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February Dish of the Month - CHOCOLATE

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All righty then...

I totally forgot I was supposed to do this, so here we go...almost everyone likes it and almost no one is allergic to it.

The February dish of the month is chocolate. Dark, light, milk or white doesn't matter. Sweet or savory, doesn't matter. Hot or cold, doesn't matter. Small bite - like a See's candy - or full blown plated dessert, doesn't matter. The only thing that matters is that you eat chocolate in February. Oh, that and reporting back to about what you ate.

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  1. Great choice, but why am I not surprised? :)

    I can feel the fat layers thickening already, but here goes...

    1. And just so all ya'll know what you're getting into with chocolate, check out this little 4 minute video

      http://www.theperennialplate.com/epis...

      5 Replies
      1. re: DiningDiva

        Does fudge count? Husband insists that fudge is chocolate, but actually they are different, though fudge may contain chocolate. For example, if I ordered a hot fudge sundae and reviewed it here...would my carefully researched review be declared null and void? Or does this board accept all comers?...:)

        1. re: Dagney

          In, on, over, it makes no difference.

          Fudge is a legitimate entry and I am hoping someone - hell multiple someones - will post about hot fudge sundaes.

          1. re: DiningDiva

            Hmm....might need to check the grocery store tonight for fudge....I really don't want a hot fudge sundae, but I'll make the sacrifice for my fellow hounds. All in the name of science, of course.

            1. re: Dagney

              Of course.

        2. re: DiningDiva

          Great video and don't we LUV Mexican Chocolate.

        3. Speaking of which, has anybody eaten at a restaurant in South Park that I believe is called Eclipse?...if still around I recall perusing their menu which had a number of chocolate infused dishes.

          2 Replies
          1. re: El Chevere

            It's still around on 30th. I had dessert there at Christmas time. Love their space wasn't so wild about their desserts, they were good, but didn't transcend

            1. re: El Chevere

              did one of the beer dinners there...had a really fun time, some dishes were fantastic, some were just ok. I still can't resist picking up their sea salt chocolate whenever I see it.

              Looks like I have some homework for February!

            2. Had some wonderful chocolate mousse at Waters on Monday! Creamy, light, rich, chocolatey. They don't have it every day but look at the calendar on the website.

              Also, that chocolate bread at Con Pane on Saturdays and Sundays is not to be missed. Belgian chocolate pieces in a light bread that is not too sweet.

              1. Comfort food time--chocolate pudding from Trader Joe's. Actual real deep rich chocolate flavor and good mouth feel. A large cut above other grocery varieties, and less expensive. I am having some right now!

                1. The Elby @ Sage French Cake in Kearny Mesa.

                  A layered cake (beginning from bottom to top) of chocolate sheet cake, chocolate mousse, chocolate sheet cake, white chocolate mousse, chocolate sheet cake and then topped with a layer of chocolate ganache.

                  Despite its multiple layers of cake and chocolate, it is neither dense -- it's very light in fact -- nor is it very sweet.

                  In fact, if you're looking for a chocolate nuclear bomb for your orifice, this isn't the weapon of mass destruction for you.

                  Like most typical Asian/Japanese desserts, this can best be characterized as very light (in both texture and taste) and subtle in it's impact.

                  Which is not to say it's not good, it is. Quite good, in fact.

                  Just that if you're looking for a dense, flourless chocolate dessert (a la Extraordinary Desserts) this will disappoint.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: ipsedixit

                    I want some of this. I truly dislike the overly dense and sweet desserts that hurt my teeth. Thanks for the post.

                  2. I was off work early tonight because we adjusted our schedule for a class, so...I debated a sundae at Ghiradelli vs a homemade sundae. I opted for a homemade sundae. Then I debated a stop at Ghiradelli for some proper sauce vs go budget and stop at the grocery store. Stupidly, I opted for the budget choice. I have always been a Hershey's gal when it comes to DIY sundaes. Today I decided to branch downwards, (it turns out), and try Smuckers Special Recipe dark chocolate sauce. Mistake. MIS-take. It didn't taste like dark chocolate. It tasted like crap. Well, crap within the chocolate realm, so ALL was not lost, but I should have gone to Ghiradelli.

                    The light at the end of the tunnel was my ice cream choice; Breyers Cookies and Cream.

                     
                    8 Replies
                    1. re: Dagney

                      I am sure this will draw many daggers and flames, but I also share an affinity for the homemade Sunday with good, old Hershey's syrup. It brings back special memories of sitting up late (9 pm) with my grandmother and great aunt (twins) in their tiny, duplex kitchen in OK City, listening to the railroad chug through and change cars in the nearby tracks. Thanks Dagney!

                      1. re: foodiechick

                        There's a country song in there somewhere just a-dyin' to bust loose.

                        1. re: Fake Name

                          Got the beat going on that honky tonk Hershey's syrup can with the old school church key can opener in the little sauce pan with a little water on the stove boiling away. .

                        2. re: foodiechick

                          I think a lot of us have fond memories of Hershey's syrup ;-)

                          Did you know that Hershey used to make a hot fudge topping that came in the same type of can, just a different label. They stopped carrying it in SD about 5 or 6 years ago. It was really good on ice cream. The product is still sold in NorCal and I have no idea why they quit distributing it in San Diego...perhaps because my mother was the only one that bought it?

                          Mrs. Richardson's does a nice hot fudge sauce, tho' I think her caramel topping is better.

                          1. re: foodiechick

                            That is a wonderful food story!

                            1. re: Dagney

                              She used to send me to the store to buy 2 cans...a working can for the fridge and a back-up can in pantry ;-)

                          2. re: Dagney

                            Smucker's....... never short cut a sundae, has to be a total package of quality. The pic looked good, was that a shot of Tiamarie in the glass?

                            1. re: cstr

                              Ugh! I know. Should have stuck with Hershey's, but I had never tasted Smucker's, ah well...

                              Not Tiamarie, just red wine.

                          3. I usually get non-chocolate desserts at Extraordinary desserts (ie passion fruit ricotta cake). I had a gift card for ED burning away in my purse, so, in honor of the Dish of the Month, I bought a chocolate cake (a slice!). It was "Viking." It is definitely my favorite of the chocolate cakes there. Rich, creamy, mixture of textures and flavors. In theory I should like the chocolate cakes with fruits blended in (like raspberry) but somehow the fruit taste is never really prominent enough.

                            1. I made a 87% Cacao bar..broken up and melted in the bowl with a humongous heaped up tablespoon of the out of the friggin' world Biscoff spread, French Vanilla Ice Cream and just a manizle of drizzle of whip on top.

                              That's what I'm talkin' about Willis. .

                              1. Oh lordie, I should have known better than to tackle a slice of chocolate trinity cake at Heaven Sent on my own. But I did.

                                A mountain of decadence six inches high and four inches in back, each layer a luscious smooth chocolate feast of its own. In combination, and with a cream layer layer in the middle and smooth frosting on top (and halfway down the back), definitely a major-league player for Team Chocolate.

                                I didn’t quite finish and even then I could barely walk upright back to my car...but I’m a happy camper.

                                1. I know about chocolate- all the good stuff, the fancy stuff.

                                  But I like my Sees.

                                  I also like movies, and am thankful that Fashion Valley has brought back a Sees location there. Now, my main movie venues are all covered.

                                  Favorite?

                                  Dark Almonds.

                                   
                                  9 Replies
                                  1. re: Fake Name

                                    I've always been partial to their almond square. Dark almonds, however, are pretty darned good. Nuts & Chews FTW!

                                    I need to put in a good word for Elegant Truffle in Point Loma. Though I love the sea salt caramels from Eclipse, the caramel squares here are transcendent. Big enough to quarter and share, and worth every penny.

                                    Yes, all of the referenced caramels are chocolate-covered, to keep it in the DOM category.

                                    1. re: phee

                                      Those chocolate covered caramel squares from Elegant Truffle are truly spectacular

                                    2. re: Fake Name

                                      I like all the fancy stuff too...well Godiva, not so much...but See's still rules.

                                      It's the Butterscotch Squares for me :-)

                                      1. re: Fake Name

                                        I'm also a big fan of See's candies -- and so were my parents in Wisconsin who thought nothing available there compared. (I think I saw that Sees was getting into the Milwaukee area now, though.) My Mom said that the soft-center See's truffles I used to send from time to time helped her be a centurian! I haven't had any in a long time, though. So maybe this month...

                                        1. re: DoctorChow

                                          Any time is See's time. It's a regional thing, particularly for those of us of who grew up with them.

                                          My BIL loves Scotchmallows and Strawberry Creams. My nephew loves Scotchmallows. My sister is partial to Bourdeauxs. Frankly, I just like almost all of them :-)

                                        2. re: Fake Name

                                          Anything dark chocolate, with hard centers, from See's for me. Fakey, get a hand model for your next pic of the dark almonds.

                                          1. re: cstr

                                            I used a hand model!

                                            1. re: Fake Name

                                              I can see the left hand pinky callus from KTM clutch usage..
                                              Have one too from drums and ATV's.

                                              1. re: Beach Chick

                                                Busted.

                                        3. Anyone up for making these babies - http://food52.com/recipes/26514-choco...

                                          If not, where in SD could one find a good chocolate souffle?

                                          6 Replies
                                          1. re: DiningDiva

                                            Souffle recipes are deceptively simple. Perfection in the egg white technique is really required for it to succeed. Good luck! Hexagone serves soufflés--chocolate and orange/Grand Marnier I believe. We had the latter 2 months ago. Very good but nothing like my memories of the same dish in Paris.

                                            1. re: DiningDiva

                                              As BC would say, got to have me those bad boys!

                                              1. re: cstr

                                                Those chocolate souffles are the ultimate bad boys!
                                                Why the hell isn't anyone doing this kind of desserts than the molten lava, cheesecake crap that inundates every menu in SD.

                                                1. re: Beach Chick

                                                  I might think that it's such a timing issue, most chefs can't deal with it. It's the one and only thing I like at Morton's, the Gran Marinier soufflé, perfect!

                                                  1. re: cstr

                                                    I agree! The grand marnier soufflé at Morton's is as close to Paris as I have come in San Diego in terms of soufflés. It is fabulous but VERY pricey as is the rest of the menu. We sometimes go there later on in the evening, just for that dessert. They have been ok with that. Usually the Morton's soufflé trip is one of our pre-Christmas "treats."

                                                  2. re: Beach Chick

                                                    Souffles must be very precisely timed. Usually, certainly at Hexagone, soufflés need to be order with the rest of your dinner so that they are ready without too long of a delay after the main course. I have often seen wording to the effect of "Souffle must be ordered 20 (ir even 30) minutes in advance) on menus, both in the US and in Paris.

                                              2. Lunched at Balboa Int'l Mkt. today (which, at 1:30 on a Weekday feels like a small restaurant in Abu Dhabi). For some reason I had a mysterious craving for See's candies after -- and, lucky me -- there just happens to be a conveniently located See's shop right there. :^

                                                One dark chocolate truffle, one dark chocolate chip truffle, and the sample (which was a milk chocolate chocolate creme), and I was -- temporarily anyway --satiated. No almost-coma-inducing overdose like yesterday's monster slice of chocolate trinity cake at Heaven Sent, just a nice chocolate-y way to end lunch. Cheap, too.

                                                1. The sea salt caramel chocolate cupcake at Pure cupcakes we pretty darn good. The cake was moist which generally in the deal killer turning good cupcake bad IMO, so it passed the test

                                                  1. Just had dinner, excellent beers and a truffle-banana-peanut butter dessert THING from HELL at Salt and Cleaver. S&C is our go to place lately. Love the food. Love the service. Love the buzz from the million percent alcohol content libations.

                                                     
                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: Dagney

                                                      Salt & Cleaver serves up the very best brats to be had in SD, IMHO. I've yet to have a dessert there, though. These look wonderfully dangerous.

                                                    2. Not a HUGE chocolate fan, not yet anyway. Stopped in Fresh and Easy to browse and found a jar of King's Cupboard Three Chilies Chocolate Sauce. It's hard like hot fudge and you have to heat it unless you just eat it with a spoon from the jar!
                                                      Also, stayed in Carlsbad last weekend with friends from the cold east coast. We stopped for coffee and truffles at the Carlsbad Chocolate Bar on State street. Fabulous selection of candies and they also sell wine.
                                                      But my favorites are still See's marzipan and chocolate covered ginger.
                                                      Love the cup of hot cocoa, more like liquid silk from Eclipse on Fern Street in So. Park.

                                                      1. Had a very nice three-layer chocolate cake at D-Bar on 5th today. I like this place, with its wide-open spaciousness, cheerful atmosphere, and friendly low-key but attentive service. It was relaxing to be there.

                                                        The cake had a velvety smooth chocolate frosting on top and between layers that seemed to have a subtle hint of peppermint (or something like that) in it. The cake itself was pretty decent, maybe just a tiny bit on the dry side, but still yummy.

                                                        It came with a shake, and I ordered chocolate (naturally), with malt. The malt flavor -- which I love -- came through very well. The shake was served in a colorful bar tumbler, including a short bar straw, and was topped with a few small decorative chocolate-y things.

                                                        Not even close to half the size of the humongous slice I had at Heaven Sent, but a pleasant way to get a solid chocolate fix in enjoyable surroundings.

                                                        1. I usually don't go for hack ice cream...non-dairy, low sugar, etc. I think if you are going to go there, then just go.

                                                          Howevah, last night I saw coconut milk ice cream in the freezer case and decided to try it. I chose the "SO Delicious" brand Chocolate and Peanut Butter ice cream. It was pretty good! The texture/mouth feel was slightly drier than traditional ice cream, but the flavor was spot on. I would buy it again.

                                                          3 Replies
                                                          1. re: Dagney

                                                            Do they have it in Craft Beer Flavor?

                                                            (I know, I'm sorry, it was a cheap shot, forgive me)

                                                            1. re: Fake Name

                                                              Ben and Jerry's did a Black & Tan about 8 years ago, but it did not take off: http://shawma.com/?p=37

                                                              I just read an item that Yuengling's is bringing back their ice cream, but they never did a beer flavored one and they have no intent on doing that.

                                                              If one is near Atlanta, they could get this yummy sounding stuff: http://www.frozenpints.com/flavors

                                                              1. re: Fake Name

                                                                sloooowww clap. lol

                                                            2. I don't know about anybody else, but I'm getting really excited to hear what the March DotM is going to be!

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: DoctorChow

                                                                Maybe, ipse's thread on the LA board.