Gourmet Chocolate Blog
It just occurred to me that our friends who follow the Sulpice Chocolat blog a bit more regularly may be interested in hearing about our recent mention on the Today Show with Kathie Lee & Hoda! We were discovered in October at the Chicago Fine Chocolate Show and mentioned us on the show. I thought it would be a ton of fun to share the clip and article. The segment was starting to run a little long and they had to speed up towards the end, but its exciting nonetheless. Here it is!
Feel free to view it and let us know what you think. Thanks!
2,650,342 tons of cocoa were shipped around the world in 2009/10, according to the latest data from the International Cocoa Organisation. So when I came across the Guardian's beautiful map of the world's favorite sweet treat, chocolate, and where it comes from I wanted to be sure to share it.
Many of you may have had a chance to hear me interviewed by Ms. Halli Casser-Jayne on Blog talk radio, but for those of you that missed it, you can listen to it below. I was among a panel of five guests including: University of Washington professor and author Dr. Kristy Leissle; dietitian and wellness coach Mary Barbour; author of The Chocolate Thief and Parisian chocolate aficionado Laura Florand; psychotherapist and self-help author Esther Kane; and Dr. Keristy Leissle aka Dr. Chocolate, world-renowned chocolate expert with a PhD in chocolate. Some of the hot topics we discussed were history of chocolate, romance and chocolate, sex and chocolate, books and chocolate, artisan chocolate, and health and well-being and chocolate. This was a great show and I highly recommend all lovers of chocolate to sit back with a mug of hot chocolate and have a listen to a wonderful show all about chocolate!
I found the most amazing Valentine’s Day cupcake decorating idea from Buttercream Blondie that I needed to share… Love Monsters! How cute is that. Best of all, these adorable little Valentine’s Day monsters are a great and nearly free way to celebrate the holiday in a fun and festive way.
There is nothing quite like the spicy sweet scent of gingerbread cookies in the air to instanly make me think of the holidays. Maybe it has to do with my memories of growing up and helping my mom make batches of cookies. I remember standing on the chair next to her, barely able to see over the top of the mixing bowl, anxiously awaiting my chance to stir the deliciousness that was waiting in that big yellow bowl. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that my go to candle scent of the season is gingerbread. Either way, when this time of year comes around I always find myself craving gingerbread cookies, gingerbread men to be specific. Which is why I wanted to share a delicious recipe from the Food Network's very own, Aida Mollenkamp.
People often assume that going vegan means that you have to sacrifice taste. That's not always the case. It just means that you have to make more conscious decisions. Fortunately, there is a variety of tasty options in the market for vegans with a sweet tooth and this recipe for vegan chocolate brownies does an amazing job of satisfying both your need for vegan chocolate sweets and your life decision. This recipe for vegan brownies is guaranteed to deliver moist and gooey treats. It takes very simple ingredients that won’t get you searching the supermarket aisles for hours. Additionally, you can add chunks of high quality vegan chocolate bars, like Sulpice, to add a sophisticated flair to this classic dessert.
When many people make the decision to lead a vegan lifestyle, they worry about losing some of their favorite treats. For some, this means chocolate. However, did you know that there are many types of vegan chocolate available on the market?
Chocolate, at its purest form, is certainly vegan, as cocoa is taken from the beans of the cacao plant. However, from when a bean is picked through when it is processed into a final chocolate product there may be ingredients added, such as milk or milk fat that make the product non-vegan.
One way to guarantee that you have vegan chocolate is to look at the ingredient list. Vegan chocolate is generally high in quality, and short on ingredients. High quality chocolate will include cocoa, sugar, cocoa butter, lecithin, and vanilla. Limiting the ingredients serves to make the product vegan, and focus and feature the rich chocolate flavor.
Chocolate is something that vegans can enjoy whenever they please, as long as they make sure to check the ingredient list. Oh, and by the way, Sulpice Chocolat has a variety of vegan chocolate.
Have you ever tried to plan a themed cocktail party, but got stumped on the drinks? Goodness knows that has happened to me before. Fortunately, for those of us that don't have a mixologist as a next door neighbor, Stoli has come to the rescue with their new flavor - Chocolat Razberi. The combination of ripe raspberries and lush milk chocolate accented by warm vanilla-cocoa creates a flavor sensation reminiscent of luxuriously decadent truffles and inspired cockatils like the Stoli Chocolat Raz Cake (recipe below), which tastes as amazing as actual cake.
Stoli Chocolat Raz Cake Martini:2 parts Stoli Chocolat Razberi
1 part fresh lemon juice
1 part hazelnut liqueur
Chocolate and salt is a match made in taste bud heaven. When prepared properly, it creates a multi-faceted flavor of the two opposing, yet complimentary flavors and creates the perfect sweet treat.
The human tongue can detect 5 basic tastes: salty, sweet, bitter, sour, and umami (popularly called savoriness). Adding salt to a dish causes salty receptors on the taste buds to react, but adding salt to a dish also counteracts bitterness by prohibiting bitter taste buds to pick up on all the bitter flavors.
Salt’s ability to counteract bitterness makes it especially popular for use in chocolate. Cocoa beans, the beans from which chocolate is made, are naturally bitter. The name chocolate is believed to have derived from the Aztec word xocolātl, meaning “bitter water.” When the drink was brought to Spain the Spanish would counteract the bitterness of the cocoa beans with milk and sugar, the same thing that is done in modern chocolate processing.
Sea salt is the most common salt addition to chocolate. Sea salt if harvested by allowing sea water to evaporate until only the salt crystals remain. Sea salt is less dense than table salt, and sea salt crystals are also larger than refined table salt.
Pink Himalayan sea salt is mined from ancient sea beds at the base of the Himalayas. The salt is rich in iron oxide, giving it a pinkish hue. The sea beds are located in remote locations that are not tarnished by pollutants. Pink Himalayan sea salt is widely believed as the purest salt in the world.
When combined with chocolate, high quality sea salt, like Pink Himalayan sea salt, compliments the natural sweetness of milk chocolate and counterbalances the bitterness of dark chocolate. Each bite packs a small, salty punch that creates a complex flavor in an already delightful treat.
Since I have been talking a lot about Gluten-Free diets lately I thought it would be a great idea to give one of my favorite recipes for gluten-free chocolate brownies. What makes this so special is that it is not only rich and decadent, but it also features the winning combination of chocolate and salt!
3/4 (1 1/2 sticks) cup of butter
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips (60% cocoa)
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons of cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla
2 cups sugar
2/3 cup almond flour
1/3 cup rice flour
1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease the bottom of 9 in square cake pan.
- In large saucepan, melt butter and chocolate on low heat stirring occasionally.
- Remove from heat and whisk vanilla and cocoa powder until mixture is smooth.
- Add sugar, salt, and eggs and mix together
- Slowly add almond flour and rice flour and whisk until mixture is smooth.
- Pour into greased pans and bake until edges are set, approximately 35 minutes