February 10, 2011

proof whisky, chocolate be mine, Vol. 19


"Chocolate is heavenly, mellow, sensual, deep, dark, sumptuous, gratifying, potent, dense, creamy, seductive, suggestive, rich, excessive, silky, smooth, luxurious, celestial. Chocolate is downfall, happiness, pleasure, love, ecstasy, fantasy 
... chocolate makes us wicked, guilty, sinful, healthy, chic, happy." Madame Chocolate
Be sure to share this week’s decadent Thursty Thursday recipe with a loved one. 
To learn more about our brand visit www.proofbrands.com. Become a friend on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/Proof-Brands/181641835185326 and Twitter http://twitter.com/proofbrands to get last minute updates on all of our tastings, parties and events.




Cupid’s Cocoa
1 oz good quality dark chocolate, chopped*
2 tbsp sugar
1/4 c. boiling water
1 3/4 c. Atomic Rooster** Coffee
1 ½ c. light cream
4 oz proof whisky


On stovetop melt chocolate and sugar on low heat. Slowly beat in water with a wire whisk. Heat on medium for 3 minutes (stirring constantly). Mix in coffee (http://roostercoffeehouse.com/) and cream until blended. Remove pan from heat and add proof whisky. Divide among 4 heated mugs. Top with whipped cream and shaved chocolate. 

* We used Soma’s dark Peruvian chocolate.
** Atomic Rooster:  Java Blawan Region, Ethiopian Sidamo - smooth chocolate throughout with hints of berry and spices with a buttery body – sounds like romance to me – scored 95 points from coffee review.

 


We visited a few of Toronto’s best chocolate shops to see what they were offering for this sweet celebration.


Known for its hand-made chocolate, creamy gelato and Mayan Hot Chocolate, Soma is truly ‘a place to eat, drink and worship chocolate’
http://www.somachocolate.com/ (55 Mill St., Bldg. 48 416-815-7662)

Each month a delicious new truffle is invented in the Soma lab. This month’s offerings are: Aleppo chili pepper truffle (A fruity chili pepper from Northern Syrian paired with Dominican Republic chocolate) and Prosecco Truffle (Sparkling wine made with late harvest white grapes with Dominican Republic chocolate)


For visitors touring the chocolate site, a thick glass wall is the only thing separating you from the artists at work.

This sign describes the chocolate process. “You are looking at our ‘new’ Melangeur. It was manufactured in Barcelona approximately 80 years ago. It has been refurbished to be used in our micro-batch chocolatemaking process. After roasting and cracking the cacao beans, the nibs will be placed in the melangeur where the 2 granite stones will crush the nibs of the cacao bean into a rich brown paste called chocolate liquor.”


For V-Day, Soma’s ‘gifts to the gods’ include limited edition Ruby Red Bars (A dreamy limited edition dark bar with wild cherries, cranberries, barberries, cocoa nibs, dusted with sumac spice), Lace Hearts and Crazy Love baskets.

 


Xococava www.xococava.ca/  (1560 Yonge Street - Yonge & St Clair)
Cava chef and co-owner Chris McDonald has opened this wonderful chocolate shop in Delisle Court, next to his much-praised restaurant.


For V-Day Xococava is featuring Punch-drunk love cookies, Mexican wedding cookies and many beautifully branded boxed treats. 
WE LOVE their quirky names and creative flavours.

 


Leonidas Chocolates  http://leonidas-chocolates.ca (484 Danforth Ave 462-0008)
Mary, owner of the Danforth and Leslieville locations allowed us to sample some of their finest dark chocolates. I can see why they are touted as best Belgian chocolate in the world. Leonidas has one of the most extensive chocolate collections with 80 varieties to choose from. Makes sense that Leonidas has 1, 400 stores around the globe. 


Make sure to pick up some of these Classic little sweets for your sweetie.
Milk chocolate hearts filled with vanillacream, white chocolate hearts filled with praline and pistachiocream, and dark chocolate hearts filled with raspberry cream.



LPK Culinary Groove  www.lpksculinarygroove.com
Pick up some beautiful hand-made organic or vegan chocolates for your eco-conscious special somebody.


Chocosol http://chocosol.posterous.com/ (The Cacao Loft - 6 St. Joseph Street)
"ChocoSol is a learning community/social enterprise that uses artisanal chocolate as a symbolic product that incarnates the values that we make part of our art of living and dying with dignity." 


Visit them at the Brickworks market on Saturdays. (http://ebw.evergreen.ca/)

More great Toronto chocolate shops: 
Ambiance Chocolate  www.ambiancechocolat.ca (753-A Queen Street East 416-406-2462)

Stubbe Chocolates http://www.stubbechocolates.com/ 
(653 Dupont St. (at Christie) 416-923-0956)

Odile Chocolat  www.odilechocolat.com 
(829 Dundas St. W. (at Euclid Ave.) 416-538-1016)

Daniel Le Chocolat Belge  http://www.danielchocolates.ca/  
(4242 Dundas St. W. (at Royal York) 416-234-0611)

The Chocolate Addict  185 Baldwin St. (at Kensington Ave.) 416-979-5809
 

Our friends at August Ninth have done it again – this time with chocolate! Check out their delicious proof whisky chocolate crumble parfait. (photo: Leanne Minichillo)

proof whisky Chocolate Crumble Parfait
created by August Ninth (www.augustninth.ca)
1 cup sliced almonds

6 oz coarsely chopped semi-sweet chocolate

1/3 cup brown sugar
1 ¼ cup rolled oats
1 3/4 cups whipping cream

1/3 cup crème fraîche

3 tablespoons sugar

1/2 cup proof whisky

The Crumble:
Gently oil a skillet and place over medium heat. Add oats and almonds to pan and toast until golden brown, stirring frequently for about 5 – 7 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir chocolate mixture into hot oat and almond mixture (this will partially melt chocolate) Cover and chill in refrigerator until the chocolate firms. The proof whisky Cream:
Beat whipping cream, crème fraîche, and sugar with an electric mixer until cream mixture stiffens and forms soft peaks. Fold in proof whisky. Building the Parfaits:
Using your hands, gently crumble chilled chocolate mixture. In about six parfait glasses (or vessel of your choice), layer crumble then cream mixture (about 1/2 cup of each); repeat layering. Overflow each parfait with cream mixture then top with a sprinkling of crumble. Added touch: Garnish with fresh berries, a mint leaf or sprig of lemon thyme. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.






Visit us tonight at Cooper Street LCBO and this Saturday morning at the Summerhill LCBO 
for a delicious sampling of August Ninth’s chocolatey dessert & this week’s Thursty Thursday Cocoa. (www.proofbrands.com)





Weather Forecast:
Saturday: Variable cloudiness and a high of -2
Sunday: Mixed precipitation & high of 3



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