Archive for January, 2012

Best Chocolate Recipes Ever!

Friday, January 27th, 2012
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

Bittersweet Chocolate TartThis week a couple of recipes from Choclatique—150 Simply Elegant Desserts were named by Jennifer Jeanne Patterson, reporter for MORE.com, as two of the Best Chocolate Recipes Ever! Now this was in an article where renowned chocolatiers and pastry chefs shared their favorite dessert, candy and drinks recipes. The two she loved from Choclatique were Faultless Chocolate Soufflé and Bittersweet Chocolate Tart. It just so happens that these are a two of my favorites as well. Aside from the recipes there were several other interesting desserts that I will be making and tasting over the weekend. You can read all about it here.

Martha Stewart WeddingsMartha Stewart also had great things to say about Choclatique—the chocolate on her Bride’s Guide. We are always pleased when Choclatique is recognized for our fine work in both our recipes and in our chocolate products.

As we get closer to June and wedding season we have found that many brides and grooms are adding a beautiful chocolate table to their guest offerings. Why not be the first in your area to consider building a chocolate table?

Chocolate tables can be as simple as layers and layers of small traditional or personalized truffles, giant centerpieces or even a chocolate fountain that brings chocolate fondue to a higher, more participatory level. Chocolate tables are something that everyone always remembers. Don’t wait until the last minute… start thinking about a chocolate wedding today.

And if you didn’t already suspect it, more proposals for marriage are made on Valentine’s Day than any other time of the year. If you’re already thinking of something to give your honey for Valentine’s Day, you can’t go wrong with chocolate.

Here are a few new things to ponder from Choclatique; they won’t disappoint even the most jaded chocolate aficionado. Think about these for both your betrothed and your future wedding guests. You can use our “Build-A-Box” website tool to pick whatever chocolates you want from over 150 choices to fill an 8-, 15- or 30-piece box. Another fun option is a Choclatique SweeTweet, which allows you to spell out a phrase of your choosing. How about something like “I love you… marry me!”? Of course, there are always our beautiful Love assortments—the most beautiful and decadent chocolate hearts in the world.

It’s almost February and love is definitely in the air. Think chocolate!

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Hey Ferd, Eat This!

Thursday, January 12th, 2012
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

Have you ever wondered who was the first cave person to ever consider eating an egg? “Hey Ferd, that funny looking bird just dropped something from his butt—let’s eat it!” Or the first person to try eating what they what they thought was bee poo and it tuned out to taste like honey. Ummmm!

Well I’ve got to think that chocolate—or more correctly call cacao—must have had a similar history. Here is all this stuff growing on a tree, “let’s break it open and eat it.” As it turns out mankind (and womankind) got it right and we are still discovering things about chocolate and the over 300 constituent elements that are so healthful for us.

So now we are learning that you might want to consider brushing your teeth with, guess what? Chocolate—yes, I said chocolate. Who came up with this idea to make brushing your teeth just a little sweeter?

New Orleans based Theodent has launched a toothpaste that uses compounds found in chocolate to strengthen teeth. The toothpaste uses a propriety blend, Rennou, which contains an extract of chocolate plus other minerals that work together to strengthen teeth. Rennou is used as a substitute for fluoride in Theodent’s toothpaste.

Theodent represents one of the major innovations in dental care in 100 years,” says Arman Sadeghpour, Theodent CEO. “I know that is a bold statement, but there are almost no other effective and non-toxic fluoride alternatives on the market.”

Rennou is the product of a team of New Orleans researchers who found that chocolate compounds caused microscopic unit crystals of the tooth enamel to grow larger, resulting in stronger teeth. According to Sadeghpour, Rennou actually gives teeth a harder surface than fluoride does and it’s completely non-toxic.

Though the compounds included in Rennou are related to stimulants at most this toothpaste might cause a “mild mood elevating effect” and it is “certainly not physiologically addictive” as caffeine is.

The compounds are not sweet either. The compounds in Rennou come from the bitter part of chocolate, but the toothpaste itself is not bitter and has been released in a whitening crystal mint flavor. According to the company the mint flavor is gentler than most brands and meant to encourage longer brushing.

Theodent Classic is available for sale in some Whole Foods Markets in the US as well as in Canada and eventually will be available at other retailers at a suggested retail price of $9.99. In addition, Theodent 300, an extra strength version, will be marketed to select cosmetic dentists and medical professionals.

Q-91 WafersIf you want to make your heart smile as wide as your teeth then also consider Choclatique’s Q-91 or Elephant Chocolate. You see, it’s more than wishful thinking—chocolate can be good for you. Studies show that eating chocolate, primarily dark chocolate, may contribute to improved cardiovascular health. A source of natural flavanol antioxidants, dark chocolate and cocoa sit in the same good-for-you category as green tea and blueberries. That’s because chocolate comes from cacao beans (or cocoa beans), which grow on the cacao tree and are full of natural plant nutrients. Most of the studies to date highlight dark chocolate because it has the highest percentage of cocoa solids, therefore delivering more flavanol antioxidants.

Chocolate and Your Health Hand-In-Hand.

The health benefits of high antioxidant foods have taken the scientific world—and the media—by storm. Recent studies suggest that the plant compounds, which act as antioxidants in foods, may reduce the risk of many kinds of illness, from heart disease to cancer. Antioxidants like those found in dark chocolate and cocoa, called flavanols have also been linked to some of the hallmarks of good cardiovascular health such as enhanced blood flow, healthy cholesterol levels and, in some cases, reduced blood pressure.

Dark chocolate and cocoa contain cell-protecting flavanol antioxidant compounds. Two tablespoons of natural cocoa have more antioxidant capacity than 3 1/2 cups of green tea, 3/4 cup of blueberries and 1 1/3 glasses of red wine. Next time, skip the Joe and go for the cocoa.

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Happy New Year!

Thursday, January 5th, 2012
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

All of us at Choclatique wish you a very Happy New Year. We would like to thank you for making our fourth holiday selling season such a fantastic success. This year we increased our shipments by a whopping 45%. That might be expected in a booming economy, but during these troubled economic times, it is a ringing endorsement on the quality of our Choclatique artisan chocolate and companion products. We thank all of our loyal return customers and our new supporters who tried us for the first time this year.

Boxed AssortmentsMany of our returning customers told us they love our new streamed-lined components on the Choclatique website and all the improvements in the Build-A-Box feature. And everyone has given us AAA ratings on our new packaging that was introduced in mid-2011. The new boxes are a rich, chocolate brown reusable stylized, leather gift box with wide, hand-tied, double satin ribbon. There is only one thing that could dress up our luscious chocolate and it is the collection of beautiful new boxes.

Designer DonutsThe most exciting new product to come out of Choclatique’s Chocolate Studios this year was my new book, Choclatique—150 Simply Elegant Recipes. We received rave reviews and have been listed in many publications as one of the best Top 10 Cookbooks of the year. We want to thank the publisher, Running Press; my editor, Geoffrey Stone; and both our public relations teams of Seta Zink at Running Press and own PR team at J. Cutler Media Group. In 2011 we also introduced our new Designer Donuts assortment along with our Choclatique Tasting Kit—a companion piece to our new book.

None of this could have been achieved without the help of our wonderful artisans and support staff. A big “hats-off” to our chocolate team, logistics managers, packers and shippers who worked late into the night and on weekends to get our orders shipped. Also, kudos to UPS who didn’t miss a single delivery. A few may have been a little late due to the unpredictable weather we experienced, but they did a great job of delivering everything.

Retro CocktailsHere are a few things to look forward to in 2012. Once again we are hearing those famous words, “It’s cocktail time.” During the 1900s, a “cocktail” was a normal part of the social fabric of life. It wasn’t just a glass of cheap gin splashed over ice. It was an artistic achievement—satiny-smooth, fire and ice; Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in a glass; surgical cleanliness; insight and comfort; redemption and absolution. It was the Martini, the Old Fashioned and the Gin Fizz.

This month we will introduce Choclatique’s Retro Cocktails. While many of today’s popular “cocktails” originated over 100 years ago, each one has enjoyed a reinvention at least once in our lifetimes and we’re glad they’re back. Choclatique has faithfully recreated these wonderful beverage flavors in chocolate complete with colorful artist-inspired art deco designs in our new Retro Cocktail assortment.

We start with the Martini—not just any Martini, but a Chocolate Martini—smooth and delicious. Also included in the Choclatique collected works of chocolate Retro Cocktails is a Champagne Cocktail, Orange Frappé, Daiquiri, Gin Fizz, Old Fashioned, Piña Colada, Planter’s Punch, Tropical Punch, Grasshopper, Singapore Sling, Rum & Coke, Zombie and the famous Screwdriver. You can now safely enjoy and savor your Choclatique cocktail hour and not worry about driving home. Happy hour just got happier!

This year we will also introduce Choclatique’s Tea Garden Chocolates. These solid chocolate wafers are chocolate already laden with antioxidants and further enhanced with the essence of exotic teas. Now you can experience the teas of the world in chocolate:

  • Bali-Hi—the natural flavors of fresh-brewed green tea, lemongrass and ginger are tempered in our own blend of dark, teak-colored chocolate.
  • Star of India—our mélange of chamomile teas is slowly-brewed with a wild blend of dark-roasted chocolate, mysterious spices and curries from India.
  • Japon Spring Blossom—a breath of Asian spring air, orange blossom-scented dark, robust chocolate and fresh-minted green tea.
  • Tahitian Island—an exotic Tahitian island treat of natural tropical fruit flavors—passion fruit, Meyer lemon, banana, pineapple, coconut and pearl oranges—all blended with our luscious 17 bean, dark-roasted chocolate.
  • Mandarin Orange—a long lost chocolate recipe from the Emperor’s palace kitchen in Beijing made with imported island dark chocolate beans and Chinese Mandarin oranges.
  • Jakarta Nights—Extraction of brewed Chai tea, star clove oil, cardamom, basil, lemongrass and a touch of warmth from cayenne pepper is slowly infused with our flavorful dark chocolate.
  • Saigon Cinnamon Forrest—Sweet Saigon cinnamon extracts of cassia and oil from Ceylon cinnamon pods slowly blended with Tea Garden dark chocolate blends.
  • Singapore Sunrise—Dark chocolate blends enhanced with slowly steeped green tea and lighted scented with wild clover honey and Sweet Asian forest cinnamon.

Q-91 WafersWe now have made Choclatique Q-91 a lot easier to order and carry with you. Q-91 now comes packaged in our new 24-piece box of individually packaged wafers. Q-91 is rich in all the elements that researchers tell us reduces blood pressure, cholesterol and cavities while elevating the mood. Now you can be both healthy and happy at the same time.

SweeTweetsUsually when thinking about social media the first tools that come to mind are Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. Seldom if ever is chocolate thought of as a form of social communication. That’s about to change because we have developed SweeTweets™ by Choclatique… a powerful and tasty social media tool in its own right.

SweeTweets is our messaging chocolate gift that will have your followers (gift recipients) singing your praises. SweeTweets are text-based solid chocolate posts of up to 30 characters displayed in a beautiful Choclatique stylized leather box.

SweeTweets are delivered overnight to your special followers. You don’t need permission to follow anyone in chocolate. It’s having a chocolaty messaging device customized with your own thoughts in chocolate reaching 1 to 1000 people in just 24 hours. SweeTweets your thoughts in chocolate wishing loved ones a “Happy Birthday,” “Happy Valentine’s Day,” or telling that special person “I Love You.”

Choclatique Ganache SauceAnd lastly, just in time to enjoy for the summer are our new Choclatique Ganache Sauces which will be available in May. Our Dark, Milk, White, Azteca, Fudge and Burnt Caramel sauces are perfect over ice cream or to use in any of the recipes in Choclatique—150 Simply Elegant Desserts or just to take a spoonful or two.

If you’re interested in learning more about chocolate, its effects on the human body and improving your disposition, buy Choclatique—150 Simply Elegant Desserts. It is the perfect gift for Valentine’s Day, a new bride or kitchen-lovin’ groom. The recipes make show-stopping desserts perfectly the first time and very time.

CHOCLATIQUE by Ed Engoron ––––––––––––––– Full-Color Throughout 256 pages • 8 x 10 $27.00 /$31.50 CAN /£14.99 UK ISBN 978-0-7624-3964-5 • Available now on the Choclatique Website and in Book Stores

CHOCLATIQUE by Ed Engoron
Full-Color Throughout 256 pages • 8 x 10 $27.00 /$31.50 CAN /£14.99 UK ISBN 978-0-7624-3964-5 • hc Available on the Choclatique Website and Book Stores, September, 2011

Happy New Year!

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