A L L  T H E  L O C A L  N E W S,  G O S S I P,  R E C I P E S  A N D  L O R E  T H A T' S  F I T  T O   P R I N T Topiary W I N T E R   2 0 1 1

"Forget love --- I'd rather fall in chocolate." -- Sandra Boyton

In Wickwood's Kitchen ...

Rich and famous, and truly legendary.There’s not much we don’t know about chocolate. We know who discovered it (the Aztecs). We know if we want it, we want it right now (the Cravings). And we know some who confess to an uncontrollable love of it (the Addicts). We also know that there are some recipes that showcase chocolate in all of its glory (the Classics). And, some that we just created yesterday (the Sophisticates). Here are a few we can’t live without, those we refer to time and time again when temptation strikes and nothing else will do.


Ever since we’ve known Jean-George Vongerichten, he has intrigued us with his imagination and inventiveness. Yet, his recipe we most often make was initially a mistake in his kitchen. It is the famous individual chocolate cake with the warm oooozing center that melts on your plate and causes your heart to flutter. It began as an underdone cake, but has become a classic.

Straight from the oven, pausing just long enough for a generous dollop of softly whipped cream (gently mixed with sour cream), it is unquestionably our favorite dessert. Serves 4

• 5¼ ounces dark chocolate
• 3½ ounces unsalted butter
• 2 eggs
• 2 egg yolks
• ¼ cup sugar, superfine
• 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, sifted
• 1 cup heavy cream
• 1 tablespoon sugar
• 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
• ¼ cup sour cream or crème fraiche

1. Preheat the oven to 355°F. Place the chocolate and butter in a saucepan over low heat and stir until the chocolate is melted and smooth.
2. Place the eggs, yolks and sugar in a bowl and whisk until pale. Gently fold in the flour and chocolate mixture and spoon into four lightly buttered 8 ounce capacity ovenproof dishes. Bake for 14-16 minutes or until the puddings are puffed. Meanwhile whip the cream, add sugar and vanilla, whip until softly whipped and fold in the sour cream by hand. Serve immediately this black and white, hot and cold delight.


The name says it all ... a thin slice of cool fudge on a plate with a dollop of cream. Heavenly. Serves 8-12

• 14 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
• 4½ ounces unsalted butter
• 1 cup brown sugar
• 1½ cups heavy cream
• 2 tablespoons instant coffee granules
• 5 eggs
• 2 tablespoons all purpose flour, sifted
• 1 tablespoon sugar
• 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
• ¼ cup sour cream or crème fraiche

1. Preheat the oven to 300°F. Place the chocolate, butter, sugar, ½ cup cream and coffee in a medium saucepan over low heat and stir until the mixture is melted and smooth. Place the eggs and the flour in a bowl and whisk to combine. Slowly whisk the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and pour into a lightly buttered 3x13x3 inch rectangular loaf pan.
2. Place the baking dish in a deep baking tray and pour in enough boiling water to form a Bain Marie, halfway up the sides of the dish. Bake for 2¼ hours or until the chocolate fudge loaf is cooked when tested with a skewer. It will be slightly moist, not dry like a cake. Place the dish into the fridge and allow cooling completely, 4-6 hours. Invert the fudge loaf onto a plate and slice to serve with a dollop of softly whipped cream, slightly sweetened, flavored with vanilla and with sour cream folded in. Addictive.


We’ve made these since the days of The Silver Palate, but for some unknown reason, they never made a cookbook. Yet, they were everyone’s favorite cookie. Perhaps we were of that momentary mind that if we gave the cookie’s secret away, we’d be out of business. These chewy, gooey, chocolate-hazelnuts cookies are very special, gluten free, and embarrassingly simple to make! Makes 30-3.6

• 2¾ cups hazelnuts (skinned) or walnut halves
• 3 cups confectioners' sugar
• ½ cup plus 3 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
• ¼ teaspoon salt
• 4 large egg whites, at room temperature
• 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spread the nuts on a large-rimmed baking sheet and toast for about 9 minutes until they are golden and fragrant. Let cool slightly and coarsely chop them.
2. Position two racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and lower temperature to 320
°F. Line two large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
3. In a large bowl whisk the confectioners' sugar with the cocoa powder and salt, followed by the chopped nuts. While whisking, add the egg whites and vanilla extract and beat just until the batter is moistened (do not over beat or it will stiffen).
4. Spoon the batter onto the baking sheets in 1" evenly spaced mounds and bake for 12-15 minutes until the tops are glossy and lightly cracked; shift the pans from front to back and top to bottom halfway through to ensure even baking. Slide the parchment paper (with the cookies) onto 2 wire racks. Let cookies cool completely, and store in an airtight container for up to 3 days, if they all haven’t disappeared.


Were mad for dark, rich chocolate. It seems just about everyone we like is. Chocolate shops and new artisanal chocolate makers have blossomed across the country and around the world to meet this passion. There are clubs, societies, and cookbooks extolling the virtues and complexities of chocolate. The amount of liquor in a chocolate has become a debate, the percentage of cocoa content you crave, a measure of sophistication. Once again it all amounts to adventurously tasting and eventually selecting your own favorites. Your own taste, that’s all that’s important. We prefer dark chocolate, the darker the better. We generally use dark chocolate in the 62-64 percent range in our cooking, but the percentages can soar to 70, 82 or, if we’re feeling daring, even the 99 percent range. The higher the percentage of cocoa beans, the stronger and more intense the chocolate flavor. Our favorites are Valrhona and Barry Callebaut from Europe, Scharffen Berger and Guuittard from San Francisco, and El Rey from Venezuela. We also adore the finely crafted chocolates of Jacques Genin, Debauve & Gallais, Michel Cluizel, and Maison du Chocolate in France; Jacques Torres in New York and Michael Recchiutti in San Francisco. And, there are new artisanal chocolatiers popping up everyday, everywhere. Taste them all. Even the mistakes are sweet.

“Indulgence, thy name is chocolate.”
                        --- Brillat-Savarin


Finally, we had an idea to keep very thick fudge sauce smooth and silky atop ice cream (without using corn syrup) ... honey! It works beautifully, but you’d never know it’s there. That’s why we love to cook ... there’s always a new trick. 1½ cups

• 7 ounces dark chocolate (best quality) chopped
• ½ cup heavy cream
• 2 tablespoons honey
• 1¾ ounces unsalted butter

1. Place the chocolate, cream, honey and butter in a small saucepan over low heat and stir for 4-5 minutes or until the mixture is melted and smooth. Serve immediately.

"Life without chocolate is too terrible to contemplate.”
                      ---Sonia Rykiel
         Fashion Designer, Paris


Melted dark chocolate with just a smidgen of milk. A lovely French tradition. Jacques Genin and Angelina’s serve the very best.

• 1 quart of whole milk
• 12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, really

1. Heat the milk, melt the chocolate and whisk well. If you have the time, we like to then refrigerate it and reheat later for a thicker Chocolate served piping hot on a snowy day. Or serve it over ice on a hot summer afternoon.

Wickwood Inn   |    510 Butler Street P.O. Box 1019   |   Saugatuck, MI 49453
Tel (800) 385-1174   |  www.wickwoodinn.com  |    Bill and Julee Rosso Miller, Proprietors