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With a hope to present her family a sweet treat, my friend Jana Brown modified a recipe for Turtles from Forks and Beans.  Using ChiamMaya Chocolate for the first time, she found the flavor was delightful and the youngster in charge of cleaning the chocolate bowl commented he had the best job!choc

The chocolate melted like a dream in a double boiler and the almond and cinnamon in the chocolate really worked for  these little  turtles.turtles

We were a little short on chocolate due to the invasion of the box by two little aliens....so we did not have enough to make the fancy stripes. But no one missed it here.  No chocolate was wasted in this little project. NONE!happy eaters

WHAT THEY CAN LOOK LIKE WITHOUT HELP FROM KIDS  source: Fork and Beans
WHAT THEY CAN LOOK LIKE WITHOUT HELP FROM KIDS
source: Fork and Beans

Vegan Chocolate Turtles

Ingredients

1      cup ChiamMaya Chocolate, chopped                                                                                                1/2 cup pecans                                                                                                                                         1 recipe for raw caramel sauce (see below)

For Raw Date Caramel

4 Medjool dates, soaked in water for 1 hour and drained                                                                                 1 Tbsp. water                                                                                                                                             1 tsp. maple syrup                                                                                                                                     1 tsp. coconut oil, solid                                                                                                                          1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. In a high-speed blender, whip up all the ingredients for the raw caramel sauce until completely smooth. Allow to chill in the refrigerator to cool down.
  2. Line a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper.
  3. Melt 1/2 cup of the chopped chocolate.. Place in a Ziploc bag with a slit cut out of the corner and drip 1 tsp. of chocolate onto the parchment paper, making circles (see picture above). You may want to use the back of a spoon to flatten down a little bit.
  4. For each chocolate circle, place 6 pecan slices on top of the chocolate in the position for the head, legs, and tail. Fill in the remainder of the chocolate with smaller pecan pieces. Place the baking sheet in the freezer for 5-10 minutes.
  5. Remove the sheet and pour the raw caramel sauce into a Ziploc baggie to pipe on top, about 1 tsp. worth. Freeze again while you melt the remainder 1/2 cup of chocolate.
  6. Pipe the remaining chocolate on top of the caramel. Smooth out with the back of a spoon to ensure it is evenly spread. PLEASE READ: Do this one at a time because the warm chocolate hitting the items that have been in the freezer will cause the chocolate to quickly harden. If you wait too long, your chocolate will be unworkable.
  7. Allow the turtles to fully set (either back in the freezer or if you keep them on the counter, they will harden as well).
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There are so many of us who have become aware in the past few years that quality ingredients are what makes a dish, ANY dish, stand out. People take notice of our cooking.

And yet, although some of us are proud of our knowledge of spices and herbs, knife skills, and whatnot, most of the time it is just regular everyday cooking that can be made to sing with the right stuff.

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I have a friend who does her best to bring excellent recipes to two Facebook groups. One is The Wild Ramp Foodies where much of the effort is to support The Wild Ramp Market by posting recipes that will help shoppers use the fresh produce, meat, eggs, dairy and other items found in the local food market. The other is Us What Can Cook, a fun poke at herself and others in Appalachia who just want good old down home recipes. There is considerable overlap, as many home style cooks prefer fresh ingredients.

And that is the key: good ingredients. Just as freshly picked local produce which is ripe and brought into the market within hours of harvest can make a difference, so can unadulterated chocolate when you want to bake the mother of all brownies, or the most amazing chocolate cream pie, or a hot cocoa that will warm your heart.

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Sure, you can purchase mixes for all those. And honestly, many mixes produce results that are good. But ONLY if you have never tasted your favorite chocolate dish made with a premium chocolate as one of its ingredients. 

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I dare you to try it as an experiment: Go purchase ChaimMaya Custom Crafted Chocolate and prepare your fave chocoholic recipe...and then use that mix again. Write to me here about what you think. Dare you!

 


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ChiamMaya Chocolate is Chocolate in the centuries-old Mexican tradition. Fresh, organic cacao is stone-ground and blended with pure cane sugar, almonds and cinnamon to create an authentic, ageless chocolate whose recipe still survives today in the Mexican tradition.

We create three different blends - Mayan, a sweet recipe in the Mexican tradition; Aztec, a bittersweet concoction for real chocolate lovers and American, slightly less sweet Chocolate for the US palette.

At ChiamMaya.com, you'll find insightful commentary on the world of Mexican-style Chocolate, Chocolate recipes, news about chocolate, and of course, you can buy ChiamMaya Chocolate right here online.

We invite discussion and comment on all of our Chocolate. Feel free to leave your thoughts by signing in and becoming an active member of the Chiammaya Custom Crafted Chocolate community.

We'll also be posting our travel schedule here to fairs and food expos around the US. Come see us make custom chocolate at an event near you.

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As a kid one of my favorite things about Passover was the macaroons. Purchased in cans, I often grabbed one or two as I went through the kitchen and they were gone all too soon.  Then, the summer  I graduated high school I spent time in Israel and one of the many amazing experiences was eating a freshly baked coconut macaroon in Jerusalem's Old City.

That was the first time I tasted the real deal and yet. Even though I knew how sad a shadow those commercially prepared cookies were,  I went back to the cans year after year.

So, remember we've talked about how chocolate can not be part of a healthy diet in huge quantities? BUT BUT BUT when chocolate is definitely a need, go for the best quality you can afford. Cut out the chemicals. Bring it down to the basics: cacao, sugar, and with ChaimMaya, you have the interesting additions of the Mayan recipe with almonds and cinnamon.

Since I prefer almond flavor in my macaroons, this was an obvious choice! So easy. and so so good!!

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Dark Chocolate Dipped Macaroons

 

Makes about 36

 

Ingredients

1½ cups dried unsweetened shredded coconut

1½ teaspoons potato starch

½ cup sugar

¼ teaspoon salt

4 large egg whites

1 teaspoon almond extract

13 ounces of chocolate, divided

 

·         In a large mixing bowl, stir together the coconut, potato starch, sugar and salt until well blended

·         In a smaller bowl, whisk together egg whites and almond extract until frothy

·         Stir the egg white mixture into the coconut mixture and make sure all of it is fully and evenly moisturized. Let sit 20-30 minutes so the coconut can absorb the moisture

·         Preheat the oven to 325°.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a small scoop, place the batter on the parchment paper. The cookies will not spread so you can put them close together.  Don't worry about the shape..they can be rounds or "haystacks".

·         Bake the macaroons for 20-25 minutes until the bottom edges are golden and the tips start to turn brown. Do not overbake or they will dry out.

·         Remove and cool directly on the cookie sheet. Do not move before they cool or they will crumble.

·         When cool, melt 9 ounces of the chocolate and then dip the bottoms of each cookie. Place on the parchment paper to harden.

·         Then melt the other 4 ounces of chocolate and spoon it into a sandwich baggie. Snip a very small hole in the corner and use it to pipe lines of melted chocolate across the tops of the macaroons.

·         Let them dry completely and then store in a sealed plastic container to keep moist. Store at room temp up to 4 days or in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.

 

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With a hope to present her family a sweet treat, my friend Jana Brown modified a recipe for Turtles from Forks and Beans.  Using ChiamMaya Chocolate for the first time, she found the flavor was delightful and the youngster in charge of cleaning the chocolate bowl commented he had the best job!choc

The chocolate melted like a dream in a double boiler and the almond and cinnamon in the chocolate really worked for  these little  turtles.turtles

We were a little short on chocolate due to the invasion of the box by two little aliens....so we did not have enough to make the fancy stripes. But no one missed it here.  No chocolate was wasted in this little project. NONE!happy eaters

WHAT THEY CAN LOOK LIKE WITHOUT HELP FROM KIDS  source: Fork and Beans
WHAT THEY CAN LOOK LIKE WITHOUT HELP FROM KIDS
source: Fork and Beans

Vegan Chocolate Turtles

Ingredients

1      cup ChiamMaya Chocolate, chopped                                                                                                1/2 cup pecans                                                                                                                                         1 recipe for raw caramel sauce (see below)

For Raw Date Caramel

4 Medjool dates, soaked in water for 1 hour and drained                                                                                 1 Tbsp. water                                                                                                                                             1 tsp. maple syrup                                                                                                                                     1 tsp. coconut oil, solid                                                                                                                          1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. In a high-speed blender, whip up all the ingredients for the raw caramel sauce until completely smooth. Allow to chill in the refrigerator to cool down.
  2. Line a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper.
  3. Melt 1/2 cup of the chopped chocolate.. Place in a Ziploc bag with a slit cut out of the corner and drip 1 tsp. of chocolate onto the parchment paper, making circles (see picture above). You may want to use the back of a spoon to flatten down a little bit.
  4. For each chocolate circle, place 6 pecan slices on top of the chocolate in the position for the head, legs, and tail. Fill in the remainder of the chocolate with smaller pecan pieces. Place the baking sheet in the freezer for 5-10 minutes.
  5. Remove the sheet and pour the raw caramel sauce into a Ziploc baggie to pipe on top, about 1 tsp. worth. Freeze again while you melt the remainder 1/2 cup of chocolate.
  6. Pipe the remaining chocolate on top of the caramel. Smooth out with the back of a spoon to ensure it is evenly spread. PLEASE READ: Do this one at a time because the warm chocolate hitting the items that have been in the freezer will cause the chocolate to quickly harden. If you wait too long, your chocolate will be unworkable.
  7. Allow the turtles to fully set (either back in the freezer or if you keep them on the counter, they will harden as well).
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This has been a pretty rough winter for much of the eastern half of the United States, but perhaps this latest forecasted storm is causing more stress than the others. First of all, it follows a beautiful day in many areas that hinted at spring. And that was just enough to make the angst over this Titan storm that much more poignant. Enough is enough already!!

It is interesting to read on Facebook the reminders to get to the store to pick up supplies. I always laugh at the inevitable trio: milk, bread and toilet paper. 

But tonight I saw something that struck home: wine and chocolate.

Make sure to stock up on your favorite wine and also be sure to have a quality chocolate, like ChiamMaya Custom Crafted Chocolate, to provide comfort in the chill.

ChiamMaya makes superb hot chocolate....recipe can be found on the website herecup of mexican hot chocolate

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I grew up baking Toll House cookies, and that is always my "go to" recipe for years and years. I preferred a chewy cookie to a crunchie cookie so I used vegetable shortening instead of butter.

In recent years I have begun to play more with my food and also have learned not to use ingredients that I started with as I learned they might have some health risks that I would like to avoid, if I know. For example, my use of shortening stopped once I learned it is primarily made with canola oil. Since most canola is a GE crop, I prefer to avoid that personally, so have switched to coconut oil.

The best part of the chocolate chip cookie is always the choice of chocolate. My long time choice had been the morsels found easily in supermarkets but once I started using ChiamMaya Custom Crafted Chocolate, I began to play there also. And, not surprisingly, the oohs and aahs of happy eaters told me my new selection was spot on!

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Yes, the ChiamMaya has to be chopped up. But surely, if you bake from scratch that one additional short step is not a hindrance.

So, here you go:

Chocolate Chip Cookie Perfection                                                                                                   (makes 6 dozen)                       

1 cup coconut oil                                                                                                               ½ cup butter, softened                                                                                                       1⅓ cups sugar                                                                                                                   1 cup firmly packed brown sugar                                                                                        4 eggs                                                                                                                             1 tablespoon vanilla                                                                     

1 teaspoon lemon juice                                                                                                       2 teaspoons baking soda                                                                                                   1 teaspoon salt                                                                                                                1 teaspoon cinnamon                                                                                                        ½ cup regular or quick cooking oats (not instant oatmeal)                                                      3 cups flour                                                                                                                       24 ounces of ChiamMaya Chocolate Lovers Blend, chopped                                                  1 cup chopped nuts (your favorite)                                                                                        1 cup shredded coconut (this is optional but if you chose not to use it, add more nuts)

  • Preheat oven to 350°
  • Beat the coconut oil, butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each one
  • Mix in the vanilla and lemon juice
  • In a separate bowl mix the flour, baking soda, salt, oats and cinnamon and then beat into the creamed mixture until well blended
  • Stir in the chopped chocolate, nuts and coconut
  • Lightly grease the cookie sheets and drop by tablespoon. Leave a little space but will not spread much.

You can play with this recipe more....add some white chocolate chips or peanut butter chips, or even chopped up Andes for a mint addition. Just make sure your ingredients are the best you can find. Your satisfied customers will appreciate it!!

  • Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown
  • Transfer to racks and try to let cool.
  • Do not burn your tongue on the hot melted chocolate.
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What's a dieting chocoholic to do? So many of us start diets on January 1 and Valentines Day looms ahead, a temptation that is all but impossible to ignore. How can we make it through?  So many chocolates....so little time.

Be strong! Keep an image in mind about your goal. And find other ways to enjoy chocolate that are not loaded with sugar!  

How? Well, let's start with chicken mole!! And how approproate since ChiamMaya Custom Crafted Chocolate is made in the style of Oaxoca, Mexico!

We modified a David Leibowitz recipe on Wednesday evening.

To Make the Sauce

  • 5 dried ancho dried chiles
  • 1 small onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon each: cinnamon, ground cloves, dried oregano, powdered cumin, ground coriander, ground anise seeds
  • 1/3 cup (55 g) sliced almonds
  • 1-2 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 1/4 cup (40 g) raisins or diced prunes
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup (250 ml) water (or more, as needed)
  • 4 oz (120 g) ChiamMaya Total Chocolate Indulgence, meltedDSC_0004.jpg

1. Remove the seeds and stems from the chiles and soak them in very hot water until soft, about 30 minutes or so. (Make sure they're submerged by setting a lightweight bowl on top of the chiles.) When softened, puree the chiles in a blender. If the skins are tough, you may want to pass the puree though a food mill or strainer.

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2. In a small skillet, sauté onion in vegetable oil until soft and translucent. Add garlic and sauté another minute. Add spices and herbs and cook, stirring constantly, for about 30 seconds, being careful not to let them burn.

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3. (Optional step-grind sesame seeds in a spice or coffee grinder to make them smaller)

4. Add to the chile puree in the blender, the almonds, the cooked onions and garlic, tomatoes, raisins or prunes, sesame seeds, salt, pepper, water, and melted chocolate, then puree until smooth.

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5. Add additional water, if necessary, until the consistency is smooth and slightly pourable.

To make Chicken with Mole Sauce:

1. Begin with one chicken cut into six or eight portions or 8 boneless chicken breasts. Brown the poultry pieces quite well in a large casserole in vegetable oil.

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2. Once browned, remove the chicken pieces from the pan and saute one chopped onion in the casserole and cook until translucent. Deglaze the casserole with some wine or stock, and scrape in any browned bits from the bottom with a flat wooden spatula.

3. Add the pieces or the browned chicken back to the casserole along with a cinnamon stick or two, and add enough chicken stock, water, or white wine to cover chicken pieces. Cover the casserole, and gently simmer chicken until tender throughout.

3. Once cooked, remove chicken pieces from the liquid and arrange them in a shallow baking dish. Smear chicken pieces generously with mole and bake in a moderate oven, turning once or twice during baking, for about 30 minutes OR shred the boneless chicken breasts into small pieces and add into the mole sauce. 

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Simmer for 30 minutes to incorporate flavor.

Serve with a sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds. We also had some Spanish rice, some green beans and used tortillas because we made the shredded style.

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Oh no, this could be bad news. 

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Several years ago a friend gave us a poster with photos of about 50 wineglasses filled with a bunch of something that showed an aromatic that is used to describe a flavor people can sense in wine.  As a relatively new wine drinker, I found this poster to be pretty funny. Afterall, how can you taste "smoke" in wine?  But now, being in pinot noir country in Oregon, I have!

Chocolate industry experts in Europe are predicting that chocolate, like wine, will soon have two pricing segments. Affordable chocolate will be made with lower quality ingredients. The top quality ingredients will be made into chocolate that will be priced higher.

The chief of the research and development division of one of France's premium chocolatiers stated recently that they will be working on the aromatics, similar to the way wine is described. And like wine, the prices of their chocolate will reflect what they consider to be high ingredient quality.

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Interesting, he spoke only about the aromatics. When asked about the growing evidence that the theobromines in chocolate are actually a healthy component, he indicated his company has no interest in that.

So what does that have to do with us regular people who enjoy our chocolate?  We may not see much difference in what most of us consume here in the U.S. If your standard for chocolate is a Snickers bar or M&Ms, you probably won't notice anything. If the high end companies pay more for premium cacao beans, perhaps your candy bar price will move up (again) or the manufacturer will adjust the recipe to override any reduction in the flavor of their chocolate. 

Once again, ChiamMaya is a bit out of the ordinary. Because the beans are grown in Oaxaca, Mexico, and most premium chocolatiers are interested in beans grown in Africa and Asia, the quality of this chocolate will remain high and unadulterated. Get used to it! This is one quality product that promises full flavor and does not threaten with exclusivity. It is accessible to you and you and you! 

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Go to http://www.chiammaya.com/index.php to find it, no matter where in the world you live!

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Feeling a bit down, eat some chocolate! We've heard that before but just what is that about?

There are very definite chemical reactions that happen when we eat certain foods. The brain-stomach connection operates through the vagus nerve, which sends messages caused by the chemical reaction in the stomach. Each time you eat something- ANYTHING -your brain reacts.

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For example, when you eat or drink foods that have aspartame, you are not doing your body a favor. Instead, the artificial sweetener can wreak havoc with your brain function, adding to depression and panic attacks.

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Choosing your foods to help your moods is easy!  According to Dr. Joseph Mercola, there are seven foods that boost your mood. and chocolate is one!

All three of the ChiamMaya Custom Crafted Chocolates are dark chocolates  that produce a chemical reaction that temporarily blocks feelings of pain and depression. Chocolate also contains other chemicals that prolongs the "feel-good" aspects of this chemical, anandamide. Chocolate has even been referred to as  the new anti-anxiety drug!

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One study in the Journal of Psychopharmacology also revealed that people who drank an antioxidant-rich chocolate drink equal to about 1.5 ounces of dark chocolate daily felt calmer than those who did not.

Using ChiamMaya to prepare a cup of hot chocolate will bring you bliss in your mouth...and in your brain!

Make sure not to substitute an inferior product, particularly one with artificial sweeteners or ingredients or high fructose corn syrup, as these ingredients will actually reverse the positive benefits of the chocolate. Treat yourself well in 2014, aim for the purest form of food you can find. Your body will thank you.

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The Christmas season brings out the chocolate lovers not only here in the United States but also in France. On Christmas morning, the New York Times published a story about the newest creations by top chefs in Paris, Making Christmas Sweet.
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One chef has created a do-it-yourself chocolate Christmas tree, complete with white gloves to be worn by the assembler.  Samples of the best chocolates were handed out in the aisles of the Galleries Lafayette, one of Paris' most popular department stores.And they are offering a rooftop cafe with a hot chocolate bar until the end of December.

eiffelBut all is not perfect in Paris. There are two problems in chocolate heaven.First, chocolate there has gone wildly upscale, just as it has in the United States and around the world. Serious chocolate lovers discuss prestige bars with the same passion, standards and vocabulary that they use to describe fine wines: they talk of soil composition, vintages, house blends, grands crus. Prices have climbed.

But sadly, the quality of the chocolate has deteriorated. In 2003, the European Union ruled that chocolate makers may replace up to 5 percent of the cocoa butter in their products with vegetable fats and still call the result chocolate. Connoisseurs picketed European Union offices, to no avail, while big chocolate makers celebrated; they could churn out a lot more chocolate for a lot less money.

So when you opt for the finest European chocolates, you are not buying what you used to love when you visited ten years ago. Even there, profits are winning over pride of quality.

Stick to a chocolate that is made from simple, whole ingredients. ChiamMaya Custom Crafted Chocolates has FOUR ingredients: cacoa beans from Oaxaca, Mexico; sugar, almonds and cinnamon. Simple. Pure.

Enjoy quality chocolate that is still chocolate.

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This time of year we all overeat. I think that is a safe statement, although perhaps YOU know someone who is very good about sticking to their regular diet.

To me, this time of year is the ONE time of the year I make certain treats. I had a friend who made fudge almost weekly, but for me, this is it.  And I want my "no fail" recipe really to work! There have been times in the past that my "no fail" fudge recipe did not harden and, instead, I ended up with really awesome but not planned for hot fudge sauce.

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So, for a sure fire successful fudge, use this one, supposedly from Mamie Eisenhower who called it

Easy Million Dollar Fudge

Ingredients:

Instructions

  • In a heavy saucepan, combine sugar salt, butter and milk. Bring to a boil and then boil for 6 minutes, stirring constantly.
  • Put the chocolate in a large bowl and then pour the boiling syrup over it, stir or beat until melted and blended.
  • Stir in the nuts or other yummies
  • Pour into a buttered 9x12 pan. Cool until firm and then cut into squares. Store in a tightly covered container but probably won't store long.

Could you make this recipe with chocolate found at the supermarket? Sure....but why? Use quality ingredients to maximize your enjoyment. YUM!!!


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Big news from the chocolate industry that a cocoa butter replacement from mango seed fatmango seed fat and palm stearinpalm stearin could be the next "improvement" to chocolate, helping it withstand high temperatures. This will enable chocolate candy to be sold in tropical climates where there is a growing middle class, helping major chocolate manufacturers to make more money. Basically, it means for us that there will be no more melting in your hand which might be considered a good thing. melting candy

I'm relieved that the changes they are suggesting are not genetic modification but only a blending in the manufacturing process. But I still know it can affect me. So like me, if you use chocolate for cooking and need to melt it to use it, you will need to be pretty selective soon. One more food you will need to check labels!

Current ingredient label on major manufacturer chocolate bar
Current ingredient label on major manufacturer chocolate bar

However, the answer is easy! I prefer my chocolate to be made without industrial assistance. ChiamMaya Custom Crafted Chocolate contains FOUR ingredients:DSC_0017cacao (the beans themselves), sugar, cinnamon and almonds. No additives you can't pronounce. No chemicals. Just whole ingredients as nature made them without time in a laboratory.

What about you? Do you eat real food? Buy ChiamMaya for your chocolate needs!

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Last week the house smelled great. Not that it usually smells bad but the difference was amazing. I was doing my holiday baking.buckeyes

My mom baked a lot and I admittedly have a sweet tooth, so I like to bake., In my house, when we have dinner parties, most of the time my husband is in charge of the meal menu and I handle the dessert. And fruit is not an option. LOL

I started baking masses of cookies and treats for Christmas when I had some lean years and wanted to give a lot of people SOMETHING that they could enjoy that would not break the bank. This was often when my membership to the big box warehouse store paid off, with purchases of 25 pounds of flour and sugar, multiple dozens of eggs...and chocolate. Dec 2013

samoas
Samoas

One year I visited my daughter when she was in college and discovered she had been gifted a 10 pound bar of premium chocolate and planned to throw it out. It went into the bottom of my suitcase and yes, they made me open it at the airport. The aroma convinced them it was what I said it was.

Baking with premium chocolate ratchets up the quality of the goodies in a way you can't believe. Sure, you can use the same old same old chocolate chips you can buy at the supermarket and the baked goods will be enjoyable.

Mexican Chocolate Cookies have a surprise ingredient
Mexican Chocolate Cookies have a surprise ingredient

But with premium chocolate, your goodies will be besties!!!

Order ChiamMaya Custoim Crafted Chocolate now while there is still time!!!

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I first tasted Nutella on a trip to Europe in 1981. It was okay but I was not so impressed that I needed to buy a lot and bring it home. Of course, it is now available here in the US, so that would be easy if I was a huge fan.

Lisa in Paris in 2009 waiting for a Nutella crepe at a market
Lisa in Paris in 2009 waiting for a Nutella crepe at a market

Together, with chocolate, hazelnuts are the main ingredient in Nutella and I was under the impression for the longest time that I did not like hazelnuts. When we decided to move to Oregon I became aware that this area produces most of the hazelnuts in the country, so I tried them again. And I discovered that I like hazelnuts after all! (It must have been the chocolate in the candy I tasted a lot in Europe that I didn't like!)

So, I bought about 20 pounds of nuts when the new crop was harvested and stored them so they would keep for a while.  Then a friend and I got into a discussion about homemade Nutella and challenged me to make some.

Let me say that I will enjoy this a lot! It is a kazillion times better than the commercially prepared stuff, which is usually the case when you make something from scratch with pure ingredients and no chemical additiives!

After reviewing a number of recipes I found online I decided to make one that can be gluten free and dairy free so anyone and everyone can enjoy it.

Homemade Chocolate Hazelnut Spread "Nutella" (Dairy Free, Paleo, Grain Free)

Serving Size: Makes about 4 cups

Adapted from Bon Appetit and presented by Deliciously Organic

Ingredients

  • 2 cups hazelnuts
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup or honey
  • 1 pound bittersweet chocolate (I used ChiamMaya Total Chocolate Indulgence)
  • 8 tablespoons butter or coconut oil
  • 1 cup heavy cream or coconut milk, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon  sea salta

Instructions

Place hazelnuts and honey in the bowl of a food processor. Process until a fairly smooth, buttery paste forms, about 2-3 minutes. b

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Melt chocolate and butter in a double boiler and whisk until smooth.i

Slowly add the cream or coconut milk and whisk until smooth. Whisk in sea salt.

Pour chocolate mixture into the food processor (the bowl of the processor will still have the ground nuts in it).lProcess until smooth (there will still be very small bits of hazelnuts throughout the mixture.oPour into glass jars and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.r

Very very easy!! And very very yummy! My daughter Lisa agrees!s

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African cacao farmers are being tempted to remove their trees and plant rubber trees. The increased demand for privately owned cars in China is driving the price of rubber for tires up. cars in chna.jpg
Despite efforts by major European chocolate makers, it is hard to persuade the farmers to stay with the cacao. They generally live day to day with the lower income and the promise of a larger profit is tempting.
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So what does this mean to us, the certified chocoholic? It means as the supply goes down, the price of our treats will go up.
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So, switch to another source, like Mexican chocolate! Buy ChiamMaya Custom Crafted Chocolate and feed your addiction with high quality chocolate that is affordable!!
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Early in December each year I get very busy in the kitchen, preparing wonderful treats to share with friends. Years ago, when I was short on money I realized that very few people I knew ever prepared homemade treats and were used to commercially prepared concoctions. While I don't presume that I make the best looking yummies with uniform shapes, I know that mine taste fantastic, often better than what people are used to when they only experience what is available at the store.
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The trick is that I use the best ingredients I can afford. I make sure that there are no artificial flavors, and also refuse to use anything with preservatives. These treats are meant to eat during this holiday season and since everyone usually tells me they are gone within days, there is no issue with staleness. 
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With internet shopping possible, this is the time to go to the 
ChiamMaya website and purchase the high quality chocolate that will make your treats greatly appreciated.
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In an effort to provide a taste sensation that is unique, a Basque chocolatier in Spain has been developing new savory-filled chocolates. The ingredients? Olive oil, cheese and wine.

Now, before you curl your lip and scoff, I want to share that in many areas of the United States where wine production is high, wine-chocolate combinations are pretty normal. For example, in a combination storefront in McMinnville, Oregon (center of the pinot noir universe in the Willamette Valley) one side is a tasting room run by a local winery and the other is a local chocolatier's store. Some of her offerings are truffles with the fillings flavored by the winery's wine. And, I can attest, they are very very tasty.

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Now, I have not tasted any chocolate-olive oil combo, but having been to several olive oil tastings, I can attest there is a range of flavors and can imagine how they can be enhanced with a wonderful exterior of chocolate.

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The cheese has me a bit stumped, but I'm game to try it! How about you?

Or perhaps you are a purist? In that case, definitely buy some ChiamMaya Custom Crafted Chocolate to enhance YOUR tasting pleasure!

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Hmmm, sounds too good to be true!!! ????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

Well, it is true and it also is not what it seems.

A recent study presented at the American Dental Association (ADA) 2013 Annual Session pitted fluoride toothpaste against a new toothpaste that contains the naturally-occurring cacao extract theobromine.

This test determined which product better repaired and re-mineralized exposed dentin (the tissue that makes up the bulk of your teeth below the enamel). Exposed dentin is a leading cause of tooth hypersensitivity.

The results showed that patients who brushed their teeth with the cacao-extract toothpaste twice a day for one week had "100 percent dental occlusion" with their tooth dentin becoming re-mineralized or repaired.theobromine

So, while the sad news is that eating or drinking chocolate will NOT be the answer to avoiding your toothbrush, the theobromine in cacao is once again showing healthy properties!

So, eat your chocolate.....just remember to brush afterwards!

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It's getting close to the holidays when you will have friends and family to your home or visit them. Share with them the exquisite deliciousness that is ChiamMaya Custom Crafted Chocolate. Make sure to order some NOW to have it on hand to prepare scrumptious chocolate dishes.

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I was concerned a bit about you. You ate all those candy bars yesterday for Halloween. And your system let you know about it too I bet. So, okay, live and learn.

Most of us love sweets. I know I do. I recently came across a way to make all kinds of candies that we love with healthier ingredients that YOU can control. The improved taste will knock your socks off and next Halloween you will make these for yourself and leave the commercial junk for the unknowing. 

Check out 16 Healthier Halloween Candy Recipes and remember to use ChiamMaya Custom Crafted Chocolate for the main ingredient. It would absolutely defeat the purpose to use a chocolate that has a lot of additives!

Hmmm, which one will YOU try first. I think the Mounds Maskeover is calling my name.

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Once again, the news is out: Chocolate is GOOD for you!

The Farmacy, whose mission is to support Hipprocates'  "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food" statement, has presented a graphic with a list of the most nutritionally dense foods you can eat to be healthy. 

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Like all foods on the list, how you prepare it before eating can enhance or detract from its optimal benefit. Chose wisely and keep things simple without chemical additives, artificial colors or preservatives.

ChiamMaya Custom Crafted Chocolate uses cacao beans from the Oaxaca region of Mexico. The process uses only sugar, almonds and cinnamon to prepare three blends for your eating and cooking pleasure. And to your health!

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There are so many of us who have become aware in the past few years that quality ingredients are what makes a dish, ANY dish, stand out. People take notice of our cooking.

And yet, although some of us are proud of our knowledge of spices and herbs, knife skills, and whatnot, most of the time it is just regular everyday cooking that can be made to sing with the right stuff.

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I have a friend who does her best to bring excellent recipes to two Facebook groups. One is The Wild Ramp Foodies where much of the effort is to support The Wild Ramp Market by posting recipes that will help shoppers use the fresh produce, meat, eggs, dairy and other items found in the local food market. The other is Us What Can Cook, a fun poke at herself and others in Appalachia who just want good old down home recipes. There is considerable overlap, as many home style cooks prefer fresh ingredients.

And that is the key: good ingredients. Just as freshly picked local produce which is ripe and brought into the market within hours of harvest can make a difference, so can unadulterated chocolate when you want to bake the mother of all brownies, or the most amazing chocolate cream pie, or a hot cocoa that will warm your heart.

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Sure, you can purchase mixes for all those. And honestly, many mixes produce results that are good. But ONLY if you have never tasted your favorite chocolate dish made with a premium chocolate as one of its ingredients. 

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I dare you to try it as an experiment: Go purchase ChaimMaya Custom Crafted Chocolate and prepare your fave chocoholic recipe...and then use that mix again. Write to me here about what you think. Dare you!

 


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It may be because I am getting older but it seems that children going Trick or Treat for Halloween are getting younger. Last year we had at least five that were too young to walk and two were less than a month old!  And when I asked the parents (they looked like teenagers) if the candy was for the child, they solemnly nodded yes. Not fooling me!

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Personally, my kids could not go out for trick or treat until they were old enough to actually say those words and "thank you".

So why is a blog about chocolate being so straight-laced about Halloween consumption of candy? Especially when shopping statistics from last year clearly indicate that over 72% of the candy purchased is chocolate?

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Well, it is not because a custom crafted chocolate like ChiamMaya does not benefit from this spike in sales. Why would  it? It is a high quality specially made chocolate for adults with discriminating tastes. ChiamMaya is not mass produced like Hersheys (which gets about 50% of the Halloween chocolate sales) and Mars (which gets another 38%) and therefore is in no way competitive with the giants.

The horror of Halloween is that the candy that is gobbled is not savored. Kids stuff their faces to gorge on their huge collection with no thought of the nuances of the chocolate in the product.  Get your kids to slow down. Two candies a day really are enough for a lot of reasons. But consider it an exercise in teaching them to savor the flavor!

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And the further horror is that most of these kids will grow up to be adults who find that those chocolates satisfy their chocolate fix.  They get a need for chocolate but old habits die hard for many. They reach for the thing that satisfied them at 5 years old. Many never let their adult taste buds explore the wondrous world of fine chocolate.

If YOU are ready to let the kids be kids and want to reach for some adult chocolate, try ChiamMaya Custom Crafted Chocolate. Let me know what you think!

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Who is Dr. Mercola? 

Joseph M. Mercola is an alternative medicine proponent, osteopathic physician, and web entrepreneur, who markets a variety of controversial dietary supplements and medical devices through his website, mercola.com

I discovered him when researching about GMOs and subscribed to receive daily emails. He offers advice to avoid many of the toxins that are present in our everyday life and then ways to help your body cope with those that you can't avoid.

What Did He Say About Chocolate?

New research has emerged proving that chocolate is good not only for the soul, but for your mind and body as well.

According to a video released by the American Chemical Society (ACS), chocolate contains hundreds of compounds, and many of them come with benefits that go far beyond a few delicious moments of sweetness.

Studies have already established that chocolate contains a number of beneficial ingredients. For instance, resveratrol, an important compound in chocolate, may not only protect your brain and nervous system, but actually prolong your life.

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Dark chocolate is also an inflammation fighter, listed along with turmeric and following a Mediterranean-style diet as one of the healthiest, most natural ways to reduce the inflammatory processes underlying the chronic, degenerative diseases that afflict most of the developed world.

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source: Dr. Weil's Anti-Inflammatory Food Pyramid

Five pieces of evidence highlighted in the ACS video show that other factors enhance the sweet, smooth goodness of chocolate, and those involve naturally occurring chemicals. Read more!

But best of all, you can help your body be healthy by eating ChiamMaya Custom Crafted Chocolate in moderation several times each week!!! Stock up now to give as holiday gifts!! Help your loved ones learn how exquisite Mexican chocolate can be not only for eating as a candy but using in preparation of your favorite chocolate dishes. 

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It's hard to imagine but there are huge sections of the earth where people do not include chocolate in their favorite food lists. In fact, in many areas of Asia, chocolate has never been part of the diet......until now.

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The Wall Street Journal and The Economic Times of India report that the growing middle class in India have discovered chocolate and are immune from its addicting taste! This increased demand for chocolate as an everyday treat has skyrocketed dramatically. Basically, chocolate is not for festivals and holidays any more.

 

Why is this newsworthy to us? Because the increased demand is causing cacao prices to rise worldwide! The predominant new sellers of chocolate treats in India are mainly huge European and American candy makers and they mostly obtain their cacao from regions in Africa, Asia and South America.



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Prices of Mexican cacao may also rise, so order your ChiamMaya Custom Crafted Chocolate NOW!!! Soldonline or at The Wild Ramp Market or Old Village Roasters in Huntington, West Virginia.

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The History of chocolate.pptx

Click on the link to see the slides that explain the history of Mexican chocolate and why ChiamMaya is so special!
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Increasing reports indicate that chocolate is a great source for bioflavonoids which help maintain cardiovascular health as well as provide anti-oxidants to fight cancer. Chocolate can also help reduce stress, help reduce blood pressure and regulate clotting inside your blood vessels.

Dark chocolate provides the highest level of bioflavonoids with milk chocolate offering some benefit and white chocolate offering little.  In general, the closer the final product is to the original cacao bean, the higher the nutritional value it offers.

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So, if you prefer milk chocolate to dark chocolate, learn how easy preparing hot chocolate is from the Chiammaya bars. Yes, you can have your chocolate and eat well too!

Recipes are found on the Chiammaya website http://www.chiammaya.com/blog/recipes/

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It is no surprise but wonderful cause for celebration that once again, the value of chocolate is in the news. Forbes Magazine has reported that a study by Harvard published in the peer journal Neurology reports that daily intake of chocolate for a month helped older people, even people with memory issues, increase their memory ability.

Specifically, drinking two cups of cocoa daily increased the blood flow to the brain, which resulted in better results in memory function. 

So, Chiammaya can help! Purchase a bar and make some hot chocolate..twice a day....and see how your memory can improve after a month.
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My mother could make a piece of chocolate last for hours! She would break off a small piece and let it slowly dissolve on her tongue. And then, wrap up the rest of it and save it for another day.

Me, I like the bombardment of flavors when I patiently wait for that tidbit to melt in my mouth, but then, I am ready for more. 

What we both learned, however, was that savoring the flavor made the enjoyment last longer. The Slow Food Movement often includes chocolate in celebrations of food because of its ability to linger with a profound statement to the senses.  In fact, a Slow Food event in Charleston, South Carolina last February used chocolate in each course to enhance the dishes. A similar chocolate tasting was held in New York City in 2011.

Chocolate is not typically considered part of the Slow Food Movement which tends to emphasize local ingredients, but the message is still important. Savor the flavor.

Chiammaya is custom crafted chocolate. The production process is also undertaken slowly to make sure each step results in the highest quality chocolate from the Mexican cacao beans. 

The discriminating consumer strives for excellence....to savor the flavor.

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I do not remember when it happened but I bet I was a small child. I've always known I preferred chocolate to vanilla. No contest!!

Hello, I'm Beth and I'm a chocoholic. I will be teasing you with tidbits about chocolate and explaining why Chiammaya offers you a phenomenal taste experience. 

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Years ago, in an earlier chapter of my life, I had the wonderful opportunity to work in Europe for six months. There was so much to explore it was rather bothersome that I had to do my job, but I managed to pack the evenings and weekends pretty full.

I was there over the winter and one of the exquisite pleasures was pulling off the road into a small cafe and ordering hot chocolate. 

It was very obvious I was not in the United States any more. Instead of a packet of dried stuff mixed with water, I was introduced to a rich, thick milky drink where the chocolate flavor was rich and caused tingles on my tongue.

This is one of the ideal uses of Chiammaya Chocolate!  The original recipe, the traditional way it is enjoyed in Mexico, is made with water. Check that out and another recipe that uses milk at http://www.chiammaya.com/blog/2008/03/real-hot-chocolate.php

Until you actually taste the difference you will never comprehend what can be.  If you consider yourself to be a gourmand, one who enjoys the best the food world has to offer, this is for you!
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For the past several years I have been trying to balance my "day job" with the growth of Chiammaya Custom Crafted Chocolate and serving my loyal customers as best I can. It has been a difficult thing to achieve a balance and at times, I have failed!

I just retired from my day job and will be devoting 100% of my time to chocolate chocolate and more chocolate.

The plan is to catch up on production while still devoting care to producing the finest custom crafted Mexican style chocolate and expanding the line of products I offer.

It is too late this year, but for next year but I have access to a chocolate boot camp that will be on the schedule. This will expand my skills in chocolate confections and allow me to offer more products based on my fine Mexican style chocolate.

Stay tuned for many exciting developments soon to come to Chiammaya.
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http://smallbiztrends.com/2011/12/10-food-trends-2012.html

Artisanal everything! That's what we've known since the beginning. Chiammaya makes small batch, hand crafted chocolate with simple ingredients, minimal processing and Love. Try some todau.
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http://www.candyindustry.com/Articles/Breaking_News/BNP_GUID_9-5-2006_A_10000000000001131812

First science find Cacao has health benefits ( http://tinyurl.com/3rk6hpl), Then almonds, and NOW Cinnamon -- http://tinyurl.com/brhv37g!

Chiammaya may just be ther perfect food!!

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After holding prices since 2006, circumstances demand a dreaded price increase. The good news is that until January 1, 2012 our prices will remain the same as always so stock up NOW!

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http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/11/10/us-barry-callebaut-idUSTRE7A91L620111110

Callebaut is predicting cacao prices to go up as supply has stayed constant and demand has grown! I hate to hear that because Chiammaya has held prices constant since 2006!

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http://www.confectionerynews.com/Markets/Chocolate-driving-growth-in-Chinese-confectionery-market-Euromonitor
First the Chinese loan us money. Are they asking to be repaid in CHOCOLATE now?

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http://www.foodproductdesign.com/news/2011/11/americans-want-healthy-tasty-snack-foods.aspx


We've know it all along! Not only is Chiammaya delicious, it is OH so good for you and THAT is what America wants. Who knew it was as close as our southern neighbors and NOW available in the U.S.A.? Well Chiammaya has been stone grinding standard AND custom blends and shipping them around the globe since 2006! Place your order today and have the BEST hot chocolate with your thanksgiving dinner!
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http://www.foxnews.com/health/2011/10/11/chocolate-good-for-your-heart-and-your-brain/

Cacao seeds, which are used to produce chocolate, are among the healthiest foods in the world, according to Kilham.

I just love it that these things keep comeing out day after day! We've always known that Chiammaya Custom Crafted Chocolate was good for you, not to mention DELICIOUS.




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http://www.self.com/fooddiet/2011/10/fight-disease-with-candy-slideshow#slide=1

Healthy chocolate? You bet and ALL dark chocolate isn't created equal. Chiammaya Custom Crafted Chocolate makes sweet, semi sweet and bitter sweet chocolate that is ALL dark chocolate. Get some and try it TODAY!

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http://www.foxnews.com/health/2011/10/07/decadent-chocolate-brownies-made-healthy/

Making "health" decadence is sometimes a good thing, but I tried to make "healthy" cheese cake and it tasted like cardboard!!

For truly delicious brownies try the Chiammaya Brownie recipe found on our web page!

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Fox News presented an interesting story about how chocolate has components that are good for your health!!!

http://www.foxnews.com/health/2010/11/10/cocoa-land/?test=faces

Delicious AND good for you. What could be better?

ChiamMaya is all organic cacao and is hand processed! 

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M.D. Creekmore over at the The Survivalist Blog - a survival blog dedicated to helping others prepare for and survive disaster - with articles on bug out bag contents, survival knife choices and a wealth of other survival information is giving away a Go Berkey Water Filter System (a $139.00 value)! To enter, you just have to post about it on your blog. This is my entry. Visit The Survivalist Blog for the details.
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On Sunday, February 6th, Dave Lavender of the Herald Dispatch newspaper ran a story on Chiammaya Custom crafted chocolate. ( www.herald-dispatch.com/life/.../Almost-Heaven-Mountain-State-Chocolate and http://www.herald-dispatch.com/life/x1838467874/Food-Network-junkie-gives-up-home-brewing-for-chocolateering?i=0 )What followed was totally unexpected.

Knowing that Valentines day was nearly upon us, we had worked hard to build up stock in order to have enough stock for the season. Little did we know that the article combined with Valentines Day would explode in unexpected volume!

The story ran on Sunday and by lunch on Monday, our local distributor, Old Village Roaster, was calling asking for another delivery of chocolate. An hour and a half later they had chocolate. Two hours after that delivery they asked for more chocolate and again within an hour and a half, they had chocolate.

By the end of business Tuesday they were calling again! Wednesday the same thing. Their delivery volume was doubled and they were STILL running out and so was Chiammaya.

We fired up the molinos to grind more chocolate and quickly ran out of raw ingredients. Quickly we call out supplier who told us that beside being snowed in, the beans needed to roast for our order was still on the boat and would not arrive for another week!

I suppose selling so much that you run out is a good thing, but not knowing how many sales you've lost by not having enough inventory is really upsetting.

The story has generated more interest than any other article up to this point. A couple of potentially interesting project may be coming from this.

So go ahead and order more chocolate, just realize that the next available orders won't be shipping before March 15, 2010
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http://www.wchstv.com/traveling/2009/twv091217.shtml

Last Monday, WCHS TV came to visit Chiammaya and did a VERY nice piece. The explored Chiammaya and it's link to Oaxaca Mexico and did a VERY nice job.

I hope you enjoy the piece as much as I have.

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WOW what an exciting day it was today. I've been e-mailing back and forth with a person from Norway who had visited Oaxaca and, like me, couldn't shake the call of the chocolate. Finding Chiammaya on the web, they wrote asking about shipping to Norway. I had looked into it once before and found shipping was going to be nearly $50 to Australia!! I dug a little deeper and found that I could ship two pounds of chocolate to most anywhere in the world for $15.00!!! Even better was that it would deliver in 6-10 days!

After exchanging emails over the course of a few days I ended up shipping TWO packages containing four pounds of delicious Chiammaya Custom Crafted Chocolate to Norway. I dropped it off this afternoon and in less than two weeks I am sure we will have some adicted customers in Norway.

Today Norway, tomorrow the WORLD!!
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After the Smoke on the Water fund raiser, I felt it was time to speak again to Vickie at Old Village roaster --http://maps.google.com/maps/place?oe=utf-8&rlz=1R1GGGL_en___US345&client=firefox-a&um=1&ie=UTF-8&q=old+village+roaster&fb=1&gl=us&hq=old+village+roaster&hnear=Chesapeake,+OH&cid=4683147543477795291 -- About becoming a retail outlet for Chiammaya.

I stopped by and we came to terms and yesterday I dropped off the first delivery of Freshly made Chiammaya chocolate.

Stop by and check them out and pick up a bar or two of Chiammaya Custom Crafted Chcoolate.
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About 6 weeks ago  I got tow exciting phone calls. The first was from the Central City Market -- the tailgate market here in Huntington WV -- and the other from Angie Jones from the Marshall Artist Series.

The Tailgate market was having a harvest festival and invited me to sell Chiammaya Custom Crafted Chocolate. This was exciting for two reasons. The first was an opportunity to do some direct retail sales and the second was because up to now, the Central City Market was restricted to farm raised products only.

A couple days later, Angie called asking if I'd be interested in providing something for a fund raiser for the Marshall Artist Series.

I knew it was going to be a long day but these were two opportunities I couldn't pass up.

I was up at 5:30 and out the door by 6:45. I took the time to load the truck Friday night so getting the last minute things ready was not a big deal.

Within minutes of getting set up I had a sale of five bars. A GREAT way to start the day. People were generally receptive to the chocolate and by 11:30 I had sold nearly 30 bars!

At 11:30 I packed up and headed past the other end of town to the Grover Farm for the fundraiser called Smoke on the water. The Grover's were amazing people with one spectacular farm. In spite of the weather there was a good turnout, fantastic food and a LOT of interest in Chiammaya. I even had the opportunity to speak with a regional manager of a grocery store chain about getting into their store! Chiammaya May be available soon in a Market near you!!
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For the last week I have been visiting the annual national convention of the Retail Confectioners International (RCI). While I am new to the group I have several long time friends who are well respected in the group and felt quite at home. I spent my days in seminars and my nights learning even more from seasoned veterans of the candy world. Imagine my surprise when I was asked to try this piece of candy; hmmm good! peanut butter, some sort of crunch and chocolate. Imagine my surprise when I learned that the crunch was potato chips crushed into the peanut butter!! Weird yes, but delicious too. The people of RCI are candy pioneers and they will try most anything to see if they can make something new.

Thursday and Friday, along with seminars on customer service and a mini candy boot camp I had the opportunity to visit the expo center and talk with many of the nations finest  candy industry suppliers. I also purchased some exciting new things to expand the ChiamMaya line, keep watching because the holiday season will have several surprises coming!
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Last week, WSAZ, a local TV station ran a great story in Chiammaya that can be found here: It has gotten some interest and a few orders and that is always good!

Two interesting things came from this story so far. The first was an invitation some time in the future to J.B. Millers show in Magic 97.9 radio show. It is looking like I may get to spend some time in the hot seat with J.B., take a few phone calls and maybe give away some chocolate.

The other interesting one came from an order that was the result of the TV spot. This order was for two sampler packs and the intent was to give one to a friend and keep the other for personal use. Upon opening the package the person who ordered the two packages wrote:

"after sampling your sampler I am thinking I don't really wish to allow my friend to suffer through the experience as I have. I think this stuff is terrible. Of course that is just my opinion. I expected something better than Hershey's. I was surprised to find you need a hammer and chisel to get a piece broken off to put in your mouth, then felt like I had a mouth full of sand, which did eventually melt, with rock hard pieces scattered through the sand which would not melt. I finally took it from my mouth."

The writer went on to predict the doom of Chiammaya.

I replied that I thought I had made it clear on the TV spot, and I am SURE it is all over the web site that this is not primarily intended as a candy bar. The "go to" use is hot chocolate, baking or cooking. I have offered a full refund with the return of the unused portion but have not gotten it back yet.

I have to admit, the texture is NOT what you're expecting if you go into a bite thinking " Hershey bar". I do eat it often just as it is, but I know this is a rustic product. It does take the edge off hunger for me, gives me a burst of energy and the health benefits of the MUFA's ( Mono Unsaturated Fatty Acids -- are coming out every day.

I hope you enjoy the news piece and hope to be finding retail outlets all over soon.
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http://www.google.com/search?q=flat+belly+diet&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a

This diet includes TWO of the four ingredients in Chiammaya Custom Crafted chocolate. The perfect diet with the perfect chocolate. Buy some now!

http://tinyurl.com/9j689l

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http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123069062782044697.html


What could be more premium chocolate than one specifically blended for you? Your recipe, your design? Order some today!
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Now that the production facility is 99% ready I've tried using it to temper chocolate for bar production. As you know we only have 4 ingredients and we don't use any kind of filler or emolient so we have a pretty dry chocolate when we produce Sweet Chocolate Dreams.

Wouldn't you know it, but the thing we are running low on right now is Sweet Chocolate Dreams. This is our sweetest chocolate with only 32% cacao so it has a lot of sugar which tends to dry things out. It doesn't look like the depositor is going to work at least for Sweet Chocolate Dreams but we're working on it!
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sampler packCan't decide which blend to get? Want to try them ALL? We now have the answer, our NEW SAMPLER pack! A 4 ounce bar of each blend: Sweet Chocolate Dreams, Chocolate Lovers Blend and Total chocolate indulgence all for the low price of only $12.00. This is THE perfect gift for that hard to shop for friend or relative. Order NOW!





Chiammaya Sampler Pack
$12.

Select Quantity:  

Shipping rates.


Please note, all of our chocolate blends contain almonds and should be avioded by people with allergies to tree nuts. You may, of course request a custom blend without almonds, but be aware it will be produced on shared equipment with nuts  in a facility that also processes nuts.
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Last Saturday, Octover 25th, Chiammaya was the guest "chef" at the Marshall Culinary Institute. We had it planned so that The class cound observer or even create their own blend of chocolate and then we would go inside and discuss the history of chocolate and share some secrets of the best hot chocolate and how to make world class fudge.

I dropped into the institue earlier that week to drop off ingredients and see how things were shaping up. I was dissapointed to learn that there were only three participants signed up.

I had to move the truck down very early Saturday morning so I could get parking close enough to the storefront. I fired up the kerosine heater Friday night and ran it all night in order to keep the stones warm enough to produce chcolate.

Shawn, the owner of Le Cooks Store, nextdoor, was a bit concerned that I was parked right in front of his store on what looked to turn out to be a busy saturday but it all worked out in the end and I was able to move more in front of the institute.

Class time cam and saddly only one participant showed up. I think she really enjoyed the class and the chocolate, she bought two pound of chocolate and that was on top of the sampler pack that came with the clas.

After the class I walked next door to Le Cooks Store and spoke with Shawn about featuring Chiammaya chocolate in his store. He recieved my inquiry with enthusiasm  and mentioned that they loved local products and thought that Chiammaya Chocolate would be great in their gift baskets this holiday season.

So, in spite of a low class turnout, it looks like product placement is on its way!
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Well, a lot has happened since I last wrote. It took a while for the chocolate machine to arrive. First I had to wait a week for my payment to clear PayPal. Things were going slow and I hadn't heard a word so I asked e-bay for the sellers information. Now the auction stated the equipment was in Lorado Texas, so imagine my surprise when I reached a woman in SEATTLE!!! Well I explained who I was and explained that I was getting concerned as I'd never sent SIX GRAND to a total stranger before... She hemmed and Hawed a bit and said, "well you probably should talk with Michael, he's the one with the equipment." I explained that SHE was the one that had recieved the money so I'd just as soon talk with her.

Irony is a strange beast. You see, it turns out the equipment was not in Lorado Texas at all, but it was about 10 hours from Lorado in MEXICO! Imagine getting U.S. equipment for making Mexican style chocolate from a factory in MEXICO.

I DID speak with Michael and we exchanged several e-mail. He told me of his negative experiences with trying to do business in Mexico and I told him a bit about my dealings. He assured me that my equipment was in good hands and that it would arrive in good shape.

Another week went by and it arrived. Sadly, it arrives a couple hours after I had left town for a trip, so I had to wait to see what arrived until the weekend was over.

My conversations with Michael indicated that I would be getting two pallets of equipment. I allerted the warehouse people that I was expecting two pallets and then I thought I should confirm this so I wrote another e-mail. No, it wasn't two pallets it was one crate. Back to tell the warehouse!

I got to the warehouse Monday morning looking for my one crate only to find a single pallet. I was worried a bit but after inspecting everything it all seemed there though in several pieces but it seemed well labeled.

There are no manuals or instructions. I wrote Savage Brothers asking for their assistance. They have been somewhat slow but I THINK they aresending the manunals.

I've got the equipment off the truck and in my garage. I had to play LET'S MAKE A DEAL with my daughter. She can still have her Halloween party but after it is over, my daughter and her boy friend are going to help me re-model to make a chocolate factory.

The equipment needs a water line into it, a drain line out of it and an air compressor to operate the depositor. It is more than I expected but I'm in up to my hips so there's no turning back.

Wish me luck and stay tuned for more!  
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Wow! Things change quickly. When I last wrote I was trying to find the RIGHT place to set up a production facility. Now the search intensified.

You see, I keep an eye on various places for used but in good shape equipment. I try to keep in touch with industry folks and make sure I only buy quality commercial equipment. Well I was looking on e-bay the other day and came across a Savage tempering machine WITH a depositor and shaker. The starting bid was $5000. I called Savage and started asking prices and at first they were a bit evasive. I asked them the price of an off the shelf 50 pound tempering machine and they said $4000. Well this machine is a 200 pound machine WITH the depositor and shaker and I had to set up a bid.

Well last friday I was sitting on the edge of my seat waiting for the auction to end. 5-4-3-2-1 I WON!!! I got this NEW -- well use at least once -- it has an hour meter o nit so I'll know for sure in a couple weeks -- 200 pound tempering/depositing/shaking machine for just under $6K after freight and insurance!!!

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The great thing about the depositor is that I can measure the weight of a bar EXACTLY. Up to now I've been using a disher -- ice scream scoop -- and have been zeroing in on the right weight. Even though I TRY my best to be consistent I vary between 3 3/4 oz to 4 1/4 oz. Now giving my customers more than they are paying for is ok every now and then but if I overweigh by a quarter ounce every time it soon eats into the cash flow that keeps the business going. Also, I'd NEVER want to underweigh for my customers, you guys are AWSOME!!

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Now the pressure is on for WHERE!!. I've toaked to the mountain bounty executives and the word NOW is January or February. I REALLY don't want to wait that long so I'm back to considering my basement -- Sorry to my daughter!!

So what does this behemouth look like? Well Here are a few pics from the folks I bought it from.

Now the down side is that this equipment runs with a water bath so it need plumbed in. I'm a creative guy o I know I can get this done.

Keep watching there sure will be more to come.


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http://dailymail.com/Life/200808200476

Another story which I always love. Thanks to the Charleston Daily Mail, the word of Chiammaya is spreading.

Though there are some time line errors I am happy with the story and hope to be hearing from people in Charleston soon.

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When I got back from the strawberry festival, I returned with a great deal of information. I learned how to improve my fudge recipe, I learned what kind of festivals would work for Chiammaya, and I learned that though watching and receiving your chocolate fresh and hot from the mill is a cool thing, MANY customers want it in a familiar form, a bar.

So I came home and began working on bars. I've come up with a 4 ounce bar, perfect for the fudge recipe, 2-3 cups of hot chocolate or easily broken to measure for your favorite recipe.

The original intent was to package 4 bars in our standard box to make one pound, after all, a pound of freshly ground chocolate fits in the box. Well I was surprised to learn that once molded, only three bars will fit in a box. EURIKA!!! an idea was born.

We're not quite ready to sell the bar form of Chiammaya Custom crafted chocolate, but when our production facilities are complete, we'll be able to offer a sampler package of three bars -- one of each of our standard blends of chocolate -- for one price.

Thank you all for giving giving me honest feedback, support and encouragement.


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http://www.foodnavigator.com/Publications/Food-Beverage-Nutrition/NutraIngredients/Research/Cocoa-flavanols-may-boost-blood-flow-in-the-brain

EVERYONE always knew chocolate was great to eat and now and then we hear it is good for us too! Here is a very interesting article showing it can be brain food too!

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About three weeks ago I got a call from WOWK TV about an interview for their business section. We scheduled a meeting and I made sure the truck was completely cleaned and I had a batch of fudge for samples of what you could do with Chiammaya Chocolate.

I was all ready and I got a call from the reporter that she was covering a murder trial and could we re-schedule. Sure that would be fine ( I'd just eat all that fudge myself!)

We re-scheduled and the day we were to meet again, she called and said she'd never had to reschedule before but the trial was going to jury and she had to stay there.

Yesterday we FINALLY made it, but what a day!

I walked out to my car first thing in the morning, opened the door and saw the glove box opened and all the papers scattered. I'D BEEN ROBBED!!!

The police were called but they didn't know when they could come to take a report so I went on to work. I pulled up in front of my office and my cell phone rang. The police were at my front door, where was I?

So I turned around and went back home and gave a report. Since I had serial numbers they gave me a 5% chance of recovery. Just about what I had expected. So now back to work.

It was about 10 after 9  when I got a call to confirm that we were on for the WOWK interview at 9:30. NINE THIRTY I exclaimed! I thought we were scheduled for 1:00. I checked my cal lender and sure enough it was scheduled for 9:30.

I hustled BACK home and got ready with time to spare. The interview went well and I asked when it would air. She suggested 6, or 7 and then again at 11.

WOW that's fast. She called about 1:30 and said for sure at 7 and 11 so I set the DVR.

I checked my web tracking site about 3:30. The story hadn't aired yet and I already had nearly 50 hits, ALL from the WOWK web site! NEVER underestimate the power of the press.

Today, after the WOWK piece ran twice I got a call form the Charleston Daily Mail, we have an interview set for Monday. MAN, THIS IS GREAT!

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Well I got my name in the local paper -- http://www.herald-dispatch.com/business/x2102944713/Shop-creates-custom-chocolate-for-clients -- and things got CRAZY!!! The web site had a 4000% increase, and the phone began ringing off the hook.

I called the department in West Virginia to ask about label specifications and began getting calls for the county health department, the agriculture department and everyone in between. Though our facilities are REGULARLY inspected by the health department and no points yet, It simply was a reminder that my tax dollars ARE being well managed!

It seems that in order to produce the bars of chocolate that YOU, my customers have asked for I will have to make so investments in equipment and expand facilities, but that's what growing a business is all about.

I also was supposed to be interviewed by the local TV channel but the reporter got sick so we've re-scheduled for Thursday.

I have equipment being delivered regularly for expansion and have called about getting the custom molds so the bars will look right.

Growing a business is really fun and I owe it all to my customers, THANKS
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Don't let anyone tell you making fudge is easy and for sure don't let them tell you making GOOD fudge is easy either. Yes, there are a million fudge recipes out there, but getting everything correct takes some patience.

The first time I made Chiammaya Total Chocolate indulgence fudge -- actually I used Chocolate Lovers Blend -- it TASTED delicious, but was as grainy as a spoon of table sugar. One guy even said it was the best fudge he'd ever had, but he was probably drunk -- thanks anyway Blake! :-)

Last month at the Strawberry Festival I met a professional fudge maker  -- Bob Brown from Oh Fudge! -- Who was as nice a guy as you would ever meet. Bob used some of my chocolate to make a small batch of fudge and it for sure was better than the grainy mess I had concocted. He reminded me of something I'd heard from Alton Brown on Food Network;  adding a small amount of corn syrup prevented crystallization.

I came home and revised my recipe and it sure was less grainy, but still had a grit that just wasn't right. Bob had given me a proportion and I recalculated and re-worked my recipe. I can't say it's perfected yet but MAN it's getting close.

Thanks for the help Bob and I hope someday I can re-pay the favor. Try the recipe, I think you'll like it.

http://www.chiammaya.com/blog/recipes/

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Chiammaya Total Chocolate Indulgence Chocolate Fudge

 



1.5 tablespoons butter ( I use the butter wrapper to grease the pan)
1 cup half-and-half

5 tablespoon corn syrup

2  cups sugar

3/4 Cups Brown sugar

4 ounces CHIAMMAYA Total Chocolate Indulgence

1.5 Tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped, roasted walnuts optional

 

Grease an 8 by 8-inch pan with the butter wrapper. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, put 1 1/2 tablespoons of the butter, half-and-half, and corn syrup the sugar, brown sugar and chocolate, . Stir over medium heat with a wooden spoon until the sugar is dissolved and chocolate is melted. Turn up the heat and bring to a boil. Now lower the heat to medium-low and cover for 3 minutes. Remove the lid and insert a candy thermometer into the mix.  NOW you just get to watch and do nothing. Don't stir, just let it boil until the thermometer reads 234 degrees F. Now remove the pan from the heat and add the remaining butter. Do not stir. Let the mixture cool for about 10 minutes or until it drops to 130 degrees. Add vanilla, and the nuts if you like them, and mix until well-blended and the shiny texture becomes dull. Pour into the buttered pan. This takes a while and your arm WILL bet tired! Let sit in cool dry area until firm. Cut into 1-inch pieces and store in an airtight container for up to a week.

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The Strawberry Festival went well. The weather was fantastic except for a couple of brief showers. The crowds were great and for the most part. I did have an incident where a woman asked for a sample of Total Chocolate Indulgence and told me it was totally disgusting. I think she was expecting some thing sweet even though it was clear that it was 71% cacao.

With each show I do, I learn something new.

To me to cool thing about Chiammaya is that we make the chocolate on the spot and you know how fresh it is. But what I think is cool doesn't matter and doesn't pay the bills.

I have realized that a packaged bar is what I need so I'm looking into custom molds and packaging.

The  plan is to make quarter pound bars that fit into our current packaging so four bars make a pound.

I hope the public likes it!
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Aztec Hot fudge sauce

1 cup sugar
3 cups cream
1/4 cup light corn syrup
4 ounces CHIAMMAYA Total Chocolate Indulgence
1/4 cup butter
OPTIONAL:a pinch of chianne pepper
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Put it all (except the vanilla) in a pot and bring it to a boil. Cook it until it looks like it's separating. Take it off the heat and add in the vanilla. Pour it all in a blender, cover and blend for 10 seconds to smooth it out. Chill until you are ready to serve. Heat it up in the microwave for 30 seconds or more until it is warm and pour over scoops of ice cream. YUM!

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Chiammaya Total Chocolate Indulgence Chocolate Fudge

2 3/4 cups sugar
4 ounces CHIAMMAYA Total Chocolate Indulgence
3 tablespoons butter ( I use the butter wrapper to grease the pan)
1 cup half-and-half
5 tablespoon corn syrup
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped, roasted walnuts optional

Grease an 8 by 8-inch pan with the butter wrapper. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, pour the sugar, chocolate, 1 1/2 tablespoons of the butter, half-and-half, and corn syrup. Stir over medium heat with a wooden spoon until the sugar is dissolved and chocolate is melted. Turn up the heat and bring to a boil. Now lower the heat to medium-low and cover for 3 minutes. Remove the lid and insert a candy thermometer into the mix. Cook until the thermometer reads 234 degrees F. Now remove the pan from the heat and add the remaining butter. Do not stir. Let the mixture cool for about 10 minutes or until it drops to 130 degrees. Add vanilla, and the nuts if you like them, and mix until well-blended and the shiny texture becomes dull. Pour into the buttered pan. Let sit in cool dry area until firm. Cut into 1-inch pieces and store in an airtight container for up to a week.

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After the Long Grove Chocolate Festival I realized that the names for the different blends along with the look of the menu board was confusing people. I can't tell you how often I overheard people walking by saying, " Oh, that's just coffee." Now don't get me wrong, I LOVE coffee. I've even been called a certified coffee snob, but what I'm creating is custom blended chocolate.

Research was done and with budget in mind we've come up with new names and a new menu board to more accurately depict what we at Chiammaya are all about.

If you've enjoyed the Mayan blend in the bast you can now enjoy it as Sweet Chocolate Dreams. American blend is now Chocolate Lovers Blend, and Aztec blend is now Total Chocolate Indulgence. NOW I hope there is no confusion. Everything even SAYS chocolate in the name and the menu board shows a river of chocolate flowing toward the customer.

Please, never fear, the chocolate you know and love is the same, the names have changed to avoid confusion.
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Since I returned from Tabasco and the exploration of the cacao plantations I have stayed very busy making chocolate and getting ready for the Strawberry Festival in Long Grove IL. In order to keep things fresh I always try to keep my eye out for new and exciting products for you to try. Since the Aztecs, Mayans and Olmec gave chocolate to the world I thought it might be nice to honor them with a small chocolate piece in the shape of one of the stone carvings I saw in Mexico. I am currently exploring mold making to see how to get a mold of this guy:
P5120016.JPGImagine a cute little bite sized piece of chocolate looking like this. You tell me, is this something you'd like to eat a box of?

I hope to see everyone in Long Grove though I know many of my friends will be at the RCI convention and you will be missed. I'll see you at the reunion though.

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Not THAT Tabasco, the state in Mexico. You see, Tabasco is about the closest cacao growing region to us here in the USA.

I spent the better part of Last week with Elaine Gonzales -- the QUEEN of chocolate -- on her farewell tour for Marilyn Tausend and Culinary Adventures and their Discover Mexico's Chocolate Legacy with Elaine Gonzales tour. ( That was a mouth full)

I had planned on going on this tour with Elaine last year but the day I was to fly out I got hit with a kidney stone and had to leave Mexico in extreme pain. It was worth the return trip.

I arrived in Villahermosa Mexico in the state of Tabasco LATE Saturday night, May 10th. The tour didn't OFFICIALLY start until Dinner Sunday night and since several of us were getting early, they offered us a side excursion to Pelinque, an Olmec -- BEFORE the Maya -- archeological site. We were to leave at 7:00 am and though it was a LONG day Saturday, I went for it and was not disappointed. It was a fascinating day of exploration and we had an amazing guide -- Alberto Cabrales. We spent the HOT -- average 100- 105 f -- day hiking around the site learning this amazing civilizations history.

About 3:00 it was time to head back to Villahermosa and we were all glad to get into the air conditioned van. Glad until Alberto began to slow down and pull over and mumbled something about seeing what this fellow wants. It seems the Federales were behind us with lights flashing. After a bit Alberto came back and told us the van didn't have the proper license plate for transporting passengers. We had a letter of intent but not the right plates.

We first were told to go to this truck stop. We waited and waited and then were told we had to go to the police station. Though not really scary it was kind of weird getting pulled over and detained by federal police in a foreign country. After about an hour they told us to go so we headed back to the hotel JUST in time to grab a quick shower and head to dinner.

Villahermosa is an extremely modern city. They told us that in the 70's the population was about 90,000. Today it is 750.000. The discovery of oil was the driving force for that rapid growth and explains why a lot of Villahermosa is new, modern and shiny.

New, modern and shiny describes Sundays dinner choice. We ate at a place called LO. They explained that street slang for boy was lo and that is where their name came from. The specialized in what I would have to describe as Mexican fusion cuisine. We had a FIVE course dinner with everything being top notch!

Monday morning started bright and early and we headed to Comalcalco to Cacep Chocolate and the cacao plantations.

Vicente Guiterrez was the owner and an amazing host. Vicente is determined to bring back Criollo, the original Mexican cacao, the one that started ALL chocolate. He showed us the plantation, the pods growing right off the trunk of the tree, the harvest procedure and all the steps it takes to get the cacao ready to make chocolate. HOW a primitive civilization figured it all out is beyond me, but I sure am glad they did.

I have pictures of the entire trip -- including a few short movies of some of the processing processes -- at http://www.flickr.com/photos/chiammaya.

Though this was Elaine's final voyage for Marilyn, I am sure it will not be the final cacao trip .

I was surrounded by chocolate professionals and was humbled by their knowledge and their willingness to share with this novice.
   
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1/2 Cup Heavy Cream
1 Pound Chiammaya American or Aztec Blend Chocolate coarsely chopped
1.5 Sticks of butter but into small pieces
1 Cup quality coco powder

Place all ingredients into a heatproof container -- I use a large measuring cup -- and place in the microwave. Set the microwave to 1 minute and 50% power and start the microwave. Stir the mixture and check for lumps or chunks. If things are still pretty solid, Go for 30 seconds at 50% power and stir again. Keep going at 30 second bursts until there are only a few small chunks left, stirring between micro waving.  When you get to this point, stir thoroughly until all the chunks are melted.

Now for the hard part. Set the container on the counter and walk away. That's right, walk away. Let it cool to room temperature. You can speed this cooling up by pouring the mixture into a shallow dish line a 9X13 pan, but this just dirties another pan. Let cool at least 2 hours.

Now using a melon baller or small disher -- that's a tiny ice cream scoop -- scoop out the truffles and place on waxed paper or parchment paper. You can roll them into nicer balls at this point but again you'll get messy.

Place the tray of truffles into the refrigerator to get hard. Once they are hard, roll them in coco powder and enjoy.


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Though there was very little traffic on Saturday at the Long Grove Chocolate Festival, there was enough to let me see that I had made a HUGE mistake.

As you know everything about getting ready for this festival was rushed. Getting the trailer, supplies, sign shop and all and when you rush , details sometimes get forgotten.

I got set up and was ready for a booming weekend and then I saw the typo on the menu board. No worries, we'll fix that when we get home, but then I heard the comment; "nevermind, that's just coffee."  Coffee? Just coffee? How can you miss CUSTOM CRAFTED CHOCOLATE? Well the prominant words on the menu board are Mayan Blend, American Blend and Aztec Blend. Sounds like coffeee to me. I'm putting the collective thinking caps on to come up with other names befoer the Strawberry festival at the end of June but your thoughts would be appreciated.


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It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. It IS over. I am tired, sore and have a lot of equipment to clean up but It seemed to be a success.

As I mentioned before, I arrived Thursday afternoon, checked into the hotel and the headed over to set up. I was placed behind a fence that enclosed a dumpster! NOT good.

Friday it rained. Cold, gray rain that sucks the life out of most everyone. It WAS a normal work day for most people so I really didn't expect much. The high point was when the Daily Herald came by and took my picture and ran it in the Saturday paper. No article, but a side shot of me and they did mention me and Chiammaya by name. http://dailyherald.mycapture.com/mycapture/enlarge.asp?image=18719599&event=509360&CategoryID=0&picnum=2&move=B#Image

Saturday was a monsoon. Cold, driving rain and it was a ghost town. I managed to sell a few hot chocolates but for the most part it was a bust.

Sunday was cloudless. Beautiful and 38 degrees when I got there in the morning. As the sun came up, the temperature rose and the people came out. There was a GREAT crowd. The temperature really threw a monkey wrench into making chocolate, binding the grinding stones together and making things difficult. We probably gave out 2000 samples but still only managed to sell 50 or so hot chocolates and a few pounds of chocolate.

I learned a lot. I have to re-work my sign board because people thought I was selling coffee and warmer temps really would help, but I am glad I went.

Next time I go it will be for Strawberry Festival -- June 20 -22 I think -- and we'll try it again.
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wrapped trailer.JPG I left yesterday in order to make the trip easier. As before, I got the trailewr, at 9:30 Monday night, got home at 12:30, got the trailer to the sign shop on Tuesday at 7:30, picked it up at 5:30, started loading at 6:30 and finished at 10:30. Worked until noon on Wednesday and hit the road.

It has been a CRAZY experience and the theme  is carrying through. So I left at noon and got about 2 hours from home and realized I forgot to fill the propane tanks. Ok, I'll fill them there or on the way. Then the truck started overheating. I put 3 gallons of antifreeze in it and finally found the leak. It was a loose hose clamp. Then I went to pay for the propane and my Chiammaya credit card was maxed out! Sure am gland I have a personal card.

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Oh yes, Did I forget to say I lost my Chiammaya cell phone!!! I had that number forwarded to another phone for the time being but I'll have to take care of that too.

So I get to long grove and find out where I am supposed to be. They don't have water for my trailer and they can't accomidate the 50 amp RV plug on the trailer. Sure am glad I brought my generator!!!

It WILL work and I WILL have fun. So, what does this truck and trailer look like?

Here are a couple of pictures.



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wrapped trailer.JPG

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There were no bands, no screaming adoring fans, no fan fair at all. Mostly it was because it didn't arrive home until after midnight last night. You see the contract called for the trailer to be completed by Saturday April 26th. I called the 25 and they said it wasn't likely. It wasn't ready the 26th or the 27th either. They said it probably could be complete Monday the 28th at the end of the day. As I mentioned in the past post, they gave me a plan B but it just didn't work for me.

So I left work early Monday to make the two and a half hour drive to get the trailer. I arrived about 5:00 and was told it's almost done. Great I thought until I looked at it. You see it was supposed to be made of brown aluminum. you know, brown, like chocolate. Well it was white. Ok, don't panic, you're putting graphics on three sides. Two sides are covered completely so no worries there. The side with the window isn't a BIG deal, the menu board covers some and I can just have the sign company cover the rest in brown vinyl.

Hmm, the drawings showed the propane tanks on the FRONT of the trailer, not the back where that GREAT graphic was to go. Oh well, what's done is done.

Then we looked at the wiring. The trailer wiring was for a 7 pin connection. The had my truck there for two weeks, surely they noticed that it had a four pin connection on it!!!! GRRRR don't worry, Walt, It will be OK.

Then there are the missing shelves inside. Or are they there. I forget! The bottom line is, I have a working trailer that looks pretty darned good, is solidly built and is going to work out just fine. Tonight, when I get it from the sign shop I load things up. I have to go get sugar and money for an opening bank and then I hit the road tomorrow.

All you folks in Chicago, don't worry that it's supposed to rain, I have the best hot chocolate to warm you up. So come on out to the Long Grove Chocolate Festival and see chocolate made like it has been made for centuries, like it was enjoyed my the Mayans. Come see the trailer and shake my hand, I always like meeting new friends.
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Today has been a blessing and a curse. I went home for lunch and when I got there, I found 350# of freshly roasted organic cacao! I AM in business, Life is good!

Then I call the All A Cart to make sure we were still on track for Saturday Pickup of my hot off the presses concession trailer. Well, they said they were really jammed up and though they would TRY to get it finished, they maybe had a plan "B" in mind!!!

PLAN "B"?!?! I don't want a plan "B", I want MY trailer! See, the plan was to puck up the trailer Saturday, Spend Sunday outfitting and packing the truck and trailer, then send the trailer to the sign shop to get the graphics done, giving me Tuesday and Wednesday to be the cushion for last minute things.

So what IS plan "B"? Well they MIGHT have a trailer out back that COULD be out fitted the way I need it.

The Long Grove Chocolate Festival is a real Class Act, it is Chiammaya's premier event and we are a featured vendor. Showing up with a make-do trailer just isn't what I want.

So I've written the owner and pleaded my case and now I guess it is time to turn it over to God and have faith that what is meant to be will happen.

Wish me luck, and if you have any pull with All A Cart, give them a call and plead for me too.
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Though I haven't gotten through my first chocolate festival I am looking for more. As I have to drive, distance is an issue but I am finding festivals that range from 500 people to 50,000 people.

Just as I had trouble explaining what I was doing -- NOT making bon bons or other candy but CHOCOLATE -- I am having trouble explaining to festival coordinators what exactly I am doing and how my presence can benefit their event.

Case in Point, I wrote for some information on a chocolate festival in a major east coast city. I got a polite reply telling me the dates of the events and that it seemed the person receiving my inquiry was enthused, the person in charge wasn't enthused and didn't feel I was a good fit for their event.


Their feelings were:

"The reason being the folks coming to our festival is looking for chocolate
that has already been prepared. Thursday and Friday are visitors from
surrounding offices and they like taking the staff some tasty treats back to
work and also a treat for the family. Saturday is shopping for families and
there may be a little interest for your chocolate but again these are folks
that work all week then do there shopping on Saturday and take home one of
our tasty chocolate cakes, cookies, candy, and chocolate covered fruits."

They went on to say they had, " background in Chain Food Markets and knows that most folks don't use cocoa as they did years ago, if baking they use choc chips, for
drinking they buy prepared hot chocolates."

It never seems worth the effort to try and convince someone of something they have already made up their mind on. Since the "boss" knows people don't buy chocolate like they used to, I suppose it is the better choice to say thank you and look elsewhere, but knowing that Chiammaya is a unique product that is rarely, if ever, seen in the U.S.A. it would be a benefit to have at ANY festival.

I even sent them to the site and sent the video so they could WATCH what is going on, after all, a picture is worth a thousand words.

The opportunity for press releases for something "educational" and news stories of more than your run of the mill festival opportunity abound. This would be a win/win situation for both of us, but I've not inspired the vision.

If any of my readers have any thought to help me inspire the vision I'd love to hear your ideas.

More to come as Long Grove gets closer. 
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So I'm getting ready for the Long Grove Chocolate Festival and was wondering if I should take credit cards or not. I realized that right now I use credit cards almost exclusively, and thought that I couldn't be alone. Debt? Credit? It seems to be a way of life.

So I checked with the Festival organizers and asked them. They said cash only!

Then I called my bank and asked them what it took to take debt/credit cards. WOW it's amazing! Did you know that every time you use a card it costs the vendor money?!?! And then there's the cost of that little pin pad you use! Those suckers are $1000!!!

I think that paypal online works well for me but with this being my first event I'll go cash only and see how it goes. If I loose a ton of sales because I don't take plastic then I'll re-think it.

What are your thought? Comments welcome
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When I first built the truck, it was a representation of a kiosk intended to be located in a high end retail store. I invited people into the truck as I would into a shop in a store and it was for demonstration only.


P4120028.JPG

Now that I'm actually going to do production in the truck and sell from the concession trailer, I wanted people to be able to watch their chocolate being made without interfearing with the traffic flow between the truck and trailer.

All A Cart said they could do what I wanted and after two short weeks they did an amazing job!


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Now people can stand in the shade of the awning and press their faces up to the plexiglas and watch me making their chocolate!

This turned out far and away better than I had ever dreamed! Thanks All A Cart. If the trailer is as good as this window I will be very pleased indeed.





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I was asked this question the other day and realized that it comes up so often that I should blog about it.

As I mentioned in past posts, my original intent was to have a strategic alliance with the largest chocolate concern in Oaxaca Mexico. I was going to use their name with USA tacked on the end.  After months of negotiations and requests for contracts I found myself facing what turned out to be an easy choice; accept a contract that gave all the advantages to the Mexican concern or change the name and go it alone.

Every time I introduced my concept to new people I was told I was onto something so the choice seemed clear, change the name and keep going.

I began doing research in Spanish phrases that seemed romantic and cultural, then looked at Mayan and Aztec deities and words and was asking friends, family and strangers on the street for their suggestions.

I have a friend who has a mining business in South/Central America called chAImmaya. In the Quicki dialect chaim means gold; so we get roughly Mayan gold. The Mayans used cacao beans as currency and it was a way of life so that fit.

The Hebrew word for life is ChIAm. So Making it Chiammaya came out to be Mayan life. In Hebrew the "ch" has a guttural "H" sound. Americanizing that I decided that Mayan life and Mayan gold was what we were making here so Chiammaya was where I landed.

I soften the ch a bit and pronounce it Hi -ya - my - ya.

Lechiam! To life.
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I'm still going nuts getting ready for the Long Grove Chocolate festival. I've been ordering supplies and equipment and pacing the floor like an expectant father, waiting on news about the concession trailer.

It dawned on me that the way things are -- grinding equipment in the truck, sales "floor" in the new trailer, that once I got to the Long Grove Chocolate Festival, I was stuck. My Hotel is 3 miles away and that's a mighty long walk after a full day of making chocolate.

I decided a scooter was the way to go!

I just got a little 49cc scooter. In West Virginia, no license, no insurance, no helmet is even required -- though I think I would be stupid NOT to wear one.

It will get me back and forth to the hotel and allow me to run errands like getting more gasoline for the generator, more kerosene for the heater and cups should I run out!

I feel stupid riding it -- it isn't really masculine after all -- but it solves the problem and it gets 100 miles to the gallon too!
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The Long Grove Chocolate Festival ( May 2,3 and 4 ), In Long
Grove, IL is fast approaching. In order to fully serve our new customers we have
contracted with All A Cart in Columbus Ohio ( www.allacart.com) to construct a custom concession trailer for the festival.

Our new trailer will be 8 feet by 8 feet and will contain serving window, a 4 bowl sink for cleanup, a refrigerator to help speed the cooling of the chocolate when we make single serving packages for sale and a tankless hot water heater so we can make Mexican Hot chocolate FAST!

This is an exciting step in the progress of Chiammaya and we
are very excited to have this new piece of equipment.

In addition to the new trailer, All A Cart is opening the
side of our mobile - a shop where chocolate is ground - so that our customers can get a better look at their chocolate being made on the spot. Look for us in Long Grove; you really will appreciate chocolate like it is your first taste!

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Well I've been completely taken by surpirse and years of work have come together with a bang!

Last Thursday I was sitting at my desk thinking about my visits to Oaxaca and my work with Mayordomo when the phone rang. It was the owner of Long Grove Confectonary calling to tell me that Long Grove IL was having a chocolate festival, May 2,3 and 4, and he thought I should come. It hit me by surprise, totally out of the blue, and I told him I would have to think about it, see what equipment I'd need to get together etc and I'd call Monday. My head began to spin and I began sharing the news with my mentors and asking them if they thought I should do it, after all it was an eight hour drive!

Without hesitation or exception everyone I asked said, " DO IT! DO IT! DO IT!". I guess the decision was made.

Having done fairs and festivals in a previous life -- I sold fresh squeezed lemonade -- I knew many of the requirements that would be necessary to pull this off. My first thought was my mobile molino -- my truck with a shop in the back -- and a pop up tent with some tables would do, then I realized that the health department would want me to be clean and sanitary -- they are funny about that -- so perhaps a concession trailer would be best. I'm going to place an order Saturday!

Supplies, employees, timing, it all has to come together QUICK! Thinking it all through is really making my mind swim, but it is exciting and the beginning of a dream come true.

If you're in the greater Chicago area, make plans to come up to the Long Grove Chocolate festival. There you can SEE your chocolate being made and sample it straight from the mill. The freshest chocolate you've ever had, made just the way YOU like it.

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aztecsmall.pngFor the true chocoholic, our rich robust 71% cacao blend. We blend  freshly roasted organic cacao, a small amount of sugar, a few freshly roasted almonds and a hint of cinnamon. Rich, powerful and delicious.

Chiammaya Total Chocolate Indulgence
$14.95/Lb.

Select Lbs:  

Shipping rates.


Please note, all of our chocolate blends contain almonds and should be avioded by people with allergies to tree nuts. You may, of course request a custom blend without almonds, but be aware it will be produced on shared equipment with nuts  in a facility that also processes nuts.
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mayan-small.jpgMuch like our Mayan blend but not quite as sweet, we mix it so you get 41% cacao. Combining freshly roasted, organic cacao, sugar, freshly roasted almonds and cinnamon brings American sophistication and a powerful chocolate flavor to the table. GREAT as hot chocolate or in your favorite recipe. ( I even eat it right out of the package! )

Chiammaya Chocolate Lover's Blend
$14.95/Lb.

Select Lbs:  
Shipping rates.


Please note, all of our chocolate blends contain almonds and should be avioded by people with allergies to tree nuts. You may, of course request a custom blend without almonds, but be aware it will be produced on shared equipment with nuts  in a facility that also processes nuts.
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mayansmall.pngMade in the Mexican tradition and enjoyed for thousands of years, our Mayan blend is custom crafted to achieve 32% cacao. Using freshly roasted organic cacao, sugar, freshly roasted almonds and cinnamon, this blend is sweet delicious and has chocolate flavor that lingers.

Chiammaya Sweet Chocolate Dreams
$14.95/Lb
Select Lbs:  

Shipping rates.


Please note, all of our chocolate blends contain almonds and should be avioded by people with allergies to tree nuts. You may, of course request a custom blend without almonds, but be aware it will be produced on shared equipment with nuts  in a facility that also processes nuts.
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customsmall.pngHave ChiamMaya Chocolate blended to your specifications. Do you like your chocolate sweeter? No Problem. No Almonds? No Problem. We can custom craft a recipe just for you.

Just give us a call at  304-690-0160 and we'll create a one-of-a-kind batch and have it on your doorstep in no time.

Custom orders have a 3 pound minimum.


Please note, all of our chocolate blends contain almonds and should be avioded by people with allergies to tree nuts. You may, of course request a custom blend without almonds, but be aware it will be produced on shared equipment with nuts  in a facility that also processes nuts.
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Mexican Chocolate brownies

•    0.75 cup butter
•    4 oz CHIAMMAYA custom crafted chocolate, American Blend
•    4 eggs
•    1.5 cups flour
•    0.5 teaspoon salt
•    1.5 teaspoon vanilla extract (use good vanilla, not artificial vanilla)
•    1.75 cups coarsely chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease 9"x9"x2" pan.
Melt butter,and CHIAMMAYA chocolate in a 3 quart, heavy saucepan over low heat. Be Careful not to scorch the chocolate
Remove pan from heat and mix in the Flour, salt, vanilla and nuts, beating well. Pour batter into greased pan.
Bake 35-40 minutes, until brownies just begin pulling away from the sides of the pan. Do not overcook! They always say let cool completely before cutting, but I never can wait!!

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•    1 large can carnation evaporated milk
•    2 sticks butter
•    4 cups of sugar
•    1 teaspoon vanilla
•    13 oz. jar marshmallow cream
•    1 lb Chiammaya American blend chocolate
•    2-3 cup walnuts
•    
In a deep pan, combine cream sugar and chocolate on medium heat, stirring constantly.  When combined, add butter and stir until melted.  Continue to cook, stirring occasionally until the mixture reaches 238 degrees on a candy thermometer.  Add marshmallow cream and stir until well mixed, then add vanilla, stir again, and then add nuts, stirring until well distributed throughout mixture.  Pour into a buttered pan (11" x 17").  Let sit for 24 hours, then cut into squares and enjoy!

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This cake ALWAYS gets raves!  Sinfully chocolaty and rich beyond belief

 

1          lb         Chiammaya custom crafted chocolate, Chocolate lovers blend blend, finely chopped
1          c          minus 1 tablespoon heavy cream
2          T          sugar
1/2       c          espresso or strong coffee
6                      eggs

1/2       c          sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Butter or spray a 9-inch round pan with vegetable spray. Line bottom with parchment paper - this is important or the cake WILL stick. Have a larger pan ready to serve as a water bath.

Melt the chocolate gently over hot water or in the microwave - 1 minute on 50% power, stir then 30 seconds at 50% stir again. There will be some chunks near the end, keep stirring and the will melt. Resist the temptation to microwave it too long or it will lock up on you and you'll have to start over! Keep warm.

Whip the cream with 2 T of sugar until the mixture forms soft peaks. Set aside.

Whip eggs on high speed in a stand mixer until double in volume. This will take some time, the more you whip it, the better, your patience will be rewarded. Gradually add the 1/2 cup sugar to the eggs, 1 T at a time. Continue whipping until the eggs have tripled in volume. They should have some body.

Pour the coffee into the chocolate and stir until combined. Fold the eggs into the chocolate in three additions. Fold in cream.

Pour the batter into the round pan. Place it in the larger pan. Fill the outer pan with hot water so that it reaches halfway up the side of the cake pan.

Bake for 40-50 minutes. The cake will still jiggle in the center when gently shaken, but you don't want it runny. Cool COMPLETELY on a rack. To unmold, slide small knife around the edges of the cake to loosen from pan. Cover the top of the pan with a Cardboard circle. Invert pan and cardboard together. Remove cake pan and parchment. Place the cake and cardboard circle in a wire rack over a sheet pan and let cool completely.

 

Chocolate Glaze

 

8          oz        Chiammaya Total Chocolate Indulgence
1/4       c          heavy cream
3          T          butter - I prefer salted ( chocolate and salt really do go well together )

Heat the chocolate, cream, and butter in the top of a double boiler or in the microwave using the technique above. Stir gently until the mixture is completely melted and smooth. Let cool a bit. You want it still pourable, but slightly thick so it will stay on the cake.

Pour over the cooled cake, making sure the top and sides are completely covered.

 

There will be a lot of chocolate that will fall onto the sheet pan below, that's the cooks treat!

This may be reheated to soften.

Sprinkle with cocoa nibs to add some visual interest and another texture dimension.

 

This cake is sticky; I find that slicing it with a long piece of waxed dental floss the best. Hold the floss tight and press down through the cake. Then release one end of the floss and pull through the cake. Repeat until the entire cake is sliced.

 

Makes 14-16 servings. I THINK this will last about 4 days unrefrigerated if you can keep it around that long!

 

 

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MEXICAN HOT CHOCOLATE MADE WITH WATER 
CHOCOLATE DE AGUA

Yield:  8 to 10 servings

Ingredients: ½  gallon Water
 1lb Chiamaya Mexican blend Chocolate in medium-size chunks

Method 1.   In a large 4-quart saucepan, bring half the water to a boil.  Add all of the chocolate and cook, stirring continuously, until the chocolate melts and the liquid returns to the boil.  Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture thickens slightly, about 5 minutes.  Add the rest of the water and bring to the boil again.  Lower the heat and simmer gently 2 or 3 minutes, stirring frequently.

2.   Pour the hot liquid into a traditional chocolate pot, a blender, or a tall, heat-proof pitcher.  (You may have to divide the liquid.) If using a chocolate pot, position a wooden molinillo or wire whisk in the center of the pot.  Rub the handle back and forth between your palms very vigorously for 2 or 3 minutes or until the surface is covered with foam.  If using a blender, leave the lid loosely covered to prevent a pressure build-up and blend until foamy, 20 to 30 seconds.  Alternately, use an immersion blender in a pitcher, blending until foamy.

3.   Pour into cups and serve at once.

MEXICAN HOT CHOCOLATE MADE WITH MILK 
CHOCOLATE DE LECHE

Method 1.   Using the same proportions of liquid to chocolate as above ( adjust to your taste). Bring milk to the boil; remove from heat and add the chocolate, stirring until melted.

2.   Pour the hot liquid into a chocolate pot, blender, or tall pitcher and beat, whisk, or blend until foamy.  Serve at once.


Copyright © 2000 by Elaine González.  All rights reserved.
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For the true chocoholic, our rich robust 71% cacao blend.
  

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Much like our Mayan blend but not quite as sweet, we mix it so you get 41% cacao.
  

Chiammaya Sweet Chocolate Dreams
Sweet Chocolate Dreams
Made in the Mexican tradition and enjoyed for thousands of years, this blend is custom crafted to achieve 32% cacao.
  

 
 
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