Category Archives: Chocolate

Bread Galore In Every Which Way at the New Manresa Bread Campbell

A two-fisted chicken schnitzel at the new Manresa Bread in Campbell.

A two-fisted chicken schnitzel at the new Manresa Bread in Campbell.

 

If you already love the artisan loaves at Manresa Bread, then you are sure to go bonkers for the new downtown Campbell location that opened less than two weeks ago.

That’s because it features not only its already adored long-fermented loaves made with its freshly milled flours, but bread in so many other incarnations.

We’re talking chicken schnitzel breaded in the bakery’s own crumbs before being fried to a crisp and loaded into a fresh-baked bun with caper, mayo and house-fermented kraut.

Spaetzle made with a sourdough starter, and finished in a sauce of whey, butter and Pecorino.

And bone marrow matzo balls bobbing in bone broth, with the tender, moist dumplings actually made with levain bread crumbs.

Shelves of bread where you help yourself to loaves.

Shelves of bread where you help yourself to loaves.

Crusty baguettes.

Crusty baguettes.

At 2,100 square feet, the Campbell locale is twice the size of the Los Gatos and Los Altos locations, enabling it to also operate much more like an all-day cafe, with hours from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

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Dinner on the Farm — In Sunnyvale

A friendly scarecrow stands watch at the Santa Clara Unified School District Farm.

A friendly scarecrow stands watch at the Santa Clara Unified School District Farm.

 

With new condos and tech buildings going up at a dizzying pace in Silicon Valley, it’s hard to believe that in the midst all this concrete and glass, one can actually still enjoy the bucolic experience of a dinner on a farm here.

But you can — right here in Sunnyvale at 1055 Dunford Way. At an 11-acre organic oasis owned by the Santa Clara Unified School District.

After taking over the property last year from Full Circle Farm, the district hired farmer Dave Tuttle to over see it. And how fruitful the SCUSD Farm has become. This season, 1,500 pounds of tomatoes were harvested and turned into sauce for use in lunches at the district’s 28 schools. In fact, every day, there is something featured from the farm on school menus, most notably in the salad bars.

Pumpkins galore.

Pumpkins galore.

Persimmons ripening on the tree.

Persimmons ripening on the tree.

Twenty tons of pumpkins were grown, along with 3,000 pounds of watermelon. There are persimmon, avocado, pomegranate and lemon trees thriving. Rows of fava beans, Persian cucumbers, and kabocha squash were planted. There are nine laying hens, and beehives, too.

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Snapshots, Snippets and Cheese Ice Cream

A scoop of cheese ice cream and blackberry ice cream at Kurt's Farm Shop.

A scoop of cheese ice cream and blackberry ice cream at Kurt’s Farm Shop.

 

SEATTLE, WA — Yes, I said, “cheese” ice cream. Not “cheesecake” ice cream. But ice cream made with actual cheese. Have I got your attention now? I should — because this ice cream is worth making a special trip for.

Hats off to my friend Tami, who lived in Seattle for a few years, and suggested I make time for the ice cream at Kurt Farm Shop on Capitol Hill. Tucked inside the Chophouse Row building food hall, this sliver of a shop sells cheese, grilled cheese sandwiches, and glorious ice cream.

The custard base is made at its Kurtwood Farm using Jersey cream and milk from its own cows.

Gotta love the cow art work.

Gotta love the cow art work.

They’re generous with samples. I knew I wanted the Flora’s Cheese flavor from the get-go. The ice cream is super rich and smooth, with a pronounced naturally sweet milky taste. There are actual bits of frozen feta-like cheese in this flavor. It’s cheesecake-like, but not quite as tangy. There’s more of a developed cheese flavor, though, no funkiness. It’s ever so savory and just a twinge salty. It’s one of those flavors that’s an instant classic.

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Diana Henry’s Chocolate & Olive Oil Cake

Yes, this is the way this chocolate and olive oil cake is supposed to look.

Yes, this is the way this chocolate and olive oil cake is supposed to look.

 

I think of this as the Frank Gehry of cakes.

It’s all angular pieces that jut this way and that. It seems to not make sense or be of this world. But the longer you gaze at it, the more you appreciate its quirky distinctiveness.

Just wait until you taste it, too.

“Chocolate & Olive Oil Cake” is a recipe by the incomparable Diana Henry, the London-based columnist, broadcaster and author who has a true gift when it comes to food writing, making you see, smell and taste an ingredient or dish in its totality just from the words she pens on a page.

The recipe is from her newest cookbook, “How To Eat A Peach” (Hatchette), of which I received a review copy.

How To Eat A Peach

It’s a compilation of her favorite dishes in her menu notebook that she’s jotted down entries in since she was 16. These are the dishes she most wants to cook for friends, family and herself. They include such scrumptious fare as “Sea Bass Crudo with Radishes & Nasturtiums,” “Autumn Vegetables with Hazlenut, Roast Bell Pepper & Anchovy Relish” and “Arroz Nego with Romesco Sauce.”

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Recchiuti Confections New Collection For A Cause, An Afternoon with El Cajon & More

Recchiuti Confections' new Musical Jamboree collection. (photo courtesy of Recchiuti)

Recchiuti Confections’ new Musical Jamboree collection. (photo courtesy of Recchiuti)

Recchiuti Truffles Get Extra Artsy

If there wasn’t ample reason already to love Recchiuti Confections’ burnt caramel truffles, its new limited edition collection offers up yet another one: They are decorated with dazzling art by Creativity Explored, a San Francisco non-profit that gives those with developmental disabilities the opportunity to create and share their work.

This marks the 14th year that the San Francisco chocolatier has partnered with that organization.

The special Musical Jamboree chocolate collection showcases artist Kate Thompson’s whimsical comic book-like illustrations of musicians in full color on top of each truffle. Thompson’s artwork also was featured on Google’s 2015 prototype of self-driving cars.

“I like to tell stories through my artwork and have it convey people doing things whether that is people on a bike, riding a bus, or playing an instrument,” Thompson said in a statement. “I never thought of having my artwork on chocolate, but I’m very excited!”

An 8-piece box is $23, with a portion of all proceeds donated to Creativity Explored.

Saturday, Sept. 8, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Recchiuti’s Ferry Building store will host a celebratory jamboree, where Thompson’s current work will be on display.

El Cajon’s Epicurean Tasting Event

For a quarter of a century, the Bay Area’s El Cajon Project has worked to give at-risk and disadvantaged high school students training in the culinary arts that includes hands-on experience at such notable establishments as Chez T.J. in Mountain View, Evvia in Palo Alto, Alexander’s Patisserie in Mountain View, and the Menlo Grill in the Stanford Park Hotel in Menlo Park.

Sunday, Oct. 21, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., it will host “An Afternoon with El Cajon,” a tasting event at The Sea by Alexander’s Steakhouse in Palo Alto.

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