Category Archives: Chocolate

Gift A Feast and A Food Gal Giveaway

Who wouldn't want to receive a gift like this?

Who wouldn’t want to receive a gift like this?

As you start making  your holiday list and checking it twice, you just might want to consider Gift A Feast for the foodies in your life.

The local company sources the best hand-crafted food products in the Bay Area, then assembles them in curated collections that are hand-wrapped and delivered with a hand-written note.

It was started by Gypsy Achong, an environmental microbiologist and engineer, who decided to give up science to pursue her passion for food.

The gift collections range from “A Feast of Ice Cream Toppings” ($44.95), which includes June Taylor’s “Princess Peach” Syrup, Toffee Talk Crumble Mumble, and Cocotutti Cappuccino  Truffles; to “A Personal Tea Ceremony” ($194.95), which includes Cocotutti brandy truffles, June Taylor Candied Meyer Lemon Peel, a creamer wrapped in parchment paper, an eggshell-glazed cup, a tea strainer, bamboo scoop and an Aerolatte frother.

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New Chocolate Shop at Valley Fair, Daniel Boulud at the JCC in San Francisco & More

Valentino-Caprice truffle. (Photo courtesy of Cocoabella)

Valentino-Caprice truffle. (Photo courtesy of Cocoabella)

Cocoabella Chocolates Opens in the South Bay

Cocoabella Chocolates, which already has two stores in San Francisco, has just opened its first South Bay location at Westfield Valley Fair in Santa Clara.

Located in the Luxury Wing on the first level of the mall, the store sources small-batch, artisan chocolates from around the world.

It’s also the only retailer in the United States authorized to carry Thomas Haas truffles from British Columbia and Pierre Marcolini bars from Belgium.

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Ramen Burger (Oh, Yes!), Beringer and Scharffen Berger Team Up, and More

Ramen Burger. (Photo courtesy of the San Francisco Grand Hyatt)

The one and only Ramen Burger. (Photo courtesy of the San Francisco Grand Hyatt)

Ramen Burger in San Francisco

Yes, it sounds crazy. But you know you want it.

The Ramen Burger, the trend that got its start in Los Angeles, is now in San Francisco — but only for a limited time.

The Grand Hyatt San Francisco’s OneUP Restaurant & Lounge is serving this mash-up for lunch and dinner, but only through the end of September.

The bun is indeed made out of fresh ramen from a local noodle house. It holds a beef patty topped with mustard greens, cheddar cheese, smoked bacon and sriracha mayo.

The Ramen Burger is $18 and comes with fries.

Cook St. Helena Debuts Brunch Offerings

A favorite of locals and visitors alike, Cook St. Helena has debuted a Sunday brunch with Italian influences.

The nine-year-old restaurant waited this long to serve brunch because it wanted to get its liquor license first in order to offer Bloody Marys and other brunch cocktails.

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New Desserts at Hopscotch, Your Chance to Stomp Wine Grapes & More

Peach melba at Hopscotch in Oakland. (Photo courtesy of the restaurant)

Peach melba at Hopscotch in Oakland. (Photo courtesy of the restaurant)

New Sweets at Hopscotch

Hopscotch, the upscale diner in Oakland famed for its fried chicken, aims to satisfy your sweet tooth, too.

The restaurant, which serves American classics with Asian influences, just debuted a new dessert menu.

Among the treats to enjoy are: Peach melba with Greek yogurt sorbet, fresh raspberries and chervil; fig and almond tart with red wine sauce; and chocolate ganache cake with arare rice crackers and caramel sauce.

All desserts are $8.

Chocolate ganache cake. (Photo courtesy of Hopscotch restaurant)

Chocolate ganache cake. (Photo courtesy of Hopscotch restaurant)

The Mandarin Oriental Celebrates the Upcoming Moon Festival

Join in the commemoration of the Mid-Autumn Festival, typically held during a full moon close to the autumnal equinox, at a special event at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in San Francisco, 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sept. 20.

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Can’t Beat Peanut Butter and Chocolate for the Long Holiday Weekend

An ice cream sandwich that you don't need an ice cream machine to make.

An ice cream sandwich that you don’t need an ice cream machine to make.


As a native San Franciscan, I’m proud to say that my first encounter with an ice cream sandwich was with the It’s It, the iconic treat invented here way back in 1928.

In our freezer at home, my Dad would often stash a few of those big-fisted oatmeal cookie sandwiches filled with vanilla ice cream and dunked in chocolate. As a kid, I couldn’t even eat an entire one at one sitting.

I’ve been a sucker for ice cream sandwiches ever since.

So when a review copy of “Ice Cream Sandwiches” (Ten Speed Press) landed in my mailbox recently, I leafed through it with the utmost nostalgia. The book is by Donna Egan, founder of the Buttercup Cake Shop, London’s first cupcake bakery. After opening in 2006, the bakery added ice cream sandwiches to its repertoire five years later and has never looked back.

The book features 65 recipes for all manner of ice cream sandwiches. The “Peanut Butter Dream” caught my eye because, well, who doesn’t love chocolate and peanut butter together?

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