1630s Spanish Hot Chocolate (p.44)

We want to emphasize that this is REALLY sweet – it has way more sugar than you would find in most modern hot chocolate.  You can drink it if you want, but we included it mostly for historical interest.


We translated the recipe for hot chocolate from the 1630s into something you can make at home. The egg yolk is optional even in the original recipe. If you don’t have access to yard eggs, we recommend that you omit the yolk—it will still be a tasty plant-based rendition of an antique hot chocolate. You may also wish to omit the yolk if you’re very young, very old, have a compromised immune system, or don’t eat animal products. In the 1630s, sugar was for the gentry, so this recipe has a lot of sugar. It’s very sweet.

Makes about 2 pints
Takes 20 minutes

4 cups clean water
1/4 cup grated baking chocolate
1/4 cup sugar
One fresh egg yolk (optional)
Fresh white bread or biscuits (optional)

First, you’ll need access to clean water, which may be a little easier today than it was in 17th century Europe. We initially assumed the “Conduit Water” that the recipe calls for would have come from an aqueduct, but it turns out the term actually refers to spring water! For most of you, clean municipal tap water is an adequate substitute.

Next, boil your water. If it’s an option, boil your water in a covered pot over an open fire. If you don’t have access to an open fire, any method will do. In a small pot, whisk together the boiling water, grated baking chocolate and the sugar. Use a molinillo if you have one, otherwise, a common whisk or a fork will do. (molinilloMolinillos are traditional Mexican chocolate stirrers.)

This recipe comes from the 1630s, so when it calls for a fresh egg, we mean that if you don’t have a hen, find a friend who raises chickens. Then invite yourself over to make them antique hot chocolate, and schedule your date for the time of day when there is usually an egg still hot from the hen. If your egg has been refrigerated, let the yolk sit out at room temperature for a while so it froths easier. Beat the egg yolk until it’s very frothy, then add it to the beverage.

Pour the cocoa into a couple of mugs. Serve frothy and very hot with bread or biscuits.

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Polish Truffles made from Leftover Dessert Tidbits, or, Ziemniaczki

My mom, as the youngest of half a dozen children, was pretty much raised by her live-in great-grandmother, who was from Poland and who only spoke Polish, all the way through second grade, when her great-grandmother died.

Then, when I was like 20, I was working in a national park, and every season we would get a different batch of student coworkers from a different part of the world on a student work visa. One season, it was Polish. It was like living in Poland in California; I loved it.

Here’s a link to No-waste Polish Chocolate Truffles. I haven’t made them, but I love this article just for the delicious stories, and I bet the truffles are good, too. Ziemniaczki, they’re like stone soup but for truffles.

Cookbook Style Guide – Handy References

We’re sharing the style guide and checklist we developed for this cookbook in the hopes that it will be useful for other people too.

The kitchen checklist (ODT & PDF) is to make sure you have all the relevant information when you’re done developing/testing the recipe.  The formatting checklist (ODT & PDF) covers some of the same items to be really sure the recipes are consistent and accurate; and adds a bunch of formatting & styling.  Some of it is based on the Microcosm style guide and other parts are from The Recipe Writer’s Handbook.

The recipe formatting checklist is a heavily used treasure trove of a resource that we referenced several times for each recipe in the book.

Chocolate Cauliflower Gratin by Frederick Lenza (p.137)

Frederick brought this innovative dish to our first “chocoluck,” a chocolate potluck where everyone brought a dish made with cocoa and we all sat around eating theobrominated deliciousness. It was a smash hit with everyone who attended. It’s good on its own, and it’s also great in crêpes.

Fills one 9″ round baking dish
Takes about 90 minutes

Cauliflower

2 smallish heads of cauliflower, coarsely chopped
4 tablespoons peanut oil
1 tablespoon black pepper

Sauce

1 tablespoon peanut oil
3 ounces Soyrizo
1 1/2 ounces baking chocolate
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/4 cups vegetable stock
1/4 cup red wine
1/2 tablespoon ponzu sauce (citrus-infused soy sauce)
1/4 teaspoon five-spice powder
1/4 teaspoon Moroccan seasoning (optional)
1/8 teaspoon liquid smoke

Topping

3 slices rye bread
2 tablespoons black truffle oil

Cauliflower

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Toss cauliflower with 4 tablespoons peanut oil and black pepper. Put in roasting pan and roast at 450°F for 25 minutes, mixing the cauliflower again half way through.

Sauce

Heat skillet to medium high heat. Add peanut oil. Crumble and fry soyrizo in oil until slightly browned and some fat has rendered, 5–10 minutes.

Decrease heat to medium. Melt chocolate into Soyrizo. Once chocolate has melted, add flour. Continue stirring to avoid scorching. Cook an addition 2 minutes to cook the taste of raw flour out of the roux.

Add vegetable stock, stirring constantly. Add red wine. Add ponzu sauce, five spice power, Moroccan seasoning and liquid smoke. Simmer for 5 minutes to bring everything together; turn off heat.

Topping

Turn the bread to bread crumbs using either grater or food processor. Toss with truffle oil.

Assembly

Preheat oven to 350°F. Take 9-inch round baking dish and combine the sauce with the roasted cauliflower. It should be enough to give a good coating to all the cauliflower. Mix well. Pack the mixture as tightly and evenly into the dish as possible. Sprinkle the topping on top of the casserole.

Bake at 350°F for 45 minutes. Place under broiler briefly until top is crunchy. Serve hot.

Brussels Sprouts with Carmelized Onion (p.127)

These Brussels sprouts are a December recipe, so when we add the citrus to this I’m reminded of my childhood in England, where candy and candle-decorated oranges called Christingles were part of a public school Christmas celebration.

Christingle: black and white illustration of a holiday orange with mini marshmallows and a lit candle in it
Invented in Germany in 1747, Christingles were popularized in by the Children’s Society in England in the late 1960s.

The sweetness of the citrus and carmelized onion work well with the bitterness of the cocoa nibs and Brussels sprouts. Remember to start making the rice about halfway through this recipe if you don’t already have some handy in a rice cooker!

Makes about 2 cups
Takes 60 minutes

1 tablespoon oil
1 large red onion, chopped
10 small Brussels sprouts, chopped
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon dried mint
1 tablespoon cocoa nibs
1 orange or mandarin, separated into wedges
Salt and pepper
Cooked rice (optional)

Add the oil and onion to a pan and cook on medium heat for half an hour, stirring occasionally. Stir in the brussels sprouts, add 1/4 cup water, and continue cooking for another 15–20 minutes, stirring rarely. When you can’t take it any more and just have to eat the deliciousness that awaits, remove from heat, and add the mint and nibs. Add salt and pepper to taste, serve over rice, and garnish with the orange wedges.

Saucy Roasted Eggplant (p.141) & Saucy Roasted Eggplant Pie

We used this recipe to make the filling for the savory pie we brought to Day #5 of Nine Days of Pie at Afru Gallery.  It was a hit!  We were informed that of hundreds of unique pies tried over the years, this was truly one of the best.  High praise!

Someone asked Darin at the book reading today which chocolates he recommends as equitable.  That’s a book of its own!  However, Darin suggested Creo and Tony’s Chocolonely as a couple example chocolate companies he recommends to show the range of slavery-free chocolates that are sold locally.  Here’s a blurb I thought was interesting from Tony’s Chocolonely’s FAQ:

Did you know that certified chocolate bars (e.g. Fair Trade) also contains non-certified cocoa – and vice versa? If you buy certified chocolate, you can be certain that somewhere in the world the quantity of certified beans needed to make your bar was purchased. It’s just not physically in your bar. It’s really not. We can tell you precisely where the cocoa in our chocolate comes from. We believe that traceability is a critical step toward 100% slave free chocolate.

Reminder: When making Saucy Roasted Eggplant, if you use a can of tomatoes, they’re typically pre-salted, so you can omit the called-for salt.

Saucy Roasted Eggplant Pie: Follow the Saucy Roasted Eggplant recipe below, with the following exceptions:  Dice the eggplant instead of slicing it.  It will only take up a single layer in the cake pan. That’s fine, just cover it with all the sauce. Dicing the eggplant means there’s more surface area. You don’t need to cook it as long; it only took 35-45 minutes in the oven we used.   Remove the eggplant from the oven.  Stir in two cans of beans (or four cups of cooked beans).  We used one can of black and another of cannelini.  Fills two standard pie shells.

We now return to your regularly-scheduled Saucy Roasted Eggplant recipe:


This easy eggplant dish gets rave reviews at potlucks.  The cocoa is used as a subtle spice, but for a bolder chocolate flavor you can use 1/4 cup of cocoa powder and increase the sugar to one tablespoon.

Makes one 8 x 13-inch cake pan
Takes 60-90 minutes

1 eggplant (about 1 pound)
13.5 ounces of coconut milk (about 2 cups)
2 cups diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
4 teaspoons ras el hanout or garam masala
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Cut the eggplant into slices up to 1/4″ thick and put a single layer in the bottom of an oiled 8 x 13-inch cake pan.

Mix together the coconut milk, diced tomatoes, cocoa powder, ras el hanout, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl.  Evenly distribute about half the sauce over the eggplant.  Add the remaining eggplant slices as a second layer, and then pour all the remaining sauce on top.

Roast until the eggplant is soft and completely saturated with the sauce.  This may take 40-60 minutes depending on your oven and the thickness of your eggplant slices.

Serve with a starchy food to sop up the sauce.

Fantastic burrito filling or bean dip: Keep any sauce that remains after baking.  Add the sauce to a couple cups of cooked black beans and heat it on the stove for 5-10 minutes.  If you mash the beans while cooking them, it also makes a great bean dip.

Bean-to-Bar Chocolate by Megan Giller

We’re not alone!  When Angel went to drop off an early copy of Chocolatology for Creo Chocolate, Janet Straub mentioned another author with a chocolate book that’s just out: Megan Giller’s Bean-to-Bar Chocolate: America’s Craft Chocolate Revolution.

Giller favors high-end artisan bean-to-bar brands (our taste isn’t so sophisticated, as long as it’s fair- or direct-trade), so you might want to check out some of her articles if that’s your cup of tea chocolate.