Sign in

Calendar

<<  April 2014  >>
MoTuWeThFrSaSu
31123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
2829301234
567891011

View posts in large calendar

Stay Connected!
Find us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter
Feed Link

Tags


Blogroll


When I was trying to decide on a recipe for this week, I thought it was time for a classic chocolate cake. However, while scanning the pantry to see if I needed to stock up on any ingredients, my tin of Aztec Hot Chocolate stared back at me, as if to say “I Dare You”.  Never one to turn down a challenge, instead of reaching for the Unsweetened Cocoa, I pulled out the Spicy Aztec.  A little nervous about recipe improvisation when cayenne pepper was involved, I was pleasantly surprised when the cake turned out with a strong likeness to our famous hot chocolate.

I realized the chocolate cake would need the perfect frosting.  Since we’re making a cake from hot chocolate, I decided to go with the theme, and make a Cinnamon Marshmallow Frosting I came across in Vermont’s own Eating Well Magazine. And with a last-minute nod toward our Organic Spicy Aztec Bar, I pulled out my stash of pepitas – the Mexican pumpkin seeds that are sprinkled throughout our Aztec Bar – and scattered those on top.

Cake
2 c flour
1 ¼ c Lake Champlain Chocolates Aztec Hot Chocolate
1 c sugar
1 1/2 tbsp cayenne pepper (use less if you like less heat)
2 heaping tbsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
2/3 c vegetable oil
2 tbsp white vinegar
4 tsp vanilla extract
2 c warm water

Preheat oven to 350º.  Grease two 9” cake pans and line the bottoms with rounds of parchment paper. 

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, sugar, spices, baking powder and baking soda.  Make sure they are well-incorporated.  Separately, combine the vegetable oil, vinegar, vanilla and warm water.  Add the wet ingredients to dry, mixing until just combined.  Do not over mix.

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.  Allow to cool completely in cake pan on cooling rack.

Frosting
1 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup water
4 teaspoons dried egg whites (see Note), reconstituted according to package directions (equivalent to 2 egg whites)
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus more for garnish

Eating Well’s Ingredient Note: Dried egg whites are pasteurized so this product is a wise choice in dishes that call for an uncooked meringue.

Bring 2 inches of water to a simmer in the bottom of a double boiler.  Combine 1 cup brown sugar and 1/4 cup water in the top of the double boiler. Heat over the simmering water, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved, 2 to 3 minutes. Add reconstituted egg whites, cream of tartar and pinch of salt. Beat with an electric mixer on high speed until the mixture is glossy and thick, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove the top pan from the heat and continue beating for 1 minute more to cool. Add vanilla and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and beat on low just to combine. Spread or pipe the frosting onto the cooled cake and sprinkle cinnamon on top, if desired.

Frosting recipe doubled for two-layer cake.  


Beer Pairing No. 2

Posted on August 13, 2009 1:01 PM by Allison


Wolaver’s Organic Brown Ale (5.7% ABV) with Lake Champlain Chocolates Organic Dark Chocolate Spicy Aztec

Wolaver’s is one of my favorite local microbrews.  Ok, I think I would call all Vermont microbrews “one of my favorites”, but I’m really impressed with Wolaver’s commitment to sustainable and organic brewing methods. 

All of their boilers are powered by biodiesel, they too, boast using primarily Vermont ingredients in their beer, and all of their spent grain is repurposed to feed local livestock. 

If that’s not enough to impress you, give one of their brews a try.

The Organic Brown Ale is 5.7 % alcohol by volume.  The beer is mild, a deep amber in color and very smooth, with a slight malty flavor.  Cherries and black currants also lend some flavor to this well-balanced ale.

At the Lake Champlain Chocolates Brewfest Tent, we paired our 55% cocoa content Organic Aztec Squares with Wolaver’s Organic Brown Ale. 

Our Aztec squares add cinnamon and cayenne pepper to an organic dark chocolate.  Keeping with a South-American flavor profile, we’ve added in pepitas, or Mexican pumpkin seeds.  The Aztec squares will give your mouth a little kick, complimenting the dark chocolate and creating a wonderfully unique tasting experience.

Tasters found that the Brown Ale really brought out the spices in the chocolate and the sweet fruit flavors in the beer complimented the spice nicely. 

Check out last Friday’s Burlington Free Press to hear more about the event!


We find ourselves at the fourth of our five chocolate and beer pairings and in keeping with proper tasting fashion, the beers have increased in intensity while the chocolates have kept in lockstep. This isn’t to say the beers are not palatable to those of us who aren’t beer aficionados. In fact, I was becoming a little skeptical at this point (as I tend to gravitate towards the beers that are lighter in color and body) but I was pleasantly surprised with this pairing and very glad I didn’t pass it up. So, here we are.

Pairing #4
Rock Art Ridge Runner Ale (7.2% ABV)  and Organic Dark Chocolate Spicy Aztec (55% cocoa content)

The Rock Art Ridge Runner Ale is a Barleywine ale with a strong flavor and a beautiful dark color. While it’s extremely smooth, there’s nothing shy about this beer. Thus, its perfectly paired with an equally unshy chocolate such as the Organic Dark Aztec chocolate with is cayenne, cinnamon and pumpkin seeds. The warm spice of the cayenne holds up to the hops (including Cascade) while the sweet and bitter blend of the chocolate complements the chocolate malty flavors hiding in the beer.

This pairing is full flavor and while it’s not for the feint of heart, those feeling slightly trepidacious (Is that a word? The debate continues…) shouldn’t be. It’s such a fun pairing, it’d be a shame to miss out. Muy caliente!