Forum Activity for @Lisabeth Flanagan

Lisabeth Flanagan
@Lisabeth Flanagan
07/24/15 09:11:21AM
11 posts

Review of the EZtemper


Posted in: Geek Gear - Cool Tools

I spent a little time with Kerry the last few weeks and was able to see her work with the EZTemper first-hand. It seemed to work very well. I've been considering purchasing one.  Then two days ago, when the weather cooled and humidity dropped, I was dipping chocolate toffees and was having a terrible time tempering my lecithin-free organic milk chocolate couverture (tastes great, 45%, but hard as heck to temper) and I was wishing I had purchased the EZTemper. That was truly the moment when I realized that the cost is likely worth the time savings. You can see pics of the chocolate, and how we used the EZTemper on my blog here. Kerry was testing it out to see if liquid, tempered chocolate could be kept in temper in the EZTemper for quick decorating and painting applications. It seemed to work well, but I think Kerry was planning to adjust temperatures to see if the chocolate could be less thick when it comes out of the machine. I'm curious to see the results of her experiments! But I think I will be making the purchase soon.

Lisabeth Flanagan
@Lisabeth Flanagan
07/24/15 09:00:04AM
11 posts

Dark Milk Chocolate Article on Food Bloggers of Canada


Posted in: News & New Product Press

Thomas Snuggs:
I made my first dark milk a couple of months ago and it was great. The milk adds some richness. Several people that had it thought it was my best ever. I think they had never had a dark milk before or maybe they just wanted more free chocolate from me. I've only made a 55% dark milk. I'm going to make some higher percentage dark milk for my next batch.

Hi Thomas!  That's exciting.  I'd love to try it someday.  What is your website (if you have one)? I can add it to the dark-milk list if you are selling it.

 

Lisabeth Flanagan
@Lisabeth Flanagan
07/24/15 08:56:39AM
11 posts

Dark Milk Chocolate Article on Food Bloggers of Canada


Posted in: News & New Product Press

Clay Gordon:
Lisabeth: I had my first dark-milk many years ago, one of the Slitti Latte-Nero family (they come in a variety of percentages) and I was immediately hooked. Dark milks are my favorite category of chocolates. The flavor intensity of a dark chocolate, the creaminess of a milk chocolate, and they're less sweet than a dark chocolate from the same bean/roast would be because lactose is less sweet than sucrose. I eat a lot of single-origin, two-ingredient chocolate, which requires attention. When I am looking for something to simply enjoy, dark-milks are the first place I think to reach. People who know my history know my connection to Bonnat so when they introduced the 3, 65% dark-milks I immediately started using them as a tasting flight. Your list is missing the 49% Felchlin Creole, a great offering from one of the best  small chocolate makers - if not the best - in Switzerland.

Thanks for your comments Clay! I have not had much experience with Felchlin, given the remote location that I have been living in for the last 7 years (I occasionally make it off this island, but 'occasionally' is the emphasized word :-) )  I just began my head-first dive into chocolate while I was in France 10 years ago, but wish I had known more when I had access to Europe back then! Sigh. But thanks to your list suggestion, I just realized that one of my regular distributors sells Felchlin!  I will be asking them about it today.

It is interesting that dark milk chocolate has been around for quite a while, but truly is trending today. Europeans have always understood that rich taste and sweet-and-savoury combinations offer much more enjoyable taste experiences, but here in North America we have finally come around.  A whole lot is changing thanks to the rapid development of the bean-to-bar industry, and I love every change! When I left Ottawa, there was not a place to buy origin chocolate (except one pastry shop selling Michel Cluizel and an Italian store selling a few brands of that country). Now there are specialty retailers for chocolate, better access online, and an increased interest all around. So I am sad to not be livng there anymore. But I am doing my part to bring fine chocolate to Northern Ontario :-).

All that said, I've updated the list with Felchlin and a few others: http://ultimatechocolateblog.blogspot.ca/2015/06/the-ultimate-list-of-dark-milk.html

Have a great weekend!

Lisabeth Flanagan
@Lisabeth Flanagan
07/14/15 09:48:22AM
11 posts

Dark Milk Chocolate Article on Food Bloggers of Canada


Posted in: News & New Product Press

Food Bloggers of Canada recently published an article of mine on dark-milk chocolate - a category of chocolate that continually fascinates me: http://www.foodbloggersofcanada.com/2015/06/dark-milk-chocolate-a-new-chocolate-category-to-embrace/ This is a bit Canadian-focused, but still relevant to what's been happening the last few years with this trend.

In conjunction with the article, I published a list of dark-milk bars here: http://ultimatechocolateblog.blogspot.ca/2015/06/the-ultimate-list-of-dark-milk.html

If you know of others that are amazing or have great potential - let me know!  (or....feel free to send samples as well :-) )

Lisabeth Flanagan
@Lisabeth Flanagan
07/14/15 09:41:25AM
11 posts

List of Specialty Retailers of Craft, Bean-to-Bar Chocolate


Posted in: Opinion

 

I have been scanning the chocolate industry again here in North America, and after the rapid launch of numerous bean-to-bar chocolate businesses has come a wave of new retailers (in store and online) selling large selections of bean-to-bar chocolate, as well as chocolate-of-the-month clubs popping up all over the place.  I have put them all in a list here: http://ultimatechocolateblog.blogspot.ca/2015/07/list-of-specialty-retailers-of-craft.html. Admittedly, my U.K., Europe and Asia, etc. sections are sparse, and I am likely missing a few in North America - so if you know of others, please let me know and I'll get them added!  And if you have been thinking about this new wave of retailers, I'd love to hear some discussion on it! Jeffrey Stern's article on LinkedIn came at the right time while I was researching this, making me wonder what direction the industry will go in: specialty retailers or mass supply of craft chocolate at national chains? Or both?

 

For the very popular list of U.S. bean-to-bar craft chocolate makers, click here.

 

For the Canadian list of bean-to-bar craft chocolate makers, click here.

 

Lists for other parts of the world coming soon!

Lisabeth Flanagan
@Lisabeth Flanagan
06/19/15 10:10:54AM
11 posts

Dark-Milk Chocolate - article and list with tasting notes


Posted in: Tasting Notes

Hi!  I just published an article about the 'dark milk' chocolate trend on the Food Bloggers of Canada site, and in conjunction with that, I posted a list of dark-milk chocolate bars, with tasting notes for as many as possible, on my blog.  If you have any more dark milk chocolates that you think I - and all other chocolate lovers - should try, please let me know and I will add it to the list!

Lisabeth Flanagan
@Lisabeth Flanagan
04/27/15 11:16:44AM
11 posts

zChocolat - my third box and still enjoying it


Posted in: Tasting Notes

I have received three boxes of zChocolat's beautiful confections now and I have enjoyed every one (although not every chocolate in each box).  The ganache is always perfect and there are finely ground pieces of nuts in many of the chocolates that create a delicate crunch.  Just wondering if anyone else has had experiences with zChocolat and what your thoughts are?  I love the signature 'Z' chocolate so much I want to order a whole box of just that and forget all the other flavours (my Canadian palate still can't get used to lavender in chocolate - blah!). This is my most recent post about zChocolat's Mother's Day box - they sent it to me last week: http://ultimatechocolateblog.blogspot.ca/2015/04/zchocolat-will-help-you-say-i-love-you.html I was amazed that it was so well packed that the ice pack was still cold when I received it 5 days after they sent the package from France to Canada (and a 7-hour drive north of Toronto).  Anyway, let me know what you think! I am curious about experiences that other people have had.

Lisabeth Flanagan
@Lisabeth Flanagan
04/24/15 09:39:44AM
11 posts

Maple Pecan PIECAKEN - A pecan pie baked inside of a flourless maple chocolate cake


Posted in: Recipes

Check out my Piecaken blog for instructions and the recipes you need to make this extravagant dessert. With an upfront rum flavour that slowly melts away as the chocolate and maple flavours take over, this dessert is a show-stopper. It's not gluten free, it's not butter-free and it's certainly not delicious-free.  http://piecaken.blogspot.ca/2015/04/pecanpiecaken-pecan-pie-inside-maple.html


Maple Pecan Chocolate Glaze.JPG.jpg Maple Pecan Chocolate Glaze.JPG.jpg - 424KB
Lisabeth Flanagan
@Lisabeth Flanagan
04/13/15 12:46:23PM
11 posts

Butter Pecan & Caramel Milk Chocolate Cake


Posted in: Recipes

Lightly sweetened, indulgently buttery. This cake has just enough sea salt to give you that 'salted caramel' taste. With home-roasted pecans and a caramel-ganache, it is the perfect dessert for any kind of chocolate lover: http://ultimatelychocolatecakes.blogspot.ca/2015/04/sea-salted-butter-pecan-caramel.html Oh, and it's flourless too!


Butter Pecan Caramel Chocolate Cake (2).JPG.jpg Butter Pecan Caramel Chocolate Cake (2).JPG.jpg - 117KB
Lisabeth Flanagan
@Lisabeth Flanagan
03/15/15 01:32:22PM
11 posts

Where is the tempering error(s)?


Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

This has been fascinating and I've learned so much from this one thread. And for all the technical conversation, I'm getting that two things may be happening with Alain's chocolate:

  • His molds may be too warm when he pours the chocolate in them, which is likely because it is hot in the Domincan Republic and that is where he is making the chocolate. (Peter, I had never known about this, or thought about it, but it makes so much sense - thanks for the info!)
  • The fridge often has too much moisture. When chocolate is placed in the fridge during a humid season, it only makes the situation worse.  You can only use the fridge for short periods of time to shrink the chocolate and release it without spots, or moisture will accumulate and the chocolate becomes 'sticky', then bloom happens when it dries. But sometimes, if humid & hot weather, the fridge is not an option at all for me (I realize in Canada that I only have a 2-month window for this to be a problem :-) )

Hopefully you can solve your tempering troubles soon Alain!

 

Lisabeth Flanagan
@Lisabeth Flanagan
02/21/15 09:03:16AM
11 posts

Choosing a Couverture


Posted in: Tasting Notes

Hi!  If you took your class from Kerry Beal, does that mean you are in Canada? Your profile says U.S., but thought I'd check.  We have a few sites in Toronto where you can order from the U.S., also with low shipping cost tot he states, namely VanillaFoodCompany.ca who sells Valrhona, Ghiradelli, CacaoBarry, Callebaut, etc. And I believe you can also order from McCalls (www.macalls.ca) and view your prices in U.S. or Canadian $$s. McCalls sells all types of couverture chocolate, including Lindt (but watch for artificial flavours in Lindt couv.). In Montreal is www.chocolat-chocolat.com - I think you can order tools and packages from the U.S., but I'm not sure about their couvs (they sell Belcolade, Brazilian couv. Boa Sentenca (I have not tasted this) and CacaoBarry, and others).

I personally like Camino's organic and Fair Trade couverture (www.tasteofcamino.com) - their 45% milk chocolate is very nice and easy to work with and their 56% is a great semi-sweet (one of the only organic semi-sweet's you can find). I don't love their 70% for enrobing or bark because of flavour, but it is great in cakes. Cacao Barry also has an organic milk couverture that is very nice, high cocoa butter, 38%.  I really like it for enrobing (throublesome for truffles).  Their 71% FT/Organic couv is also nice, but disctinct flavour. It pairs very nicely with salt. There is no soy lecithin in this product, good for people concerned with that.

I hope this helps!