Father’s Day- Beer and Chocolate Pairing Menu

With Father’s Day rapidly approaching (next Sunday!) I wanted to dedicate this post to my own father. My dad has been a huge supporter of my entrepreneurial efforts, and helped me immensely pre and post launch of my chocolate business. He assisted with everything from artistic design work to financial projection algorithms, and of course was my most honest and astute taste tester! One day, when I was still in the early planning phase of my business, he took me to an upscale chocolate boutique on Madison avenue here in New York City. He bought us an assortment of wildly inventive truffles and we left the shop to find a place to consume the chocolates. Suddenly, the rain started pouring down, and we had to duck into a phone booth. We decided to enjoy the truffles while we were stuck hiding out from the rain, and with his pocket knife he split them each in half. We savored such flavors as curry and paprika infused chocolate, and it inspired me to be wilder and more inventive with my own flavors.

Anyway, I’ve curated a beer and chocolate pairing menu that would be a delicious and elegant way to show your own father just how much you care this upcoming Father’s Day.


Beer and Chocolate Pairing Menu 

Appetizer Course

Milk Chocolate Covered Bacon & Amber Ale

The maple notes in an amber ale will bring out the bacons natural sweetness. Amber ales have a malt quality which compliments milk chocolate well. This lighter beer is a good balance for the chocolate and bacon, as a darker beer would likely overwhelm the palate.

Main Course

Slow Cooker Chicken Mole & India Pale Ale

The assertive spices and dark chocolate in chicken mole need a beer that won’t be bossed around, thus the highly hoppy IPA is a natural choice to enhance the spice of a mole and won’t get drowned out by the chocolate infused sauce.

Dessert Course

Flourless Chocolate Cake & Irish Stout

This Epicurious recipe is impressive, decadent and only requires 5 ingredients! It pairs well with an Irish stout beer, because the dark chocolate compliments a stout’s roasted flavor. Additionally, a stout’s light and creamy notes are the perfect balance for a cake as dense and rich as this one.




Truffles by Coquette

Milk Chocolate Covered Bacon Recipe

This is an unapologetically gluttonous recipe, and there is not much redeemable nutritional value, but it is so mouthwateringly addictive that you won’t much care about that.

Milk Chocolate Dipped Bacon


1 lb bacon strips

16 oz. high quality milk chocolate


Step 1: Pre-heat oven to 400 F. Meanwhile, line a sheet pan with aluminum foil and arrange bacon on it. Bake bacon until crisp (about 20 minutes).

Step 2: Let bacon drain on paper towels and slice them into 2 inch bite size pieces. Insert a tooth pick into each piece.

Step 3: Melt milk chocolate in the microwave at 30 second intervals at 50% power, stirring in between each interval, until thoroughly melted. Line a sheet pan with wax paper.

Step 4: Immediately dip bacon into melted chocolate to coat completely, and then place on the wax paper lined pan. Once all of the bacon is luxuriously coated, let harden in the fridge before serving.




Truffles by Coquette

Chocolate Covered Pomegranate Seeds Recipe

All food tells a story and has a unique history that is tailored to generations, cultures and individuals. Food has a story that is constantly being revised, and I’m fascinated with viewing the history of my own life through the lens of food. The first time you eat a certain food it will leave an indelible impression in you, because you will from then on (consciously or unconsciously) associate that food with the environment in which it was first consumed. The broader history of food has been shaped by religions, history and mythology, and through these avenues many foods become a metaphor for other things in life.

Pomegranate seeds in particular have a strong mythological history. Hades, god of the underworld fell in love with Persephone, who was a goddess of vegetation. Persephone was abducted into the underworld with Hades, and she was not supposed to eat or drink anything. She was tricked into eating pomegranate seeds, and because of this act she would forever be forced to return to the underworld for a few months out of the year. While she is in the underworld every year, her despair leaves the earth barren of vegetation, and thus the winter months do not produce abundant crops. In this story pomegranate seeds create a metaphor for temptation- they are a symbol of what should be resisted. Tart, lusciously sweet pomegranate seeds are a perfect choice for this symbolism. They are ruby red little gems that are extremely hard to resist, so why fight it? Spend a little time in the underworld and indulge your desires with this recipe for Dark Chocolate Pomegranate Seeds.

Dark Chocolate Pomegranate Seeds 


2/3 cup fresh pomegranate seeds

8 oz. high quality dark chocolate (at least 70% cacao)


Step 1: Slice pomegranates in half and deseed.

Step 2: Melt dark chocolate in a microwave safe bowl in the microwave at 30 second intervals, using only 50% power. Between each interval stir chocolate thoroughly, to ensure even heating. Meanwhile, line a sheet pan with wax paper.

Step 3: Once chocolate is thoroughly melted, coat seeds in the chocolate and place on the wax paper. It is easiest to toss a small palmful of seeds into the bowl of melted chocolate and roll them around until coated. Let seeds harden the fridge. Enjoy!



Truffles by Coquette

Birthday Wishes Cupcake Tree

The next time you are celebrating the birthday of a loved one and want to make something extra special and personalized for them, this is a great project.

Birthday Wishes Cupcake Tree 

Step 1. Bake a dozen cupcakes

Step 2: Frost cupcakes and insert a candle into each.

Step 3: Arrange cupcakes on a cupcake stand.

Step 4: Adorn each cupcake with a Birthday Wish Note or Animal Speech Bubbles [Instructions below]

Birthday Wish Notes

Step 1: Cut out pieces of sturdy paper into the size of fortunes from a fortune cookie. You need one for each cupcake you have.

Step 2: On each slip of paper write a note to the birthday boy/girl, a wish for them or something you love about them.

Step 3: Next you want to laminate the notes. Lay a piece of tape (clear, 2″ packaging tape works well) sticky side up on the table in front of you. Place the birthday note on it, then place another piece of tape on top of it, sticky side down.

Step 4: Cut around the note leaving a small margin where the note ends and the tape begins, to ensure it stays laminated.

Step 5: Next, with a miniature hole puncher, punch out a hole on the upper left corner of the note.

Step 6: Cut a piece of thin (1/8-1/4″ works well) ribbon so that it is 6 inches long. Thread the ribbon through the hole. Repeat steps 1-6 until you have enough notes for each cupcake.

Step 7: Use each ribbon to tie the note around the base of each cupcake, or simply tie the ribbon into a bow and stick the fortune into the cupcake itself.

A more playful and child friendly alternative to the birthday wish notes are:


Animal Speech Bubbles

(follow steps for Birthday Cupcake Tree and decorate cupcakes as follows)

Step 1: Insert an animal cupcake topper into each cupcake. You can buy these at party stores like Party City or at Target, and also online at various places.

Step 2: Cut out speech bubbles from a sturdy piece of paper.

Step 3: Write a message on each bubble.

Step 4: Tape the message to the animal cupcake topper so it appears the speech bubble is coming out of their mouth.

Your loved ones will be so delighted to be presented with this extra special, personalized tower of cupcakes, instead of a boring old cake!



Truffles by Coquette

The History of the Birthday Cake

I recently celebrated my 28th birthday, and baked my own cake. It was simply one layer of golden cake, lavished with thick chocolate frosting. It wasn’t anything too fancy. I almost wasn’t going to have a cake at all, but at the last minute realized I couldn’t have a proper birthday without a cake and candles. I hope I will never get so old that I forget the magic and importance of a birthday cake. I made a wish for each candle I blew out, and then went around the room and designated a candle to each of my loved ones and had them wish for something they wanted for me in the next year of my life.

Here is a photo of me on my 5th birthday, inspecting the quality of the chocolate cake my parents served me:


The tradition of placing candles in a birthday cake likely commenced with the Greeks. They used candles to represent the glow of the moon, and would bring the cake to a temple to pay homage to the goddess Artemis (the Hellenic goddess of childbirth and the wilderness, amongst other things). The Greeks would say their prayers to the lit candles and when the candles were blown out they believed the smoke rising into the sky would carry their prayers up to the gods.

Now while the Greeks started this magical practice of placing candles in the cake, the introduction of the birthday cake itself is credited to the Germans, sometime around the 15th century. Back then, it was hardly any different structurally than bread, except that cake had honey added for sweetness. The cakes were flat, one layer and simple. My, how the birthday cake has evolved! Today we can transfer photographs onto icing, make moving parts and in 2011 three Canadian bakers (Yoshi’s Sweets, Cake Star, and The Guy Who Bakes) set the world record for most layers in a cake, after baking a 255 layer masterpiece!

Stay tuned for my next post, which will be a How-To Guide for creating an extremely thoughtful and personalized Birthday Wishes Cupcake Tree!

Anyway, to all the Pisces out there celebrating this month, I hope your wishes travel up through the smoke of your birthday candles into the sky and reaches the gods.



Truffles by Coquette

To Market, To Market!

I made my foray into the world of New York City markets on Saturday, February 9th with the Greenpointers Valentine’s Market. I lugged dozens of truffle boxes as delicately as I could through Nemo’s slushy aftermath, and went deli to deli trying to get change for my cashbox. When I finally got everything set up at the event, which was held at From the Source, I felt much calmer. From the Source was a wonderland of stunning wood furnishings, and when I have my own house one day I want to commission them to build me an apothecary style cabinet to store all of my herbs, spices and love potions in!

Here is my table before the swarm of love birds arrived:


My friend Victoria helped me all day, and was a great truffle model, salesperson and generally just was great company to talk to in between the rushes of customers. I’m so lucky to have such an amazing friend who was willing to trek out (post snow storm, mind you!) on her day off from work to help me sell truffles. We sold a ton of boxes and met so many interesting people, including a sweet woman who writes this amazing blog: www.marketsofnewyork.com. It’s a great resource for any New Yorker, and fascinating to read about all of the artisan, farm and food entrepreneurs she meets.

If you missed me at the Greenpointer’s market, you can catch Coquette at these upcoming markets below. I will be giving out samples of my classic flavors as well as some exciting new creations that I’ve been working on!


Entrepreneur’s Space Anniversary 

This should be an amazing evening with tons of delicious treats to sample from dozens of food entrepreneurs.

Wednesday March 6 2013, 6pm-8pm

36-46 37 street, Long Island City, NY 11101

RSVP here.


Queens Traveling Market 

Set in a 19th century carriage house turned art space, this pop up market will have over a dozen craft and food vendors and a photography exhibit by Jesse Winter showing as well!

Saturday March 16, 2013. Noon-5pm

Ten10 Studios, 10-10 47 road, Long Island City, NY 11101


Hope to see you there!



Truffles by Coquette

Prelude to Valentine’s Day

I’ve just launched the new limited edition truffle box for Valentine’s Day: Sweetheart Coquette. This is the first Valentine’s Day of my business, and I couldn’t be more excited! The box is made up of our classic flavors along with three brand new flavors. I also started using edible transfer sheets to decorate some of the truffles, and they turned out such beautifully sharp designs.

I thought I might share the stories behind a couple of the new coquettes. I name all of the truffles after women, some whom I know personally. I aspire to make my confections both complex in flavor and beautiful in appearance, to liken them to a woman’s complexity and depth of beauty. The Berry Truffle is named after an invisible friend I had as a child. She was the ultimate coquette– acted coy with all the imaginary boys, and had a charming lisp. On hot summer days I played in the grass with her and she taught me how to flirt. ‘Rub raspberries on your lips’ she once told me, ‘and it’ll look like lipstick’.

I paired the raspberries with white chocolate so that the bright red tartness could really pop. The sweet white chocolate also serves to balance that tart raspberry flavor. These truffles are adorned with a single pink candy heart, which remind me of the Sweet Tarts I’d get as Valentines when I was a little girl, with phrases like ‘Be Mine‘ written on them. This Valentine’s day it’s my hope that the Berry Truffle invokes a playful & flirtatious spirit in everyone who tastes it!

Another newcomer is the Layla Truffle. It’s name was inspired by a love story which was popularized by the Persian poet Nizami Ganjavi that translates as: Possessed by madness for Layla or The Madman and Layla. It’s a tragic romance that has been likened to Romeo and Juliet. The madman in the tale, Magnun, endures a lifelong unrequited love for Layla, as her father forbids their union and denies his marriage proposal. After this harsh reality check Magnun abandons his society and wanders the desert, reciting poems to himself about his lost love. Before his death he inscribes three last verses of poetry about Layla, and dies near an unknown woman’s gravesite.

Such enduring and persistent love is a constant source of inspiration for me. I chose this pistachio filled truffle to be its namesake since pistachios are a beloved component of Persian cuisine. I think we should all be filled with a little madness when it comes to love, and this nutty truffle illustrates that ideal perfectly!

So this Valentine’s Day I wish romance for all– whether you are trying to entice a new sweetheart into your life, keeping the flames burning on a young love, or re-igniting a passion that’s stood the test of time. This year, let us all love unabashedly!