Dispensing Happiness

A good cook is like a sorceress who dispenses happiness.-Elsa Schiapirelli

That's me, the magical good cook.

Borrowing from my friend Dexygus, I've created my own food blog.

Read of my exploits in the kitchen! Salivate over the descriptions of fabulous desserts and savory meals I've concocted!

No, seriously...go ahead. It'll make my day.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

These Tarts are Fair Game Trade


I always have good intentions, when it comes to blog events. I truly want to join in, but I rarely seem to find the time. Or, Alex gets sick, so I get sick, which means...I live off ready-made food, and don't touch the stove for a week.

But not this time.

See, I had my heart set on joining the Stop the Traffik Chocolate Competition, hosted by R khooks.

We don't like to think about the people who harvested the cocoa beans for that decadent truffle we're eating, or the conditions of their work & home environment as we find solace in the familiar snap of a chocolate bar. We simply enjoy the product.

Unfortunately, a large chunk of the world's chocolate gets it's start under conditions we here in the free world would find deplorable, outrageous even, and make us stand up and protest! Boycott!

Thing is, we never hear about it. Maybe we don't want to...but thanks to R khooks, bloggers are getting the message out that we will not support chocolate companies who purchase their beans from these places.

Today, it's easier than ever to find chocolate that's made without the use of slave labor...we've seen Green & Black's in our local Kroger. And more and more companies are labeling their chocolate 'fair trade'.

Like the Green & Black's Cocoa Powder I used in the base of these Chocolate Caramel Tarts.

I know, from experience, I'm almost ashamed to admit (hey...I was a little kid. what did I know?), that baking cocoa is not fit to eat; you must add sugar to make it palatable.
And yet, while scooping out 1/4 cup of this dark & seductive powder, I was tempted to bring the tin to my mouth, give it a tip up, and let the delicate soil-like granules fall. The smell was intoxicating. The color...rich.

These wonderful little chocolate cups were then filled with a gorgeous amber-colored caramel, seen here.

That, in turn, was delightfully camouflaged by a thick ganache, which got it's chocolate-y goodness from a bar of Supreme Dark Chocolate from Endangered Species Chocolate Company.

These guys have become one of my favorite chocolate companies of all; the products are amazing, the labels almost painfully cute, and in addition to supporting fair trade, they give a percentage of their products to pretty much save the planet.

I love all of their bars, but these people know how to do dark chocolate. And again, you can find most of their products at your local grocery store.

The tarts, meanwhile, finished off with a touch of Fleur de Sel, are amazing. The dark chocolate cookie base is crunchy, and almost savory. The caramel is rich and honeyed, yet not too sweet. And the ganache is...well, dark chocolate and cream. Topped with a few grains of sea salt, it's easy to forget how many of these little darlings you've already eaten!

Time to start thinking about this month's Blog Party theme...and for October, it's all about Halloween!

Do something frightful with your favorite appetizers and cocktails, and get your entries to me no later than Thursday, 25 October...hope to see you there!

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10 Thoughts for food:

At 2:16 AM, Blogger Nabeela said...

The tarts sound fabulous! Your description has me salivating :)

At 4:08 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Thanks, Nabeela!

They were really good, and came from Claudia Fleming's The Last Course...a book you can't even get these days, not without spending close to $200.00!!

The stuff's good, but I don't know if it's that good.

At 10:02 PM, Blogger daphne said...

oh yum! also, fair trade chocolate taste so good! if not better!

At 5:04 AM, Anonymous R khooks said...

The tarts look absolutely delish. Check out the other entries and send me your vote. Thanks for participating.

At 6:30 PM, Blogger Judith said...

Ooh, two of my favourite types of chocolate! Is this an original recipe?

At 1:37 AM, Blogger Stephanie said...

hey, Daphne!

Oh, I agree. It's good stuff. And I think you just feel better eating it, knowing you've done a little something for someone, or some place, in the process!

At 1:38 AM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Thanks, rkhooks!

And anyone else who wants to vote for me, much appreciated!

At 1:42 AM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Judith, I'm an absolute sucker for chocolate & caramel, too.

No, this came from the wonderful and out-of-print The Last Course; which can be found used & ridiculously over-priced.

But...Claudia Flemming, the author & pastry chef, appeared on an episode of Sweet Dreams, so the recipe can be found here, on the Food Network site.


At 7:29 AM, Blogger Jeanne said...

You're killing me!!! These look absolutely divine and the recipe is defintely going in my recipe box. Especially now that for some mysterious reason I have a ton of excellent chocolate in my house... ;-)

At 3:58 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Thank you, Jeanne!


Well, isn't if funny how that worked out...


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