Best Chocolate Recipes Ever

Renowned chocolatiers and pastry chefs share their favorite dessert, candy and drinks recipes

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Dark Chocolate Bark with Roasted Nuts and Dried Fruit

2 lbs dark chocolate
1/4 cup roasted almonds
1/4 cup salted cashews
1 cup roasted hazelnuts
2 cups dried cranberries

1. Using your favorite dark chocolate, melt chocolate and temper.


2. Pour all dry ingredients into chocolate, stir with a spatula and pour onto parchment paper.


3. Using your spatula, spread the chocolate evenly. Place in refrigerator for 12-15 minutes.


4. Remove from refrigerator and break into pieces using your hands. Enjoy!


CREDIT: Madame Chocolat           

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Madame Chocolat

Madame’s Chocolate S’mores

My non-messy version of s'mores on a stick 


1 bag marshmallows, large size
30 lollipop sticks
2 lbs dark or milk chocolate
3 cups crushed graham cracker crumbs

1. Open a bag of marshmallows and insert the lollipop sticks through the center of each marshmallow. Set aside.


2. Melt and temper your choice of dark or milk chocolate. Leave the tempered chocolate in the bowl.


3. Pour crushed graham cracker crumbs on a plate. Set aside. Place a sheet of parchment paper on a tray. Set aside.


4. Take a marshmallow by the stick and dip it into the tempered chocolate, making sure the entire surface of the marshmallow is coated in chocolate. Carefully roll the dipped marshmallow into the graham cracker. Once the chocolate is covered in graham cracker, place it on the parchment lined tray. Continue this process until all marshmallows are finished, then place the tray into the refrigerator for 10 minutes. Enjoy!


CREDIT: Madame Chocolat

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Madame Chocolat

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Time: 45 minutes (for 1 6-cookie batch), plus at least 24 hours chilling




2 cups minus 2 tablespoons (8 1/2 ounces) cake flour

1 2/3 cups (8 1/2 ounces) bread flour

1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt

2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter

1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) granulated sugar

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract

1 1/4 pounds bittersweet chocolate disks or fèves, at least 60 percent cacao content

Sea salt


1. Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Set aside.


2. Using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars together until very light, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Reduce speed to low, add dry ingredients and mix until just combined, 5 to 10 seconds. Drop chocolate pieces in and incorporate them without breaking them. Press plastic wrap against dough and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours. Dough may be used in batches, and can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours. 


3. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Set aside.


4. Scoop 6 3 1/2 -ounce mounds of dough (the size of generous golf balls) onto baking sheet, making sure to turn horizontally any chocolate pieces that are poking up; it will make for a more attractive cookie. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and bake until golden brown but still soft, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer sheet to a wire rack for 10 minutes, then slip cookies onto another rack to cool a bit more. Repeat with remaining dough, or reserve dough, refrigerated, for baking remaining batches the next day. Eat warm, with a big napkin.


CREDIT: Jacques Torres of Mr. Chocolate

Photo Credit: Mr. Chocolate

Chocolate Caramel Corn



1 cup popping corn
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup light corn syrup
½ cup (1 stick) plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 pound bittersweet, milk, or white chocolate, tempered


1. Line a large baking pan with parchment paper. Set aside.

Pop the corn by your usual method, but use no oil and add no salt. Set aside.


2. Combine the sugar, corn syrup, butter and salt in a heavy-bottomed saucepan large enough to hold the popped corn. Clip a thermometer to the side of the pan, place the pan over medium-high heat, and heat, without stirring, until the mixture registers at 311ºF.


3. Stir in the baking soda, taking care, as it will cause the mixture to bubble up. Then quickly add the popcorn and stir rapidly with a wooden spoon to coat the corn evenly with the caramel. Scrape the caramel corn onto the prepared baking pan, pushing it out evenly over the bottom of the pan to avoid clumping. Let cool completely. Once cool, break up any clumps with your hands.


4. Transfer the caramel corn to a large bowl. Gradually ladle the chocolate over the caramel corn while stirring with a wooden spoon to coat evenly. Continue stirring until all of the corn is nicely covered. Let cool completely.


5. Serve immediately, or store, tightly covered, in a cool spot for a day or two.


CREDIT:  Jacques Torres of Mr. Chocolat

Photo Credit: Mr. Chocolat

Chocolate Dipped Caramel Nougat Logs

2-3/4 cups light corn syrup
1-1/3 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup water
1-1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (or clear vanilla if you want a very white nougat)

8 ounces white chocolate

3 large egg whites, room temperature

1. Prepare a square 8-inch pan by lining it with wafer paper or oiled parchment paper. A lined quarter sheet pan would work nicely too.


2. Place the egg whites in a large mixing bowl but do not turn on yet.


3. Combine corn syrup, sugar and water in a large saucepan over medium heat. Boil mixture to 225 degrees (thread stage).


4. While mixture continues heating, turn mixer on and whip egg whites until stiff.


5. When the mixture reaches 240 degrees (soft ball stage), carefully dip a measuring cup in the hot syrup and remove 3/4 cup. Wear a glove to protect your hand. Turn the mixer speed to low, and stream the 3/4 cup of hot syrup slowly into the egg whites.


6. Continue cooking the remaining syrup until it reaches 275 degrees (soft crack stage).


7. Turn the mixer speed to medium, and slowly stream in the remaining hot sugar syrup. Be very careful that you don’t get any on yourself as it will burn.


8. Once the candy is thoroughly mixed, turn the mixer off. Pour in the white chocolate, vanilla and stir by hand until smooth. Do not over mix.


9. Quickly pour the candy into the prepared pan. Allow to set overnight at room temperature


NOTE: This recipe has been adapted for home use. Results will vary depending upon ingredients used. Cooking temperatures are extremely important. Even a deviation of a few degrees can result in a nougat that is too firm. If you wish to eat the nougat by itself, place a sheet of wafer paper or oiled parchment on top, let set overnight. “Remove the parchment paper the next morning and cut into your desired shape. Store to protect from heat and humidity.

CREDIT: Swiss Maid Fudge

Photo Credit: Swiss Maid Fudge

Soft Caramel

2 cups heavy cream 

1/2 cup condensed milk
2 cups light corn syrup
1/2 cup water
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) softened butter, cut into small cubes

1. If combining these recipes into logs, use whatever size pan you used for the nougat. Line the pan with foil that’s been sprayed with cooking spray.


2. Combine the cream and the condensed milk in a small saucepan, and place the saucepan on a burner set to the lowest heat setting to warm the mixture. Do not boil.

3. In a medium-large saucepan combine the corn syrup, water, and granulated sugar, and place the saucepan over medium high heat. Stir the mixture with a wooden spoon until the sugar dissolves.


4. At several points in the caramel-making process, you will want to wash down the sides of the pan to  prevent sugar crystals from forming. To remove the crystals, wet a pastry brush and brush the sides of the pan where the sugar syrup is bubbling. You can repeat this process several times during the  cooking process whenever you see sugar crystals on the sides of the pan.


5. Insert a candy thermometer and reduce the heat to medium. Allow the mixture to come to a boil and continue to cook, without stirring, until the thermometer reads 250 degrees. Your candy will have a light golden color at this point.


6. Once the sugar syrup reaches 250 degrees, add the softened butter chunks and the warm milk-cream mixture. Mixture may bubble up so be careful not to burn yourself. The temperature should go down about 30 degrees.


7. Continue to cook the caramel, stirring constantly so that the bottom does not scorch. Cook it until the thermometer reads 244, and the caramel is a beautiful dark golden brown. This will likely take at least 15 minutes and perhaps more, depending on your stove and pan. 


8. Once the caramel reaches 244 degrees, remove the saucepan from the heat and immediately pour the caramel into the prepared pan. Do not scrape any candy from the bottom of the saucepan. For the best results, allow the candy to sit overnight to set up and develop a smooth, silky texture. 


9. When you are ready to combine the caramel with the nougat, lift the caramel out of the pan using the foil as handles. Flip the top of the caramel onto the nougat and peel the foil layer from the bottom of the caramel. Press down a little to adhere the two layers. Spray a large knife with nonstick cooking spray and cut into strips about ½ - 3/4”” wide and then cut the strips evenly forming log shapes about 1 ½” long. Wipe the blade and re-spray as necessary. Temper milk chocolate and dip pieces or melt confectionery coating which will not require tempering and dip. 


NOTE: This recipe has been adapted for home use. Results will vary depending upon cooking temperatures reached and ingredients used. If you wish to eat the caramels by themselves, cut into 1” squares and wrap in 3” square pieces of wax paper or plastic wrap.


CREDIT: Swiss Maid Fudge

Photo Credit: Swiss Maid Fudge

Chocolate Mousse Recipe



250g (8.82 oz.) fine dark chocolate, finely chopped

400g (14.11 oz.) heavy cream

60g (2.12 oz.) pine nuts

small amount of powder sugar for decoration
Summer version of this recipe could feature raspberries or other fruit of your choice, and extra whipped cream.

1. Combine the chocolate, the sugar and the remaining of the cream in the top of a double boiler over hot, but not simmering, water, stirring frequently until smooth. Remove from the heat and let cool until the chocolate is just slightly warmer than body temperature. To test, dab some chocolate on your bottom lip. It should feel warm.


2. Whip the half of the cream to soft peaks.


3. When the chocolate has cooled slightly gently stir in the whipped cream.


4. Spoon or pipe the mousse into a serving bowl or individual dishes. One of my favorite presentation of this mousse is in light, flaky mini phyllo shells (Athens’ work well). Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. (The mousse can be refrigerated for up to a day.)


5. Distribute the pine nuts. Decorate with a small amount of powder sugar.

CREDIT: Anna Bonavita of BonaVita Chocolate

Photo Credit: Anna Bonavita

Perfect Drinking Chocolate Recipe

We invite you to try this simple way of making something very special for the holidays. You will need:

1 bar of Slitti’s Lattenero (100g) or another high quality chocolate bar such as Domori, DeBondt, Amedei
120-150 ml heated water
Makes 4 small cups of drinking chocolate.

1. Break a bar into pieces and add them to 120-150 ml of water previously heated to not more than 176°F. Whisk briefly until the pieces are dissolved completely.


2. Serve in your finest small coffee cups. Enjoy the enhanced aroma and taste of this hot drinking chocolate just by itself or when paired with waffles, bananas, cake, etc.

CREDIT: Anna Bonavita of BonaVita Chocolate

Photo Credit: Anna Bonavita

Faultless Chocolate Soufflé

Chocolate soufflés must be the true ambrosia. Nothing ends a meal better than a gloriously poofed, light-as-air, hot-from-the-oven chocolate soufflé. Often temperamental but not as demanding as you might think, this intense, semisweet version is close to foolproof. If you follow my directions to the letter, it should not fail. If these little soufflés are not rich enough for your tastes, top them with a warm chocolate ganache sauce, crème Anglaise, or whipped cream, chocolate or not.

Makes 8 individual soufflés
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Cooling Time: 5 minutes
Baking Time: 12 to 15 minutes
Level: *

Special Toolbox:
electric stand mixer, bowl, and whisk attachment
8 (4 to 6-ounce) individual soufflé dishes
baking sheet
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
3/4 cup Dark Chocolate Ganache, softened
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder
5 large eggs, separated
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Brush the bottom and sides of eight (4 to 6-ounce) soufflé dishes with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar, tilting to lightly coat the dishes. Tap out the loose sugar. Arrange the prepared dishes on a baking sheet.

2. Melt the Dark Chocolate Ganache in a metal bowl set over boiling

water on medium-high heat.


3. In another saucepan, bring the cream to a boil over medium-high heat. As soon as the cream boils, remove the pan from the heat. Add the melted ganache and cocoa powder and stir well. The batter should be about the consistency of buttermilk. Set aside to cool to lukewarm.


4. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until firm peaks form, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla and beat for about 1 minute longer to fully incorporate. Set aside.


5. Add the egg yolks to the cooled chocolate mixture and whisk well. When fully incorporated, gently fold in the egg whites about 1/2 cup at a time. Immediately fill the soufflé dishes to the rim and level the surface with a metal spatula.

Bake the soufflés on the baking sheet for 12 to 15 minutes. Resist the urge to open the oven door for the first 12 minutes before checking to make sure they have risen nicely. When you open the oven door, do so slowly and just peek inside. Close it quickly but as gently as you can. Serve immediately.


CREDIT: From CHOCLATIQUE by Ed Engoron with Mary Goodbody, Running Press, 2011

Photo Credit: Jason Varney

Individual Molten Chocolate Cakes


4 tablespoon soft salted butter
1/3 cup granulated cane sugar
3 large eggs
1 egg yolk
1/3 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
8 oz B.T. McElrath 70% dark chocolate, melted to appx. 100 F

Additional ingredients:
Soft butter for muffin tins
Sugar for muffin tins
Whipped cream, Crème Anglaise, or fresh berries to garnish the plates.

1. Read all instructions.

2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

3. Generously butter 6 cups of a standard muffin tin. Dust with granulated sugar, and tap out excess. Set aside.

4. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and granulated sugar until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. With the mixer on low speed, beat in flour until just combined. Beat in chocolate until just combined. Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups.

5. Place muffin tin on a baking sheet; bake just until tops of the cakes no longer jiggle when the pan is gently shaken, 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven; allow to rest for 6-8 minutes.

6. Turn out cakes and place on serving plates and garnish.

Present the cakes with your choice of the following:
Dusting with powdered sugar
Dollop of whipped cream
Crème Anglaise
Caramel sauce
Fresh berries  


CREDIT: Courtesy of B.T. McElrath Chocolatier, Inc.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of B.T. McElrath Chocolatier, Inc.

Chocolate Truffle Cookies with Sea Salt


1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Baking Chips, for melting into the cookie dough
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Baking Chips, for mixing into the prepared cookie dough
2 -3 tablespoons coarse sea salt


1. In a heatproof bowl over a double boiler, melt chocolate and butter until smooth. Turn off the stove and let chocolate sit over warm water. Combine flour, baking powder and salt and mix to combine. In another bowl, mix together sugar and eggs, combine thoroughly with a whisk and slowly add the warm chocolate mixture. Stir to combine. Add vanilla extract and mix. Stir in flour mixture. Cool for a few minutes (if batter is warm, chocolate chips will melt). Stir in chocolate chips. Chill for 10-15 minutes.


2. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Scoop rounded tablespoons of batter and place on baking tray. Sprinkle each cookie lightly with a pinch of sea salt. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 7-8 minutes until the outside looks slightly cracked. Be very careful not to over bake cookies because they will continue to bake as they cool once removed from the oven. Cookies should be soft and gooey in the center.


NOTE: For a chunky and different twist add one of the following: ¾ cup toasted pecans or pistachios, ¼ cup chopped candied ginger or 1/3 cup sweetened coconut


CREDIT: Ghirardelli

Photo Credit: Eskite Photography

Bittersweet Chocolate Tart



Prep Time: 20 minutes
Baking Time: 35 to 40 minutes
Cooling Time: 1 hour
Chill Time: 2 hours
Cooling Time: 20 minutes
Level: ***

Special Toolbox:
9-inch fluted tart pan with removable bottom
rolling pin
wire cooling rack

pastry shell:
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons toasted whole blanched almonds
3/4 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
Pinch of salt
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces, at room temperature

3/4 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup Dark Chocolate Ganache at room temperature
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder, for sifting

For the pastry shell:


1. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into a small bowl. Add the egg yolk and stir to blend. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and stir to blend.

2. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade, mix together the confectioners’ sugar and almonds and process until the nuts are finely ground. Add the flour and salt and pulse to blend. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

3. Add the egg yolk mixture and pulse just until the dough begins to hold together. Do not over process; the dough should not form a ball.


4. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and very gently pat the dough into a disk, handling it as little as possible. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or until well chilled.

5. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Roll out the chilled dough on a lightly floured surface into an 11-inch round. If the dough sticks to the rolling pin, rub some flour on the pin. Transfer the dough to the prepared pan and gently press against the sides, allowing for 1/2-inch overhang. With a fork, prick the bottom of the dough all over and refrigerate the crust again for at least 1 hour.


6. Preheat the oven to 350°F.


7. Set the tart pan on a baking sheet and bake in the middle of the oven for about 5 minutes, until the pastry just begins to firm up. Remove from the oven and, with a sharp knife, carefully trim and discard the overhanging pastry to make a smooth, even edge. Return the pan to the oven and bake for about 15 minutes longer, until the pastry is nicely browned. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool the crust completely before filling.

8. Do not turn off the oven.


For the filling:


1. In a medium saucepan, bring the cream and milk to a simmer over medium-low heat. Remove from the heat, add the Dark Chocolate Ganache and stir until melted. Let the mixture cool to lukewarm and then whisk in the egg until thoroughly blended.
Pour the custard into the pastry shell and bake in the middle of the oven until the filling is almost set but still trembles in the center, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer the pie to a wire rack to cool. Sift the cocoa powder over the tart and serve warm or at room temperature.


Chef Secret: You can add another level of flavor by drizzling the tart with a little Red Raspberry Sauce -- which might seem like gilding the lily, but why not?


Dark Chocolate Ganache
Makes about 2 pounds of ganache
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Cooling Time: 1 hour
Chilling Time: 3 to 4 hours
Level: *

Special Toolbox:
large, heavy saucepan (3 quarts or larger)
plastic sealable storage container
1 1/4 cups water
2/3 cup light corn syrup
2 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 pounds bittersweet chocolate (at least 64 percent,), coarsely chopped
1 1/4 teaspoons chocolate extract (see Chef Secret)


1. In a large, heavy saucepan, bring the water, corn syrup, cocoa powder, and salt to a boil over medium-high heat. Whisk until blended. Remove the pan from the heat.


2. Immediately add the chocolate and chocolate extract to the pan and whisk until smooth. Set aside for about 1 hour to cool completely, whisking every 15 minutes or so to keep the ganache emulsified.

3. When cool, transfer the ganache to a rigid plastic or glass container, cover, date, and refrigerate for up to three months.


Chef Secret: Chocolate extract is sold in most supermarkets and confectionery shops. I like to use Star Kay White’s Chocolate Extract, which will keep in the refrigerator for up to three months.

CREDIT: From CHOCLATIQUE by Ed Engoron with Mary Goodbody, Running Press, 2011

Photo Credit: Jason Varney

Orange-Scented Chocolate-Espresso Cinnamon Buns

When I ran out of milk during a morning bake several years ago, I was forced to grab desperately for a substitution to make these buns. The carton of orange juice in the refrigerator seemed the only likely candidate at the time. And from that, this recipe evolved.



For the filling:
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/ 8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/ 8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 cup chopped bittersweet chocolate

For the dough:
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder

For the icing:
3 ounces cream cheese
1/4 cup orange juice concentrate, thawed
finely grated zest of one orange
2 tablespoons superfine sugar


1. Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Cut a large piece of parchment paper into roughly 8 4"x4" squares. Spray an 8-cup muffin tin lightly with cooking oil (if you don’t have an 8-cup muffin tin, just use a 12-cup one). 


2. In a medium-size bowl, make the filling. Stir together the brown sugar, the 1/4 cup sugar, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Stir in 2 tablespoons of the melted butter, until the mixture feels a little damp. Mix in the chocolate.


3. To make the dough, in a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar.


4. In a large glass measuring cup, stir together the buttermilk, orange juice, melted butter, and espresso powder.


5. Pour this mixture into the flour mixture and stir until a shaggy dough forms. Don’t overmix. Turn out onto a lightly floured board and pat into a rectangle, about 1/2 inch thick, with the long sides facing you.


6. Spread the filling mixture onto the entire surface of your rectangle and pat it down lightly. Scatter the chopped chocolate over the filling. Working from the side closest to you, roll up the dough jelly-roll fashion. Cut this log into 8 discs.


8. Place a 4"x4" square of parchment paper on top of one of the cavities of your muffin tin, and then place a disc of dough, cut side up, onto the square and gently push the roll, paper and all, into the muffin cavity. Repeat this step with each roll.


9. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the buns from the oven and allow to cool slightly.


10. While the buns are baking, whir the cream cheese, orange juice concentrate, orange zest, and superfine sugar in a food processor, until the mixture is completely smooth.


11. Frost the buns with thick blobs of icing and serve warm.

CREDIT: ©2011, Kate Shaffer, from Desserted: Recipes and Tales from an Island Chocolatier, Down East Books

Photo Credit: ©2011, Stacey Cramp, from Desserted: Recipes and Tales from an Island Chocolatier, Down East Books

Filo Cigars with Cabrales Cheese, Bittersweet Chocolate, and Sherry Dipping Sauce

When I was a senior in high school, I spent a year in Istanbul, Turkey, as an exchange student. Every afternoon when my host sisters and I returned from school, my host mother and aunts spread out a tea that included tiny cured fishes, black olives, white cheeses, charred eggplants, and a variety of börek in every shape and size. My favorites were the little sigara böreks filled with tangy beyaz penir (a Turkish-style feta), pan-fried in oil. Years later, when challenged to come up with an appetizer to serve at an all-chocolate dinner at the Keeper’s House, I decided to pair an earthy Spanish blue cheese with bittersweet chocolate, and roll the mixture up like the little cigar-shaped pastries I loved so much from that life-changing year in the City of Seven Hills.


1 package frozen filo dough, thawed
4 ounces Cabrales cheese, or domestic blue cheese, at room temperature
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
sea salt, to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
safflower oil for frying
1/2 cup apricot or peach jam
1/4 cup dry sherry


1. Remove the stack of filo from the package, unfurl, and cover with a slightly damp, clean dish towel.


2. With a fork, mash the blue cheese and the cream cheese together in a small bowl, and season with a little pepper and salt.


3. Remove one sheet of filo from the stack and lay it on the countertop, with the longer end closest to you. Brush the whole thing with olive oil. Lay another sheet on top of the first.


4. Brush with olive oil.


5. Cut the stacked sheets vertically into thirds. Spread about 1 tablespoon of the cheese filling along the width of each section of the filo on the end closest to you. Place a few bits of chopped chocolate on top of the cheese.


6. Roll the filo into a cigar, pausing in the middle of the sheet to fold the ends in, so that the filling is completely encased in filo. Place the cigar on a cookie sheet and repeat this process with the remaining two sections of filo. Continue to stack, cut, fill, and roll filo until all the cheese and chocolate is used up.


7. Pour about 11/2 inches of safflower oil into a wide, heavy skillet and heat on medium-high heat until the oil reaches 350 on an instant-read thermometer. Fry the cigars in several batches, turning once, until they are golden and crispy. Drain them on paper towels.


8. In a small saucepan, heat the jam and the sherry together until warm. Season with salt and pepper and pour into a small bowl.


9. Place the bowl of dipping sauce in the middle of a large dinner plate. Arrange the cigars around the bowl in a sunburst. Serve immediately. 


CREDIT: ©2011, Kate Shaffer, from Desserted: Recipes and Tales from an Island Chocolatier, Down East Books

Photo Credit: ©2011, Stacey Cramp, from Desserted: Recipes and Tales from an Island Chocolatier, Down East Books

Chocolate and Raspberry Tart



9 1/2oz (280g) pâte sablée (recipe below)
1 2/3 cups (200g) ripe fresh raspberries (or frozen ones, defrosted and well drained), halved if large

Generous 1 cup (250ml) whipping cream
7oz (200g) good-quality semisweet chocolate, 70% cocoa solids (preferably Valrhona), cut into pieces

1oz (25g) liquid glucose

4 tbsp (50g) butter, cut into small pieces


1. On a lightly floured counter, roll out the dough to a circle, 1/16–1/8 inch (2–3mm) thick, and use to line an 8 1/2-inch (22-cm) tart ring, 1 inch (2.5cm) high, placed on a cookie sheet. Chill for 20 minutes.


2. Preheat the oven to 375°F/190°C. Prick the dough base lightly with a fork. Line the pastry shell with waxed paper, fill with baking beans, and bake “blind” for 20 minutes. Remove the paper and beans, lower the oven setting to 350°F/180°C, and bake for 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack, leave until cool enough to handle, then lift off the ring.


3. Once cold, arrange the raspberries in the pastry shell, pressing them down lightly with your fingertips so that they stick slightly to the base. 


4. For the ganache, slowly bring the cream to a boil in a pan over medium heat. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate, using a balloon whisk to mix it in, then add the glucose. Once the mixture is smooth, incorporate the butter, a little at a time.


5. Pour the ganache over the raspberries to fill the pastry shell. Let cool, then chill the tart in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, before serving.


6. Use a very sharp knife dipped in boiling water to cut the tart into slices, wiping the knife between each slice. Serve cold, but not straight from the refrigerator.


Pâte Sablée

Makes 1lb 7oz (650g)

Generous 1 3/4 cups (250g) all-purpose flour, sifted
Scant 1 cup (200g) butter, cut into small pieces,
Slightly softened
1 cup (100g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
Pinch of salt
2 egg yolks


1. Heap the flour in a mound on the counter and make a well. Put in the butter, confectioners’ sugar, and salt.


2. With your fingertips, mix and cream the butter with the sugar and salt, then add the egg yolks and work them in delicately with your fingertips. Little by little, draw the flour into the center and work the mixture delicately with your fingers until you have a homogeneous dough.


3. Using the palm of your hand, push the dough away from you 3 or 4 times until it is completely smooth. Roll it into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until ready to use. If well wrapped, this delicate, sweet pie dough will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.


CREDIT: DESSERTS by Michel Roux. John Wiley & Sons Inc. 2011.

Photo Credit: DESSERTS 2011, John Wiley & Sons.

The Hotel Hershey Espresso Martini



1 ounce Van Gogh triple-shot espresso vodka

1/2 ounce Di Saronno amaretto
1/2 ounce dark creme de cacao
2 ounces coffee


1. Mix ingredients together over ice.
2. Strain into martini glass.
3. Garnish with whipped cream and whole espresso beans.


CREDIT: The Hotel Hershey

Photo Credit: The Hotel Hershey

Chocolate Olive Oil Mousse


10 oz dark chocolate 60% to 70% (I use Belcolade Brand 60%)
5 oz olive oil (Frantoia)
4 eggs, separated
8 oz sugar, granulated superfine
1 tablespoon Grand Marnier
pinch of kosher or sea salt

1. Melt the chocolate over a simmering water bath.

2. Slowly pour in the olive oil and mix until combined.


3. Beat the egg yolks with half of the sugar and the Grand Marnier until light in color and fluffy.


4. Stir egg yolks into the chocolate mixture. 


5. Whip the egg whites with the pinch of salt and remaining sugar in a kitchen-aid or other electric mixer fitted with a whip attachment.


6. Add the sugar to the whites in small batches whipping in between to gain maximum volume. Continue whipping until the mixture is stiff. Fold egg whites into chocolate mixture and refrigerate until firm.

7. Layer the mousse into glasses with fresh berries or fruit and garnish as desired.

CREDIT: Pastry Chef Peter Calhoun at L'Auberge de Sedona

Photo Credit: Courtesy of L'Auberge de Sedona

Hershey's Chocolate Chili Barbeque Sauce



2 tablespoons vegetable oil

4 ounces (1/4) Spanish onion, rough-medium dice
2 tablespoons (4) garlic cloves, rough-small dice

1/2 ounce (1) jalapeno, seeds removed, rough-small dice
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
4 ounces white vinegar
1 tablespoon maple syrup
24 ounces (5) fresh tomatoes, peeled, seeds removed, rough-large dice
4 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
16 ounces vegetable stock
1 bay leaf
2 ounces Hershey’s dark chocolate, rough- chopped

Chef’s Note: This sauce is best with grilled and roasted beef, poultry, pork, veal and shrimp. 


1. Heat oil in medium saucepot over medium heat.


2. Add onion and garlic; sauté until lightly browned, about 5 minutes.


3. Add jalapeno; mix. Sauté for 3 minutes.


4. Add sugar; mix. Allow to caramelize for 5 minutes.


5. Add vinegar and maple syrup. Bring to boil, reduce to simmer. Reduce by half.


6. Add tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, cinnamon and cloves. Mix well and cook for 5 minutes.


7. Add stock and bay leaf. Mix well. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer. Cook for 30 minutes or until sauce reaches desired consistency.


8. Remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes.


9. Slowly add chocolate, mixing until fully incorporated. Let stand for 15 minutes.


10. Remove bay leaf. Puree with hand blender until smooth.


11. Season with salt and fresh ground black pepper. Taste; adjust seasoning if necessary.


12. Allow to cool completely.


CREDIT: Prepared by Kenneth Gladysz, Executive Chef of The Hotel Hershey

Photo Credit: The Hotel Hershey

Chocolate Beet Cake

3/4 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 eggs
1 1/4 cups beet puree (comes from 2-3 large beets)
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup milk


Chocolate Butter Cream Frosting
1 cup salted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup whipping cream room temperature
3 cups powdered sugar
1 cup cocoa powder
2 tablespoons espresso
2 teaspoon vanilla extract


1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.


Beet Puree

1. In a medium pot filled with simmering water, boil the beets.


2. When the beets are fork tender, drain them and let them sit until cool enough to handle. Peel the skin off and trim the top off of them.


3. Chop the beets into large pieces and throw them into the food processor. Pulse the beets until they are a smooth puree. Set the puree aside.


Beet Cake

1. In the bowl of a standing mixer, beat the sugar and butter together until light and fluffy.


2. Add the vanilla and the eggs. Beat to combine.


3. Add the beets and combine well. It will look like the batter has curdled, but it is fine.


4. In a separate bowl, add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices. Sift them all together.


5. Add half of the flour mixture to the batter, and then half of the milk.


6. Combine completely and then add the rest of the flour and the rest of the milk. Mix the batter until it is completely combined.


7. Prepare two 9” round cake pans with baking spray. Divide the batter evenly between the two pans.


8. Bake the cake rounds for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.


9. Remove the cakes from the heat and let them cool on a rack completely.


Butter Cream

1. Beat all of the frosting ingredients, whipping them until fluffy and uniform.


2. To assemble the cake, ice the first layer of the cake and then the top and sides.


3. If desired decorate with sprinkles.


4. Slice, serve and enjoy!


CREDIT: Heather Christo, Food & Entertaining Blogger.


Photo Credit: Heather Christo

Campfire Smore's Bamboozled Shake

Vanilla gelato

Graham crumble
Vanilla marshmallows
Chocolate sauce
Goslings dark rum


1. Put 3 scoops of gelato in blender, add 3 tablespoons of graham crumble, 3 marshmallow pieces and 1/2 ounce of rum. Blend till nice and smooth.


2. Drizzle chocolate sauce in tall milkshake glass, pour shake and top off with whipped cream, graham crumble and 2 marshmallows that have been roasted.

Vanilla Marshmallow

250 g. hot water
50 g. gelatin powder

600 g. granulated sugar
250 g. water
400 g. glucose

dusting powder
12 oz. Powder sugar
4 oz. Corn starch


1. Place gelatin powder in small kitchen aid mixing bowl, add boiling hot water. Attach bowl and whisk attachment to mixer, mix on medium speed.


2. Combine sugar, water and glucose in medium sauce pot, mix till dissolved and clean sides with clean pastry brush dipped in water.


3. Cook mixture to 118c. Add mix slowly to gelatin mixture, whip until fluffy and cool. Pour out mixture onto a 1/2 pan that has been sprayed with pan coating and dusting powder. Spread out evenly and dust the top with dusting powder.


Graham Crumble

1 lb. 4 oz. graham cookie crumbs
6 oz. butter


1. Brown the butter, then add to graham cookie crumbs. Mix until incorporated.


Chocolate Sauce

84 g. half & half
399 g. water
504 g. heavy cream
126 g. granulated sugar
210 g. corn syrup
630 g. dark chocolate
84 g. cocoa powder


1. Place all liquid ingredients in medium sauce pot. Whisk together and bring to a boil.


2. Pour over chocolate, mix until dissolved and add cocoa powder. Stir till dissolved.


3. Strain through a fine mesh strainer. Place in refrigerator.


CREDIT: Executive Chef Anthony Meidenbauer of Holsteins Shakes and Buns



Photo Credit: Courtesy of Holsteins

Ice Cream Pie

2 cups semi sweet chocolate

3 teaspoons butter

2 cups Rice Krispies


1. Melt 2 cups semisweet chocolate, 3 teaspoons butter.


2. Pour mixture over 2 cups of Rice Krispies. Mix well. Pour mixture on a 8”x8 ” Pyrex mold. Gently press with a spatula.


3. Freeze for 10 minutes. Remove from freezer and cover with softened chocolate ice cream. Return to freezer until hard.


CREDIT: Debora Varon, founder of Izzy's Chocolate





Jennifer Jeanne Patterson is a freelance writer and author of 52 Fights. She lives in Minneapolis with her husband and three children. Find her blog at Unplanned Cooking.

Related: Spicy Food Recipes

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Photo Credit: Debora Varon

First Published January 5, 2012

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