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    THE NIBBLE’s Gourmet News & Views

    Trends, Products & Items Of Note In The World Of Specialty Foods

    This is the blog section of THE NIBBLE. Read all of our content on TheNibble.com,
    the online magazine about gourmet and specialty food.

Archive for Chocolate

FOOD HOLIDAY: International Chocolate Day

September 13th International Chocolate Day and gourmet retailer Balducci’s is celebrating with samplings and giveaways. They’ve also shared their recipe for Dark Chocolate-Chili Fondue, below.

Balducci’s will have samples of the chocolates at its:

  • New York City store in the Hearst Tower, Eight Avenue and 56th Street, September 13th and 16th.
  • Westport, Connecticut store on September 13th.
  • From September 13th to September 22nd, visitors can enter to win a Balducci’s Chocolate Lover’s Gift Basket, filled with an assortment of international chocolate treats:

  • Chocolove bars from Colorado
  • Divine Fair Trade Milk Chocolate (Washington, D.C.)
  • Ghirardelli and TCHO chocolate from San Francisco
  •  

    Celebrate International Chocolate Day with chocolate from different countries. Photo courtesy Balducci’s.

  • Green & Black’s organic bars from England
  • Lindt’s Lindor truffles from Switzerland
  • Perugina Baci from Italy
  • Ritter Sport from Germany
  • And more, including something for chocolate chip cookie lovers: Salt of the Earth Bakery’s The Cookie with Maldon sea salt (New York City)
  •  

    Everyone will be happy to celebrate with
    chocolate fondue. Photo courtesy WMMB.

     

    RECIPE: DARK CHOCOLATE-CHILI FONDUE

    Ingredients For 4-6 Servings

  • 12 ounces dark chocolate, any brand
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground ancho chili pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Dippers: banana slices, cubed miniature croissants, fresh strawberries, dried apricots, dried figs, ladyfingers, marshmallows, pineapple chunks, potato chips, pretzels and whatever else appeals to you
  •  
    Preparation

    1. MELT chocolate with cream, milk, butter, sugar, chili pepper, cinnamon and cayenne in a small heavy sauce pan. Remove from the heat; stir in vanilla.

    2. TRANSFER to a small fondue pot and keep warm. Serve with dippers of your choice
     
    FIND MORE OF OUR FAVORITE CHOCOLATE FONDUE RECIPES.

      

    Comments

    FOOD FUN: Ice Cream Cone Chocolates


    When you can’t decide if you’d rather have
    chocolate or ice cream. Photo courtesy
    Choclatique.

     

    For some chocolate fun, try the “Here’s the Scoop” collection from Choclatique, a Los Angeles-based artisan chocolatier.

    The chocolate makers turned their favorite ice cream flavors into chocolate truffles. Take a bite of Amaretto-Mocha Fudge, Buttery-Toasty Pecan, Dark Chocolate Boysenberry Swirl, Happy Birthday Cake, It’s Been A Rocky Road, Sea-Salted Creamy Caramel and Snowy Vanilla-Peach, among others.

    Of course, the handmade and hand-decorated chocolates aren’t cold like ice cream, but they’re creamy and refreshing. And they don’t melt—at least, not at room temperature.

    Assortments range from 8 pieces to 30 pieces, $20 to $65.

    The company also makes a Designer Donut collection—donut-shaped chocolates in There’s warm glazed doughnuts— Cherry, Cinnamon Twist, Cruller, Frosted Vanilla, Glazed, Maple, and Sprinkles.

    Check out the fun at Choclatique.com.
     
    FIND MORE OF OUR FAVORITE CHOCOLATES.

     

      

    Comments

    PRODUCT: Lindt HELLO Chocolate Collection

    Have you ever thought about chocolate with a personality?

    Lindt’s new HELLO Assortment actually reaches out to you: “HELLO, here I am! Nice to sweet you!…Let me sweeten your day with yummy chocolates.”

    “Take me. taste me. Love me!” it beckons.

    It’s hard to say no to an offer like that. Lindt is the world’s largest producer of premium chocolates, and this collection of chocolate bars, sticks (thin rods of chocolate) and boxed bonbons is a delight.

    The Lindt HELLO collection is hitting shelves exclusively at Target, with select products available in Lindt Chocolate Shops and on LindtUSA.com.

    We spent all Sunday—July 28th, National Milk Chocolate Day—eating everything Lindt sent us. Yes, this is a tough job.

    Inspired by classic desserts and confections, the HELLO collection includes:

     

    HELLO bonbons and chocolate sticks. Photo by Elvira Kalviste | THE NIBBLE.

     

  • HELLO Chocolate Bars. Not your ordinary candy bars, HELLO bars are part of the trend to filled chocolate squares. Ten scored squares make up each bar, and make it easy to break off just a piece (photo below). In Caramel Brownie, Cookies & Cream, Crunchy Nougat and Strawberry Cheesecake, the SRP is $2.79 for 3.5 ounces/100 grams. There are three limited edition flavors available through October: Berry Affair, Coconut Love and Coffee Blast. Stock up for Halloween!
  •  

    HELLO filled chocolate bars: Yum! Photo by Elvira Kalviste | THE NIBBLE.

     
  • HELLO Chocolate Sticks and Mini Sticks. A new format in chocolate (photo above), these six-inch by five-eighths inch chocolate “sticks” are divided into six segments that you can snap and savor, one by one. A fun format, the SRP is $0.99 got 1.4 ounces/33 grams. The flavors are the same as the bars, plus three limited edition flavors: Berry Affair, Coconut Love and Lime Splash. You can also purchase bags of individually-wrapped mini sticks in the four year-round flavors, SRP: $3.99.
  • HELLO Boxed Chocolates. Colorful boxes contain nine melt-in-your-mouth bonbons in different assortments We tried the Chocolate Bits gift box (Caramel Brownie, Cookies & Cream and Crunchy Nougat), in fun shapes that include hearts and speech bubbles (photo above). The SRP is $5.99 for 3.5 ounces/100 grams. The larger Chocolate Delights gift box is $9.99.
  •  
    Learn more at LindtUSA.com/HELLO, where you can enter a sweepstakes to win your own cache of HELLO chocolate.

      

    Comments

    PRODUCT: Ghiradelli Chocolate Bars

    Some people are purists; but when we enjoy a chocolate bar, we have a better time when it’s combined with another flavor. Ghirardelli has an armload of options in dark, milk and white chocolate: plump melt-in-your-mouth squares variously filled with caramel, mint, orange, raspberry and other favorites.

    The company recently added two new flavors to the line: Mint Cookie and Toffee Crunch.

    As a lover of all things mint, our favorite has got to be Mint Cookie. Milk chocolate with crunchy mint cookie filling, this chocolate bar is a major improvement on the iconic Girl Scout Thin Mint Cookie, with so much more (and better) chocolate.

    You can reward yourself with a small piece or two each day: The bars are scored for portion control. If you don’t trust yourself to break off just a piece, several of the flavors are available in bags of pre-wrapped squares.

    The 3.45-ounce bars have a suggested retail price of $2.79, and are available at retailers nationwide. If you buy them at Ghirardelli’s online store, you get five bars for the price of four.

     

    Some of Ghirardelli’s extensive line of filled chocolate bars. Photo by Elivra Kalviste | THE NIBBLE.

     

    FIND MORE OF OUR FAVORITE CHOCOLATE BARS & BON BONS.

      

    Comments

    FATHER’S DAY GIFT: Chocolate Golf Balls

    Fore! Well actually, each package contains
    three. Photo courtesy Edward Marc
    Chocolatier..

     

    Looking for a special party favor for all the dads at your Father’s Day celebration?

    Check out these solid chocolate golf balls from artisan chocolatier Edward Marc.

    Clear packaging displays three golf balls atop faux grass, in your choice of dark, milk or white chocolate.

    Order at EdwardMarc.com.

    Some people we know have given the white chocolate golf balls as wedding favors!

    Not into golf?

    Give Dad a box of seven chocolate neckties: different designs in Dark Honey Coconut, Milk Peanut Butter Mousse Truffle, Milk Salted Caramel and White Mocha Truffle.

     

    ABOUT EDWARD MARC CHOCOLATIER

    Edward Marc has been an artisan chocolate shop since 1914. That year, a young Greek couple arrived in New York City to pursue the American dream. They settled in Pittsburgh, and set up shop making the same delicious handcrafted chocolates they made in Greece.

    This young couple—Charlie and Orania—became the great grandparents of today’s owners, as the business was handed down from generation to generation.

    The great grandchildren proudly continue the family tradition. We look forward to sampling the specialties of the company’s 100th anniversary next year.

      

    Comments

    FATHER’S DAY GIFT: Flavored Chocolate Bars

    The most fun assortment of chocolate bars.
    Photo courtesy Hebert Candies.

     

    Father’s Day is a week from today. If Dad enjoys a chocolate bar, how about giving him twelve of them, all in different fun flavors?

    Hebert Candies of Shrewsbury, Massachussetts has created a gift box of delightful chocolate bars—a unique take on this favorite indulgence. There are 12-packs and 6-packs, plus individual bars in whatever flavors you like.

    The gift box of 12 bars, $34.95, includes both milk chocolate bars and dark chocolate bars in:

  • Café Espresso Bean
  • Caramel Smoothie
  • Marshmallow S’mores Galore
  • Peanut Butter Cup
  • Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich
  • Peppermint Candy Crunch
  • Poppin’ Candy Crunch
  • Raspberry Burst
  • Salty Sea Shore Caramel
  • Shakin’ Malted Milkshake
  • Smokin’ Chipotle
  • Toffee Munchin’ Crunch
  •  
    Additional flavors include Coconut Craze, Kettle Potato Chip, Mint Cookie Crunch, Milk Chocolate With Caramel, Milk Chocolate With Crisped Rice, Milk Chocolate With Peanut Butter and Dark Chocolate With Raspberry. Plain bars are available in dark, milk and white chocolate.

    If there’s someplace closer to chocolate bar heaven, we’d like to know about it.

    96 YEARS OF FINE CHOCOLATE

    In 1917, young Frederick Hebert purchased a copper kettle, a knife, a thermometer, a slab of marble and a table. He handcrafted chocolates and caramels in his home kitchen, and sold them to the small neighborhood stores that dotted central Massachusetts.

    Business boomed, and Hebert built the Chocolate Mansion, his chocolate factory in Shrewsbury. If you’re in the area, take a tour of the factory. You’ll be enveloped in the aroma of chocolate that you won’t soon forget.

    In the summer, the venue hosts an oldies car show every Thursday, with a build your own sundae bar. In the winter, you can have your photo taken with Santa, or with the Easter Bunny in the spring.

    According to the company website, Frederick Hebert introduced white chocolate to the United States in 1956, after tasting “white coat” candies in Europe. (The first white chocolate bar was launched by Swiss chocolate manufacturer Nestlé in the 1930s.)

    Discover more on the company website.

      

    Comments

    TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: Poco Dolce Chocolates

    For a special Father‘s Day gift, any chocolate lover will love you for sending him Poco Dolce—a two-time NIBBLE Top Pick Of The Week.

    the chocolate-covered salted caramels, chocolate tiles, toffee, flavored chocolate bars, peanut brittle and special whiskey-infused truffles are sublime.

    The flavors include “original” (we’d never call them “plain”) plus Almond, Almond Coconut, Aztec, Burnt Caramel, Ginger, Mint Toffee, Nuts, Sesame Toffee and others, depending on the particular item.

    The chocolates start at $10.00 for six salted caramels (great party favor!). Most are $18.00-$24, with gift baskets from $65.00 to $180.00.

    Read the full review; then head to Poco Dolce to place your order.

    FIND MORE OF OUR FAVORITE
    GOURMET CHOCOLATE GIFTS.

     

    Luscious chocolate truffles infused with Irish whiskey. Photo by Elvira Kalviste | THE NIBBLE.

     

      

    Comments

    TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: Gourmet Chocolate Bars From Jcoco

    Just in time for Mother’s Day gift-giving comes a new line of gourmet chocolate bars. They’re made by an old hand in the industry, the founder of Seattle Chocolate.

    It’s the best thing the company has done to date, a new degree of sophistication and elegance from a popular regional chocolatier.

    Every detail, from the velvety feel of the recycled paper box to the photography on the three one-ounce bars inside, is first class.

    And then there’s the chocolate. Made of fine Belgian couverture, it delights in three flavors plus plain (but hardly plain!) milk and dark chocolate. We urge you to try the:

  • Black Fig Pistachio Chocolate Bar, chewy nuggets of fruit with crunchy nuts in dark chocolate.
  • Edamame Sea Salt Chocolate Bar, a perfect pairing of nutty roasted soybeans, sea salt and a touch of soy sauce in milk chocolate.
  • Veracruz Orange Chocolate Bar, one of the best things to happen to white chocolate.
  •  

    Chic packaging is just the beginning with these delicious chocolate bars. Photo by Elvira Kalviste | THE NIBBLE.

     

    The Edamame milk chocolate bar and Veracruz white chocolate bar have entered the pantheon of our favorite chocolate bars.

    For Mother’s Day, Father’s Day or general gifting, tie a ribbon around the stack of five bars. For party favors, individual bars will be a hit. Although it’s early in the year, we’ve already earmarked Jcoco for this year’s stocking stuffers.

    Read the full review and order a large amount!

    FIND MORE OF OUR FAVORITE CHOCOLATES & GOURMET CHOCOLATE BARS.

      

    Comments

    TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: Chocolate Ganache Pups

    If you know a mom who loves chocolate and dogs, is there a better Mother’s Day gift than these chocolate pup bonbons?

    Made by hand by Gearhearts Chocolates, the milk chocolate bonbons are filled with silky chocolate ganache, which is lightly infused with handmade peanut butter.

    And they’re guilt-free: Five percent of sales of Peanut Butter Pups is donated to Companions for Heroes, a not-for-profit organization that matches rescue pets as companion animals to our nation’s wounded veterans.

    Read the full review and order yours today.
     

    FIND MORE OF OUR FAVORITE CHOCOLATES &
    EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT
    CHOCOLATE.

     

    Who can resist these chocolate peanut butter pups? Photo by Elvira Kalviste | THE NIBBLE.

     

      

    Comments

    EASTER: Jelly Bean Chocolate Bar

    Why make a decision when you can have both, our favorite thinking goes.

    Edward Marc Chocolatier is obviously of the same mind, with this jelly bean chocolate bar. It’s $3.50 for a 2.5-ounce bar at EdwardMarc.com.

    If you want to create your own jelly bean bar, head to Chocomize.com. For $4.75, you can make a 3.5-ounce jelly bean bar in dark, milk or white chocolate.

    You can add scores of other ingredients, too, including dried fruits, herbs, nuts, seeds, spices and specialty Easter decorations.

    Peter Cottontail would approve.

     

    An Easter chocolate bar. Photo courtesy Edward Marc Chocolatier.

     

      

    Comments

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