How to Tell You Have Good Chocolate

Posted on January 28, 2016 by Dorinda Vance | 0 Comments

Everyone has different tastes when it comes to chocolate. Your best friend may love white chocolate, while you are more of a dark chocolate fan. No matter what type of chocolate treat you are craving today, make sure you are getting the good stuff!

Good Ingredients for Good Chocolate

good chocolate Dorinda's Truckee

Good chocolate should contain cocoa, cocoa solids, and cocoa butter. If the primary ingredient in your treat is milk or sugar, the quality of the chocolate will not be as great. Good chocolate has a higher percentage of cocoa (or cacao, depending on the labels), which means more of the chocolate bar or truffle is made from actual chocolate.

High-quality chocolate treats will have no preservatives or paraffin wax in them. These additives will make the chocolate last longer on the shelf, but you pay a price in taste. When you visit a chocolate confectionery shop, ask them what chocolate they use. If the chocolatier is not willing to tell you his or her source with pride, keep walking! The chocolate supplier makes a huge difference in making good chocolate or making “just okay” chocolate.

Smell Your Chocolate

Open up your box of chocolates and take a big whiff! What do you smell? If you smell chocolate, great! If your chocolate doesn’t smell like anything, there is a chance the chocolate has not been made or stored well. If your chocolate smells like something besides chocolate, toss it! Chocolate can take on other smells from foods in your refrigerator or cupboards.

The Taste Test

Finding out if you have quality chocolate can be as easy as tasting it. When you put a piece of chocolate or truffle into your mouth, does it melt in your mouth? Does it leave a filmy residue in your mouth? Can you still taste the chocolate as an aftertaste?

If chocolates or caramels melt in your mouth, that indicates that there are little to no preservatives or paraffin wax mixed in with the chocolate. Quality chocolate treats also will not leave a filmy residue in your mouth, which comes from the additives.

Good chocolate does not have a gritty taste in your mouth because confectioners use a lot of cocoa butter to make the chocolate high quality. The taste of good chocolate also lingers in your mouth for a little bit, so you can savor the taste!

Good Chocolate at Dorinda’s

Dorinda's Chocolates NorthStar Truckee

At Dorinda’s Chocolates, we pride ourselves in making our chocolate from fresh ingredients and quality chocolate. We use premium Valrhona Chocolate, which uses gourmet cocoa harvested from their own cocoa plantations in Venezuela and the Dominican Republic.

The caramels at Dorinda’s Chocolates are a testament to our dedication to making the best treats. We use real honey instead of high fructose corn syrup to make our famous Sea Salt Caramels. Beware: once you try our caramels, there is no going back to lesser caramel delights!

Stop by our stores in Squaw Valley, The Village at NorthStar Ski Resort in Truckee, and our two Reno locations on the Riverwalk and at The Summit. You can see for yourself that our chocolates are a taste above the rest!

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Health Benefits of Chocolate

Posted on January 01, 2016 by Dorinda Vance | 0 Comments

Happy New Year! As we enter into 2016, many people are determined to get healthy as part of a New Year’s Resolution! Incorporate chocolate into your plan to get healthy, and you will start to see the benefits. Take it from the experts: chocolate is good for your health and is worth keeping in your diet.

gourmet chocolate Reno

Which Chocolate is Healthy?

The nutritional value of chocolate is more noticeable in the purer forms of chocolate, especially dark chocolate. A candy bar does not hurt every now and then, but the chocolate with the most nutrition is the dark chocolate with a high cacao percentage around 70-85%.

When are you looking for good chocolate to add to your New Year’s health kick, it is best to look for chocolate that has a cacao percentage above 60%. The higher the cacao level, the more the nutritional benefits! A higher cacao level also indicates that the chocolate will taste more bitter than milk chocolate.

Dark Chocolate Health Benefits

Chocolate can actually protect your sun against skin damage. Chocolate has antioxidants! The amount of flavonoids, a specific type of antioxidant, in chocolate can be five times higher than the amount found in an apple!

For pregnant women, those chocolate cravings can actually help prevent complications of pregnancy like preeclampsia. Studies have shown pregnant women who consume chocolate each week have a much lower risk of preeclampsia.

Chocolate And Your Brain

gourmet chocolate Summit South Reno

Just like exercising, eating chocolate releases endorphins. Endorphins are hormones released into the brain that affect your mood. Looking for a pick me up? Take a bite or two of some delicious dark chocolate and let the magic happen!

The tasty treat can also improve brain function! The theobromine and caffeine in the chocolate act as stimulants that can increase the blood flow to improve brain function. If you have a slump in the middle of the day, consider keeping some good chocolate by your desk for a midday pick-me-up.

Chocolate for Heart Health

Chocolate can lower your cholesterol. Ditch the bran cereal, and instead you can use your chocoholic craving for good! Dark chocolate can lower your risk of cardiovascular disease. Chocolate has a lot of soluble fiber and minerals.

Everything in Moderation

They key to having healthy chocolate is to limit your portions. To all of our beloved chocoholics, quality is more important than quantity. Indulge in a few bites of really good chocolate to experience the health benefits instead of eating an entire box of chocolate candy.

Dorinda’s Chocolates

If you simply cannot resist the chocolate urge, sign up for our Chocolate of the Month Club at Dorinda’s Chocolates in order to have a steady supply of chocolate at all times! Explore our dark chocolate options to get the most benefits from chocolate.

Try some of our classic truffles through our website from the comfort of your own home, or stop by one of our many locations! Dorinda’s Chocolates now has stores in Reno on the Riverwalk and at The Summit, at The Village at NorthStar Ski Resort in Truckee, and our Squaw Valley store!

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The Perfect Chocolate Gift

Posted on December 19, 2015 by Dorinda Vance | 0 Comments

The holidays are a wonderful opportunity to show your loved ones how much you care about them. Chocolate can be the perfect gift for an occasion, and you have a huge variety of options when it comes to chocolate presents.

Types of Chocolate Gifts

There are so many options for giving a chocolate gift, since there are different types of gifts. You can go with a standard box of milk chocolate or dark chocolate truffles that can be enjoyed immediately.

Another type of gift option is the DIY or kit option. One of our favorites is the Gourmet S’Mores Kit, since it can be a fun one to share. Want to give a present for a date night? Try a chocolate fondue kit, or surprise your special someone with homemade chocolate covered strawberries.

Chocolate Gifts for Chocolate Lovers

chocolate gift box

The first step in choosing a chocolate gift for a friend or family member is identifying what they love about chocolate. Is your aunt obsessed with dark chocolate? Make sure to get her a present that highlights dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate. If one of your children is obsessed with Oreos, he will love a package of hand-dipped Dori-O’s as a chocolate gift.

Are you looking to get a present for a serious chocoholic in your family? A subscription to the Chocolate of the Month Club with Dorinda’s Chocolates can be an unforgettable gift. This chocolate gift option keeps on giving, as your chocoholic is reminded of your love with a delivery of chocolates chosen by Dorinda each month! If you live with your chocoholic, you can benefit from The Chocolate of the Month Club as well -- that is, if your chocoholic is willing to share!

Chocolate Gifts for Your Budget

 

Do you want to give chocolate gifts to coworkers, extended family, and friends? Get the most out of your holiday gift budget with treats like Peppermint Bark or Dorinda’s famous Tahoe Bark. Let your friends try a sampler size of one of these chocolate treats, and you can add a personal touch by wrapping these and adding a personalized note.

Another great stocking stuffer and budget-friendly chocolate present is our Hot Cocoa Cones. One Hot Cocoa Cone makes three cups of delicious hot cocoa, and these treats are available in sets of three so you can get one for each family member!

Chocolate Gifts from Dorinda’s Chocolates

At Dorinda’s Chocolates, our gourmet handcrafted chocolates make the perfect chocolate gift for this holiday season. You can even order chocolate gifts online to get gourmet gifts without having to take off your slippers and go out in the cold!

Stop by to visit our new locations! We now have locations open in Squaw Valley, downtown Reno, The Summit Mall in south Reno, and The Village at Northstar Ski Resort in Truckee. We must warn you, it is difficult to walk into our stores and smell the chocolate without ending up tasting some delicious chocolate. We know you are just trying a truffle to make sure your loved one will love the chocolate gift you are giving them. Your secret is safe with us!

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The Best Candy Shops Around the World

Posted on October 03, 2015 by Dorinda Vance | 0 Comments

Halloween is just around the corner! t’s almost time for trick-or-treating! Unleash your inner trick-or-treater by finding candy shops that create delicious treats for big kids, too!

For our fellow chocoholics who have an occasional sweet tooth beyond a visit to a chocolate shop, we have created a list of the top candy shops to visit in your lifetime. The sugar cravings travel across continents as we explore candy stores all over the world!

Dylan’s Candy Bar in New York City

candy shop Reno

In the heart of New York City, Dylan’s Candy Bar brings out the child in all of us. With colorful and gummy treats for all ages, Dylan’s Candy Bar satisfies that sweet tooth while being hip and cool with pop culture. Your candy can make a statement or be the celebrated guest at your next party!

Dylan’s Candy Bar is a sweet icon and has been featured on shows like Gossip Girl and Project Runway. The flagship store in New York City remains a top tourist attraction to this day! You can also visit a Dylan’s Candy Bar satellite store in cities like Los Angeles or Chicago.

Candylicious in Dubai

Candylicious is the world’s largest candy shop! Candylicious at the Dubai Mall is also the home of Spun Candy, where you can watch the wizard candymakers create candy like lollipops and gummies from scratch.

Imagine a real-life version of Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory -- 10,000 sq ft of sugary wonder, and there are even lollipop trees!

The Old Dutch Candy Shop in Amsterdam

The Old Dutch Candy Shop is a perfect place for you to have candy with a side of history! The Old Dutch Candy Shop was created in the style of an old fashioned candy shop, and you can see shelves lined with jars of sugary treats!

The Old Dutch Candy Shop is also known as Het Oud-Hollands Snoepwinkeltje, since a sugar craving knows no language barriers! The Old Dutch Candy Shop offers traditional Dutch candies like liquorice and caramels.

Papabubble in Tokyo

Papabubble is the place to go for some of the greatest artisanal caramels on the planet. Watch as the masters make candies right in front of your eyes as your gobble up free samples. If you don’t have the air miles for a quick trip to Tokyo, try Dorinda’s award-winning Sea Salt Caramels!

Try sugary experiments like caramel toothbrushes and candy sushi at one of the Papabubble locations in Tokyo, Seoul, Taipei, Amsterdam, Barcelona, and New York.

Nevada’s Sweet Tooth

Halloween candy shop Reno

There are candy shops around the world, but you can also get world class level sweets at Dorinda’s Handcrafted Chocolates. Our caramels are truly sinful for those moments when you want something sweet and chewy that is not chocolate.

Entertain your Halloween guests or coworkers with our “Halloween bones” treat: pretzels dipped in white chocolate and handmade marshmallows with a scary chocolate face! For your next fall bash, entice your friends with our delicious Pumpkin Truffles. Stop by our Dorinda’s Chocolates locations in Reno and Squaw Valley to find other fun Halloween treats!

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How to Store Chocolate

Posted on August 26, 2015 by Dorinda Vance | 0 Comments

You have purchased delicious chocolate treats or made your own chocolate to give to friends and family as gifts. How do you preserve the quality of the chocolate over time? Store your chocolate properly with our helpful tips from your friends at Dorinda’s!

Where to Store Chocolate 

Chocolate absorbs other scents, so make sure to store your chocolate away from anything odorous like onions or strong-smelling herbs. The part of chocolate that is a smell-absorber is the fat of the cocoa butter. The different smells will be absorbed by the chocolate, and when you bite into your chocolate treats you will be tasting all of those other flavors!

Keep your chocolate away from direct sunlight, as the sunlight will warm the chocolate and cause problems. Another enemy of chocolate is moisture, as water can spoil chocolates! Keep your chocolates stored in a cool, dry place out of reach from pets and devious chocolate thieves. 

Store Different Types of Chocolate 

how to store chocolateThe higher ratio of cacao to milk or cream, the longer the chocolate will last. Dark chocolates can be stored for up to one or two years, while milk chocolate and white chocolate are best if consumed within six months to one year.

Chocolate truffles should be consumed within 7-10 days, since they have delicious fresh ingredients on the inside! If you must store chocolate truffles, store them for no longer than three to four months.

If you are storing baked goods like chocolate chip cookies, the storage rules are a little different. Baked goods will not last as long as chocolates, so share the chocolate baked treats so they don’t spoil or go stale!

Not Too Hot or Too Cold

Storing chocolate in a hot area will cause the fat to rise to the top of the chocolate, forming a white film layer over the chocolates. Storing chocolate at too cool of a temperature will mess with the sugar in the chocolate and cause blooming.

So what’s the magic number? Our friends at Chocoley suggest storing your chocolate at  55°F to 68°F in an area where there is less than 50% humidity.

How Long to Store Chocolate

Preservatives in large brand chocolates ensure that the chocolate keeps for a very long time. Purchasing artisanal chocolates like Dorinda’s gourmet handcrafted chocolates means purchasing chocolate with little to no preservatives.

Instead of buying in bulk, buy enough chocolate to take care of you for a month at a time. The fresher the chocolate, the more delicious!

Always Have Fresh Chocolate on Hand

how to store chocolateKeep a constant supply of delicious chocolate in your house or office without worrying about the chocolate lasting longer than a month by signing up for Dorinda’s Chocolate of the Month Club. When you become a Chocolate of the Month member, you will get a monthly delivery of chocolate treats hand-selected by Dorinda herself.


Cannot get enough of our
Sea Salt Caramels? Add them on to your chocolate subscription so you will always have chocolate treats available in case of a chocolate emergency. 

With help from fellow chocoholics at Dorinda’s Handcrafted Chocolates, maintain and protect your chocolate stash at all times.

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Chocolate & Wine: The Perfect Couple

Posted on August 07, 2015 by Dorinda Vance | 1 Comment

A beautiful summer night calls for a beautiful combination of chocolate and wine. Watch the sunset as you take your palate on a journey through the magical world of wine and chocolate.

A Simple Rule

When in doubt, start with a wine that is as sweet as the chocolate if not a little bit sweeter than the chocolate. This will help your palate bounce back and forth between the chocolate and wine instead of experiencing a shocking jolt when transitioning from sweet chocolate to a perhaps bitter wine.

The Body of the Wine and Chocolate

 

 

wine and chocolate

When pairing chocolate and wine, you will want to pair heavier wines with heavier chocolates, and lighter wines with lighter chocolates. This concept does not mean white chocolate goes with a white wine necessarily.

When we talk about the body or depth, we should be thinking about the fullness or density of the chocolate and the wine. Is it thick and creamy? Thick and creamy chocolate will pair with a different wine than a light chocolate. A strong chocolate will pair better with a fuller-bodied wine than a lighter wine. A white chocolate goes with a tame chardonnay before it goes with a malbec. 

Dessert Wines

If you are looking for a wine to go with a decadent chocolate dessert, put what white zinfandel away and pick up a dessert wine like a port. You won’t need as much wine in quantity, but the combination will make your taste buds sing!

At special occasions you may find yourself with a champagne flute filled with sparkling wine around dessert time. Fear not; sparkling wines can be really fun with desserts! White chocolate and champagne or moscato is a fun and light combination. This pairing is a nice alternative to the rich, dark chocolate and port pairing. Between wine and chocolate, there is something for everyone!

Better Quality = Better Pairing

It is possible that the greatest wine ever cannot make a bad chocolate good. Don’t put a 10 with a 2 -- it will just never work out! Instead, try a few different wines and chocolates of a good quality so you can really see what goes well together. This does not mean you have to break the bank to have a good night, but treat yourself because you deserve it!

Get Adventurous

Sometimes the best pairings of wine and chocolate are those least expected. Get crazy and experiment with different combinations you thought you would never like. If you come into this with an open mind, you can make a night of fun pairings with different chocolates and wines!

Wine and Dorinda’s Chocolates

wine and chocolate

Pair Dorinda’s Chocolates with different wines at Fine Vines Cheese & Wines on Wednesday, August 19 at 6 PM. Get your tickets now!

At Dorinda’s Chocolates, we can also bring the chocolate to you for your night of experimenting with different chocolates and wines. Whether you are having a night out at Fine Vines Cheese & Wines or hosting a special night of your own, Dorinda’s Chocolates can provide the chocolates for your fun evening!

If you have a bottle of wine that is in need of a friend, stop by Dorinda’s for an assortment of handmade gourmet chocolates. We have a huge assortment of different chocolates for you to explore different tastes and pairings! Share your wine and chocolate experience with your friends. It is a fun way to get together and try new things! Happy pairing from all of us at Dorinda’s.

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Advice for Chocoholics

Posted on July 23, 2015 by Dorinda Vance | 0 Comments

Your friends are getting concerned. Every time they see you, you have some delicious chocolate in your hand. It’s time to face the music: You are a chocoholic.

Some signs to recognize chocoholism include knowing all the health benefits of chocolate and enjoying chocolate memes. At Dorinda’s Chocolates, we are here to help. We can make sure your chocolate addiction is properly fed with the proper tools, including the Chocolate of the Month Club.

Step 1: Accept Your Status as a Chocoholic.

The first step in prospering as a chocoholic is to recognize the chocolate lover inside of you. Now take a moment for introspection so you can understand what type of chocoholic you are. Do you crave intensely dark chocolates? Are you a truffle chocoholic? Do you like chocolate-covered everything? Take some time with yourself to understand what your inner chocoholic needs.

Step 2: Quality Over Quantity.

 chocolate of the month club reno

Chocoholics often encounter disappointment with generic chocolate supplies. There are few things more disappointing than getting some seriously needed chocolate only to find that it does not taste delicious.

The best way for chocoholics to avoid the disappointment of bad chocolate is to seek out options with handmade gourmet chocolates. At Dorinda’s Chocolates, we can make sure you have gourmet chocolate that takes care of your chocoholic cravings. We can even get you a steady monthly supply of the good stuff with our Chocolate of the Month Club.

Step 3: Let Chocolate Be Chocolate.

Learn to share. Chocolate can be friends with salty and sweet foods. Try combining chocolate with lots of different things. Introduce chocolate to your friends with a chocolate fondue party.

Tell your friends the best gift to give you is a chocolate gift basket, so they know how to keep you happy. Your friends and family will appreciate the suggestion!

Step 4: Commit to Chocolate with Chocolate of the Month Club.

chocolate of the month club reno

If you want to make sure your chocoholism is taken care of, you will need a steady supply of delicious chocolate. We can help with that. Have a monthly supply of delicious gourmet handcrafted chocolates delivered to your door. You can also visit our store and pick up this month’s batch of goodies if you prefer to visit the homeland!

Dorinda’s Chocolate of the Month Club is a great way to make sure your chocoholic needs are taken care of each month. Each month Dorinda selects which chocolates will go in the selection, and she makes sure you get your money’s worth. You can include add-ons of Dorinda’s famous sea salt caramels or award-winning chocolate covered cherries.

Jump in with both feet by signing up for a year-long subscription to Dorinda’s Chocolate of the Month Club. If a year is a big and scary commitment, you can also subscribe to Dorinda’s Chocolate of the Month Club for a 3-month or 6-month period.

At Dorinda’s Chocolates, we understand that chocolate is a way of life. Our passion for chocolate is serious, and we are committed to using the finest ingredients to make amazing gourmet handcrafted chocolates. Come visit us and try some chocolate, or contact us for more information!

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