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Archive for March 24, 2014

TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: Dear Coco Toffee Chocolate Bars

Quite a few artisan chocolatiers are also pastry chefs. Rachel Ferneau makes chocolates as Dear Coco, but was previously the proprietor of Eden Cake, a made-to-order kosher pareve bakery serving metro Washington, D.C.

While we’ve missed the opportunity to try her desserts, she was kind enough to send us some chocolate.

Everything from this artisan chocolatier is 100% handcrafted in small batches. The chocolates are completely dairy-free, all natural and certified kosher pareve by Star-K.

In both her baking and her chocolates, flavors of the world are evoked with coffees and teas, exotic salts, fine herbs, flowers, fruits, roasted nuts and spices.

Recently, Dear Coco launched a creative line of vegan-friendly artisan chocolate bars: Toffee Chocolate Bars. Eight unique bars are embedded with toffee and the spices that evoke each of the eight globally-inspired locations.

The toffee is made with vegan butter* in order to be pareve† and lactose free. This substitution, so that the bars can be enjoyed anytime by kosher observers, makes them vegan-friendly as well. Yes, it cuts down on the butteriness of the toffee; but there is so much other layering of flavors that no one will notice.

 

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The Oaxaca bar invokes the moles of Oaxaca, Mexico with cinnamon toffee and pepitas. Photo by Elvira Kalviste | THE NIBBLE.

 

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Five of the eight “destination” toffee
chocolate bars. Photo by Elvira Kalviste | THE
NIBBLE.

 

NEW & SPECIAL: TOFFEE CHOCOLATE BARS

All of the bars are made with dark chocolate and a touch of sea salt.

  • Barcelona Toffee Chocolate Bar: Influenced by the flavors of Spain—roasted almond toffee and sea salt.
  • Istanbul Toffee Chocolate Bar: Inspired by the flavors of baklava—cinnamon clove toffee with rosewater, roasted walnuts.
  • Madras Toffee Chocolate Bar: A tribute to the curries of Southeast India—sweet curry toffee with roasted sunflower seeds.
  • Oaxaca Toffee Chocolate Bar: A recognition of the mole dishes of Oaxaca—Mexican cinnamon and smoky hot chile toffee with roasted pepitas.
  • Savannah Toffee Chocolate Bar: A tribute to the pecan pie of “The Hostess City of the South”—pie spice toffee with roasted pecans.
  • Shanghai Toffee Chocolate Bar: Honoring a staple spice of Cantonese cooking, Chinese five spice toffee (here a blend of cassia cinnamon, star anise, anise seed, ginger and cloves) with roasted white sesame seeds.
  • Sidama Toffee Chocolate Bar: For the coffee lover, crunchy caramelized coffee toffee infused with Ethiopian coffee beans.
  • Tokyo Toffee Chocolate Bar: Homage to the sushi bar—ginger toffee with crispy rice.
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    The 3.5-ounce bars are $7.50 each. A gift set of eight (all the flavors) is $54.00.

    Get yours at DearCoco.com.

     
    *Products like Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks are made from expeller-pressed oils that have 0g trans fats. More information.

    †Kosher law prohibits the consumption of dairy and meat products together. Pareve is a classification of foods that contain neither dairy nor meat ingredients, and can be eaten with both groups. Pareve foods include eggs, fish and all foods that are grown—cereals, fruits, nuts, vegetables, etc.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Popcorn Meat Loaf, A Healthier Recipe

    Here’s how to add fiber to a meatloaf and have fun with it. The recipe is courtesy Popcorn.org, the website of The Popcorn Board.

    Don’t expect pieces of popcorn popping up in the slices of meatloaf. The popcorn is ground in the food processor and used instead of breadcrumbs, which (unless they’re whole wheat breadcrumbs) contribute zero fiber.

    See if anyone can guess what the “secret ingredient” is.

    Preparation time is 10 minutes; baking time is 1 hour.

    RECIPE: POPCORN MEATLOAF

    Ingredients For 6 Servings

  • 5 cups popped popcorn
  • 1-1/4 pounds extra lean ground beef or turkey
  • 1/4 cup chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup 2% milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup chili sauce, pasta sauce or ketchup
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    Popcorn in a meat loaf adds fiber and fun. Photo courtesy The Popcorn Board.

     

    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT oven to 350°F. Spray an 8 x 4-inch loaf pan with cooking spray; set aside.

    2. PROCESS popcorn in a blender or food processor until finely ground; pour into a large bowl. Add ground beef, celery, onion, milk, egg, parsley, garlic, salt and pepper. Mix until thoroughly blended.

    3. PRESS meat mixture into pan; spread chili sauce over top.

    4. BAKE for 1 hour, or until cooked through. Allow to cool 15 minutes before slicing.

      

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    RECIPE: Prosciutto Wrapped Bell Peppers

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    A tasty first course: a roasted bell pepper wrapped in prosciutto. Photo courtesy Westside Market | NYC.

     

    This recipe fits right in with a pink food party, Valentine’s Day, Easter or Mother’s Day.

    RECIPE: PROSCIUTTO WRAPPED BELL PEPPERS

    Ingredients For 4 Servings

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 red peppers, roasted and peeled*
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into 4 pieces
  • 4 ounces sliced prosciutto
  • 4 basil leaves
  • 4 black olives
  • 4 toothpicks
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    *This is the most laborious part of the recipe. Here’s how to roast peppers. As a substitution, you can purchase whole roasted red peppers in jars (pimento). They have a softer texture and different flavor, but it’s a good flavor.
     
    Preparation

    1. WHISK together olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Add peppers and marinate for 1 hour.

    2. FILL each pepper with a piece of mozzarella. Wrap a slice of prosciutto around each pepper.

    3. TOP each with a basil leaf and olive, held together with a toothpick.
     
    It’s that easy!

      

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