Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Tim Tam slam

Tim Tam
made by Arnott's in Australia

The chocolate cookie, a tasty invention. The straw, a practical invention. The Tim Tam, a perfect combination of the two.
Brought to me all the way from Australia by a wonderful new found friend, the Tim Tam is a chocolate biscuit that doubles not only as a delicious treat, but a functional one. Referred to as a biscuit by the Aussies, but probably considered as a cookie by most Americans, the Tim Tam is made up of two chocolate malted biscuits that sandwich a thin chocolate creme center. It is then finished off with a textured chocolate coating that seals it all together making every bite rich and creamy.
Now for the best part, the Tim Tam slam. See the Tim Tam is not just a biscuit, but a chocolate straw. Yes there is such a thing called a chocolate straw and the Australian's invented it. You must first begin by gathering your tools: a Tim Tam and a glass of milk. Side note: I've read that typically a hot beverage is used for this, but I prefer a cold glass of milk. Next, take the Tim Tam and bite a corner off both ends. Then, dip one of the corners in the milk while you slurp up the milk through the other. The result, the best chocolate milk you've probably ever tasted. See, as the milk streams through the biscuit it helps to melt the chocolate crisp and creme together, while the textured chocolate covering stays in tact. It is divine. Tim Tam's are the best functional chocolate biscuits I have ever tasted. Thank you Australia.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Nothing is better than cookies and milk

Tiny's Boxwood
3614 West Alabama Street
Houston, TX 77027

When it comes to sweets I am a little obsessive...well, A LOT obsessive. And when it comes to chocolate, well don't even get me started...BEST STUFF EVER! Therefore, it should come as no surprise that when I tasted the chocolate cookies (pictured above) from Tiny's Boxwood this picture immediately became the wallpaper on my phone. Yes, they are that good.
Now, if you've ever been to Tiny's in Houston, TX you would never expect such a simple treat to come out of their kitchen. However, this semi-upscale eatery makes chocolate chip cookies like no other. Each cookie is huge and jam packed with so many chocolate chips that each bite is more satisfying than the last. And what may even be better than this cookie's creamy taste of vanilla, butter, sugar and chocolate is its texture. Not being a fan of those hard crumbly Famous Amos type cookies, I want my cookie to be soft and chewy, which is exactly what these cookies are. Put together all these elements, and Tiny's Boxwood chocolate chip cookies are the best I've ever had in Texas.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Let them eat cake!

Angie's Cake
League City, TX

I found a new obsession today and it combines the best of two worlds, cake and chocolate. This new dessert is known as a cake ball and apparently has been around for some time. I don't know how this new delectable treasure slipped under my radar, but I have Angie's Cake to thank for showing me the way.
A cake ball is a three bite treat that comes in the perfect package; a hard chocolate covered ball with a dense moist cake center. The first bite cracks open the dark chocolate shell allowing your teeth to sink into a rich dense chocolate cake. The texture of the cake is fantastic and gets its unique consistency from the icing that is mixed into the cake during the baking process. Put it all together and it is perfection.
I discovered Angie's Cake at a local art festival and sampled their strawberry and chocolate that day only wishing I could have made room to experience some of their other intriguing flavors like cookies n' cream, lemon, red velvet...the list goes on. Unfortunately, you must order these tasty treats online or by phone (as they have yet to set up shop in a permanent location) which all in all is worth the delivery fee.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

A dessert to make you feel oh-so French

The Little Next Door
8142 West 3rd Street
LA CA 90048

I love French food. Their use of cheese, their use of butter, and most of all their use of CHOCOLATE. Luckily Los Angeles is supplied with an eatery that makes use of all these ingredients, the Little Next Door.
Their display case had a large aray of tasty treats, several of them being chocolate laced. My pick for that evening was the ever simple, yet ever complex petit pot de chocolat.
Now typically a pot de chocolat is simply a creamy texture chocolate mousse. This is of course trying to describe in the most simplest terms. However, the pot de chocolat served at the Little Next Door is anything but simple. Served in a small plastic cup and adorned with almond toffee, fleur de sel and a caramlized fig on top it is nothing less than heaven. The texture was smooth like pudding, but rich like a mousse. The scattered bits of almond toffee added a crunch to the wave of chocolate while the fleur de sel gave it hints of that salty sweet factor that I love. Finally, the piece de resistance was the carmalized fig. Figs are my go-to chocolate covered fruit. I adore the tiny cluster of seeds that the fruit encases in its fleshy being and then when you add it to chocolate...I mean who are you kidding. The dessert is now not only delicious, but one might even say healthy for you.
So if you are ever in the mood for the perfect pot de chocolat and want to feel oh-so French while devouring it, visit the Little Next Door. Bon appetit!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Yes, there is bad chocolate out there

Chelsea Wine Bar
4106 NASA Parkway
Seabrook, TX 77586

I hate to have to point out a bad chocolate anything, but duty calls. No one should go through the disappointment I experienced the day I ate the chocolate cake at Chelsea Wine Bar.
Really I should have known better, more than half the cake was still in the display case and it was way past dinner time. However, all that chocolate ganache layered over what looked like moist chocolate cake sandwiched between a raspberry filling seemed like a perfect chocolate fix.
Sadly not everything that is chocolate can be perfect. In fact, it can be bland and I didn't think chocolate was capabale of being bland. The ganache did not obtain its usual smooth texture, but flaked off in pieces as my fork sawed through the first layer. Once my fork got through the flakes, crumbs began to join them on the plate as the moistless cake gave way to the force. Meanwhile the glue that attempted to keep it all together was now a smooth Raspberry filling, but raspberry jam that tasted too sweet and must have been found on the shelves of a local HEB. Alas, nothing could save it, especially not the taste. The cake obtained no sweet chocolatey goodness, no rich texture, no love.
All in all, this was a bad chocolate cake. I left disappointed and unfullfilled. Such a sad day when one must realize that there is bad chocolate out there and anyone can be a victim to it.

Friday, October 8, 2010

They're almost the size of hockey pucks!

Dark Chocolate Caramel Cookies

3025 Magazine Street
New Orleans, LA 70115

The meaning of sucre in French is sugar and this shop covers the subject like no one else. Serving everything from gelato to confections to pastries and more, I'm going to take this time and shine the spot light on a cookie that easily be missed amongst all the goodies. Let us take a moment and admire Sucre’s dark chocolate caramel cookies.
Stacked next to the register in unpretentious clear plastic bags and separated in groups of three this decadent cookie does not get the attention it deserves. Luckily, I’m like a hawk when it comes to chocolate and therefore am not capable of overlooking anything covered in chocolate. Esepcially when the cookie is almost the size of a hockey puck!
I loved and devoured everything I purchased from Sucre that day, but the one thing I wish I bought more of was those hockey puck cookies. The dark chocolate caramel cookie part was dense and buttery and had dashes of dark chocolate that accompanied every bite. It pulled apart softly and once I reached the chocolate caramel middle I was in heaven. It was like a special surprise sitting in the center that came with just a hint of fleur de sel. There is nothing like the exquisite mixture of salty and sweet done right.
Alas, Sucre is located in New Orleans and I am not, but I need not fret. Due to the magic of the internet I can visit Sucre’s website and order these delicious hockey pucks whenever I want. Oh technology, what would I ever do without you.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

No. 73 please

Chuao Chocolatier
937 S. Coast Highway 101, Suite C-109
Encinitas, CA 92024

My favorite way to eat chocolate sometimes is to drink it. But I'm not talking about some chocolate soup concoction that burns your throat on the way down like that drinking chocolate that Starbuck's tried to push several years back. I'm talking about fine quality chocolate being carefully balanced between a solid and liquid state while mixed with just the right amount of milk or water. Chuao chocolatier has mastered the art with their No. 73.
No. 73 is an ice blended chocolate beverage that gets its name from the 73% chocolate that is used to create it. From the first slurp I am in heaven. The taste is rich and strong but with a creamy texture that lets it go down smoothly. For an extra treat I top it off with their house made whip creme making it perfection. I have tried this drink at all of Chuao's three cafe locations around San Diego and have received a perfect drink every time. That's why a stop at this chocolatier is a must!