Hi! My name is Stephanie Zonis, and welcome to the February, 2004
edition of For Chocolate Lovers Only! Each month, you’ll
find recipes, tips, and recommendations on great chocolate specialties.
Happy Valentine’s Day to all my readers!
Chocolate Recommendation of the Month: I think I’m
going to have to travel to Spain one of these days, as there are
far too many interesting chocolatiers in that country for me to
pass it by. Meantime, however, I’m lucky enough to live in
a land to which Spain exports some of her chocolate. Bombones
Blanxart is a perfect example. I’ve known about this chocolate
for a few years now. The first thing that catches your eye is the
label, which looks as though it was designed in a previous century.
I love the “old” look of the outer wrapping, but, more
importantly, the chocolate distinguishes itself from most others
in the US by taste and texture. It is not perfectly smooth, but
rather has a bit of pleasant roughness to it. And the taste stays
with you for a long time. This is a complex chocolate that makes
you think about what you’re eating (and, if you’re like
me, it also makes you smile a lot after all that thinking!).
Bombones Blanxart is available in bars (milk chocolate,
milk chocolate with hazelnuts, dark chocolate, and dark chocolate
with marcona almond); napolitanas (small, 7 gram squares
of dark chocolate); catanias (marcona almonds covered with
praline paste, then dusted with cocoa powder), and Cava vinegar
bonbons (chocolates filled with Spanish champagne vinegar). This
chocolatier is very particular about their ingredients and processes;
they even roast their own cacao beans, and there just aren’t
many left who’ll go that extra mile. You can find Bombones
Blanxart in different locations based on where you live in the
US: Whole Foods carries them in the West and Midwest, and Dean &
Deluca and Fairways have them in New York City. You can also find
them via Zingerman’s, Latienda.com, and The Spanish Table
websites. If all else fails, try www.psimports.net, the website
of Power-Selles Imports. Do make it a point to try these beautifully
unusual chocolates; I promise that doing so will delightfully expand
your chocolate horizons.
Book of the Month: In 2002, Greg Patent’s book Baking
in America hit store shelves. I first saw a copy sometime last
year, and I was so intrigued by the subtitle (Traditional and
Contemporary Favorites from the Past 200 Years) and the recipes
I saw that I bought the book. It’s a little history mixed
with some intelligent baking tips and a number of great-sounding
recipes. I’ve only been able to try one recipe to date (the
Sour Cream Lemon Pound Cake, substituting 1 teaspoon of lemon oil
for the 2 teaspoons of lemon extract), but it was so good that even
avowed chocolate maniacs went back for second and third slices.
If you’re looking for a baking book to add to your collection
or for a gift, take a peek inside the covers of this volume.
Do you have a comment, question, or suggestion?
You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please specify in the subject line of your e-mail that you're writing
about chocolate. Thank you!