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Chocopologie: Confections & Baked Treats from the Acclaimed Chocolatier

Chocopologie: Confections & Baked Treats from the Acclaimed Chocolatier

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Chocopologie: Confections & Baked Treats from the Acclaimed Chocolatier

348 pages
3 hours
Feb 10, 2015


A celebration of chocolate desserts from award-winning chocolatier Fritz Knipschildt  Rich, smooth, and intensely flavorful, chocolate inspires a passion like no other. In Chocopologie, master chocolatier Fritz Knipschildt takes chocolate to luscious new heights, incorporating it into recipes both classic and new, for ultra-indulgent desserts, heavenly truffles, easy anytime snacks, and so much more. Chocolate for breakfast? Why not! Sprinkled into granola, it’s practically health food. Cocktail hour? Make it doubly wicked with chocolate martinis or spiked hot cocoa. Knipschildt’s artisanal chocolates, sold at gourmet stores across the country, are famous for their playful and innovative flavor combinations, and that playfulness shines in this charming book. In addition to winning recipes for treats, including cookies and bars, cakes, candies, and other sweets, Knipschildt shares fascinating and helpful tips, advice, and information about chocolate, drawn from his personal experience and formal pastry training.
Feb 10, 2015

Despre autor

Danish-born chocolatier Fritz Knipschildt’s fine truffles and other chocolates are sold at high-end retailers around the country, including Whole Foods and Dean & DeLuca. He is the owner of Knipschildt and Chocopologie Chocolatiers and lives in Norwalk, Connecticut.

Legat de Chocopologie

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Chocopologie - Fritz Knipschildt

Copyright © 2015 by Fritz Knipschildt and Mary Goodbody

Photography © 2015 by Signe Birck

All rights reserved.

For information about permission to reproduce selections from this book, write to Permissions, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, 215 Park Avenue South, New York, New York 10003.


Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Knipschildt, Fritz.

     Chocopologie / by Fritz Knipschildt with Mary Goodbody.

     pages cm

ISBN 978-1-118-52352-0 (cloth); 978-0-544-17879-3 (ebk)

1. Chocolate desserts. 2. Cooking (Chocolate)

I. Goodbody, Mary. II. Title.

   TX767.C5K586 2014



Print book design by Laura Palese

Digital book design by Jessica Arnold


Making chocolates for a living is hard work. It sounds wonderful, and it is, but to produce some of the best truffles, bonbons, and other chocolate treats on the planet requires constant vigilance. Writing this book drew on much of the same discipline and talent—and it was not a solo effort. I have many to thank.

First, I want to thank my small, tight-knit family in Denmark. My mother and father, Inger-lise Hoyer and Tito Knipschildt, as well as my two sisters, Charlotte and Jeanett. They have always believed in me and their support has seen me through so much. Jeanett, who is a brilliant graphic designer, helped me with early designs for Chocopologie and Knipschildt Chocolates packaging and logos, and continues to consult with me today, whenever and wherever I need her. I also want to thank my brother-in-law, Lars H. Joergensen, for branding support.

Thanks to my editor at HMH, Stephanie Fletcher, for seeing the book to publication. I also am grateful to my agent, Doe Coover, and my cowriter, Mary Goodbody, for their always professional and cheerful help.

A big thanks to Signe Birck for her stunning photographs. She caught the essence of the food and my style perfectly. Thanks, too, to the chefs and chocolate team who helped me test recipes and then prepare the food for the camera.

And finally, thank you to my loyal customers who make Chocopologie and Knipschildt Chocolates a reality.

As the editor of Chocolatier magazine for many years, I had the opportunity to taste chocolates and confections from a variety of new companies and artisans just about every day. Despite this, I can still vividly recall the day a box of Knipschildt chocolates arrived on my desk. I couldn’t pronounce the name, but when I opened that handsome paper box, my interest was certainly aroused. The glossy chocolates looked and smelled as if they had been made that morning, and each variety sounded fresh and exciting. Caramel Sea Salt? Yes, please. Raspberry Black Pepper? Ooh, why not? These flavors might sound commonplace today, but twelve years ago they were thrillingly original. America was at the dawn of a great artisanal chocolate awakening, and Fritz Knipschildt was right there, conjuring up creative flavor combinations and presenting them uniquely and elegantly.

I’ve always been struck by Fritz’s enthusiasm for chocolate making. He gets quite excited when he’s talking about his latest venture (and, with his strong Danish accent, it’s not always easy to grasp every word he says. But his passion is unmistakable). He’s a true chocolatier who relies on his instincts as a chef to know how far he can push the bounds of creativity to make chocolates with innovative, harmonious flavors.

A few years ago, Fritz competed against Bobby Flay in an episode of the Food Network show Throwdown featuring chocolate, and I happened to be one of the judges. Fritz approached the culinary battle with the same seriousness and fervor he brings to his business every day. It was a real pleasure to see him in action: his quick, precise movements and purposeful demeanor working toward his final vision of an elaborate chocolate showpiece. Needless to say, Fritz won the throwdown that day, as well as my lifelong respect and admiration.

The recipes in this book are a reflection of this dedication and passion for chocolate. They are accessible and fun, designed specifically for the home cook, so the process of making them is bound to give you almost as much pleasure as eating the results. Still, if you haven’t yet had the experience of tasting a Knipschildt or Chocopologie chocolate, make it a point to seek out a box and decide which flavor you like best. For me, it’s still that Caramel Sea Salt.

—Tish Boyle, author, The Cake Book

my story

it wasn’t until i was sixteen years old and apprenticing in a local restaurant that I tasted good chocolate. I bit into a piece of Valrhona, the famed French brand, and although I didn’t know it at the time, my life’s course was set.

What I did know was that this morsel was beyond good. The premium chocolate was nothing like the overly sweet and crumbly chocolate bars we snacked on after school or at football games. Dark and fruity with a smooth, almost elusive texture, this chocolate melted in your mouth even as it stood up to your taste buds.

Good chocolate appeals to all the senses and if the brand you are eating or cooking with does not excite your taste, smell, touch, sight, and even hearing, switch brands. Taste and smell are obvious; the chocolate should also feel firm and supple, look glossy and smooth, and emit a pleasing snap when you break it or bite into it.

No one was surprised when I decided to devote my career to chocolate. I was trained to cook savory food, not pastries and desserts, but my attraction to chocolate endured. My training allowed me to come up with crazy flavor combinations such as chocolate with strawberries and lemon thyme, chocolate with raspberries and black pepper, chocolate with apricot and basil, and chocolate with apples and rosemary. And I was pairing chocolate with caramel and sea salt at the turn of this century, a combination that remains among my very favorites.

This book offers me another avenue to share what I love. In Danish or in English, books have always inspired me. When I was developing my repertoire, there wasn’t a cookbook I wouldn’t save up for. I hope Chocopologie inspires you to bake (and eat) chocolate desserts and snacks and—most importantly—to have fun!

early days

I spent about two years planning the launch of Knipschildt Chocolates. Although I was broke, I experimented with chocolates, flavorings, and techniques whenever I could, working in my cramped apartment kitchen in Norwalk, Connecticut. It wasn’t the greatest part of town, but I had access to varied and high-end ingredients and I poured everything I earned at my chef jobs into my future business.

Because I spent all my money on the finest-quality ingredients for truffles and other bonbons, my personal pantry was pathetic. When I wasn’t working, I lived on rice doused with soy sauce and cans of supermarket tuna fish. (Fortunately, I am a trained chef, so I was able to make surprisingly edible tuna cakes—although I never want to taste them again!)

Finally, in 2000, I was ready to debut my chocolates. I rented a somewhat dilapidated commercial kitchen in Norwalk and began production. I spent Sunday afternoons covering craft boxes with exquisite paper I bought from Kate’s Paperie in New York’s SoHo. I felt, and still feel, that my chocolates deserved to be packed in gorgeous containers.

Boxes decorated, I packed them carefully with the fragile chocolates and then loaded the boxes in the trunk of my rusted 1978 Ford Fairmont. Monday mornings found me making the rounds of all the small shops and markets in upscale Fairfield County, Connecticut.

My first order was for twenty-five boxes from The Good Food Store in tony Darien. Apparently, one of the shop’s customers bought a box as a gift for Giorgio DeLuca of Dean and DeLuca, the premier gourmet food store. I arrived home one day to a message from Giorgio on my answering machine (remember answering machines?). I called him back, but I was so excited and nervous that I hung up the minute I heard his voice on his answering machine. I took a walk, breathed deeply, gave myself a pep talk, and tried again, this time leaving a coherent message. He was impressed with the chocolates and wanted to order them for his store. To this day, Dean and DeLuca carries Knipschildt Chocolates at all its locations across the country, and other retailers have followed suit.

my scandinavian roots

Although I wasn’t born here, I love living and working in the United States. America is the place for forward thinking and as I am always looking forward in my business, it’s a perfect fit. I also appreciate the size of this country and its appetite for chocolate. Americans happily embrace the new and exciting. Chocolate may not be new, but it’s always exciting.

I come from Odense, a small Danish city that lays claim to Hans Christian Andersen, who wrote The Little Mermaid, Thumbelina, and The Ugly Duckling, among other children’s favorites. It was a happy place to be a child, but I was eager to grow up, especially once I started working in restaurants. I must have been thirteen or fourteen when I went to work one day to cover for my older sister at her restaurant job. I instantly fell head over heels in love with restaurant life, from the smell of food cooking to the crazy chefs cooking it.

Later, I spent years training in some of the finest restaurants in Europe, primarily in Denmark, France, and Spain. I was in my element, surrounded by great food and dedicated chefs. My enthusiasm for food and gastronomy grew by leaps and bounds during these busy years.

For example, when I apprenticed in Odense at Restaurant Naesbyhoved Skov, I not only eagerly joined every cooking competition I could, but quickly found myself selected by the chefs I worked for to participate, even as a first-year apprentice. I went on to nail-biting national competitions for young chefs. These were fun, instructive, challenging, and, even for a young guy, exhausting.

I also hoarded my days off. Once I had accrued enough, I took time off to go to France or Spain to work in another restaurant. For free. I couldn’t get enough of kitchens and restaurants and food, food, food. I immersed myself completely in this passion for food and cooking and became an accomplished chef along the way. I believe that’s the only way to get along in this industry: work crazy hours and never stop. I still work 24/7, and rarely take a day off.

coming to america

After years of training, I decided to take the plunge and boarded a plane for the United States. It was exhilarating, but it was also terribly hard. I wanted to strike out on my own and, like any young man, was ready for adventure. I am not alone; at any given time, any number of European chefs have their eye on New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, and so on, with a plan to emigrate. I am no different. This does not mean it’s easy being so far away from family, friends, and familiar places.

My first trip to the United States was tough. My Danish girlfriend at the time and I arrived here in the mid-1990s and, although in some ways we felt immediately at home, we missed our families. Every day I woke up yearning to go home, but I was stuck, so to speak, because the status of my visa dictated travel even more surely than my sorry bank account. I’ve met a lot of immigrants since those days and it’s always the same story. Our lives are governed by our visas or green cards. And so we work. And work and work—and if we’re lucky, as I was, the work sustains us, inspires us, and puts us on the right path. Still, I wasn’t able to leave the country when my sister had her first baby and didn’t meet my nephew until he was eighteen months old. Because I am so close to my family, this was particularly hard.

The first time I came to the United States, I arrived in New York with four and a half years of intense European training under my belt and landed a job as a private chef in Greenwich, Connecticut. I am grateful that I discovered this small New England state because later, when I launched my own business, I chose Connecticut over New York for its proximity to the city, somewhat slower pace, and more reasonable rents.

As I discovered, working as a private chef is a good way to experiment with your own recipes and to learn about a new country. While there are any number of similarities between Scandinavia and this country, I had to learn to navigate the gigantic supermarkets and other shops and decipher how ingredients differed—and how they were the same. I also got to cook in a magnificently large kitchen.

When my visa expired I found myself heading east back across the Atlantic. Once I got home, I was struck by how jaded many Europeans were and longed to return to the United States, where people seemed genuinely excited about food and cooking. I spent the next few years traveling, cooking, learning, and, I can’t deny it, plotting my return to America.

However, as it turned out, I was in Denmark during the very early days of the Scandinavian culinary renaissance that now is in full bloom, a coincidence for which I am grateful. It’s not that Europeans are jaded, I decided. It’s just that it has been a while since they have experienced anything really new, so their default belief is that everything they eat and produce is the best. On the other hand, Americans have a wondrous propensity for thinking everything is new and fresh (even when this is not necessarily true).

Before I left the States, I had moved on from the private

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