Hippity-hop! Bunnies, chicks, and Easter eggs with zChocolat..oh my!!

Hippity-hop! Bunnies, chicks, and Easter eggs with zChocolat..oh my!!

zchocolat, easter, chocolate

zChocolat Easter Collection

Easter is fast approaching and chocolatiers are hopping around like bunnies to create delectable decadence for chocolate lovers like you. Inside every adult is a child whose eyes open wide in awe and yummy desire when seeing chocolate bunnies, truffles and Easter eggs. But what fun would Easter be if you couldn’t share these delectables with someone you love?

 

This is where zChocolat comes in! Well known for their handmade French chocolate creations by none other than the world-champion chocolatier, Pascal Caffet who prides in the tradition of using all fresh high-quality ingredients from Europe. Very rare to find chocolates made with no preservatives. Their collections are made with dark, milk and white chocolates from Venezuela and the Ivory Coast filled with their signature rich ganaches. So rich and smooth you can feel the decadence melt in your mouth.

 

zChocolat Easter Collection - Bunnies, chicks, & Easter eggs

zChocolat Easter Collection – Bunnies, chicks, & Easter eggs

I had the pleasure to try their Easter Duo collection – fun assortment of truffles and solids. Their truffles consist of white, milk and dark chocolates filled with caramelized hazelnut ganaches in whimsical shapes of bunnies, Easter eggs, chickens and chicks. The solid collection also of white, milk and dark were in the shapes from the ocean – seashells, crabs, carps, oysters, mussels and fish.

 

Why the sea inspiration? I too wondered myself and found this on their website http://www.zchocolat.com/egg-chic-easter. Or read below an excerpt for the reason why:

 

zchocolat, easter, seashells, fish, carp

zChocolat Easter Collection – sea inspired shapes

“Symbol of the Christian faith, the fish is often used to represent Jesus. The other sea-shaped chocolates come from Jesus’s fishing “miracle” – as the legend tells he pulled up a net filled with sea creatures in the lake of Tibériade after fellow fishers had been coming home with empty nets for several days and were beginning to starve. The eggs, first Easter offering tradition, are a symbol of life and the rabbit, a symbol of spring and fertility.”

 

I think it is great that zChocolat honors their European traditions but it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy this wonderful gift of pleasure.

 

zchocolat, easter, chocolate

zChocolat signature brand

Of course the sensual experience doesn’t end here. When you order online, you have options of personalizing your gift with choices of elegant packaging (assortments, zBoxes, basswood boxes and mahogany boxes). Their chocolates are packaged in their black signature boxes and the whole gift is placed in a black fabric pouch. You have the opportunity to personalize your own love message printed on a white card inserted in the pouch pocket. Options to accessorize with a special trinket or a heart shaped padlock with a 4-digit combination you can personalize like a special date you share with your sweetie or even a a date of a birthday.

 

zchocolat, easter, seashells, fish, carpNot sure whether zChocolate is for you? Only one way to find out… is to actually order a small collection to experience the pleasurable delights first hand. Go to: http://www.zchocolat.com/shop/en/114-easter-collection

 

These make the perfect gourmet gifts for your own scavenger hunts or even better surprise your sweetie by having it delivered to your sweetie’s work or home or placing it in their purses/bags for them to find later. Either way you present it, this will definitely bring a smile on their face.

 

Have an egg-cellent Easter with your sweetie. To view their chocolate collections go to: http://www.zchocolat.com

Black Bean Chili with Chocolate and Coconut

Black Bean Chili with Chocolate and Coconut

Black bean chili with chocolate and coconut from gimmesomeoven.com

Black bean chili with chocolate and coconut from gimmesomeoven.com

Black Bean Chili with Chocolate and Coconut

For you chili fans, here’s another savory chocolate chili recipe to make for your next dinner date with your sweetie thanks to www.gimmesomeoven.com. Especially made with black beans with chocolate and coconut.  Enjoy!

 

Recipe from: http://www.gimmesomeoven.com/black-bean-chili-with-chocolate-and-coconut

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours, 45 minutes
Yield: 6-8 Servings

Ingredients

1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 large white onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup good-quality chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin
8 cups water
1 pound dried black beans, rinsed
1 (4 oz.) can diced green chiles
1/4 cup coconut flakes
2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder (use dark chocolate cocoa for vegan version)
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1-3 teaspoons minced canned chipotle chiles in adobo, to taste
toppings: chocolate chips and additional toasted coconut flakes

 

Method

Black bean chili with chocolate and coconut from gimmesomeover.com

Black bean chili with chocolate and coconut from gimmesomeoven.com

Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and cook for 4-5 minutes, until translucent, stirring occasionally. Add in chili powder and cumin cook for an additional 3 minutes until fragrant. Add in the water, black beans, green chiles, coconut flakes, unsweetened cocoa powder, and oregano. Bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to medium-low and cover, leaving the lid slightly ajar. Simmer for about 2 hours or until the beans are mostly tender.

 

Add in the chipotle peppers in adobo sauce by teaspoons until it reaches your desired taste. Season with salt and pepper, and add an additional 1/2 cup or more of water if needed. Then return to heat for a final 30 minutes or until the beans are fully-cooked. If you would like a smoother soup, feel free to use a potato masher or immersion blender to puree. Otherwise, serve as-is with toppings.

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Nigella’s Chocolate Chip Chili

Nigella’s Chocolate Chip Chili

Nigellas chocolate chip chili from bakedbree.com

Nigellas chocolate chip chili from bakedbree.com

I love chili especially on a cold night to warm up the body and chocolate to nourish the soul. With this recipe from www.bakedbree.com you can have the best of both worlds. With chocolate you add a new dimension of taste you would not have imagined. Make it an evening for two in front of the fire place and remember a bottle of red wine. Enjoy!

 

Nigella’s Chocolate Chip Chili
Recipe from: http://bakedbree.com/nigellas-chocolate-chip-chili

Ingredients

1 1/4 pounds chorizo
3 1/4 pounds boneless beef cut into chunks (I buy stew meat)
3 onions
3 garlic cloves
1 long red chile
1/4 cup vegetable oil
seeds from 3 cardamom pods
2 Tablespoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon dried pepper flakes
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/4 cup ketchup
4 (15 ounce) cans red kidney beans
3 (14 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
1/4 cup chocolate chips
1 cup water
salt and pepper

Instructions

1. Put the onions and garlic in the food processor.

2. In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, cook the onion, garlic, and red chile until soft, about 10 minutes. Add the cardamom, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and pepper flakes.

Nigellas chocolate chip chili from bakedbree.com

Nigellas chocolate chip chili from bakedbree.com

3. Cook the onion and spice mixture for a minute or two. Take the chorizo out of the casing and add to the pot.

4. Add the beef and cook until it starts to brown.

5. Add the beans, tomato paste, ketchup, diced tomato, and water. Bring the chili to a boil.

6. Once the chili comes to a bubble, add the chocolate chips. Stir the chips in until they melt. Cover the pot and put in a preheated 300 degree oven. Cook the chili for 3 more hours. Give a taste and check to see if you need salt and pepper.

7. Top with cheese and cilantro.

 

So Much Chocolate & So Little Time

So Much Chocolate & So Little Time

127-01-014Everyday creative and inventive chocolatiers are coming up with new concoctions and flavors to make your mouth water. They do such a great job that you just want to sink your teeth into and devour them all. Plus it’s eye candy for the eyes! Can you relate?

 

Well, here’s fun idea to help you save time shopping so you can share these moments of pleasures with your Chocolate Date savoring these delicious treats. What is it? Chocolate Tasting clubs!

 

Normally each month, chocolatiers will send a box of their chocolates to your front door step. Depending on the chocolatier, the chocolates they send may be the newest flavor of the month they want you to try before it is officially released to the general public. Or, it may be something special from their signature collections.

 

It’s like being the VIP where you get first dibs before everyone else does.

 

Here are some benefits you can find that chocolatiers may offer:
– chocolate sent to your home monthly – may include bars, truffles & signature pieces
– free samples and/or other related yummy treats along with your order
– discounts on future purchases
– invites to members only special events
– exclusive monthly offers
– free shipping

 

Note: membership structures will vary between clubs so be sure to read the details of
what it entails.

 

To save time:
– set it up to have the chocolates delivered to your Chocolate Date’s home to save you the trip and the expenses of gas and parking. Plus you can surprise your sweetie each month with yummy decadent treats.
– use this opportunity to plan in advance for future birthdays, celebrations, anniversaries and ‘just because’ occasions.

 

Where to find these chocolate clubs? Check out your favorite local chocolatier in your area or search online using keywords such as: Chocolate tasting clubs, chocolate membership, chocolate of the month, and chocolate club.

 

Well-known brands that offer clubs include:

 

Godiva chocolate club websiteGodiva’s Chocolate Rewards Club (www.Godiva.com)

 

 

 

 

 

 

hotelchocolat tasting club imageHotel Chocolat Chocolate Tasting Club (http://www.hotelchocolat.co.uk)

 

 

 

vosges-logo_holidayVosges Chocolate – Chocolate of the Month Club (http://www.vosgeschocolate.com)

 

 

 

This is a great way to check out new chocolates with your Chocolate Date without leaving the comforts of your home and so easy to set it up months to a year in advance. Surprise your sweetie with these delightful treats and reaps the benefits of being a member that your taste buds will love your for.

 

Let me know how it goes. Come over to Facebook or post your comments below. Love to hear feedback  from you so I know how to better serve you.

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The Chocolate Date: Chocolate Biscotti

The Chocolate Date: Chocolate Biscotti

The Chocolate Date: Chocolate Biscotti
– by Divinity Chan | www.TheChocolateDate.com ©2013

 

Ingredients:

4 oz Unsweetened chocolate
1/2 c Butter
1/2 ts Vanilla extract
3 lg Eggs
1 1/4 c Sugar
3 c All-purpose flour
1/2 ts Baking powder
1 c Hazelnuts or walnuts; chop
1 Egg white; lightly beaten

 

Directions:

  1. Melt chocolate and butter in a heavy saucepan over low heat. Beat eggs at medium speed with an electric mixer until frothy; gradually add sugar, beating until thick and pale (about 5 minutes).
  2. Add chocolate mixture, stirring until blended. Combine flour and baking powder; stir into chocolate mixture.
  3. Stir in nuts. Flour hands, and form dough into a 13″ log.
  4. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Brush with egg white.
  5. Bake at 350F for 45 minutes; cool on a wire rack.
  6. Cut log with a serrated knife crosswise into 24 (1/2-inch) slices, and place on an ungreased cookie sheet.
  7. Bake at 350F for 10 minutes on each side.
  8. Remove to wire racks to cool.

 

 

The Chocolate Date: Chocolate Chiffon Pots

The Chocolate Date: Chocolate Chiffon Pots

Chocolate Chiffon Pots
 – by Divinity Chan | www.TheChocolateDate.com ©2013

© Jborzicchi | Dreamstime.com

 

Ingredients:

1 1/2 c Skim milk
2 Envelopes unflavored gelatin
3 tb Unsweetened cocoa
2 tb Granulated sugar
Few grains salt
2 ts Vanilla extract
1 c Ice cubes (6 to 8)
Toppings: Semisweet chocolate shavings, maraschino cherry, fresh fruit (such as strawberry slices or berries), chocolate sprinkles and/or whipped cream


Directions:

  1. Place milk in a medium-sized saucepan and add gelatin, cocoa, sugar and salt.
  2. Stir over moderate heat until gelatin is completely dissolved. Remove from heat; add vanilla and stir briskly with fork or wire whisk to mix ingredients well.
  3. Pour into blender, add ice cubes, cover and blend at medium speed until ice cubes dissolve.
  4. Uncover, stir once with rubber spatula and let stand 2-3 minutes to jelly.
  5. Spoon into 4 dessert dishes or parfait glasses and top each serving with Semi-sweet chocolate shavings, maraschino cherry, fresh fruit (such as strawberry slices or berries), chocolate sprinkles and/or whipped cream

 

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