Friday, December 21, 2007

KPBS Review!

Just a quick post before I sign off for Xmas, and although it breaks my cardinal rule of not posting without a pic, this one is fun!

Check out the link below to hear our recent 2 minute review on KPBS San Diego's These Days!;id=10512 The Eclipse part starts at 07:52.

And check back the week before the New Year as we preview our new selections on the next Dessert Tasting Platter. If you haven't heard already, our first collection will be retired when the New Year rolls in, so come and get it while you can.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Exotic Artisan Truffles

Browsing through my own blog, I realized that I have taken for granted that you all are familiar (or at least have seen) our collection of Exotic Artisan Truffles. It is our speciality, after all. Clearly, it should have its own posting.

Made from all premium ingredients, we never use additives or preservatives, and source organically whenever possible. Each is hand rolled, enrobed in couveture chocolate (premium chocolate with high percentages of cocoa butter so it is very fluid when it melts on your tongue!), and hand garnished with a variety of intoxicating goodies.

Our signature line-up includes 16 different infusions, though we typically rotate about a dozen in the shop at a time. We also feature another 12 seasonal infusions. Stayed tuned here to see postings when we debut these new flavors about every other month.

While you are welcome to design your own assortment to fit in our boxes of 2, 4, and 8, if you ask for my opinion I will certainly try and talk you into our Lavender Sea-salted Caramel. Our most popular infusion, it features a smoky burnt caramel ganache enrobed in 38% milk chocolate, topped with a lovely French lavender-herbed grey sea-salt. Delicious!

All truffles are made from fresh cream and should be enjoyed within two weeks.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Eclipse Chocolat Gift Sets

With just a dozen days before the big holiday, I have many clients coming into the chocolate shop for last minute treats. Naturally, we have lots of gift concepts floating around these days, and below you can see one of the cutest. Tucked inside this adorable cellophane wrap are three of our most popular items: a box of four dark chocolate truffles, an Asian Take-out of our seasonal Gingerbread Spice Bark, and our most popular chocolate bar, Sea-salt Nib (55% chocolate studded with candied cocoa nibs and lavender-herbed grey sea-salt). A great little gift or stocking stuffer for $25, our Petit Gift Set is dressed to impress with seasonal red ribbon!

And here is the Demi Gift Set for $50, which includes more chocolate (of course!) and a selection of three Dry Sodas, an unusual treat of lightly sweetened soda infused with lavender, lemongrass, kumquat or rhubarb.We also have sets in larger sizes. The Hauteur Gift Set for $75 and the Grand Gift Set for $100 will turn heads!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Tarragon-Candied Grapefruit

The gift-giving season is upon us, and although the cafe is only five weeks old, I am feeling the creativity bug once again! Just in time for those stocking stuffers, here is another brand new Eclipse product: Tarragon-Candied Grapefruit (don't I have better things to do with my time than experiment with new items?)!

Alright, so its not exactly new; I've made it a few times for people in the chocolatier classes I teach at the Prado and Williams-Sonoma, but its certainly new for my retail clients. So now you at home can enjoy them, too. Who wants to bother going to a chocolate-making class anyway... lets just skip right to the eating part.
I don't normally post in-process photos, but these are so pretty before they are enrobed, so take a look:

Its quite a long production process actually (two days to be exact). First, the grapefruit skins are peeled and sliced, piths removed, and then soaked overnight in water. The next day they are boiled in multiple water changes to remove any bitter flavors, and then slowly boiled in a sugar syrup until tender. Then they are packed with a house-made tarragon sugar (the green stuff!) and enrobed in 60% dark chocolate. Last, they are garnished with more sugar, mostly because I can never leave good-enough alone, and they are prettier that way, and because I said so because I'm the chocolatier. Since when is over-the-top a bad thing with desserts?
If you're a fan of the Orange Peel Anise bar, or of citrus and grapefruit in general, then this one is a must have!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Exotic Salted Caramels Are Back!

Salty. Smoky. Exotic.

Just a few words that describe one of my personal all-time favorites: Exotic Salted Caramels. Ok, ok... pretty much anything topped with an artisan sea-salt would make it into the category of "all-time favorites", but this one is also really pretty!

Topped with six different sea-salt varietals, these dark and milk chocolate-covered creme fraiche caramels really hit the salty spot. The garnish on the caramel in the foreground gets it's bright red color from an infusion of saffron, but these treats also feature salts infused with ginger, chile, and smoked Chardonnay, as well as the Maldon and lavender-herbed salts of which I am so fond.

There are eight to a pack, four milk and four dark. A perfect hostess gift or stocking stuffer, these little gems are only available at the cafe.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Salty-Sweet Walnuts and Chile-Sweet Pecans

So its the holidays and there's chocolate flying everywhere around the cafe. For those of you who have yet to visit, it also houses my complete production line (and no, its nothing like the infamous I Love Lucy episode). This is definently the busiest time of the year, though, and to help push out a large order I recently filled, I decided to treat myself to a new tool: a candy tumbling drum. Its basically a large rotating stainless steel drum that attaches to the front of my Kitchen Aid, though much more expensive than you might think. Pretty much any pastry tool of professional grade is, unfortunately!

Well, long story short, I'm excited about using it in production on a new line of chocolate and sugared nuts of which I've been developing recently. Salty-Sweet Walnuts and Chile-Sweet Pecans are two of a few new things rolling around in my head. The first is roasted walnuts and cocoa nibs candied with grey sea-salt, and the later is roasted pecans and cocoa nibs candied with chiles and smoked paprika. And they both come in these adorable square tins! Take a look:

Eclipse Gift Certificates!

Just in time for the Holidays, Eclipse Gift Certificates are here! Available in $10, $20, and $50 increments, your friends and family can redeem them at the cafe or online (if they are not among the lucky residents San Diego).