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Gift Ideas for the Foodies in Your Life

Friday, 14. December 2012 5:25

The "Mash Bill'' collection of truffles from Vosge Haut Chocolate. (Photo by Carolyn Jung)

For the Spirits and Beer Aficionado Who Also Covets Chocolate

Leave it to Vosges Haut Chocolate of Chicago to come up with a specialty box of truffles all about whiskey, bourbon, scotch and stout.

The “Mash Bill” is a nine-piece collection of dark- and milk-chocolate truffles, each of which incorporates Rogue Chocolate Stout, Templeton Rye Whiskey, Four Rose’s Single Barrel Bourbon and Bruichladdich Port Charlotte Scotch in the ganache filling.

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Category:Chocolate, General, New Products, Wine | Comments (8) | Author:

Dark and White Chocolate Chunk Cookies with Ginger

Thursday, 13. December 2012 5:25

Dark chocolate, white chocolate and ginger make up the trifecta of flavors in this fudgy cookie.

Consider this the ménage à trois of cookies.

You have the complimentary duo of dark and white chocolates — then throw in racy ginger for an even spicier time.

Are you getting all hot and bothered yet?

Your taste buds sure will in the best of ways with these “Dark and White Chocolate Chunk Cookies with Ginger.” The recipe is from “Bon Appetit Desserts” (Andrews McMeel) by the magazine’s former editor-in-chief, Barbara Fairchild. Ever since receiving a review copy of this 686-page cookbook two years ago, I’ve been slowly baking my way through its extensive collection of 600 recipes.

These cookies bake up soft and fudgy in texture. They boast craggy dark tops with striking big chunks of white chocolate that get a little golden on the edges like toasted marshmallows.

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Coffee with A Molecular Twist at Lavazza

Thursday, 22. November 2012 5:25

Ferran Adria's memorable Espesso Macchiato at Lavazza in Santana Row.

After braving the long, chaotic lines at all those Black Friday mega sales, you’ll surely be in need of a pick-me-up.

Why not make it one with a little molecular gastronomy thrown in to boot?

At the newest coffee cafe in San Jose’s Santana Row, Lavazza Espression, you can indulge in exactly that.

The artsy Vespa-red Italian cafe is the first of its kind on the West Coast by the famed Italian coffee roaster. More locales are expected in the near future around the Bay Area.

Lavazza's slogan.

Last week, I had a chance to sample the goods as a guest at the grand opening party. Scoops of vanilla gelato, samples of focaccia sandwiches, and arugula salads stuffed into crisp, lacy Parmesan cups made the rounds.

The San Jose cafe, which features artwork by top fashion photographers.

A striking wall decoration.

The tiramisu and chocolate tortes tasted fresh and classic. They’re flown in daily from Italy.

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Category:Bakeries, Chefs, Chocolate, General, New Products | Comments (7) | Author:

Holiday Chocolate Bars

Friday, 26. October 2012 5:25

The Holiday Cheer Eggnog Bar will have you thinking of Christmas already.

When is a candy bar not just your average candy bar?

When they’re holiday-inspired truffle bars from Seattle Chocolates that are just in time for Halloween and Christmas.

Recently, I had a chance to sample the new holiday collections of bars. Each 2.5-ounce bar is $3.50. They’re available at select stores nationwide or on the company’s Web site.

I’ll use my patented scale of 1 to 10 lip-smackers, with 1 being the “Bleh, save your money” far end of the spectrum; 5 being the “I’m not sure I’d buy it, but if it was just there, I might nibble some” middle-of-the-road response; and 10 being the “My gawd, I could die now and never be happier, because this is the best thing I’ve ever put in my mouth” supreme ranking.

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Unreal Candy That Tastes Real Good

Wednesday, 10. October 2012 5:25

They resemble M&Ms, but they have less sugar.

Is it too early in the month to already start talking about candy?

I think not.

Especially when it’s candy that’s made with better, more healthful ingredients.

Unreal Brands candy is the brainchild of 15-year-old Nicky Bronner, who got so peeved one year that his parents had confiscated his Halloween loot that he decided to come up with new versions of his favorite candies that his parents would approve of.

Of course, it helps that his father is Boston entrepreneur Michael Bronner who founded Digitas, a digital direct marketing company, and Unpromise, which reinvented the loyalty program model. It also didn’t hurt that his father is friends with the likes of Tom Brady, Giselle Bundchen and Matt Damon, all of whom are now Unreal brand ambassadors.

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Category:Chocolate, General, Great Finds, Health/Nutrition, New Products | Comments (8) | Author: