Friday, November 30, 2007

Spiced Gingerbread Men (or People, if you prefer)

One of my favorite parts of the winter holiday season is gingerbread. I've always been a big fan, but it wasn't until I set my crazed-chocolatier mind to the task of making the perfect spicy cookie that I fell in love!

And how couldn't I? Dark Muscavado sugar, crushed white and black peppercorns, Vietnamese cinnamon, organic ground ginger, and the mysterious half cardamom-half peppercorn flavored African spice known as Grains of Paradise... well its all a little overwhelming. Bake and top each off with a generous drizzling of lemon-infused white chocolate and candied ginger, and you have our Exotic Spiced Gingerbread. And they are shaped like little people... how could your holiday be complete without?

There's also a mini version available in a cello wrap with ribbon for holiday parties and volume gift needs. Stop in and take a bite!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Corporate and Personal Gifts

Today is November 27th, and there are officially 28 days left until the big holiday (possibly less if you're among the mass of individuals who celebrate many of the other winter possibilities). And if you're anything like the majority of my clients, you may be wondering where the time has gone and what are you going to do for gifts?

Have no fear, the Eclipse Chocolat team and I are happy to accommodate your corporate or personal gifts! If your needs are small, we have many prepackaged options in the cafe for you to choose from. If your needs are a bit larger, you can request a catalog which include price breaks for orders 50 units and larger.

We also have custom messaging options, too (available for orders of 50 units and greater). Take a look:

Introducing the New Marshmallow Almond Rococo and the Chocolate Comfort Tin

Congratulations to Tracy Wallace for the winning entry in our Rocky Road Naming Contest. Forever to be known as Marshmallow Almond Rococo, our newest chocolatey confection has been officially finalized just in time for the holidays. It is available by the piece, in an Asian Take-Out, or as part of our new Chocolate Comfort Tin pictured below, which also contains our Salty Peanut Butter Toffee and Gingerbread Spice Bark.

At 2.5 pounds of decadence, it will melt any cold heart this winter season!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Champagne and Truffle Tasting

This just in...

Tuesday, December 11th at 6pm, I will be one of two presenters at The Balbao Park Food and Wine School for a champagne and truffle tasting. Join sommelier, Keri Busino, and I as we tackle the world of tasty bubbly and sinful ganache.

Click here for more info and reservations!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Gingerbread Spice Bark

Yet another tasty holiday treat coming your way!

Gingerbread Spice Bark: Slabs of 38% milk chocolate and 60% dark chocolate garnished with our House-made Gingerbread Crumbs and Dark Muscavado Sugar. With its toasty notes of cinnamon and molasses, this one is the perfect winter indulgence.

Some of you may have heard me talk about the Muscovado before. This all-natural brown sugar is grown and milled on the islands of Mauritius off the coast of Africa. Its signature flavor is derived from the sugar cane which grows of volcanic ash. Unlike most other brown sugars, which are made by adding molasses to refined white sugar, Muscovado takes its flavor and color from the unrefined sugar-cane juice.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Salty Peanut Butter Toffee

Once upon a time, when I was a naive and snooty foodie with a chocolate glimmer in my eye, I was bewildered by the American obsession with peanut butter. "Peanut butter cups... seriously?" I would ask myself. Sure, they are tasty, but in a guilty pleasure sort-of-way, like Taco Bell. Its edible... and fast... but there's something terrible about giving into what seems to be the lowest common denominator of all things consumable.

So for the first four years of Eclipse, I was always a little perturbed when a client would excitedly ask if I had something with peanut butter. "No, but I have a wonderful Gianduja Truffle," I would reply to disappointed faces. Roasted hazelnuts, with their dense and smoky flavor, trump bland peanuts any day, right?

Well, before the whole Internet, I am officially withdrawing all previous contempt for the world of peanut butter. You heard it here first, kids.

I've finally given in to all the persuasion and created what I believe to be the creme de la creme of the chocolate-peanut butter combo: Salty Peanut Butter Toffee.

Rich and flaky toffee infused with all-natural peanut butter, enrobed in 70% bittersweet chocolate, topped with toasted Virginia peanuts and Maldon sea-salt... I'm pretty certain it will make a big splash.

One quick note about the pic: Take a close look at the large salt crystal in the foreground. Maldon sea-salt is quite unique in that it forms shallow pyramid-shaped crystals as it calcifies, which greatly effects how it reacts on the palate. Its a treat!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Lavender Vanilla-bean Lemonade

I was going to wait on this post until Springtime, but as I walk out into the smothering San Diego heat, I think to myself: What would be more refreshing than a lemonade right now? And while I'm at it, why not make it Lavender Vanilla Bean Lemonade?

Made from fresh lemons, dried organic lavender blossoms, vanilla bean-infused cane sugar, and Pellgrino sparkling mineral water, its been pretty popular around the cafe so far!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Haute Chocolate

The seasons are definitely changing, even in Sunny San Diego. And I, for one, am excited to feel the brisk winter weather coming. Especially since it means its becoming hot chocolate season!

Made from fresh milk, premium chocolate, and other great ingredients, we're offering exotic hot chocolates in three flavors: Rosemary Mint (70% dark chocolate), Chile-burnt Caramel (38% milk chocolate), and Orange Peel Vanilla Bean (33% white chocolate). All topped with our house-made marshmallows, of course!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Seasonal Dessert Tasting Platters

A lot of you have asked what sort of desserts are available at the new cafe, and although I have touched on a few concepts on this blog previously, I have yet to upload a pic of the complete presentation. So here you are!

Perfect for two to share, our Seasonal Dessert Tasting Platter is a collection of four small chocolate desserts designed to reflect seasonal ingredients. Available through Thanksgiving before it changes to reflect the cold weather, our current collection is as follows:

Burnt Caramel Pumpkin Pot de Creme- Succulent milk chocolate custard infused with smoky burnt caramel, topped with spiced pumpkin butter.

Cranberry White Chocolate Bread Pudding with Creme Anglaise- Warm challah, cranberry, and white chocolate bread pudding with chilled vanilla bean sauce.

Frozen Gianduja Petite Four- Iced hazelnut mousse sandwiched between a dark chocolate crumb crust and a gooey milk chocolate ganache, topped with Maldon sea-salt.

Fig, Goat Cheese, and Chocolate Panini Wedges- Mission fig compote, dark chocolate, and honeyed goat cheese sandwich, grilled to perfection.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Rocky Road: New and Improved!

While wallowing in my new-found love of everything marshmallow, I have been hard at work developing a new product for the upcoming holiday season. I recently found these super cute tins to use for holiday products, and I am planning to do a trio of delectable treats, the star of which is my version of Rocky Road.

Consisting of our house-made marshmallows, Marcona almonds, cocoa nibs, and Maldon sea-salt, our version of this classic is destined to become greater than the name "Rocky Road" can imply. So we're hosting a naming contest! Stop on in for a chocolate sample and fill out a contest form and you may win your own holiday tin of fabulous chocolate confections ($60 value!).

We will be accepting contest entries until November 17th. Winners will be announced on the 20th (all entries must be submitted in person at the cafe).

Allow me to get your mental gears grinding with a little visual stimulation: