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Top Pick Of The Week

March 20, 2007

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Ice Cream Profiterole
These great chocolate fudge sauces can be used as plate dressings, ice cream toppings...even to make delicious hot chocolate. Photo by Frances Twitty.
WHAT IT IS: Gourmet chocolate sauces.
WHY IT’S DIFFERENT: Beautifully crafted, complex blends in sophisticated flavors—truly different from other fine lines of chocolate sauces.
WHY WE LOVE IT: Every flavor is delicious and multi-tasking—as a topping, a plate garnish, even a beverage!
WHERE TO BUY IT: RobertLambert.com.


Robert Lambert Chocolate Sauce: Cacao Wow

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CAPSULE REPORT: Last year, we were tickled pink (and yellow and orange and red) with Robert Lambert’s amazing flavored fruit syrups. The cookbook author and pastry chef is a great food artisan. These syrups, from Date to White Ginger to Kaffir Lime, transform breakfasts, beverages, desserts, side dishes and more: they’re a must have for anyone who likes exciting, easy-to-use ingredients.

Recently, we tried Mr. Lambert’s chocolate sauces, and they, too, are also a privilege to behold. Made with rich chocolate—not cocoa powder—the nine flavors of chocolate sauce hit every note from comfort food (Deep Dark Chocolate, Malted Milk) to traditional gourmet (Coconut, Four Orange, Ginger Pear) to adventurous (Mexican Chocolate, Raspberry Rose). Several flavors are accented with spirits: not exactly kid stuff, unless your kid is a gourmet-in-training. We could ask for no more in a fudge sauce or a chocolate topping. Read more in the full review, below.

Make Great Chocolate Desserts

Maida Heater's Book of Great Chocolate Desserts The Cake Book Brownies To Die For
Maida Heatter’s Book of Great Chocolate Desserts, by Maida Heatter. Chocoholics can breathe a sigh of relief, as this classic returns after 10 years out of print. Click here for more information or to purchase.
The Cake Book, by Tish Boyle and John Uher. If you’re looking for something simple and basic that anyone can follow—yet still turn out a great cake—this is your book. Every reviewer gives it 5 stars. Click here for more information or to purchase.
Brownies to Die For!, by Bev Shaffer. A comprehensive cookbook on everything brownie-related, with a huge number of recipes. Less complex than cake-making and perhaps more satisfying. Click here for more information or to purchase.

Robert Lambert Chocolate Sauces: Cacao Wow

INDEX TO REVIEW

OTHER FEATURES

We love Robert Lambert: When something innovative is needed in the specialty food arena, he creates it. He handcrafts his products in small batches—as you might do at home—and the craftsmanship and love shine through.

Gourmet Chocolate Sauces: The Flavors

In developing the sauces, Lambert worked like a perfumer, pairing spirits and other flavors to develop each recipe. Lambert uses Peter’s chocolate*—a couverture used by many pastry chefs— instead of cocoa, for a more intense chocolate flavor. Most of the sauces use a 54% semisweet cacao, but seem more intense—probably because Lambert is light-handed with the sugar, allowing the cacao and other flavors to show themselves.

*Milk chocolate was invented in 1875 by Daniel Peter of Vevey, Switzerland, who finally solved the problem that had vexed many by mixing chocolate with powdered milk instead of whole milk or cream. In 1908, the Peter’s Chocolate Company began manufacturing in the U.S. The company was ultimately purchased by Lamont, Corliss and Company, which became Nestlé’s Chocolate Company in 1951. In 2002, the Peter’s Chocolate business was purchased by Cargill, Incorporated, an international provider of food, agricultural and other products and services.

  • Coconut Chocolate Sauce. This velvety sauce is non-dairy, made with a 72% bittersweet chocolate and flavored with coconut milk, coconut extract and triple Madagascar vanilla. It’s sweetened with brown sugar and enhanced with a bit of dark rum. The result is a light, elegant touch of coconut: Just a bit of the tropics for something a bit different.
  • Deep Dark Chocolate Sauce. A pure bittersweet chocolate sauce, 72% cacao, although it tastes milder. Accented with triple Madagascar vanilla, Lambert adds some Skyy vodka to highlight the chocolate flavors—not really discernable, but you can tell there’s “something different.” This is a nice sauce, but more interesting flavors await.
  • Extreme Vanilla Bean Chocolate Sauce. Half a village of Balinese and Madagascar vanilla beans are blended into this dark chocolate sauce, along with triple Madagascar vanilla extract and a touch of brandy. The chocolate is a blend of semi-sweet chocolate and Orinoco 99% cacao chocolate. Some palates will detect a wee bit of seductive smokiness in this marriage of two great flavors.
  • Four Orange Chocolate Sauce. Orange and chocolate is a great pairing, and Lambert has gone further with a great blending: four varieties of oranges to create an assertive pairing of citrus and chocolate. The Bergamot orange adds perfume (it’s the scent and flavor of Earl Grey tea), the blood orange adds a berry-like tang, the Seville orange adds sharpness and the Valencia orange, sweetness. A wonderful combination of orange and chocolate, sweet and tart.

Robert Lambert Malted Milk Chocolate Sauce
Malted Milk Chocolate Sauce: Uh-oh, too good.

  • Ginger Pear Chocolate Sauce. This subtle yet complex dark chocolate sauce blends Lambert’s White Ginger Syrup (one of our favorites) with ginger juice and Poire Williams eau-de-vie. The ginger is light- handed but provides spices on the finish.
  • Malted Milk Chocolate Sauce.  A mixture of milk and dark chocolates blended with malt, triple Madagascar vanilla and Jack Daniel’s bourbon. It’s the Jack Daniel’s that says “maybe there ought to be a law”—because it’s too easy to eat this right from the jar, like a spiked, semisoft malted milk ball.

Robert Lambert Raspberry Rose Chocolate Sauce
Raspberry Rose Chocolate Sauce: Sweet fruit and
rich chocolate.

  • Mocha Latté Chocolate Sauce. Mocha lovers have their needs met in this wicked sauce: wicked because it’s hard not to eat the entire jar as a serving of pudding. Made with extra-rich milk from Marin County cows, Orinoco 99% cacao chocolate from Venezuela, plus espresso and coffee liqueur, it makes an equally wicked beverage when mixed with some of your local milk (extra liqueur optional, but delightful).
  • Mexican Chocolate Sauce. For the serious chocolate lover, intense bittersweet chocolate—the 99% Orinoco cacao—is infused with almond, a bit of brown sugar and cassia bark†.  In addition to dessert applications, you can make a mole sauce from this one and use it in other savory dishes.
    †Also called Chinese, Indonesian or Mexican cinnamon, a cousin of “true” cinnamon. It is milder, more woody (like fresh wood shavings) and not as perfumed, and shatters into slivers when the sticks are pulled apart. See a photo of cassia bark.
  • Mojito Mint Chocolate Sauce.* We love chocolate mint, and this light and lovely touch of mint—from mojito mint extract and creme de menthe, blended with dark rum and the Orinoco 99% cacao chocolate—hits the spot. To understand Robert Lambert’s quest for the best, he tested seven mint extracts, found the mojito mint to be head and shoulders above the rest, and when he went to order, saw that it was $200 a quart. “No matter,” he says, “It is the best, and worth every penny.”
  • Raspberry Rose Chocolate Sauce. The raspberry leaps from the jar the minute the lid is unscrewed. This classic French pairing is chock-full of dark chocolate, raspberry (jelly, fresh fruit and framboise liqueur), rose geranium and rose water. It may sound the most sophisticated and luxurious, but it’s the sweetest of the group: a happy raspberry chocolate sauce.

What’s a chocolate-lover to do given all these choices? Well...we always list the products alphabetically to make it easy to start at the beginning of the list, and work your way to the end! If you’re a retailer with limited shelf space, the wisdom of Solomon is to offer the flavors in rotation: none should be denied to the discriminating specialty food consumer.

*“Mojito mint” is not a variety of mint, but a method of extraction: The mint leaves are bruised, as they are when making the cocktail, to extract the essence. One can also find a “Mojito mint” mint-infused simple syrup used to make mojito cocktails and other drinks: A traditional Mojito is made of mint, sugar, lime juice and light rum. Simple syrup is often substituted for table sugar, since it is easier to dissolve in cold drinks.

Serving Suggestions

It may seem obvious, but here’s our checklist on how to use these special sauces:

  • On ice cream or a berry sorbet
  • As a fondue (dip cake, strawberries and other fruit, gourmet marshmallows, pirouettes and other cookies)
  • To decorate a presentation plate (drizzle on the plate before adding the cake, pie or other dessert)
  • Drizzle over crepes, cheesecakes, puddings, brownies or any dessert
  • As a cake glaze: spread over plain cakes, cupcakes, ice cookies or make cookie sandwiches
  • Make hot chocolate: stir 2 tablespoons into a mug
    of hot milk
  • Make malted milk: toss the Malted Milk Chocolate Sauce into a blender with milk and ice cream (get
    creative with the other flavors as well)
  • Enjoy a quick chocolate fix: open jar, insert spoon!

Chocolate Fondue

The chocolate sauces can multitask as fondue. Photo © Andrejs Nikiforovs | Dreamstime.

The sauces are solid at room temperature but liquefy at slightly above. Remove the lid and microwave: If the sauce is at room temperature, heat for just 10 seconds and check to see if another 5 seconds are needed. If it’s been open in the refrigerator, you’ll need a few more seconds. You can also set the jar in a pan of warm water for a few minutes.

What are you waiting for? How can you resist? Order some now—for Easter, for Mother’s Day, for fun! Keep a jar or two in the cabinet and when you need to create a special dessert, that plain pound cake or cheesecake from the store suddenly becomes...a “creation.”

—Karen Hochman

FORWARD THIS NIBBLE to anyone who loves chocolate and desserts.

ROBERT LAMBERT CHOCOLATE SAUCES

Coconut Dark Chocolate, Deep Dark Chocolate, Extreme Vanilla Bean, Four Orange, Ginger Pear, Malted Milk, Mexican Chocolate, Mocha Latté, Mojito Mint, Raspberry Rose

 

  • 8-Ounce Jar
    $12.00

 

Purchase online at RobertLambert.com

Read more about our favorite
dessert sauces and sweets below.


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Robert Lambert Chocolate Sauces


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ABOUT THE NIBBLE. THE NIBBLE, Great Food Finds™, is an online magazine about specialty foods and the gourmet life. It is the only consumer publication and website that focuses on reviewing the best specialty foods and beverages, in every category. The magazine also covers tabletop items, gourmet housewares, and other areas of interest to people who love fine food.

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