Posts Tagged ‘peanut brittle’

Meet Victor Terry

Friday, December 2nd, 2011

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

One of the people who make a difference at Choclatique

VictorHappy birthday, Vic! Victor is our utility infield chocolatier. He’s worked with Choclatique for two years. He started as an assistant, but soon took over the making of all our sugared products like brittles and Pralinated Nuts and Chocolate Nibs. Vic has perfected the art of making my great grandfather’s famous Peanut-packed Peanut Brittle, Chocolate Covered Peanut Brittle, and my grandmother’s Chocolate Almond Butter Toffee. He also makes the other varieties of crunch nut brittles.

Choclatique ChickBut Vic’s talent doesn’t stop there. He is responsible for giving all of our Chicks their unique personalities. Each Chick is hand-decorated and Vic has the steady hand to add the eyes and beaks to each bird. Every Chick is a miniature masterpiece. Decorating a molded piece of Choclatique chocolate starts by painting molds with the desired design inside-out and up-side down. It takes a steady hand and a lot of patience. When you look at the detail, you have to admire how much goes into just a single Chocolate Chick.

In Vic’s non-working hours he coaches his son, Victor Jr. III’s, football team in West Los Angeles. He also tries to work out when he’s got the chance and build model cars with his son.

Vic was one of our top tasters when we were developing the recipes for Choclatique—150 Simply Elegant Desserts. If you’re interested in learning more about some of Vic’s favorite desserts buy the gift of Choclatique—150 Simply Elegant Desserts. It is a great holiday gift and most importantly, the recipes make luscious tasting desserts perfect the first and every time. It is a foolproof guide to making all of your favorite desserts and improving your sweet disposition and those all around you.

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

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Is It Rude To Blog with Your Mouth Full?

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

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

Are you someone who craves sweet nibbles or salty snacks? Or, do you prefer spicy or sour munchies? I must confess I’m a serial snacker. Even though I am a trained chef, my snack repertoire is not all that sophisticated. That’s not surprising among chefs who work long shifts and eat anything in sight when their hard day’s work is at an end.Peanuts I’m a sucker for salted-in-the-shell peanuts—my trigger food—and I occasionally indulge on traditional sourdough pretzels. I like plain popcorn—I don’t like the artificial butter flavors—and I’ve never turned down a bag of Fritos. When it comes to sweets, I’m a chocoholic. I prefer dark, but a good milk chocolate is also fantastic when I’m in the mood and it’s usually Choclatique Prestige Milk Chocolate. At times like this I can even bring together some of my favorite flavors with our Chocolate Covered Peanut Brittle Bites.

Sweets and Snacks ExpoWith the excuse that I need more experience, I cranked my expertise in snacking up a notch. This week, I am insanely excited because I got to explore my snacking inner-child at Chicago’s Annual Sweets and Snacks Expo at McCormick Place. This is an annual “snackin’” trade show hosed by National Confectioners Association where over 14,000 buyers and 500 manufactures come to see what’s new. The expo offers everything from jelly beans to popcorn companies that put movie caliber snacks to shame (hello Popcornopolis) and chocolatiers who even challenge Willy Wonka’s magic. This is the largest confectionery, cookie and snack show in the Americas. The EXPO features companies showcasing their newest, sweetest, most sour, most crunchy confectionery and snack products in one place making it one of the most valuable, time-effective events in the industry. In fact, more than 130 new companies exhibited and more buyers than ever attended the event. The EXPO attracts all of the major US distribution channels and featurestop-notch experts in some of the educational keynote sessions, making it easier than ever to discover the latest trends and discover what’s new in the world of snacking.

As I walked the EXPO floor with more than 14,000 qualified confectionery and snack professionals, including nearly 1,000 international visitors traveling from more than 60 countries. We all munched the hall from one end to the other leaving trails of crunchy crumbs.

ChipsWe snacked on lentil and hummus chips with unusual and exotic flavors like black pepper, dill, chili and mint, and sweets snacks that claimed to be fortified with vitamins slated to offer consumers greater snack options when the three o’clock munchies hit.

Consumers can expect to see more snack foods and sweets that layer multiple, complex, and sometimes unexpected flavors. Combinations like habanera and lemongrass-flavored sweets, dual-filled truffles, and gourmet, artisanal flavors like cracked pepper and Asiago cheese-flavored chips.

Napa Valley Wine ChocolatesI found wine-flavored chocolates by a New York company that are very similar to our Napa Valley Wine Chocolates that we introduced over 2 years ago. There was even a wine-flavored caramel—Cabernet to be exact—with a hint of sea salt. I discovered flower, troll and monster-shaped gummies, chocolate-coated jelly beans, straws filled with flavor beads like cookies and cream, strawberry, or vanilla that instantly transform a regular glass of milk to a snacking dessert, and crisp rice puffs dipped in dark chocolate, infused with vitamin D3 and sealed in a chocolate candy coating.

Despite a lagging economy, the snack and sweet markets experienced growth in 2010, as they’re considered affordable indulgences.

Designer DonutsThis month we are releasing our own “holey” indulgences—Choclatique Designer Donuts. Now you can enjoy the flavors of a chocolatiers’ dozen (15 different, wonderful flavors), including Almond Coconut Flake, Carrot-Cream Cheese, Chocolate Caramel, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Chocolate Sprinkles, Cinnamon Spice, Dark Chocolate Devil’s Food Cake, Fluff-a-Nutter, Jelly Donut, Johnny Appleseed’s Apple, Marshmallow Mint Chip, Mocha Kreme, Vanilla Kreme, Vermont Maple Crunch, and Wicked Red Cherry.

Shameless Plug: I know for many it’s too early to think about the end of the year holidays, but here’s a thought for some great gift giving—Choclatique (the book). And guess what? You don’t even have to wait for the end of the year. It’s the perfect gift for brides, grooms, grandchildren’s birthday, anniversaries… actually Choclatique (the book) is perfect for just about any occasion. Signed copies will be available after October 1st.

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

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

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The "Fancy Pants" of Food Shows

Wednesday, July 8th, 2009
— Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique

The New York Summer Fancy Foods Show

Fancy Food ShowSince 1955, the Fancy Food Shows, produced by the NASFT (The National Association for the Specialty Food Trade) in both New York (summer) and California (winter) are North America’s largest specialty food and beverage marketplaces.

This is where roughly 24,000 attendees go to taste and consider new products including confections, cheese, coffee, snacks, spices, ethnic, natural, organic and, of course, chocolate. This year, in New York, there were over 2,300 exhibitors—including Choclatique—from about 80 countries.

It is a place that retailers go to discover what’s new and innovative in the world of food and beverage products. These attendees come to see thousands of exhibitors from all over the globe. Most are passionate entrepreneurs like Joan and me who have created their own recipes and started their own companies. At this show you can learn about these trend-setting businesses and watch them sell to decision-makers as they showcase more than 250,000 innovative products.

The International Pavilions are very exciting, presenting exotic new specialty foods from all over the world—some seldom seen in the U.S. There are also dozens of seminars, workshops, tours, tastings, cooking classes and special events at each show.

This year Choclatique released 8 new products for consideration to the retail trade.

These included:

  • Moon Rocks Chocolate—celebrating the 40th anniversary of man’s first walk on the moon. With galactic flavors such as Apollo Almond and Cosmic Caramel Crunch, these delicious confections boldly go where no chocolate has gone before.
  • The Jewel Box Collection—rare and beautiful confections designed to represent the finely-crafted precious and semi-precious birthstones that have engaged mankind from the beginning of time.
  • Napa Valley Wine Chocolates—available in eight amazing varieties including Late Harvest Cabernet Chocolate, Fall Vineyard Merlot Chocolate, Estate Chardonnay Chocolate, Sparkling Blanc Chocolate, Old Oak Barrel-Aged Port Chocolate, First-Crush Fume Blanc Chocolate, Zinfandel Cuvée Chocolate, and Pretty in Pink “Blush” Chocolate.
  • Elephant—Seriously Strong Chocolate (76%)—mind-blowing in its complexity, rivaling many of the high percentage cacao chocolates from the European legacy chocolate makers. It’s comparable to chocolates with higher cacao content. Elephant Chocolate shows off Choclatique’s mastery of chocolate blending. It is a harmonious mélange of Criollo and Trinitario beans that brings out the light floral aromas of ripe cherry and the essence of raisin top notes. There are deep chocolate layers punctuated by the complex flavors of tart citrus, red fruit and roasted walnut and almond notes.
  • Peanut Brittle Bites—an abundance of U.S. grown, Spanish-style red-skin peanuts and a perfectly-cooked buttery sugar brittle.
  • Chocolate-Covered Peanut Brittle Bites—a twist on the original, with the addition of Choclatique’s Prestige Milk Chocolate (32%) coating, and crushed peanuts for a texture that is as great as the taste.
  • Chocolate-Almond Butter Toffee Bites—a blend of pure Hawaiian cane sugar, dairy-fresh butter and real vanilla all covered in our Choclatique Private Reserve Dark Chocolate (64%), and sprinkled with ground, oven-roasted California almonds, toasted cocoa nibs and Saigon cinnamon.
  • Pure Power—100% Gluten-Free Power Bar—a delicious, high protein (9.5g) peanut bar that is chock-full of U.S.A. grown Virginia peanuts and all natural ingredients that are commonly found in your own pantry.

New York Summer 2009 Fancy Food Show

Joan Vieweger and Ed Engoron at the New York Summer Fancy Food Show 2009

We handed out nearly 5,000 pieces of chocolate over 3 days and talked to over 400 key retailer buyers, brokers and distributors, many of whom will now begin to carry Choclatique products.

So, now is the time to start planning your personal and corporate Christmas gifts—all the retail buyers are!

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Grandpa Max’s Peanut Brittle

Wednesday, June 17th, 2009
— Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique

At a Memorial Day barbecue a few weeks back a bunch of us were talking about our parents and families and the passing of generations. The discussion centered on which generation in American history was the greatest. After a long debate, we came to a friendly consensus that each generation since the founding of this union shared in the greatness of America. Our family included.

After my father passed away, I found a box of his “little treasures” that he had kept for years. I never had looked through the box of his personal letters and mementos; they were just there sitting on the top shelf of my closet. I don’t know why, but after the party and after all the talk, I felt compelled to search through his box of little treasures.

 

As I lifted the lid, I found some tiny baby booties. I’m not sure if they were mine, my brother’s or maybe even my father’s. It’s hard to believe that my feet were ever that small. I found an old autograph book—a collection of long-forgotten boxers, baseball players and a wrestler or two. A Brooklyn Dodgers’ Ebbets Field seat cushion autographed by Gil Hodges, Pee Wee Reese and Duke Snyder from the 1955 World Series. I guess way back then you didn’t have to fork over $1000 for an All-Star Athlete’s signature.

New York Times front pageAnd then I stumbled onto some hand-written, seemingly secret “code” on a back page of the New York Times from 1904. There, scribbled in his own hand, over a picture of my Grandfather Max and none other than my presidential idol, Theodore Roosevelt, was a secret message. Max and TR? Was this story about Max being named an ambassador to some exotic foreign country or to a cabinet post? Was he returning from some secret spy mission? No, it was all about peanut brittle… not just any peanut brittle, but Max’s crunchy peanut brittle that was pictured with Max handing it to TR himself.

 

Grandfather MaxI had heard that old Max owned a moving company way back when the “vans” were pulled by horses. I heard the legend of how he had grabbed onto a rope that had broken away from a safe that his workers were hauling up to the 5th floor by block and tackle; he saved a half dozen kids below. I remember he used to tell us his heroic story showing us the burn scars on his hands. I also heard that he was a gentlemen’s banker, a stock broker, even a tax collector. But now, looking through my dad’s treasured keepsakes, I found out that Max made peanut brittle—not just any peanut brittle, but brittle fit for a President.

Teddy RooseveltAs I read on, I discovered the recipe dated back to the 1870s or ‘80s when Max first perfected his peanut “packin’” stuffed peanut brittle. Everyone, TR included, proclaimed that it was the best on earth. After a few calls to relatives, I found out that Max started delivering his fresh peanut brittle to the Roosevelt family when they lived in New York City. When T.R. became president, Max was asked to deliver his peanut brittle to Sagamore Hill in Oyster Bay. In fact, rumor has it that his peanut brittle even made to the White House in Washington.

The cryptic, hand-written code turned out to be the recipe—Max’s secret peanut brittle recipe. I couldn’t wait to get to the Chocolate Studio on Tuesday and try it for myself. I started up the fire pot, added the sugars, syrups and butter—just plain honest ingredients—and turned it into a steaming caldron of molten goo. Wow! At 305º I stirred in the Spanish-style peanuts, added the vanilla and then shut off the gas. I got a little help to pour the magic mixture out on to the cooling slab. After a suitable cooling time, everyone agreed I had duplicated Max’s perfect peanut brittle recipe on the first try. Hey, Grandpa, I aced it the first time. Was this good enough to add to the Choclatique Collection? You bet.

While traditional peanut brittles tend to be a bit hard on the teeth (filling-pullers) and somewhat difficult to eat, Max’s secret recipe combines an abundance of Spanish, red-skin, US-grown peanuts into a perfectly-cooked, buttery, sugar brittle. The result is a much lighter bite that leaves a long-lasting, wonderful all-natural flavor you’ll never forget.

If you truly appreciate great peanut brittle, you will understand why Max’s customers said it is the very best they ever tasted. We are confident you will feel the same way when you take your first bite of our new Peanut Brittle Bites.

Now you might ask, how do you improve on perfection? Add a little chocolate, of course. Grandpa Max’s peanut brittle has been enhanced with a wonderful, light coating of Choclatique’s Prestige Milk Chocolate (32%) and dusted with crushed peanuts.

Our peanut brittle bites make wonderful gifts for family and friends, not to mention a terrific “personal stash.” They’re also a terrific thank-you or corporate gift. What was once a family secret is now available every day in the original 1870’s recipe and milk chocolate covered, too.

Max’s (and now Choclatique’s) old-fashioned Peanut Brittle Bites are now available all year round at Choclatique.com.

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