Full Moon Brownies

Full Moon Brownies Recipe

I spent a pretty penny on the Vosges Haut-Chocolat site over the holidays. Every time I see Katrina Markoff written up in a magazine (which is just about weekly), I go to the Vosges site and click around her world of stunning, exotic-flavored chocolate and try to figure out which collection I want to order. Inevitably the phone rings or something, I get distracted and forget to check-out with my shopping bag of haut-chocolate. I think Vosges has a store in Chicago and New York, but nothing dedicated for us West coasters quite yet.

My mom and I were up at the Dean + Deluca in St. Helena before the holidays and as we were checking out of the store, they were giving out samples of the Vosges Naga Bar near the register. It was a beautiful milk chocolate permeated with sweet curry powder and subtly flecked with coconut flakes. It might sound strange to some of you, but I assure you it was amazing. My mom really liked it and so did I.

I made a little note to self and when the holidays came near I decided to buy my mom and a couple friends Vosges chocolates (hoping of course that they would tear them open and share with me). I bought two boxes of the Jamaican/Rastafarian truffles which I thought would be fun, as well as taste delicious. I can't remember exactly what ingredients they had in them (I meant to take note of the ingredients!) but I remember things like Red Stripe beer, blue mountain coffee, and hemp seed. My mom shared some of her truffles with us - I would taste a bite of one and then give the second bite to my sister, and then we would compare opinions. There was a lot of "oh my god that is good" resonating around the room, followed by "which one do you want to try next?"....

I enjoy how Katrina arranges her collections thematically, and often by region (Aztec, Italiano, Rastafarian)...I learned the hard way that if you see a collection you want to try out or give as a gift - snatch it up. One or two of the collections I was interested were sold out over the holidays, and some of them seem to have short runs....like right now, the Rastafarian collection isn't being listed. If you make a purchase you also end up on their mailing list (I just got their catalog last week), which lists new collections, products, and workshops.

I noticed the recipe section on the Vosges Haut-Chocolat website as I was checking out with my holiday order and ended up ordering three of the Black Pearl chocolate bars so I could try the Full Moon Brownie recipe they have listed on the site. The Black Pearl Bars used in the Full Moon Brownies are 55% cacao and flavored with ginger, wasabi, with a little added taste and texture coming from black sesame seeds. The ginger and wasabi doesn't overpower the chocolate at all, and makes a nice Eastern compliment to the dark chocolate. The recipe calls for 7 ounces of the Black Pearl Chocolate (each bar is 3.3 ounces) so you technically need to order three bars ($6 each) - but you can certainly get away with using just two bars and throwing in a 1/2-ounce chunk of dark chocolate from your pantry if you are feeling cheap.

As far as making the actual brownies....Let me start by saying this is the best tasting brownie batter I've ever tasted. I really couldn't help but stick a couple fingers in the bowl - raw eggs and all. These brownies are easy to make, and taste different than any other brownies you've ever tasted - in the best way imaginable. They are dark and dense, gingery, and more sophisticated in taste than your everyday classic brownie.

For the vegetarians out there, I used vegan marshmallows (cut into mini sizes) for this recipe, and they didn't really hold up structurally inside the brownies. They just collapsed into sticky-ish pockets throughout the brownies, nothing disastrous, just a little sticky. My vote....skip the marshmallows next time if you don't eat gelatin based marshmallows. I also ended up cooking my brownies a shade longer than the recipe calls for, about 40/45 minutes - everyones ovens will differ a bit, just keep an eye on them. If you touch the middle of the brownies and it it still jiggly, they need some more time.

If you are looking for a fresh twist on an old standby, this is it.

Full Moon Brownie Recipe

7 ounces Black Pearl bar (about 2 bars) or Black Pearl chips (1 3/4 bags)
1 stick unsalted butter {4 oz.}
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
3 large eggs
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and minced
3/4 cup mini marshmallows
1 cup all purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter 8 inch square baking pan, line with 2 pieces of aluminum foil perpendicular to each other to enable you to lift the brownies out of the pan with ease after they have been cooked.

Place chocolate and butter in a medium sized, non-reactive metal bowl and set over simmering water. Stir occasionally until melted and whisk in cocoa powder until smooth, set aside.

In a mixing bowl, briefly whisk together eggs, sugar, vanilla and salt, about 30 seconds. Add warm chocolate mixture, ginger, and marshmallows and then mix in flour just until combined, be careful not to over mix. Pour batter into prepared pan and cook for 35 minutes. When finished let brownies cool for at least one hour before removing from pan.

Cut into 1 inch squares and share. Brownies can be wrapped in plastic and refrigerated up to 5 days.

Recipe from Vosges Haut-Chocolate - reposted with permission.

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Oooh Heidi.
I am not sure whether to thank you or curse you for introducing me to such a sinful and irresistable looking website.
cheers either way, - Sam!

January 17, 2005

one word...YUM! another reason to come back for a visit...

January 17, 2005

Hi Heidi,

OMG, I got a Black Pearl bar a few weeks ago at Neiman Marcus in Ala Moana, Honolulu, and haven't even opened it yet... it looked sooo gooood and I have been looking for an occasion (or an excuse) to open the special treat.

mmm I want to try the brownies, too, but I guess I first have to try it a bite at least :)

And your photo is stunning, as per usual.

January 17, 2005


Haven't tried Vosges, but I've seen the Naga and Black Pearl bars as well as their drinking chocolate mixes at Surfas here in good ol' Culver City, in the Los Angeles Area. http://www.surfasonline.com

But have you tried Dagoba chocolate!? It's not as tricky as Vosges insofar as flavor, but equally as intriguing, in my humble opinion. It's also organic and produced sustainable practices.

The Lavender with dried blueberries and the spicy Xocolatl with chili (which also comes in drinking chocolate mix) are really yummy. I've seen them at some Whole Foods, and regularly at Rainbow in San Francisco.

January 17, 2005

Speaking of which, there is a nice write-up on fair-trade chocolate in the Feb. issue of Vegetarian Times. They also raved about Green & Black's Chocolates: greenandblacks.com

I'll pick up a couple of the Dagoba's at some point. -h

January 17, 2005


I hate to do this to you because it will probably ruin your wasteline and pocketbook like it has mine...
But have you checked out Fog City News on Market St.? (I think you live in SF like me!) They carry a huge collection of chocolate bars - over 150 at last count. Including , to my dismay, Vosges -I bought the 3 bars that they carry the last time I was there (the Azteca, the Black Pearl and the Naga) ymmm wonderful bliss!

Fog City News
455 Market Street
San Francisco, CA 94105
Tel: (415) 543-7400
8am-6pm PST

January 18, 2005

Fun truffle flavors! I think I'm gonna order myself a valentines present.

One of my favorite truffle flavors is chocolate with lavender.

Can't wait to try the black pearl...

January 18, 2005

holy smokes.. i MUSt get my hands on some of these chocolates!! can't stop wondering how they would taste... thanks for sharing. :)

January 18, 2005


Thanks for the tip on the chocolate. Actually, even gelatin-based marshmallows also melt into brownies if you put them in the brownie batter. I think the way to do it is to arrange them on top after the pan of brownies has completely baked and broil it until the marshmallows get a nice browned crust. (But I find this wrecks my favourite part of the brownie: the crackly crust!)

January 19, 2005

It isn't as if I need much convincing to try a new kind of chocolate, but your descriptions were great. Now I just have to wait for Vosges to come to Japan...sigh.

Their website is so much fun just to look at though. Thank you for sharing!

January 20, 2005

Hello! I am here on behalf of the membership of The Poppy Club. We appreciate the fabulosity of your blog and congratulate you on your recent success in The Best of Blogs Award competition. We are hosting a party to celebrate you and your fellow finalists and would be honored if you would join us to walk the Red Carpet and greet your fans:

Friday, Saturday and Sunday--January 21-23
The Tall Poppy Diaries

Attire: Black Tie
Red Carpet Opens at 12:01 on Friday, January 21

We hope that you and your friends can join us. And again, please accept our congratulations and best wishes for a very successful and happy 2005.

January 20, 2005