Thursday, March 17, 2011

Chocolate Lovers

On Saturday evening, while in Chicago, I helped to host a local school benefit. The night was for "Chocolate Lovers" and I specifically designed a menu that included cocoa and chocolate in every course. To start, everyone sipped a chocolatini saddled with a handmade chocolate caramel. Then, I took everyone through a chocolate primer. I gave them the lowdown on chocolate from bean to bar while they looked at and tasted roasted beans and cocoa nibs. I also discussed the health benefits of cacao. Researchers are looking closely at benefits of the flavonoids and antioxidants in chocolate. We went through the menu and lots of wine:

  • Arugula salad with bacon, goat cheese, and cocoa nibs
  • Cocoa & chili spice rub steak sandwiches
  • Lasagna Napoletana with port wine & chocolate sauce
To end the evening, everyone got a lesson in making ganache truffles. We had a DIY candymaking session and folks rolled their own truffles in cocoa powder, coconut and chopped almonds. What a great night it was. Please email me if you'd like to try any of my recipes.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Candy Candy in Chicago!

The Chicago Culinary Historians and Chicago Foodways Roundtable has organized a lecture this Saturday morning at the University of Chicago. See you in Hyde Park! - Beth

Sweet stacks....Beth Kimmerle, author of Blommer: An American Chocolate Legacy, talks about chocolate and candy production in Chicago, the subject of an exhibit she curated at the University of Chicago's John Crerar Library, at 10 a.m. March 12 at the library, 5730 S. Ellis; $5. (847) 432-8255.