Get Adobe Flash player

chocolate

Lift a Cup to Chocolate with Edible Dessert and Shooter Cups from Kane Candy

KaneCandy2-DFBy Lorrie Baumann

Kane Candy offers a line of chocolate dessert and shooter cups, giving party hosts an opportunity to make a splash with a gourmet treat for their guests that does not require a lot of time and effort to put together.

The Kane Candy brand launched in 2012. According to Joe Kane, President of Kane Food Group, the product line drew attention immediately, because it offered the high-end quality that had been missing from competitive products. “The whole concept of the brand is the at-home entertaining,” said Kane. “It’s for the consumer who wants to prepare pastries and desserts just like a world-class pastry chef would make.”

Kane Candy products are all made with real chocolate with a high cocoa content. They are also gluten-free, certified kosher (dairy) and made in the USA. None of the company’s products include high fructose corn syrup. “We’re a firm believer in all-natural,” Kane said.

KaneCandy1-DFThe chocolate dessert cups are easy to turn into gourmet treats. One simply fills them with a flavored mousse, sorbet or mascarpone cheese and tops them with a few chocolate curls, a couple of raspberries, a puff of whipped cream or even edible flowers. “The whole concept is for people to have fun with these and to be able to create,” Kane said. “We get emails all the time from people who say that these were the most popular dessert at their party.”

Kane also offers Cordial & Toasting Cups in white and dark chocolate, ideal for an after-dinner sweet of a more alcoholic kind. Fill them with port or a dessert wine or maybe a sip of amaretto or Bailey’s Irish Cream for elegance without effort. Home entertaining columnist, blogger and occasional talk show guest Cheryl Najafi filled the Kane Cordial & Toasting Cups with marshmallow fluff for an elevated version of s’mores. And TammyJo Eckhart, who styles herself a “Chocolate Priestess” in her blog The Chocolate Cult, noted that the Kane Chocolate Dessert Cups ranked among the best chocolate she tasted in all of 2013.

Mona Lisa Food ProductsWhen Kane Candy first burst onto the scene, retailers embraced the company’s products during the holiday season. However, since then, they have become a year-round item, sought out for weddings and graduation parties as well as dinner parties at home. “We don’t try to seasonalize the product,” said Kane. “We have one holiday variety only.” The Kane Candy brand sales volume has grown as the products have found new fans, and sales for 2014 have more than doubled 2013 sales. “We’re very, very happy,” Kane said.

The company is expanding the product line this fall with chocolate baking bricks and chocolate disks for melting into candy, both made of premium-quality chocolate. “There’s lots of premium chocolate on the market, but that upgrade has not happened in the baking aisle,” Kane said. “Our goal is to upgrade that aisle with a premium product line.”

This story was originally published in the October 2014 issue of Gourmet News, a publication of Oser Communications Group.

Sensational Sweets Introduces SUPREME Pizzas with Pizazz

SensationalSweets-SFFSSensational Sweets recently announced new packaging and varieties for its line of handcrafted chocolate “Pizzas with Pizazz™.” The SUPREMES are built upon the original pizza, which has a popcorn lace crust, popcorn and pretzels, all drizzled with white chocolate. The SUPREME line includes No Melts, Chocolate Chips, Jelly Beans, Tropical Treat (lime and coconut), Sea Salt Caramel + Decorations, Dark Mint + Decorations, Cinnamon Cheesecake, Pumpkin and Raspberry. These Supremes are also available in the mini-sized pizzas. In addition, Sensational Sweets has expanded its gluten-free versions, now offering the option of gluten-free pretzels.

Additionally, new packaging choices include a large white box with a scalloped cello opening to highlight each large pizza and two choices of either white or brick red boxes with a scalloped opening for the Mini Pizzas. All the pizzas are shrink-wrapped and can still be packaged in the fun and distinctive pizza box. These SUPREME pizzas compliment the already great-selling original line.

The entire Sensational Sweets facility is nut-free and kosher certified. Visit the website for the pizza decoration choices, and view the rest of the company’s extensive product line at www.sensationalsweets.com. Call 570.524.4361 for more information.

Lindt EXCELLENCE Introduces New Lemon Bar

Premium chocolatier Lindt USA introduces EXCELLENCE Lemon into its dark chocolate collection as the most recent innovation to join the brand’s sophisticated offerings. The new bar will first be featured at the 2014 FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen from June 20-22, where Lindt EXCELLENCE will serve as the Official Chocolate Sponsor.

The Lindt EXCELLENCE collection is the world’s most exceptionally crafted premium chocolate, and with the start of the summer season, EXCELLENCE Lemon is a timely addition. Created with passion by the Lindt Master Chocolatiers and made with the finest ingredients, its bright citrus flavor is pure and nostalgic of summertime year-round. EXCELLENCE Lemon masterfully combines silky dark chocolate with the refreshing taste of lemon and the delicate crunch of almond slivers. The thin, refined profile and harmonious duo of elegant contrasts offer consumers a unique sensory experience.

“EXCELLENCE Lemon tantalizes the five senses with its vibrant citrus flavor, smooth dark chocolate and crunch of almond slivers,” said Lindt Master Chocolatier Ann Czaja. “We’re excited to share this new fruit innovation, offering consumers a refreshing and palate-pleasing experience just in time for summer.”

EXCELLENCE at the FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen
During the three-day FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen, Lindt will host a special seminar and tastings, showcasing its premium dark chocolate collection to culinary experts, tastemakers and consumers. In addition to formally introducing EXCELLENCE Lemon during Grand Tastings, Lindt will also offer attendees an exclusive first taste of EXCELLENCE Pineapple with Toasted Hazelnuts, developed with fine wine partner J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines to pair perfectly with J. Lohr Estates Riverstone Chardonnay. The “Perfect Pairing” will be available to consumers nationwide in the fall.

The Perfect Chocolate and Wine Pairings
To celebrate the summer season and J. Lohr’s 40th year of family winemaking, Lindt Master Chocolatier Ann Czaja and J. Lohr Red Winemaker Steve Peck worked together to create the perfect dark chocolate and wine pairings, elevating the tasting experience. Exclusive pairings will be highlighted at the Classic, including the newest Lindt EXCELLENCE offerings and limited-edition J. Lohr anniversary varietals:

  • Lindt EXCELLENCE Lemon paired with limited-edition J. Lohr 40th Anniversary Pinot Blanc from Arroyo Seco in Monterey County
  • Lindt EXCELLENCE 70% Cocoa paired with limited-edition J. Lohr 40th Anniversary Red Wine from Paso Robles
  • Lindt EXCELLENCE Chili paired with 2012 J. Lohr Estates Falcon’s Perch Pinot Noir from Monterey County

The 3.5-ounce Lindt EXCELLENCE Lemon bar will be available at retail locations nationwide including Target, Lindt Chocolate Shops and www.Lindt.com. To learn more about the Lindt EXCELLENCE collection and perfect wine pairings, visit www.Lindt.com. For additional Lindt news and images from the Classic, “like” the company’s Facebook page or follow Lindt on Twitter.

Gourmet Chocolates and Delicious Confections from KRM Chocolates

KRM Chocolates of Salem, N.H. is quickly becoming the choice for gourmet chocolates and truly delicious confections. In the 1980s Kevin Miller began making his chocolates and cookies from his home north of Boston. It started as a hobby to give to his friends and co-workers. After suffering a debilitating stroke Miller continued to make chocolates and fine-tune his recipes, all the while hearing from everyone how much better his chocolates tasted than any available at trendy chocolate shoppes.

Soon his interest turned to making chocolate with his new invention, a solid filling made from fruit wines complete with real fruit in the candy. The accolades grew louder and louder. “You should sell these chocolates. They are too good not to share with the world,” people said. Today Miller continues to make his chocolates and cookies the old-fashioned way, by hand, making America’s finest gourmet chocolates and cookies for everyone to enjoy.

KRM Chocolates offers its exclusive Fruit and Wine Chocolates in three different, tantalizing flavors. Peach Wine and peaches in Milk Chocolate is a chocolate delicacy with a solid center of delightful fruity, real peach wine combined with chocolate and a piece of peach. Cranberry Wine and Cranberries in White Chocolate has real cranberry wine and chocolate in a solid center, featuring sweet dried cranberries as a finishing touch. Strawberry Wine and Strawberries in Dark Chocolate brings dark chocolate and strawberries as an aphrodisiac to a new level. Each piece delivers a decadent filling of real chocolate with real strawberry fruit in a strawberry wine and chocolate solid center.

Other truly delicious confections include out of this world White Chocolate Raspberry Wine Truffles, Chocolate Crème de Menthe Liqeur Truffles, Peach, Cranberry and Strawberry Truffles, and Peppermint Bark in white, milk or dark chocolate. KRM’s Gourmet Chocolate Bark is the most scrumptious, handmade chocolate bark you’ve ever tasted and is made using premium milk, dark and white chocolate. The bark is loaded with raisins or sweet dried cranberries and a choice of pecans, walnuts, almonds or peanuts. Kevin’s Crunchy Peanut Butter Chocolate Bark is a mouth-watering combination of fine chocolates, decadent peanut butter and crunchy bits of real peanuts. KRM’s Sandwich Cookies smothered in chocolate take America’s favorite vanilla cream center cookie and smother it in the finest white or dark chocolate. The result is an absolutely yummy dessert.

KRM chocolates and confections are available in individual flavor packages or a large selection of variety packages. They can be purchased at gourmet and specialty retailers, food and gift catalogs, gift and gift basket retailers, up-scale department stores and gourmet food retailers or online at www.krmchocolates.com. Email info@krmchocolates.com  or call 617.945.3263.

Six Percent of Americans Eat the Easter Bunny’s Feet First

 The Easter bunny is on his way, and he’s got a sweet tooth. Nearly 83 percent of parents plan to include candy and chocolate in their Easter baskets this year, according to a nationwide survey by the National Confectioners Association (NCA). Additional popular items in the basket include non-edibles, such as crayons, stuffed animals and books (73 percent).

Total U.S. confectionery sales this Easter season are projected to be $2.26 billion – up four percent from 2013 – due to three extra weeks of merchandising. About 81 percent of survey respondents said they will share or gift candy during America’s favorite springtime holiday.

“The survey indicates that kids and adults alike continue to celebrate the Easter holiday by enjoying one of life’s great treats: candy. And with 87 percent of parents planning to buy or create Easter baskets for their children, the long-standing tradition lives on,” said NCA Executive Vice President Alison Bodor.

“Candy has a special place in American culture,” continued Bodor. “It’s what many people enjoy at holidays and other celebrations. And studies show that consumers know how to ‘treat right.’ Research suggests that candy comprises only 2.2 percent of the average diet.”

Holiday Purchasing Trends

NCA’s survey determined new insights about Americans’ buying preferences and habits:

  • The power of the in-store experience during holidays. More than half of adult consumers (51 percent) are influenced by holiday displays to purchase seasonal candy.
  • Playing the name game. Brand names influence 71 percent of Americans’ candy purchases.
  • Keeping it classic. Seventy-two percent of those surveyed say they are influenced by the classics or popular choices when buying seasonal candy.
  • Spring brings kindness. Seventy-eight percent of Americans often buy Easter candy to share with friends, family or colleagues.

Easter Traditions

The tradition of the Easter bunny began with the Easter Hare in Germany, who would leave brightly colored eggs for children on Easter morning. In the 18th century, the tradition of the Easter Hare came to the United States and eventually evolved into the Easter bunny we know today. Now, chocolate bunnies are the most popular items in Easter baskets, and are paired with other favorites, like jelly beans and marshmallow treats. How eggs-cellent!

Survey results related to the chocolate Easter bunny include:

  • Solid choice.  About 66 percent of Americans prefer solid chocolate bunnies over hollow ones.
  • All ears. What’s that you said? Eighty-nine percent of respondents believe the proper way to eat a chocolate Easter bunny is ears first. Roughly six percent go for the feet, and five percent begin with the tail.
  • The age-old question. Which came first – Easter bunny or the Easter egg? A slight majority of survey respondents (52 percent) say the Easter bunny came before the Easter egg. Talk about splitting hares!

Jelly beans remain a seasonal classic – more than 16 billion of them are made for Easter each year in the United States. Cherry is the most popular jelly bean flavor among survey respondents (24 percent). Strawberry is another top favorite (19 percent), while licorice, lemon and grape collectively are enjoyed most by 35 percent of Americans. Surprisingly, about 22 percent of those surveyed prefer an “other” flavor. Perhaps the Easter bunny voted for carrot!

Visit www.CandyUSA.com/Easter for more sweet information on candy, Easter and celebration ideas.

You may also keep up with NCA on Twitter (@CandyUSA) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/NationalConfectionersAssociation).

Date Lady Introduces Chocolate Spread

Date Lady™ is introducing an organic, non GMO, kosher and nut-free chocolate spread with minimal ingredients whose velvety sweetness comes naturally from date syrup, an ancient sweetener.  The new spread is being launched for the 2014 Summer Fancy Food Show, and samples will be available in Booth 4073.

Date Lady Chocolate Spread gets its rich chocolate flavor from organic cocoa, and its luxurious texture and satiny spreadability from date syrup, coconut oil and cocoa butter, said Colleen Sundlie, company Founder.  “Our spread is vegan with all clean ingredients.  It contains no nuts or dairy products, and no processed oils or processed sugar,” Sundlie said.  “The texture is smoother than chocolate nut spreads.”

Date Lady Chocolate Spread is available in 10.2-ounce jars with a suggested retail price of $9.99 to $10.99.  The chocolate spread is versatile, and serving suggestions include spreading it on a baguette with sliced pears, on toast with peanut butter, warmed slightly and poured over ice cream, and just dipping a pretzel right in the jar, Sundlie said.

Other products include non-GMO organic Date Syrup and Caramel Sauce in 12-ounce jars with suggested retail prices of $7.99 and $8.99 respectively.  Whole organic dates in resealable 8-ounce pouches have a suggested retail price of $6.99.  More information is available online at www.ILoveDateLady.com and https://www.facebook.com/datesyruprocks or by calling (417) 414-2282.

Spooning Chocolate, the Espresso of Hot Chocolate for Consenting Adults

Cocoa Canard’s new Spooning Chocolate is the first dairy and gluten-free pure non-bitter dark chocolate to instantly melt in a cup of hot water with such a richness that you will never miss the milk. It’s a silky refined version of the pure melted hot chocolate drinks originally served in old world chocolate houses. Now you can enjoy a satisfying demitasse of velvety hot chocolate as a wonderful afternoon delight or the perfect end to any meal.

To enhance the ritual chocolate making experience, each elegantly packaged can comes with a wooden mini-molinillo (South American whisk) to whip up a slight cocoa crema which releases the intoxicating deep chocolate aroma. Cocoa Canard uses the finest selection of beans including the costly flavorful Criollo. The beans are artfully aged and then slow roasted and blended in small batches using real vanilla, not an extract, to create a rich complex range of flavors.

Spooning Chocolate is not just a seasonal product. Unlike a big mug of hand-warming hot chocolate, this is a smaller amount of liquid at a lower temperature, like an espresso. A small amount of warm, melted dark chocolate after a meal or anytime is perfect year-round, not just for cold winters. You can even put a few chocolate pastilles in a cup of coffee for a wonderful Cafe Mocha.

Miami Fine Beverage, Chocolate & Food Show

The Miami Fine Beverage, Chocolate & Food Show is a unique fine chocolate & culinary event features fine artisanal beverages and chocolate creations from around the world. The event showcases the gourmet talents of local chefs and world class chocolatiers while presenting a selection of fine beverages and food products. Over 80 vendors will be on hand at the two day event. The event features: live cooking demonstrations by popular chefs, seminars, pairing with crafted beer, wine & spirits, access to the spectacular Pinecrest Gardens it’s a great time for everyone.

Chocolate Industry Joins Forces With Danish Foundation To Push Support For Cocoa Farmers

The World Cocoa Foundation and Denmark’s Toms Foundation are joining forces to convene later this year a cross-section of representatives from the chocolate and cocoa industry, cocoa-producing countries, development agencies, donor groups, non-governmental organizations and cocoa certifying bodies. The gathering, to be held on October 15-16, 2014, in Copenhagen, will focus on improving efforts to boost incomes, production levels, quality of life and technology for the world’s five million-plus cocoa farmers.

Bill Guyton, President of the World Cocoa Foundation, said that the partnership with Toms Foundation is a natural choice for his organization. “Toms Foundation and WCF share a commitment to helping cocoa farmers improve their livelihoods. WCF’s membership of more than 110 companies from around the world possesses some of the world’s best expertise about sustainability in the cocoa sector.  We look forward to learning more from them, and from our friends in Denmark, about practical steps that can be taken to advance the sustainability agenda,” he said.

Jesper Moeller, CEO of Toms Confectionery Group, said “At Toms we are proud to enter this partnership with the World Cocoa Foundation. We look forward to welcoming the participants to Copenhagen in October and value the opportunity to share our experiences from Ghana in areas such as traceable cocoa, farmer training and primary school programs.”

The meeting, which is expected to attract 200 attendees, will include sessions on new strategies for providing improved planting materials to cocoa farmers; plans for making fertilizers and other essential inputs more readily available to farmers; updates on efforts to establish widely agreed upon standards for quality and sustainability; defining and measuring success in programs that support cocoa farmers; the importance of educational, gender equality and child labor reduction programming in cocoa-growing communities; and recent innovations in technology and program implementation that can hasten improvements in the lives of cocoa farmers.

About Toms Foundation
The Toms Group Foundation was established December 12, 1974 and is the sole owner of Toms Confectionary Group, a midsized producer of chocolate and candy with production facilities in Denmark, Germany, Sweden and Poland.

GODIVA Introduces New Dark Chocolate Liqueur

To celebrate the most indulgent day of the year, GODIVA Liqueur Company introduces new GODIVA® Dark Chocolate Liqueur.  Combining the renowned GODIVA chocolate tradition with spirited innovation, this liqueur is the delicious embodiment of liquid dark chocolate.  With Valentine’s Day quickly approaching, this is the perfect occasion to bring the gold standard in chocolate to the ultimate chocolate martini.

The enticing GODIVA Dark Chocolate Liqueur was inspired by GODIVA’s rich dark chocolate and pleases the palate with a blend of flavors including deep, unsweetened dark chocolate, bright black cherry, candied sweet orange peel with a hint of cold-brewed coffee peeking through.  This versatile liqueur is dairy-free, allowing it to easily mix with an array of spirits and ingredients, resulting in the perfect cocktail to share with friends during a night out on the town, while entertaining at home, or when toasting a special moment. Revel in the moment by mixing it into the signature GODIVA Dark Desire made with CIROC®Amaretto and orange juice or put a modern spin on one of the country’s most enjoyed cocktails, the Chocolate Martini, by mixing GODIVA Dark Chocolate Liqueur with CIROC Ultra-Premium Vodka, a sure way to spice up an evening with friends.

“We’re excited to provide chocolate lovers with the latest addition to the GODIVA Liqueur family,” says Stephanie Jacoby, Director of Liqueurs. “GODIVA Dark Chocolate Liqueur is a delicious full-flavored indulgence with less guilt.  As with all of our decadent offerings, we encourage everyone to drink responsibly.”

The new flavor will launch this month at a suggested retail price of $29.99 per 750 ml bottle. It will be available nationwide wherever fine spirits-based beverages are sold and joins GODIVA Chocolate Liqueur and White Chocolate Liqueur.

Gourmet News
Follow me on Twitter