Our previews of interesting/fun food happenings.
Feb 11, 2011
The Charlie Chaplin gets a makeover—just in time for Valentine's
Western New York is home to so many wonderful bakeries and chocolate shops. What better time to seek out their abilities than Valentine’s Day?
As soon as I saw these handmade Charlie Chaplins in a Facebook update from Delish on Elmwood, I knew I had to check them out. Western New York may be better known for its sponge candy, but Charlie Chaplins are ours too--they are just harder to find.
Like so many edible concoctions, this confection has an undetermined provenance. A few years ago some research led me to a South Bend, Indiana candy company that has been producing “Chocolate Charlie’s” for over eighty years. The trouble is, they only make them from October to December, and their ingredients and texture appear to differ from the version that’s always been available here.
The recipe found most often in these parts results in a big block of dark or milk chocolate full of cashews, coconut and marshmallow. While researching, I came upon several Charlie Chaplin recipes for homecooks, but some called for low-grade chocolate, while others substituted other ingredients. None of them appeared to be nearly as good as our homegrown variety. It seems to me though, that Luci Levere, the pastry chef at Delish, has taken the Charlie Chaplin to an entirely new level.
In her version, dark chocolate encases toasted pecans, window panes of homemade marshmallows (tinted pink for the Valentine’s Day season), and a generous application of toasted flake coconut, bringing this regional favorite out of the last century and into this one, which has been so earnestly marked by the culinary trend of artisanal upgrades on classic recipes. At $2.50 for a sizable wedge, this new and improved Charlie makes for a fun gift or a good treat for yourself.
Other delicious edibles awaiting gifting this weekend are dark chocolate covered handmade marshmallow hearts, Love Bug cookies, and a grand assortment of hand decorated cupcakes, tarts, cakes and cookies. If you are looking for a step above the Whitman’s sampler for the sweetheart (or favorite kid) on your list, Delish may have just what you're looking for.
Delish Cooking School & Pastry Shop
802 Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo