Tag Archives: Chuao Chocolatier

Hot Chocolate and Hot Cocoa

City Bakery_Salted caramel hot chocolate

City Bakery’s Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate – Photo Courtesy of City Bakery (NYC)

I usually prefer to eat, rather than drink, my calories and carbs.  But I’ll sometimes make an exception for Hot Chocolate and Hot Cocoa.  “Hot Cocoa” is sometimes used interchangeably for “Hot Chocolate.” But there is a difference. Hot Chocolate refers to the luxurious beverage made from ground-up chocolate pieces.  Hot Cocoa doesn’t contain cocoa butter so it’s not as rich but added cream and milk enrich this hot beverage.

While there’s certainly nothing wrong with traditional Hot Chocolate and Hot Cocoa, I wanted to find out how chocolatiers and bakers are pushing the “Hot Chocolate envelope.”  Here are some of the more innovative Hot Chocolate/Hot Cocoa varieties:


Wicked Hot Chocolate from Jacques Torres – Photo Courtesy of Jacques Torres (NYC)

Jacques Torre’s Wicked Hot Chocolate.  Why is it “wicked”?  Because it’s spiced with allspice, cinnamon, ground ancho chili peppers, and smoked ground chipotle chili peppers.

Hot Chocolate_Medium

Hot Chocolate from the Hot Chocolate Restaurant – Photo Courtesy of Hot Chocolate (Chicago)

The Black & Tan.  It’s on the menu of the aptly named HotChocolate restaurant in Chicago.   To ensure you’re getting your chocolate fix, this beverage is comprised of 1 part Hot Fudge to 2 parts Hot Chocolate.

polar bear hot choolate with icebeg_marshmallow on top

Ode to Polar Bear Hot Chocolate from City Bakery – Photo Courtesy of City Bakery (NYC)

The Ode to Polar Bear Hot Chocolate.  This offering, from New York City’s City Bakery, is for fans of White Chocolate.  Perched on top of the hot white chocolate is a floating iceberg (homemade marshmallow).  Or how about Toasted Marshmallow Hot Chocolate?  Yes, this Hot Chocolate sports not just a homemade marshmallow, but a toasted one at that.  While traditional Hot Chocolate is always on City Bakery’s menu, special flavors are offered during the annual Hot Chocolate Festival.



Serendipity’s Frrrozen Hot Chocolate.  Who says Hot Chocolate has to be hot?  As the name implies, it’s served frosty cold, with straws.

Hmm, we still have several days of winter left.  Plenty of time to enjoy Hot Chocolate!

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2015 Fancy Food Show (also known as the Specialty Food Show)

Summer Fancy Food Show logo - image courtesy of the Specialty Food Association (NYC)

Summer Fancy Food Show logo – image courtesy of the Specialty Food Association (NYC)

The Summer Fancy Food Show is the largest specialty food show in North America, with 2,400 exhibitors and 180,000 products.  In other words, it’s a glutton’s paradise.

In the dessert arena, I didn’t notice any brand new trends – gluten free desserts are still very well represented; salted caramel continues to find its way in all types of desserts; and chocolate is again paired with spices, especially different varieties of peppers.

These are a few of the interesting or unusual products I saw/tasted:

Chuao Chocolatier's Strawberry Waffle Wild Bar and other Products - Photo Courtesy of Chuao Chocolatier (CA)

Chuao Chocolatier’s Strawberry Waffle Wild Bar and other Products – Photo Courtesy of Chuao Chocolatier (CA)

Chuao Chocolatier’s Strawberry Waffle Wild bar.  This is one of Chuao’s breakfast-inspired flavors, with waffle pieces and strawberry pieces enrobed in milk chocolate.  The other breakfast-themed bar is the Cinnamon Cereal Smooch Bar.   Chuao’s marketing slogan for these two chocolate bars is “Eat chocolate for breakfast” (sounds really good to me).

Organic Coffee Barnanas - Photo Courtesy of Barnana (Santa Monica, CA)

Organic Coffee Barnanas – Photo Courtesy of Barnana (Santa Monica, CA)

Barnana snacks — no, this isn’t a typo.  Barnanas are dehydrated Banana pieces with additions.  The Organic Original variety is sprinkled with Banana Powder and, as you might have guessed, the Organic Coffee version is dipped in a (sweetened) Organic Coffee coating.

■ Kathi German Bee Sting Cake Mix, imported by Niche Gourmet — all you need to add is butter, water, and heavy whipping cream.  What is a German Bee Sting Cake, you might ask?  A yeast dough with a cream or custard filling topped with a layer of honey-almonds.  And its memorable name might be due to the honey in the cake.

Meli's Monster Cookies' Trade Show Booth

Meli’s Monster Cookies’ Trade Show Booth

■ “The Original” cookie — produced by
Meli’s Monster Cookies.  This “Monster” will not cause nightmares, is gluten free, and is chuck full of rolled oats, crunchy peanut butter, chocolate chips, M&Ms and peanut butter M&Ms.

Softer than Brittle logo - Image Courtesy of the Softer than Brittle company

Softer than Brittle logo – Image Courtesy of the Softer than Brittle company

Softer than Brittle is a peanut brittle without dairy, gluten, cholesterol, or preservatives.  And as an added health benefit — since it’s softer than traditional brittle, it’s easier on your teeth.

I sure look forward to next summer’s Fancy Food Show.


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Maple Desserts

Maple Syrup

Maple Syrup

With fall upon us, my thoughts turn to…..leaves turning?  No, not really.  Pumpkin picking?  Maybe for some.  Brisk walks?  Yes, but….Maple syrup in desserts?  A resounding “yes!”

Real maple syrup is a bit of a luxury (but, boy is it worth it!).  It takes more than 40 gallons of maple tree sap to make one gallon of maple syrup.  To make maple syrup, you boil the sap.

Maple syrup is versatile.  It pairs beautifully with walnuts, pears, pecans, chocolate, bananas, apples, and bacon.  Bacon?

Maple Bacon Cupcake from Sprinkles Cupcakes

Maple Bacon Cupcake from Sprinkles Cupcakes

Capitalizing on the apparently still strong bacon in desserts trend, for a limited time, Sprinkles Cupcakes offered a Maple Bacon Cupcake.  Bacon was woven into a Madagascar vanilla cake and the cake was topped with a maple cream cheese frosting.  Perched atop the frosting were bacon crumbles and fleur de sel (high-end sea salt).

Chuao Chocolatier's Maple Bacon Bar

Chuao Chocolatier’s Maple Bacon Bar

Interested in maple plus bacon plus chocolate?  Chuao Chocolatier debuted a Maple Bacon Bar in 2012.  According to the company, it’s about the chocolate first and foremost.

For those looking to avoid meat products in their maple treats, there are plenty of options.

Georgetown Cupcake's Maple Cupcake

Georgetown Cupcake’s Maple Cupcake

On Tuesdays, Georgetown Cupcake offers a Maple Cupcake.  It packs a double maple punch.  The cake is maple and it’s topped with a maple infused cream cheese frosting.  And it’s decorated with fondant (sugar paste) in the shape of a maple leaf.   The owners, Katherine Kallinis Berman and Sophie Kallinis LaMontagne were inspired by the fall season and changing leaves.

Maple Walnut Ice Cream from Molly Moo's Homemade Ice Cream

Maple Walnut Ice Cream from Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream

And if you’re more of an ice cream fan, fear not.  Maple Walnut is so popular it’s one of the ten “always” flavors at Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream.

Illustrating that the maple chocolate combination isn’t new, Vosges Haut Chocolate has been offering Maple Caramels for about five years.  And Vosges indicates that these caramels are popular.

When I’m not indulging in maple desserts, I still enjoy the taste of maple – it sure livens up breakfast oatmeal.

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