Saturday, December 10, 2011

Chocolate Fest!

Last Saturday, our Friends of the Elkader Public Library group held our 4th annual chocolate festival.  This year it was at the Elkader Jail House Inn.   From 1870 to 2006 this building was the Clayton County Sheriffs Department and Jail.  Then, in 2007, Tim and Julie started renovating the building and after a lot of hard work the Elkader Jail House opened in 2008.  Their website has lots of before and after pictures as well as some history of the building. 

The Inn is amazing.  Julie has it decorated for holiday season - just stepping into the foyer put me in the Christmas spirit.  My pictures do not do justice to the Jail House but you will get the idea.  I have sprinkled a few of my chocolate recipes in here as well.  Enjoy!

This is the second year for making this recipe.  It is back by popular demand.  It is so easy even Son #1 likes to make it.

Ghirardelli Chocolate Swirl Candy

      2 Bars Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate
      2 Bars Ghirardelli White Chocolate
      1/2 tsp Coarse Sea Salt
      1 cup Pecans chopped

       Preheat oven to 225F.   Line a jellyroll pan with parchment paper.  Break the chocolate bars into squares and lay on parchment paper in a checker board pattern.  Put pan into oven just long enough to melt the chocolate.  It takes about 7 minutes.  The white chocolate scorches very easily to watch carefully.  Use a table knife to swirl the chocolate together.  Sprinkle the sea salt across the chocolate.  Then sprinkle with nuts.  Put in refrigerator to cool and harden for at least 1 hour.  Break into pieces and enjoy.  

Dave played piano during the entire Chocolate Fest
 and even as the Friends cleaned up!

We had a great turn out of public support for this event.  This is one of the biggest fund raisers the Friends do during the year.  Many of the Friends went above and beyond the call for chocolate this year. 

Peggy & Diane filling up the trays for the crowd of
This recipe has become an old standby for me at Christmas as well as Valentine's Day.  It's easy and very flexible so you can take some creative license with it.
      12 oz package Chocolate Chips melted
      1 can Sweetened & Condensed Milk
      Dash of Salt
      1 Tblsp Instant Coffee
      2 Tblsp Kahlua

Mix all ingredients together well.  Refrigerate.  Spray hand lightly with Pam.  Shape into balls and roll in a mixture of equal parts baking cocoa and powdered sugar. 
To switch it up sometimes I use dark chocolate chips and cocoa powder.  Rolling the balls in chopped nuts is also yummy.

If those two recipes don't put you in chocolate overload here is one more.

Coffee & Cinnamon Fudge

3 cups Semi -sweet Chocolate Chips
1 can Sweetened & Condensed Milk
Dash of Salt
1 Tblsp Instant Coffee
1 tsp Hot Water
1 tsp Vanilla
1 Tblsp Cinnamon

Line a 9X9 inch square pan with parchment paper.  Melt chips with sweetened condensed milk and salt in a heavy saucepan over low heat.  Remove from heat.  Dissolve coffee in hot water.  Add coffee, vanilla and cinnamon to chocolate mixture, stirring til smooth.  Spread evenly into prepared pan.
Chill 2 hours or until firm.  Lift fudge out of pan.  Peel off paper and cut into squares. 

A big Thank You to Tim and Julie for graciously allowing The Friends to use their Inn for our fund raiser.  And, another big thank you to all of the chocolate lovers who made their way to the Chocolate Fest on such a cold, rainy day.  The money raised is going towards the purchase of more resources for the library. 

Have a Great Weekend!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing these recipes! I'm going to give them a try. Would love to stay at the Elkader Jail Inn sometime. Such a pretty town.