Sunday, January 24, 2016

Chocolate Again…and Forever

I just can’t keep away from chocolate.  It’s never far from my thoughts, possibly because various forms of it are stashed all over my kitchen.  Hiding in one cabinet is a bag of chocolate discs I melt to make candy.  Also there is a box of Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Caramels made by the Girl Scouts and a bag of Dark Chocolate Acai and Blueberry Flavor balls.  No more Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups left over from Halloween, alas.

Another cupboard contains two 17.6-oz. bars of Trader Joe’s 72% Dark Chocolate Bars imported from Belgium, a 3.5-oz. bar of Godiva 50% Cacao Dark Chocolate Sea Salt, a 3.5-oz. cardboard tube of Droste Chocolate Pastilles, five boxes of Bakers 4-oz. 100% Unsweetened Baking Bars, a 72-oz. bag of Nestle’s Chocolate Chips, an 8-oz. can of Baking Cocoa and a 4-oz. bottle of Pure Chocolate Extract.

On my kitchen bookshelves are 14 chocolate cookbooks, including “Chocolate on the Brain”, which I wrote with my son Kevin.  I guess we weren’t exaggerating with the title.

Not only is chocolate always on my brain but also I am thinking up new ways to use it. My latest is a Chocolate Fondue that can be spooned onto individual plates and eaten with pieces of angel food cake or bananas, strawberries and oranges.  It makes a good winter dessert. When people are sniffling, no one wants to dip into a communal pot of anything, even chocolate fondue. 

Chocolate is good for many things, but I’m not sure if it kills germs.  However, I have seen research hinting that dark chocolate can fight tooth decay.

Chocolate Fondue on a Plate – serves 5-6 moderate portions  
1 cup (6 oz.) semisweet chocolate chips 
1/2 cup sour cream 
1-inch squares of angel food cake (often sold in grocery bakeries) or slices of banana,
    whole strawberries or sections of oranges 
Begin melting the chocolate chips in a small, heavy pan over low heat.  Watch carefully and stir as the chips begin to melt.  When the chips are mostly melted, remove from the heat and stir until the chocolate is smooth.  Add the sour cream and stir until it’s fully incorporated. 
Portion it out on small plates and serve with angel food cake or slices of banana, whole strawberries or sections of an orange. 
          For more chocolate recipes, get “Chocolate on the Brain”