Archive | Winter 2013


Decadent Chocolate Truffles


 Adapted from a recipe by Nancy Swartzendruber Photo by D. Lucas Landis  

Once you’ve tried the cocoa powder and fleur de sel toppings below, feel free to experiment with whatever you like. Cayenne, ginger, lavender, nuts and cinnamon have all gotten rave reviews at our house.

Makes 45 (.-inch) truffles

6 ounces semisweet chocolate

1 1/2 teaspoons espresso powder

2 ounces cream

8 ounces good dark chocolate

1/8 cup cocoa powder

1 tablespoon fleur de sel or other finishing salt


Place the semisweet chocolate in a heatproof bowl. 

Over medium heat, whisk the espresso powder into the cream and warm the cream until just before it boils. Pour the cream over the chocolate and mix together until the residual heat from the cream has melted the chocolate. Place this mixture in the refrigerator until it hardens (45–50 minutes or overnight).

Once the chocolate mixture has set, use a melon baller or a spoon to scoop out teaspoons of the chocolate mixture. Roll these into balls and place on a piece of parchment paper on a cookie sheet.

Place the dark chocolate in a saucepan set over a pan of simmering water. Melt the chocolate and stir until smooth. Dip the Read More

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Goat Milk Caramels with Sea Salt


 Adapted from a recipe by Erna Bachman Photo by D. Lucas Landis  

This summer I tasted a caramel that used goat milk instead of regular cream. I decided to try my grandmother’s recipe with this twist to it. The result is just savory enough to cut the sweetness of the caramel. This recipe will leave you reaching into the fridge for “just one more.”

Makes 32 to 36 (2- by 2-inch) caramels

1 cup (or 1/2 pound) goat milk butter or regularbutter

2 1/4 cups white sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar (not packed)

1/4 cup corn syrup

2 cups whole goat milk*

1 teaspoon Kosher salt

Fleur de sel (for sprinkling on the finished caramels)

Candy thermometer

Prepare a 9- by 13-inch glass pan by buttering the bottom and sides with the wrapper from the stick of butter. Set aside on top of hot pads or a trivet.

In a medium-size, heavy-bottomed pan, place the butter,white sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup, salt and 1 cup of goat milk. Stir the mixture over medium heat until thesugars are dissolved. Bring to a rolling boil and add thesecond cup of goat milk. Place candy thermometer in the pan, making sure it is Read More

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Sienese Panforte

Recipe by Tara Swartzendruber-Landis Photo by D. Lucas Landis  

I wanted to re-create this delectable treat ever since eating it in Siena, Italy, 10 years ago. This spiced sweet is somewhere between a candy and a cake. If you have a fruitcake recipe, this may replace it for all time.

Serves 12–16

1/2 cup flour, plus more for dusting the baking pan

1/2 cup almonds, chopped

1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

3/4 cup hazelnuts, roasted, peeled and chopped

Pinch of salt

1/4 cup dried figs, cut into small pieces

1/4 cup candied citrus peel, chopped (see recipe here)

3 tablespoons cocoa powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon white pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon coriander

1/2 tablespoon butter for buttering the baking pan

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 tablespoon molasses

3 ounces dark chocolate, chopped

2/3 cup honey

1/4 cup powdered sugar, plus more for dusting on the finished cake


In a medium bowl, combine the flour, almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, salt, figs, candied citrus, cocoa, cinnamon, cloves, pepper, nutmeg and coriander. Stir well.

Prepare a 9-inch round cake pan: Butter the bottom, place a piece of round parchment paper in the bottom, butter again and Read More

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Candied Citrus Peel

Recipe and photo by Tara Swartzendruber-Landis  

Use any leftovers to dip in chocolate or include them on a dessert plate.

 1 orange

1 lemon

1 grapefruit

3/4 cup sugar plus 1/4 cup

3/4 cup water

Wash and dry all of the fruit. Using a paring knife or peeler, remove the peel in long strips, avoiding the pith as much as possible.

Place the peel in a small saucepan and cover with water. Cover the pan and simmer for 15–20 minutes. Do not boil. Drain the water and reserve the peel.

In the same pan, place the 3/4 cup sugar and 3/4 cup water. Whisk over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved.

Return the peels to the pan and simmer for 40–50 minutes. Stir gently several times. When the peels are beginning to turn translucent and are easy to bite into, pull peels out of the sugar syrup and place on a cooling rack over a piece of parchment paper. (Do not wait until the sugar crystalizes.)

Allow peels to dry for 45–60 minutes and then toss in a bowl with the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar.


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The Candyman: Brent Davis Finds His Golden Ticket in Chocolate Factory

Chocolatier Brent Davis samples his eponymous Davis Bar.


By Sarah McKibben

Photography by David Johnson

In his more enthusiastic moments, local chocolate maker Brent Davis evokes Gene Wilder’s charismatic Willy Wonka.

When Davis went looking for a new venture prior to launching Davis Chocolate, he was inspired in equal parts by tales of serendipitous invention, internet how-to videos, his own mechanical know-how, determination to manufacture in the United States and childhood memories of riding around downtown Mishawaka, Indiana on his bike with the first chocolate bar he bought for himself, only to find it tragically melted when he unwrapped it.

Davis manufactures his products from bean to bar, beginning with beans that he roasts in his Mishawaka, Indiana, factory.

After six months traveling and researching, Davis decided to become Indiana’s only bean-to-bar chocolate manufacturer. That was two and a half years ago, and he’s having a fantastic time. 

No sign indicates the delectable products that are made inside a sealed building on a quiet industrial lane in Mishawaka. Using beans imported from Ecuador, Venezuela, Ghana, Peru, the Dominican Republic, Madagascar, Bolivia and elsewhere, family-owned Davis Chocolate makes certified organic and nonorganic dark, milk and white chocolate bars; raw and Read More

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Chocolate Flan


Recipe by Angélica Botet

Photo by D. Lucas Landis


Makes 6 large ramekins

Preparation time 1 hour and 30 minutes


1 cup sugar

¼ cup water

2 (14-ounce) cans sweetened condensed milk

4 eggs, slightly beaten

1 cup warm water (not hot)

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

2 teaspoons espresso powder or Kahlua

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Place ramekins in a large baking pan. Prepare a pot of boiling water for water bath. Place a heavy-bottomed pan with a lid on the stovetop. Pour the sugar and ¼ cup water in the pan, turn heat to medium and put the lid on. The sugar will begin to dissolve. Stir, and then return the lid to the pan. Check the sugar frequently to see when it turns from clear to a caramel color. This will take about 10–15 minutes—be patient. Once it has reached this stage you will need to work quickly to pour it into the ramekins because the caramelized sugar will set up quickly. Pour a bit into each ramekin and roll the caramel around the container, coating the bottom and sides. Place into the waiting baking pan.

Preheat oven to 350°.

In a large mixing bowl, mix Read More

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