Tag Archives: chocolate

Roquefort and Chocolate, the science of Blue Cheese

This is not a new flavor combination in fact it has been around for a long time in France. Dark Chocolate and Blue Cheese was made famous by Chef Michel Bras in a dessert called Coulant. We are going to make Roquefort Bites which are Roquefort cheese rolled into balls and then rolled in chocolate pieces. But first some history.

The Legend

A long time ago, every story starts out this way and because this is a French cheese you know it has to include a little romance.  So we begin, at the base of the Combalou Mountain, a shepherd spotted a beautiful young woman. He ran after her, leaving behind his flock and his meal, which included ewe’s milk curds, in a cave with some bread. The young woman didn’t want to be caught and so she ran and hid from the shepherd having him chase her for days. He looked and looked for her but could not find her. He slowly made his way back to his flock. He found his meal which was now less than appealing with green veins running through the curd.  But the shepherd was starving from days of searching for the love of his life so he tasted the cheese…..and fell in love with the magic of the cheese and now you know the legend of Roquefort. He forgot the beautiful young woman and started making Cheese.  What I am a Cheese Monger you didn’t really expect him to get the girl did you?

Now for the science of the Roquefort

The unique look of blue cheese is a result of a specific type of mold added during the cheese making process and an additional step in the ageing process called “needling”. The molds added to blue cheese are derived from the genus Penicillium. The most widely used molds in blue-veined cheeses are Penicillium Roqueforti and Penicillium Glaucum. These fungi are found commonly in nature and were “discovered” by cheesemakers ageing their cheeses in damp, cool caves.

Penicillium Roqueforti is named after a French town called Roquefort with caves full of naturally occurring Penicillium mold spores. It is cheesemakers in the town of Roquefort who created, and still creates, the famous blue cheese called, of course, Roquefort. Original recipes for Roquefort cheese required that cheesemakers leave loaves of rye bread in the caves near the town. The loaves became hosts to the ambient mold in the air. After a month or so, the mold inside the loaves of bread was dried, ground and combined with cheese curd. (Remember, the bread simply acted as a host for the ambient mold spores in the cave; Penicillium Roqueforti is not the same type of mold that grows on any old loaf of bread one might leave out.) To further encourage the growth of mold that flavored the cheese, the wheels of cheese were aged inside the caves. Today, most cheesemakers use commercially manufactured Penicillium Roqueforti cultures that are freeze-dried.

After the mold cultures are introduced to blue cheese, the “needling” begins. Wheels of cheese are pierced (either by hand or by a device that can poke many tiny holes at once) to create tiny openings. Air enters the wheel of cheese, feeding the mold, and blue/green veins form.

The flavor of Blue cheese is often an acquired taste. Some people initially find the pungent, almost peppery, flavor of varieties such as Roquefort, Stilton, Gorgonzola, Danish Blue and similar cheeses to be overly strong. However, when one becomes used to the flavor, it is quite delicious. The flavor of Blue cheese is dominated by a class of compounds known as n-methyl ketones (alkan-2-ones). Spores of the blue mold, Penicillium roqueforti, germinate within mechanical openings (needling) in the cheese mass to form the blue veins characteristic of these varieties’. roqueforti produces two potent extracellular lipases which dominate lipolysis in these cheeses which have the highest levels of free fatty acids of all cheese families. However, liberation of fatty acids from triacylglycerols is only the start of the process of producing the Blue cheese flavor. P. roqueforti converts fatty acids to n-methyl ketones by a four-step pathway corresponding to the early stages of beta-oxidation. Heptan-2-one and nonan-2-one are the predominant n-methyl ketones in Blue cheese and contribute greatly to its pungent flavor.

So now that you are full of knowledge here are a few pictures to get you back to that nice romantic place you were in when I told you the legend first. We know that if you are brave and try this combination with a good red wine you will understand why the shepherd gave up on the beautiful woman.

blue cheese and chocolate 1

blue cheese and chocolate 3

blue cheese and chocolate

Leave a comment

Filed under Artisan Cheese

Mashed Potato Fudge

By Chef Lippe

Yes you read that correctly and I know it may sound funny and not very tasty but I swear this is so good you will thank me for giving you the recipe! It is a little bit like an Almond joy candy bar without the almonds.

Mashed Potato fudge l Chef Lippe

Ingredients

¼ cup hot mashed potatoes (I used 1 baked potato and scooped out the insides

1 teaspoon butter

2 ½ cups confectioners sugar

1 ½ cups shredded coconut

½ teaspoon vanilla

Pinch of salt

6 oz of chocolate chips melted

Line an 8×8 pan with foil and butter the foil. In a bowl, mix the potato and butter until blended. Add the sugar gradually and beat until well blended. Add coconut, and salt. Spread in pan and spread with melted chocolate chips. Chill until firm cut and enjoy.

6 Comments

Filed under Chef Lippe, chocolate, Mashed potato fudge, recipes

Bacon and Peanut Butter Chips Cookies

By Chef Lippe

For those of you who follow my blog you will know that I love BACON…. There is the post http://wp.me/p2n8ji-bG The 3 “B’s” bacon, bourbon and Brownies, then there was the candied bacon for ice cream and the list goes on. Today is Bacon and Peanut Butter and believe me when I say this is a GREAT flavor combination.

Ingredients:

1 cup butter (2 sticks)

1 cup sugar

¾ cup packed light brown sugar

1 Tablespoon corn syrup

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 large eggs

1 ¾ cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons salt

¾ cup chocolate chips

¾ cup peanut butter chips

½ cup graham cracker crumbs

½ cup oats (NOT quick cooking)

¾ cup crushed kettle potato chips

¾ cup crushed pretzels

½ cup crumbled bacon pieces

Directions

With a mixer cream the butter, sugar and corn syrup for 3 minutes until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and beat for 10 minutes. (sugar will dissolve and mixture will double in size).

Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together and on a low speed, slowly add flour mixture to the butter and egg mixture. Mix just until flour is incorporated into butter (about 1 minute)

On low speed add chocolate chips, graham cracker crumbs, oats and peanut butter chips and mix for ½ minute. Now add in the crushed potato chips, pretzels and bacon. Mixing on low until just mixed (1/2 minute).

This step is important and do not cook your cookies from room temperature! Make ice cream scoop size balls (about 5 oz each) then wrap them in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour (or up to a week).

Heat oven to 400. Arrange cold cookie balls on a parchment lined cookie sheet about 4” apart. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes.  At 9 minutes the cookies should be browned on the edges, leave in the oven until the center just start to brown.

Cool and eat!

Cookies will keep fresh for 5 days in an airtight container or for a month in the freezer.

3 Comments

Filed under Bacon, Bacon and Peanut butter, Chef Lippe, chocolate, Food, recipes

The 3 “Bs” Bacon, Bourbon and Brownies

 

Bourbon Bacon Brownies with Bourbon Caramel Sauce

By Chef Lippe

I love bacon and have used it in ice cream, and now brownies. This recipe is very fudgy, moist and have an incredible saltiness. With the first bite you can tell how bad they are for you because you just want to take the plate and hide in your room until they are all gone.  To help control my inability to  not eat the whole batch I only make them when company is coming over.

Yields 12 brownies and 1 cup of sauce

Ingredients: 

For the brownies: 

1/4 pound bacon

5 ounces semisweet chocolate chips

1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1/4 cup white sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 tablespoons bourbon

Dash of salt

2 eggs

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons cocoa powder (unsweetened)

 

For the sauce: 

1 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup water

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon butter

1/4 cup bourbon

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Dash of salt

 

Directions: 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line the dish with parchment paper, allowing a little overhang so you can easily remove the brownies from the pan. Grease the parchment paper with nonstick cooking spray.

In a medium pan, cook bacon until crispy, about six minutes on medium-high heat. Save about 1-1/2 to 2 tablespoons bacon fat. Crumble bacon into bite-sized bits.

In a saucepan, heat chocolate and butter over low heat until melted. Pour into another mixing bowl. Add bacon fat and bourbon and beat on low speed with brown sugar and white sugar until creamy. Add eggs and salt. Gradually add in all-purpose flour and cocoa powder until mixture is fully mixed.

Pour mixture into the parchment-lined pan. Sprinkle with bacon bits. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until the brownies are set around the edges.

While brownies bake, prepare caramel sauce by mixing the sugar, water and butter in a saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil and whisk until sugar has dissolved. Add vanilla and cream and remove from heat. Stir in bourbon. Bring mixture to a boil again over medium heat and stir. Remove from heat and pour into a sterile jar. Keep at room temperature.

Let brownies cool about 15 minutes. Cut into squares and drizzle with warm caramel sauce.

6 Comments

Filed under Bourbon, Chef Lippe, chocolate, chocolate bacon, Food, recipes

Balsamic Chocolate Cake otherwise known as Guilt Free Chocolate Cake

By Chef Lippe

One bite of this cake and you will be hooked! The cake is rich and moist and the Balsamic vinegar pairs up nicely with the chocolate. I used grapeseed oil which has almost no flavor of its own, is high in vitamin E, C and Omega 6. It also contains a natural chlorophyll; a lot of people say to me “why is chlorophyll good?” and the answer is that it helps to eliminate body odors. If you know someone who has smelly feet just have them take alfalfa pills from your local vitamin shop and it will help if not totally eliminate the smell. Grapeseed oil also helps to raise the good cholesterol (HDL).

Now ladies if you were paying attention I have just given you 5 reasons to feel guilt free about eating this wonderful chocolate cake! Maybe I should change the name to: Guilt Free Chocolate Cake.

Balsamic Chocolate Cake otherwise known as Guilt Free Chocolate Cake

Ingredients:

2 cups water

2 Tablespoons Balsamic vinegar

½ cup Grapeseed Oil

1 Tablespoon vanilla

3 cups flour

2 cups sugar

2/3 cup unsweetened powdered chocolate

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

Directions

Sift dry ingredients together.

Blend wet ingredients.

Slowly blend the wet and dry together

Bake 1 hour at 350 F

Let cool and serve with Strawberry Whipped Cream (below)

Fresh Strawberry Whipped Cream

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups strawberries, plus more for garnish

1/3 cup sugar

2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and seeds scraped

2 1/4 cups heavy cream, divided

12 ounces high quality, bittersweet chocolate

2 Tablespoons powdered sugar

Place strawberries, sugar, balsamic vinegar, vanilla bean seeds and pod into a small saucepan. Simmer over low heat until the strawberries break down and the mixture becomes thick and syrupy. Remove from heat and set aside to cool completely.

Finely chop the chocolate and place in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan, warm 1 cup of the heavy cream until steam starts rising from it. Pour the warm cream over the chopped chocolate and stir until smooth and shiny. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whip the remaining 1 1/4 cups heavy cream until soft peaks begin to form. Sprinkle in the powdered sugar and continue beating until medium stiff peaks form. Gently fold in the cooled strawberry syrup.

Top cake with desired amount of strawberry whipped cream.

Spoon the chocolate on the top, gently spread it to the edge of the cake so that some falls down the sides. Top with fresh-cut strawberries. Allow the chocolate to set. Keep refrigerated but allow the cake to come to room temperature before serving.

3 Comments

Filed under Balsamic Vinegar, Chef Lippe, chocolate, chocolate cake, Food, health through eating, recipes, strawberries

Sweet Tooth Tuesday!

Sweet Tooth Tuesday

By Chef Lippe

Sweet tooth Tuesday comes after meatless Monday and before Crockpot Wednesday! In my book any day can be a sweet tooth day! Caramels are a tricky candy to make and you might have to practice to get just the right consistency. In most cases even the bad batches can be tasty….too soft and runny is good for ice cream, too hard might only be good for those with good teeth and no fillings.

Sprinkle a little salt on top for a nice twist or dip in chocolate for a great gift!

Ginger Cinnamon Caramels
2 cups heavy cream
3 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into chunks
3 teaspoons fresh-ground cinnamon
4 teaspoons ginger extract
1/2 teaspoon salt

Line a 9×13 baking sheet with heavy-duty foil and butter generously. Put the cream in a small saucepan and let it warm over low heat.

Put the sugar, water, and corn syrup in a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat and stir vigorously until the sugar melts and dissolves. Stop stirring and turn the heat to high. Cook until the sugar turns dark amber. Take off the heat.

Whisk in the butter. VERY CAREFULLY pour in the cream and whisk it. The caramel will bubble up furiously and steam. Whisk until well-combined and return to high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring, then turn the heat to medium-low. Clip on the candy thermometer and let the caramel cook until the temperature hits 250°F. Remove from the heat and quickly whisk in the ginger extract, cinnamon, and salt. Pour into the prepared pan and let it cool.

When it has cooled for a couple hours, put it in the fridge to harden overnight. The next day, cut into small pieces and wrap. These are fine at room temperature. I sprinkled them with fine sugar  or salt for an extra little crunch, which was very tasty too.

Leave a comment

Filed under Caramel candy, Chef Lippe, chocolate, Cinnamon, Food, Ginger

Chocolate Truffle Surprise

Avocado Chocolate Truffle

By Chef Lippe

Super easy truffle that will keep you coming back for more.  This is another one of those recipes that I just don’t say what is in it until after they tell me if they liked it. Even my own Dad who loves avocados turned his nose up to this one based on the name only the first time I offered them to the family.  So the next time I made them, I changed the color sugar coating, and just said they were chocolate truffles. They were a HIT!  So if you are BRAVE enough to try this recipe you will be hooked after the first bite. You can even play a game with them to see if they can guess the secret ingredient.

Ingredients:

½ cup butter

1 large very ripe avocado, peeled and pit removed

1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa

3 cup powdered (confectioners) sugar

Sugars for rolling

Directions:

In a large saucepan over low heat, melt butter, remove from heat and set to the side.

In food processor or blender, puree the avocado until a smooth consistency (add a little of the melted butter if needed to make sure it is a smooth consistency with no chunks)

Add avocado puree, vanilla, powdered sugar into sauce pan with butter. Mix well and then place in refrigerator until it hardens.

Once this mix is firm scoop and roll into balls about ¾ inch in size.  If mixture starts to get too soft to form balls place in freezer for a few minutes.  Place balls on a cookie sheet lined with a piece of paper.  Place balls in refrigerator until firm.

This time roll balls into either powdered sugar or colored sugar to coat outside.  Store in refrigerator until a few minutes before you want to serve.

4 Comments

Filed under Avocados, Chef Lippe, chocolate, Food, Food blog, recipes