Tuesday, August 29, 2006

A Semi-Sweet Secret

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This secret is probably not going to make the headlines, but I love chocolate. DARK CHOCOLATE. I always have a bag of semi-sweet morsels in my freezer for weekly cravings. A quick handful is usually enough to quench this desire.

Monday night I went shopping for a hostess gift at Churchill's, a locally owned gourmet grocery store on Salisbury Road. While I managed to pick up a lovely bottle of Cote du Rhone, I also decided to check out the chocolate aisle in the name of "blogging research". I found a great selection of baking and eating chocolates. European, South American and eco-friendly brands are available. But I honed in on the Scharffen Berger and managed to walk out of the store with a 9.7 oz box of semisweet, 62% cacao, pure dark chocolate.

Scharffen Berger is very special chocolate. It has not been around very long. Founded in 1996 by wine and champagne maker John Scharffenberger and physician turned chocolatier Robert Steinberg, it is the first American chocolate manufacturer founded in the last fifty years. However, it is consistently rated as one of the best cooking chocolates on the market for its properties when tempered.

Terrific! Great to know!

I make chocolate souffles on rare occasions. Usually as a finale for a small dinner party. I still haven't tackled a recipe for pot de creme. The box clearly says, "perfect for baking & eating". So I can just eat it, right?

I barely made it through the party that night. I was there for three hours, drinking wine, laughing and eating as little as possible. After three hours, I couldn't wait another minute and graciously exited. I was able to make it back to the privacy of my own home before ripping open the box and nibbling on this giant bar of chocolate heaven.

I managed to consume about an ounce of chocolate during the first sitting.

I feel great. I feel happy. I feel patriotic eating premiere American chocolate. I feel like a crazed lunatic who gave up a social occasion to sit quietly by herself and savor a new box of chocolate.

I need to keep my semi-sweet secret to myself.

“Glass City Gourmet” is a chronicle of one woman's attempt to cook, eat, diet and entertain with both flair and whimsy while based in Toledo, Ohio. I encourage you to read on as the "Glass City Gourmet" attempts grand recipes, samples locally owned restaurants, visits indigenous markets and humbly pursues her quest to be formally recognized as the official "Glass City Gourmet".

1 comment:

  1. I am a chocolate fanatic. I don't presently live in Toledo, though I visit every year. I was visiting this year and I decided to make dinner for some of my friends...So, I brought a few cans of Confit de Canard, Bottles of wine and many bars of patisserie chocolate from the Leader/Price Supermarkets here in France. I brought the chocolate because I was going to make chocolate mousse for each of the desserts I was going to prepare. The reason why I brought the chocolate was that the year before , in 2005, I made the mousse with European chocolate and it was a success, but when asked to repeat it, I tried to buy Chocolate in Toledo. First I tried the supermarkets, then my sister suggested I go to a chocolate shop at Westgate where the confused and threatened woman behind the counter finally suggested that I buy a number of dark chocolate Easter bunnies and ment them down. I finally ended up at a whole foods supermarket on Secor where I found a brand of Swiss Chocolate named Rapunzel. The results were not satisfactory...there was a grainy mouth feel to the mousse that I put down to wax or vegetable oil in the chocolate.
    So this year, I was very happy to find a Lindt Boutique at Franklin Park (sorry I can't remember the new name) Mall where I bought lots of bars of Lindts very excellent patisserie dark chocolate.
    I enjoyed reading your piece on finding good American chocolate at Churchills and I will definitely check it out the next time I am in Toledo.
    I recently published my chocolate mousse recipe in my blog.
    I called the article, Totally Illegal Chocolate Mousse of Death,
    because it is the most politically incorrect recipe from an American dietary point of view I have ever seen. I got it from a housewife in Lyon, France whose theory was that a spoon had to stand atraight up in the mousse. Everyone loves it, but I am careful about revealing the ingredients as it contains an ungodly amount of butter and raw eggs. C'est la vie!