Chocolate is, no question, one of the most coveted after-meal treats — whether it be a single sensuous bite of fine dark chocolate, or a handful slowly melted into a rich and heady cocoa or, better yet, impressively transformed into an elegant dessert. But how often have you savored chocolate as a center point for your main meal — breakfast, in particular? Chef owner Barbara Passino of Oak Knoll Inn in beautiful Napa Valley, California and author of the gorgeous chocolate-filled cookbook Chocolate for Breakfast has turned her life-long passion for chocolate into an advantageous opportunity for you to enjoy chocolate in the morning — or for any meal of the day.
Chocolate for Breakfast recipes
The thought of starting your day with chocolate gives you delicious reason to rise in the morning. If you have the chance to visit Passino’s Oak Knoll Inn, you will be treated to her gastronomic creations, including breakfasts featuring one of the world’s most loved sweets — chocolate. Until then, try one of the following chocolate recipes for your morning meal.
Passino features this colorful fruity dish as a starter course for a substantial Mexican-inspired breakfast that includes Chile Unrellenos with Jicama Slaw and Black Velvet Beans. (Be warned: One bite of this recipe’s juicy fruit and crispy chocolate may be enough to convince you to forgo the rest of the meal!)
Chocolate tortilla ingredients:
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 egg whites
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup skim milk
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
Fresh fruit filling ingredients:
2 pints strawberries, hulled, sliced (grind a little black pepper on top)
1 cup raspberries
1 cup blackberries
1/2 cup blueberries
1 mango, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 kiwi, peeled, sliced
1 banana, peeled, sliced just before serving to prevent browning
1/2 pint sorbet (use a flavor of one of the fruits)
8 mint sprigs
8 edible flowers
1. To make the batter, place all chocolate tortilla ingredients in a mixing bowl and beat until smooth with an electric mixer. Cover the batter and place it in the refrigerator to chill for at least 2 hours or overnight.
2. To make the tortillas, remove the batter from the refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature, 20 to 30 minutes. Heat a small skillet or crepe pan over low heat. Pour in a little less than 1/4-cup batter and tilt pan quickly to spread batter into a 6-inch circle. Once the edges look dry, 2 to 3 minutes, loosen the edges with a knife and turn over the tortilla. Cook for another minute or two.
3. To shape tortilla, lift the tortilla out of pan with a knife or spatula and quickly drape it over a rolling pin. It will become firm and crisp as it cools. If the tortilla doesn’t firm up, it means it isn’t thoroughly done, so cook it a bit longer.
4. To make the fruit filling, gently mix berries in a bowl. Keep remaining fruit separate until assembling or they’ll pick up color from the berries. To serve, place a tortilla on a serving plate and generously fill it with berries, then tuck in the mango, kiwi and bananas. Add a scoop of sorbet and garnish with mint and an edible flower.