Sunday, June 8, 2008

Dear Chocolate, It's Me






















Dear White Chocolate:


Though I know technically you're not actually chocolate, I also know that technically the blond hairs on my head are not actually all blond. Perhaps they were born blond, but somewhere along the way - it all became too much for them and they required coaxing to be light and buttery. So, white chocolate - I refuse to snub you, even though some purists consider you the white trash of chocolates. You are cloying, to be sure, but sometimes - I need over-the-top sweet - I crave give-me-a-cavity-now sugariness, I want that singular and simple taste. I think you're creamy and naughty and simple and I'm not ashamed to say I love you. Or, to call you chocolate - chocolate chocolate CHOCOLATE. WHITE.

Dear Milk Chocolate:

I know, I know. I don't eat you plain, ever. Do not despair, my darling - it's not you, it's me. Or rather, it's my childhood. You see, my Mom went through this nutball phase where she fed us powdered milk. I KNOW! For years, we drank this thin, almost blue-tinted liquid that was supposed to be milk - but it was more like milk water. Ever since, I cannot drink milk straight up - or even on the rocks. Also? Milk chocolate tastes too milky, too melty, too soft. It's too much like a cow. Make sense? No? Well, listen - go in peace and let's call it even because I still serve you to others and I DO still delight in you every now and then. I just really wish you'd take Milk out of your name, but I get the feeling it's too late. Is it?

Dear Dark Chocolate:

Where do I begin? If I could write a sonnet, I would. J'adore you. I think Adam Sandler should write a song about you like he did with "Red Hooded Sweatshirt" - but call it "Dark Chocolate Pantry Bar" or something. If I was stranded on an island, you'd be on the shortlist of provisions I'd want with me as I slowly lost my gourd. Also, I want to publicly beg - that if I ever end up in a prison situation where I need to choose a last meal - please, someone out there educate the guards on how to choose a quality dark chocolate for my last meal. Anyway, dark chocolate, where do I love thee? I love thee simply on your very own, in ganache, in frosting, in cookies, brownies, truffles, flourless cakes, lava cakes, mousses, tartlets, pies - I love you everywhere except out-of-stock. You are nuanced and interesting and sweet and complex and almost as necessary as oxygen. You just don't suck at all.

Love The One You're With,
Ann


Now....how to combine ALL three...read on...




















Triple Chocolate Gianduja


Recently, I encountered double-chocolate Gianduja in a little gourmet shop - and it was delicious - rich, chocolate-y, just a tad nutty - but not overly. I'm not a big fan of nuts with chocolate - so I was so delighted to be delighted by this delightful little darling! I was told it was made with hazelnuts - but after searching 4 stores, without finding any hazelnuts - I went ahead with almonds and some cursing. A bit scary, I know - but who knew hazelnuts where so scarce? Well, finding a recipe was just as daunting - most were in Italian, or used hazelnuts, or just did not make sense to me - technically. So, I sort of winged this after finding a singular-chocolate gianduja (zhiahn-DOO-ya) recipe - but I decided to go for the trifecta, and am glad that I did. Beware: these do NOT last long - we couldn't keep our paws off of them. They are REALLY delicious, rich, creamy, thick - and are not cloyingly sweet - they are just right, as far as we could tell.

5 oz. white chocolate (the type w/ cocoa butter)
5 oz. milk chocolate
5 oz. unsweetened chocolate
9 oz. almonds
2/3 c. powdered sugar
3 T. vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 325F. Spread nuts on cookie tray in even layer and toast in heated oven until brown, about 8-10 minutes. Cool slightly. In food processor, pulse nuts until almost fine - add powdered sugar; pulse until mixture is fine. Add oil and pulse until paste forms. Divide mixture into 1/3 c. portions.

Over double boiler, melt unsweetened chocolate, then transfer to medium bowl and allow to cool slightly.
Meanwhile, prepare 9-inch square pan by lining with aluminum foil; allow foil to overhang the sides. Take 1/3 c. of the almond mixture and add to the chocolate - mix with fork until combined. Pour into prepared pan and spread evenly. Place in refrigerator and allow mixture to harden - about 30 minutes to an hour. Repeat the above process with the milk chocolate, and spread the mixture on top of the dark chocolate, allowing it to harden in the refrigerator. Repeat again with the white chocolate. Use foil to lift out of pan. Can be served cold or room temperature. Cut into whatever size suits you and enjoy!

33 comments:

kspin said...

You have no idea how bad I needed a smile today. This post did the trick. Thank you for being witty and funny and also so very correct...Powdered milk is truly icky.

grace said...

dark chocolate is the best!! :D loved your descriptions. also loving the look of the trifecta. i really have to try that sometime.

firefly546 said...

Oh, oh, I've just wobbled off your wavelength. I can't abide white chocolate and I LOVE milk anything, especially MILK...and even, yes, pathetically it's true, I don't even mind reconstituted powdered milk. I'll make sure you get your last-meal chocolate--the good stuff--if it ever comes to that, but make mine milk, please. Great posting!!!

Ann said...

Kspin - aw, I hope your week starts out better then. Maybe you need some chocolate, huh?

Grace - Thank you! I do agree on the dark, but wow did I love the trifecta.

Firefly - lol! We hit a bump, how could it happen? As long as you'll ensure my last meal, I'd even serve you powdered milk. Deal?

standing still said...

You had me at chocolate.

Grace said...

my stars. it may be considered sacrilege by some, but i adore white chocolate. milk chocolate, not so much, but being squished in between white and dark would make it infinitely more tolerable. this post is a double whammy--hilarious and delicious. :)

Clumbsy Cookie said...

Dear Ann I thought I was a bad case of psycology because I talk to food, but I can see that are other worst than me. I mean I never wrote to food...
Anyway, I felt in love with gianguja instantly when I heard of it, even before tasting it. I just knew I would love it (and man was I right!)
I love your creation (triple is allways better) and please don't exitate in sendind your extra milk chocolate my way. Thanks!

Sarah b. said...

Oh, pretty! These are elegant and look like they taste like the best of all worlds. Funny post!

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

All chocolate is wonderful in my book.

sweetnsavory said...

omg, those look absolutely decadent. i love the look of the 3 chocolate layers.

diva said...

blimey. that looks to die for. man o man, i'm in love with chocolate.

Mel said...

These look so creamy, but almost flaky too. Love the triple layered look. Would be really pretty for the holidays as well. By the way, total agreement on the dark chocolate.

Shaye said...

Great, now there's saliva on my keyboard. Thanks ANN! ;)

Ann said...

Standing Still - I've always loved that comment.

Grace - Exactly! All 3 together is just perfection!

Clumbsy Cookie - See? You can always come here to feel better about yourself, lol!

Sarah b. - the combo rocks, yep.

Jenn - You'd be fun to have over bc I think you'd appreciate everything, which is so different from the rest of the bitches I usually have over. SO KIDDING, just had to throw that in for kicks. :)

SweetnSavory - they ARE decadent and so worth it.

Diva - sigh, me too girl, me too.

Mel - it is kinda "flaky" - dense and creamy, but flaky in a way. Great idea on the holidays, btw!

Shaye - I know the feeling. :)

Melissa said...

I've never heard of these but they are so wonderfully gorgeous! And I loved the post, hysterical. I'm guilty of loving all chocolates, unfortunately.

Callie said...

Seriously, almost took a BITE out of my computer screen. And, loved the letters to chocolate. I love them all, but am partial to dark.

NV said...

A magnet on my fridge says it all: "I never met a chocolate that I didn't like."

These sound divine!

Laura @ Hungry and Frozen said...

Words fail me...

Ha! Just kidding. That looks frigging stunning. I am not the biggest hazelnut fan so I'm glad to hear it works with other nuts...it looks absolutely beautiful and I'm sure it tastes that way too (PS: i LOVE white chocolate, trashy image and all!)

Razor Family Farms said...

You wicked temptress! How did you know to post chocolate the very day I declare to go on a diet again? I sputter, I curse, and I drool.

Sigh.

Ode to thee sweet chocolates, Without thee, I might find my toes.

Blessings!
Lacy

P.S. I actually posted today. A real live post!

nicisme said...

Did someone say 'chocolate'?
I guess I'd better line up to join the 'dribblers' support group after coming here!

PS. Try Green & Blacks milk chocolate - it's a bit darker than the normal milk chocolate and is delish!!
(Actually, you'd better not, the queue for 'dribblers' is already long enough!)

YD's a little bit of everything place said...

Hi Ann,

I am so glad I found your blog!!! OMG, I love chocolate so very much!
I am going to give that recipe a try.
Great post!

Ann said...

Melissa - Thanks, they really are pretty in person too - and de-lish!

Callie - I know...now that we've eaten them all, I kinda want to bite my computer screen as well.

NV - love it, girl after my own heart!

Laura - AS IF words could ever fail you!

Lacy - you're back! Glad you're alive and kicking. :)

Nic - I've been meaning to try G&B bc I think it's organic too. Plus, another reason to drool...

YD's - Aw, thanks! Let me if you try it - I do hope you love it.

Gigi said...

This post was hilarious! I loved all the letters! And the recipe sounds divine!

SteamyKitchen said...

wow - llove the colors of this photo!

cook eat FRET said...

GREAT post...
just beautiful

rachel said...

ohhh, I have never had a chocolate menage a trois in my mouth before... so divine.

Manager Mom said...

OK - the best Ode to Chocolates I have ever read. Word on the Dark Chocolate. Double Word.

Brilynn said...

Oh wow! That looks amazing!

Laura said...

I think I swooned at your pic on Food Gawker. I am making these as soon as I can.

My Sweet & Saucy said...

Your little writings made me laugh...totally agree though! Great dessert by the way!

Tanja said...

Loved the letters to chocolate, and love the look of this dessert, although I think I will have to go with hazelnuts as chocolate and hazelnuts are one of my favorite combinations in the world. Of course, chocolate and just about anything is good :). I am thoroughly addicted- I have a shirt that says "I would give up chocolate, but I'm no quitter"-lol. Anyway, I am really looking forward to trying this. Thanks for a great post.

Sweet Tooth said...

Oh well, good that I don't have a portion of this right now. I would have to hide somewhere and finish it off all by myself - me, the gianduja addict.

Alexandra

Chantie said...

I love your blog!!!