Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Making Crispy Peanut Butter Eggs
There's a lot happening at Chocolopolis in advance of Easter and Passover. Our shelves are stocked with Easter chocolate, our ever-popular matzoh clusters will be ready Friday and Christopher Elbow has brought back his Strawberry Balsamic Caramel.

New Confections from Christopher Elbow
Our first item of news to report is that the ever-talented Christopher Elbow changed his tasty lineup of confections for Spring. Chris does this about twice a year. We think he hit a home run with his newest stable of confections, and we're happy to see some old favorites back on the roster.

C Elbow Easter Eggs
New favorites include Chamomile Honey, Brandied Cherry and Coffee Caramel.

Bananas Foster Caramel, which you may have seen him make on the Food Channel, is back in a new shape, deliciously oozing with bananas and caramel flambéed with rum. Fresh mint ganache has a new design that hints at the deep chocolate and fresh mint flavors that lurk beneath its decoration of waving green mint leaves.

Don't forget to pick up a box of Christopher Elbow Easter Eggs for your Easter table. Each of these boxes is filled with an assortment of 9 hand-decorated, egg-shaped ganaches, pralines and caramels.

Easter & Passover by Chocolopolis
Our own Chocolatier, Dominica, has been busily creating fun, elegant and delicious Easter chocolates for small and large children alike. Create your own Easter garden with chocolate bunnies, eggs and carrots. A few highlights:

Crispy Peanut Butter Egg
  • Chocolate Bunnies - Each of our chocolate Easter bunnies is hand made and decorated with white chocolate eyes, ears and tails. Bunnies come in Dark or Milk chocolate. Don't wait until the last minute or you might be bunny-less.
  • Crispy Peanut Butter Egg - These scrumptious milk chocolate eggs are filled with creamy peanut butter and chocolate and riddled with crispy bits of feuilletine, a cookie-like wafer.
  • Chocolate Carrots - Our large chocolate carrots are a great way to add color and oomph to your child's Easter basket. Each one is made by hand in our kitchen using solid milk chocolate.
  • Matzoh Clusters - We mix pieces of matzoh with dark chocolate and top them with sea salt or cayenne sea salt for a crunchy and sweet treat. These delicious treats have a loyal following. Available beginning this Friday, March 30. Not Kosher for Passover.

Eggs by Chocolat Moderne
Chocolat Moderne Founder and Chocolatier, Joan Coukos, brings her own voice and approach to her elegant, adult-appropriate chocolate eggs. Her Eggs Naturel are elegantly colored and speckled to resemble heirloom eggs, and her Fauverge Eggs evoke thoughts of the painterly characteristics of Fauvism and the elegance of Faberge.

We're offering Eggs Naturel speckled in Blue (white chocolate pistachio praline with rice crisps), Grey (dark chocolate filled with almond marzipan), and a 3-piece box that also includes a Brown egg (milk chocolate with hazelnut praliné).

Happy Easter & Chag Sameach!

Team Cacao

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Bar of the Week: Pacari Chili

Pacari chocolates are made in Ecuador from the "Arriba Nacional" cacao native to the area.  In addition to several single origin bars, Pacari offers a range of confections and inclusion bars that pair their organic dark chocolate with regional fruits and spices.

Our bar of the week is Pacari's Chili, a mellow dark chocolate spiked with merken, a spice favored by Chile's indigenous Mapuche people. If you're already a spicy chocolate fanatic, this bar has a subtly smoky heat that's not to be missed.  Or if you've been "burned" in the past by a overly fiery bar, Pacari's Chili is worth a second try; think "warm bath" rather than "hot coals". 

Come by on Saturday, March 31st, to take the temperature of Pacari's Chili bar. 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Bar of the Week: Akesson Madagascar

Among our newest bar offerings are single-origin and inclusion chocolates from Akesson's, a company specializing in high-end ethnic and exotic foods.  Owner Bertil Akesson is the son of a globe-trotting Swedish diplomat who eventually settled his family in Madagascar; Bertil grew up among cacao plantations and later learned the ins and outs of chocolate production.  
Akesson's owns cacao plantations in both Brazil and Madagasar, and our bar of the week is a 75% dark chocolate made from criollo cacao grown on a single Madagascan site.  The Ambolikapiky plantation was founded in 1920 in northwest Madagascar's Sambirano Valley, a region long famed for its aromatic cocoa.  In addition to a larger quantity of trinitario cacao, Ambolikapiky produces a very limited amount of criollo beans, which give this bar a subtle and nuanced spectrum of red fruit and citrus notes. 
Come by on Saturday, March 24, to get acquainted Akesson's Madagascar bar.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Bar of the Week: Bonnat Equateur

Our bar of the week comes from Chocolat Bonnat, France's oldest bean-to-bar chocolate maker.    Made from single-origin Ecuadorian cacao, Equateur is a 75% dark chocolate with a mellow warmth not usually associated with the region.  Dark, rich notes of fig, caramel, and black tea plus Bonnat's usual meltingly smooth texture add up to a bar that blankets your palate with warmth and comfort.  

Come by for a sample of Bonnat's Equateur bar on Saturday, March 17th.  

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Bar of the Week: Ritual

Our bar of the week comes from a relatively new kid on the chocolate-making block, Colorado-based Ritual Chocolate.  The company's announced intention is to release a range of organic, direct trade, and single estate bars, and their first--and so far, only--offering has us itching to meet its siblings. 

Ritual's Costa Rica bar is a 75% dark chocolate made from Trinitario cacao grown in Guapiles, Costa Rica.  It contains only cacao and sugar, but you might say that the secret ingredient in this bar is time.  From the moment they get their hands on the cacao, Ritual's chocolate makers take an unhurried approach to the manufacturing process, proceeding to the next stage only when the chocolate is good and ready.  A slow gentle roast coaxes out a subtle nuttiness, then days in the conche release unwanted acids, and finally a rest period before the bars are formed and wrapped allows the flavor of the chocolate to fully mature.  The resulting bar has appreciable depth and dimension, with a grounding earthiness, floral aromas, and the complex fruitiness of midsummer blackberries. 

Those with dietary restrictions should also note that Ritual's Costa Rica is vegan and soy-, dairy-, gluten-, and nut-free. 

Come by on Saturday, March 10, to get acquainted with Ritual Chocolate and its Costa Rica bar.