It’s 5 o’clock, and you’re leaving the office in search of some post-work libations and snacks before dinner. You could go the traditional happy hour route — where you’re limited to a few drinks and small bites within a short window of time — or you could up the ante and visit a Japanese izakaya.
Los Angeles-based SusieCakes has been open about a month in the Bon Air Shopping Center in Marin, and I’ve been meaning to visit with each passing day. I was doing errands in the area the other day and decided to stop in and see what all the fuss was about. I’d heard about their “frosting-filled cupcakes” and I thought it was a genius idea for all of us who use the cupcake as a socially acceptable excuse to eat frosting. And lots of it. What I didn’t expect to find was the huge celebration of Valentine’s Day in full effect–from sweet little cookies to festive whoopie pies.
I’ve been spending entirely too much time watching episodes of The French Chef with Julia Child that my friend Craig gave me.
I find Mrs. Child oddly hypnotic. There is something about her uniquely-accented voice and the not-entirely graceful movement of her formerly 6′ 2″ body that compels me to watch her.
And watch her I do. Over and over again.
This week, I’ve been enjoying an early, black and white episode wherein she gives a champagne and coffee party in honor of:
“…the Queen of Sheba, which turns out to be this dark beauty, made of chocolate, and almonds, and rum, and butter!”
She then invites us into her kitchen where she promises we’ll make:
“the best chocolate cake you ever put in your mouth.”
That’s one heavy promise, but I love her enthusiasm.
I decided to put my money where Mrs. Child’s mouth is and examine this cake and the woman behind it, however superficially.
All Summer long chocolatiers suffer as warm weather makes working, not to mention shipping their delicate product a challenge. But Winter comes along and everyone I know craves chocolate. Hot chocolate, chocolate confections, chocolate cake, it’s all good.
This coming Saturday you can indulge your desire for chocolate and find out what to drink with your favorite bon bon. CocoaBella Chocolates will be hosting a Top Chocolatier Pairing Event, featuring Christopher Elbow of Christopher Elbow Artisanal Chocolates, Fritz Knipschildt of Knipschildt Chocolatier, and Jeff Shepherd of Lillie Belle Farms.
Let’s face it — Christmas is not about the joy of giving and receiving. It’s not about the much-disputed birth of Christ, or miracles, or even the tarting up of pagan trees while singing Songs of Cheeses.
It’s about whether you get your chocolate on odds or evens this year. It’s about whether your older sister will force you to give her your day’s haul of chocolate. That’s right my friends, this month is ALL about Advent calendar chocolate.
Check out Burdick’s separate Obama and McCain chocolate boxes. Not only do you get a jean jacket-ready button touting either campaign and a festive box tied with blue or red ribbon and bearing the party’s animal, but each box of chocolates is flavored in line with each candidate’s history.
The first weekend in September I will be flying off to Portugal to learn about cork, but if I was in town I’d be sauntering down to Ghirardelli Square to check out the annual Chocolate Festival. It’s free to attend, but tickets are sold for “tastings” and all proceeds benefit Project Open Hand. There are close to 30 vendors including Ghirardelli chocolate, Ciao Bella Gelato, Kara’s Cupcakes, Presidio Cafe and Young’s Double Chocolate Stout.
If you’ve always wanted to learn how to work with chocolate, you’re in luck. Chuck Siegel of Charles Chocolates will be giving chocolate classes. Head into the Charles Chocolates factory kitchen to learn the basics of working with chocolate through an entirely hands-on, intensive class led by Siegel himself. Starting with the basics of working […]
Calling all cupcake lovers! Make them or buy them and share or just eat them, this Sunday at CupcakeCamp. Cupcake tastings will be scheduled at different time slots (e.g. by flavor, baker, or store) and categories to be judged include Best Frosting (flavor), Best Cake, Most Creative/Unique/Original/Bacon. For those bringing cupcakes, the limit per person […]
A couple of weeks ago, I met up with my oldest friend in the world to mind her three-year-old while she had her hair cut and dyed. As a reward, she said, she would buy me chocolate. Fine, I thought. I’m not a chocolate freak, so she’d be getting off rather cheaply, in terms of […]
I’ve been having deep thoughts about pudding lately. It all started when I was watching Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix with my daughters. Twice in the movie, Luna Lovegood refers to eating pudding at a Hogwart’s feast. Every time I heard the word “pudding,” my mouth watered and I knew I had […]
We can’t ever have too many chocolate recipes, can we? Since the quality of chocolate available in the supermarket has dramatically improved over the past twenty years or so, it’s great to have a few more cookbooks that focus on using the most widely available products including chocolate bars, cocoa powder and chocolate chips. Here […]