Category Archives: Chocolate

Not Black or White — But Both

Playful black-and-white sable cookies with a French touch.
Playful black-and-white sable cookies with a French touch.

In a world where opposites increasingly butt heads in conflict, these live in complete harmony.

Two doughs of completely different colors combine to create something far more impressive together.

These are not New York black-and-white cookies, but French ones.

“Parisian Black-and-White Cookies” draw your gaze immediately. They deliver that classic snappy, sandy texture and buttery taste that never go out of fashion.

This fanciful cookie recipe is from “World Food Paris” (Ten Speed Press, 2021), of which I received a review copy, by James Oseland, award-winning cookbook author and former editor-in-chief of Saveur magazine, with writer Jenna Leigh Evans.

This book picks you up and sets you down in the heart of Paris, with its evocative photos of lush city parks, bistro life, stately chateaux, and proud cooks and bakers displaying their delectable handiwork.

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The Cake That Hides A Dramatic Surprise

Put some green in your life in a different way this St. Patrick's Day.
Put some green in your life in a different way this St. Patrick’s Day.

There are cakes, which when cut, tumble out a hidden torrent of rainbow sprinkles or M&Ms.

This cake also boasts a surprise center, but a far more sophisticated one.

Cut into it with a fork, and a gush of melty, brilliant-green, matcha-chocolate will flow out instead.

This genius recipe for “Matcha Chocolate Lava Cakes” is from “The Honeysuckle Cookbook” (Rodale, 2020) by Dzung Lewis, a former Bay Area financial analyst who moved to Los Angeles to pursue her passion for cooking with her YouTube channel “Honeysuckle.”

There are several techniques to create the molten center of lava cakes. This one relies on freezing matcha ganache — melted white chocolate mixed with matcha and a little oil — in an ice cube tray until solid. The frozen cube then gets set into the cake batter, so that during baking, the frozen ganache slowly liquifies within the set cake.

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The Perfect Cake For One (Or Two)

A from-scratch chocolate cake that's gluten-free, paleo, and ready in about 2 minutes.
A from-scratch chocolate cake that’s gluten-free, paleo, and ready in about 2 minutes.

This recipe is dangerous. With a capital “D.”

Because it allows you to make a cake in about 2 minutes.

Just imagine being able to indulge in a warm, tender cake anytime you feel like it. And an individual one at that, which you don’t have to share — well, unless you’re feeling exceedingly generous.

What’s more, “Chocolate Mug Cake” is gluten-free and paleo.

The recipe comes from paleo pro Michelle Tam, whose newest cookbook, “Nom Nom Paleo: Let’s Go!” (Andrews McMeel), of which I received a review copy, just hit the shelves.

If you’re familiar with Tam, the former Stanford Hospital pharmacist who has taken the paleo universe by storm, you know that it takes her and her husband Henry Fong about five years to write each of their cookbooks. That’s because they do it all — the recipes, design, photography, and whimsical illustrations. So, when one drops, it’s definitely a reason to rejoice.

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You’ll “Heart” White Chocolate-Pretzel Cookies

Put a twist on Valentine's Day with pretzel cookies.
Put a twist on Valentine’s Day with pretzel cookies.

When it comes to romance, my husband is all about the art of subtlety.

When he proposed to me at the French Laundry, it wasn’t in the dining room, in the midst of a throng of well-heeled diners. It was in the restaurant’s parking lot as just the two of us sat in our car, and he pulled the ring out of his pocket.

When he buys me flowers, it’s not because it’s some Hallmark holiday. It’s because he just spies a pretty bouquet that he knows will unexpectedly make my day.

And when he wants to express his love these days, his favorite way is to flash the Korean finger heart symbol at me, because, yes, in the pandemic, he’s become addicted to Korean dramas like so many others.

That’s why these “White Chocolate-Pretzel Cookies” are right up his alley.

This is how you make the Korean finger heart.
This is how you make the Korean finger heart.

First, they feature white chocolate, which can be polarizing to some, but which he actually likes.

Second, they get fortified with and crowned whimsically with mini pretzels, whose classic looped knot shape slyly resembles a heart.

This cute cookie is from “Maman: The Cookbook: All-Day Recipes to Warm Your Heart” (Clarkson Potter, 2021), of which I received a review copy, by Elisa Marshall and Benjamin Sormonte. The couple are the founders and co-owners of Maman, the bakery-cafe with locations throughout New York, as well as in Montreal, and Toronto. The book was written with food writer and recipe developer Lauren Salkeld.

The couple named the cafe for the word “mother” in French to evoke the cozy, homespun environment they wanted to create.

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Three New Things to Try In the New Year

Momofuku instant noodles that cook in 4 minutes, which I garnished with fresh green onions.
Momofuku instant noodles that cook in 4 minutes, which I garnished with fresh green onions.

Momofuku Noodles and Chili Crunch

After reading that the initial release of Momofuku Noodles sold out in a flash, then had a wait list of tens of thousands of folks, well, I had to buy some when an ad popped up in my social media feed that they had been restocked. Because, yes, I am that kind of person.

Plus, when the irrepressible chef of the Momofuku restaurant empire, David Chang, develops a product, your curiosity can’t help but be stoked.

The instant noodles were initially available on the Momofuku online store, but are gone now until future restocking. However, they are still available at Target for about $9.49 for a bundle of 5 packets.

They come in three varieties: Spicy Soy Noodles, Soy & Scallion Noodles, and Tingly Chili Wavy Noodles.

I purchased the Soy & Scallion Noodles. Each packet of the wheat noodles serves one at 320 calories total. And they couldn’t be easier of faster to make. Just boil them in water for 4 minutes, drain, then stir in the seasoning packet plus freeze-dried scallions.

The noodle packages.
The noodle packages.

The curly, white, modestly wide noodles are very supple and bouncy, nearly akin to fresh noodles but with slightly more sturdiness. The seasoning packet is soy sauce-based and added a savory, homey taste.

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