JOHN KELLY CHOCOLATES

image courtesy of John Kelly Chocolates

image courtesy of John Kelly Chocolates

Frankly, I'm still recovering from the kids' tropical rager on Sunday. All I want to do is lay on the couch with the world's largest box of John Kelly Chocolates. Handmade at the their flagship Hollywood location, John Kelly uses only the finest natural ingredients for their confections. The two gentlemen who founded the company, (John & Kelly) opened their first shop and small chocolate factory on Sierra Bonita, off of Sunset Blvd., in 2004. They now have a second location in Santa Monica, on Montana Ave. I recently stopped by their Westside haunt to snap some pics and pick up some of my favorite chocolates.

Their signature peanut butter fudge, enrobed in Belgian chocolate and topped with pink Himalayan sea salt.

Great gift idea!

You can custom make a box or grab some of their greatest hits off of the shelves. The Walnut Caramel Clusters with Mediterranean Sea Salt are WINNERS.

A wall of chocolate and salt. My two faves.

More beauties from the case.

Father's Day is around the corner too, so if Dad is a chocolate lover, he will dig this! xx

---

John Kelly is located at:

1508 Sierra Bonita Ave., Hollywood

AND

1111 1/2 Montana Ave., Santa Monica

 

THE COOLEST CAKES ON INSTAGRAM

I feel like there is the most amazing cake renaissance happening right now. Some cake makers are really taking it to the next level and creating the most daring, artful masterpieces I have ever seen. I also love that the more natural, less junky cake is also taking a front seat in the "cake scene." Here are some of my favorites, currently on Instagram, for your viewing pleasure.

@nectarandstone

@laelcakes

@matchboxkitchen

@andybowdy

@whiskandwhittle

@largemargecooks

@bluebellscakery

@sweetnsaucyshop

@jennaraecakes

@sweetbakes_

@tome____

---

Inspiring stuff! xx

SALTED PRALINE + DARK CHOCOLATE MATZO

It feels as though it has taken me lifetimes to come up with a fabulous matzo treat recipe. I finally think I have a winner. This was a hit with my family and I have to admit I have a bit of an addiction to it now. I always strive to make things a little less junky and higher quality than what you can find at even a high-end store. I ended up going back to one of my old staples - butter and maple syrup, as the base of my almond praline. Lightly baking the matzo really makes for a perfect crunch. Add on some good dark chocolate and sea salt and I'm hooked!

Ingredients:

4 Sheets of Matzo (I used gluten-free)

3/4 Cup Maple Syrup

1/2 (1 stick) butter

1/2 Cup Sliced Almonds

1 Teaspoon of Vanilla

1 - 3.5 Oz. Bar of Dark Chocolate (I like 70% so it's not too sweet)

1 Tablespoon Sea Salt

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. Lay the four sheets of matzo out on the paper. Don't worry if it breaks, We'll be breaking it up later anyway. Place in the oven for 10 minutes, until a light golden brown, and then put aside.

Place butter, maple syrup and a pinch of salt in a saucepan on medium-low heat. Allow to melt, stirring occasionally as to not let it burn.

Bring mixture to a gentle boil, stirring more and more. Allow it to simmer and thicken for 5 minutes, stirring almost constantly.

Add vanilla and almonds. Allow to bubble and simmer for another 5 minutes. Lower heat as needed. Stir almost constantly so it never burns. Remove from heat. Allow to cool for 5 - 10 minutes. Once it cools slightly, it will have a nice caramel consistency.

Distribute the praline evenly to each of the four crackers. Spread it out GENTLY to cover the majority of the matzo surface. Allow to set for at least ten minutes. Even better if you can stick it in the fridge.

Break your chocolate bar into large pieces and place in a small saucepan on low heat, stirring constantly, until it is melted. Using a spoon, drizzle the chocolate over all of the matzo. Do this however you like, making your own modern art. Once you have all of the chocolate on the matzo. Place immediately in the fridge. Cool for 10 minutes.

Remove from fridge. Sprinkle sea salt evenly over the matzo. Use as much or as little salt to your personal taste. Place back in the fridge and chill until the chocolate has hardened completely (at least 1 hour).

Break into large pieces and serve! Happy Passover! xx