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Tag Archives: chocolate

Peanut Butter Lovers Unite!

Are you a peanut butter lover?  If so then today is YOUR day.  Yes, you.  The one with the choosey mom and the dog that cant stop sticking its tongue out.  Happy Peanut Butter Lovers Day!

To celebrate I sent a request to my personal pastry chef (yea, I said personal pastry chef…be jelous) for a peanut butter inspired dessert.  Here’s what she came up with:

A simple yet perfectly prepared and well balanced dessert.  Peanut butter shortbread stuffed sweet shortbread cigars with chocolate drizzled strawberry, vanilla ice cream, and a rich chocolate ganache.

Are you a peanut butter lover?

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Posted by on March 1, 2012 in Dessert, food, Photography

 

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Chocolate Covered Peanuts

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Today I decided that it’s ok to take some liberty with this holiday and make it a bit classier so I have enjoyed the above chocolates.

The round ones with the crunchy topping are chocolate covered macadamia nuts amd the ones topped with flowers are black garlic chocolate truffles.  Y.U.M.

If you’re looking for a box of chocolates to give as a gift, that’s a little more special than the same box of Ferror Rocher everyone gives out, then I suggest stopping by Pastry Gems on the 9th floor of the Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong.  They have a great selection of these premium chocolates, not to mention their beautiful cake selection.

Happy Chocolate Covered Peanuts day!

 
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Posted by on February 25, 2012 in Dessert, Where to Eat

 

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Wherefore art thou Marzipan?

Once again the game of the day in Hong Kong must be hide the ingredients!  Yet I will not let this hold me back.  Although the creative writing stylings of the day have changed significantly, I was still able to get my hands on a fair substitute for today’s celebration.

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This chestnut cream topped, cake filled chocolate cup from Chez Shibata was also filled with a marzipan praline! Now…normally I would never eat such a monstrosity as I prefer more savory flavors, but this cake was surprisingly good! It may even be quite fitting to actually have cake as part of the celebration, as if it were marzipan’s birthday.

How do you enjoy your marzipan?

 
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Posted by on January 12, 2012 in Dessert, food, Uncategorized

 

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Bittersweet

Welcome to another edition of what tastes better!

January 10th is bittersweet chocolate day, and how appropriate to have a what tastes better when you have to choose between two delicious chocolates!

Today I tasted 2 chocolates made by Artisan du Chocolat.  One made with cocoa sourced from Haiti and the other from Panama.  Both chocolates are 72% Cocoa which technically puts them too high on the cocoa level to qualify for bittersweet chocolate day…..but I liked it so were gonna go with it anyway!

” ‘Bittersweet chocolate’ is chocolate liquor (or unsweetened chocolate) to which some sugar (less than a third), more cocoa butter, vanilla and sometimes lecithin has been added. It has less sugar and more liquor than semisweet chocolate, but the two are interchangeable when baking. Bittersweet and semisweet chocolates are sometimes referred to as ‘couverture’. Many brands now print on the package the percentage of cocoa in the chocolate (as chocolate liquor and added cocoa butter). The higher the percentage of cocoa, the less sweet the chocolate is.” -Wikipedia (Types of Chocolate)

On to the comparison!

Due to a simple packaging error, Haiti was given the opportunity to be tasted first as to me, the lines should be facing upwards when I open the box.

The aroma of the Haitian chocolate has (for me) strong coffee notes and for some reason after taking a good wiff I wanted a pretzel.

The Panamanian chocolate’s aroma is a bit more intense with mild coffee notes giving way to tobacco and toasted almonds.

 

The Haitian chocolate broke quite evenly and had a much creamier texture than that of the one from Panama.

Where the Haitian chocolate melted in your mouth and covered your palate with a long finish, the Panamanian chocolate was crunchy until the last bite and left your palate feeling clean and refreshed relatively quickly.

 

The champion…..Panamanian chocolate!!!  Happy bittersweet chocolate day.

Who’s your bittersweet champ?

 
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Posted by on January 10, 2012 in Dessert, food, Photography, Product Review

 

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Chocolate & Macadamia Nut Shortbread!

I mentioned to the wifey that today was going to be shortbread day and I saw her eyes light up a bit.  I had planned on coming home tonight and slapping some dough together and hoping for the best.  Instead I come home to wonderful smells and shortbread with chocolate chips and toasted macadamia nuts!

Yes, it is ok to be jealous.  Shortbread can be a great base for a numerous amount of cookie flavors.  You can add a few tablespoons of cocoa powder and have a chocolate cookie base, or add nuts, or marshmallows, or cranberries!!  Basically the flavor combinations are only limited to your imagination.

Where did your imagination take you for shortbread day?

 
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Posted by on January 6, 2012 in Dessert, food, Photography, Snacks

 

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Merry Chocolate Covered Cherry Day!

When I was about 12 years old I feel in love with Queen Anne’s milk chocolate covered cordial cherries.  I quickly lost the love for them probably the next year by eating 1 box a day for about a week straight.  When I was about 16 I discovered Queen Anne’s dark side and fell in love all over again with the dark chocolate variety.  Our relationship lasted a bit longer this time as I only ate 1 box a day each year around this time.  When I was 18 I broke it off with Queen Anne as I lost my love for chocolate and candies in favor for more savory flavors.

Fast forward  7 years and I find myself in Hong Kong tearing apart the candy isle in all of the grocery stores in an attempt to find my long lost love for this special holiday.  Unfortunately I was only able to find her ugly evil step sister in my wife’s secret chocolate stash.

Cadbury’s milk chocolate with cherry flavoured jellies and biscuit pieces is a far cry from what I had in mind…but I will just have to do for today.  At least I was able to celebrate with some form of cherry covered in chocolate!!

To make this better someone should cover some dried cherry pieces in a nice dark chocolate…but keep the biscuit pieces….those were nice 🙂

Next year, someone needs to hold me to this as I’m sure I’ll forget…I’d like to make my own to celebrate.  Something like the stuff at http://www.thecordialcherry.com/ looks like something right up the wifey’s alley.

 

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Vivo

Tonight after work and a trip to the massage parlor for a foot reflexology treatment with Angie, we headed up to 41-43 Elgin St. for dinner.

I actually spent a good portion of the day reading through HK Magazine’s 2010 restaurant guide for places to go as tonight was my unofficial birthday dinner.  After finding out that my first three choices were actually private kitchens and you have to choose your food a day in advance, I settled on Vivo for something different.  Unfortunately I left my camera at home today so I can not grace this post with photos.

We started our meal with the crab cakes which turned out to be 3 crab cakes with 3 different toppings (concasse tomatoes, mango chutney, and an herb medley).  This was a fantastic dish covering the full range of the palate and was beautifully presented.  The crab cakes themselves were soft and moist while still having a crispy exterior and not overly seasoned so that the toppings melded nicely.

Next we shared an order of the lamb loin served with smoked eggplant puree.  This is where the meal took a turn downhill.  Both mine and Angie’s first piece of lamb seemed as though they came from a cheap bubble gum vending machine, tough, chewy, and a bit bland.  Fortunately the next few pieces were moist and tender, but the first bite tends to be your impression.  I do have to note here that the smoked eggplant puree was absolutely delicious, perhaps my favorite part of the whole meal.

From here we moved onto a cheese course and tasted their fontina which happens to remind me of a slightly creamier and more robust cheddar than anything really special.  The candied mandarin was a nice touch in the center of the plate though.

We decided to finish with the dessert platter as I had read from 3 sources at this point that is was a must have.  It consisted of a pistachio ice cream, chocolate fondant, panna cotta, and a tiramisu.  The panna cotta was wonderfully light and not overly gelatinous which is what tends to turn me off from them normally.  The ice cream was nice as well with a good balance of nuttiness and cream.  The chocolate fondant on the other hand seemed to be made of either waaay too much chocolate, or a cheap one that just never wants to leave your mouth.  The tiramisu was about on the same level with the lady fingers having been soaked in the rum for far to long which left the cake a bit soggy.  (Not to mention I was glad there wasn’t a candle around to light my breath on fire with.)

After having given all of that negative feedback, the service was impeccable and I would definitely go back to give Vivo a second shot on some of their more signature dishes and another round of crab cakes.

Until next time, Keep on Eatin’

 

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