Chocosphere®
Fine Chocolates from Around the World since 1998
Phone calls welcome: 503‑692‑3323

choco-logoThe Chocospherian

Incredible Chocolate News

March 10th, 2017

Written By: Joanne Kryszek, Chocosphere Co-Founder and Chocolate Goddess

What’s New? Customer Service
Guittard Chocolate Featured Products
Incr‘Edible’ Chocolate Deal… Bargain Basement and On Sale
Pralus 100% Bar Recipe Corner
Chocolate Club Newsletter

What's New?

Do you really want to know what's new? Now we have a "New Products" page on the website.

  • There are four new Chocolove products;  Almond Butter or Peanut Butter Cups in Milk or Dark chocolate. If you are thinking the traditional peanut butter cups, think again ‒ these are divine.
  • Venchi is offering a hazelnut milk chocolate spread with olive oil.
  • Guido Gobino is offering a new 9-piece box of beautiful chocolates plus a jar of chocolate covered cacao nibs. 

Guittard Chocolate Company

We first met Gary Guittard some time around 2004 at his manufacturing warehouse in Northern California. He guided us around the warehouse showing us the machinery and equipment used to make his delicious chocolate.  While at the cacao roaster, he grabbed a large hand full of nibs, nibbling on them while proudly showing us the deliciously successful result of his life work and his family before him. Gary Guittard is from a long line of chocolate makers who started in France and then settled in San Francisco during the Gold Rush in 1868.  

Guittard uses fine quality beans to make the chocolate, with options for the price conscious and for those who are looking for single origin or specific blends to enhance their creations.  

In the beginning the factory produced bulk product for chocolatiers and others who use chocolate. In more recent years, Guittard has produced chocolate bars and other products for the home chef. You will find drops and blocks, chocolate chips, hot chocolate mixes, chocolate bars, cocoa powder, decorations, compounds, ice cream coating and delicious syrups. Organic and conventional formulas now use sunflower lecithin, and there are no hydrogenated fats in Guittard's coating compounds. Many chocolate products are Fair Trade certified.

We were visited by our Guittard sales representative recently, and he challenged us to taste the “Collection Etienne” Unsweetened 100% 6 oz. Baking Bar, which is packaged as three individually wrapped 2oz. bars per 6 oz. box. We are always looking for delicious 100% eating chocolate and I was really impressed. He also told me about a recipe inside the box and encouraged me to try it. It is now my new favorite brownie recipe. It is listed below for your eating pleasure…


Pralus 100% Bar

We recieved a surprise with our last shipment of Pralus chocolate. The latest batch came in with the organic certification stickered over. We did a side by side taste test between the two batches and we really can't tell the difference. It is our understanding that the beans are the same from the same plantation in Madagascar, but that Pralus is no longer purchasing the organic certification.


Featured Products

Starting soon we will be doing a "Featured Product" on our Facebook page. Periodically we will be putting up posts on Facebook featuring a different product or brand. Here at Chocosphere we don't have favorites, we have a general love of chocolate that we want to share with everyone. By doing a featured product or brand you will hopefully be able to expand your chocolate horizons and maybe find a new item to add to your own personal list of products you just have to have! You may also learn a little something new along the way.


Incr‘Edible’ Chocolate Deals

Easter Shopping Season Promotion!

Our chocolate Easter basket is filled with a delicious chocolate selection from our broad offering, plus an Alma Chocolate bunny plus Alma Chocolate and Valrhona eggs. The baskets come in different sizes and can be tailored for adults or children. Feed the child in your favorite adult and send them a chocolate basket that will make them hoppin' happy!

If you like games, there will be an Easter Egg hunt coming soon where there will be eggs hidden on our website for you to find. If you find them all, you will get a $5.00 gift certificate that can be used on orders over $50.00. Instructions will be duplicated on our Facebook page.

Easter Egg Hunt Instructions:

Easter Eggs have been hidden amongst the products on Chocosphere's website. To find the Easter Eggs you must click "Learn More" on the products. The Easter Eggs will be hiding under products that would fit nicely in an Easter basket. There are 15 eggs total in hiding. To claim your prize you will need to send us either a Facebook private message or an email (customer-service@chocosphere.com) telling us what 15 products are hiding the eggs. Do not respond to the post on Facebook with your answers. All entries must be received no later than midnight PDT on Friday March 31, 2017.

FREE GIFT BAG OR WRAP! We will attractively pack your order either in gift bag or gift wrap for free, which we will choose based on the nature of the items in the order. To get a free gift bag or wrap with your order, you must write "Free Gift Bag or Wrap" in the comments section at checkout.

You can utilize this promotional opportunity for any order shipping inside the U.S., including your Easter, Birthday or any other Chocosphere products ordered according to the instructions above. If you want shipping delayed until we're closer to the desired delivery date, let us know when you would like the gift to arrive at the destination in the comments section at checkout. It may not be possible for us to hit an exact arrival date, so we won't promise that, but we'll do our best to be close to desired date and not too late. Orders must ship from our warehouse by the end of April 2017. Happy Shopping!


Bargain Basement and On Sale

We have a few new products listed at the On Sale page.

  • The Pralus Bresil bar is On Sale with lovely notes of raisin, grapefruit or Pomelo with a slightly earthy finish.
  • Galler bars and Cat Tongues are either two for the price of one or half price.
  • There are quite a few Domori products on both the On Sale page and the Bargain Basement page, so it is a really good time to try something new or get a great deal on something that you know you love.
  • Madecasse dark seasalt and Nibs bars are 2 for 1.

Have fun looking around and if you want to be surprised, order a grab bag and get up to 60% off. It's the best deal. You can find links to the On Sale and Bargain Basement pages by either scrolling to the bottom of the Chocosphere home page, or by using the Product Type drop down menu at the top of the Chocosphere web site.

Please remember that Bargain Basement products are usually past the best-by date, and may be bloomed or broken. The Bargain Basement is a place to treat yourself at a great price, but not for gift giving. We made the decision not to ship any Grab Bags or past-date products as gifts. This past holiday season we had a few gift recipients who were worried about the past-date goods. If you understand that chocolate does not go bad, we're fine with that, but not everyone feels the same. Believe me, I understand. Just the other morning, we did our chocolate tasting with Valrhona Plantation bars from 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2015, and I have to tell you, they were incredible!


Chocolate Club

Have you ever wondered about the Chocosphere chocolate club? This is how to "join": You order online by going to "Chocolate-of-the-Month Clubs", which can be found by using the "Gifts and Selections" drop-down menu at the top of the Chocosphere web page. There you'll find an offering to fit just about every budget, ranging from as little $120 to as much as $1020.

Then relax and forget about making chocolate decisions. We take care of the rest. Soon you or someone you cherish will start receiving chocolate shipments. Once each month, on the doorstep there will be a package from that other world; that's right, the planet with chocolate: Chocosphere!  You or that special someone will have their day brightened with the amazing food of the Gods and be transported to a delicious place. Almost like a drug, but legal. Every month, for the period you select, there will be another infusion of happy.


Customer Service

Of course we are happy to help over the phone, but we do appreciate it when you place your order on line. It helps us to give the most prompt and accurate service. If you don’t feel comfortable giving your credit card number over the internet, just click the box for "Please Call for Credit Card Info" and we will call you. But when you need help, we are here for you. There is generally someone answering the phones between 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time, Monday through Friday.

There are five of us answering phones at Chocosphere, where we speak fluent Chocospherian. We try hard to answer all calls personally during normal business hours, but occasionally one slips over to voice mail. If you call and end up in voice mail, please leave a message. We will do our very best to call back promptly. If by chance you don't hear back from us in a reasonable time, please call again during our normal business hours.

We each have varying levels of experience. It is our goal to happily serve you the very best chocolate!!

Finally, and very importantly, our web site lists our service commitments as to when we ship an order based on when the order is placed. However, we certainly understand there are circumstances where you may want us to process an order faster, when you need your chocolate "now"!  If you need your order shipped faster than our listed service commitment, please place your order online, letting us know of your need in the "Comments" section, and then call us (503-692-3323 x 0 for Customer Service) to let us know. We can't guarantee early shipping, but we always try hard to provide chocolate happiness to our valued customers.


Newsletter

If you want us to send a copy as an email every time there is a new issue or to tell you about special offers, please create an account at chocosphere.com and check the newsletter box.


Recipe Corner

Guittard Family Recipe

Gourmet Brownies

This is an intensely rich, moist, fudgy chocolate brownie.

Guittard “Collection Etienne” Unsweetened 100% Baking Bar 6oz., broken into pieces
1 cup + 2 tablespoons (2 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter
4 large eggs
2-1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line 9" X 9"X 2" pan with foil** covering the bottom and extending up the sides.

Melt unsweetened chocolate and butter in a medium microwave safe bowl at medium power (50% or level 5) mixing at 30-second intervals until smooth and all of the chocolate is melted.*  Set aside.

In large bowl of electric mixer beat eggs, sugar, vanilla and salt at high speed for about 2-3 minutes or until light and creamy.  Blend in melted chocolate at low speed, stopping to scrape sides as needed.  Add flour just until incorporated.  Spread into prepared pan.  Bake about 40-50 minutes or until top is puffed and cracked and toothpick inserted in center tests moist.   It is best not to over bake as brownies set as they cool.  Allow to cool before cutting.

*Stovetop: Melt in top of double boiler over hot (not boiling) water.

**I made one change and used parchment paper instead of foil.


Topics:

If you have a topic you would like us to cover in the newsletter, please drop us a line: customer‑service@chocosphere.com and we will be happy to include it in a future edition

Contact us at 503-692-3323 and press 0 for Customer Service

Fax 503-692-1494