The Chocolate Factory- French Chocolate Truffles

When I heard we would be having an international themed supper club, I knew that I needed to come up with the perfect french dish…and what is more french than good chocolate! Luckily it’s Willy Wonka week and I had the perfect reason to try a new dish. Chocolate mousse originally came to mind. I can remember watching my “french mom” make mousse while studying in france. Unfortunately…I made Julia Child’s recipe a few months ago, so that wouldn’t be something new. And it was a week night, so it couldn’t be too complicated like most of Julia’s recipes. So I turned to Ina Garten and found a relatively easy recipe for truffles. I knew I would be amongst friends, so if it flopped, no big deal. But let me be the first to brag…they were INCREDIBLE. Rich. Creamy. Chocolate. Perfection.

They were far from beautiful (like the Belgium chocolates I just received). My rolling technique and the application of powdered sugar left much to be desired. But the taste made up for the appearance. Ya know – you can’t judge a book by its cover.

I’d like to also throw in…the truffles were the coup de gras following quite a smoragasbord of food: chips and salsa, edamame, mozzarella baked in a bread crust, olives, pizza, summer salad, egg roles, mac and cheese, green bean casserole, fried chicken, fortune cookies and fresh baked chocolate pie.

I can’t lie….I tried a little of everything (and had to put in double time on the treadmill the next day). And since it is chocolate week, I did have a piece of chocolate pie AND a truffle.

Let’s just say that this chocolate week is taking its toll on me. I think I know what death by chocolate really means.

Chocolate Chili from the Chocolate Factory

Chili- the perfect combo of protein, carbs and veggies. There are so many variations that I think it’s something I could eat everyday. Actually, I think when I was a single girl I did eat chili everyday (probably why I was single for so long). I love trying different chili recipes with different ingredients. And ya know…everyone seems to have their own derrivitive of chili. Like my friend A…she makes a great white chicken chili and one of my faves is a slow cooked bourbon chili with pork.  

I have seen chili recipes that include chocolate as an ingredient…but I was never brave enough to try it.  It just seems like a weird combo. But hey….it combines two of my favorite foods. What could be so strange?

So in the spirit of Willy Wonka and my chocolate factory…I cooked up a big pot of chili (Yes I realize its 80 degrees outside) and I added a few tablespoons of dark chocolate. First one tablespoon…then two…then three. The chili turned a rich dark garnet color. It had somewhat of a bitter flavor so I added a dash of sugar. Delish!

Here’s a run down of my chocolate consumption today…I have had a chocolate protein shake, hot chocolate, a chocolate kiss, a chocolate protein bar, chocolate chili and a piece of belgium chocolate! H. called my menu a “gastronomic disaster”. I thought it was heaven.

Tomorrow…homemade chocolate truffles.

The golden ticket…my own chocolate factory

What is your “can’t live without” food? Is there something that you crave everyday? And is there something that you can’t resist no matter what?

Pour moi-  It’s chocolate. Luckily dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants. Eating brownies for dinner last week really kicked up the chocolate cravings. It lit an adventurous fire to my taste buds. There is some sort of cosmic magnetic force in the universe drawing me to chocolate. It’s everywhere I turn…

My in-laws just returned from Europe and brought me a FANTASTIC box of dark chocolates from The Chocolate Line, a world famous chocolatier in Belgium.I’m not really sure what all of the flavors are…very exotic with interesting shapes and designs. Today I tried a flavor that was new to me…The dark chocolate was molded to look like a Buddah…and in Buddah’s belly was a ginger flavored filling. The ginger tasted just like the pickled ginger that compliments sushi. Very interesting. Not sure I exactly liked it. Never in a million years would I have paired chocolate with pickled ginger. A little weird. I get the pairing of bacon with chocolate- that salty sweet combo that Chicago’s Vosges Haut Chocolate is famous for.

So now I am wondering if Buddah had ginger in his belly, what do you think the flavor of the piece with a cigar stamped on the outside will taste like?

As I sat down to write this afternoon, I saw that Charlie and the Chocolate Factory  was on TV. I have never seen this movie…It’s fate. CHOCOLATE EVERYWHERE. I had to watch it (while I indulged in my Belgium dark chocolates).

Sometimes we fight the universe and sometimes its just easier to listen! Clearly chocolate is calling: 
 This week I will create my own little chocolate factory. Maybe if I eat soooooo much chocolate this week, it’ll no longer feel like such a treat and I won’t CRAVE it all the time.

So…for the next week, I’ll try to eat chocolate at every meal-even breakfast and will even try to incorporate chocolate into our entrees. At minimum…each day I will share with you a new chocolate adventure.  We’ll call this week a taste of the “sweet life” in the chronicles of AGH.

Addendum: I just learned that the Belgium chocolatier was designing an Alice in Wonderland display for the window. This cosmic connection to chocolate is CRAZY! 

Here they are preparing for the Alice in Wonderland Display. Assuming that is the Queen of Hearts in the background.