Chocolate Pleasures Tea


Rich, dark, and creamy, chocolate is one of the best ways to say, “I love you.” 


Chocolate Pleasures Tea


This Valentine’s Day salute to chocolate includes a delicious tea menu with hints of chocolate in almost every recipe. What better way to show someone how much you care? Delight your guests with these exquisite teas that pair perfectly with chocolate.



Chocolate-Feta Scones



1.   2 cups all-purpose flour

2.   1 tablespoon sugar

3.   2 teaspoons baking powder

4.   ½ teaspoon salt

5.   ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

6.   4 tablespoons cold salted butter, cut into pieces

7.   1 cup bittersweet chocolate morsels

8.   1 (8-ounce) package feta cheese, coarsely chopped

9.   1 cup plus 1 tablespoon cold heavy whipping cream

10.                Garnish: raspberry jam and raspberries



1.   Preheat oven to 350°.

2.   Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

3.   In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and pepper, whisking well. Using a pastry blender, cut butter into flour mixture until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add chocolate morsels and feta, stirring to blend.

4.   Add 1 cup cream to flour mixture, stirring until mixture is evenly moist. (If dough seems dry, add more cream, 1 tablespoon at a time.) Working gently, bring mixture together with hands until a dough forms.

5.   Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead gently 4 to
 5 times. Using a rolling pin, roll dough to a ¾-inch thickness. Using a 2¼-inch round cutter, cut 15 scones from dough, rerolling scraps as necessary. Place scones 2 inches apart 
on prepared baking sheet, and brush with remaining 1 tablespoon cream.

6.   Bake until edges are golden brown and a wooden pick inserted in the centers comes out clean, approximately 20 minutes.

7.   Serve warm.


Creamy Parsnip-Leek Soup with CHOCOLATE BRIOCHE CROUTONS



1.   2 tablespoons salted butter

2.   1 cup sliced leek (white part only)

3.   4 cups sliced parsnip

4.   5 cups low-sodium vegetable stock

5.   1 bay leaf

6.   ½ teaspoon salt

7.   ⅓ cup heavy whipping cream

8.   Garnish: 1 recipe Chocolate Brioche Croutons (recipe follows), frilled green onion tops


1.   In a large saucepan, heat butter over medium-high heat. When butter melts, add leek, and reduce heat to low. Cook, stirring occasionally, until leek is tender and lightly caramelized, 8 to 10 minutes.

2.   Add parsnip, vegetable stock,
 bay leaf, and salt. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook until parsnip is very tender, approximately 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.

3.   Remove and discard bay leaf.
 Add cream. Using an immersion blender, blend soup until smooth and creamy.

4.   Return soup to low heat, and heat through, if necessary.

5.   Garnish individual servings with Chocolate Brioche Croutons and a frilled green onion top, if desired.


1.   Since leeks can be sandy, soak and wash leek in a bowl of water, separating rings to make sure sand is released. Rinse well.

2.   To make frilled green onion tops, cut vertical slices in the top of a green onion. Roll onion into a round stalk, fanning out frills.


Chocolate Brioche Croutons


1.   2 cups cubed brioche

2.   2 tablespoons salted butter, melted

3.   3 tablespoons natural unsweetened cocoa powder

4.   3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar



1.   Preheat oven to 350°.

2.   Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

3.   In a medium bowl, toss brioche cubes with melted butter. Spread cubes in a single layer on prepared baking sheet.

4.   Bake until cubes are light golden brown, approximately 10 minutes.

5.   In a large bowl, combine cocoa powder and confectioners’ sugar, whisking well. While cubes are warm, add to sugar mixture, tossing until coated. Let cool, and store in an airtight container until needed.



1.   If brioche is not available, challah bread may be substituted.




Turkey & Green Apple Slaw Rye Squares with Cacao Nibs



1.   8 cocktail rye squares

2.   2 cups very finely chopped savoy cabbage

3.   ¼ cup very finely chopped celery

4.   ⅓ cup very finely chopped radish

5.   ¼ cup very finely chopped green apple

6.   1 recipe Herbed Buttermilk Dressing (recipe follows)

7.   1 tablespoon cacao nibs

8.   8 slices ultra-thin mesquite-smoked turkey breast

9.   Garnish: fresh parsley leaves



1.   Preheat oven to 350°.

2.   Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Place rye squares on prepared pan.

3.   Bake until rye squares are firm and crispy, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool completely, and store in an airtight container until needed.

4.   In a medium bowl, combine cabbage, celery, radish, and green apple with enough Herbed Buttermilk Dressing to moisten. Cover, and refrigerate until well chilled, approximately 4 hours.

5.   Top each rye square with slaw. Sprinkle with cacao nibs. Fold each turkey slice in half and then in half again. Place on top of slaw.

6.   Garnish each with a parsley leaf, if desired.

7.   Serve immediately.


Herbed Buttermilk Dressing


1.   ½ cup mayonnaise

2.   ¼ cup whole buttermilk

3.   1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

4.   1 teaspoon olive oil

5.   1 teaspoon sugar

6.   1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley

7.   1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill

8.   1 tablespoon finely chopped green onion

(green part only)

9.   1 teaspoon finely chopped mint

10.                ¼ teaspoon salt

11.                 ¼ teaspoon pepper



1.   In a medium bowl, combine mayonnaise, buttermilk, lemon juice, olive oil, sugar, parsley, dill, green onion, mint, salt, and pepper, whisking until well combined. Cover, and refrigerate for up to a day until needed.


Chocolate Pancetta & Smoked Ham Tea Sandwiches


1.   8 slices pancetta (Italian bacon)

2.   2 ounces 80% dark chocolate

3.   16 slices soft Italian sandwich bread, frozen

4.   8 slices ultra-thin smoked ham

5.   ½ cup baby arugula leaves

6.   1 recipe Caramelized Shallot-Sherry Aïoli (recipe follows)

7.   Garnish: baby arugula leaves


1.   In a large nonstick sauté pan, cook pancetta over medium-high heat until brown and crisp, reducing heat if necessary to prevent burning. Drain on paper towels, and let cool.

2.   In a small microwave-safe bowl, melt chocolate in microwave oven at 50 percent power in 30-second intervals, stirring between each. Brush melted chocolate onto top side of cooled bacon. Let chocolate cool and set.

3.   Using a 2¼-inch round cutter, cut 16 rounds from frozen bread. (Cover with damp paper towels, or store in resealable plastic bag to prevent drying out during assembly.)

4.   Spread Caramelized Shallot-Sherry Aïoli onto each bread round. On 8 bread rounds (aïoli sides up), arrange ingredients in the following order: arugula leaves, a piece of ham folded in half and gathered into a ruffle, and a pancetta slice (chocolate side up). Top each with a remaining bread round (aïoli side down).

5.   Garnish each with a baby arugula leaf, if desired.


Caramelized Shallot-Sherry Aïoli


1.   1 tablespoon salted butter

2.   3 tablespoons sliced shallot

3.   ⅓ cup mayonnaise

4.   1 teaspoon sherry vinegar

5.   ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper


1.   In a small nonstick sauté pan, heat butter over medium-high heat until melted. Add shallot, and reduce heat to low. Cook, stirring occasionally, until shallot is tender and caramelized, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool completely. Finely chop shallot.

2.   In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, cooled shallot, sherry vinegar, and pepper, stirring to blend. Cover, and refrigerate for up to a day.



Mini Hazelnut Sandwich Cookies


1.   ½ cup unsalted butter, softened

2.   ¼ cup granulated sugar

3.   ¼ cup firmly packed light brown sugar

4.   1 large egg

5.   1½ teaspoons vanilla extract

6.   1¾ cups all-purpose flour

7.   ½ teaspoon salt

8.   ¼ teaspoon baking powder

9.   ⅓ cup finely chopped toasted hazelnuts

10.                ⅓ cup chocolate-hazelnut spread



1.   In a medium mixing bowl, combine butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar. Beat at high speed with a mixer until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Add egg and vanilla extract, beating to combine.

2.   In a small bowl, combine flour, salt, and baking powder, whisking well. Add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating just until well combined. Add hazelnuts, stirring well. Divide dough into 2 portions. On plastic wrap, roll each portion into a 1-inch-diameter cylinder. Wrap firmly, and secure to make airtight. Freeze for 4 hours.

3.   Preheat oven to 350°.

4.   Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.

5.   Unwrap frozen cookie dough. Cut into ¼-inch slices. Place slices 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheets.

6.   Bake until cookies are golden brown around edges, approximately 10 minutes. Transfer to wire racks, and let cool completely, approximately 30 minutes.

7.   Place chocolate-hazelnut spread in a piping bag fitted with a medium round tip (Wilton #12). Pipe onto bottom of a cookie. Top with another cookie, placing flat sides together and twisting slightly to evenly distribute filling. Repeat with remaining cookies and chocolate-hazelnut spread.

8.   Place cookies in an airtight container with waxed paper between layers, and refrigerate until serving time.



1.   Convenient to use Nutella Hazelnut Spread.



White Chocolate Mendiants


1.   2 (4-ounce) bars white chocolate

2.   2 teaspoons fresh orange zest

3.   ⅓ cup chopped dried sour cherries

4.   ⅓ cup chopped roasted salted pistachios



1.   Line 2 cookie sheets with silicone baking mats or waxed paper.

2.   In a medium microwave-safe bowl, melt chocolate in microwave oven at 50 percent power in 30-second intervals, stirring between each.

3.   Add orange zest to melted chocolate, stirring to blend. Immediately, using a levered 1-teaspoon scoop, drop chocolate mixture 2 inches apart onto prepared baking sheets. Decoratively arrange dried cherries and pistachios on melted chocolate disks.

4.   Refrigerate until firm. Carefully remove mendiants from silicone mats, and place in a covered container with waxed paper between layers. Refrigerate until serving time.



1.  Good choice -  Ghirardelli White Chocolate Baking Bars.


Come on now ….  it’s only once a year…. INDULGE …

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Happy February…..

                                                                     © Michelle Young 2012