This is a sponsored review by BlogHer and Ghirardelli.
I grew up a few hours from San Francisco, one of my favorite cities and home to Ghirardelli Chocolate. When I was a kid, trips to San Francisco meant baseball games, sourdough bread, and good chocolate. That was before Ghirardelli was widely available on grocery store shelves, so the chocolate was a special treat!
Maybe it’s because I still associate it with special occasions, but I don’t often buy Ghirardelli even though it is now widely available in stores. I have used it in recipes that require premium chocolate, but I don’t often splurge on Ghirardelli when making something basic like a chocolate chip cookie. So when BlogHer approached me to test some samples of Ghirardelli chocolate in a couple of recipes and write about it, I thought it was an excellent chance to try it out in some recipes where I might, out of habit, use a lesser quality chocolate.
The first recipe I tried was a Ghirardelli recipe for Classic Blondies. Blondies are something I’ve never made before, so I thought it would be fun to try something new while testing out the chocolate. The blondie batter is made with Ghirardelli Premium White Chocolate and then chocolate chips are folded in before baking. I decided to use the Ghirardelli Bittersweet Chocolate Chips instead of semisweet because I thought it might help cut the sweetness of the blondies themselves.
The recipe worked perfectly and a shiny golden block of Blondies emerged from my oven.
After they cooled for a bit, I cut them into squares. The blondies were rich, moist, and chewy with dark chocolate oozing from all sides. Just as I figured, the bittersweet chocolate was perfect in the almost too-sweet blondies.
If you’d like to try making them yourself, here is the recipe for Classic Blondies.
The second recipe I tried was my favorite Hot Fudge Sauce. I found this on Epicurious a couple of years ago and it originally appeared in Gourmet magazine. The main change I made to the recipe was to use Ghirardelli Natural Unsweetened Cocoa instead of dutch process cocoa. I also use light brown sugar instead of dark brown sugar because that’s what I usually have on hand.
This hot fudge sauce is simple to make and is far more delicious than any store-bought ice cream topping I’ve ever tried. It can also be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator. I like to divide the fudge sauce into a couple of glass jars – I keep one in the fridge, and share one with a friend.
Hot Fudge Sauce
(adapted from Epicurious)
2/3 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup Ghirardelli Natural Unsweetened Cocoa
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 oz Ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate, broken into pieces
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
Bring cream, corn syrup, sugar, cocoa, salt, and half of the chocolate pieces to a boil in a small heavy saucepan over medium heat. Stir until chocolate is melted. Reduce heat and cook at a low boil, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Remove from heat then add butter, vanilla, and remaining chocolate and stir until smooth. Cool sauce to warm before serving.
Store leftover fudge sauce in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to a week. Reheat before serving.
Yield: about 2 cups.
I decided to combine the blondies and hot fudge to create a completely decadent Ghirardelli Hot Fudge Blondie Sundae. Yes, it was as amazing as it looks!
I’m happy to announce that as part of this review BlogHer is helping me give away a $100 Visa gift card to one lucky reader! To enter the contest, please leave a comment at the end of this post and tell me about your favorite homemade chocolate dessert. For a second entry, you may do one of the following:
- Tweet about this post with a link to it (and put your tweet URL in a separate comment below)
- Blog about this post with a link to it (and put your blog post URL in a separate comment below)
- Read the official rules for alternate form of entry.
The contest will end on December 15, 2010 when one comment will be chosen at random. Official rules can be found here.
Please visit the BlogHer/Ghirardelli round-up page to see what 9 other bloggers have made with Ghiradelli Chocolate. And for more amazing recipes, be sure to visit Ghirardelli where you can search through hundreds of chocolate dessert recipes!