For Chocolate Lovers only

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,, and The Spanish Table websites. If all else fails, try, 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 Please specify in the subject line of your e-mail that you're writing about chocolate. Thank you!