Tag Archives: dark chocolate

It’s 80F so we made ice cream

Chocolate Amaretto Pecan Ice Cream - TitlePic

For the record, 80F in January is a crime against nature. My roses are blooming again. Our yard guy showed up this week to mow. We turned on the AC again. It’s JANUARY, people! This is why we can’t own sweaters. {sigh}

So what do you do when Mother Nature turns the tables on you? Make ice cream (of course). This time we decided to use the chocolate-covered amaretto pecans given to us by our friends Kaki & Donny. She said they were addictive like crack. She was right. These babies are good right outta the bag, but they’re even better swimming in a big vat of dark chocolate ice cream.

I’m going to daydream about that for a minute…

Dark Chocolate Ice Cream with Chocolate-Dipped Amaretto Pecans
2 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 cup milk (we use 2%)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons Hershey’s Special Dark chocolate syrup
3/4 cup chocolate-dipped amaretto pecans, chopped

Whisk the eggs until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes); slowly add sugar and whisk for one minute more. Add the cream, milk, salt, vanilla and chocolate syrup and whisk until thoroughly combined. Pour into an electric ice cream freezer and process until done. We use the Cuisinart machine, which takes about 30 minutes. Stir in the chopped pecans, spoon into a a freezer-safe container with a tight fitting lid & place in the deep freeze overnight. (Makes 1 quart)

Chocolate Amaretto Pecan Ice Cream - CloseUp

So while the rest of the nation basks in the glory of fluffy snow or cute sweater weather, we’ll be down here pulling weeds in our flip-flops. And eating ice cream.

PS – If that makes you jealous, call me. House-swap offers will be considered.

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Things I Love, Volume 7: Anthon Berg Fruit & Marzipan Dark Chocolates

It’s no secret that I love dark chocolate. Anyone who knows me or reads my blog regularly knows that there’s almost nothing I won’t do for a good dark chocolate. They also know that I love to travel. Fortunately, the The Complete Package and I have been lucky enough to have taken some fabulous trips, and one of the perks of travel is trying local foods. For me, that includes chocolate. Everyone has their souvenir priorities. I really don’t need another t-shirt. I want chocolate!

One thing I’ve learned about chocolate is that it is different everywhere you go. Sometimes the differences are subtle and sometimes they’re diverse. One of my favorites is Anthon Berg chocolates from Denmark. Have I been to Denmark? No. Do I have to go to Denmark to get these? No! And that’s the beauty of it. Last week, while shopping with Mom and two of my sisters, we stopped at Chocolat du Monde in Rice Village (Houston), and there on the shelf were two boxes of Anthon Berg raspberry chocolates. And they were 1/2 off. Have mercy!

Here’s what I love about Anthon Berg chocolates – they’re filled with fruit stewed in booze layered over marzipan (almond paste) and dipped in dark chocolate. Yeah, you heard me. I’m showing the raspberry with orange liqueur. They also make plums in Madeira, apricots in brandy, strawberries in champagne, cherries in rum and grapes in muscat wine. The plums in Madeira have always been my favorite, but the raspberry is giving them a run for their money. They are world class. And they’re really not boozy in flavor. You get a hint of booze with an explosion of fruit. And when you combine it with that almond marzipan and dip it all in dark chocolate… well, it’s amazing.

If you’re a chocolate nut or just want to see the pretty packages, go to:
http://www.anthonberg.com/Products/Travel%20Retail/Fruit%20-%20Marzipan.aspx

And if you’re in Houston and find yourself poking around Rice Village, drop in at Chocolat du Monde. The gentleman behind the counter couldn’t be nicer, and he stocks a fantastic variety of chocolates. Try the dark chocolate sea salt caramel. You won’t regret it.

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Things I Love, Volume 4: Guittard Extra-Dark Chocolate Chips

Get Yourself Some Guittard Extra Dark Chocolate Chips - 'Nuff Said

Holy schmoley…this here’s some world-class chocolate! It would be criminal not to share this information with chocolate chip lovers everywhere. These really rocked my world. Bake them into cookies, mix them into brownies, or eat them straight out of the bag, but you have to try them. They are that good. I’m a dark chocolate gal, and these babies are right up my alley…not too sweet, but not bitter at all. I would rate them a 99.9 out of 100, five out of five stars, two giant thumbs up, and an enthusiastic “hell, yeah!” I’m not a fanatic chocoholic, but I am a huge fan of these chocolate chips. They’re just better than all the others. I swear on a stack of cookbooks. I would never joke about chocolate. Ever.

My favorite chocolate chips used to be the American standard – Nestle Toll House semi-sweets. It’s what I grew up on. It’s probably what most of us grew up on. Then I discovered Ghirardelli semi-sweet chips, and they became my new favorite for the past few years. This February, I stumbled onto a grocery store clearance rack and found Guittard extra-dark chocolate chips. They were marked down to 99 cents a bag (post-Christmas), which was more than I could resist. I grabbed 6 bags and for 99 cents each, I felt like I was stealing them. Now I wish I’d bought them all. I should have bought them all. I had no idea they would be life changing. Or that they would all be gone the next day. Or that I would dream of chocolate chip cookies (not usually my favorite). Or that I would struggle with the compulsion to eat them straight out of the bag. For me, that’s the mark of a great chocolate chip. If I can eat them plain right out of the palm of my hand and be completely satisfied, it’s a winner. I could put these in a bowl and eat them with a spoon (hypothetically, of course…wink, wink).

If you’re a chocolate lover, get to your store and pick up some Guittard chocolate chips as soon as you can. Run if you have to. If you don’t love them, I’ll be stunned. Then I’ll probably e-mail to ask if you have a cold and your taste buds are impaired. If your store doesn’t carry them, go straight to the manager and ask for them. Don’t take no for an answer. I’d throw around the idea of a hunger strike, but who on earth could pull that off in a grocery store? I’d be sneaking Bugles and Ding Dongs or green olives and Guittard chocolate chips after the lights went out. I’d make a terrible hunger striker. I have no will power, which explains my love for chocolate chips. Man, I could use a cookie right now.

Disclaimer: NanaBread is not an employee of Guittard or any other chocolate company, which she deeply laments. In fact, she’s not an employee of any company right now, which The Complete Package deeply laments (hi, honey). While she would make an excellent chocolate taste-tester, travel show host or personal shopper, she has never been approached by any company to promote any product known to man or beast. She is simply an opinionated Texan who feels compelled to share her innermost thoughts with her readers. End of story.

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