Jan 18, 2011
Along with boiled condensed milk, chocolate butter is one of the simplest - and the most nostalgic - home-made sweet treats of the Soviet period. Under conditions of total deficiency*, you had to be thrifty and creative. You know what we sometimes did with chocolate sweets? We spread some butter on a piece of bread, then cut a chocolate sweet into slices and put it on top of the bread. Or sometimes it was just bread, butter, and sugar on top. These simple pleasures were not as miserable as you might have thought - as everything was organic and natural. You couldn’t store products in the fridge for weeks and weeks and weeks like now: they spoiled. Butter was extremely thick, rich and… yes, buttery: the quintessence of butter. Bread was always crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, somewhat similar to ciabatta; the crust was slightly salty and pale golden. Another thing is that sometimes you could notice dirty fingermarks on a loaf of bread, so a common practice was to quickly roast each loaf over a fire in order to disinfect it, hehe.
This morning I spread a spoonful of chocolate butter on a slice of a multigrain bun and meditated about my childhood and all the flavours that are gone for good. But back then, how could I think that I would ever try mascarpone, and wasabi, and arugula?.. And that I would discuss all that with people from all around the globe? All changes are to the good…
*A riddle I invented as a child: “It’s round, green, and grows in Moscow. What is it?” - the right answer is orange, hahaha.
150g butter, softened
2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp powdered sugar
1 tsp powdered vanilla sugar
Mix all ingredients and beat with a fork until well-blended. To serve, spread on a slice of bread and sprinkle with chopped hazelnuts and chocolate shavings.
P.S. Our blog will be featured in Be@Home’s bi-monthly website review tomorrow!!
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