Posts Tagged ‘Choclatique’

Think Different

Monday, October 10th, 2011

Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

Caramel Apple

Steven Paul Jobs (born February 24, 1955) was an American business magnate and inventor. He was the co-founder and chief executive officer of Apple Inc. Jobs previously served as chief executive of Pixar Animation Studios. He became a member of the board of The Walt Disney Company in 2006, following the acquisition of Pixar by Disney. He was credited in the 1995 movie Toy Story as an executive producer. Jobs believed in being the best.

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Chocolate Tops List of Most-Popular Specialty Foods

Thursday, October 6th, 2011

Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

Choclatique by Ed EngoronOn Tuesday, September 27th, Choclatique—150 Simply Elegant Desserts finally arrived at bookstores and websites around the world. Yes, I did say around the world. I found Choclatique (The Book) online in England, Gemany, Sweden, Spain, France, Italy, Japan and China. After three years of hard work that was really rewarding. Even more rewarding are the comments that we continually get about Choclatique Chocolate.

Sally FieldChocolate has always been popular, but now chocolate has knocked out coffee as the top specialty food purchase reported by consumers, according to a new report from the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade (NASFT). Or as Sally Field might say, “They love me! They really love me!”

Chill-Worthy Cherry from the Boo BoxAt the 5th Annual International Chocolate Salon held in Los Angeles last week, Choclatique was named The Most Gifted Chocolatier and Chocolate Maker for the second year in a row. Chocolate Sprinkles from the Designer Donuts CollectionWe sampled a variety of our newest truffles including Chocolate Martini from our new Retro Cocktail Collection, Dark Chocolate Sprinkles from our Designer Donut Collection. We treated guests to our Estate Chardonnay truffles from our Napa Valley Wine Chocolates, and some delightful Halloween ghosts from the Boo Box. Some of the most talked about confections at the show were our signature Dark Chocolate Caramel in Dark Chocolate and our most popular, best-selling Bubbly—Choclatique’s Champagne Truffle.

The growing popularity of gourmet chocolate comes as no surprise to me. The continued growth of well-made artisan chocolate has been steady even during difficult economic times.

chocolate heartsGreat economic challenges can be turned into big opportunities with products like artisanal chocolate, designer cheeses and creative condiments that have all become an integral part of the American culinary landscape. The exciting part is that today American artisan chocolatiers now rival the best of what Europe has to offer and it is exciting to see chocolate pushed to the top of the list ahead of coffee.

Seven years ago, Joan and I began the development of the Choclatique assortments; our only thought in mind was making the best damn chocolate in America. Our efforts have been rewarded with over 40 international awards. Last week not only were we named The Most Gifted Chocolatier, but we also received awards in the following categories:

  • Most Luxurious Chocolate Experience
  • Tower of Delight

  • Best Presentation & Packaging
  • Best Gift Set
  • Top Artisan Chocolatier
  • Most Artistic Designs
  • Best in Salon
  • Top Toffee in Salon
  • Best Milk Chocolate
  • Best Dark Chocolate Bar
  • Best Comfort Chocolate

Choclatique’s Chocolate Studios are located in West Los Angeles near the beach city of Santa Monica. We are a 7-year-old company selling chocolate online at www.Choclatique.com, Amazon and upscale retailers across the United States.

Remember to watch for ChocolateDoctor sightings (that’s me) in your area, as I am invited to appear on TV programs around the country to talk about chocolate, and be sure to check out Choclatique—150 Simply Elegant Desserts found in bookstores around the world, Amazon, Walmart, Target and of course our website at www.Choclatique.com.

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Fine Chocolate and Fancy Food

Monday, January 25th, 2010

— Joan Vieweger, Co-Founder of Choclatique

Twice a year the artisans and merchants of “fancy” foods gather in New York and San Francisco for the Summer and Winter Fancy Food Shows, sponsored by the NASFT—National Association for the Specialty Food Trade. Some 45,000 buyers walk aisle after aisle after aisle perusing, sniffing, nibbling and evaluating a mind-boggling 250,000 products from all around the world, including gourmet chocolates, handmade chocolate, chocolate truffles and fine chocolate.

Fancy Food Show

Just prior to the start of the Fancy Food Show, our own talented group of artisans gathers for our semi-annual meeting of the FCIA—Fine Chocolate Industry Association. It’s a fun and fascinating group that includes professionals from all around the country involved in chocolate from blossom to bean to bonbon and bar: growers/producers, chocolatiers, chocolate makers, pastry chefs, chocolate manufacturers, marketers, writers, educators and specialty retailers.

Chicks CollectionThe winter confluence of these groups took place January 16th-19th in San Francisco, so I grabbed my umbrella, trench coat and Wellies (have you seen our California weather lately?) and hit the road (or the airport and train station anyway).

Our FCIA program this year included a new feature called the Gallery Showcase in which members were given a small presentation space to “showcase” some of their latest and greatest or soon-to-be-released products. This was the first time that our fun and flavorful new Easter Chicks made their public debut. Chicks officially “hatch” on March 1st; they make wonderful chocolate gifts. Chicks make an excellent companion chocolate to our 24-karat gold Spring assortments.

Sticky Almond ChickThe aww-factor was pretty high as my fellow association members considered the amount of painstaking detail involved in creating these hand-made chocolates. Each Chick is carefully hand-painted (eyes, beak, face/body, shell top and bottom), then cast in Private Reserve Premium Dark Chocolate (64% cacao), creamy Prestige Milk Chocolate (32%) or Snowy White Chocolate (33%), and filled with layers of flavors including Bumble Berry, Cherries Jubilee, Orange Orchard, Sticky Almond and Sweet Sesame Seed Crunch, among others.

The educational portion of the evening focused on an informative—and surprisingly entertaining—panel discussion focusing on the mystery, myths and facts around the health benefits of chocolate. An impressive panel of scientists and experts were assembled to explore the topic. They included: David Stuart, Director Natural Product Sciences for The Hershey Company; Catherine Kwik-Uribe, PhD Research Scientist for Mars; Joan Steuer, President of Chocolate Marketing and Founding Editor of Chocolatier (now Dessert Professional); and Clay Gordon, Founder of The Chocolate Life (online community).

The scientists presented data from research studies suggesting that chocolate does in fact yield beneficial effects from consumption including improvement in blood flow within 20 minutes of consumption and a reduction in blood pressure with daily consumption of small amounts (more studies are underway to further validate these findings). Clay discussed the benefits associated with cocoa and chocolate’s exceedingly high ORAC values (Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity, one of the primary methods for measuring and comparing antioxidant properties in foods), and Joan Steuer reminded us all that even if chocolate is ultimately determined to be a “health food” by any scientific standard, we should all remember the primary reason to consume is for the pure pleasure of the chocolate-eating experience.

The following day I put on my walking shoes and traversed over 180,000 square feet of exhibits at Moscone Center. Pure Power BarI must admit to being a little myopic, focusing on the wonderful world of gourmet chocolate and our wonderful supporting vendors (packaging and specialty ingredients), but I did “slow my roll” a bit around the dozens of cheese booths (hey, I grew up in Wisconsin and now live in California… there’s whey in my blood) I encountered, not to mention artisan sausages and charcuterie producers. Of course, the What’s New/What’s Hot section is not to be missed, either. Lots of “green” offerings this year, and gluten-free was all the rage… none quite as good our gluten-free PurePower Peanut Bars.

Every style of specialty food is represented in a demonstration of America’s seemingly unlimited entrepreneurial spirit that drives artisans of every style to “take the plunge” and bring their craft to market. It’s only too bad that they don’t add a day for the public, allowing the vast community of foodies to come through to “try and buy.” It would definitely be a finger-lickin’ win/win for all concerned!

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No Chocolate?

Thursday, May 14th, 2009
— Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique

What Would The World Be Without Chocolate?

As a dedicated professional foodie, I usually can’t wait to get my hands on the latest issue of Gourmet Magazine. I simply love food! I love working with it… I love talking about it… and I love eating it! But I can honestly say there is only one thing I love more than ordinary food, and that’s chocolate. After all, I am the guy who cooked chocolate pasta on KABC’s AMLA to the delight of Christina Ferrare, a chocolate and pasta fancier.

So imagine my complete and utter disappointment with the May issue of Gourmet. I scoured it from cover to cover and alas there wasn’t a single recipe or even a mention about chocolate. How could Ruth Reichl, my favorite Editor-in-Chief, have let me down so badly? Ruth, what were you thinking? There were articles on Fresh Foods, Drinks, Stir Frying, Wine and Travel. They covered Melbourne, Sailing and the Low Countries Rising. They even included an article on Obsessions—obviously theirs and not mine—as my obsession is with chocolate.

So, that made me start to think about a world without chocolate. After all, if Gourmet could put out an issue without one chocolate recipe, new chocolate thought or even a single chocolaty mention, what could be next? The world would certainly not be a better place, nor was this months Gourmet a better magazine for not including chocolate.

Now I am not a first class editor like Ms. Reichl, but I do know that I could have added a few chocolate ideas to the issue. I would have taken the Tortilla Chicken Drumsticks recipe on page 78 and improved it with a touch of mole—that rich, dark, reddish-brown delicious concoction usually served with poultry. It’s a great sauce made with onion, garlic, a variety of chilies, ground pumpkin seeds and a small amount of, you guessed it, Mexican chocolate. It would have been so easy.

On page 99 in Cucina Paradiso there is a wonderful recipe for Tuscan Cornmeal Cookies. This yummy recipe, too, could have been improved with, you guessed it, chocolate! If it were left up to me I would have substituted 3 tablespoons of the butter with a dark, rich chocolate ganache. I also would have considered dipping half of the cookie in a tempered chocolate bath to add a tantalizing chocolate dimension. After all, our Italian friends, both here and abroad, certainly love their chocolate, too.

What would the harm have been in brushing the Périgord Walnut Tart shell (page 123) with a little bit of melted chocolate? Besides the obvious flavor appeal, practically speaking, a little chocolate will keep a tart shell wonderfully fresh and flaky. There were strawberry-Vanilla Swirls (page 75); does Ruth not think that strawberry and chocolate blend well together? Who doesn’t love the taste of fresh summer berries that have been kissed with chocolate? What about the recipes for Dulce de Leche Torte (page 115) and Naranjilla Ice Cream (page 131)? Is there no room for a little chocolate among the citrusy flavors of the specialty fruit purées so well discussed? Chocolate and citrus-like flavors are like love and marriage. And what about a refreshing, ice-blended chocolate beverage for summer? It’s not just for winter anymore.

First the brokerage firms, then the banks and the car companies… everyday, life as we know it is changing! But NO CHOCOLATE in Gourmet?! That, we cannot stand for! Hopefully, Ms. Reichl, this was just an unfortunate oversight—one that will never be repeated in Gourmet again.

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Seriously Strong “Elephant” Chocolate?

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009
— Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique

We recently introduced our newest high percentage cacao content dark chocolate—Choclatique’s Elephant…Seriously Strong Chocolate (76%). Over the last couple of months, many have asked us about its origins… and why “Elephant?”

When chocolate and coffee were first spreading across Europe, many of the importers were looking for ways of differentiating their products and brands in the marketplace.  The old tin-lined wooden boxes (similar to tea boxes from Asia) and burlap bags that the beans were shipped in really didn’t tell enough of the story to the consuming public.

Animal-style logos appeared on the scene right around the turn of the 20th century. They were designed and put in place on smaller retail containers in stores selling chocolate and coffee throughout the British Empire. The story that they were trying to convey to the public was that their brand of chocolate (or coffee) were both strong and “full-value.” The early logos that the importers used to portray strength were large animals—rhinoceros was a favorite. But, how many rhinos on packages of chocolate can be on the market at the same time without creating general confusion? Elephant and hippopotamus caricatures were next to be seen, followed by horses, eagles and even a few non-animal logos like clipper ships and tall mountains. But the consumer kept coming back for the products portrayed by rhinoceros and elephants.

Ed, Noi & Oon

Ed, Noi & Oon

At Choclatique the founders have a “thing” for elephants. I have traveled to over 130 countries in search of great chocolate sources and have spent many months in Asia where elephants have been an important part of the history and culture of the region.

I have a favorite place just outside of Bangkok which is one of the few elephant refuges in the world where you can spend hours in close contact with the very strong, but playful pachyderms. Look closely, and you’ll see that we’re all smiling! Yes, elephants smile and they laugh, too!

Tasting Chocolate

When seriously tasting chocolate, you should allow the chocolate to slowly melt in your mouth to savor the flavor. With Elephant you’ll get big, rich chocolate flavor with the essence of ripe cherry, berry, wine and then more deep chocolate over complex layers of tart citrus, tropical red and yellow fruit and roasted nutty notes. This is all held up by the solid, rich and intense deep chocolate base. This high cacao content, medium-bodied, very intense chocolate is smooth on the tongue and palate with a long, pleasant chocolate finish.

Choclatique's Elephant Chocolate

Choclatique’s Elephant Chocolate

We have found these tastes to be right in sync with the flavors that Americans love when eating chocolate.  Oh, and by the way, people really love the look of the beautiful, detailed custom mold we had designed just for our Elephant Chocolate.

Choclatique’s dark chocolates—Private Reserve (64%), Ebony (72%), Elephant (76%) and Q-91 (91%) are never bitter or brittle, and they have a naturally intense dark chocolate flavor which requires the use of less sugar. When you tastes our Elephant Chocolate you will see (and taste) the “fruits” of our labor.

If you love elephants, too, and want more information about how to help save these big, gentle creatures, check out Windy Borman and “The Eyes of Thailand” at: dvaproductions.com

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