

1. Your first step is to prepare your eggshells. My family starts collecting shells about a month before Easter so that we can have plenty of them. Each time you use an egg, carefully crack open the pointy end of the egg with the back of a spoon. Lift off pieces of the egg shell and empty the egg white and yolk into a bowl. Rinse and set aside eggshells to dry.

2. The next step, after the eggshells are dry, is to color the shells. Use food coloring diluted in some warm water with a teaspoon of vinegar, or purchase any one of the commercial egg dyes available around Easter time.

3. You should now prepare your round tissue papers for covering the hole in the egg. Tissue of various colors add to the decorative nature of the cascarones; purple tissue on yellow-dyed eggs, blue tissue on pink eggs, etc. Have your confetti ready in a clean dry bowl. Do this while the dyed eggs are drying. Gather other coloring mediums to use on the eggs as well. My daughter likes to draw pictures on the dyed eggs with markers once they're filled and covered. Adds a nice, personalized touch.

4. Now it's time to fill the eggs with confetti. Set the dried eggs in the egg carton, hole-side up. Fill 1/2 to 3/4 full of colorful confetti. If confetti is not available, use a hole punch on some Sunday morning newspaper comics, it works just as well. When all the eggs are filled, apply a little glue (like Elmer’s) to the outer rim of the egg where the hole is. Place a round piece of tissue paper over the hole and press down gently on the tissue paper to adhere. Put the egg back in the egg carton to dry.

5. After the tissue has dried on the eggs decorate the cascarones with markers, paints, stickers, whatever suits your imagination. Fill a large bright basket on Easter Sunday with these colorful cascarones and watch the fun begin.


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