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A collection of chocolate pots at Wilbur Chocolate, Lititz

FOOD: The art of chocolate

B&Bs take a look at the sweet side of Lancaster County

Lancaster New Era     Published: Feb 27, 2008
By SUSAN JURGELSKI / New Era Staff217307TerreHill3_ful.jpg (108854 bytes)

Jan Garrabrandt, innkeeper at The Artist's Inn & Gallery, got the recipe for Mrs. D's She Ain't Heavy Chocolate Cake from one of her favorite restaurants, The Trellis, in Williamsburg, Va. Her inn and two other area B&Bs will hold a chocolate event this weekend.

MARTY HEISEY / NEW ERA217307TerreHillBB5_ful.jpg (133363 bytes)

Cinnamon Poached Pears on Creme Anglaise and Chocolate Sauce217307TerreHillBB4_ful.jpg (143829 bytes)

The Artist's Inn White-Chocolate French Toast with Blackberry-Cassis Sauce

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Raspberry Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Hazelnut Chocolate Turnovers

Jan Garrabrandt finds perfection in confection.

The Artist's Inn & Gallery innkeeper blends, drizzles and sculpts her chocolate medium into creations as pleasing to the eye as to the palette.

She's wrist-deep in sweet treats as she prepares for Friday and Saturday's Chocolate-Covered Romance Weekend, which her inn is co-sponsoring with two other county B&Bs: Harvest Moon, New Holland; and Sheep Hill, East Earl.

"I am a foodie," says Garrabrandt, who opened her historic Terre Hill inn 12 years ago, with her artist husband, Bruce. "I think we really need to have more chocolate in our lives."

Four years ago, Garrabrandt partnered with Sheep Hill innkeeper Laura Sabasino and Harvest Moon's Carl Kosko to launch what would become regular food-themed tours. They have centered around everything from wine and cheese to beer and pretzels to Cajun fare. An herb tour and wine camp are in the works.

"It started with one event, and it has evolved into us doing four this year," Sabasino says. "We all pull together. It's unique, since traditionally, B&B's are not about doing events."

"Working with other inns is a win-win situation for all of us," says Kosko, who also gives regular cooking demonstrations at his B&B. "The stronger the three of us are together, the stronger each of us is individually."

The chocolate weekend is open to everyone, not just inn guests. It will include chocolate samplings; a chocolate-inspired dinner; a tour of area chocolatiers, including tastings; and a presentation on "Debunking the Myths of Chocolate."

Selina Man, self-proclaimed chief chocolate officer of Cafe Chocolate, Lititz, plans to dispute myths including the purported abundance of caffeine in chocolate, that it causes acne and is very fattening.

Oh, and that dark chocolate is healthier than nondark.

"There are quite a lot of myths," Man says. "No. 1, that chocolate is sinful."

In fact, she says, the Latin food classification name for chocolate is "food of the Gods."

Sweet eats
Here are some of Jan Garrabrandt's chocolate specialties:
The Artist's Inn White-Chocolate French Toast with Blackberry-Cassis Sauce

For white-chocolate bread:

1/4 cup warm water

1 cup warm milk

1 egg

1/4 cup butter, softened

3 cups bread flour

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 package active dry yeast

1 cup white-chocolate chips or chocolate chunks

For French toast:

3 eggs

1 cup half-and-half

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon sugar

Freshly grated nutmeg

For blackberry Cassis sauce:

1 cup seedless blackberry jam

1/4 cup orange juice

Lemon, for juice

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 cup Creme de Cassis

For bread: Place all ingredients (except white-chocolate chips) in the pan of the bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select cycle and press Start. If your machine has a fruit setting, add the white-chocolate chips at the signal, or about 5 minutes before the kneading cycle has finished.

Cut the bread into 6 slices and trim the edges.

For French toast: Combine eggs, half-and-half, vanilla, sugar and nutmeg. Soak the white-chocolate bread for about 5 minutes per side.

In a pan, brown toasts lightly on each side and place on a baking sheet lined with silicone. Finish in 350-degree oven for about 20 minutes.

For sauce: Put seedless blackberry jam in small pan; add orange juice, a few squeezes of lemon and cinnamon. Heat, stirring with whisk until smooth. When cool, add Cr�me de Cassis.

Serve toast over sauce.

Makes 6 servings.

Cinnamon Poached Pears on Creme Anglaise and Chocolate Sauce

For pears:

4 pears

2 quarts water

1 cup sugar

3 cinnamon sticks

For Creme Anglaise sauce:

1/2 quart milk

3 ounces sugar

6 egg yolks

1 vanilla bean

For chocolate sauce:

1/2 cup chocolate chips

2 tablespoons butter

Peel pears. Combine with other ingredients in large saucepan and heat to boiling. Lower to simmer and cook pears, stirring often, until just tender to the touch, about 20 minutes.

Cool pears and remove from liquid.

For Creme Anglaise sauce: Combine milk and vanilla bean in saucepan; bring to a simmer. While the milk is heating, whisk the egg yolks and sugar in a small bowl until pale yellow.

Remove the vanilla bean from the milk, and temper a little warm milk into the egg mixture, slowly pouring all the yolk mixture into the warm milk.

Simmer the mixture, stirring the entire time, being careful not to let the milk curdle. Don't let the mixture boil.

Strain the sauce, making sure to keep the flecks of vanilla with the sauce.

Cool the mixture.

For chocolate sauce: Combine chocolate chips with butter in small bowl. Heat slowly in microwave at 10-second intervals, until shiny.

Arrange pears topped with chocolate sauce over Cr�me Anglaise.
Raspberry Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 1/4 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature.

3/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 large eggs

2 cups raspberry chocolate chips (See note.)

1 cup chopped almonds, pecans or walnuts

Preheat oven to 375 degrees — 350 if using a convection oven.

Sift flour, baking soda and salt into small bowl.

Beat butter in mixer until creamy. Add sugars and vanilla. Add eggs.

Slowly add flour mixture and combine well. Add the chocolate chips and nuts.

Drop by teaspoons (tablespoons if you have cookie fanatics in the house) onto silicone-lined baking sheets. A flatter cookie will be crunchier; a higher cookie will yield a softer texture.

Makes a full jar of cookies.
Note: Raspberry chocolate chips are available through Dutch Valley Foods, Shady Maple Farm Market and Kauffman's on Route 340.

Hazelnut Chocolate Turnovers

1 package frozen puff pastry, thawed

1 (13-ounce) jar chocolate-hazelnut spread

1/2 cup toasted hazelnuts

1/3 cup chopped dates

1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Egg and water, for egg wash

2 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Unfold pastry sheet and cut into 9 (4-inch) squares. Spread with about 1 tablespoon hazelnut spread, then top with the dates, chips and nuts.

Fold in half and crimp edges with a crimping tool or fork. Mix egg and water together in small bowl, and brush on top of turnovers. Place in refrigerator for 10 minutes.

Bake for about 15 minutes, or until nicely browned.

Melt remaining chocolate and butter in microwave at 30-second intervals, until it is shiny and smooth — you may need to adjust by adding more butter.

Place the chocolate mixture into a piping bag and decorate the top of the turnovers.

Chocolate-Covered Romance Weekend, sponsored by The Artist's Inn & Gallery, Sheep Hill Bed & Breakfast and Harvest Moon Bed & Breakfast
WHEN: Friday and Saturday
DETAILS: A sampling of chocolate from Wilbur Chocolate Co., Cafe Chocolate and Godiva will begin at 7 p.m. Friday at The Artist's Inn, 117 E. Main St., Terre Hill. Selina Man, of Cafe Chocolate, Lititz, will present "Debunking the Myths of Chocolate." A van tour of area chocolate-makers will leave from The Artist's Inn at 10:30 a.m. Saturday. Featured are English Village Candies, 60-D W. Church St., Denver; Wilbur Chocolate Museum and Store, 48 N. Broad St., Lititz; and Spence Candies, 558 E. High St., Elizabethtown. A chocolate-inspired dinner will follow at Carr's Restaurant, 50 W. Grant St., Lancaster. Inn guests will also be provided breakfast.
COST: $125, which covers all chocolate tasting, transportation and dinner
CONTACT: Jan Garrabrandt, of The Artist's Inn, or (888) 999-4479;

CONTACT US: or 291-8756