Showing posts with label chocoholic. Show all posts
Showing posts with label chocoholic. Show all posts

Baking with PURE DARK Chocolate {+Giveaway}

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

*Closed - Congratulations Amber!*

I don't consider myself a great cook but I'm an awesome baker (toot toot!) Right before the holidays, I got an offer I couldn't refuse. Would I like to review a few items from PURE DARK's line of artisanal chocolates that can be used for baking? Why, yes. Yes I would!

The chocolates arrived in the mail and the smell when I opened the box was divine. PURE DARK's motto is "chocolates harvested from nature" and from the taste I could see why. PURE DARK is hand made. They offer exotic flavors like  cardamom allspice, chocolate dipped fruits and barks with fruits and nuts.

PURE DARK varies the intensity of their chocolates with three different levels of cocoa; Striking (60% cocoa), Serious (70%) and Stunning (80%). I really liked that the chocolates weren't grainy the way some dark chocolates can be. Every piece I tried was smooth.

The slabs and rounds are perfect for baking. Right now I'm obsessed with salted caramel. I think I drooled a little over this recipe that came with my chocolate samples. The recipe uses PURE DARK slabs, caramelized cocoa nibs and sea salt rounds.

(also posted in Google Docs for easy printing, click link above)

½ cup granulated sugar
3 Tbsp. of water
½ cup heavy cream
¼ tsp. sea salt
tsp. pure vanilla extract

In a heavy bottom sauce pan combine water and sugar and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.
Stir mixture until sugar is completely dissolved.

Increase heat and allow liquid to boil until it becomes a caramel brown. Do not stir to prevent liquid from crystallizing. If crystals form on sides of pan, dip a pastry brush in water and brush down the sides.

When liquid is caramel brown, remove from heat and pour in heavy cream. The caramel will bubble and may seize up.

Return to medium heat and allow caramel to re-melt.

Add vanilla and sea salt.

Remove from heat, transfer to a small metal mixing bowl and cool.

*Caramel can be stored, covered and refrigerated for 5 days.

1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
2 1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
¾ cup premium quality cocoa powder
½ tsp. sea salt
½ cup PURE DARK™ Caramelized Cocoa Nibs
1/3 cup PURE DARK™ sea salt rounds broken in small pieces
2 Tbsp. PURE DARK™ Slab grated or shaved
Non-stick cooking spray

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8x8 cake pan with non-stick cooking spray.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder and sea salt, set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar till smooth.

Add eggs and vanilla extract.

Slowly incorporate dry ingredients, mixing until smooth.

Add PURE DARK™ Caramelized Nibs and PURE DARK™ Sea Salt Rounds. Mix until evenly distributed in batter.

Spread batter in pan and bake for 45 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool on wire rack.

Place individual brownies on small dessert plates and drizzle with Sea Salt Caramel. Serve with a scoop of your favorite vanilla bean ice cream or fresh whipped cream and top with shaved PURE DARK™ Slab.

Recipe created exclusively for PURE DARK™ by Chef Samara Salisbury

The recipe is a little time consuming but I bet it's insanely good! Now for the best part: I get to share PURE DARK with you! (Make sure to read all the way to the bottom)

Giveaway: One winner will receive a $20 gift card to shop PURE DARK!

To enter:

1. Visit PURE DARK, come back here and tell me what you'll buy with your certificate or what other recipe you'd like to try. This is required.

2. I MUST have a way to get in touch with you! I will have to delete comments with no contact info.

3. Comments will close on Tuesday, January 11th at 11:59pm CA time.

4. I will use to draw the winner and post the results/notify winners via email and Twitter.

5. For two bonus entries: (not required) Tweet, and/or blog about this contest and leave each of your links in a separate comment (three contest entry opportunities total). You will need a free Twitter account.

6. If the notified winner has not responded within 48 hours a new winner will be chosen.

7. You do not have to follow or subscribe to this blog as a method of entry (but you're more than welcome to!). Tweet as often as you like, but only one Tweet will count as an extra entry. Leave one comment for each entry. Here is the URL to this post:

8. The contest is open to US entrants only.

I invited friend and fellow blogger Nic of 2 Hot Bloggers and A Bottle of Wine to come over and taste test with me and show me how to pair chocolate and wine. I'm determined to find a wine I like and figured pairing it with chocolate was a good way to start! We vlogged our tasting session for San Diego MOMfia. She also posted a recipe and is hosting her own PURE DARK giveaway. You've got two chances to win!

PURE DARK chocolates are sold in specialty shops and through their online store. Thank you PURE DARK for the opportunity to try your fabulous chocolates and for providing the gift card for the giveaway!

A Holiday I Totally Support

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Today is Chocolate Day! On July 7, 1550, the joy that is chocolate landed in Europe and women everywhere rejoiced. 

What holiday can you get behind?

*I'm a little embarrassed right now. Especially since that's not my entire stash.
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