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Yes, you read that correctly.  The words Cake and Truffle in the same sentence.  There’s frosting in there too, and lots of dark chocolate.  This delightful bite-size treat makes a great dessert – or if you’re like us here at Lake Champlain Chocolates, enjoy them with your morning coffee.  It’s never too early for chocolate!

The Ultimate Chocolate Cake
3 scant cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 ½ tsp salt
2 c sugar
1 c Lake Champlain Chocolates Unsweetened Cocoa
1 ¼ c butter melted (2 ½ sticks)
2 1/3 c warm water
2 tbsp vinegar
2 tsp vanilla

Frosting
2 oz cream cheese, softened
2 tbsp butter, softened
1 c confectioner’s sugar
1 tsp vanilla
(you can use 1 cup of store-bought frosting here if you’d like)

Chocolate Coating
24 ounces Lake Champlain Chocolates 54% dark chocolate, tempered if desired (coating will harden better if it is tempered)
White chocolate to garnish, if desired

To make cake:  Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Stir in the wet ingredients.  Beat until smooth.  Butter a pan and dust with flour.  Bake in oven at 350º for one hour or until toothpick is removed dry. 
(You’ll find this recipe on the back of our baking cocoa tin!)

Allow the cake to cool for about thirty minutes before “stirring” it and dumping the crumbled cake into a large bowl.  Using a big spoon or your hands, combine the cake and frosting until well-incorporated.  Roll the cake into small balls, about half the size of a golf ball.  Place on a baking sheet lined with wax paper and refrigerate for about an hour.

Meanwhile, melt the dark chocolate in a double boiler, tempering if you choose to do so. Using a fork (or a chocolate fork if you have one), dip each cake ball in the chocolate, coating it completely.  Return to wax paper and allow to cool.

If you’d like to decorate the Cake Truffles, melt white chocolate to just liquid – make sure it doesn’t get too hot, you’ll have a hard time handling it.  Pipe the white chocolate onto the cooled "truffles".

Makes about 75 Cake Truffles


Switchback Dooley’s Belated Porter (5.8%) with Lake Champlain Chocolates 54% Dark Chocolate Square  

 For locals, Switchback’s Unfiltered Ale is what you order.  Walk into a Burlington bar or restaurant, you’ll see 90% of the beer drinkers with a murky, amber colored potion in front of them.

I’ll admit, sometimes I go for a Belgian White Ale (I love how it’s served with an orange slice) or will order a house beer if I’m at a microbrewery, but almost always, I go for the Switchback. 

The Switchback Brewery reminds me slightly of Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory – mysterious, very few people work there, yet they create incredible beer, readily available on tap at restaurants and bars around Vermont.  

Our fourth and final beer paring at Brewfest combined Switchback’s Dooley’s Belated Porter, a 5.8% alcohol by volume porter, with our Signature Dark Chocolate.  The flavor profile for our dark chocolate includes brown fruit (think cherries, dates, raisins), vanilla, baked brownie and brown spice. 

Porters, like stouts, have chocolate undertones, which in this pairing, brought out those subtle flavors in the chocolate, like brown fruit and baked brownie.  Mmm… 


There are few things I love more than baking.  Eating good food is one of those things, but a recent interest in a vegan diet has altered my food intake a bit and now the things I bake usually end up on the doorsteps of my friends and family.  (For example, a couple weeks ago, I showed up at my brother’s house with a loaf of homemade bread, a raspberry buttermilk cake and some pumpkin granola).  I realized that pretty soon people would start slamming their doors in my face, blaming me for growing wastelines.

So I decided to look into some recipes for baked goods that I would actually keep for myself.  Not only have I come up with some fantastic recipes, but with Lake Champlain Chocolates Dark Chocolate Chips and Organic Unsweetened Cocoa Powder readily available, I can throw in dark chocolate and maintain a vegan ingredients list.


First, I realized that my favorite banana bread recipe is highly adaptable.  Not only can it become vegan, but the bananas can be replaced with zucchini, carrot, pumpkin or apple, depending on what’s in season.  Throw in some chocolate chips and you have delicious dessert-like bread that you can get away with eating for breakfast.   

1 ½ c unbleached all-purpose flour
½ c whole wheat flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1 ½  tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt

½ c coffee, cooled
1/3 c oil – I like to use local sunflower oil when baking
2/3 c maple syrup
1 ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
4 ounces silken tofu

1 cup grated zucchini, carrots, or apple, mashed banana, or pureed pumpkin
1 cup Lake Champlain Chocolates 54% or 70% chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375.  Sift dry ingredients into a large bowl.  Whisk together liquid ingredients in a separate bowl.  Add liquid ingredients to dry, mixing with a large spoon.  Add fruit or vegetable and mix to a smooth consistency.  Do not over mix.  Fold in chocolate chips.  Transfer into a greased pan, and bake 40-45 minutes.

  

This vegan chocolate cupcake literally made my day when I tried it for the first time.  Ridiculously dense, almost fudge-like and completely amazing, I had a hard time believing it was vegan and healthy until I made the recipe myself.  The especially cool thing about this recipe is that you can lick the spoon and not worry about eating raw eggs.

1 1/2 c sifted flour
1 c sugar
1 tsp baking powder
4 tbsp Lake Champlain Chocolates Organic, Fair Trade Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp vinegar
5 tbsp cooking oil
1 c cold water

Combine dry ingredients in large bowl.  Make three holes with your finger or the handle of a spoon, and fill with vanilla, vinegar and oil, each in a separate hole.  Pour water over entire bowl and stir.  Bake at 350 for 25 minutes, or about 16 minutes for 12 cupcakes.  I usually throw on some frosting made from 8 ounces of a dairy-free cream cheese, 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 ½ tsp vanilla and add confectioner’s sugar to desired sweetness and consistency.

So, take comfort in knowing Lake Champlain Chocolates Dark Chocolate can make any vegan recipe a little better.  Mmm…

 


Moving to a bit of a darker beer and the third pairing in this set of five pairings, the next beer up is one that is made locally and probably not going to be found anywhere outside the area but if you ask your local beer expert, they will most likely be able to find something with a similar profile.

Pairing #3
Switchback Dooley’s Belated Porter (5.8% ABV) and Lake Champlain Chocolates’ 54% Dark Chocolate

Upon first tasting this beer, you note the roasted malt. Based on its dark color, you expect the smoky notes found within as well but a truly nice surprise is the slight bit of sweet you also get. With its strong, smooth flavor, it’s perfectly paired with our clean and pure 54% dark chocolate – both being slightly sweet with baked and roasted notes. When combined, it’s as if the flavors work together to increase your experience exponentially where as other pairings may work by contrasting flavors.

While you might not find this exact beer in your area, don’t be afraid to try other dark, malty porters with dark chocolate. I’m sure you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Trust me. Really.

Is dark chocolate good for you?

Posted on July 30, 2007 10:05 AM by Leann

I keep reading in the news these days about dark chocolate being good for your heart. The experts tell us that just one ounce of dark chocolate can help lower your LDL, raise your HDL, reduce clotting and even keep arteries flexible and increase bloodflow. Big job for just a little bit of dark chocolate.

Well, working at a chocolate factory, that’s music to my ears. Being a chocolate lover it makes my heart sing. Coming from a family where heart health issues run rampant, it boosts my spirits. In an article in Prevention magazine, dark chocolate bars were ranked by heart healthiest, based on levels of flavanol, that magical property doing the trick. Imagine our joy when they ranked one of our favorites, our Signature Dark Chocolate bar, in the top three. Very exciting!

But here’s the funny thing. It came to me as I read article after article about the benefits of dark chocolate for your heart. I’ve known this secret all along and you probably have too. Think about it. You watch a sad movie and you reach for a chocolate bar. You feel down and you reach for a chocolate bar. Even more to the point, your heart gets broken and you reach for a chocolate bar. Us chocolate lovers, we’ve known all along that chocolate is good for your heart. Just glad to see the medical community catching up to us.