Wednesday, March 9, 2016

SOMA Chocolatemaker - Milk Old School - Mar. 9, 2016

Chocolate of the Day: 

SOMA Chocolatemaker
Milk Old School
Very Good
Weight: 1.59 oz. (45 g.) / 3.18 oz. (90 g.) in total package
Calories: 235 calories (guesstimate) in 1/2 package
Cost: $12.00 (estimate - member pricing may apply) 
Purchased from: The Chocolate Garage, Palo Alto, CA

Today was Day #2 of Chocolate Brownie Week.

Technically, this "Milk Old School" heart from SOMA Chocolatemaker (Toronto, Canada) was not a brownie. Nor was it a single origin bar, or a cookie. It was the best of all three of these combined.

Hats off to the busy and creative folks at SOMA. I love all that you do, and continuing to provide innovative and natural flavors and form factors.

Today's 38% cacao offering was crafted from Chuao* cacao nibs, some of the best in the world. The partially ground nibs were combined with milk and whole crystals of organic cane sugar, and pressed into a heart-shape, resembling a cookie.

The result: It smelled great, and had a wonderful rich chocolate "brownie" flavor, and crunchy cookie texture. This was a seasonal offering created for Valentines Day last month; but I hope there are more single-origin, old school bar/cookie offerings like this to come.

*Chuao is the name of a village area in northern Venezuela. This area is known for its cacao plantations and prized cacao.

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Fruits In Chocolate - Cherry in Dark Chocolate - Mar. 8, 2016

Chocolate of the Day: 

Chocolate Printing Company, Inc.
Fruits in Chocolate - Cherry in Dark Chocolate
Very Good
Weight: 1.3 oz. (36 g.) / 6 oz. (170 g.) in total package
Calories: 150 calories in 2 pieces
Cost: $3.99 for 1 pkg. of 9 pieces
Purchased from: Safeway, Mountain View, CA

Today was Day #8 of Chocolate, Cherry and Raspberry Week.

Fresh cherries are tough to find in Winter where I live. And frozen ones (if you can find them) can be extremely expensive.

So, today I dreamt of fresh cherries in the summer. And in the meantime, this week I sampled chocolates with dried cherries in various forms.

Today, I got lucky, with these individually-wrapped Cherry Fruits in Chocolate from the Chocolate Printing Company, Inc. (Inwood, NY).

Instead of chewy, or sodden, red bits of fruit crystallized in sugar, or entombed in corn syrup and confectioners glaze, these chocolates contained a much more authentic, moist, real cherry filling.

In other words, these were fruits in chocolate vs. chocolate-covered fruit pieces. A great find.

And the chocolate covering had a subtle, but rich chocolate brownie aroma that was quite satisfying and delightful as well.

I also made a personal-sized brownie, embedded with two of these chocolates. It was incredibly rich, flavorful and satisfying.

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Ghirardelli - Dark Raspberry Squares; Peet's Milk Chocolate Cherries - Mar. 7, 2016

Chocolate(s) of the Day:

Ghirardelli Chocolate Company*
Squares - Dark and Raspberry
Weight: .53 oz. (15 g.) / 5.32 oz. (151 g.) in total package of 10
Calories: 70 calories in 1 square
Cost: $3.49 for 1 package of 10 squares
Purchased from: Safeway, Palo Alto, CA

Peet's Coffee and Tea
Milk Chocolate Cherries
Weight: .85 oz. (24 g.) / 6.5 oz. (184 g.) in total bag/package
Calories: 114 calories in 3 pieces
Cost: $6.95 (plus tax) for 1 package
Purchased from: Peet's Coffee and Tea, San Bruno, CA

Welcome to Day #7 of Chocolate, Cherry and Raspberry Week.

National Fruit Compote Day in the U.S. was last week (March 1). Today, I'm belatedly making my own red fruit mix with offerings from two San Francisco Bay Area companies: Ghirardelli Chocolate Company (San Leandro, CA) and Peet's Coffee and Tea (Berkeley, CA).

Ghirardelli Chocolate (founded in 1852 in San Francisco by Domenico Ghirardelli)*, produces a line of small, individually-wrapped, chocolate squares available in a variety of flavors. Each square is a nice size if you just want a few bites of chocolate.

Today's slim dark chocolate square was filled with a raspberry-flavored, soft pink center. Warning: open/handle these squares gently to avoid squish-age, that you may have to lick off your fingers.

The first Peet's Coffee and Tea (and Spices) location was opened in Berkeley in 1966 by Alfred Peet. The company offers some sweets in their stores, such as today's Milk Chocolate Cherries (often made for Peet's by other companies). Today's chocolates contained cherry flavored centers—surrounded by milk chocolate and a sweet pastel confectioners coating.

*Ghirardelli is now owned by parent company, Lindt and Sprungli (Switzerland).

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