San Diego Chocolate Corks

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Chocolate Corks filled with bittersweet chocolate lounging by the pool

Mrs. S had all the yummy ingredients laid out -
she can have her own Food Network cooking show!


Yes, another chocolate recipe - but who's complaining?

You can make these in standard-size or mini-muffin tins

Food Librarian here...speaking to the computer. Update on my wrists: Taking 600 mg of Ibru 3x day (making me eat all the time to keep things in my stomach), going to start physical therapy tomorrow, and resting my hands as much as I can. At least it is not carpal tunnel syndrome - it is more of an RSI due to overuse and strain. I bought Dragon Speech Recognition software for my home laptop but it is driving me crazy. The microphone that came with the software isn't "hearing" me 80% of the time, and I read (somewhere on the web) that I should get a new sound card or USB mic. I'm leaning toward trying a new mic because I don't have to take apart my machine...ugh...another trip to Fry's.

I went to Encinitas this weekend to visit my friend Jami and her family. Jami's mom let me copy a bunch of her favorite recipes and we made Chocolate Corks together. This delightful dessert was served at Nancy Silverton's La Brea Bakery (the recipe was published in the LA Times several years ago).

We used dry active yeast to make these chocolate chocolate muffins. I have never used yeast in a baked dessert (but you figure that La Brea Bakery would have yeast everywhere and decided to throw it into their dessert recipe!) We put the yeast into some lukewarm water to bloom and then added some flour and let it rise. It was quite cool and a lesson in chemical reactions. When mixed with the rest of the ingredients, the texture of the dough is "stretchy" because of the yeast mixture.
Thanks Mrs. S for sharing your baking knowledge with me! Previously, Mrs. S taught me how to make kugel and Matzo ball soup. Be sure to learn from the Moms, Dads, Aunts, Uncles, Grandmas and other bakers around you - they are the best teachers and have the best recipes.

I love the vintage, grease stained recipe cards. My computer file of recipes just doesn't capture this "cooking patina"!

[Whew, this entry took about 4 hours with all my wrist breaks and the darn Dragon software... I'm excited to have two guest librarians (Jessica and Diane B) posting for me in the next couple weeks!]

"Why can't my people eat chocolate?" asks Jami's beloved doggie
Pin It!

2 comments:

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

Dear Food Librarian,

Is there any way you can tell us this recipe? We are dying to know how to make the corks! Or, could you tell us what year it was published in the LA Times?

Dying to know....

The Food Librarian said... [Reply to comment]

Here is it from the Los Angeles Times, Feb 10, 1999 (If you search in an LA Times newspaper database for Chocolate Corks [like at your cool library], but sure to set it to use the advanced search feature to look through "document text" and not just "citation and abstract.") The title of the whole article was called "An American Chocolate" and features other recipes too.

Source: Los Angeles Times, An American Chocolate by Laurie Ochoa, February 10, 1999

Chocolate Corks

Campanile's Nancy Silverton describes these as "cupcakes for grown-ups." She sells them from the pastry case of her La Brea Bakery. "They're as easy to make as a muffin," she says. Don't chop the chocolate too fine; the chunks should create molten pockets of chocolate throughout the cork.

1 cup plus 1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 (1/4-ounce) package dry yeast
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons lukewarm water
1 1/2 cups unbleached pastry flour or unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons cocoa powder plus extra for dusting
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted and cooled, plus extra for greasing pan
5 eggs
1 to 1 1/3 cups coarsely chopped bittersweet chocolate, 6 to 8 ounces, depending on taste

1. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon sugar over yeast in small mixing bowl. Pour lukewarm water over sugar and yeast and let sit until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in 3/4 cup flour and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Set aside in warm place until bubbly, about 30 minutes.

2. Sift together cocoa powder and remaining 1 cup sugar and remaining 3/4 cup flour. Make large well in center of dry ingredients and pour in butter, eggs and yeast mixture. Whisk together liquids and gradually draw in dry ingredients, whisking until completely incorporated. Stir in chocolate.

3. Pipe or spoon batter into standard or mini muffin tins lightly coated with melted butter, filling to top. Bake at 375 on middle rack until firm to touch, 18 to 20 minutes for standard muffins and 7 to 8 minutes for mini muffins. Sift fine layer of cocoa powder over surface of corks while still warm. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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