It’s rare that I post recipes here, but once upon a time while I was still figuring out what I wanted this site to be like, I actually did take tutorial-type pictures and hold onto new recipes I tried in order to share them. (Don’t panic…I won’t bore you with a full-on tutorial.)
This is an example of one of those days. It was another cold day in January 3 years ago, not long after the duck butt ordeal, and I had discovered biscotti. Now it’s not the first time I had ever had it, but it’s the first time I’d made it and known it by a real name. Apparently “those hard, crunchy things you eat with coffee” isn’t what they’re actually called.
So before the girls got home, I hunted down a decent looking recipe, zested and mixed, baked and baked, and then rebaked again, and got the hot chocolate all ready to go….
Oooo, this is from a time before I fell head over heels in love with my Kitchen Aid mixer.
Mixing in the eggs until everything is extra fluffy is always key. Well, or it’s just fun. Whatever.
I have no idea why I had a picture of a lime, by the way. This is strictly an orange biscotti recipe. I’m sure there was something significant back then, but not so much now. Maybe I was excited by it looking more like a golf ball? Or maybe it was a particularly huge one, but I didn’t think to place something next to it for size perspective? Who knows…but hey look, it’s a lime! /random
^ How not to zest an orange, by the way. You shouldn’t see nearly as much white because that means all the white pithy stuff is getting into your food, too. But guess what? I didn’t have a zester at that point and used a knife….so I sliced off thin pieces and then scraped off as much white as I could and chopped away. Go back to the zesty mix picture and you can see that it almost looks diced.
Work with what you’ve got….another life skill from my mom. Wait until I bring out the duct tape. ;)
^ Not done. This is the point where you cook them until solid and hard, but after you slice them, flip ‘em on their sides and bake until they’re that extra crunchy dip-worthy biscuit people seem to love.
And then coat them in sugary goodness so they taste decent. In this case, I went with chocolate. Lots of chocolate…
Obligatory funny faces!
Here’s the recipe for you guys who actually follow them to a tee. I didn’t, though, I’m sure, so don’t blame me if yours don’t pop out of the oven all smiley and fun. ;)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg
- 1 egg white
- 1/2 cup chopped almonds
- 2 tablespoons orange zest
- 4 (1 ounce) squares bittersweet chocolate
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a cookie sheet.
- In a medium bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Beat in the egg and egg white, then mix in almonds and orange zest. Knead dough by hand until mixture forms a smooth ball.
- Roll the dough into a log about 10 inches long; place on the prepared cookie sheet. Press down, or roll with a rolling pin, until log is 6 inches wide.
- Bake for 25 minutes in preheated oven. After baking, cool on a rack. With a serrated knife, cut into 1 inch slices. Place slices, cut side down, back onto the baking sheet.
- Return them to the oven for an additional 20 to 25 minutes; turning over half way through the baking. Melt the chocolate over a double boiler or in the microwave oven. Allow chocolate to cool but not harden before dipping one side of the biscotti into it. Place cookies on wire racks, chocolate side up, until cool and dry.
One of the great things about Vancouver is that there is -always- something going on.
Oh, and that Groupons make them even more accessible, of course. ;)
Last week, I got a Groupon for $5 hot chocolate and Belgian waffle from Leonidas and it just so happened to coincide with the annual Hot Chocolate Festival. Yes, these things exist, and they’re amazing. And it meant special hot cocoa flavors that were specifically for the festival, which makes it feel even more special, no?
Here’s the special ones they had:
DARK CHOCOLATE RASPBERRY – dark chocolate and raspberry cream
"TOSCA" – dark chocolate ganache and rum with a hint of pistachio flavored ice cream and white chocolate
FROZEN NOISETTE – Buche Pralinee: Milk chocolate and pure praline with milk chocolate ganache, chopped hazelnuts
RASPBERRY CHEESECAKE – white chocolate raspberry cheesecake ice cream with white chocolate; optional white chocolate with butter cream and pineapple flavor
All come with a choice of chocolate or liege waffle sample and are available every day of the festival
Even with only four choices, I still had trouble deciding. I ended up going with the raspberry and my hot cocoa buddy for the night went with Tosca. Turns out, when they said raspberry, they meant -really- raspberry which was delicious but a little more fruity than I’d normally want hot chocolate. On the flip side, the Tosca wasn’t quite their cup of tea (cocoa?) but I loved it, so we ended up trading about half. I certainly won’t argue with getting some of both!
We got our waffles first. Mine is the bottom one and obviously has the better chocolate L, but I also somehow managed to get two berries in my whipped cream.
The guy doing the plates and hot chocolates seemed slightly frazzled, so maybe he put on a berry, it fell off, and he didn’t notice, so he added another, thinking he hadn’t done it yet? That’s the totally logical and way too thought out explanation I’m going with. :P
When the hot chocolate finally came out, my L had partially sunken in. I barely got a picture while he was apologizing before he whisked it away again, insisting on redrawing it, despite me telling him it wasn’t necessary.
So sweet. He apologized yet again and told me that it probably wouldn’t last long but to enjoy.
Instead, this time, it stayed until the bottom of my cup. I think I have a way with keeping my hot chocolate drawings in place, huh?
Toward the bottom, it slightly morphed and looks more a J, no?
Now at some point, we were chatting along and the unthinkable happened. The plastic fork he was using decided it just wasn’t cut out for waffles after all.
And suddenly….weee! Waffle went flying behind him, into our pile of coats. Joking, he pretended to toss it at my plate, but uh, apparently it was the night of flying waffles instead, and it bounced on down to the floor.
Overall, the Leonidas visit was definitely a good one. The hot chocolates were delicious, the waffles yummy, and the service was spot on.
And I love their cups. I could still feel the warmth of the hot drink, but no risk of dropping it or burning myself either. Next time I’m there, I’ll be sure to try some of their chocolates while I’m at it, too, mmm.
Oh right, and for our pre-cocoa dinner, we stopped at Caffee Artigiano for a roast leg of lamb sandwich with red pepper pepperonata, minted goat cheese, and rosemary aioli. Their sandwiches are hearty enough that one was plenty to split and head off for cocoa right after. :)
Bulk Hot Cocoa Mix
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 cup cocoa (Dutch-process preferred)
- 2 1/2 cups powdered milk
Also, while looking around for pictures of the marshmallows, I found these sheep/lamb marshmallow pops:
Sweet Simple Stuff has a full tutorial of how to make them. So cute!