A: Always store chocolate in a dry, dark place at a temperature of 54 to 61 degrees. Never store chocolate in the fridge! Also avoid temperature shocks; your chocolate might develop a white sheen. This does not affect the taste, but admit it: a dark, shiny chocolate bar is far more tempting.
Never store chocolate in a strong-smelling environment. Chocolate absorbs odors very easily, which could affect the superb taste of your favorite treat.
The best temperature to consume chocolate is between 64 and 70 degrees. At this temperature, chocolate remains crunchy, yet is ready to fully release all of its flavors and aromas in your mouth. Always give chocolate time to acclimate from its storing temperature to room temperature to experience the full character and spirit of each piece of chocolate.
Quality cocoa, milk, and dark chocolate have a long shelf life by nature. Naturally present preservatives, called cocoa polyphenols, protect dark and milk chocolate from oxidation for long periods, helping chocolate maintain its freshness.
A: By the time your order gets to you, the chocolates are less than one week old and at their peak freshness. If you are able to control yourself and savor them slowly, please use the following storage guidelines:
Chocolates: Store for up to 4 weeks in an airtight container at, or just below, room temperature (67 to 72 degrees). Refrigeration is not recommended.
A: This measurement indicates how sweet a chocolate is. Lower percentages mean sweeter chocolate. Technically, “% cacao” refers to the amount, by weight, of cacao bean plus cocoa butter in chocolate. The remaining weight is mostly sugar.
A: All chocolate is made with equipment that may contain nuts, dairy, wheat and cherry pits, so there may be traces of these ingredients in all of our chocolates. Please contact us for additional information on specific pieces and seasonal specials.
A: Yes, all of our chocolate is fair trade and is sourced from Valrhona Chocolate
A: Yes, we use all natural ingredients! Be it our beat juice instead of red dye 40 or honey instead of high fructose corn syrup or locally sourced dairy.
A: It is an emulsion of chocolate and cream.
A: Absolutely! Sign up for our newsletter at the bottom of the website for updates and information on our newly added products.
A: We do not ship internationally at this time.
A: E-mail your inquiry to us through our contact page.
Alkalized Cocoa Powder: Dutch process powders that have been treated with alkali. These powders range from very light reddish-brown to dark reddish-brown in color, and mild cocoa flavor to strong cocoa flavor.
Cacao: The partially fermented beans from a tropical tree that are processed to make chocolate, cocoa powder, and cocoa butter.
Cacao Mothers: Tall trees grown on plantations next to cacao trees to shade the cacao trees from the sun. Depending on the location of the plantation, these trees range in variety from banana to rubber to coconut palms.
Cacao Beans: The source of all chocolate! Cacao beans are found in the pods of the cacao tree, Theobroma cacao, an evergreen grown within 20° of the equator.
Cocoa Powder: Once cacao beans are fermented, dried, roasted and cracked, the nibs, the center of the cocoa bean, are ground to extract about half the cacao butter. After drying again, the hardened mass called the press cake is ground into unsweetened cocoa powder, which is either natural or Dutch processed. The cocoa powder is available in different fat levels, and tastes range from mild to strong, as well as unsweetened. It is used for baking, reduced fat and calorie recipes, and ice cream flavoring.
Cacao Butter: The natural, cream-colored vegetable fat extracted from cacao beans by using a hydraulic press to extract it from the chocolate. Cacao butter adds smoothness and flavor, and is the main ingredient in white chocolate.
Nibs: The inner almond shaped seed of the cacao bean. The nibs are exposed after the outer shells of the cacao beans have been removed. Nibs are roasted, then ground to produce cocoa, from which all chocolate products are made.
Baking Chocolate: This chocolate, pressed from the cacao bean, is pure, unsweetened, and sometimes bitter chocolate. Baking chocolate usually has vanilla and soy lecithin (which acts as an emulsifier) added for flavor.
Bittersweet Chocolate: Chocolate is first pressed from the cacao bean during processing. Cocoa butter, a small amount of sugar, vanilla, and usually lecithin are then added. Bittersweet chocolate has a deep, strong, tangy and slightly sweet flavor. It is used for making all types of desserts, pastries, and confections. Some like to eat it as is. Bittersweet chocolate is also made as couverture (coating) chocolate. Because it has more cocoa butter than regular chocolate, professionals use it to produce thin outer coatings on cakes, truffles, and other confections. Couverture chocolate must be tempered to stabilize the cocoa butter.
Couverture: A term describing professional quality chocolate that is extremely glossy. It usually contains a minimum of 32% cocoa butter, which enables it to form a much thinner shell than ordinary confectionery coating. Couverture is usually only found in specialty candy making shops. You often find it as the chocolate that surrounds chocolate covered fruits, or as the shell of fancy filled chocolates.
Ganache: Ganache is made with varying proportions of chocolate and cream. More chocolate than cream yields a firm ganache, whereas more cream than chocolate makes a softer, more velvety mixture. Ganache has many uses, such as centers for truffles and fillings for cakes and tarts. In its liquid state it is poured over cakes and pastries as a glaze. Ganache can be flavored with liqueurs and extracts, or combined with soft, beaten butter to create ganache beurre.
Milk Chocolate: Cacao butter, milk, sweeteners and flavorings are added to this chocolate. Milk chocolate lends itself to good use for garnishes and candy coatings. All milk chocolate made in the U.S. must contain at least 10% chocolate and 12% whole milk.
White Chocolate: Contains mostly cacao butter but does not contain nonfat cacao solids. Mostly used as a coating, white chocolate contains sugar, cacao butter, milk solids and flavorings such as vanilla. Most white chocolate (but not ours) is not even chocolate, it's actually imitation white chocolate and is made with vegetable oil rather than cocoa butter.
Tempering: A process that sets cacao butter at its most stable point. Cacao butter has four different types of crystals and each has a different melting point. Tempering chocolate captures the beta crystal, the most stable of the four. Because chocolate has these multiple melting points, it is unstable, causing the cocoa butter to easily rise to the surface of chocolate. This creates a condition called chocolate bloom, which results in unsightly white and gray streaks and dots, a grainy texture, and makes unmolding difficult. When chocolate is tempered it has a shiny, even appearance and smooth texture. It breaks with a sharp snap, sets up rapidly, and releases easily from molds. All chocolate comes from the manufacturer tempered, but when it is melted it loses the temper and must be tempered again for dipping and molding. To temper chocolate, it is heated until completely melted, stirred to cool at approximately 78 degrees Fahrenheit, then heated again to an exact temperature; pending the type of chocolate; dark, milk, or white.
Snap: A technical term that describes one of the characteristics of well-tempered chocolate. It should break cleanly and crisply, with a sharp snap and should not be crumbly or soft.
Chocolate Bloom/Fat Bloom: When the cacao butter in chocolate separates out from the other ingredients, floats to the top, and crystallizes, it appears as white dots and streaks, or as a dull, gray film on the chocolate. This is only a cosmetic effect and does not mean that the chocolate is spoiled. The cacao butter will blend in when the chocolate is melted. This condition is also called fat bloom.
Sugar Bloom: A white crust of sugar crystals that forms when moisture accumulates on the surface of chocolate. The moisture draws the sugar to the surface where it dissolves. This is visible as white streaks and dots and causes a grainy texture. Storing loosely wrapped chocolate and candies in the refrigerator where they are exposed to too much moisture causes sugar bloom. It is not the same as chocolate bloom, which occurs when the cacao butter in the chocolate rises to the surface.
Glucose: The simplest form of sugar, this clear thick syrup is not actually sweet, and is mainly used as an emulsifier.
Trimoline: similar to Glucose but is sweet - helps to prevent crystallisation and gives a smoother texture in ice creams and ganaches. The thick, invert sugar syrup also helps improve shelf life by preventing the absorption of moisture.
Honey: Used as a sweetener and a healthy alternative to High fructose corn syrup.