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Technique: Cacao Atlanta Chocolate Co. owner Kristen Hard on how to temper chocolate

Dip a marshmallow, a pretzel, or even a graham cracker into a bath of melted chocolate, and suddenly, the mundane becomes magical. But here’s the catch: If you’re using fine, unadulterated chocolate—as opposed to artificially flavored coatings fortified with vegetable oils—you must temper it first.

On the table: The latest stuff to eat and drink in Atlanta

Cacao's new Westside factory, Many Fold Farm's award-winning cheese, and more bite-sized dining news

Chocolate Oat Bars

Backstory: I debated between taking oatmeal cookies or brownies to a potluck where both kids and grown-ups would be present. Then I stumbled across this recipe in the Best Loved and Brand New Joy of Cooking 75th Anniversary edition, which combines the best of both.  An oatmeal cookie dough forms the crust for these bar cookies, which is then topped with a thick layer of fudgy frosting.  Then you drop dollops of the remaining dough on top, which forms a crunchy, cobbled surface when baked. What’s not to love? – Susan Puckett

Sipping chocolate: Hot cocoa for grown-ups

As children we found comfort in cups of Swiss Miss hot cocoa and those dinky mini-marshmallows. But the grown-up equivalent is hot chocolate—more accurately called “sipping chocolate.”

Dot Hill’s Chocolate Pie

Even though she was famous for making this chocolate meringue pie, Dot Hill always credited her mother, Etta Campbell, with the recipe.

Rocky Road Panna Cotta

From Thomas Numprasong, Canoe

The Bean Stalker

Today, Hard is the owner of Cacao Atlanta Chocolate Co., a cozy Inman Park boutique with a one-room production facility where she and her small staff produce the most exquisite chocolate in the Southeast. This is indulgence on an intense new level, painstakingly crafted in ways that few artisans in the country even attempt. But craftsmanship, as Hard has learned, isn’t enough.

Chocolate Croissant Bread Pudding

From Second Helpings by Johnnie Gabriel, from Tom McEachern, Thomas Nelson

Chocolate Black Walnut Pound Cake

From "Bill Neal’s Southern Cooking" by Bill Neal

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