Monday, March 30, 2009

Bar of the Week: Michel Cluizel Grand Noir 85%

Region: Blend

Cocoa Content: 85%

What makes an excellent bar of chocolate? This week's featured bar is a perfect object lesson. One should look for (among other things):

1. A short ingredients list: Cocoa solids, cocoa butter, cane sugar, and real vanilla.

2. Attention to detail. From bean harvest to roasting to conching to tempering, exceptional chocolate makers know precisely which techniques and methods can bring a cacao bean to its full potential. Artisan chocolate making is not a hobby, it is an obsession.

Michel Cluizel is, as it were, obsessed. He has become world-renowned for excellent temper, moulding, and mouth feel. When you unwrap this bar, you will see why. The surface is smooth and shiny, and the bar is a beautiful deep brown. It breaks cleanly and gives a strong snap, an unmistakable sign of high cocoa-content, well-tempered chocolate. Despite it's high percentage, this bar is remarkably smooth and creamy, melting beautifully on the tongue.

We'll be sampling the bar all day Saturday, so please stop in and try the Cluizel 85% blend. If you've never experienced a high-percentage dark chocolate, this is an ideal place to start!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Pacari Tasting on March 28th

Recently we picked Pacari's 72% Los Rios as our bar of the week. This Saturday we are giving you the chance to taste some of their other great chocolate products. We'll be featuring their chocolate-covered nibs, golden berries, and dried bananas, and we'll also have on hand some samples of their 60% Esmeraldas bar.

All of Pacari's products are made with single-origin Arriba Nacional cacao grown in the rainforests of Ecuador. The chocolate is handcrafted in small batches and is certified organic and kosher parve.

The tasting will start at 1:00 pm and will last until we run out of chocolate, so come early!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Easter is on its way!

It's bunnies and eggs galore at Chocolopolis with new items by Michel Cluizel. From long-eared milk chocolate rabbits for the kids to delicious gianduja nests with pate de fruits eggs for adults, we've got all of your favorite Easter treats covered. We're even getting into the action ourselves by handcrafting hollow chocolate eggs in store from dark, milk, and white chocolate and filling them with Cluizel's delicious ganache eggs.

For our clientel observing Passover, we just introduced a line of matzoh clusters made from 55% chocolate and topped with either sea salt or chili salt. The clusters come packaged in tubes of six, and we can also make up a platter of 18 clusters for Seder dinners.

Also worth a mention are the two new Norman Love confections residing in our case - Florida Orange and Java Fudge. You asked for coffee truffles and boy does the flavor of this confection deliver. Skip the $4 latte and satisfy your sweet tooth with a stop in today.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

New - Norman Love Confections

All the way from Ft. Myers, Florida, Norman Love's chocolates are now available in our truffle case. We are starting out with eight flavors of his beautifully decorated confections - Raspberry, Cookies 'n' Cream, Passion Fruit, Cinnamon Roll, Eclair, Pistachio Cherry, Key Lime, and Vanilla Cupcake. Each has either a dark, milk, or white chocolate shell and a creamy ganache that is flavored without artificial ingredients.

Like many chocolatiers, Norman Love started out in the restaurant industry before opening Norman Love Confections with his wife, Mary, in 2001. He honed his skills working as an Executive Pastry Chef for the Ritz-Carlton hotels in Naples and St. Louis, and the Beverly Hills Hotel in California. He has been named one of the top chocolatiers in the nation, first by USA Today in 2002 and again by Consumer Reports in 2005, and his skilled airbrush and painting techniques that he uses to color his masterpieces have inspired numerous chocolatiers to do the same.

Stop by today and discover "Love at first bite".

Monday, March 9, 2009

Bar of the Week: Byrne & Carlson Mendiant Bar

Region: Inclusions
Cocoa Content: 55%
Ellen Byrne and Christopher Carlson are the husband and wife duo behind this Portsmouth, New Hampshire chocolate company. Each bar they produce is crafted from the finest French, Belgium and Venezuelan chocolate available and decorated by hand. This week's bar takes its name from a traditional French confection that is typically decorated with raisins, hazelnuts, almonds, and figs, with each item representing the color of a monastic robe. Byrne & Carlson's mendiant bar has a Valrhona semi-sweet chocolate base that is the perfect complement to its jewel-like adornments of candied orange peel, almonds, candied mint leaves, tart cherries, and candied violets. With each bite a new flavor flourishes, and this bar is certain to be a winner with our Saturday tasting crowd.
Fun Fact: Ellen and Christopher have been working together for almost 20 years and have been married for 11. They started Byrne & Carlson Confections in 1999 and have purposely kept the business small so that they can continue to make each product themselves, ensuring that every bar produced will impress the consumer with its appearance and taste.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Bar of the Week: Michel Cluizel Les Criolles

In addition to the 150+ bars that Chocolopolis carries, we also sell a wide variety of books and confections. This week we're taking a break from sampling bars to feature these beautiful cacao pods designed by French chocolate maker, Michel Cluizel. Each pod is handcrafted from Cluizel's dark chocolate and colored with cocoa butter. One bite into a pod reveals a rich dark chocolate ganache made with cacao from "Los Ancones", a plantation on the island of Santo Domingo where an aromatic variety of trinitario is cultivated. Cacao has been grown here in the same method since 1903, without the use of fertilizers or pesticides. Cluizel describes the finished chocolate as having notes of liquorice wood, red berries, and green olives, with a lingering flavor of currants and apricots. These pods make a tasty gift or after dinner treat, but they won't be around forever so stop in for some today.