featuring guest authors; crafting tips and projects; recipes from food editor and sleuthing sidekick Cloris McWerther; and decorating, travel, fashion, health, beauty, and finance tips from the rest of the American Woman editors.

Holiday Blog Hop Starting December 11th

Holiday Blog Hop

Blog Hop begins December 11th. Click on the graphic above for a schedule and list of giveaways, including a $60 Amazon gift card.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

#COOKING WITH CLORIS--GUEST AUTHOR VICTORIA ADAMS & EVERYTHING #CHOCOLATE

Victoria Adams has been penning stories since she was a little girl. Now she’s the published author of contemporary romances and contemporary new adult romances. She’s also the only author I’ve ever know who studies Raqs Sharqi, Egyptian belly dance, (unless some of our other guest authors have been holding out on me!) Learn more about Victoria and her books at her website. 

I’m a chocolate lover. I have books and books of the history of chocolate and how to work with chocolate and recipes dedicated to chocolate. I just love typing the word—chocolate. One of my special desserts that dinner guests ask for is Trinity Parfait—3 ingredients: chocolate,   whipping cream and sugar. You vary the amount of chocolate for the layers which rise up from the bottom: dark chocolate then a lighter chocolate and at the top - chocolate speckled whipped cream. (I think I just put on a pound typing this.)
For someone who might not be as addicted to theobroma cacao—food of the Gods—as I am (although I am shocked that there might be such a person!) here are a few fun facts about my favorite food.

1. Chocolate is in its own food group. Okay…maybe that’s my fact and not based in actual fact. But chocolate is good for you. It’s repudiated to be an antioxidant and does have trace amounts of the mineral copper which is good for our bodies. But this doesn’t mean gobbling down corner store chocolate bars.  A specialty store will offer designer chocolates of various percentages. Start low and build up your taste buds to the 80% range. It is an acquired taste.

2. There are three common species of Cacao trees: Criollo (Central America,) Forastero (West Africa, South America,) and Trinitario (all cacao regions.)

3. Cacao trees can only grow within a tight region 20 degrees north and south of the equator.

4. The top cacao production countries are Ivory Coast, Indonesia, Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon, Brazil, Ecuador and Mexico.

5. White chocolate is NOT chocolate.  To be chocolate, it should have cocoa solids as well as cocoa butter. However, white chocolate has only cocoa butter, and no cocoa solids.

Where is this leading to? In my latest story, my hero and heroine have dinner at his mansion and he treats her to a fabulous dessert—Madagascar vanilla ice cream drizzled with a hot fudge sauce made with fifteen different kinds of cacao, and the whole thing is presented in a solid gold goblet topped off with edible gold!

Cacao is not a spelling mistake.  Cacao is what the base chocolate comes from. It is from the Olmec language (pre Mayan.) There is some train of thought in the chocolate world that cocoa is actually just a misspelling of the word cacao and since it is easier to pronounce that version stuck. But for a chocolate foodie the proper word is cacao.

Chocolate Trinity Parfait

Ingredients for all 3 layers
6-1/2 cups whipping cream
3 cups sugar
2 T. unsweetened cocoa
1/2 tsp. vanilla
12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate

Collect all the ingredients then divide into what is needed for each layer

Bottom Layer – Cocoa Cream
2 cups cream
1/2 cup sugar
2 T. unsweetened cocoa
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Whip the cream until thick. Add the other 3 ingredients. Whip until incorporated. Pour into bottom of parfait glass and place in fridge. (I use 4 big ones.)

Middle Layer – Chocolate Cream
2-1/2 cups cream
8 oz. semisweet chocolate – melted
2 T. sugar

Melt the chocolate. Cool. Whip the cream. Add the sugar. Whip until incorporated. Fold in the chocolate. Divided inito parafait glasses. Return to fridge.

Top Layer – Speckled Cream
2 cups cream
2 T. sugar
4 oz. chocolate, grated

Whip the cream until thick. Add sugar. Whip until incorporated. Fold in grated chocolate. Fill the parfait glasses then refrigerate until served.

Red Tulip
Darcy O'Calahann, a junior gardener from a small mid-western town, is trying to make her way in the big city.

Shamus McRae is a wealthy bachelor with a mysterious family past.

Are Darcy's eyes playing tricks on her? Is she losing her mind? Or is there really a Red Tulip tying her and Shamus together?

3 comments:

Victoria Adams said...

Thanks for letting me stop by and talk about my favourite subject - chocolate.

Angela Adams said...

"Chocolate is in its own food group." I agree! I also can't wait to try that parfait. Thanks for the post.

Victoria Adams said...

Hey Angela - loving your last name :-)