Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Marshmallow-y Goodness

In the last post, I mentioned a brownie that was topped with our own House-made Vanilla-bean Marshmallows. Now, I have to admit that as a kid I felt that outside of the context of a camp-fire marshmallows held little to no allure for me. But replace the commercial lumps of "jet-puffed" corn-syrup with fresh, pillowy clouds of fluffy goodness, and we're talking something I can't resist.

Marshmallows are pretty simple really, just awfully messy. And having the right equipment helps, too. My formula is five simple ingredients: cane sugar, honey, gelatin, egg whites, and vanilla bean... nothing else. The only hard part is cutting them to shape. Here are some pics of my fancy pastry-cutter at work (imagine a giant egg slicer on steroids).

Stay tuned to see what else I have planned for these darling little treasures!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Spiced Pumpkin-Seed, Marshmallow Almond, Masala Chai... Oh My!

Well, I'm starting to settle into the cafe and the daily ins and outs of operating a retail storefront. And while the hours are much longer, the pace is much more relaxed. For those of you who don't know, I started Eclipse about 4 years ago and (until now!) had rented a production kitchen on a by-order basis, very much like a caterer would. Thankfully, I no longer have to worry about returning the kitchen back to the state I found it in. And its becoming a lot of fun to come in each morning and decide what is on the production agenda for the day.

What was on the menu for today, I hear some of you ask? House-made marshmallows (which always leave me covered in powdered sugar), the white chocolate bread pudding (seen here), and my personal new favorite, Exotic Brownies.

Whats so exciting about a brownie, I see some of you grimace? Well, when the formula contains twice as much cocoa powder as flour (and extra-brute cocoa, at that) the product is closer to a chewy flourless cake than a brownie. And I'm baking them in individual loaves! Top them with exotic garnishes, and you've got a dessert that stands alone. Today I made Marshmallow Almond, Masala Chai, and Chile Hazelnut, but I'm cooking up Blackberry Sage, Macadamia Ginger, Espresso Walnut, Orange Peel Anise, and Coconut Lime for future mornings.

Here are the Spiced Pumpkin Seed and Orange Peel Anise versions. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Eclipse and San Diego

Whew! What a strange time to launch a store front. San Diego has definitely been through a lot these past few days. Fortunately, everything here at the cafe is sound, and all of our friends and families are safe. Our hearts go out to everyone effected by the fires and we hope things will return to normal very soon.

For those of you who do not know, Eclipse pledges 10% of its annual net profits to the development of local non-profit organizations and charities. Normally, these take place in the form of product donations at fund-raising events. But for the remainder of the month, we will be making a cash contribution to the After-the-Fires Scholarship Fund. The fund, originally organized for the 2003 Ceder Fires, helps graduating high-school seniors complete their applications for college admissions. After the 2003 fires, many of the students effected by the fires found themselves without a home, mailing address, personal documentation, or the assistance required to complete their applications by their due dates. By making this contribution, our donation will go to help local students fulfill their educational goals for the 2008-2009 academic year.

If you would like more information or would like to make a personal contribution you can do so here:

So we're here and the cafe is up and running! Stop in and enjoy a dessert, truffle, and/or espresso. We will be contributing to the Fund until Wednesday at close.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Grand Opening Pics

Well we did it! The opening receptions were a blast and much fun was had by all. Check the crazy before and after shots:



Monday, October 15, 2007

Grand Opening Info!

This post is just in time for those of you wondering what you have planned for this weekend. What was that event I was planning on attending, I hear you all asking yourselves. Why, its the Eclipse Chocolat grand opening, of course! Please join us for all sorts of tasty treats this Saturday night (10.20.2007), from 7.5-10.5pm.

Our new address is 2121 El Cajon Blvd, near the intersection of Alabama. That's just a block east of the "Boulevard" sign, for those of you who thrive on visual stimuli.

See you there!

More Menu Boards

I'd love to type out some witty anecdotalism relating to this next menu board post, but I have a cafe to open! Less chatty, more worky...

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Eclipse Chocolate and David Rio

Ben, about every other good friend I know, and I have been going CRAZY completing odd jobs to complete the cafe. I must be the most fortunate person in San Diego to have so many amazing people in my life who are happy to help me succeed! More on official thank yous later...

Luckily, a few cafe details have been set in stone for some time. When I first tried it two years ago, I knew that David Rio of San Francisco would play a part in my future food offerings. And not only are their tea and chai blends tasty, but their company ideals run parallel to our own. This from their mission statement:

"We strive to create innovative, great tasting products that blend eastern traditions with western style. Whenever possible, we use organic ingredients and recyclable or reusable packaging while maintaining the integrity of our high-end product line. Our objective is to continue growing David Rio as the premier brand in our industry."

Not only pleasing to the palate but also to the eye. With sublime flavors of peach, tangerine, vanilla, and rose petals, Tahitian Tangerine is a personal favorite! Cute tins, too! Take a look:


And now for your next menu board teaser:


Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Eclipse Chocolat and Caffe Calabria: San Diego Favorites

With just two weeks before our official grand opening, our core staff has achieved another milestone and completed our espresso training this week. We've chosen Caffe Calabria as our coffee bean purveyor because of their international recognition for award-winning blends and intense devotion to the art of espresso-making. Not only are they considered in the top ten roasters in the US, but they are conveniently located down the street in the heart of North Park, and we're happy to establish cooperative connections within the community.

So have at it kids... another preview coming your way, though this time less about photography and more about design. Here is one of our five menu boards. Stay tuned to see previews of the others in the next two weeks.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Eclipse Cafe: Sneak Peak!

We've been running around like crazy people trying to finish everything on time for the cafe opening. Thankfully, we're working on both the functional and aesthetic details simultaneously so its very rewarding to see things come together so quickly. Here are a few sneak peaks of the space in progress. Hope to see you all there after the opening!