Well, now that I live in Alaska it's a lot harder to sample different brands of dark chocolate. I will have to find a good source online and/or go bck to Portland and visit that smokeshop. There were all kinds of chocolate to sample there.
Hi Chocoflyer, nice to meet you!
No, I wish it was. Haigh's is in Adelaide, South Australia and is one of the very few chocolate companies in the world where they make their own chocolate and then make it into chocolates. I am in California, but my kids (shown on either side of me) are half Australian and my husband and I went to visit them while they were down for the school year. It is pretty amazing. Haigh's is THE Australian chocolate company. Worth the 16 hour flight! They don't allow anyone into the chocolate making side, but give tours of the truffle/confection/bonbon side.
Australia has great wrappers showing Aussie animals. I think I might have a couple if you have a mailing address I can send them to. I will check and see what I have...
I will be opening my own chocolate chop sometime soon. Graduated from Ecole Chocolat last year and am making headway into getting my shop off the ground. ~S
We are planning on getting the actual site up in about two weeks (ahd some tech issues....) I will post when we are up and running! We will be doing alot of travel beginning in 2009; our site evolves around the tastes of the world, so travel to the actual spots is a natural part of the learning process. LV
Chocoflyer, what a grand collection of wrappers! Thank you for sharing in the Baci memory...those love notes inside are the Italian fortunes for many, :) I'll be in Greece & Sicily in May any chocolatiers I ought look out for?
For the note about my colors, it did help as i am new at this blog business. I have changed the colors to light blue. Check out my new post called Megan's "Profiles In Chocolate" . any more suggestions ?
Thanks for your comment. We also don't like that conventional, non-organic fudge that you find at seaside resorts. We like to think of ours as "gourmet chocolate fudge". Fudge, by it's very nature, is sweeter than say, a dark chocolate bar, but since we use 65% dark in our Special Dark, and we keep the sugar content low, the delicious chocolate flavor comes through beautifully. We compared our ingredients to other conventional dark chocolate bars, and there is less fat and less sugar, plus no additives, preservatives, pesticides, etc. By the way, I enjoyed your photos. Perhaps when I get my blog up, which is called www.chocolatefudgecafe.com, you would allow me to post some? Especially the ones of you on the farms with the farmers. Not sure how I do that...but I'll get back to you when I'm ready!
I saw your post with Terje about tempering. While it's really useful to be able to rely on a tempering machine during production (and the only really affordable and usable small capacity ones are from Chocovision), there really is no substitute for being able to temper by hand. The point is not that you have to temper manually, but that you gain an intimate first-hand understanding of what properly tempered chocolate looks like, feels like, and acts like. Marble slabs are great because they maintain a fairly constant temperature. However, they can be very expensive as well as very fragile. I good alternative is from a Canadian company call Desin et Realisation (www.dr.ca). They make a stainless steel slab that is hollow and that is filled with anti-freeze. It's most useful when you can put it in a walk-in to cool it down for a couple of hours, but it's also useful as a work surface to put on top of a counter. They're lighter, more durable, and less expensive than marble so you might want to take a look for them.
Jade Chocolates is a newbie chocolate company and we're mainly in the San Francisco area. I see that you're in Florida, so access my website and add a few of my bars to your arsenal of chocolate bar wrappers. Where did you hear about us? BTW, the web address is www.jadechocolates.com. Any additional comments is greatly appreciated.
Thank you so much for your wonderful words about the Oregon Chocolate Festival. I am happy to hear you enjoy it.
You are asking about Moonstruck. Yes, they are Portland, OR based and have been at our festival in 2006 and 2007. They had a conflict of events this year. Hopefully I can have them back on March 6-8, 2009. See you then!
Hi! Happy to meet you. M&M's...they do make me smile! They have so many new kinds out but I like the original milk chocolate, multi-colored ones best....I bought a beautiful gumball machine and filled it with M&Ms. It looked so pretty--for about 30 minutes. I then ate my weight in M&Ms over the next few days...it sits empty now because, alas, I have no willpower over the little critters. I will check out your blog as soon as I have time! :-) Your pictures are GREAT!!!
Hi Chocoflyer =) so sorry, you're the second person to ask me this, it's not an actual chocolate school, i just used the pic cuz it looks like it would be a great chocolate school, hehe.. And i don't teach at a chocolate school, still a complete amateur, i just enrolled into Ecole Chocolat's 3 month chocolatier class - chocolateschool is the name of my blog at livejournal that i set up to record my progress, that's all hehe.. sorry again, didn't mean to mislead anyone. thanks for the comment =)
When I first did it , I used a marble slab -- what a mess. It was a huge adventure, but eventually I mastered it.
These days I've graduated to a machine... although learning how to do it the old fashioned way was really helpful in getting a feel for working with chocolate and understanding how it works... glad I learned.
Thanks for the support and great comments. I got a great new sales rep so we're really working it. Maybe we'll get into Florida soon. I have friends in Orlando. If you need a Brownie Shotz fix before next year, give me a hollar. I can fix you up. Keep in touch!