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Chocolate

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Known for making the most expensive chocolate in the world, To’ak produces small editions of single-origin Ecuadorian dark chocolate from the oldest and rarest variety of cacao on earth. The ground-breaking company based in Ecuador is also pioneering the art and science of aging chocolate in barrels and various other mediums. And now, at long last, To’ak is releasing two new limited editions, both of which have been many years in the making: Single Malt Islay Cask Matured, which was aged for two years in a Laphroaig Scotch whisky cask ($355 per 50-gram bar), and their terroir-driven labor of love, El Niño Harvest 2016 ($275 per 50-gram bar). To’ak’s Single Malt Islay Cask Matured dark chocolate is a marriage made in heaven for whiskey connoisseurs and chocolate enthusiasts alike. As it turns out, the co-founders of To’ak Chocolate are also unabashed devotees of Scotch whisky—particularly, the peaty single malts of Islay, the most storied whiskey-producing region in Scotland. After sourcing a cask…

Smooth, delicate, exquisite, flavors blended in beautiful harmony, a symphony on the palate. Great Beauty and Artistry in every bite! Michael and his wife Jacky started their confectionery shop in San Francisco. Michael’s life is filled with art, music and lots of friends, so the look of his chocolates act as a show and tell of his favorite things. I love chocolate. I always have and I always will. I love the perfect snap of a fine chocolate bar, the tobacco notes of a rare cacao varietal and the sheen of a gorgeously enrobed confection. And because my job is not only to eat these chocolates, but to create them, I know I’m very a lucky man.  Creating with chocolate is a wonderful alchemy of temperature, ingredients, patience and sometimes luck. It’s about inspiration and practice, practice, practice. It has been my work and passion for nearly two decades. Still…

The flavor of Richart Chocolates from France is exceptional, sensual and each one a piece of art and a total delight for the senses. We asked him about his process in creating those fabulous chocolates. Here is an excerpt from an interview with Michel Richart on the smells he remembers from his youth and how they influenced his life. “I remember extremely well the times when I was a child and went to see relatives – not very close relatives but still, my godfather and godmother- and one of my favorite pastimes was to go smell the tomato crops and even the tomato leaves, because the leaves of tomatoes have an unbelievably strong smell of tomato.” It was extremely enjoyable for me to do this on vacation so I don’t know if this is the kind of answer that you are looking for but it could make people understand me…

The history of Chocolate spans thousands of years, originally discovered in the pods of the cacao (kah KOW) trees in the rain forests of the Americas. These pods,…

Few people can resist chocolate cake and this luxurious recipe from my personal recipe box. Perfectly moist, just the right balance of flavors and an irresistible not-too-sweet icing. Dressed down for everyday or sprinkled with edible gold and decorated with edible flowers for a sophisticated presentation perfect for a brunch or tea party, this cake, ‘takes the cake’! RICH CHOCOLATE CAKE INGREDIENTS ½ cup chocolate semi sweet chopped 1 cup butter 2 teaspoons vanilla 2 cups all purpose flour Dash of cinnamon Dash of nutmeg Pinch of salt 2 cups sugar 2 teaspoons cream of tartar 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 cup milk 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 4 eggs Method Preheat oven to 350 degrees Prepare 2 9-inch cake pans or one 9 x 13 inch pan lining it with parchment paper (will not stick and comes out beautifully!) 1. Melt the chocolate and butter together…

Oh, when thinking of love, the mind wanders to the love of chocolate. That lovely, splendid, smooth, good-feeling inducer and seductive taste sensation that can be ordinary or…

Chocolate massage and chocolate facials smell good enough to eat, but it is not recommended. However, this is definitely a luxurious and decadent way to be pampered! Chocolate is said to soften the skin, perhaps due to the cocoa butter. Added benefits aside, just the scent can have a soulful effect on you. Check out your local spas and see if they offer chocolate versions of your favorite massages, facials or body treatments. The shelves of the drug stores and beauty shops also carry chocolate scented body butters and lotions for that tantalizing beauty treat at home.