Gail Warner circled today on her calendar as a day to celebrate. And if you love chocolate, you should too.
“In this day and age with everything going on in the world, I can’t think of a better reason to find something to celebrate,” said the chocolatier at Bridge Street Chocolates in Phoenixville. “And what better than chocolate?”
Milk chocolate to be exact. July 28 is National Milk Chocolate Day.
“It’s a little sweeter. It’s creamier. It’s buttery,” she described. “When you think of milk chocolate, those are the things you should think about or recognize when you put it in your mouth.”
Warner handcrafts everything from milk chocolate sea-salt caramels to Oreo cakes to “ballpark bark” with milk chocolate, caramel corn, peanuts and peanut butter-filled pretzels logs.
“It’s kind of decadent, right?” she said.
So are the desserts at General Warren in Malvern like crème Parisienne.
“It’s basically like a milk chocolate whipped cream, like a mousse. Very simple,” noted certified executive pastry chef Andy Sciarretta. “It has to be top-end chocolate to make it.”
“We use a couverture,” which “on average is anywhere between $7 and $11 per pound,” he added. “In French, couverture means to coat or cover.”
Want to try crème Parisienne at home? Lindt bars “should work fine,” said Sciarretta, who will serve the berry-topped treat on National Milk Chocolate Day.
Some of his other specialties: French macarons with milk chocolate ganache, milk chocolate crème brûlée and milk chocolate raspberry bombe, a customer favorite.
“When you cut into it, it has a raspberry insert inside, so it’s colorful,” he explained.
Back at Bridge Street Chocolates, Warner’s preparing plenty of milk chocolate confections too, including chocolate-covered marshmallows in flavors like peanut butter, vanilla and coconut butter rum.
“Typically, we do all of our marshmallows in dark, but for that day, I’ll do them in milk,” said the admitted dark chocolate lover.
“Don’t be a dark chocolate snob. Just be happy it’s Milk Chocolate Day!”
17½ ounces heavy cream
6½ ounces milk chocolate couverture
Bring cream to a simmer. Pour over couverture; let stand 3 minutes, then stir to emulsify. Cool in refrigerator for 4 to 6 hours (overnight is best). Whip in mixer fitted with a whip attachment. Whip until the consistency of whipped cream. Pipe with a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip into dessert glasses and garnish with fresh berries.
RECIPE COURTESY OF GENERAL WARREN
Oreos or sandwich cookie of your choice
Chocolate (milk, dark or white)
Icing with a decorating tip
Temper the chocolate or use a coating that does not require tempering. Dip one cookie in chocolate. Set on parchment/wax paper. Dip the second cookie in chocolate and carefully place on top of the first cookie. Let the cookies set for approximately 15 minutes. Once they are set, dip the double cookie sandwich in chocolate. Place back on the parchment/wax paper to set.
Use your icing tube or piping bag with decorating tip of your choice to create the perfect cake favor. Let the “Oreo cake” set before bagging or serving.
RECIPE COURTESY OF BRIDGE STREET CHOCOLATES
Candy Bar Pie
¾ cup milk
3 to 3¾ ounces chocolate candy bars (with or without nuts of your choice), broken into pieces
30 regular marshmallows
2 cups ready-made whipped cream
1 (9-inch) graham cracker pie crust
Chocolate curls or crushed peanuts for garnish
In a small pan, combine milk, candy bar pieces and marshmallows. Stir over medium-low heat until melted. Pour into bowl and place in freezer to cool for 5 to 10 minutes. Fold 1½ cups ready-made whipped cream into chocolate mixture until thoroughly combined. Turn into pie crust and return to freezer for 10 minutes to chill. Spread remaining whipped cream over top. Garnish with chocolate curls or crushed peanuts. Refrigerate.
RECIPE COURTESY OF NATIONAL CONFECTIONERS ASSOCIATION