After spending four months in the house, you may agree that the current quarantine situation has not been kind to your waistline. Most of us are way less physically active these days, and it’s so easy to reach for the comfort of favorite foods in times of stress. As an admitted foodie, I can especially relate to the temptation to over-snack while working from home. As we all attempt to reacquaint ourselves with self-control, it’s vital to have snacks and sweet treats on hand that you can indulge in while staying on your diet — and if that can include tempting chocolates, how can it be wrong? Please allow me to introduce you to a brand of high-quality chocolate called Red that is reduced calorie, with no added sugar, and insanely delicious. Yes, it exists.
All Pleasure, No Guilt is the promise of Red Chocolate, created by Swiss-owned Chocolette Confectionary. Red is sweetened exclusively with zero-calorie, plant-based Stevia and naturally-occurring melon sugars, giving it an amazing taste, with a reduced amount of fat. Crazy, but true.
Thanks to the absence of processed sugar, Red’s dark chocolate varieties contain up to 50% fewer calories, while Red’s milk chocolate bars’ calorie count is reduced by up to 35%. This mean that the dark chocolate is KETO-friendly (with only 4 net carbs) and both are compatible with Weight Watchers as well! Guilt-free snacking never tasted so sinful. I recently received a selection Red Chocolate bars to review for the blog, and I am not fronting when I tell you that I am personally loving this chocolate. Here’s what arrived in our shipment!
Red Dark Chocolate infused with Orange and Almond. Oh, baby.
Red Milk Chocolate. Smooth.
An assortment of Red Chocolate Grab ‘N’ Go Bars that will set you back just 80 or 100 calories per bar! We received three of the four available varieties, including dark chocolate, milk chocolate, and milk chocolate with hazelnuts and macadamia.
Halloween-Themed Chocolates Sampler By Christopher Elbow (All Photos By Gail)
Do you like Chocolate? I sure do. So when I was invited to attend The Big Chocolate Show that took place over the weekend of October 8th and 9th (at the Terminal Stores in Chelsea) you better believe I was there! Because Big Chocolate Show!
If you’ve never heard of The Big Chocolate Show, you are not alone, because this was the first of what will become an annual event — very exciting! Unlike many of the food “trade” shows I’ve attended in the past, where the objective is either to promote new products to the press or to the food industry; The Big Chocolate Show was all about indulging, and educating, the consumer.
During separate morning and afternoon sessions on both days, the narrow passage of the Terminal Stores was packed with excited chocolate fans and home chefs who wanted to learn more about all of the many ways to cook with, make art with, and — last but not least — eat chocolate. Attendees had the chance to meet some of the greatest chocolatiers, artisans, chefs and pastry chefs from Europe, North and South America, while discovering exceptional chocolate creations, and attending live demonstrations, classes and chocolate pairings. At almost every booth, displayed products were also for sale, which made this delicious event a one-stop shopping opportunity for all of the chocolate lovers on your holiday gift list.
A Chef Creates a Halloween-Themed Chocolate Centerpiece
Please enjoy a selection of photos from the show, which may just get you excited to attend next year!
Amoretti snagged prime display real estate just inside the entrance to the event. This company makes colorings, flavorings, syrups, sauces, icings and other premium ingredients for cooking, baking and food preparation. We see them every year at the Summer Fancy Food Show.
“Ingredients for Success!”
Christopher Elbow gourmet truffles and chocolates charmed the crowd with their whimsical chocolate collections decorated just for Halloween.
Special seasonal truffle flavors by Christopher Elbow on sale at the show included Spiced Caramel Apple, Spiced Pumpkin Caramel, and Maple Bourbon Caramel. Wow! And as you can see, they are as beautiful as they are delectable.
Tiny, Edible Works of Art!
And speaking works of art, check out this line of Chocolate Fashionistas by Drizzle.
Everyone crowded around the booth to oggle and Instagram Drizzle’s collection of expertly handcrafted little chocolate dresses on sticks. Way too fancy to eat.
What you see above are 3D Printed Chocolate Bars from Sugarcube Dessert and Coffee Bar of Long Island City. Their slogan is “Where Food Meets Design” (we love it), and you can see why!
3D Printed Chocolate Bon Bons
These fine chocolates were artfully designed by Peter Zaharatos, who has a background in Architecture. Very impressive!
Swedish-inspired FIKA chocolates of NYC displayed this gold-leaf-enhanced Chocolate Skull.
And an excellent Chocolate Yoda!
Master Pastry Chef Jacques Torres (AKA “Mr. Chocolate”) went all out with his booth that was just brimming with unique NYC and Halloween-themed treats. And of course, free samples of his divine chocolates, offered with a smile!
Stay tuned for more about Jacques Torres later in this post!
Gotham Chocolates, a subsidiary of NYCs famous Gotham Bar and Grill, makes chocolate bars that come in five varieties: Independent, Decadent, Elegant, Wild, Intense and Grace.
You can see that the bars’ package design is highly influenced by minimalist modern art. Very sleek! Find out more about Gotham Chocolate Bars at This Link.
De Martini Chocolate from Italy: another excellent example of highly visually-effective minimalist packaging design! I want to eat it!
Behold: The Enchanted Forest Trio by John & Kira’s! Fancy!
Salted Caramel Truffles By Eclat
Green Tea & Roasted Rice Bars By Eclat
Rawclates is a line of artisinal raw chocolates that include only the finest raw organic ingredients and superfood nutrition. Their chocolates come in exotic bars (seen above) and fancy truffles as well.
Rawclates is based in Brooklyn, New York.
Tiny Model of a Cocoa Bean Tree from the InkaKaw Booth Display
Villakuyaya is a line of Organic Dark Chocolate from Ecuador, which is created based on environmental and sustainability principles. Villakuyaya work with small farmers in Esmeraldas, a north pacific coast area of Ecuador that produces the most floral and fruity cocoa bean of the zone. This allows Villakuyaya to play with the natural flavor of the bean, and the chosen exotic inclusions for each bar, producing a dark chocolate bar that not only preserves the environment, but is also a healthy food! These bars have a unique, exceptionally fruity flavor that is just fantastic.
Read the fascinating story of the origin of Angovi Chocolate at This Link!
Glennmade Craft Chocolate, based in Hoboken, is a bean-to-bar handcrafter of fine dark chocolate bars. Glennmade sources premium quality and transparently sourced cacao through a growing relationships with trusted, environmentally conscious supply chain partners.
Their pure chocolate products are hand packaged in environmentally friendly kraft packaging to ensure that all chocolate lovers are able to experience the true natural flavors of each origin in every piece they taste. Follow a Cocoa Bean from tree to package on the journey to becoming a Glennmade Chocolate Bar at This Link.
As much as I loved discovering and tasting all of the different kinds of chocolate, my favorite part of the show, by far, turned out to be the two fun and informative Cooking Demos I attended, which were held in a separate area at the rear of the exhibit space.
The fist session I attended was hosted by Pastry Chef Penny Stankiewicz of Sugar Couture in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, which specializes in custom handmade Wedding Cakes and Confections. Penny showed us how to make a Chocolate Chip Cookie Butter Sandwich.
As Penny discussed and demonstrated each step in baking and assembling these indulgent cookie sandwich treats, I learned many very cool facts about baking. For example, Penny emphasized the importance of salt as an ingredient in a chocolate chip cookie, because it brings out the flavor of the chocolate, but she also recommended that it’s best to use sweet butter as opposed to salted butter in a recipe. This is due to the fact that salt is a preservative, so its likely that salted butter may be older than sweet butter, and you want the butter to be as fresh as possible. Fascinating!
Everyone in the audience got a cookie sandwich to try. They were amazing!
Nom nom nom.
I also attended a session by Jacques Torres, who demonstrated the steps in creating a fancy, abstract-design chocolate centerpiece.
Jacques went through every step in detail: from making the mold to tempering the chocolate, to assembling the pieces so they stay together and do not fall.
One secret is to make sure you “score” the chocolate piece serving as the base for the taller pieces, and use a bit of melted chocolate as the glue.
When the centerpiece is assembled, decorate your table with additional festive chocolates and appropriate holiday items! Jacques is such a talented chef and he’s also very funny. Everyone received a small bag of milk chocolates as a thank you for attending the demonstration!
To find out more about The Big Chocolate Show, and to sign up to receive information about next year’s show, visit This Link!
Holiday chocolates are, seriously, the absolute best, amiright? I realize that Halloween has only just passed, and admonishing cries of “too soon” fill the air when we start going on about Christmas, when that day seems so far away at this point. But the truth is that seasonal confections are called ‘seasonal’ for a good reason. Holiday goodies are generally only available in stores for a limited time — and if you snooze, you lose! At any rate, you can use the excuse that it is never too early to plan!
If you are like me, one of your favorite holiday treats is the Lindor Truffle; the creamiest, most luscious chocolatey morsel you can buy for an outrageously reasonable price. So, imagine how difficult it has been for me to not yet have written about the new Lindor Truffle Holiday Flavors, especially since I’ve known about them since this past summer! You should thank me for showing such restraint. Yes, it was way back in July that I attended a holiday gift guide event (where these festive photos were taken) and had the chance to taste all of the new Lindor Truffle varieties that are making a limited-engagement appearance in stores just in time for your holiday parties and gift giving. Take a look!
Lindor Pumpkin Spice Truffles: A delicate milk chocolate shell envelops an irresistibly smooth pumpkin spice truffle filling. In keeping with the ubiquitous pumpkin spice craze that start as soon as there’s a chill in the air, these truffles have been available at retailers nationwide since August. SRP: $6.99
Lindor White Chocolate Peppermint Truffles: These delightful truffles feature a delicate white chocolate shell infused with peppermint pieces that envelops an irresistibly smooth peppermint truffle filling. I brought the sample bag I received at the show to the office to share with my co-workers, and everyone went crazy for them! SRP: $6.99
Lindor Peppermint Cookie Truffles arrive in wildly festive Lindor package design that’s so gorgeous, you don’t even have to wrap it! Just stick a bow on this bag that contains Lindor Milk Chocolate truffles infused with Peppermint and Chocolate Cookie Pieces. Insane! These Truffles are available exclusively at Target stores for just $4.49 per bag. Totally worth a subway ride to Target, I say! pick up a few extra bags for last minute gifts!
Find out more about Lindor Truffles and the entire line of fine Lindt brand Swiss chocolates, and shop online, at This Link! Happy Holidaze!
OK, everybody loves chocolate ice cream, amiright? I think I may be, so it makes sense that Weight Watchers Divine Triple Chocolate Bars are one of the company’s best-selling and most popular flavors of all of their frozen ice cream treats. When I enjoy these bars from my own home freezer, I am overcome with a wave of nostalgia for the classic Fudgsicle® that I enjoyed so much as kid.
See how Divine Triple Chocolate Bars even improve on the Fudgsicle by adding not only a swirl of rich fudge inside the delicious, low fat ice cream, but also by dipping the top half of the bar in milk chocolate! Because, “These bars are too chocolaty!” said no one ever.
Offered in a package of 6, each individually wrapped bar has a value 3 Points Plus, contains only 110 calories, 4.5 grams of fat and 0 grams of trans fat. Find out where you can buy Weight Watchers Divine Triple Chocolate Bars and other tasty Weight Watchers products at This Link!
When I was a kid, Granola Bars – which, seriously, were just being introduced at that time – tasted like molasses covered particle board. Eventually, those dry, jaw cracking “treats” became “chewy granola bars” and continued to metamorphose until something that was supposed to be “healthy” and “natural” looked and tasted remarkably similar to a candy bar, with some rolled oats thrown in. Epic Fail!
You may recall that a few weeks back, Enjoy Life Foods shipped us a huge box of their snacks and today we are going to tell you about one of our new favorites, Cherry Cobbler Soft Baked Bars. I am a big fan of Cherry Pie or just about anything containing that fruit. What I loved instantly about the Cherry Cobbler variety of these bars is how each one is really packed with chewy dried cherries as well as other yummy stuff such as crisped rice and dried apples. They are so good, and only 140 calories each!
These Decadent Bars (as they are also called on the box) are great for a quick on-the-go breakfast, a snack anytime, or a fun dessert. Look how I put ice cream on one for a fancy treat:
Enjoy Life Soft Baked Bars come in three other tempting flavors (I have a box of each still waiting to be enjoyed), including: S’mores, Chocolate SunButter® (Sunflower Seed Butter) and Cinnamon Bun. Each bar is topped with a sweet icing drizzle which complements the flavor. All bars are gluten-free and free from the top 8 allergens. Learn more about Enjoy Life Soft Baked Bars and their other tasty foods — plus get money saving coupons toward your purchase — at This Link!
If you enjoy the idea of combining delicious foods with fun and easy home entertaining, then you should probably consider having a fondue party. I was recently introduced to Emmi brand Fondue, a product of Switzerland that you can buy now in the States. The idea of making fondue in your home probably seems like a hassle, but Emmi makes it so easy! I will tell you how easy right now.
Easy Step By Step Instructions!
First of all, I would like to thank my friend Lauren and her lovely teenage daughter Sophia for hosting the Fondue Party in their home, and helping with the minimal prep work. Here is all you have to do to have a fun, easy and delicious dinner party!
Emmi cheese fondue is made with natural Swiss cheese, white wine, kirsch brandy, salt and other spices to give it the authentic taste of Fondue that you would enjoy in a fine specialty restaurant. All you have to do is squeeze the fondue from the foil packet (which keeps it shelf fresh for months) into a fondue pot or enamel sauce pan and heat it up.
While the fondue heats under a watchful eye, prepare the food items that you will dip into the cheese. We had a crusty loaf of bread, which I cut into cubes.
We also chose lightly steamed fresh broccoli and baby carrots as dippers. The Emmi fondue package lists other appropriate dippers, but you can get creative according to your tastes. We were thinking that maybe next time we will choose some cubed ham.
The Fondue was hot in under ten minutes and ready to enjoy! Emmi Swiss Fondue has an excellent consistency – thick but not gloppy – and a rich cheese flavor enhanced by the wine and kirsch. One package easily feeds two hungry adults.
After a short period of rest, it was time for dessert!
Emmi makes an amazing Swiss Chocolate Fondue which was even easier to prepare than the cheese fondue. Do you see two packages there? Each serves two people. We made them both.
This is what the fondue looks like before it melts. The white spots you see are little morsels of white chocolate inside the larger, bittersweet chocolate nuggets. Oh, man.
Over low heat it melts very fast! Smooth!
Reccommended dippers for the chocolate fondue are cut up fruits, cookies, marshmallows or cubes of pound cake or angel food cake. We cut up a couple of fresh pears, an apple and some bananas. Confession: we dipped the bread left over from the cheese fondue into the chocolate also. It was insane. Lauren noted that the melted chocolate perfectly enrobed each piece of fruit.
This pot may look empty but, trust me, we scraped it clean.
So, there you go: Delicious. Easy. Fun. Emmi Fondues sell for between $8 – $10 depending on the vendor. Lauren and I definitely agree that they are super convenient and an excellent value. Why not put an Emmi Fondue Party on your To Do List right now!?