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The Chocolate Guide

To Local Chocolatiers, Chocolate Makers, Boutiques, Patisseries and Shops - Western Edition

The Chocolate Guide: To Local Chocolatiers, Chocolate Makers, Boutiques, Patisseries and Shops - Western Edition

For true chocoholics out there, the folks at Taste TV (www.tastetv.com) have compiled The Chocolate Guide, a new guidebook to the West Coast's top chocolatiers. It's the ultimate chocolate book, offering reviews and listings of local boutiques and patisseries, complete with colorful photos that make readers feel as though they are walking through a chocolate museum.

Chocolate fans will recognize many famous brands, including Chuao Chocolatier, Scharffen Berger and Dagoba Organic Chocolate. Though The Chocolate Guide supposedly covers the entire West Coast, there is a bit of a California bias in their chocolatier selections; most pages are dedicated to Southern and Northern California. The book is also a bit haphazard in its organization as well. Some listings don't even include a phone number, and there is no easy way to find a particular listing as nothing is alphabetized or indexed. Still, the concept is quite unique and the pictures indubitably mouthwatering—it's an honest effort at spreading the joy that is chocolate.


Vermeer Dutch Chocolate Cream Pound Cake
(courtesy of Vermeer and Elizabeth Colie Gadberry, as published in "The Chocolate Guide")

3 oz. unsweetened chocolate
8 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
1 cup bleached all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup sour cream
1/8 cup Vermeer Dutch Chocolate Cream Liqueur

1 cup confectioner's sugar
3 tablespoon Vermeer Dutch Chocolate Cream Liqueur

Preheat oven to 325°F. Use 8.5" x 4.5" x 2.5" metal loaf pan to trace and cut out a rectangle of wax paper. Butter the loaf pan and insert wax paper at bottom of pan. Butter the wax paper.

Melt chocolate squares in small heatproof bowl over hot, but not simmering, water. Stir occasionally. Remove from heat and set aside. In another bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside. Cream butter and sugar in large bowl with an electric mixer. Beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the cooled chocolate, then the eggs, one at a time, and the vanilla.

Stir in half the flour mixture. Then stir in the sour cream. Then stir in the remaining flour. Quickly stir in the Vermeer Dutch Chocolate Cream Liqueur (shake the Vermeer before pouring). Scrape batter into prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake 50-55 minutes or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean.

Cool in the pan on a rack for ten minutes. Remove cake from pan, and peel wax paper from bottom. Let cool completely. Fill bottom of pan with Vermeer Dutch Chocolate Cream Liqueur. Put cake back in pan and allow Vermeer to soak in.

Sift confectioner's sugar into a bowl. Using electric mixer beat in Vermeer Dutch Chocolate Cream Liqueur. Mix until smooth and thin, about 2 minutes. Drizzle glaze over top of the cooled cake, smoothing with knife when necessary and allowing glaze to drip down the sides of cake.

Reviewed by Nancy Huang

(Updated: 04/30/09 KR)

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