Brooks & Crowley - February 2021


How much do you love chocolate? Would you be willing to die for a taste of your favorite candy bar? Would you kill for one? You’ve probably never thought to ask yourself these questions, but if tall tales can be believed, arguments over chocolate have, in fact, turned deadly. National Dark Chocolate Day and National Chocolate Fondue Day both fall this month (on Feb. 1 and Feb. 5, respectively), and in honor of those tasty holidays, we investigated the original “death by chocolate” — an act of legendary revenge. Rumor has it that the controversy started in the 1600s in Chiapas, Mexico, when a group of chocoholic churchgoers started bringing their favorite sweet snack to services. This annoyed the bishop, who resorted to banning parishioners from eating chocolate during church. As an article in Indian Country Today tells it, the chocoholics got back at the bishop by poisoning his daily cup of chocolatl , an Aztec chocolate drink. Who knew the ancestor of hot cocoa could be so deadly?

Desaulniers, then-owner of The Trellis restaurant in Williamsburg, Virginia. Here’s the restaurant’s mouthwatering description of the seven- layer confection, which takes three days to make: “The decadence begins with layers of moist chocolate cake, dark chocolate ganache, crunchy chocolate meringue, and an airy chocolate mousse. The cake is then coated in a glaze of dark chocolate and served on a pool of chocolate sauce with house-made milk chocolate ice cream, topped with a hand-rolled white chocolate truffle, and finally dusted with white chocolate powder.” Is your mouth watering yet? The original version of death by chocolate might be a bit complex for the average chef, but if you’re craving a slice, you can find more accessible recipes at and SugarGeekShow. com. Just remember that when you pull it out of the oven, we don’t live in the 1600s, so you should probably restrain yourself from poisoning anyone who steals a bite!

Surprisingly, this crazy story isn’t the origin of the “death by chocolate” cake we love today. That dessert was created in 1993 by Chef Marcel


Butter and Herb Baked Oysters


Rock salt or uncooked rice (to coat your baking sheet) 1 dozen fresh oysters, scrubbed and shucked 1 stick butter, softened and divided into 8 tbsp 3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs

• • • •

2 tbsp fresh chives, chopped

1 tbsp lemon juice 1 tsp lemon zest

Lemon wedges and chopped parsley for garnish


1. Preheat oven to 425 F. 2. On a rimmed baking sheet, spread out a layer of rock salt or uncooked rice. 3. Arrange oysters on the baking sheet, meat side up. 4. In a skillet over medium

5. In a small bowl, combine remaining butter, chives, lemon juice, and zest. 6. Top each oyster with a teaspoon of chive mixture and a sprinkle of sautéed breadcrumbs. 7. Bake for 8–10 minutes and

heat, melt half of the butter. Add breadcrumbs and sauté until brown.

serve garnished with lemon wedges and chopped parsley.

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