Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Southern California Events (With Free Samples!)

If you live in San Diego you're a lucky person. Sure, sure, the sun is nearly always shining, but I'm talking about your proximity to the Eclipse Cafe, of course! And if you live in Southern California at large, surely you can find my product line somewhere near you... especially since we've got about three dozen retail clients from here to San Fran.

But for those of you in SD and LA this weekend is for you! I've got two free events comin' up and both are featuring free vittles. Check it:

Join us at the Eclipse Cafe this Friday night as we feature local artist Andrea Averbuj and her new body of paintings. But as this is a food blog and not an art blog, I suppose your eyes stopped right at "free vittles", you hungry little bastards. Well its true... we will be debuting two BRAND NEW Eclipse Drinking Chocolates: 55% Lavender Sea-salt Caramel (of course!) and 85% Cinnamon Masala. Join us from 7-9pm and grab a sample cup... this ones on us.

And if you're in the Los Angeles area this weekend, join me at Surfas, restaurant supply and foodie depot extraordinaire! I will be doing a free cooking class from 3-4pm and showing the visitors whats all the fuss about artisan sea-salts and chocolates. And yes, you will get to eat the things I'm cookin' up. Located in Culver City at the corner of W. Washington and National. Here's a map and their website.

See you all soon!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Mother's Day Brunch

We've had a record number of reservations for the upcoming Prix Fixe Chocolate Tasting Dinner this time around and two of the three seatings were sold out even before we sent info to the mailing list. We've added two seatings for Friday night, but even still, few chairs remain. If interested, please call the cafe direct!

So I'm hoping to get a bit of a head start for Mom's Day! If you joined us last year, you would have indulged in a tasty set of chocolate-themed brunch platings finished with our famous Azteca Cinnamon Rolls as a finale. We've decided to repeat the concept this year with a few changes with which I'm sure everyone will be excited!

Here it is first, folks! Begin salivating now!

Exclusively for Saturday, May 9th at 10, 12, & 2pm AND Sunday, May 10th at 9.5, 11.5, and 1.5pm join us for our Mother's Day Chocolate Brunch! While we don't have a children's menu, we have added a kid-friendly option for the entree. Check it:

For $30 a chair, guests will enjoy:

Buttermilk-Chive Biscuits with Cocoa Nib-Infused Butter
Grilled Pineapple & Mango Salad with Milk Chocolate-Masala Glaze
Quail Eggs in a Hole with Dressed Frissee and Chile-Burnt Caramel Hollendaise
Buttermilk & Chocolate Chip Waffle with Honey-Creme Fraiche & Maple Syrup
Azteca Cinnamon Roll with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

We've already begun to take reservations, so don't wait to call us for a seat! 619.578.2984

Monday, April 6, 2009

Chocolate Bread Pudding To Go!

A friend recently told me that it would take three solid years before a retail storefront such as mine would have all the kinks worked out and have solid clientele base. At first I thought that sounded crazy. I wondered to myself, why should it ever take that long? Those of you who know me personally might consider me the busiest busy-body around, and I am always rushing to have things done quickly. Three years? That's crazy! I wanted to have all of my ducks in an enrobing line well before that.

Sure enough, it's been over a year and a half and things are still changing around here. It took me a long time to learn to shelf my ego and give in to popular demand despite my interest in shaping Eclipse to be what I had always imagined it to be. I am a business person after all and youz gots to sell whats the people wants to buy. And this, the most recent addition of the Eclipse family, is probably well over-due!

Having been consistently the most popular part of our Seasonal Dessert Tasting Platters, I have finally decided to offer our bread puddings to go! Made from all fresh ingredients including locally baked organic challah bread from Charlie's Best Bread (find them at all the local farmer's markets!), these goodies are gooey, custardy, and everything that a decadent dessert should be. And now you can serve them to your guests at home!

We're baking our Chocolate Bread Puddings in 3lb slabs and wrap each with a cute label and flavor description before them go into frozen storage. All you need do is stock your freezer for those unexpected guests and pop one in the oven or microwave for service! Stuffed with chocolate chunks and a variety of other temptations, each makes 10-12 servings and is $18. Or you can buy 2 for $30. Ask what flavors we have in stock as they will always been rotating. Today I made:

White Chocolate Cherry

Milk Chocolate Maple-Pecan

White Chocolate Blackberry

Azteca Cinnamon Roll

Sea-salted Caramel Chunk

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Spring Dessert Tasting Platter

Things are warming up in Sunny San Diego and there's no time like the present to usher in the new season with a new Seasonal Dessert Tasting Platter! If you have yet to indulge, this is our collection of four lovely little desserts that rotates every 6-8 weeks. Here's what we're cooking up this time:

Toasted Hazelnut and Cocoa Nib Baklava with Orange Blossom and Sea-salt
Grilled 31% White Chocolate and Fig-Orange Peel Bar
Frozen Baby Banana, Dipped in 61% Dark Chocolate and Coated in Espresso-Walnut Pieces
Toasted Pecan and Maple Bread Pudding with 36% Milk Chocolate Chips and Chile-Maple Syrup

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Mediterrean Pics

The pics are in from our last dinner, thanks to the lovely Autumn who moonlighted as our photographer. You may have seen her around the shop as she helps me in chocolate productions on Friday and has also helped us out with our Farmer's Markets on Saturdays and Sundays. That's right, she's a multi-tasker!

If you missed the last post, our next dinner is April 25th and it has a Oaxacan theme (all things mole!). I know, I know... mole is the first place I should have gone to when first considering chocolate-infused entrees, but I actually found the prospects a little stressful. Mole Negro (which we are featuring as our entree) is actually quite complicated, complete with a few dozen ingredients all particularly prepared and each contributing unique flavor to the final composition. Well with 14 dinners already under my belt, apparently I am up for the task.

For the complete details on that dinner see this post here. Until then, salivate over these:

Starter Plate: Grilled Haloumi Platter with Roasted Red Pepper & Hazelnut Hummus and White Bean-Lemon Spread.

First Course: Spinach and Dill Spanakopita with White Chocolate Blood Orange-Olive Oil Glaze.
Entree: Beef and Lamb Kaftas with Cocoa-Balsamic Glaze and Saffron, Pea, Cocoa Nib Rice.

Dessert: Baklava Duo of Hazelnut-Smoked Serano Sea Salt and Walnut-Pink Peppercorn with Dark Chocolate Olive Oil Fondue.