Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Chocolate Fest 2011

Of course, some of us are above average...
at least when it comes to chocolate ;)

Here we are, booth #2-ready and set for the Grand opening...
(the interesting thing is, there was no booth #1)
On with the Fest!
I totally gave up trying to take pictures while the event was going on,
I got a few but we were beyond busy with sample action and answering questions.

Here are a few of our neighbors for the weekend.
This booth isn't finished yet but I absolutely love the dessert stand on the right.
I think it was Coastal Mist's.
One of my favorite chocolate companies from last year, Euphoria Chocolate Co. was there again this year but I also found another new favorite.
Intrigue Chocolate Co.
The Cardamom Coffee truffle is unbelievable!
Close up of Cool City Kettlecorn
and another shot of Intrigue's truffles just because.
A calmer moment during the Fest

Behind the booth view,
Barefoot winery's Sparkling wine goes extremely well with our Fudge brownie.
[I'm just saying]
You can see the doors behind the line of people;
on Saturday the line went from the door directly to us
[I went to bed almost as soon as I got home Saturday night, whew!]

Someone slipping out during a brief lull on Sunday to sample some of Taza's Salt & Pepper Stone Ground Chocolate (very fruity, reminded me a little of banana-in a very good way).
Stone ground chocolate has a rougher texture but more of the natural flavour shines through.
And to finish off the day I think some Chocolate sculpture will be just the ticket.
I didn't catch who officially made this but I think it might be from
Chocolate Forest Sculpture
I don't have any other information on the company but the sculpture is gorgeous.
Now to rest up a little before...
Chocolate Fantasy on Feb. 11th!
A person could almost have too much chocolate at this rate...
Bring forth the Chocolate!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Daily dose of weird.

We've been a little busy this week getting stuff ready for the Chocolate Fest but that doesn't mean that we don't have time to stop and be a little weird.

Some days just beg for a little weirdness in them
and I endeavor to comply with those requests I go.
It's kind of like making a sand castle only using chocolate cookie crumbs instead.
Works for me.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Chocolate with Olive oil & Tasting Salt

I love chocolate.

The darkness of it, the richness, the fact that it can be fruity or spicy, bitter or sweet.
It's used to make tasty beverages, desserts,
and savory dishes as well.

Side note: If you ever are in Salt Lake City, Utah
you simply must go to the
Red Iguana restaurant on 736 West North Temple,
Salt Lake City, UT 84116

for anything on their menu which contains one of their
heavenly Mole sauces.
Simply beyond your imagination of tastiness.
Beyond it, I say!

Anyhow, being the chocolate addict that I am, when I came across this recipe; I was intrigued by the combination of chocolate with a good quality olive oil and tasting salts. It was not something I had entertained the notion of before.

Now, a lot of people would say "Ewwwwwwwww!" whereas I taste each potential ingredient in my mind, roll the possibilities around a bit and think,
"Yes, these could work very well together, let's give it a whirl."

One point of contention I have with regards to this recipe,
it is not mousse.
Ganache, yes. Mousse no.
Other than that it is extremely quick to make, you can do endless riffs off of the recipe by choosing different chocolate to use, different liquids (such as soy milk) to combine it with, and different varieties of olive oil and tasting salts to finish it off. mmmmmmmmm.

Here's the recipe link:
It's really simple: Put the chocolate in a heat proof bowl, in a pot heat the cream to a simmer/low boil. After it's boiled, pour it over the chocolate and slowly stir until every thing is combined.
Let it cool.

After it has cooled and set up a bit, scoop some into a dish and pour a little of the olive oil around the chocolate and sprinkle the tasting salt of your choice on top.
The salts that I used were (from left to right):
Murray River from Australia, Hiwa Kai-Hawaii Black from Hawaii, Fleur de Sel from France, Sal Marina Piments from Spain, and Smoked Sea Salt from Britiian.

and a close up of the finished dessert.
"mmmmmm...hmm? What did you say? How does it taste?"
[licking spoon]

Well, to that I say...
"Try it, you might like it."
and seriously, go to the Red Iguana-best Moles ever!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Chocolate, chocolate, and more chocolate

Well, it's almost that time of year again.

Don't you feel it wafting around you, slipping over your senses, tickling your nose with scents of fruit and that ever so rich darkness beckoning you to come closer and just have one small taste...then another, then another...and another...

Sure, you made those "healthy" New Year's resolutions...
well, some of you did I'm sure but then how could you forget?

How could you forget something which
(in moderation always, of course)
Is good for your teeth? Good for your body? Good for your very soul?
And as always, the darker the better.
How could you forget to include your daily dose of chocolate?
Well, soon enough my friends you will have a chance to correct the err of your ways.

[at least if you live in the Portland area,
if you don't then you will envy those of us who do]

Yes, it is approaching that time quickly.
Time for these two events which get bigger and more chocolaty every year.

Chocolate Fest
Chocolate Fa

Two separate but equally tasty experiences for you to unleash your inner chocoholic.
or, as in my case, your external one ;) We'll have a booth at both events so stop by, say "Hi", and sample some of our
delectable chocolate desserts.
[don't worry, you can buy some to take home as well]

Here' s the practical information part to scribble on your calendars, post a reminder to your blackberry, and to tweet and facebook to everyone you know.

Chocolate Fest

January 21- 23, 2011
Friday night $20
Saturday & Sunday $10

"We’ve grown so big we had to move to the Oregon Convention Center. The Sixth Annual Chocolate Fest promises you the opportunity to sample, taste, savor, and delight in some of the finest chocolate from the Northwest and beyond. Enjoy chocolate and

wine pairings and become a chocolate aficionado with presentations and demonstrations throughout the weekend.

Best of all, by attending the event, eating some chocolate and having some fun, you are helping to support the World Forestry Center, a local non profit dedicated to teaching about forests and trees of the world and environmental sustainability."

Chocolate Fantasy
Date: Friday, Feb. 11
Time: 3-9 p.m.
Cost: $5 person (ages 2 and older)

"The historic Jenkins Estate invites you to the 14th annual Chocolate Fantasy. We will showcase the finest chocolate delicacies from local chocolatiers, bakeries, wineries and wonderful Valentine gift items are available for purchase."

“I have this theory that chocolate slows down the aging process..… it may not be true, but do I dare take the chance?”