December 17, 2003

It's hard to blog on a moving planet!

This year went by so fast and got a little out of control.
I was luckily very busy this fall, making up for the lack of work due to Sadam and SARS.
But the summer heat ( record in 300 years!) also made my computers crazy and impossible to BLOG.
I have finally caught up and have one of my computers back functioning conrrectly....

This year I gave a lecture on Death by Chocolate here in Florence which was really fun-
Gave me an excuse to go to Eurochocolate for research!

Here are some of the recipes I made to complement the fabulous chocolates we tasted!
Amadei, Vestri, Slitti!!!

We are very lucky in Tuscany to have many expert chocolate makers.
Just as there are Super Tuscan wines , we have Super Tuscan Chocolates in our Tuscan Chocolate Valley
Here is a list for future trips of some of the best!

Tuscan Chocolate Valley Artisans
Amedei - Pontedera PI available in Florence at Procacci Via Tornabuoni, 64/r
Vestri- Borgo Albizi, 11r Firenze Tel 055 234-0374
Roberto Catinari via Provinciale 378, Agliana (Pistoia).Tel.0574 718506
Slitti via Francesca Sud 1268 Monsummano Terme (Pistoia) Tel.e Fax 0572 640240
Mannori via Pomeria n 2 - 50047 Prato Tel.: 0574-21628

Salame dolce

6 ounces cooking crumbs (best are small rectangular cookies called Marie in Italy, Petite Beurre in the U.S.)
1/2 cup sugar
5 ounces melted butter
2 egg yolks
1/2 c unsweetened cocoa powder
1 ounce grappa (my preference), or Grand Marnier, Amaretto di Saronno, Kahlua, rum, or whiskey

Melt the butter and let it cool.

Beat the egg yolks with the sugar until it resembles cake batter. Add the melted butter and cocoa powder. (And more cocoa powder if you want it really dark.)

Crush the cookies in a food processor or with a rolling pin, leaving some pieces a little larger than others so they resemble the fat in a salame. Ad to the butter mixture and stir to mix, using your hands to really mix well!

Form a salame-like shape and roll it in aluminum foil. Place in the freezer for 30 minutes or until firm. Unwrap and slice. Serve with soft whipped cream and fresh berries.

Vestri�s Florentine Hot Chocolate

5 tablespoons Dutch processed cocoa powder (Hershey's European Style, Van Hooten, or Droste)
2 tablespoons sugar
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 cups milk
Chili powder ( optional)

Place the cocoa powder, sugar, and 2 tablespoons of the milk in a saucepan and heat until the sugar melts, stirring well to remove any lumps. Boil and add the remaining milk. Heat to steaming, always whisking to incorporate the chocolate mixture.

Turn off the heat and add the chopped chocolate. Stir to melt the chocolate and let it sit. Reheat to serve, stirring well before serving.
Sprinkle with chilli powder for a fabulous flavor!

Chocolate Orange Vodka
4 oz Lindt orange flavored Chocolate
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup vodka

Melt the chocolate with water and orange rind in a microwave.
Stir to mix and add the vodka.
Serve in expresso cups with whipped cream

Cinghiale in Dolce Forte

2 cups red wine
� cup red wine vinegar
1 bay leaf 1 sprig fresh thyme
1 tbs pumpkin pie spice ( cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice)
1 carrot, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 celery stalk chopped

3lbs wild boar ( or venison), cut into 2 inch cubes
( you can also use pork and don't need to marinade as long)
4 tbs butter or olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tbs pumpkin pie spice ( cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice)
2 oz bittersweet chocolate
1 tbs pinenuts
3 oz dried prunes, cut in half
1 tsp chilli pepper
grated zest of one orange
1 tbs raisins
1 tbs sugar

Bring the marinade to a boil and let cool.
Cover meat and let sit for 48 hours.Drain the meat and remove the solids from the marinade.

Saute the onion in butter or olive oil until golden. Add the meat and brown lightly.
Add the rest of the ingredients and cook until the meat is tender , stirring occassionaly.
If needed add water.
Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve with polenta or on a thick slice of toasted countrystyle bread.