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Cindy Roberts
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With Fall just around the corner it's time to cocoon in the kitchen. What a better way to spend a rainy day than cooking up a storm? I have 4 classes coming up soon that you won't want to miss. If you are hosting the Thanksgiving meal this year I'd like to tantalize you with the new Ultimate Thanksgiving class. I can't divulge all of the details but you'll hear more about this class in an upcoming news publication in a few weeks (mums the word, I won't say more). Sign up today by calling (650) 329-3752 or by going... Continue reading
Posted Oct 12, 2010 at Chocolate 365 (or is it 265?)
Amedei 70% *** Yowser, it's hard to believe that this is 70% chocolate. It's very, very bitter. So bitter actually that all I really tasted was the bitterness. Although a very deep rich chocolate flavor in this I didn't catch any nuances evidenced in other speciality chocolates. So, I'm only going to give this a 3 star rating. It's hard to find too but check out Fog City News on Market Street in San Francisco if you want to try a bar. They have an excellent selection of chocolate, even these hard to find types. Some say this is the... Continue reading
Posted Aug 17, 2010 at Chocolate 365 (or is it 265?)
During my recent visit to Washington, DC, I was ambling about on F Street wondering where oh where would I have dinner. Doing absolutely no “pre planning” as I had done on previous days as we schemed to into Jose Andres and Jean Goerges’ very excellent restaurants I was at a loss of where to head. Bless my lucky stars. A waitress from Co Co Sala accosted me in the street and lured me in. This was too good to be true. Let me tell you about Co Co. Every dish has a smidgeon of chocolate. Their flowers are sculpted... Continue reading
Posted Aug 10, 2010 at Chocolate 365 (or is it 265?)
Vanilla Bean Toffee Almond Bar by Ginger Elizabeth **** A friend had been extolling the virtues of Fog City News on Market Street in San Francisco. Don't let the store's name fool you. Yes, there are some newspapers and magazines there. Better yet, this is a treasure trove of chocolate. I asked them to load me up with chocolate from California. Now, you wouldn't think Sacramento would be the hot bed of chocolate but I really enjoyed the sophistication of this bar from Sacramento. Do you remember (or maybe you still buy) those English toffee candies in a pink... Continue reading
Posted Jun 4, 2010 at Chocolate 365 (or is it 265?)
Tcho is working directly with small cacao farmers to bring you the best chocolate in the world. If you want to help our cacao farmers, support a new chocolate maker or just want to eat delicious chocolate, go Tscho. Move over Scharffen berger. Make way for Tcho in your hearts and your chocolate "must have" list. Tscho is the newest chocolatier in San Francisco. We chocolate lovers have been waiting for a new chocolate factory ever since Hershey's bought out Sharffen berger then proceeded to dismantle their Berkeley factory. Tcho is independently owned and doing very good things for the... Continue reading
Posted Apr 30, 2010 at Chocolate 365 (or is it 265?)
Looking for something to do this spring break? No need to get bored or hang around the house playing video games. Come learn something new. Chocolate is a wonderful delicacy to experience anytime but make it a part of your spring break with the upcoming Chocolate cake class. Once these storms pass, put your sites on a picnic and get prepared with the Picnic in the Park class. Can't wait to see some of my readers in class! All classes are $50, start at 6:30pm at Palo Alto High School. Sign up here or phone (650) 329-3752 Cindy April... Continue reading
Posted Apr 1, 2010 at Chocolate 365 (or is it 265?)
Chocolate Walnut Cookies **** 1/2 These chocolate walnut cookies are fab. Even more fab than you can imagine as I eagerly gorged on the warm batch from the oven while pondering whether I should snake the backed up sewer pipe or pay a whopping $2500 to install a new pipe. Oh, the wonders of This Old House. I'm a bit perplexed about the This Old House magazine. They always look so cheery as they remodel and fix the ole houses. I know I'll get to that level of enthusiasm when the projects are more creative. Until then, I have CHOCOLATE... Continue reading
Posted Mar 19, 2010 at Chocolate 365 (or is it 265?)
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Mar 16, 2010
Thi SALAME DI CIOCCOLATO/ CHOCOLATE SALAMI ***** My, this is a good one. Thank you to Pat Blunenthal for her contribution of this adaptation recipe from an Italian cookbook. What makes this so wondrous is the "bite" of bitterness the candied citrus peels bring to the recipe. I candied grapefruit and tangerine peels en masse a few months ago and they were perfect for this recipe (see the cookbook "Chocolate Obsession" for the recipe). It was such a welcome respite from home repairs to craft this recipe. I'm coping with the damage in the garage due to the aforementioned wood... Continue reading
Posted Mar 5, 2010 at Chocolate 365 (or is it 265?)
Nantucket Open-House Cookbook Chocolate Macadamia Cake with Goslings Rum Creme Anglaise p 225 **** 1/2 This dessert really hit the spot. Maybe it was in light of the pests I'm fighting in my house and garage. The tad of run in the sauce took off the edge of my frustration. We knew something was eating away the garage and my beloved books therein. The bugs were having a party in there. Two types of termites and wood boring beetles. As I was feasting on chocolate they were feasting on the garage. The subterranean termies had also made some strides into... Continue reading
Posted Feb 25, 2010 at Chocolate 365 (or is it 265?)
What would Valentine's Day be without a large dose of chocolate? Come to my next cooking class and learn how you can make some delightful desserts for this fast approaching holiday. To enroll phone (650) 329-3752 or be hip and enroll online Then come join me in March for some healthier options! All classes held from 6:30pm-9:00pm on Embarcadero Rd in Palo Alto, California. CHOCOLATES FOR YOUR VALENTINE, February 3 Baking a sweet for your sweetie is the best Valentine’s gift. Taste test a number of bar chocolates. Choose the winner to use in your Valentine’s baking. Make the... Continue reading
Posted Jan 25, 2010 at Chocolate 365 (or is it 265?)
Nantucket Open-House Cookbook Buche de Nowl p 324 **** 1/2 This year's Christmas Eve I took a turn to the traditional Buche de Noel. I don't mean to slight the frozen Buche de Noel from Cocolate that I hold near and dear to my heart. That is fabulous. Maybe my aging bones are turning me down a traditional route. Regardless, let's talk Buche de Noel's. This is a chocolate jelly roll like cake that has become a Christmas tradition in France. Like many (can I say all?) Christmas traditions this heralds from an ancient pagan mid winter ritual. Only, back... Continue reading
Posted Jan 21, 2010 at Chocolate 365 (or is it 265?)
Private Collection Chocolate Mocha Blitz Torte 103 **** 1/2 Must be good. It was devoured before I could snap a shot. This cook book has rarely let me down and this dessert was no exception. For those of you who think 1980 was the dark ages for American cooking you'll be pleasantly surprised. There were some neighborhoods where orange jello wasn't the norm. I highly recommend this cookbook. Now, let's talk about this torte. You can see from the photo that it was devoured before I could snap a photo. If a picture says a thousand words, you've got it... Continue reading
Posted Dec 8, 2009 at Chocolate 365 (or is it 265?)
Yes, we have a working fireplace. That is so cool. We just lit our first fire in the house. Note the lovely fireplace screen, a scrap of screen taken from the front door. In time we’ll purchase something lovely but for now whatever works will do. Note the Java Logs in use. Real firewood will come soon but these are a lovely invention from coffee bean hulls that you light a match to and ignite an instant fire. Think eco friendly Duraflame logs and you’ve got it. The timing couldn’t be better. All at once the furnace is still on... Continue reading
Posted Nov 16, 2009 at Chocolate 365 (or is it 265?)
Shame on me. It’s been more than 3 weeks since I last shared my wisdom and love of chocolate with all of you. It’s not for lack of eating chocolate mind you. There's been plenty of that. I've been sneaking bits from a Dacoba bar each morning. I think I just got wrapped up with the Halloween Hoopla and was making some progress on the house projects which put chocolate writing on the back burner. I’m back and have lots of recipes to share. Let’s recount some of the house repair successes first Door Handles: 90% complete Cracked window replacements... Continue reading
Posted Nov 6, 2009 at Chocolate 365 (or is it 265?)
Can a home cooked Brownie beat out the Ghiradelli Triple Chocolate box mix? I journeyed through my library of cookbooks to find out. I started with a high bar since Chris Kimball of America’s Test Kitchen rated the Ghiradelli box above all others. You won’t believe how my testers (okay a lot of them were children) raved about the box type. Some comments from the ankle biters: “These are really fudgey and more chocolatey” “They are really chewy”. Could it be that a box beat out all of the homemade ones? Brownies are my quick standby as they are so... Continue reading
Posted Oct 13, 2009 at Chocolate 365 (or is it 265?)
You can make confections like the ones above (well, they MAY look like these) in my upcoming Chocolate Confections class in Palo Alto. Two other (but non chocolate) classes are scheduled first so you may want to check those out too. All classes are $50 per student, at 6:30pm and can be enrolled via the online form at or by phoning (650) 329-3752 MEDITERRANEAN BY THE SEA— FISH, COUSCOUS AND PORTOBELLO MUSHROOMS Oct 14 Wow your guests at your next dinner party with this quick and simple meal, and learn the nuances of a variety of salts in a... Continue reading
Posted Oct 9, 2009 at Chocolate 365 (or is it 265?)
Il Fornaio Rosina al Cioccolato *** For the record, I have not been paid by any of these restaurants or cookbook publishers. A law just went into effect requiring writers to be transparent about endorsements/payments on blogs and Twitter. It would be NICE to be paid or at least get a gift certificate now and again. Hint, hint. Thus far my endeavor has been self funded. From time to time I sell my goodies which is a commercial aspect of the project. The publishers haven’t come rushing to my cookie sales to purchase just yet. Nor have they supplied signage... Continue reading
Posted Oct 6, 2009 at Chocolate 365 (or is it 265?)
Jean George Warm, Soft, Chocolate Cake p. 168 *** or ***** This cake on it’s own was rather ordinary so I’d give it three stars but dress it up with chocolate sauce and apricot sorbet and it’s a solid five star winner. On a whim I added the apricot twist having no idea whether or not apricot would pair with chocolate. I am starting on the premise now that all good things pair with chocolate. This proved to be no exception. Here is a review from one of my dinner guests who sampled this lovely dessert. “ At a restaurant,... Continue reading
Posted Sep 30, 2009 at Chocolate 365 (or is it 265?)
Chocolate Obsession Chocolate Dipped Sesame Tuiles p. 110 **** Ideas As mentioned before I am a fan (and former student) of Michael Recchiuti’s. Check out his cookbook, Chocolate Obsession. I have a signed edition but no worries. The unsigned one works just as well. This recipe is a doozy. Take time for this cookie as you’ll need it. I’m making the cookie one day and dipping the next. Third day is my research into the true chemistry of chocolate tempering. I highly recommend this two day process. I am proud to announce that I was successful with biscotti for the... Continue reading
Posted Sep 22, 2009 at Chocolate 365 (or is it 265?)
Sept 11 Coupa Café Spicy Mocha ***** Here is a plug for my favorite drink on this planet. The spicy mocha is to die for. Those Mayans had it spot on when they plotted to add chilies and spices to their cacao. I’m so delighted this tradition is making a come back. While the flavor of this drink is superb note that the décor on the top makes it A1 fantastic. If you get an inspired barista he will make a fern shaped design garnishing the top. More than a coffee house, this café in Palo Alto is THE space... Continue reading
Posted Sep 15, 2009 at Chocolate 365 (or is it 265?)
Sept 9 Endangered Species Dark Chocolate with Deep Forest Mint 72% **** What a surprise. I had low expectations of this chocolate bar but I actually liked it. Since a child I have been fond of the chocolate and mint combo. Mint Chip Ice Cream was always my first pick at the supermarket. So, maybe it doesn’t come as a surprise that this hit my sweet tooth in a positive way. The mint was, well, minty, and tasted free of chemicals. The chocolate was oh so smooth. Oh. Did I tell you the phone company turned off our long distance... Continue reading
Posted Sep 11, 2009 at Chocolate 365 (or is it 265?)
Sept 3 St. Michael’s Alley Dark Chocolate Mousse Torte *** It’s my birthday and the start of 365 Days of Chocolate. I can cry if I want to at reaching the ripe age of 47 but who wants to with a year of chocolate on the horizon. At the new St. Michael’s Alley’s outdoor setting in Palo Alto I enjoyed their Dark Chocolate Mousse Torte but I wasn’t wowed by the flavor. The torte had a smooth bite and enough chocolate to satisfy any chocoholic yet there wasn’t a snap or anything special about it. The special tough came in... Continue reading
Posted Sep 8, 2009 at Chocolate 365 (or is it 265?)
Julie and Julia you have inspired me. If Julie can do it, if Julia can do it, I can too. I’m known as a chef around these parts. As a cooking instructor at the Palo Alto Adult School, past student at the Cordon Bleu and a recent write up about my cooking forays in the Palo Alto Weekly what was I thinking. Lo and behold I purchased a house without a kitchen with my husband. Some days this has nearly brought me to tears and I am not one to be a nervous Nelly. No, no, no. That just isn’t... Continue reading
Posted Sep 8, 2009 at Chocolate 365 (or is it 265?)