By Cal Orey,
The Writing Gourmet
Are we having fun yet? I'm literally counting the days for this Mecury Retrograde curse to go AWOL and am looking forward to the New Moon. I haven't baked for more than a week due to life's ups and downs; and a San Francisco Bay Area earthquake felt widely in Northern California ruffled my feathers as well as thousands of residents. (Yes, I predicted it. And the shaker(s) may not be over.) My kitchen must be cold and lonely. Have you noticed the weather and people are out of whack, too? But don't despair. I have the perfect and healthful cure that'll soothe frazzled nerves (for my Golden State friends and East Coast/Midwesterners who are bearing the big chill) and comfort your heart and soul during shaky times...
Chocolate Fondue and fresh wintertime fruits. I'm thinking crisp apples, good for you bananas, tart cranberries, sweet grapes, juicy oranges, and pears like savored in my fave film City of Angels. During colder month infamous for flus and colds, it's a time to pamper yourself with plenty of antioxidant-rich fruits and dark chocolate. This recipe spells comfort, decadence, and healthy. It's perfect for one, two or a party.
* * *
1/2 cup half-and-half
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped or pistoles
4 ounces milk chocolate, chopped or pistoles
marshmallows, pound cake, or brownies, strawberries, bananas
In a saucepan, bring cream to a simmer. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate until melted. Stir in vanilla until smooth. Pour fondue into a serving bowl or individual cups. Serve at room temperature or slightly warmed. Dip the goodies! (Source: Lake Champlain Chocolates)
[Excerpted from The Healing Powers of Chocolate (Kensington, January 2010).
Now that we have the book on the table, I've been getting some good news and good reviews regarding my newest baby, of sorts. A represenative from Xocai (enhanced Healthy chocolate) called me this a.m., to tell me he loves the book. Like a proud mom, I was pleased. What's more, I discovered that it's now available at physical Barnes and Noble bookstores--not just online bookstores. That made me smile. And I 've been touching base with my chocolatier friends who are doing well and getting busy for the upcoming Valentine's month. If you love chocolate (or know someone who does), consider pairing a copy of my book with chocolate--a gift that is a must-have year round. Happy dipping!