Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Anniversary Party!

Though last week was our official anniversary, we're holding off for a few more days for the festivities. With all the new Wine and Beer offerings, special event dinners, and Truffle and Wine Tastings, I hardly have time to breathe any more.

(Pauses to inhale)

But it's been a fun and exciting journey! And to thank you all for the continued patronage and support, this one's for you, baby. Join us on Saturday, November 8th, from 7-10pm and celebrate the first 12 months of the Eclipse!

Join us for complementary:

-Three of our featured wines paired with three artisan truffles including the never-before-seen Vanilla Bean Sassafras.
-Samples of savory-chocolate food for upcoming Prix Fixe Tasting Dinners.
-A free Box of Two truffles with every Box of Ten purchased.
-10% our entire retail chocolate line.
-Plus all the foodie-socializing that you can shake a stick at!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Autumn Harvest Dinner

This past Saturday we served 70 guests our latest Five Course Chocolate Tasting Dinner: Moroccan Spice, to much satisfaction. This was our seventh dinner to date and I continue to be surprised at our chocolatey faire. When I did the first dinner back at Valentine's Day, I remember feeling as though I had exhausted all savory-chocolate potential after working on the menu for nearly two months. Apparently I am becoming well-seasoned at the exercise, because more and more ideas seem to be flowing from my cocoa-crazed mind.

Our next dinner is Sunday November 16th, with seatings at 2, 4.5, and 7pm. Don't wait to RSVP as these dinners always sell out. Send your information to or call direct 619.578.2984. Here's the next line-up:

Autumn Harvest Dinner:

Amuse Bouche Trio including:
Chilled White Chocolate Roasted Corn Pudding
Cocoa-caramelized Onion Tartlette
Cranberry-peppercorn Champagne Aperitif

Roasted Asparagus Soup with White Chocolate Creme

Savory Bread Pudding with Dark Chocolate Jus

Roasted Root Veggies with Cocoa Butter-Smashed Potatoes & Shaved Parmesan

Milk Chocolate Creme Brulee Duo of Cranberry and Pumpkin

And if you missed it this past weekend, heres what our guests enjoyed:

Moroccan Flatbreads with Green Olive Tapenade and Cucumber-Mint Salad

Fried Chickpea Fritters with Dark Chocolate Harissa Sauce

Honey-glazed Baby Carrots with Kalamata and Cocoa Nibs

Spiced Red Lentil Soup with White Chocolate-Olive Oil Crostini

Moroccan-Spiced Cocoa-Chicken with Roasted Butternut, Celeriac, Shallot, & Fruited Couscous

Cheesecake with Toasted Sesame-Macadamia Crust and White Chocolate-Saffron Sauce

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Lavender-lemon Mimosa

My blog posts have been a bit sparse lately, and I promise to remedy that soon! With so much set-up here for our new Wine and Beer offerings, little time has been left to actually write about the things that I love most: the food.

When I first designed my menu boards (believe it or not nearly a full year before even signing the lease for this space), I concocted a lovely drink that became to be known as Lavender Vanilla-bean Lemonade. Made in house from fresh lemons, organic lavender blossoms, vanilla beans, and cane sugar, it is poured into one of our Picardie cafe glasses and topped with ice and Pellegrino. It's fun and refreshing.

I think the thing I like most about it is how the Pellegrino transforms the drink. I'm sure it would be nice with just a good bottled water, but the effervescence of the Pellergrino actually raises the tiny vanilla bean seeds to the surface of the beverage, something which our guests become very aware when they perceive the actual texture of the seeds between their teeth. The tiny little pops make me smile. I mean, how many times can you say that you have actually felt a vanilla bean seed on your palate before?

Well with the advent of our Wine and Beer offerings we are officially taking this drink to the next level. For an extra few bucks, you can now upgrade the lemonade with our featured champagne! Karma Champagne, locally operated in Carlsbad, is lovely California brut with subtle notes of melon and pear and the perfect addition to our lemonade. For $10 guests get a full flute filled with this bubbly pairing and enough extra Karma for second glass!

And don't forget to enjoy it during our Happy Hour (M-F 4-7pm) when all Wine and Beer purchases come with a your choice of free truffle! Here it is plated next to our Lavender Poppy truffle. Enjoy!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Jasmine and Pear Nectar

When I started Eclipse back in 2004 as a hobby, I developed 16 different exotic truffle infusions. To make a long story short, a year later I had added my chocolate bar line followed quickly by the Asian Take-outs. And two years after that I opened my retail shop from which I am currently sitting and writing this little ditty. Today is, in fact, my official one year anniversary (holds for applause).

While it's been a long and winding chocolate journey with lots and lots of culinary concoctions, my Exotic Artisan Truffles remain, to this day, my first and primary love. All true truffles are made from an emulsion of fresh cream and chocolate combined with other flavorings (in my cafe entirely natural). There is just something magical about taking dried herbs and spices, fresh produce, and whatever exciting ingredients I can find and infusing them into hot cream. In fact, when I first set down to design my Truffle Tasting Guide, our visual menu of truffles included in each box, the first piece of writing I created for Eclipse was this:

A new Moon crowns the night sky...
This is the moment of the Eclipse;
A convergence of Art and Science.
It is chocolate-making as alchemy.

And thus Eclipse began, and still today I come into my shop each morning and decide which exotic herbs and spices to pull from my cabinet with which to create our chocolate infusions. The main difference being the size of my pantry growing to include over 60 herbal ingredients!

One of my first "seasonal" infusions still remains one of my favorites: Jasmine and Pear Nectar. Made from organic jasmine blossoms and pear puree, this truffle is finished in 61% dark chocolate ganache and topped with a candied pear slice.

Enjoy this truffle and three others this week at our first Truffle and Wine Tasting Event this Wednesday, October 22nd from 7-8pm. The other infusions we will be tasting are: Balsamic Pink Peppercorn, Lavender Poppy, and Peppered Goat Cheese and Fig. Each will be accompanied by a wine and the whole event is just $20 per guest. We sell out at just 30 people, so call today (619.578.2984) to RSVP!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Happy Hour with Eclipse Chocolat

Choco-friends and -philes! Our Wine and Beer is finally here. Join us for our Exotic Truffle Happy Hour!

Each weekday from 4-7pm, leave the hustle and bustle of your business day and stop in for a confectionery respite. During these hours, each alcohol purchase comes with a free artisan truffle of your choice. We've even organized all of our wines with chocolate pairing suggestions, so all you need to do is show up ready to indulge. Our lovely barista Nicole (pictured here) is ready to tempt you. Cya soon!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Eclipse Chocolat: Now Serving Wine!!!

That's right kids, the Wine and Beer License we applied for way back in March has FINALLY posted. God bless the ABC. More information about how we are serving wine and which we are opting to offer coming soon. In the mean time, let's have a little fun!

To celebrate we are hosting our first ever Truffle and Wine Tasting this coming Wednesday, October 22nd, which just happens to be our official one year anniversary. We've opted to push back our formal anniversary party to the first week of November, so consider this just a taste of what's to come.

So join us from 7-8pm that evening for an evening of exotic chocolate paired with exquisite wines. For just $20 guests will enjoy 4 truffles and 4 wines and a guided tasting and explanation of each pairing by owner and chocolatier, William Gustwiller (that's me!). Participants are also welcome to cash in on a 10% discount for all retail chocolate purchased that evening.

We're taking informal reservations so as to get an idea on how many people we should expect, so if interested just drop us a line at

Cya there!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Peanut Butter Toffee Rococo

Way back long ago (nearly one year, in fact!), I held a naming contest for a new concoction that became to be known as Marshmallow Almond Rococo. My Eclipsed version of your standard Rocky Road, my addition of cocoa nibs and Maldon Sea-salt made this old stand-by stand at attention. Since then, it has lived on the bottom shelf of my chocolate case, smartly dressed to impress in our Asian Take-out containers where it joined the other six confections in such packaging.

I've always considered creating one last treat in this format but it wasn't until a few weeks ago that I stumbled onto the proper blend of flavors and textures.

Now I know many of you sometime doubt my cocoa-crazed mine, but seriously... after a critical tasting, how many times have I led you astray? I do, however, see many a scowl on some of these flavor pairings. But I'm telling you. Trust me.

So here's another one for the record books: 55% dark chocolate+Vanilla Bean Marshmallow+Peanut Butter Toffee+Maldon Sea Salt+... ... ... Corn Nuts? Yes, I'm telling you, yes! There's just something utterly decadant about the sutbly emulsive texture and nutty crunch of a corn nut. Especially in contrast with the smooth creaminess of couveture chocolate. I love it!

This one is officially deemed Peanut Butter Toffee Rococo. My wholesale merchandising contact, good friend, and all around cocoa-compadre Sean declares it his favorite Asian Take-out I have... and that's good enough for me.

So here it is comin' atcha. Take a look:

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Peanut Butter Toffee Truffle

One more exotic truffle infusion coming at ya! When Ben and I trolled about the Fancy Food Show here in Sunny SD back in January, I was on the hunt for a really good natural peanut butter to use in my production line. I found one from the East Coast called Cream-Nut, and it consisted solely of roasted Virgina Peanuts and sea salt. Nothing else... who needs the rest?

Since then, I've managed to stuff it into whatever makes sense to me at the time. My vegan Salty Peanut Butter Toffee was first followed by the Salty Peanut Butter Toffee Cupcake. But what chocolate shop is complete without a Peanut Butter Toffee Truffle?

Made from a dark chocolate ganache stuffed with the all-natural peanut butter, Maldon Sea-salt, and fresh cream, we hand roll each before dipping in 38% milk chocolate. It's finished with a garnish of crunchy peanut butter toffee. No profound or unusual flavors here, just good ol' comfort food. Enjoy!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Sweet Potato Spice

As promised, I've spent a great deal of time as of late developing new truffle infusions. Now that my case holds 16 infusions at a time, I plan on taking advantage of this and throwing as many types of truffles at ya'll as I can muster. Of course if you can't make a decision because there are too many delectable concoctions from which to choose... well that's not my problem.

Debuted last week, Sweet Potato Spice is here just in time for the fall and all of the warmly comforting desserts that come along for the season. At our last tasting dinner, we featured a Sweet Potato Bread Pudding that is arguably the best bread pudding Eclipse has seen yet. I personally enjoyed it so much, it is currently featured on our Seasonal Dessert Tasting Platter, too. And, lucky for you all, I had enough potato mash for a small run of truffles to recreate the same flavor concept into a smaller, more chocolatey tidbit.

Enrobed in 38% milk chocolate, this dark chocolate ganache is packed with plenty of Sweet Potato mash and Vietnamese cinnamon and other spices. It's finished with a generous garnish of African Grains of Paradise. If you haven't heard me speak of these before, these babies are often used in lieu of peppercorns in Northern Africa and are peppery and piquant, with unusual tones of cardamom.

We will showcase this infusion until it's gone, and expect it to last through the early fall. Check

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Harvest Festival 2008

Do you watch San Diego Living on the local Fox affliate Channel 6? If so, you would have seen yours truely around 9.5 this morning. I visited their studio and did a blind truffle tasting to promote our participation in the 9th Annual Harvest Celebration of Food and Wine at The Prado in Balboa Park.

There's no direct link for the video, but if you follow this one, you will see a collection of videos on the right margin. Click on the right arrow below the video feed until you find the "Chocolate Lounge" video and you can see the full segment.

So what was it all about? This Thursday October 2 from 5pm-9pm watch cooking demonstrations from local area chefs, meet local winemakers, listen to live music, and enjoy nibbles from Venissimo Cheese Shop, Sushi on a Roll, other various local foodie treats, and of course Eclipse Chocolat!

Tickets are still available and are $59.95+tax in advance and $69.95+tax at the door. Call Stacy Anderson at 619.557.9441 X 203 for more information and reservations!