Love and Olive Oil - Eat to Live. Cook to Love.

Bittersweet Chocolate Bourbon Tart

Bittersweet Chocolate Bourbon Tart from www.loveandoliveoil.com

I just got back from Food Blog Forum in Asheville, North Carolina (full recap coming as soon as I can wade through all my photos), and by just I mean nearly two weeks ago (my how time flies). Overall an amazing event, one to remember, but without a doubt one of the highlights of the trip was getting to know Asheville’s French Broad Chocolates, a bean-to-bar chocolate company dedicated to having a positive impact on their community and chocolate world at large.

French Broad Chocolate Lounge, Asheville, NC

Owner Jael Rattigan attended the conference and provided plenty of tasty treats along the way, from one-bite chocolate espresso cupcakes to decadent salted honey caramels to strawberry balsamic truffles and blueberry beet macarons (I die). I enjoyed speaking with her over the course of the two-day event, her passion and dedication to her craft apparent in everything she said.

But the thing that made my heart flutter more than anything was the Lindsay-sized bar of baking chocolate she so generously provided to all of the attendees. It reminded me of the “Pound Plus” bars from Trader Joe’s, except so much better.

Bittersweet Chocolate Bourbon Tart from www.loveandoliveoil.com

But just what to DO with a gigantic bar of beautiful chocolate? The decision was harder than I thought. I have a tendency to ‘hoard’ the good stuff, opting for decent but lesser-expensive chocolate and ingredients for my everyday baking. The problem is that I’m always saving the good stuff for something special, and my definition of “special” is, apparently, too lofty. I’ll admit, I’ve let some amazing ingredients expire, and for that I should be ashamed (believe me, I am).

Not wanting to let one of Jael’s chef tablets to go to waste, I immediately started scouring recipes for the perfect use for this gorgeous chocolate. The 68% bar is sustainably sourced from Nicaraguan cacao beans, and has a bright, fruity flavor, and sultry molasses undertones that left me perplexed until I finally figured out what I was tasting. It’s definitely not your ordinary chocolate baking bar, and I knew it deserved something special. After an exhaustive search, I stumbled upon this Chocolate Bourbon Tart from Food & Wine and, given my penchant for boozy baking, it seemed like the perfect recipe.

Continue Reading

Shrimp Rolls with Herb Brown Butter Mayo

This is a poor-man’s lobster roll. Not that we’re poor, and not that shrimp is really all that cheap, but it’s a heckofa lot cheaper than lobster and much easier to prepare too. So maybe it’s more of a lazy-man’s lobster roll than anything. Poor and lazy aside, what makes this shrimp roll spectacular is...

Ginger Melon Sangria

This is a summer sangria if I ever saw one. All that’s missing from this picture is a lounge chair and a warm summer breeze. The thought of three colors of melon floating in a bubbly, boozy sea is what inspired this recipe. Or maybe I just needed an excuse to actually use my melon...

Blueberry Peach Jam

I’ve been hoarding fruit. We’ve been blueberry picking and peach picking and would have gone cherry picking if they grew here, so instead I bought some cherries when they went on sale. All the excess fruit that wasn’t devoured immediately is now stashed in our freezer. Usually it all gets turned into jam within days,...

Dark Chocolate Cocoa Nib Caramels

Isn’t it amazing to think, that just over a two years ago I was terrified of caramel? Like, honestly truly scared I was going to burn my face off or something. And ruin a few pans while I was at it. Now I can’t get enough. I’ve made peach caramels and gingerbread caramels and whiskey...

Tart Cherry Giveaway

Following up yesterday’s EPIC cherry pie recipe, I’m excited to offer an amazing tart cherry giveaway valued at over $400, brought to you by the Cherry Marketing Institute. I’ve loved exploring this new-to-me culinary ingredient, and I know you will too! One lucky winner will receive a prize pack containing over $400 worth of tart...