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A beer made for chocolate lovers

Chocolate is the ubiquitous indulgence during the Christmas holiday. But your list of chocolate fantasies may not include chocolate bock.

If Jim Koch, founder and brew master at the Boston Beer Company, maker of Samuel Adams beers, has his way, that's going to change.

"I'm using chocolate in a beverage, which was its original use 1,000 years ago," says Koch.

At a time when breweries are experimenting with beers and ales as chefs do with food, Chocolate Bock, a seasonal Koch creation, presents exciting new possibilities for chocolate lovers. The limited-edition brew celebrates the roasted flavor of cocoa nibs and spiciness and bitterness of hops.

The Chocolate Bock also answers the question of what to serve with dessert.

"Any kind of chocolate goes well [with the bock] because it complements chocolate flavors. It's also great with berries, bread pudding and anything with chocolate sauce," says Koch, who also recommends his product as an accompaniment to tiramisu.

Not only is a chocolate beer a distinctive beverage companion, it's also an appealing dessert ingredient.

Chef David Burke, working with the Boston Beer Company, created a luscious, rich chocolate cake with a hint of Chocolate Bock. The recipe that follows is an adaptation of his recipe. If you don't want to use the beer, substitute club soda.

Cover leftovers - and if you're cooking for two, you will definitely have some - and refrigerate up to four days.

Chocolate mousse cake

Makes 8 servings

Chocolate mousse (recipe follows)

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 eggs
1 cup cake flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup warm water
1/4 cup Chocolate Bock
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup coarsely chopped bittersweet chocolate chunks

1. Prepare chocolate mousse. Refrigerate while preparing cake.

2. Place butter, sugar and cocoa in bowl of electric mixer. Beat until well blended. Add eggs one at a time, and beat to blend in. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a bowl.

3. In a second bowl, combine water, chocolate bock and oil. Add flour mixture to mixer bowl. Beat in, scraping down sides of bowl. Add water mixture, scraping down sides of bowl.

4. Spoon batter into 2 well-greased and floured 8-inch round shiny metal cake pans. Bake in preheated 325-degree oven for 25 minutes or until cakes pull away from sides of pan and toothpick inserted into center of each comes out clean.

5. Remove cakes from oven. Place on wire rack to cool for 15 minutes. Gently turn cakes over and release onto wire rack. Cakes are very delicate. Cool completely. To assemble, place 1 cake on serving plate. Generously cover with chocolate mousse, using about half the mousse. Top with second cake layer. Cover top of cake with remaining mousse. Sprinkle with chocolate chunks. Gently press into mousse. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.

Nutritional analysis per serving: 660 calories, 46 grams total fat, 56 carbohydrates, 6 grams protein, 150 milligrams cholesterol, 94 milligrams sodium and 63 percent of calories from fat.

Chocolate mousse

2 cups heavy cream, divided
6 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips

1. Pour 1 cup cream into a small pot. Bring to a boil. Place chocolate in medium-size heatproof bowl. Pour hot cream over chocolate. Stir until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth.

2. Whip remaining cream until stiff in bowl of electric mixer. Gently fold melted chocolate mixture into whipped cream. Refrigerate for 2 hours or until mousse holds its shape when scooped with a spoon.

Source: Fort Worth Star Telegram

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