Review of Café Fleuri’s Chocolate Bar Brunch at the Langham, Boston

Review of Café Fleuri's Chocolate Bar Brunch at the Langham, Boston  |  Lemon & Mocha

You are on the edge of your seat waving your hand so furiously to ask a question right now that you are almost falling out of your chair, so I will cut right to the chase and answer that question you all have at the tip of your tongue. Yes, this is a brunch where everything is chocolate. Milk chocolate, white chocolate, dark chocolate.

Review of Café Fleuri's Chocolate Bar Brunch at the Langham, Boston  |  Lemon & Mocha

Chocolate cakes, chocolate mousses, chocolate ice cream. Prepared chocolate sweets and made-to-order chocolate treats.

Review of Café Fleuri's Chocolate Bar Brunch at the Langham, Boston  |  Lemon & Mocha

Oh, and a four foot tall heavenly tower continuously gushing molten chocolate. Also known as a chocolate fountain. This, my chocolate crazed friends, is Café Fleuri’s Chocolate Bar brunch at the Langham Hotel, Boston. You walk into the swanky Langham Hotel in downtown Boston and head upstairs. There is a traditional brunch menu available, but all you can think about is the Chocolate Bar buffet brunch.

Review of Café Fleuri's Chocolate Bar Brunch at the Langham, Boston  |  Lemon & Mocha

Yes, buffet. As in you can eat til you can’t eat no more, and then some. The live jazz trio starts playing the song from Willy Wonka when the kids walk into the candy paradise and you ask your table mates to check your pulse to make sure you’re still alive.

Review of Café Fleuri's Chocolate Bar Brunch at the Langham, Boston  |  Lemon & Mocha

Without even feeling your feet moving, (maybe you’re gliding?), you come upon a scene you’re sure you dreamt about once, twice or a hundred times. Four large three-tiered tables are filled with individual chocolate-packed plated desserts.

Review of Café Fleuri's Chocolate Bar Brunch at the Langham, Boston  |  Lemon & Mocha

Every table has different treats and each one looks like a pastry chef spent several hours making it look spectacular. In the far corner you see a server scooping out ice cream and topping it with gooey hot fudge.

Review of Café Fleuri's Chocolate Bar Brunch at the Langham, Boston  |  Lemon & Mocha

Another server works the made-to-order crepe station, expertly stuffing the thin pancakes with fresh fruit before smothering in crème anglaise and homemade whipped cream.

Review of Café Fleuri's Chocolate Bar Brunch at the Langham, Boston  |  Lemon & Mocha

Review of Café Fleuri's Chocolate Bar Brunch at the Langham, Boston  |  Lemon & Mocha

Review of Café Fleuri's Chocolate Bar Brunch at the Langham, Boston  |  Lemon & Mocha

Review of Café Fleuri's Chocolate Bar Brunch at the Langham, Boston  |  Lemon & Mocha

Something catches your eye and your turn to see a towering never-ending flow of chocolate that makes you weak in the knees.

Review of Café Fleuri's Chocolate Bar Brunch at the Langham, Boston  |  Lemon & Mocha

Matt and I ate at the Chocolate Bar this past weekend and as I’m sure you have already presumed, we thoroughly enjoyed it. We made sure we went in with a game plan of not getting more than one of any single item between the two of us and only having a few bites each so we could enjoy as many different chocolate desserts as possible.

Review of Café Fleuri's Chocolate Bar Brunch at the Langham, Boston  |  Lemon & Mocha

Review of Café Fleuri's Chocolate Bar Brunch at the Langham, Boston  |  Lemon & Mocha

This worked out really well because most of the treats are small. Just when you think you’ve had too much chocolate, there’s a huge bowl of popcorn and addictive salted homemade potato chips to balance out all the sweetness. The servers are continually re-stocking so there’s never a shortage of treats.

Review of Café Fleuri's Chocolate Bar Brunch at the Langham, Boston  |  Lemon & Mocha

Was everything amazing? No, but between the large percentage of really great desserts and just the sheer volume of items offered we both felt it was completely worth going back. The cakes were where they seem to fall a little short, although I’m obsessed with my Perfect Chocolate Cupcakes so I might be a little extra critical. The standouts for me were the crepe station, the homemade pastries, the custards, the chocolate fountain and this salted caramel chocolate bombe.

Review of Café Fleuri's Chocolate Bar Brunch at the Langham, Boston  |  Lemon & Mocha

Oh, and those addictive potato chips. The atmosphere was classy without being stuffy, every employee was sincerely friendly and the live jazz music was a perfect touch. My recommendations would be to avoid being seated in the main room with the chocolate and band if you can as it is a little loud and to focus your stomach capacity on the desserts you really love. Seatings are 11 am to 1:30 pm on Saturdays only, from September through June.

Review of Café Fleuri's Chocolate Bar Brunch at the Langham, Boston  |  Lemon & Mocha

Review of Café Fleuri's Chocolate Bar Brunch at the Langham, Boston  |  Lemon & Mocha

Review of Café Fleuri's Chocolate Bar Brunch at the Langham, Boston  |  Lemon & Mocha

Review of Café Fleuri's Chocolate Bar Brunch at the Langham, Boston  |  Lemon & Mocha

Review of Café Fleuri's Chocolate Bar Brunch at the Langham, Boston  |  Lemon & Mocha

Review of Café Fleuri's Chocolate Bar Brunch at the Langham, Boston  |  Lemon & Mocha

Review of Café Fleuri's Chocolate Bar Brunch at the Langham, Boston  |  Lemon & Mocha

Review of Café Fleuri's Chocolate Bar Brunch at the Langham, Boston  |  Lemon & Mocha

Review of Café Fleuri's Chocolate Bar Brunch at the Langham, Boston  |  Lemon & Mocha

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Frozen Yogurt

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Frozen Yogurt  |  Lemon & Mocha

Happy Valentine’s Day! I have a delicious sweet treat for you today. Chocolate covered strawberry frozen yogurt. Also known as strawberry frozen yogurt with stracciatella. This frozen dessert is bursting with strawberry flavor and since it’s on Lemon & Mocha, it is of course also chocolatefied.

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Frozen Yogurt  |  Lemon & Mocha

Valentine’s Day weekend is always especially meaningful for Matt and I because our anniversary is on the 15th! Tomorrow will mark 7 years since we starting dating, woo-wee! I’m going to keep it short and simple today so my Valentine’s Day present to you all sweet readers is this recipe and a bunch of drool-worthy photos. Enjoy!

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Frozen Yogurt  |  Lemon & MochaChocolate Covered Strawberry Frozen Yogurt  |  Lemon & MochaChocolate Covered Strawberry Frozen Yogurt  |  Lemon & MochaChocolate Covered Strawberry Frozen Yogurt  |  Lemon & Mocha

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Frozen Yogurt
 
Yield: 1 quart

Ingredients
  • 1 pound fresh strawberries, rinsed and hulled
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • 1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • Chocolate covered strawberries, for garnish, optional

Directions
  1. Slice the strawberries then toss in a medium bowl with the sugar. Stir until the sugar begins to dissolve then cover and let sit at room temperature for 1 hour. Stir occasionally.
  2. Using a blender or food processor puree the entire contents of the strawberry bowl, the yogurt and the lemon juice. If you would like to get rid of any seeds push the mixture through a mesh strainer.
  3. Refrigerate the mixture for 1 hour then pour into your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions.
  4. While the mixture is in the ice cream maker, melt the bittersweet chocolate over a double boiler and stir until it’s smooth. Transfer the chocolate into a measuring cup with a pouring spout.
  5. During the last couple minutes of churning in the ice cream maker pour the melted chocolate into the ice cream maker in a thin stream to create the stracciatella swirl.

Notes
Although this is a frozen yogurt, to me it had more of a sorbet texture. It is still delicious, but just wanted to give a heads up so you weren’t surprised by the texture.

Frozen yogurt recipe from The Perfect Scoop.

Red Velvet Oreo Truffle Chocolate Crunch Brownies

Red Velvet Oreo Truffle Chocolate Crunch Brownies  |  Lemon & Mocha

Remember way back when I promised the fifth, final and most outrageous installment of the Lemon & Mocha brownie series just in time for Valentine’s Day? Ta-da! Here it is:  Red Velvet Oreo Truffle Chocolate Crunch Brownies. I am very sorry for keeping these from you for so long,  but aren’t they perfect for Valentine’s Day?

Red Velvet Oreo Truffle Chocolate Crunch Brownies  |  Lemon & Mocha

These brownies are the king of all brownies and they are utterly amazing. Lets go layer by layer to give you time to process the amazingness.

Red Velvet Oreo Truffle Chocolate Crunch Brownies  |  Lemon & Mocha

Layer one:  homemade red velvet brownies. Fudgey, moist and with just a hint of chocolate flavoring that red velvet is known for, this is the perfect base.

Red Velvet Oreo Truffle Chocolate Crunch Brownies  |  Lemon & Mocha

Next up, layer two:  Oreo truffle. If these layers were children the Oreo truffle layer would be that favorite child. Have you ever made Oreo truffle balls? This layer is the inside of those truffles. Crushed Oreos and cream cheese are whipped together to create the most perfect balance of sweet, creamy and chocolatey.

Red Velvet Oreo Truffle Chocolate Crunch Brownies  |  Lemon & Mocha

Finally, layer three:  chocolate crunch. Chocolate is melted over the top of the Oreo truffle layer to create a hardened chocolate topping, but oh no, even that is not enough. Before the chocolate has time to harden, mini chocolate chips are sprinkled allover to create chocolate chunks in the hunk of chocolate.

Red Velvet Oreo Truffle Chocolate Crunch Brownies  |  Lemon & Mocha

Yes, I promise you that this is real life and you can actually go make these brownies right now. They are an ultimate texture overload. Fudgey base, creamy Oreo middle and hard crunchy topping come together to make you eat a second, or a third, or a fourth, or a….

Red Velvet Oreo Truffle Chocolate Crunch Brownies  |  Lemon & Mocha

Red Velvet Oreo Truffle Chocolate Crunch Brownies
 
Yield: 32 brownies

Ingredients
for the red velvet brownie layer
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter (1 cup), room temperature
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 1½ cups brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1-2 ounces red food coloring
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoons salt
for the Oreo truffle layer
  • 1 package Oreos
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
for the chocolate crunch layer
  • 1½ cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips

Directions
for the red velvet brownie layer
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9 x 13 pan and set aside.
  2. Beat the butter, sugar and brown sugar together with the paddle attachment of a stand mixer for 2 minutes, or until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing after each egg is added. Add the food coloring and vanilla extract until the color is completely incorporating and is the desired color.
  3. In a separate medium bowl combine the flour, cocoa powder and salt. Carefully add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients being sure to incorporate completely while trying not to over-mix the batter. The batter will be very thick, but make sure the batter is a uniform color.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and smooth the top. Bake for 35 minutes, or until crunchy on top and gooey underneath. Let cool completely. Once cool you can either leave in the pan or very carefully flip the brownies out onto a large clean surface. I flipped my over onto a clean cutting board that easily fits in my fridge so it would be easier for later refrigerating and cutting.
for the Oreo truffle layer
  1. Turn the entire package of Oreos into crumbs using a food processor or crushing in a large plastic bag. Combine with the cream cheese until blended.
  2. Dollop the Oreo mixture onto the cooled brownies then carefully use your hands and a rubber spatula to create a smooth even layer covering the brownies all the way to the edges. If you try to simply spread you might tear the brownies.
for the chocolate crunch layer
  1. Melt the chocolate chips with the vegetable oil in the microwave. Microwave for 30 seconds, stir, then continue to microwave in 10 second intervals, stirring after each, until melted and smooth. Carefully pour over the Oreo truffle layer and smooth with a rubber spatula. Sprinkle with the mini chocolate chips then refrigerate until the chocolate crunch layer has hardened.

Red velvet brownies from Newlyweds.
Bar recipe from Pizzazzerie.

Mini Raviolis with Sun-dried Tomatoes, Spinach & Goat Cheese

Mini Raviolis with Sun-dried Tomatoes, Spinach & Goat Cheese  |  Lemon & Mocha

Why do mini food items always taste better? Does their cuteness enhance their deliciousness? Or is it that knowing you can eat more of the tiny bites makes them even more irresistible? Whatever the reason may be, the mini raviolis in this dish certainly increase the tasty factor.

Mini Raviolis with Sun-dried Tomatoes, Spinach & Goat Cheese  |  Lemon & Mocha

And using store-bought raviolis and prepared sauce is a winning weeknight dinner combination. This pasta meal was an unplanned dish born from the ingredients in my fridge, but I was so happy with the results I decided to share it here on Lemon & Mocha.

Mini Raviolis with Sun-dried Tomatoes, Spinach & Goat Cheese  |  Lemon & Mocha

The sautéed garlic, shallots and sun-dried tomatoes tend to be my go-to pasta trifecta. They are the perfect base to almost any pasta dish, providing full-packed savory flavoring.

Mini Raviolis with Sun-dried Tomatoes, Spinach & Goat Cheese  |  Lemon & Mocha

The fresh spinach leaves are a great way to sneak in some veggies and are a great pairing for the ricotta-filled raviolis. The goat cheese adds a depth and creaminess to regular prepared sauce, almost giving it the taste of a vodka sauce.

Mini Raviolis with Sun-dried Tomatoes, Spinach & Goat Cheese  |  Lemon & Mocha

Feel free to swap out the spinach and use your favorites veggies to mix and match this pasta dish. I think asparagus and mushrooms or eggplant and zucchini would both be delicious variations. I might have to go give them a try!

Mini Raviolis with Sun-dried Tomatoes, Spinach & Goat Cheese  |  Lemon & Mocha

Mini Raviolis with Sun-dried Tomatoes, Spinach & Goat Cheese
 
Yield: 6-8 servings

Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 cup sun-dried tomatoes, julienned
  • 12 ounces fresh spinach leaves
  • 2 ounces goat cheese, regular or garlic & herb
  • 1-2 cups prepared tomato sauce, depending on sauciness preference
  • 1 pound mini raviolis, prepared according to package instructions
  • Freshly grated Parmesan, if desired, for serving

Directions
  1. Heat the olive oil and butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the minced shallot and cook, stirring frequently, until the shallot has softened and started to lightly brown.
  2. Add the sun-dried tomatoes and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the spinach leaves, a handful or so at a time, stirring often, until all the spinach has been aded and wilted.
  3. Stir in the goat cheese until melted. Add the tomato sauce and stir until warm.
  4. Carefully stir in the prepared mini raviolis until coated. Serve hot with freshly grated Parmesan, if desired.

 

Garlicky Stir-fried Bok Choy

Garlicky Stir-fried Bok Choy  |  Lemon & Mocha

I have two more simple dinner recipes here for you on Lemon & Mocha this week. First up is the third solution for my quick and healthy vegetable side dish dilemma. Asparagus with creamy orange sauce, steam-sautéed broccoli and now garlicky bok choy. I had never cooked with bok choy before this recipe, but I love vegetables so I was excited to try something new.

Garlicky Stir-fried Bok Choy  |  Lemon & Mocha

Matt and I enjoy cooking Asian stir-fries, but we get tired of always using broccoli and snow peas for our green vegetables. This garlicky bok choy is a delicious solution.

Garlicky Stir-fried Bok Choy  |  Lemon & Mocha

The vegetable itself is really mild so it takes on the flavor of the garlic and the soy sauce really well.

Garlicky Stir-fried Bok Choy  |  Lemon & Mocha

Did I mention that this recipe took less than ten minutes from start to finish? Talk about a simple dish!

Garlicky Stir-fried Bok Choy  |  Lemon & Mocha

Do you have a quick vegetable dish that is a staple in your kitchen? I’d love to try them out!

Garlicky Stir-fried Bok Choy  |  Lemon & Mocha

Garlicky Stir-fried Bok Choy
 
Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients
  • 3 tablespoons chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
  • ½ teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1½ tablespoons canola oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1¼ pounds bok choy, ends trimmed and discarded, stalks and leaves cut into 1” pieces (halve the stalks lengthwise if more than 1” wide); keep stalks and leaves separate
  • Salt and pepper

Directions
  1. Whisk together the broth, soy sauce and cornstarch in a small bowl until the cornstarch dissolves. Set aside.
  2. Heat the olive oil and garlic in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the garlic begins to sizzle add the book toy stalks. Stir frequently for 1 minute then add the bok choy leaves and prepared sauce.
  3. Stir the bok choy and cook for 2 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat when the bok choy is crisp-tender. Season with salt and pepper according to taste.

Recipe slightly adapted from Brassicas: Cooking the World’s Healthiest Vegetables.