Thursday, July 31, 2014

Endangered Species - Sea Salt and Almonds bar - July 31, 2014

Chocolate of the Day: 

Endangered Species Chocolate
Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt and Almonds bar
Good ++ - Very Good
Weight: .6 oz. (17 g.) / 3 oz. (85 g.) in total bar
Calories: 100 calories (per label)
Cost: $2.00 for 1 bar
Purchased from: New Leaf Community Markets, Santa Cruz, CA

Today was the final day (Day #7) of Smoke and Savory Theme Week, and the last day of July. Farewell July, I hardly knew ye. Summer does seem to evaporate all too quickly.

This Smoke and Savory week has been a great way to capture the flavor of outdoor barbecues and summer cook-outs, even if I can't always enjoy a lingering picnic myself.

Today's Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt and Almonds bar from Endangered Species Chocolate (Indianapolis, IN) provided just the chocolate I needed for eating enjoyment, and for a key ingredient in a miniature, smokey chocolate almond cake (see below).

The smooth tasting, bittersweet dark chocolate (72% cocoa) had visible bits of almonds embedded into the bar, and contained just a hint of sea salt. This bar was Certified Gluten-Free, NonGMO Verified and Rainforest Certified.

Endangered Species donates 10 percent of their net profits to species conservation efforts. Each of their bars features a bird or animal that has been impacted (generally by humans). Today's Sea Salt and Almonds bar features a Eurasian Eagle Owl, one of the largest owls in the world. Thankfully populations of these owls, after experiencing a significant decline, have rebounded somewhat, in part due to better forest management and greater awareness around pesticide use.

Smokey Chocolate Olive Oil Cake

How does one infuse smoke into chocolate cake or brownies? One excellent way to do so is to add "Smoke Infused Extra Virgin California Olive Oil" made with early harvest Arbequina olives grown in the Capay Valley.

This flavorful "Turbo" olive oil from enFuso (purchased at The Olive Press in Sonoma, CA) was the closest thing to barbecue by the spoonful I've tasted (outside of liquid smoke or smoked salts. It was a wonderful replacement for butter/oil in a miniature (gluten-free) chocolate cake. I grated part of today's Endangered Species Sea Salt and Almonds bar into this single-serving cake, and topped the cake with almonds and a sprinkle of smoked sea salt. Done, and eaten in short order.

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