Vosges Haut Chocolat aims to combine art, fashion, chocolate and the meaning of life all into one. From exotic truffles to vintage clothing, this socially concious, gourmet chocolate shop is far from the conservative confiseries of the past. Owner/Chocolatier Katrina Markoff created the store after studying throughout Europe and Asia, and offers chocolate that combines the heated flavors of the East with the smooth, rich textures of the West. The name of the store comes from the famed supernatural Vosges (pronounced vohj) Mountains in the Alsation region of Northeastern France, and “Haut Chocolat” literally means “High-Chocolate”, encapsulating Katrina’s vision for the store. Originally started in Chicago, Vosges now has boutiques in New York and Las Vegas along with an extensive online catalog.
Independent of ideology or spirituality, Katrina and her staff of seven women know what they’re doing when it comes to chocolate. The products are unique, the packaging is beautiful and the staff is always happy to help decipher abstract product names like the Woolloomooloo Truffle (macadamia nut, coconut and milk chocolate) and Giaduja Candy Bar (hazelnuts, almonds and milk chocolate).
In my recent trip to the New York store in SoHo, I picked up a bag of their Red Fire Exotic Chocolate Chips, made with ancho y chipotle chillies, Ceylon cinnamon and Belgian dark chocolate. The spicy chips can be eaten individually, melted over ice cream or used in favorite recipes in place of traditional dark chocolate. A recipe for Red Fire Brownies is included in the bag, but be warned that you’ll need two 4 oz. bags of Red Fire Chips ($8.50 each), to reach the 7oz. required by the recipe. Other chocolate items include an array of truffles, candy bars, drinking chocolates and even mini “Gatsby” cakes, filled with Gatsby ganache and Belgian dark chocolate infused with champagne and drops of rose water.
When browsing also be sure to notice Vosge’s other sugary items like the decadent caramel toffee and caramel marshmallows. These little beauties, filled with caramel, walnut and pecan pieces and covered with dark chocolate and toffee crumbles, are on my list of things to buy during my next visit.
Chocolate Fire Brownies
from the Vosges Website
Potions and notions bring about a brouhaha of chocolate that dangerously spices your mouth and swells your heart.
The Burning Love potion of chocolate fire brownies. Oh baby watch out this will cast a love spell. Magical love is brewing in the witches cauldron. Brooklyn will light up orange red…
7 oz. Red Fire Chips or Bar (2 1/4 bars)
1 stick unsalted butter
3 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup sugar
2 vanilla beans thinly diced
1 tsp. Guajillo chili ground into powder (optional)
1 tsp. salt
1 cup flour
3 oz. Red Fire Bar chopped in large chunks
1/3 cup cocoa nibs
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Spray brownie pan and line with 2 sheets of foil that criss-cross over each other. Foil should be hanging over the edge of the brownie pan.
Melt Red Fire bar, butter, and cocoa powder over a water bath.
Combine eggs, sugar, salt, diced vanilla bean, and guajillo chili in a bowl.
Mix just to blend (20 seconds).
Pour melted chocolate mixture over sugar mixture. Mix just to combine. Add flour and stir.
Add Red Fire chunks and cocoa nibs and fold into batter.
Pour into brownie pan and bake for 30 minutes.
*Stick a toothpick into brownies when down, the center should still be a bit gooey and sticky.
Yields 9-12 brownies
Vosges Haut Chocolat
Call (888) 301-YUMM for a retailer near you.
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