Archive for November, 2013

MarieBelle Aztec Original Hot Chocolate

What I love about MarieBelle Aztec Original Hot Chocolate is that it is actually a damn fine drinking chocolate that whips up like a glass of Nestlé Quik.  It is definitely easy to prepare.  Just mix with boiling water to create a full-flavored cup of European-style hot chocolate.  And it is definitely satisfying: lush, rich, bold, and balanced.  I don’t think it’s the most sophisticated drinking chocolate in the world–for that you need to go to a quality single origin bar or a very fine blend of a higher grad cacao, and make the drinking chocolate yourself.  But not everyone needs the most sophisticated drinking chocolate in the world every day.  I drink seven cups of drinking chocolate a week in the winter and three or four a week in the summer or when I’m travelling, and the vast majority of those I’m just looking for satisfying sustenance with solid flavor.  MarieBelle easily fits that bill, and then some!

Another way to use MarieBelle Hot Chocolate is to mix it with milk to make a more traditional American-style hot chocolate.  It can also be used as an ingredient.  Make the the European version of the drinking chocolate and refrigerate it for a chocolate filling or additive for pies (pecan is super) or drink it as a dark Creme de Chocolat.

Voted Best Tasting Hot Chocolate by Business Week (whoever they are!), MarieBelle Hot Chocolate is made from single origin Colombian Cocoa (63%) and contains no cocoa powder.

Recipe:

Iced Chocolate

Chocolate powder to 1/4 C of boiling water. Stir until smooth and well melted. In a blender, mix melted chocolate with 2 Cups of ice. Blend until ice is well grounded, serve at once. Makes 16 oz.

 

MarieBelle Drinking chocolates and a smattering of their other chocolate goodies, such as the beautiful (to look at) and quite tasty (to eat) MarieBelle White Chocolate Macha is now available for sale at The Meadow.

Patric Chocolate’s Red Coconut Curry

The basic rule of thumb is that a chocolate bar infused with flavors is not as impressive to serious chocolate lovers as a straight up dark chocolate.  Alan Patric McClure of Patric Chocolate disproved that rule some years ago when he introduced his first flavored “OMG” bars such as Mint Crunch and Mocha and PB&J (another rule of thumb is that blended chocolate bars are not as impressive as single origin chocolate bars.  McClure blew that rule out of the water as well with his immaculate  blended bar, but more on that another time).

McClure continues apace with his latest additions such as the limited edition oatmeal cookie chocolate, the most brilliant has of which is the Red Coconut Curry chocolate bar.  Marketed as “coconut, spice and everything nice” it is actually something more than that, not merely a goofy holiday treat. It is refined, complicated, subtle as hell despite the shavings of coconut on the back.

The chocolate bar is a blend of chiles de arbol, ginger, and lemongrass essence. Toasted Thai coconut “chips” lend a chewy crunchy salty fruity faintly umami sweetness.

Additional Info from Patric:

This palate-pleasing bar is made from smooth dark chocolate with chiles, ginger, sea salt, and hints of lemongrass and lime then topped with crunchy, salty-sweet toasted coconut that is unlike anything you’ve ever tasted. It’s a one-of-a-kind bar that will make your taste buds sing and dance for more.

The idea for the Red Coconut Curry bar originated from the four hardworking, spice-loving folks that make up Patric Chocolate. This bar was originally formulated to be a limited-edition bar, which is a fun and delicious outlet that keeps our creativity flowing and continually challenges us to bring you the most exciting, new flavors. While chiles and spices aren’t exactly groundbreaking in the chocolate world these days, it’s a tried and true combination that we love, and it was time to take it to the next level.

It didn’t take long, after some serious rounds of taste testing, to decide that Red Coconut Curry was the winning combo. However, figuring out how to convey such complex and distinct flavors through chocolate took a lot of time. Part of the challenge of creating such delicious bars is sourcing the best ingredients that enhance and highlight our incredible chocolate (and lucky for you, we weren’t about to dump a bottle of fish sauce into our refiners).

A large part of our ingredient search was for the coconut. First we tried toasting our own. Then we ordered a bunch (emphasis on the bunch) from other companies. We ordered shredded coconut, coconut chips, raw coconut, toasted coconut, sweetened and unsweetened coconut – we even tried blending coconut oil into the chocolate. Nothing excited us. But then, we struck gold: coconut from a company called, “Dang.”

We went with Dang coconut, because it was the tastiest coconut we had ever put into our mouths. “Dang” is a new company based in San Francisco, and also happens to be the name of the owner’s mother, who grew up in Thailand. This flavorful Thai coconut is gluten-free, perfectly sweet, and has a wonderful crunchy texture from its light roast with just a hint of salt. The crunch of this coconut is the perfect match for the bite of this bar.

We know that you’ll enjoy our latest blend of dark chocolate, Dang coconut, spicy chiles, ginger, and pure lemongrass and lime essences in this chocolaty version of a Thai favorite. When tasting our Red Coconut Curry bar, you’ll probably even exclaim, “Dang!”, yourself.

You can find this and all other Patric Chocolate bars for sale at The Meadow’s online store.