Chocosphere®
Fine Chocolates from Around the World since 1998
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choco-logoThe Chocospherian

Incredible Chocolate News

May 1st, 2019

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

Tasting Chocolate Staff Picks
Incr‘Edible’ Chocolate Deals… Customer Service
Mother's Day Newsletter
Recipe Corner Topics
What's New?  

Tasting Chocolate

Chocolate is sensational. We all know that. But what's the best way to enjoy every last titillating and delicious drop. And I do mean drop. Chocolate really needs to be fully melted in your mouth to enjoy the entire range of flavor. Really good chocolate has a definite journey of tastes from the moment it hits your tongue to the last drop that slides down your throat. So here's the Chocosphere way to enjoy.

You can set the mood. For some people the setting is a very important part of the experience. If you can, turn the lights a little lower in the room. There should be no distractions except maybe a little soft chocolate tasting music. You should be comfortable, and have some room temperature water, bread, salt free crackers or something else at hand to cleanse your palate. The chocolate should be at room temperature. I have a customer who uses a warming tray to get the chocolate to about 80 degrees – not my preference. To each their own!

Select 3 to 5 chocolates to try. If you taste more than that in one session, expect your palate to be overloaded with flavors and "blow out". My taste buds get flustered after about 4. Even though I try cleansing my palate, there is always a little of the previous chocolate left in my mouth. It leads to issues when you're trying to find your favorite because it won't taste the same the next time you try it.

Take a small piece of chocolate (5 grams or less). Break it and listen for the snap. That means it's properly tempered. Look at the chocolate, smell it, then put the piece in your mouth and chew about 3 to 4 times. Then let the chocolate melt. You will taste the sweetness most prominently at the tip of your tongue. Strong flavors tend to migrate to the back of your mouth, Try to keep the piece in your mouth as long as possible before swallowing. Even after swallowing you will be tasting the "finish" of chocolate. Some chocolates can stay with you for 5 or 10 minutes or even longer after you swallow. Very fine chocolate will have a delightful and long finish.

You will notice differences in texture. It can be like pudding, grainy, powdery or slick. People look for different textures and companies have different styles like the stone ground Taza which is very granular. There will be different tastes to notice, from fruit to coffee, leather, floral, buttery, caramel and many more. Gather it all in during your tasting experience

And that's about it. Our chocolate clubs can bring you chocolates to try every month. If you would like a free tasting kit, place a note that says "free tasting kit" in the comments field for any order over $50.00 and we will include 4 different individually wrapped squares for your tasting pleasure, a tasting guide and a sheet where you can make notes about your tasting experience. The "free tasting kit" is available only for orders placed before May 31st, 2019.


Incr‘Edible’ Chocolate Deals

* Enjoy our one of our Mother's Day baskets, with the large size a $130.00 value for only $99.95, or the regular size a $65.00 value for only $49.95! Expand Mom's chocolate horizons!

* If you purchase a Chocolate Club membership before May 31st, 2019 (any size), for yourself or for Mom or for another chocolate lover, get $10.00 in additional chocolate in the first shipment by writing "10.00 in additional chocolate, please" in the Comments section at checkout with your chocolate club order placed before the deadline. This month we selected Marana. a bean to bar chocolate made in Peru from Peruvian cacao for our chocolate club.


Mother's Day

Everyone has a Mother and Mothers love presents. Jewelry is such a burden, what if it's stolen? Then you have to buy insurance. Silver needs to be polished. And flowers? They wither and fade away. So get her chocolate this year and reap the reward of seeing a big smile on her face.


Staff Picks

This month JP, one of our customer-service specialists, shares her current favorite chocolates.

Pralus Infernale Nougat

I have always enjoyed nougat. Before I worked at Chocosphere I loved to pick up a candy bar with nougat in it as a special treat. Now that we carry Pralus Nougat bars, I keep one under my desk to cut a piece off of when I am craving something sweet.

Chocolove Dark Chocolate Almond Toffee Minibar

Can you go wrong with toffee, almonds, and chocolate? I think not! Chocolove did an exceptional job of joining my love of toffee with their really smooth chocolate and crunchy almonds.

Chocolove Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

Ever since I was small I have loved to dip chocolate pieces into peanut butter, or eat peanut butter cups. These are delicious and definitely hit the spot when I am looking for something nostalgic and yummy.

Bees & Beans Honey Bar Jr.

Honey, Nougat, chocolate, and sea salt, need I say more?!? I love bite sized chocolate pieces that are full of flavor. They fit perfectly in your pocket or purse for all snacking emergencies.

Reber Mozart Kugeln

Before working at Chocosphere I had never had marzipan. Joanne introduced me to it one holiday season and it quickly became a favorite.


What's New

We have a few new products which you may want to check out.

From Costa Rica, Sibo introduces the following following new bars:

Dark Milk 63% Bar: An unusually dark incarnation of milk chocolate - 63% cacao content. Smooth and very chocolatey.

Turrialba 70% Bar: Well balanced, nutty with caramel & coffee notes.

"Pure Cacao" 100% Bar: Intense unsweetened chocolate made with cacao from the Turrialba area.

And from exotic India, we are pleased to offer you these fine new-to-Chocosphere Pascati chocolate bars:

Mint Dark Chocolate Bar

Sea Salt Dark Chocolate Bar

Orange Cinnamon Hazelnut Dark Chocolate Bar

Lemon Ginger Dark Chocolate Bar

Rose Almond Dark Chocolate Bar

Saffron & Pistachio Dark Chocolate Bar

Blueberry Walnut Dark Chocolate Bar

Mango Dark Chocolate Bar

Raspberry Hibiscus Dark Chocolate Bar


Recipe Corner

Chocolate Cheesecake

An original recipe from Derek Poirier, Valrhona USA Pastry Chef.  This recipe was downloaded from the Valrhona web site back in November 2011 and is shown as downloaded.  Though no longer there exactly as shown, a very similar recipe for Ivoire White Chocolate Cheesecake is available there as of this writing.  I just happen to like the dark chocolate version.

INGREDIENTS 

  • 5 oz. Butter
  • ¼ cup Sugar
  • 1 cup Flour
  • 2 cups Cream Cheese
  • ½ cup Sugar
  • 3½ tbsp Flour
  • 2 Eggs (medium)
  • 3 oz. Sour Cream
  • 7 oz. Valrhona Baking Dark Chocolate (* See note below)
  • 1 Vanilla Bean

PREPARATION & ASSEMBLY

Shortbread Crust

  1. Put flour and sugar in a mixing bowl.
  2. Add butter that has been cut into small cubes.
  3. Mix until just combined and crumbly.
  4. Press into mold and bake at 320F until light brown.
  5. Allow to cool.

Cheesecake Batter

  1. Put cream cheese in a Kitchen Aid mixer bowl and, using a paddle, mix until it becomes smooth.
  2. Add sugar and mix again (scraping sides as needed).
  3. Add eggs one at a time, scraping bowl between additions.
  4. When eggs are all added and mixture is smooth, add flour, sour cream and vanilla bean seeds, then continue to mix until smooth.
  5. Melt chocolate and then add to the cheesecake batter. Mix until combined (How to temper chocolate).
  6. Pour batter into the molds prepared with the shortbread crust.
  7. Bake at 300F until batter is set, 30-40 min (depending on mold size).
  8. Allow to cool and then put into the fridge.
* Regarding the "Valrhona Baking Dark Chocolate" noted in the ingredients list, back in 2011 I don't recall that they offered all the choices now available from Valrhona in the 7oz baking bar format.  At Chocosphere we only offer the Guanaja 70% in the baking bar format, but we offer a very wide variety of Valrhona chocolate in the "Les Feves" disc format.  Depending on personal taste, 70% may be too intense for a cheesecake.  You might want to try Valrhona's "Extra Bitter 61%" (which is not bitter at all, but instead a nice bridge between semisweet and bittersweet), or for a sweeter taste you can try the Equatoriale Dark 55%.  Or, you can fine tune the flavor with any of Valrhona's broad offerings of fine chocolate in the "Les Feves" disc format.

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 give the most prompt and accurate service. And when you need help, we are here for you. There is generally someone answering the phones between 8:30am. and 4:30pm. Pacific Time, Monday through Friday, with the exception of commonly observed holidays.

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

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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