On the Chocolate Trail

Recipe Testing

The chocolate batter splattered our studio’s microwave, the stove, and the floor as Hannah Gross energetically tested chocolate recipes constrained by my primitive and limited cooking equipment.

Chocolate Everywhere

Within two hours, this amazing sister of our wonderful daughter-in-law, masterminded the creation of three recipes, each quite delicious, all finished in time for a very respectable and genteel afternoon chocolate snack. Hannah kindly took time from her very full shifts as pastry cook for a fancy restaurant in New York City to adjust and improve on recipes for the forthcoming book, Jews on the Chocolate Trail.

Someone has to do it

In the process I learned the value of a bain marie, a hot water bath for melting chocolate, since microwaving is hard on the chocolate. I saw that rolling dough between sheets of parchment paper works much better than using a cutting board dressed with flour. Adding a bit of pepper or chile to enhance the chocolate flavor improved several items.

Hannah immediately knew that my need for a something evocative of Hispanic culture or a Day of the Dead chocolate traditions could be satisfied with bizcochitos, a very flavorful cocoa, anise, cinnamon version of a butter cookie dipped in chocolate. Our version dropped the lard. Her experience helped the truffle project intoxicate, literally and figuratively, everyone who tasted them.

She was enchanted by my recipe for bicerin, the multi-layered drink of Turin, Italy, and executed it much better than I would have been able to on my own.  Actually, Hannah’s was tastier than the ones I had recently sampled, even though she had never even heard of it before.

Chocolate, Coffee, Cream Layered Bicerin

Sure is great to have a chef in the family. What was that about lawyers and doctors?

Afternoon Yummies


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On the Chocolate Trail

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