Chocosphere®
Fine Chocolates from Around the World since 1998
Phone calls welcome: 503‑692‑3323
Open hours: 8:30A-4:30P M-F Pacific Time excluding holidays.

choco-logoThe Chocospherian

Incredible Chocolate News

January 27th, 2020

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

Notes from Joanne… Bargain Basement & On Sale
Incr‘Edible’ Chocolate Deals… Customer Service
Recipe Corner Newsletter
What's New? Topics
Upcoming Holidays  

Notes from Joanne…

Here I am surrounded by some of the best chocolate on our planet. So many choices and I can make any chocolate dessert my heart desires. I do a lot of baking, making something with chocolate almost every week. Last week was the exception I made a cheesecake, a thick and creamy New York cheese cake. It's our secret… Don't tell anyone that I occasionally make a non-chocolate dessert!

I noticed the hand written comments that I entered on the recipe card the last time I made the recipe. Where it said two cups of sugar, I had written in 1½ cups of sugar. Since it is Jerry's birthday month (we celebrate our birthdays for a full month,) I know his favorites and cheesecake is one of them (Another secret just between us… Jerry sometimes likes a dessert other than chocolate.) After making it, we savored the flavor (the peel of one orange makes a difference) but as usual, Jerry commented "you could reduce the sugar to one cup." He's always after me to reduce sugar and salt which is a very good thing. So now I have to make it again. The moral of this story? So many dessert recipes call for so much sugar. Other wonderful flavors can come out of desserts, chocolate and non-chocolate alike, when we use less sugar.

But what I really want now is peanut butter chocolate chip cookies. So that's what I'll do… tonight (okay, this was written a few nights ago). I'll share my recipe with you in the Recipe Corner section below.

Another nice thing about being in this business is that our customers love to cook and they want us to taste what they make. Grateful Bread Bakery (a customer in Pacific City on the Oregon Coast) recently sent us a dozen of the most incredible and large chocolate chip cookies, so large they are practically a meal by themselves Also, just a few days ago a customer sent me an email telling me this:

Good afternoon. I wanted to let you know that I shipped you a small USPS package with the treat I make with your amazing chocolate.
1. Ingredients: Chocolate (I challenge you and your team to guess which one without looking at my orders), organic peanut butter, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, cacao nibs, raisins, biodynamic oats, and salt.
2. The chocolate is not tempered so please keep it frozen or in the fridge… unless you just eat it up.
 
Thank you and your team for being an important provider of foods to my family and friends. We love your chocolate and appreciate ALL that you do to keep the stocks full.
 
First he says he's sending goodies… to me. I think that's ironic, but I'm so happy. Next he tells the Chocosphere team how important we are. I just love this.
 
I hope that you all know how much we appreciate your business! Over the last 22 years we have really enjoyed you and the incredible understanding and support you've given us from the beginning. It's not an easy business but it is joyful and that's because of you!

Incr‘Edible’ Chocolate Deals

We have some new items on the "ON SALE" and "BARGAIN BASEMENT" pages so have a look Spring is soon to be in the air, I'm hopeful that COVID will soon be on the way out, and Valentine's Day is just a few weeks away It's time to get something amazing for your sweetie, your buddy, yourself, or your someone special.

For a limited time we're giving a promotional discount of 10% off Valentine's gifts over $50.00 as found on our Valentine's Day page.To get there if you don't have the link at left at hand, use the drop-down menu from the top of our page: Gifts & Collections→Holiday Collections→Valentine's Day. It does not cover shipping, warm weather packaging, couverture, baking products or other items from our site that do not appear on our Valentine's Day page. You must apply the code BETTER-2021 in the "Gift Certificates / Coupon Codes" field right below the shopping cart display to get the promotional discount. There are more important terms and conditions below the graphic.

You can apply the BETTER-2021 Coupon code on the Shopping Cart display page, just below the itemized list of products as shown below:

Better-2021 Discount Code

This offer begins at 12:01 AM Pacific Time on January 28, 2021. To qualify, you must place your order online with an Order ID issued by our web site no later than 11:59 PM Pacific Time on February 3, 2021. This offer is subject to stock on hand and is not valid for orders placed outside the date range noted above. We will not honor the discount retroactively.

To make this "chocolate therapy" even better, we will be including a special treat of something incredible in every order.


Upcoming Holidays & Special Times

Valentine's Day, Easter, Mother's Day, Father's Day

It's the time of year for lots of chocolate. What you eat can make you sweet if it's chocolate because chocolate has a big impact on your mood and according to experts, even your health.  A lot has been written about possible benefits of chocolate!

Summarizing information from a web article on the site The Healthy: Chocolate has flavinoids and they have been identified with possibly having anti-viral, anti-allergic, anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor, and antioxidant benefits. The antioxidant properties of flavonoids are what stimulates potential health benefits from chocolate, such as helping with blood flow and decreasing cholesterol. Cocoa and cocoa containing foods are linked to improved cardiovascular health and lower risk of heart disease, stroke and cancer  Here are some other benefits: Improved cognitive function, helping skin absorb UV light, fight inflamation, and making you feel less hungry. Even smelling chocolate can curb your appetite.

And get this, from an article on the web site O School: "Both sex and chocolate can trigger the release of all four of our brains’ so-called “love” chemicals (oxytocin, serotonin, dopamine, and endorphins). In fact, science speculates that chocolate may lead to higher levels of desire, arousal, and sexual satisfaction. No wonder chocolate has historically been considered an aphrodisiac."

If you didn't have a reason to eat chocolate before and I don't know why you need one, please feel free to use one of the reasons above to justify your chocolate indulgence.


What's New

We have new products from Suzanne's Chocolate, Slitti, D. Barbero, Ritual, Gallette, Marana, Sibo, Venchi, Butlers, Michel Cluizel, Belvie, Republica del Cacao and Amedei… Check them out! And SCHARFFEN BERGER is back. Production has been moved to Oregon and we are getting the bulk natural cocoa powder again.

There is a new gift box from Michel Cluizel and beautiful filled hearts from Suzanne's. Dragees from Slitti in a canister are truly delicious, especially the unusual strawberries and lime covered in 70% dark chocolate, different hot chocolate canisters including one that is "Keto" with no added sugar. We have 3 new Belvie bars and so much more.


Bargain Basement & On Sale

Among other items we have Amedei 70% Gocce chocolate drops on the Bargain Basement. Get them while you can. There are 9 items on the “On Sale” page as of this writing. Check that out too. Right now there are bars from Michel Cluizel, Bonnat, Domori and Pralus on the page.


Recipe Corner

Joanne’s Nutty Peanut Buddy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients for the cookies

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup unsweetened crunchy peanut butter (make sure you stir it well)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • ½ cup smoked caramelized almonds

Making the caramelized smoked almonds

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • ½ cup smoked almonds roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sugar *

Instructions

  • In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium high heat. When it is just starting to foam, add the almonds and stir to coat them with butter.
  • When the almonds are hot and slightly toasty, sprinkle with the sugar and stir constantly as it melts onto them. This should only take a few minutes.
  • After the sugar has caramelized and the nuts have turned slightly brown, remove from the heat and immediately pour the almonds out on a piece of parchment paper or a silpat mat.
  • Immediately break the nuts apart to prevent them from sticking together.
  • * You can use 2-3 tablespoons of sugar, but I like them a bit less sweet for myself.

Now for the cookies...

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Prepare a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Cream butter until smooth.
  • Add peanut butter and both sugars and beat until combined well.
  • Add egg and beat well.
  • Sift flour and baking soda and mix in gradually until well combined.
  • Stir in chocolate chips and caramelized almonds by hand.
  • Using a small spoon, scoop out portions of dough and drop onto parchment lined cookie sheets, leaving 2" between each cookie. Refrigerate tray for 10 minutes.
  • Bake for about 20 minutes rotating the pan at 10 minutes. This will make a crisp cookie. If you like your cookies softer only bake for 15 minutes and if you like them dark and crispy bake for 22 minutes.
  • Allow cookies to cool for 5 minutes and then move to a wire rack to cool completely.  Set a new piece of parchment paper onto your baking sheet and repeat until all dough is baked.

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

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.


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