Tonight we're going to be doing our best to recreate the Belmont Shore Chocolate Festival at Home! We had so much fun making the Belmont Shore at Home with Jacob a couple weeks ago, we knew it wasn't going to be too long before we did it again. Now the Chocolate Festival at the Belmont Shore is only 1 day for about 2 hours around Valentines Day. We've got another 6 months until it's Valentines Day, but we just can't wait.
It's time to bring on the chocolate!
Planning this one was a lot of fun. And I don't think any ideas were rejected. If someone wanted to make something, then absolutely, make it! In the end, I counted 15 different chocolate items!
Buckle up because this is going to be a long one.
Because the Chocolate Festival is only celebrated once a year, we've only been to it 4 times, starting in 2015, then 2016, 2018, and 2019. Many of the treats we're making tonight are more "inspired by" the Chocolate Festival versus being from 1 particular place. Let's get started.
I asked Jacob to document all his creations and he certainly took it to heart. He's got everything set up on the counter ready to go.
And to document it all, a tripod and camera setup! Serious business!
For his first, and possibly most ambitious creation, Jacob is making a Pain Au Chocolat. From scratch! This buttery and flaky pastry is so delicious. Wow, sallysbakingaddiction.com has so many good recipes. He's using the recipe for Homemade Chocolate Croissants from there.
After making the dough, Jacob precisely rolled it out and then covered it with a layer of butter. Folding that into thirds, then rolling it again, makes 3 layers. Folding into thirds, again gives 9. Then 27, and finally 81 layers. That's going to be a lot of flaky layers!
We're going to jump around a little bit with this one, spanning multiple days for 1 recipe in some cases. It's my write-up. I can organize it however I want.
Theresa got a lot of good compliments after she made that French Silk pie from Village Inn. Jacob commented that he wanted one for his birthday. For this chocolate festival celebration, Theresa is going to grant his birthday wish a few months early! Once again, she's using the recipe for French Silk Pie recipe from SallysBakingAddiction.com.
It's a team effort with everyone helping out. I melted some chocolate over a double boiler.
Then used another double boiler to heat eggs up to 165F.
After letting it cool, Theresa mixed it to for part of her pie filling.
No surprise that we've got some lurkers looking for handouts.
Wow. You got chocolate way up there?
After mixing with whipped cream, it was time to fill her pre-baked pie crust. This time we skipped the pie weights (rocks) entirely and I think it turned out much better.
<whisper> Kids, come clean these off... </whisper>
After refrigerating overnight, just before we ate, she topped it with fresh whipped cream and chocolate shavings.
Back in Jacob's kitchen, he's hard at work to make Chocolate Truffles. That's what I love about having multiple people making things today. Everyone has their own favorites and I get to try them all!
Using a recipe from SallysBakingAddiction.com for Homemade Truffles, first he chopped through a large chocolate bars.
Then poured warm cream over the chopped chocolate.
The resulting chocolate mixture went into the fridge to set.
After setting, the chocolate is scooped and then rolled into balls, ready for dipping.
And do you think 1 truffle is enough?
Certainly not! Jacob made 3 different types!
Time for some chocolate cupcakes! This one is representing the Frosted Cupcakery. They usually have a red velvet or some other type of chocolate cake available.
After refrigerating overnight, the cakes are ready to be frosted!
At one of our first Chocolate Festivals, I knew they would have lots of sweet treats, but I was really looking forward to the chocolate entrees. From Urban Table, Jacob is recreating their Chocolate Chili! He's using a recipe from food.com for Black Bean and Chocolate Chili. It all comes together like a regular chili.
And then you mix in a couple ounces of chocolate chips. It turns the look of the chili above, that looked more like a salsa, into a darker richer chili. Great job!
Inspired by the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, I knew that I had to make chocolate covered bacon. I started with thick-cut Hickory Smoked bacon. But whenever I try to make bacon, it always ends up wrinkled. I need to figure out flat bacon.
According to the internet, here's one way to do it. Line a pan with foil and then parchment. Add strips of bacon. One more sheet of parchment goes on top, then another cookie tray. Bake for 25 minutes at 425F and then voila, flat bacon!
It came out perfect! I like my bacon a little chewy. The kids like it crispy. This was a good compromise between the two. The fat layers are cooked enough and the meaty portions haven't been dried to a crisp.
After letting them cool in the fridge, it was time to coat them in chocolate.
And if we're doing chocolate covered things, you can't forget about the always delicious chocolate covered strawberries.
When we asked Theresa's mom how many we should make, she said "All of them!" She'll eat the whole tray!
The kids really wanted to be involved in tonight's meal too. They're big fans of Oreos, so I suggested they could help dip a few in chocolate. They were excited to make something.
Great work Alli.
Ian made some comment about why we're not making chocolate cheese. You know, I have always loved sweet and savory. Even at night when I'm getting a snack, I'll occasionally get a piece of chocolate and a slice of cheese. I could see Cheese Addiction doing something like this.
I cut a few pieces of cheese and then we dipped them into the chocolate too.
Everything is chilling in the fridge.
We need another entree. The chocolate festival introduced us to short ribs with cacao. But it was the movie Chocolat, and the dinner party scene that inspired Theresa to make a chocolate sauce to go over a meat entree. They chose turkey, we're choosing steak! Theresa mixed up a Savory Chocolate Sauce from foodnetwork.com.
Do you remember the old Pizza Hut restaurants when there used to be an all-you-can-eat buffet? I loved that growing up along with all the variety. And along with the regular pizzas they would bring out, I remember every once in a while, there would be a chocolate pizza too.
I'm using a recipe from foodnetwork.com for chocolate pizza. After making the pizza dough, I buttered it and then baked it without any toppings.
Once it was fully cooked, I spread a layer of Nutella on it, topped it with chocolate chips and white chocolate chips and then put it back in the oven to melt.
Is that enough things? I think that's enough things.
At 4:45pm Jacob arrived with all his foods. Similar to last time, to practice responsible COVID social distancing, we're eating outside. A food table will be set up in the middle, he'll eat at his table on one end of the driveway and we'll eat at the other end. The kids are ready.
That is quite the spread. I'm certainly impressed with all the creations we made.
Starting with the entrees.
1. Prime Filet Mignon with Savory Chocolate Sauce
2. Chocolate Chili
3. Chocolate Pizza
4. Chocolate Covered Strawberries
5. Chocolate Covered Bacon
6. Chocolate Covered Oreos
7. Chocolate Covered Cheese
8. Pain au Chocolat
9. White Chocolate Truffles with Bitter-Sweet Chocolate filling
10. Milk Chocolate Truffles with Dark Chocolate filling
11. Milk Chocolate Truffles with Milk Chocolate filling
12. French Silk Pie
13. Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Cream Cheese frosting
I didn't take any pictures while making them, but nevertheless, these are made-from-scratch fortune cookies.
14. Chocolate Fortune Cookies
Can't forget something to drink
15. Chocolate Milk Shakes, with chocolate drizzle, chocolate shell, homemade whipped cream, and a cherry.
Jacob made his plate.
And then we came through and made ours.
Oh my. The kids were excited.
I couldn't limit myself to one plate. There's way too much good stuff here. The milk shake was delicious. I loved the savory and sweet of the chocolate covered bacon and cheese.
As for the steak, I wasn't sure what to expect from this sauce.
The general consensus from everyone was, why mess up a good steak with a chocolate sauce. But after tasting it, it didn't detract from the delicious flavor of the meat.
Chi said that she's never heard of Chocolate Chili before. She only got a little bit to start, but was surprised at how good it tasted. She went back for seconds!
Ian - Why didn't we make Chocolate Fondue?
Really?!? 15 different things and you're thinking about chocolate fondue?
He thought the chocolate pizza was excellent. Their faces are going to get covered in chocolate tonight.
Well after being so excited, little Miss Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate asked "Daddy can I have some food without chocolate on it?"
Their mommy got them a plate of fruit and veggies.
Someone certainly enjoyed his dinner.
The chocolate fortune cookies were quite tasty. I believe Jacob pulled the fortune "Friends Forever".
Time for Round #2! Theresa pulled the items that are more dessert-like out of the fridge and cut up her French Silk Pie.
After toasting Jacob's Pain au Chocolat to warm them up, he then drizzled chocolate over the top.
I have to say, these turned out beautifully Jacob.
And as for those flaky layers. Oh, so good.
Thanks for making these Jacob!
My second round of chocolate items. Plus I snagged an Oreo cookie from Alli's plate because she didn't want it.
The French Silk pie and Chocolate cupcake were tasty, but I am starting to get chocolated out.
But everything is still so good...
A look at the insides of the three different truffles.
Both Jacob and I tried a sample of every single thing.
If I've ever been this full of chocolate, I can't remember it. There were many tasty foods but the standouts to me were the Pain au Chocolate, Chocolate Chili, and Chocolate Steaks.
After dinner, it was fun catching up with Jacob. Being so full of food, I think we're going to wait a few weeks before planning our next Stroll and Savor get together.
And if we eat any chocolate in the next week, it'll be too soon.