Valentine’s Treats

Need some chocolate for your loved one? We’ve got just the thing…

Milk and dark Lollipops, Bark Bouquets and Chocolate Chili Lime Cashews are definite winners. And if you’re looking for something a bit more fun, how about some Pop-Rock studded truffles?

The truffle case is well stocked for creating custom mixed boxes, and we’ll even take care of the wrapping for you. Look for more Valentine’s flavours coming next week.

On the Chocophilia side of things, we’ve got lots of Hazelnut Crunch and Fleur de Sel back on the shelves. And don’t forget about Meltaways – lots of all four flavours (Mocha, Cinnamon, Praline and Mint) in the shop right now. And of course, we can always whip up a Chocolate Lover’s Gift Box with a selection of imported bars and other treats from the shop.

So stop by and pick up a treat for your special someone… and don’t forget to grab a little something for yourself!

Love is Free Edmonton

Looking for a unique and interactive way to celebrate Valentine’s Day with your loved one? Check out Love is Free Edmonton.

There will be wine, an interactive cooking lesson with chef Sebastian Lisz, live music and dancing. And of course, we will be there with the essential Valentine’s Day indulgence – chocolate. Once your evening of wine, food and ‘groovin’ is complete, you will be whisked away via complimentary limo service.

Tickets for either February 12th, 13th or 14th are $195 per couple, but until February 5th, you can get the early bird price of $175.

You can purchase tickets and check out specifics here. Hope to see you there!

The Multi-purpose Valrhona Pearl

The shiny Valrhona Pearl is deceiving – the lustrous 55% chocolate exterior hints at a smooth, flavourful (though small) confection. But after trying one, you find a hidden surprise – a crunchy cereal centre that adds a unique and delightful texture.

Of course these little treats are beautiful to snack on (in moderation, of course), but they are also a fun and unexpected addition to everything from your morning bowl of cereal, to a scoop of ice cream, or your favourite cookie.

I recently added a couple packages of Pearls to a batch of chocolate chip cookies, and they were just the thing to add some contrast to this classic, soft cookie. You can swap the following recipe out with your own favourite cookie dough, but here is mine just in case.

Soft and Chewy “Valrhona Pearl” Cookies

*makes about 3 dozen

2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon baking soda

1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

½ cup granulated sugar

1 cup packed light-brown sugar

1 teaspoon coarse salt (or Fleur de Sel, etc., if you’ve got some handy)

2 teaspoons vanilla extract (or vanilla paste)

2 large eggs

2 cups Valrhona Pearls (I used two of the cones pictured above, ~12 oz)


1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Whisk together flour and baking soda; set aside. Put butter and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy (about 2 minutes). Reduce speed to low. Add salt, vanilla, and eggs; mix until well blended (about 1 minute). Stir in Valrhona Pearls.

2. Drop heaping tablespoons of dough onto parchment lined baking sheets, spacing cookies 2 inches apart. Bake cookies, rotating sheets halfway through, until edges turn golden but centres are still soft (about 10 – 12 minutes). Let cool on sheets on wire racks for 2 minutes, the transfer cookies to racks, and test one out! To store, let cookies cool completely, then transfer to and airtight container, with parchment between each layer. These cookies keep for up to one week at room temperature.

*This recipe was adapted from Martha Stewart’s “Holiday Cookies” magazine, 2005 edition.

Results from the 2009 Name That Origin contest.

Congratulations to Erin D. of Edmonton for winning the 2009 Name That Origin contest. She won the $400 chocolate shopping spree! Thanks to all the competitors and to our two celebrity observers, Jennifer C-K and Scott McKeen.

It was an intense and enjoyable experience for all. A very good report on our event was written by Sharon on her blog, Only Here for the Food. Read this posting for all the details of the event!

Since there was such a positive response from all who participated in this contest, we are going have to plan another contest in 2010. Keep a lookout!

We took this video of the full final stage of the competition, so if you would like to see what it was like, please watch the video below!