Monday, August 29, 2011

Chocolate Covered Fun

March 17th, 2011 

The Ninth Annual St Croix Valley Chocolate March is happening every Sunday in March thanks to a bunch of hardworking creative innkeepers . Imagine really good chocolate creations paired with beautiful surroundings at modern and historic inns as you travel along the beautiful St Croix River valley. Our Sunday was this Sunday the 13th. We were happy to share this day with the Historic LeDuc Estate and also our fabulous downtown Hasitngs chocolate shop, Creative Confectionaire plus the Afton House and Afton Historical Society. It was a beautiful day and we served almost 300 chocolate lovers or is it lovers of chocolate?  So many guests asked innkeepers for our recipes previous years that each of our 14 innkeepers offered their favorite one and we packaged them this year for all the tour guests.

So if you missed this year, mark your calendar next year for some Sunday in March or maybe all four Sundays.  One fellow gives this to his wife every year –tickets for all four Sundays with his undivided attention also being a chocolate lover. He said it covers Christmas, her birthday, their anniversary and even Valentine’s Day. Smart guy.

We decided to share the recipe we shared in the recipe packet with those of you reading our blog too:
Chocolate Cherry Aloha Bread Pudding.

Our secret – we do not use bread –we use either croissants or the sweet bread known as Hawaiian Bread.

1 quart and 1 cup half and half                       1 cup cocoa
6 eggs                                                           2 cups chocolate chips
1 tsp vanilla                                                   2 cups pitted sweet cherries
1 cup sugar
1 and a half loaf of Hawaiian bread OR about 12 large day old croissants

 Tear bread into bite size pieces into a large bowl. Pour one full quart of half and half over bread and let it soak in while you mix egg mixture. Beat eggs with sugar, vanilla and remaining cup half and half and cocoa. Pour over soaking sweet bread. Mix well and fold in chocolate chips and cherries. Pour into greased glass pan. We use a 10 x 15 pan. You may use a smaller pan and it will be very thick. Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes or until rises and browns nicely. We serve with our own chocolate sauce and garnish with real cherries if available.

Come and visit us often and we will try out some other variations on you depending on the season. (Pears with vanilla sauce, apples with caramel sauce, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries with berry berry sauce and ice cream)

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