All posts tagged: chocolate

chuao.

I went a on a Chuao factory tour! Chuao is a disc to bar chocolate company; they use Guittard chocolates for all their chocolate bars. I’ll admit I wasn’t as impressed because I’m a fan of bean to bar companies where they actually process the cacao, but, I was told the owner believes “white chocolate isn’t real chocolate” so I’m a fan! Also their churro chocolate bar is amazing. To start the tour, our tour guide provided us with a Chuao history lesson and we tasted a bunch of samples. Then, a walk through of the factory (no phones/photos allowed). It’s an active factory so we got to see product being made and packaged. We even got some sneak peeks of seasonal chocolates, but I can’t tell you about them because it’s a secret. What I can tell you is that on our visit they were making Lego-shaped chocolates for Legoland and we got to taste them. How fun! Fun fact: All the samples they pass out during tours are rejects (with slight imperfections that …

chocolate party.

My sister and I threw a chocolate themed party for Father’s Day this year. We had a chocolate tasting, a chocolate inspired menu, and a chocolate activity. This could be a fun party idea for any occasion! Chocolate Tasting I searched for locally made chocolate bars and found Nohmad Snack co based in Torrance. We tried four of their single origin bars. Chocolate Menu It was a fun challenge to come up with a chocolate menu that wasn’t all sweet. I made chicken mole, cauliflower and peppers with picada sauce, and chocolate bread pudding. For the mole, I used Oaktown Spice Shop‘s Mole Poblano blend – a nice shortcut! For the veggie dish, oh my gosh, make double the picada sauce – it is so good. For the bread pudding, I was super impressed that I made a custard and not egg drop soup! Chocolate Activity What’s a family hang out day without an activity! My sister put together a design-your-own chocolate dessert topping. My niece got really into it. She made a double-sided piece! …

bath bombs and bon bons!

This year for birthmonth I celebrated with a chocolate factory tour, a picnic, a mini hike, a kava bar lounge session, and a bath bombs and bon bons party! The last mostly happened because I love alliteration. And themed celebrations. And crafts. ­čÖé We had bon bon treats and ’90s jams all night. I found lots of bon bon options at Trader Joe’s (and I added edible shimmer to some of them for added fancy) and at a┬álocal chocolatier. I also found the tiniest plates for all the tiny foods. My maker friend extraordinaire, Angel, hosted and taught the bath bomb part of the evening. I have the craftiest friends! Check out all these fun supplies. The scent of the different essential oils filled the room. Ahhh-roma therapy! Ready to craft! But first, a wefie to capture this┬áBreaking Bad moment. We started with a warm up craft: body oils. We filled these cute containers with base oils (I used sweet almond oil), Vitamin E (for a preservative), a few drops of rose hips, and an …

mississippi mud pie.

My 2018 goal: bake a new-to-me recipe at least once a month. January’s bake wasn’t good enough to share (I made pomelo bars, and though they looked nice and had good textures, they turned out super bitter. :P), but February’s bake was soooo good. My friend and I made Mississippi Mud Pie! Look. At. This. Our favorite pie is chocolate mousse and I’m all about a chocolate cookie crust. So my friend found a Cook’s Country recipe for Mississippi Mud Pie for us to try. The recipe came annotated with technique tips and recommendations for specific products to use. So good. This recipe was a recipe of firsts. It called for Nabisco’s Famous Chocolate Wafers which are like thinner, wider, and less sweet Oreos without the filling. I had never heard of them and now I am a fan. We used them to make the crust (left) and the cookie crumble (right). While the crust baked, we prepped the next layer – a fudgy brownie. I had never made brownies form scratch before (Ghirardelli double …

chocolate library.

A store that sells chocolates and salts. Hm, ok! I’m into it! At The Meadow there is a wall of chocolate, stacks and stacks of salt rocks, and, if you’re lucky, some sample bowls filled with treats. On our visit, we tried a popcorn with the Meadow’s black truffle salt ~ yowza! And Savage, a new-to-me brand of chips locally made in Portland. Delightful! If you tell me I can climb the ladder you better not be joking because I will do it! Imagine having your own chocolate library like this! I grabbed a few locally made bars that I chose based on wrapper/packaging. Yes, I judge chocolate by the cover, but also if it’s quality made and preferably 72% cacao. Also, yes, I am a self-professed chocolate snob. What are some of your favorite artisanal chocolates or chocolate shops? Share please!

truffles and bonbons!

Truffles anyone? Me, me, me! I recently took a truffles and bonbons class at Oaktown Spice Shop. The instructor was none other than the owner and founder of┬áEndorfin Foods – Brian! He makes the smoothest chocolate bars sans milk! (You must try the Turkish coffee bar!) I’ve made truffles once before; they turned out smooth and decadent, but they were on the softer side and would lose their shape quickly. I brought all my questions to class and learned lots of important tips and tricks. We even learned some truffle making hacks like making the ganache in a blender with a heat gun instead of using a double boiler, and using an infrared thermometer to read the ganache’s temperature instead of a candy thermometer (it’s way cooler!). Brian demoed how to make ganache and he brought some premade/precooled ganache for the hands-on part of class. We learned how to flavor the ganache, what types of liquids to use, and what the ganache should look like while it’s being made. Then, with gloves on (and being …

minty!

One of my favorite chocolate candies growing up was Junior Mints. This was my go-to movie snack back in the day. I don’t eat them that much these days, but when Valentine’s rolls around, I get uber excited about the heart shaped Junior Mints. I always get a pack for myself and a pack for my sister. I mean, they are heart-shaped! You know me and all things hearts. It’s the same chocolate outside and ooey gooey inside, except… Some of them have┬áred filling! Why this excites me, I don’t know, but it does, and every year I look forward to biting into this sweet treat. What’s your favorite Valentine’s candy? Share below.

i run for medals.

Yes, it’s true. I run for medals. If there isn’t a┬ámedal at the end of the race you can count on me to be your cheerleader instead. But really, something about getting a prize at the end, even though you pay for it in your registration fee, motivates me. Running for feeling good about my health is also very important to me, but, let’s face it, medals are fun! Plus, afterwards, you can take a photo of yourself biting your medal like an Olympic athlete. Today, I participated in the San Francisco Hot Chocolate 15k. With very little training I managed to wog (that is, walk and jog) my way through the course. I definitely wish I had trained more though because the skin on my feet was so thin I ended up getting blisters. Ack! In any case, it was a beautiful course, starting and ending in Golden Gate Park with a few miles along the Great Highway/Pacific Ocean. At a chilly 50-55┬░F, it was surprisingly the perfect temperature for running around for so …