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Cucumber Sriracha Pops

Posted on August 1, 2012 11:17 AM by Meghan

As delicious as our chocolate truffles are, they just can't cool you off like one of our refreshing ice pops.  Here is a super cool and spicy treat that will keep you as cool as a cucumber this summer.

Cucumber Sriracha Pops
Yields: 10 – 3 oz. Pops
1.5 lbs.     cucumbers
1/4C     honey
1/3C    sugar
1/3C    water
1 tbsp    lime juice
1 tsp    sriracha hot sauce

1.    Put empty pop mold in freezer to chill, and submerge 10 pop sticks in water to soak.

2.    Bring water, sugar, and honey to a boil to dissolve the sugars. Set aside to cool.

3.    Cut cucumbers into ½-1 inch pieces and puree in blender until smooth. Strain through a fine mesh strainer to get mostly juice and some puree.

4.    Combine strained cucumber, lime juice, sriracha sauce, and sugar/water/honey mixture.

5.    Pour mixture into pop molds, leaving about ¼  inch space at the top for expansion when freezing.

6.    Put lid on pop mold. Insert pop sticks. Put in freezer to freeze until solid (about 2-4 hours).

7.    To remove pops from mold, remove the lid, dip the bottom part of the mold in lukewarm water bath for a few seconds to release. Then, pull each pop out individually.

8.    Eat immediately or place in airtight plastic bag to store for later.

*The pops will keep for about a week in the freezer.

Guinness Brownies

Posted on March 31, 2011 3:35 PM by Allison

Here at Lake Champlain Chocolates, it’s no doubt we like chocolate.  We also like beer.  We especially like combining beer and chocolate, either in pairings, in recipes, or by just noshing on some chocolate then swishing beer around in our mouths.  I’m only kidding.  Kind of.

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day this month, and also for an office bake sale to raise money for the United Way, I decided to take the classic March 17th beverage-of-choice (did you know that 13 million pints of Guinness are consumed every St. Paddy’s day?) and mix it with dark chocolate to make a delectable baked good.  The results? The moistest, richest and most intense brownie you’ve ever tasted. 

I especially like this recipe because it uses three different types of chocolate from our amazing baking chocolate inventory.

4 eggs
¾ c sugar
8 oz Lake Champlain Chocolates 54% Dark Chocolate Chips
4 oz Lake Champlain Chocolates White Chocolate Chips
6 tbsp unsalted butter (what’s up, Cabot?)
¾ c King Arthur’s Flour
¾ c Lake Champlain Chocolates Organic Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 ¼ c Guinness Stout
Confectioner’s Sugar for dusting

In a large bowl, beat eggs & sugar until light and fluffy.  Melt white and dark chocolate chips with butter over very low heat, stirring regularly.  Add to egg mixture.   In a small bowl, whisk together flour and cocoa powder.  Beat that into egg mixture until well combined.  Gently blend in the Guinness, the batter will have a very liquid consistency.  Pour into buttered 9x13’’ pan, and bake until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 30-40 minutes.

Allow to cool completely in pan.  Dust with confectioner’s sugar.

Makes 15 brownies.

Adapted from The New Irish Table Cookbook

I’m the cake-maker in my family.  About a week before someone’s big day, with much anticipation, I make the call.  “What kind of cake would you like this year?”

A few days ago I got the go-ahead on a cheesecake from a very important family member.  I wanted a challenge, so I decided to guild the lilies a bit; add a chocolate crust and maybe some sort of chocolate cheesecake swirls. 

The chocolate crust was made from King Arthur Flour’s Chocolate Graham Crackers Recipe, mixed with a few tablespoons of melted Cabot Butter.  You can make this as thin or as thick a crust layer as you like, I used about 2 ½ cups of crushed crackers, for a ½”-thick bottom layer.  Our Unsweetened Cocoa Powder made the crackers rich and light, and the recipe makes enough for leftovers to nibble on for days after. 

For the cheesecake swirls, I melted a small handful of Lake Champlain Chocolates 54% dark chocolate chips, mixed them with about 1/3 cup of the cheesecake batter and piped out the decoration on top. 

The secret to making a cheesecake that doesn’t crack on top while baking?  Instead of placing your spring form pan directly on the oven rack, place it in a roasting pan filled about halfway with hot water, using foil to wrap the bottom if you’re nervous about water seeping in.  The extra humidity from the water prevents the cake from cracking and makes it extremely moist.

2 – 3 cups of Chocolate Graham Crackers, either homemade or store-bought
4 tbsp melted butter.

¾ c + 2 tbsp granulated sugar
3 tbsp cornstarch
30 ounces cream cheese (3 ¾ 8-oz packages), softened
1 egg
½ c heavy cream
¼ tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp almond extract

Chocolate Swirls
2 ounces Lake Champlain Chocolates 54% dark chocolate

Preheat oven to 350º.  Generously butter the bottom and sides of a spring form cake pan.

To make the crust, crumb the graham crackers, either with a rolling pin in a plastic bag or with a mortar and pestle.  Mix with melted butter, press an even layer on bottom of buttered pan.  Refrigerate while preparing the cake.

Whisk together sugar and cornstarch.  Combine with softened cream cheese and mix over low speed until combined.  Add egg and heavy cream separately, combining well after each addition.  Add extracts.  Make sure to scrape down sides and bottom of pan to incorporate all ingredients.

In a double-boiler over medium heat or at 30-second intervals in your microwave, melt chocolates, just to liquid – do not over heat.  Add about 1/3 cup cheesecake batter and mix well.

Gently fill the pan with the cheesecake batter, smoothing the top by tapping it on the counter.  Pipe or drizzle the chocolate cheesecake and swirl around if you’d like. 

Bake for 40-45 minutes or until you begin to see very light brown spots on top of the cake.  Cool on a wire rack at least three hours and then refrigerate to chill before serving.

This week I decided on pie. 

Not just any pie, but a Chocolate Mousse Pie with a Graham Cracker Crust.  The Graham Crackers were made from scratch, using King Arthur Flour’s recipe.  Not quite as sweet as store-bought, the homemade crackers were a nice balance for this very sweet mousse, but I’m sure any kind would work.  Fresh Vermont Cream and a touch of local honey chimed in with sweet Lake Champlain Chocolates milk chocolate, making this pie as fresh, local and gourmet as our chocolates.

2 c crushed graham crackers
1/3 c brown sugar
2 tbsp c honey
5 tbsp melted butter

3 egg whites
2 tbsp c honey
¼ c sugar
¾ c Lake Champlain Chocolates Milk Chocolate Chips
2 c heavy cream
1 tbsp vanilla extract

To make the crust, combine graham crackers and remaining ingredients in a medium bowl.  Press into prepared pie dish and refrigerate while preparing filling.

To make filling, combine egg whites, honey and sugar in top of double boiler.  Whisk over medium heat about five minutes, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and beat until it thickens.  Meanwhile, melt chocolate in double boiler or at 30-second intervals in the microwave.  Fold melted chocolate into meringue and mix just until fully incorporated.

Separately, whip the cream to soft peaks, about five minutes, adding vanilla after about two minutes.  Add to meringue in three additions, and mix until just incorporated. 

Spoon into prepared pie shell, cover and chill at least two hours before serving.  I garnished the pie with our Old World chocolate shavings.

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

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

Chocolate Recipe of the Week : Devil Dogs

Posted on November 12, 2009 2:35 PM by Admin

By Blythe


Early November always reminds me of Devil Dogs. 

My father's birthday is at the beginning of the month, and when I was growing up we would celebrate with a full-size Devil Dog Cake.  The individual versions were also a favorite treat with friends and family.  These devil dogs were so popular in fact that my mom would send them as birthday care packages to our close family friend's sons when they went away to college.  I remember seeing the thank-you notes and reading how they had to be hidden from roommates and other kids in the dorm. 

Just prying open the plastic lid on the Marshmallow Fluff now brings back fond memories of the weather turning colder and the anticipation of biting into one of these chocolatey marshmallow-frosted confections.  Having tried other versions of devil dogs and whoopie pies since then, what always brings me back to this recipe is the filling.  The blend of shortening and marshmallow pairs perfectly with the texture of the chocolate cake.  I consider Fluff to be the secret ingredient.  And now that I work at Lake Champlain Chocolates, I'm proud to incorporate our baking cocoa into the recipe.  They came out so chocolatey this time, one of my coworkers asked if I used the 70% New World Drinking Chocolate to make them!
Who can argue with a little cake that fits in your palm?  In my mind, they are the stuff of legend!               

2 c flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 c Lake Champlain Chocolates Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
3/4 c shortening
1 c sugar
1 egg
1 c milk
1 tsp vanilla

3/4 c shortening
3/4 c confectioners sugar
6 tbsp Marshmallow Fluff
1 tsp vanilla

Whisk together flour, salt, baking soda and cocoa in a large bowl.  Separately, beat together shortening, sugar and egg.  In a small bowl, combine milk and vanilla.  Add half of the shortening mixture to the dry ingredients, followed by the milk mixture and then the remaining shortening, mixing well after each addition.

On cookie sheets lined with parchment paper drop tablespoons of batter about two inches apart, making sure there are an even number of cakes to pair later.  Even out slightly with the back of a spoon.

Bake 400º for 8-10 minutes. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

To make the filling, beat together the shortening and Confectioner’s sugar.  Add Fluff and vanilla, mix until well-combined.

Makes about 12 individual cakes.

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.

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.

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.  

Chocolate Cherry Almond Biscotti

Biscotti translates to “twice baked”.  A common mate for your morning latte, this dry “toast” is more like a cross between a scone and a cookie.   While you can guild the lilies as much as you’d like with chocolate drips and drizzles, I prefer the simple flavors of almonds and dried fruit which are typical add-ins for traditional biscotti.  Don’t worry, there is plenty of chocolate in this recipe, but it’s just barely enough so you can still eat it for breakfast.

1/2 c coarsely chopped Lake Champlain Chocolates 54% Dark Chocolate
1 c firmly-packed light brown sugar
1 3/4 c all-purpose flour
1/3  c Lake Champlain Chocolates Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 c coarsely chopped toasted almonds
1/2 c dried cherries

To toast almonds: preheat oven to 350º.  Spread almonds on an ungreased baking sheet and toast about fifteen minutes until fragrant.  Allow to cool completely.  Reduce oven temperature to 300º.

Coarsely chop about ½ c of Lake Champlain Chocolates 54% Dark Chocolate.  I didn’t have chocolate chips on hand when I made these, so I unwrapped a handful of our Dark Chocolate Coins and chopped those up.  In a food processor, pulse the chocolate and brown sugar a few times to form a fine crumb.  Set aside.

Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt in a small bowl.  Make sure these ingredients are well combined – the cocoa powder allows you be sure of this from a uniform color once completely incorporated.

In a medium bowl, over low speed, beat the eggs and vanilla for about thirty seconds.  Add the flour mixture and beat over medium speed until well-combined.  Add the brown sugar mixture, mix well.  Switching to a wooden spoon, fold in cooled almonds and cherries, and mix to combine.

Divide the dough in half on a well-floured surface.  It will be pretty wet, so you’ll need flour your hands as well.  Work each half into a log, about 12-15 inches long and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet, leaving about six inches between each log.  Bake for about 40 minutes.  Remove from oven, place entire sheet on a cooling rack, and allow to cool for about ten minutes.

Using a serrated knife on a cutting board, cut the slightly-cooled loaves into ¾” slices.  Place cut-side up on cooking sheet and bake for another 15 minutes.  Remove from oven, carefully turn each one over and bake again on the second side for 15 minutes.  If you prefer drier Biscotti, cook for a little longer on each side.

Makes about 30 Biscotti

Soft and almost cake-like, I've added Lake Champlain Chocolates Chocolate Chips to a yummy Pumpkin cookie recipe for a chocolately fall treat.  A couple dashes of pumpkin pie spices makes these cookies reminiscent of pumpkin pie - plus chocolate.  I used Dark Chocolate Chips, but Milk Chocolate would work just as well, if not better.

2 c flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1 c butter, at room temperature
1 c sugar
1 c pumpkin puree, either canned or fresh
1 egg
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 c Lake Champlain Chocolates Chocolate Chips, either dark or milk

Preheat oven to 350º with rack in center.  Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Whisk together all dry ingredients in a small bowl and set aside. 

Cream butter and sugar until fluffy, about a minute.  Add pumpkin, egg and vanilla, combining well after each addition.  Slowly add flour mixture, mixing by hand until just combined.  Fold in chocolate chips.

Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls on parchment-covered sheet.  You can dot a little batter on each corner to adhere parchment to sheet.

Bake about fifteen minutes until cookies are slightly golden.

Makes about 70 cookies.

It’s 10:36 am.  The only evidence of the Double Chocolate Muffins I set on the kitchen counter here at Lake Champlain Chocolates when I got to work this morning are crumbs.  I think they were a hit.

1/2 c brown sugar
1/2 c sugar
2 large eggs
1 c milk
1/2 c olive oil
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 3/4 c flour (shout out to King Arthur’s Unbleached All-Purpose Flour!)
1/2 c Lake Champlain Chocolates Unsweetened Organic Fair Trade Cocoa Powder
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 c Lake Champlain Chocolates 54% Dark Chocolate Chips

1/2 c sugar
2 tbsp flour
2 tbsp cocoa
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 c Lake Champlain Chocolates 54% Dark Chocolate Chips

Preheat oven to 375º with rack in center.  Line or generously grease muffin tins.

In a medium bowl, blend sugars, eggs, milk, olive oil and vanilla on medium speed until well-combined.

Add flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt.  Mix by hand until well-moistened and smooth. 

Gently fold in 3/4 c chocolate chips. 

Meanwhile, make the crumb topping: Mix 1/2 c sugar, 2 tbsp flour, 2 tbsp cocoa, 2 tbsp olive oil in a small bowl with a fork until mixture resembles a course meal.  Gently fold in remaining chocolate chips.

Fill lined or greased muffin tins with batter and sprinkle with crumb topping.  Bake 20-25 minutes, rotating pan halfway through cooking time.  Makes 12 muffins.