Monday, July 27, 2015

Chocolate Maya - Milk and Honey and Champagne chocolate - July 27, 2015

www.chocolatemaya.com
Chocolate of the Day: 

Chocolate Maya
Milk and Honey and Champagne chocolate
Good +
Weight: .4 oz. (11.32 g.) (estimate) for 1 piece
Calories: 60 calories (estimate) for 1 piece
Cost: $2.00 (estimate) for 1 piece
Purchased from: Chocolate Maya, Santa Barbara, CA

Today was Day #6 of Chocolate and Santa Barbara Theme Week.

I've been enjoying the assortment box of chocolates I purchased from Chocolate Maya (Santa Barbara, CA) recently. We knew when we peeked in the door of this small, but wonderful shop that we'd be walking out with an interesting assortment of chocolates. And we did.

Today's "Milk and Honey and Champagne" bonbon was a creamy, sweet milk chocolate round topped with tiny (crunchy), gold candy "bubbles;" and it had a very slight hint of champagne grape flavor. Great for a gift or for celebrating a festive occasion, especially if you're milk chocolate fan.


Sunday, July 26, 2015

Chocolate Maya - Elderflower Liqueur chocolate - July 26, 2015

Chocolate of the Day: 

Chocolate Maya
Elderflower liqueur chocolate
Good ++
Weight: .37 oz. (10.4 g.) (estimate) in 1 piece
Calories: 56 calories (estimate) in 1 piece
Cost: $2.00 in 1 piece
Purchased from: Chocolate Maya, Santa Barbara, CA

Welcome to Day #5 of Chocolate and Santa Barbara Theme Week. I'm working my way through a few different assortment boxes of chocolates recently purchased in Santa Barbara, CA.

Today's purplish, flower-shaped confection came from Chocolate Maya (Santa Barbara, CA) and was filled with elderflower liqueur (St. Germain I believe) infused dark chocolate ganache. This filling had just the right amount (for my taste) of slightly berry-tart elderflower flavor.


Chocolate Maya - Rosewater chocolate - July 25, 2015

Chocolate of the Day: 

Chocolate Maya
Rose - Rosewater Dark Chocolate
Good ++ - Very Good
Weight: .4 oz. (11.32 g.) (estimate) in 1 piece
Calories: 60 calories (estimate) in 1 piece
Cost: $2.00 (estimate) for 1 piece
Purchased from: Chocolate Maya, Santa Barbara, CA

Today was Day #4 of Chocolate and Santa Barbara Theme Week.

This Rose dark chocolate from Chocolate Maya (Santa Barbara, CA) was deliciously dark and authentically rose flavored. And I loved that it wasn't overly sweet.

Unfortunately, the assortment box of great chocolates I bought at Chocolate Maya last week got squashed (my fault), so this photo does not do this lovely, heart-shaped, floral chocolate justice.

Chocolate Maya is a small shop, right off State Street, the main street running through downtown Santa Barbara. It's not far from the ocean and the Santa Barbara pier -- that offers great views of the ocean, the city and the blue and dusky beige mountains as a backdrop. But, back to the chocolate...

Swiss-born owner, Maya Schoop-Rutten uses organic cocoa from "ethical plantations" in her house-made confections. Good chocolate made a difference, as did a lighter touch of sugar. Her shop also is well-stocked with high-quality chocolate single origin bars from bean-to-bar chocolate makers.


Friday, July 24, 2015

Chocolats du CaliBressan - Kentucky Bourbon bonbon - July 24, 2015

Chocolate of the Day:

Chocolats du CaliBressan
Kentucky Bourbon bonbon
Good ++
Weight: .4 oz. (11.32 g.) (estimate) for 1 piece
Calories: 60 calories (estimate) for 1 piece
Cost: $1.80 for 1 bonbon
Purchased from: Chocolats du CaliBressan, Santa Barbara, CA

Today was Day #3 of Chocolate and Santa Barbara Theme Week.

Today's rectangular Kentucky Bourbon bonbon from Chocolats du CaliBressan (Santa Barbara, CA) was decorated with a gold, red and light blue stencil pattern -- with tiny graphic bursts and little "BAM" exclamations -- across the top. This "monthly special" chocolate for July was a good choice for celebrating Bastille Day, the 4th of July, or the summer in general.

Inside this bonbon, a chocolate ganache contained a tantalizing hint of Kentucky Bourbon that yielded a glowing warmth.

Today was the last day for featured chocolates from Chocolats du CaliBressan, but rest assured there will be more in the future, including the company's signature Limoncello truffle, and tasty "Buddha Beauty" salt caramel, and the company's Bisous bonbon (red lips filled with a tangerine liqueur infused ganache). 

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Chocolats du CalifBressan - Bressan shoe, Sea Shell truffles - July 23, 2015

Chocolate(s) of the Day:

Chocolats du CaliBressan
Bressan truffle - Good ++ - Very Good
Sea shell truffle - Good ++ - Very Good
Weight: .78 oz. (22 g.) (estimate) for 2 truffles
Calories: 119 calories (estimate) for 2 truffles
Cost: $3.60 for 2 pieces
Purchased from: Chocolats du CaliBressan, Santa Barbara, CA

Today was Day #2 of Chocolate and Santa Barbara Theme Week, and I celebrated with two different bonbons from Chocolats du CaliBressan (a shop with two locations: Santa Barbara and Carpinteria, CA).

Today's chocolates were part of an assortment box from this chocolatier in Santa Barbara that I purchased while visiting this Spanish-themed coastal city last week.

The first chocolate was a "Bressan" -- a shoe-shaped "milk chocolate and praline spiced with nutmeg, covered with milk chocolate." I loved the little spikes of fresh nutmeg embedded in a sweet creamy and firm filling (leavened by what might have been a few micro-specks of salt).

The second piece was shaped like a Sea Shell, with a silky dark chocolate and boysenberry ganache that sparkled with bright, authentic berry flavor, encased in dark chocolate.

Thank you to the staff for tips on which chocolates to buy. Lots of good ones; and it was hard to decide.




Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Chocolats du CaliBressan - Lotus bonbon - July 22, 2015

Chocolate of the Day:

Chocolats du CaliBressan
Lotus bonbon
Good+
Weight: .39 oz. (11 g.) (estimate) in 1 piece
Calories: 58.5 calories (estimate) in 1 piece
Cost: $2.00 (estimate) for 1 piece
Purchased from: Chocolats du CaliBressan, Santa Barbara, CA

I'm interrupting Chocolate, Grains and Grasses Theme Week(s), to feature several chocolates from a recent field trip to Santa Barbara, California.

Last week I visited this beautiful, coastal city where I'd lived for 4 + years earlier in life. Why I ever left is harder to fathom now (the world of work and adventure called). However, why I return there is no mystery. The scenery alone is worth it. And, of course, between the towering blue and beige mountains and the Pacific Ocean in Santa Barbara, there is chocolate.

Chocolats du CaliBressan (Santa Barbara and Carpinteria, CA) has two locations, and is run by a French couple. Jean-Michel Carre calls himself the "French Chocolatier of the American Riviera." The downtown Santa Barbara location is right off State Street, tucked away next to a few other small independent shops, near a fountain with turtles sunning themselves.

Today's Lotus bonbons were attractively displayed in a red lotus bowl in the shop, and this piece was part of an assortment box I purchased. It was filled with a creamy, soft (dark + milk) chocolate ganache infused with lotus stamens and lotus leaf powder; covered in dark chocolate; and adorned with a lotus flower stencil.

The lotus flavor was so subtle that it was difficult to detect, but I enjoyed the thought that I was taking in some part of this flower.

Today was Day #1 of Chocolate and Santa Barbara Theme Week.




Woodstock - Mini Me's Organic Rice Bites - July 21, 2015

Chocolate of the Day: 

Woodstock
Mini Me's - Organic Rice Bites
Good +
Weight: 2.1 oz. (60 g.) in 1 package
Calories: 300 calories (estimate) in 1 package
Cost: $5.59 for 1 package
Purchased from: Country Sun Natural Foods, Palo Alto, CA

Today was Day #7 of Chocolate, Grains and Grasses Theme Week, with a focus on alternatives to wheat.

Rice was my first go to wheat substitute when I learned I had issues with gluten many years ago. And while rice cakes didn't seem as exciting as a "real" cake initially, I quickly got used to them. Rice cakes are, however, can be more interesting with a thin dark chocolate coating on top -- just like today's Mini Me's Organic Rice Bites -- a product of the Netherlands and distributed by Woodstock foods (Providence, RI).

These organic, diminutive rounds (billed as a "better cookie" and designed with children in mind) were gluten-free and were "produced with No GMOs." I appreciated the smaller, 3-bite size pieces.

The dark chocolate complemented the rice, and a light touch of sea salt tied everything together nicely.


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