Chocolatasm: Light Touch, Strong Success

by Valerie Beck, Chocolate Expert and Chocolate Broker

Artisan chocolate by Chocolatasm
Artisan chocolate by Chocolatasm

As soon as I saw the chocolates by Chocolatasm on Instagram, I knew they were something special. When I tasted them, I was impressed with their exquisite subtlety and delicate yet impactful flavor combinations. And when I spoke with the chocolatier behind the brand, I knew he was a true professional.

Sweet innovation
Sweet innovation

Chef/chocolatier Paul Kearins was born in London, worked as a pastry chef and chocolatier in Amsterdam, and now lives and creates in Blue Ridge, Georgia.

When I asked him how he develops his unique flavor combinations such as white chocolate with lime and muscovado sugar, or milk chocolate with honey and blueberries, or dark chocolate with lemon and Ethopian coffee, he told me that ever since childhood he’s had the ability to remember smells and to combine them in his mind with other smells.

His olfactory creativity plus his skills as a professional chef and chocolatier come together magnificently in his brand Chocolatasm.

Light touch, big impact
Light touch, big impact

To taste Chef Paul’s delicious creations is to experience a gentle and pure poetry of chocolate and other flavors. His chocolate doesn’t overwhelm, it delights. Chocolatasm is available at beloved upscale lunch spot and market Foodease inside Chicago’s Water Tower Place (a popular Chicago Chocolate Tours spot back when I operated the original Chocolate Tours as founder/CEO), and I’m thrilled to have brokered the relationship between such a special brand of artisan chocolate, and such a fabulous seller of artisan foods.

On the shelf at Foodease in Chicago
On the shelf at Foodease in Chicago
Before they got to the shelf at Foodease: in the kitchen at Chocolatasm
Before they got to the shelf at Foodease: in the kitchen at Chocolatasm
Valentine's Day every day
Valentine’s Day every day

For a peek behind the scenes, enjoy this Chocolatasm video.

Keep eating chocolate!

Come see me on Instagram too! Your friend in chocolate,

Valerie

Valerie Beck, The Chocolate Queen

CEO/Founder Chocolate Uplift

www.valeriebeckchocolateuplift.com

chocolateuplift@gmail.com

Social media: @chocolateuplift

Chocolate and Fruit: Nemzer Chocolate

Chocolate and Fruit: Nemzer Chocolate

Feeling tropical: chocolate and pineapple
Feeling tropical: chocolate and pineapple bar by Nemzer Chocolate

Think about this any time you need a lift: chocolate comes from fruit!

Chocolate is of course made from cocoa beans (cacao), which are the seeds of the fruit of the cacao tree. The seeds are harvested, dried, fermented, roasted, ground, and fashioned into chocolate.

Organic Ecuadorian cacao
Organic Ecuadorian cacao

Why is cacao so loaded with health benefits, that it’s considered a superfood? Because it’s plant-based. It comes from fruit. It can reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, it’s a metabolism booster and anti-inflammatory, and it’s filled with valuable vitamins and minerals.

So how delightful to discover a new brand from California, Nemzer Chocolate, which incorporates freeze dried fruit into dark chocolate. Since chocolate comes from fruit, these chocolate bars are basically a fruit salad!

Chocolate and banana bar
Chocolate and banana bar in action
Chocolate and raspberry
Chocolate and raspberry

Founder Roman Nemzer bases his chocolate on a French recipe, and the flavors are nicely balanced, with a mild and chocolatey 65% cacao.

French flair, freeze dried fruit, California cool. That’s a fruit salad!

Your friend in chocolate,

Valerie

Valerie Beck

Chocolate Expert, Speaker, Consultant

www.valeriebeckchocolateuplift.com

chocolateuplift@gmail.com

“Uplift Through Chocolate!”

The Choc of the New: Cao Single Origin Bars

The Choc of the New: Cao Single Origin Bars

Single origin, bean to bar, pure
Loved opening this shipment of single origin, bean to bar, pure deliciousness from Cao Chocolates

Sampling new artisan chocolate bars is always a joy, and I’m excited to tell you about the new bean-to-bar single origin chocolate bars by longtime favorite Cao Chocolates of Miami, owned by chocolatier, chocolate maker, and dear friend Ricardo Cao Trillos.

As a chocolate consultant, I’m honored to help Ricardo with his new chocolate bar project, because the chocolate is delicious, organic, and fair trade.

With Ricardo Cao Trillos at his magic Miami chocolate shop
With Ricardo Cao Trillos at his magic Miami chocolate shop
Truffles by Cao Chocolates
Cao Chocolates makes terrific truffles onsite…
grilled chocolate croissant
…grilled chocolate croissants that are worth a flight to Miami…
Delicious Domincan
… and now single origin chocolate bars too, like this delicious Domincan that I brought home from my most recent Miami adventure.

The bars are pure, with only 2 ingredients: cacao and sugar. That makes me happy! As with other food, if you can’t pronounce an ingredient, why would you eat it? Part of what makes the new bars from Cao Chocolates unique in the bean-to-bar world is their texture, which has more of a stone-ground quality. This ties the bars to the ancient heritage of stone grinding cacao, and adds an intriguing sensation.

Venezuelan cocoa beans in the kitchen at Cao
Fair trade Venezuelan cocoa beans in the kitchen at Cao

Of course, flavor is king, and Cao’s bars deliver robust flavor. By using only 2 ingredients, and premium, organic, fair trade, sustainable cacao from South America and the Caribbean, instead of bulk cocoa beans from West Africa (which suffer from a host of supply chain abominations, from pesticides and crop disease to child slave labor), the chocolate maker can draw out various flavors of the cacao.

Differences in type of cocoa bean, terroir, fermentation, and grinding result in differences in flavor in the finished chocolate bar. Just as a wine maker can create different wines by using different grapes, barrels, time frames, or procedures, artisan chocolate makers apply their art to cocoa beans, working with nature to create unique and exciting flavors not known on commercial chocolate shelves.

Each of the new Cao bars has a different and enticing flavor profile. My favorite is the Peru Criollo 78%. It’s surprisingly mild for a bar with such high cocoa content, and gives you the brightness of the Criollo cocoa bean, plus a gentle fruitiness.

Chocolate for breakfast? Of course!
Chocolate for breakfast? Of course!
Cao Peru bar
Cao Peru bar

Try them for yourself and be among the first; the bars aren’t yet in stores outside of Miami, but distribution is in the works, and in the meantime there’s the Internet plus my stash – contact me at chocolateuplift@gmail.com or shop online – and keep eating real chocolate!

Your friend in chocolate,

Valerie

Valerie Beck

Chocolate Expert, Speaker, Consultant

http://www.valeriebeckchocolateuplift.com

P.S.: Miami!
P.S.: Miami!

Sweet & Chic

Sweet & Chic 

spring green Sweet & Chic gift set
spring green gift set. click here for more!

Chocolate + a scarf, tote, or cosmetics pouch = sweet & chic!

My new Sweet & Chic gift sets are now available for purchase online anytime for anyone, or at my speaking engagements to add value for attendees and provide a delicious and memorable takeaway.

I’m seeking additional chocolate makers and accessories crafters to be featured. Bean-to-bar or fair trade preferred!

Click here for info on my speaking engagements, or contact me at chocolateuplift@gmail.com with questions or if you’re interested in having your chocolate or accessories featured.

think pink gift set
think pink gift set. click here for more!

Onward and upward!

Your friend in chocolate (and style),

Valerie