Compartes Chocolatier Official Blog

November 15, 2011


Chocolate Recipe: Jonathan's Browned Butter Chocolate Brownies

Cocoa + Browned Butter Chocolate Brownies w/ Walnuts & Fleur De Sel

Ingredients:

  • 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks)  butter, cut into 1-inch pieces (Jonathan recommends using salted butter to add flavor)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • 1 teaspoon good vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs, chilled
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 cup walnut pieces ( you can substitute dark chocolate chips or a broken Compartes chocolate bar for an even more decadent version)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 8 inch metal baking pan. Put a long piece of parchment paper in the bottom of the pan, letting the parchment extend up two sides of the pan and overhang slightly on both ends. (This will make it easy to remove the bars from the pan after they have baked.) Butter the parchment.

  2. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Continue cooking until butter stops foaming and browned bits form at bottom of pan, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat; immediately add sugar, cocoa, water, vanilla, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Stir to blend. Let cool 5 minutes (mixture will still be hot so make sure you add eggs once cool so you dont get scrambled eggs). Add eggs to hot mixture one at a time, beating vigorously to blend after each addition. When mixture looks thick and shiny, add flour and stir until blended. Beat vigorously 60 strokes. Stir in nuts.

  3. Spread into prepared baking pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean (with a few moist crumbs attached). Cool on a wire rack.

  4. When cooling, sprinkle with a bit of "fleur de sel" (or any good sea salt) on top.  They taste even better when they're cool!

 

Recipe yields 16 brownies, but Jonathan likes em big, so 8 brownies total! :) Enjoy!

Adapted from Bon Appetit, February 2011

November 15, 2011


Custom Chocolates: Dreamworks x Compartes Dragon Chocolate

Compartes was officially selected to customize chocolates for Dreamworks' latest animation "How to Train Your Dragon"!

Honored to be selected from all the chocolate companies across the nation, Dreamworks chose us at Compartes for our uniqueness in handmaking organic gourmet chocolates without losing touch with an artistic result; a result that still retains the look of true luxury -- not to mention the palate of flavours that makes Compartes so spectacular, and lest we forget, so delicious!

Early proofs included this one...

To the finished product... 

 

Contact us via phone or email to have your custom logos and designs made out of gourmet chocolate.

November 15, 2011


Jonathan's Gourmet English toffee Recipe for Oprah

Compartes Chocolatier Los Angeles English Toffee
Oprah Exclusive Gourmet Food Recipe
 
 
Servings: Makes about 2 pounds
 
Ingredients
 
  • 1 pound unsalted butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups raw almonds, chopped finely or ground loosely (with skins on)
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean (scraped or split so the seeds will come out inside the toffee)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • Fleur de sel, for finishing (optional)
  • Melted chocolate, for dipping (optional)
Directions

Melt butter in a heavy-bottomed pot on stove top. In separate bowl, mix together white sugar and brown sugar, add to melted butter. Add 1/4 cup water. Cook mixture on medium-high heat, stirring with a wooden spoon. Using a candy thermometer—most can clip onto the pot—cook until 240°, stirring hard and fast to make sure nothing is sticking to the pan and your toffee doesn't burn. At 240°, add the almonds. At 260°, lower the heat and finish cooking until your candy thermometer reads 300° and reaches the soft ball stage. It should take about 15 to 20 minutes total to reach the 300° mark. The mixture should be a beautiful, bubbly, golden brown color. At 300°, turn off heat immediately.

Add vanilla (if adding vanilla beans, you must fish them out when you pour the toffee before it cools) and add the salt. Stir quickly. Pour the mixture out onto a marble slab that has been greased with butter, or grease 2 rimmed baking sheets (10" x 15" or around that size). Smooth out the toffee to 1/4-inch thickness. After about 5 to 10 minutes, you can score the toffee with a knife in order to break it up later. Using hot water and wiping the knife clean after every slice can help in scoring the toffee. You may now let the mixture cool. When cool, you can sprinkle with a dash of fleur de sel (French sea salt), break them up and wrap them in cellophane or an airtight container to maintain the freshness.

Alternatively, dip into tempered chocolate (which can be made by melting down your favorite chocolate in a double boiler). Dip toffee pieces fully in the chocolate (which will keep the crunchy freshness of the toffee for much longer), sprinkle each piece with fleur de sel to finish or roll them in freshly toasted nuts (we prefer almonds, but any will do).
November 15, 2011


Custom Chocolate: Discovery Channel x Compartes Chocolatier

Another delicious day is passing at the chocolate factory here in Los Angeles when the Discovery Channel calls and places an order for 2000 (yes, that’s right, two thousand!) customized chocolate truffles for their 25th Anniversary special.

Setting to work immediately, we discuss presentation; how the logo would look best; sharing our designs and ideas together to come up with what results in a truly unique and striking box of chocolates that the Discovery Channel sends out to some of the most distinguished members of press and contacts that have supported them throughout their history.

An initial draft of the chocolate box layout.


 

2,000 Discovery Channel customized truffles ready for packaging.

 

 

 

The Chocolates are carefully boxed and inside is placed a custom message signed by the Discovery Communications Team.

Watch one of the lucky recipients capturing the moment he opens his box from Discovery! 

 

 

Customized Chocolates and Chocolate Gifts by Compartes

We at Compartes take pride in using all organic ingredients and the quality of our chocolates is of utmost important to us. Each truffle is individually made by hand taking care to ensure accuracy in both the appearance and the taste. Best of all, anyone can customize our chocolate for any occasion! Weddings, baby-showers, marriages, birthdays, holidays; the list is endless!

For pricing and info, please click here for our contact page or call us now at 310-826-3380.

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See more about the 25th Anniversary of the Discovery Channel

http://dsc.discovery.com/tv/25-anniversary

November 15, 2011


Custom Chocolate Favors: Baby Carriages for Baby Shower

Sweet and cute, we recently received an order to create personalized baby carriages as baby shower favors! We made delicious hollow organic milk chocolate intricately-molded baby carriages, filled them with our gourmet dark chocolate foil-wrapped hearts, closed the baby carriage with a milk chocolate top and wrapped them in cellophane. For a final personal touch, we printed individual recipient names on linen paper and attached them with a complementing pink ribbon, the sweetest little gifts to celebrate a newborn baby girl!

 
  

  
 
  
 
 
Please contact us for more information on personalized and custom chocolates! Also check out our other custom chocolate blogs!
November 15, 2011


Gourmet Recipes: Chocolate Panna Cotta w/ Kaffir Lime + Chili

CHOCOLATE KAFFIR LIME PANNA COTTA WITH CHILI CREME ANGLAISE

         
 
Ingredients:

For the Panna Cotta

Canola oil
1 cup whole milk
2 1/4 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
2 cups whipping cream
1/2 cup sugar
5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
Several drops of Kaffir Lime oil, or 6 Kaffir Lime leaves, sliced in half, plus the zest of one Kaffir lime

For Chili Creme Anglaise

5 large egg yolks
2 cups half and half
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise or 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup granulated white sugar
Several dried Chiles de Arbol (or a non-smoked dry chili of your choice)

Directions:

For the Panna Cotta:

Brush six small custard cups (like, 6 oz ones) with canola oil. Pour the milk into a medium sized bowl and sprinkle the gelatin over it. Let it stand for at least 5 minutes, or as you cook the rest of the mixture.

Stir cream and sugar in heavy medium saucepan over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves. If you are not using Kaffir Lime oil, and are using leaves and zest, add them now. Bring to boil and remove it from heat. If you added leaves and zest, strain the mixture. Add the chocolate, whisking until melted. Whisk warm chocolate mixture into gelatin mixture, stirring to dissolve. Stir in the Kaffir Lime oil if you haven't used the leaves and zest. Divide mixture among custard cups and cool them in the fridge overnight, to set. You can make these up to 2 days ahead of time.

For the Creme Anglaise:

In a small bowl, stir the sugar and yolks until well blended.

In a small saucepan heat the half and half, vanilla bean (if using), and 4 chiles roughly chopped just to the boiling point. As the mixture heats, taste it to make sure the heat is to your liking. Remove the saucepan from the heat and whisk a few tablespoons of the half and half mixture into the yolk mixture. Then, gradually add the remaining cream, whisking constantly. This is called tempering, and prevents the egg from cooking and curdling in the hot half and half mixture. If it does curdle, finish preparing the sauce, strain it, and blitz it in a blender until smooth.

Pour the mixture back into a saucepan and, over medium heat, gently heat the mixture to just below the boiling point. Steam will float off of the mixture and the mixture will be slightly thicker than heavy cream. Check to see if it is the right consistency by holding a wooden spoon covered in the mixture sideways and run your finger along the back of the spoon. If the mixture doesn't run to fill in the streak the finger made, it's ready.

Immediately remove from the heat and pour through the strainer, scraping up any thickened cream that settles on the bottom of the pan. Remove the vanilla bean and scrape the seeds into the sauce. Stir until seeds separate. For maximum flavor, return the pod to the sauce until serving time. (If you are using pure vanilla extract, instead of the vanilla bean, add it to the cream now.)

The creme anglaise should be covered with plastic wrap and left in the fridge until cool. When ready, drizzle over the panna cotta, or if you're feeling adventurous, toss it in an ice cream machine and make spicy ice cream!
 
- Guest Blogger Claire Thomas from The Kitchy Kitchen
November 15, 2011


History of Chocolate by Jonathan Grahm

Chocolate comes from the fermented, roasted, and ground beans of the cacao or cocoa tree. The word "Chocolate" comes from the Nahualt language of the Aztecs. The Nahualt word xocolatl means bitter water. The pre-Columbian peoples of the Americans drank chocolate mixed with vanilla, chile pepper, and achiote. Europeans sweetened it by adding sugar and milk and removing the chile pepper. They later created a process to make solid chocolate creating the modern chocolate bar. Although cocoa is originally from the Americas, today Western Africa produces almost two-thirds of the world´s cocoa, with Côte d´Ivoire growing almost half of it. Today, it is one of the most popular and recognizable flavors in the world.

A Short History of Chocolate

Chocolate is made from the seed of the cacao tree, a tree native to lowland areas of South America. Cacao was used as far back in history as 1100 BC. Although historical evidence shows the Mayans used the cacao bean prior to this, most of the popular credit is given to the Aztec civilizations. Cacao played an important role in the Aztec society, serving both as a drink and as currency. Columbus originally observed the natives scrambling to pick up the seeds when they spilled without realizing their value to them. The drink “xocolatl” or “bitter water” was consumed by the Aztec elite society. According to legend the Aztec ruler Montezuma consumed up to fifty cups of chocolate a day. Perhaps the myth of chocolate was born when Europeans first observed Montezuma drinking xocolatl prior to visiting his concubine.

Although Columbus actually was the first to bring cacao back to Spain, it wasn’t until Cortez returned to Spain with cacao beans that Europeans first started consuming it. Unlike the people of South America, Europeans found the drink bitter and sweetened it with sugar. Within 100 years the secrets of cacao had spread throughout Europe and chocolate was a favorite in the royal courts of Europe. 



In 1828 the Dutch chemist Van Houten invented a press to extract the cocoa butter from the roasted ground beans leading to the invention of the chocolate bar. When Daniel Peters developed a technique to incorporate condensed milk into the chocolate and was able to maintain a stable product milk chocolate was born. At around the same time in the United States, Milton Hershey used fresh whole milk.

History is sprinkled with anecdotes relating to chocolate and its various uses. In addition to Montezuma’s use of cacao as an aphrodisiac, the great Italian lover Cassanova allegedly used chocolate for the same reason. Reportedly he actually preferred chocolate to champagne. At one stage, chocolate was marketed as a medicine both in the United States and in Europe.