Posts Tagged ‘San Francisco International Chocolate Salon’

Up in the Air

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

Ed aka The Chocolate DoctorApril was a diverse month peppered with lots of travel. I was in San Francisco, Newark, New Haven, Denver, Chicago, London, Lisbon and back to San Francisco. Tomorrow I leave for Cincinnati by way of Denver and then finally back to Los Angeles. I kind of feel like the George Clooney character—Ryan Bingham—in Up in the Air. He finds himself on the cusp of reaching ten million frequent flyer miles. I’ve already traveled well beyond ten million miles reaching some of the 131 countries I’ve visited over the last 30 years.

I had business meetings, a very successful restaurant opening, a couple of critical tasting sessions and two weeks ago Choclatique participated in the fifth annual San Francisco Chocolate Salon at Fort Mason. There, in a 50,000 square foot exhibit space there was a lot to see and taste including lots of chocolate, of course.

In addition to chocolates and other sweets, there were food demonstrations and cookbook signings, wineries and the judging for awards for great chocolate. It was educational, too, as many visitors found it fascinating to learn more about the different methods used in the chocolate making process, from stone grinding cacao to finding the perfect combination of soils and environments to create different tasting chocolate.

Brian BoitanoRoot Beer FloatOlympic star, Brian Boitano, one of the celebrity judges, chose Choclatique as his favorite chocolates of the day. He sampled our Root Beer Float—always a show stopper, and Peanut Butter and Jelly—my all-time favorite. In his column he told his readers that the Choclatique assortment and the look of the chocolates were outstanding and drew particular attention to our Caramel AppleWatermelon Patch, Carrot Cake, Creamy Orangesicle, Caramel Apple and, of course, our Chicks. The latter is too cute for words as you see an emerging Chick hatching through a cracked egg in a variety of fifteen different flavors and designs.

Choclatique ChickDesigner DonutWhat Brian didn’t have a chance to see were our two new, latest and greatest assortments—Designer Donuts and Retro Cocktails. We will talk about both of these in future blogs as they are released.

2011 SF Chocolate Salon Awards

And then there were the prizes where Choclatique won in all three categories Gold, Silver and Bronze. Choclatique was named The Best Gift Set, The Most Artistic Designs, Most Luxurious Chocolate Experience, The Best New Product and The Best Chocolate in the San Francisco International Salon. Not terribly shabby for a small artisan chocolate company.

But that’s not all the excitement coming from Choclatique this month. We received the first delivery of our new, keepsake leather chocolate boxes—a big upgrade from the original Tiffany-style boxes that we started with. These new boxes are so attractive that people will keep them for years like the old cigar boxes of yesteryear.

Joan, Vicki, Dave and Matt have been working like crazy putting all the finishing touches on our new Choclatique website, which makes shopping not only a lot easier easier, but certainly more fun. There are numerous new features that provide more information in a less complicated format. Of course, Build-A-Box (8, 15 and 30-Piece boxes) is still a major part of our new, entertaining store front where you can mix and match from any of our large assortment of truffles and choose your own custom assortment and save it in your shopping bag for future gift giving. Imagine having your very own named assortment of chocolate ready to go any time you want it.

Choclatique—The Book— is complete. I have reviewed all of the final design pages complete with beautiful photo images and QR Code links (for smart phones) that demonstrate many of the ChefSecrets. This will be the first interactive cookbook with a tasting kit and live action video. My editor, Geoffrey Stone, and his entire team at Running Press did a great job exceeding our high-expectations for a quality cookbook that properly represents Choclatique.

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

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 on FacebookChoclatique on TwitterChocolate Doctor


Meet Me Next Sunday at the San Francisco International Chocolate Salon

Thursday, March 31st, 2011
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

Sunday, April 17th
The San Francisco International Chocolate Salon

My brother, Roy, wouldn’t put a price on the luscious chocolate truffles he nibbled on at last year’s International Chocolate Salon at Fort Mason in San Francisco. After all, it’s difficult to quantify bliss.

Hot, Hot Cocoa TruffleAlthough the troubled economy has forced many Californians to economize, there is still one must-have indulgence—chocolate. Coming soon on Sunday, April 17th, this year’s 5th Annual Chocolate Salon will offer hundreds of sweet treats, a very worthwhile expenditure. Chocolate, says my brother, simply puts you in a happy place.

Colorful Chocolate StackRoy isn’t the only one willing to swap cash for some tasty chocolate truffles or cup of hot chocolate. As a number of other industries declined in recent years, “Sales for chocolate continue to be sweet,” said Susan Smith, spokeswoman for the National Confectioner’s Association.

Industry annual chocolate sales have steadily risen three to four percent in the last several years, with artisan chocolate sales even higher. Overall, retail chocolate sales in the United States are currently at about $16 billion. It seems with chocolate, people can savor a small luxury without shelling out a lot of money. Chocolate is a gourmet product at a value price. You can still enjoy a little taste of happiness and indulgence that remains quite affordable.

Last year about 4,000 people purchased tickets to attend the one-day Chocolate Salon where you can graze from table to table in some of the finest chocolate and wines California has to offer. You can find chocolate at most any price point, and most everybody who visits does leave with at least one box.

The International Chocolate Salon showcases an assortment of treats for sale from local chocolatiers, demonstrations and classes by noted chocolatiers, and competitions for various important industry awards.

Advanced purchase tickets are $25. Tickets purchased at the door are $30. But forget about the money… just one bite of the sweet stuff helps melt away people’s everyday concerns. A little piece of chocolate can make you feel like a million bucks.

San Francisco International Chocolate Salon

SF International Chocolate SalonGeneral Ticket Information
Adults: $25 Advance Purchase
Adults: $30 Door
Children under 6: Free*
Children, 6 to 12: $10
*Applies to 2 children per adult. Each additional child under 6: $10

For more information:

Ed Engoron is the ChocolateDoctor heard on A Million Cooks Network

Choclatique on FacebookChoclatique on TwitterChocolate Doctor


How to Fit Three Weeks Into Two

Thursday, April 8th, 2010
— Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique

Joan and I left Los Angeles on the “Windstar Express” carrying a load of chocolate at about 6 am on Friday morning headed for our favorite chocolate show—The Fourth Annual San Francisco International Chocolate Salon held at Fort Mason. We knew that we had won several more awards that had been pre-judged and already announced. On the trip up, I spoke with my editor, Geoff Stone, about the new adventures of Old Ed—an editorial device that is another way to describe some of my world travels in search of great chocolate to be featured in the upcoming Ed Engoron’s Choclatique by Running Press.

Fisherman's WharfAfter checking in at the Hilton on Fisherman’s Wharf, we met up with my brother Roy and chef Wayne, fielded telephone calls from clients, customers and the office and finally took some time to have a great dinner at North Beach Restaurant and then to bed to prepare for the morning onslaught of chocolate lovers. The alarm went off at 5 am and it was up and at ‘em to set up for the salon. The doors opened and we served nearly five thousand pieces of chocolate and sold many more between 10 and 6. Then it was time to break everything down and pack up. Before collapsing for the night, we had a horrible dinner at Castagnola’s on the wharf—disgusting food and despicable service. After all, it is a tourist trap. What were we thinking?

Sunday morning we were on the road back to Los Angeles, arriving at 3pm, just in time to get caught in the Los Angeles Marathon traffic. When I got home, I had just enough time to change and repack my suitcase for two weeks in Portugal.

Monday morning Joan and I arrived at the office at 7am and spent the whole day taking care of everything that we didn’t do the week before while preparing for our client meetings in Lisbon. It was an all nighter on Air France to Paris and another two and a half hours to Lisbon. We had just enough time to check into our hotel rooms, clean up and meet our client for dinner.

I brought samples of CHICKS and Chocolate Almond Butter Toffee Bites—our best in show toffee. The next morning it was back-to-back meetings for nearly 12 hours. Our clients like to get their money’s worth. We visited Colombo, a beautiful upscale shopping mall for dinner before retiring for the night.

The next day and each succeeding day it was store visits, kitchen inspections, checking the competition and eating lot of traditional Portuguese food from the far north to the south like Duck Rice, Cozido (don’t ask) and Bacalhau. Bacalhau is made from salted Icelandic cod. The Portuguese claim that there are 1001 ways to make Bacalhau, but oddly enough, none of the recipes include chocolate.

On Monday we headed up to Braga near Porto to see their newest hyper store—a 3-hour drive in each direction. The entire trip was peppered with chocolate from Hustle, chocolate mousse from Pingo Doce and other chocolate delights from flans to brûlées and from truffles to tablets—everything chocolate.

EriceiraThe last day was preparing for a board meeting in a picturesque fishing village, Ericeira, about 30 minutes outside Lisbon. Many Portuguese families have summer homes there and why not… it is just what you would think Portugal should look like. We feasted on a lunch of Tiger Prawns, locally-caught steamed prawns, and char-grilled Dorado which my client claimed tastes just like lobster. It didn’t, but was good just the same.

Ericeira, PortugalThe board meeting was cancelled at the last minute, but undaunted, my client and I found time to check out two more supermarkets and then find a great pizza joint that served wonderful Italian wines, fantastic chocolate tiramisu and a wheat berry cheese cake, better than Mario Batali’s; The only thing that would have made it a little better would have been a drizzle of Choclatique Prestige Milk Chocolate. Oh, by the way, the wood-fired pizza was pretty terrific, too.

Italian Wheat Berry Chocolate Chip Cheesecake

Italian Wheat Berry Chocolate Chip CheesecakeThis lattice-topped pie is a left-handed relative to a traditional Italian Cheesecake. It is served in the spring around Easter, but, take it from me, it is great anytime. The wheat berries and Fiori di Sicilia are what gives this special dessert its unique flavor. If you must, you can substitute the Fiori di Sicilia with orange-flower water. You can usually find Fiori di Sicilia in specialty baking stores and catalogues. Orange-flower water can be found in the ethnic food section in most supermarkets.

Makes one 9-inch cake, serves 10

Ingredients for the Filling:
1/2 Cup Hulled Soft Wheat Berries (1/4 Pound)
2 Cups Whole Milk
1 Stick (1/2 Cup) Unsalted Butter, Cut Into 1/2-inch Cubes
1 1/2 Tablespoons Fresh Orange Zest
2 Teaspoons Fresh Lemon Zest
2 Cups Ricotta Cheese, Mashed
4 Large Eggs, Lightly Beaten, Room Temperature
2/3 Cup Granulated Sugar
2 Tablespoons Fiori di Sicilia
1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
2/3 Cup Choclatique Dark, Semi-Sweet Mini Chocolate Chips (4,000-count)
½ Cup Candied Orange Peel, Finely Chopped

Ingredients for the Pastry Dough:
3 Cups All-purpose Flour
1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1 1/2 Sticks (3/4 Cup) Unsalted Butter, Softened
1 Cup Confectioners’ Sugar
1 Large Egg
2 Large Egg Yolks
1 Teaspoon Fiori di Sicili
1 Tablespoon Fresh Orange Rind
Egg Wash

Soak the Wheat Berries for the Filling:
Wheat Berries

  1. Cover the wheat berries with cold water in a bowl; soak, covered and chilled, at least 12 hours or better yet overnight.
  2. Drain in a sieve and rinse with cold water.

Chef’s Note: In a pinch I have used a pressure cooker to soak and cook the berries in about an hour.

While the Berries Are Soaking, Make the Dough:

  1. Sift together the flour, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl.
  2. Cream the butter and confectioners’ sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  3. Beat in the whole egg, yolks, Fiori di Sicilia, and rind until smooth.
  4. Reduce the speed to low, and then add the flour mixture and mix until just barely incorporated.
  5. Gather the dough into a ball (it will be soft) and quarter. Form one quarter of the dough into a 3-inch disk, and then form the remaining three quarters (together) into a 6-inch disk. Chill the disks, wrapped in plastic wrap, until firm, at least 1 hour.
  6. The dough can be held refrigerated for a day or two. Bring to the dough to room temperature before rolling out.

Finish the Filling:

  1. Cover the soaked berries the cold milk in a 2-quart saucepan and simmer, covered, until the wheat berries are tender, about 30 minutes. Drain and discard the milk, then transfer to a bowl and stir in the butter and zests.
  2. Cool completely before using, about 15 minutes.
  3. Beat the ricotta, eggs, sugar, Fiori di Sicilia and cinnamon until smooth.
  4. Fold in the chocolate chips and orange peel in a large bowl, and then stir in the wheat berry mixture.

Assemble & Bake the Cake:

  1. Put the oven rack in lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350ºF.
  2. Lightly butter a 9-inch springform pan.
  3. Roll out the larger disk of the dough into a 14-inch round on floured parchment paper with a floured rolling pin.
  4. Using your rolling pin to transport the rolled dough, place the dough into the springform pan, pressing the dough all the way up side to the rim of the pan (the dough might crack a bit—don’t worry, it’s easy to patch any cracks). Chill until cold, about 20 minutes.
  5. Roll out the remaining dough into a 10-inch round. Cut the dough into 1/2-inch wide strips and place on a sheet of parchment paper and refrigerate.
  6. Carefully spoon the filling into the chilled pie crust (filling will not reach the top).
  7. Arrange the dough strips parallel to each other on the filling (1 inch apart), pressing the ends of the strips into the crust. If the dough becomes too soft to handle, chill until firm again.
  8. Arrange other strips diagonally over the first ones to form a lattice. Fold the edge of the crust over the ends of the lattice strips, pressing to seal.
  9. Brush the top crust with egg wash.
  10. Bake until the pastry is golden and the filling is puffed and set, about 1 1/4 hours. Cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes.
  11. Run the blade of a thin knife around the edges of the cake and remove the collar of the springform pan. Cool the cake completely on the rack for about 2 hours.

The cake can be baked 1 day ahead and cooled completely, uncovered, then covered and held in a refrigerator. Bring the cheesecake to room temperature before serving.

So, after over two weeks on the road, here I am on Flight 063 Paris to Los Angeles, writing my adventures before I forget any of the details. Tomorrow it will be business as unusual (as it always is) and, of course, no day is ever complete without a visit to the Choclatique Chocolate Studios and a tasting of our latest production. This job is tough, but someone has to do it. Welcome home, Ed!

Choclatique on FacebookChoclatique on Twitter