Christy’s Craft Shows and Our Favourite Vendors

You may have seen the Christy’s team at one of our local artisan markets and craft shows. We are a busy bunch this time of year!

Some of our upcoming shows include the Handmade Market, Fair November and the One of a Kind Show!

Craft show season is so exciting for us. On top of seeing all of our wonderful customers (who visit us year-after-year), we get to be surrounded by amazing, talented artists from all across Canada.

Though we have many vendors we love (too many to name), some of our “must-visits” for holiday shopping can be found below.  Pay them a visit and say we sent you 😉

You will not be disappointed!

Handmade Market (Website, Instagram, Facebook)

Christy's Gourmet Gifts | Chocolates in Burlington Ontario | Craft Shows Handmade Photo 4
1. Echoes in the Attic
Not only does this mompreneur business re-fashion, re-design and re-purpose what some might deem tossable, they create some beautiful upcycled handbags while they’re at it! Remnants are rescued and given a whole new life as tote bags, purses, pillows, duffle bags, and more.
Follow on social at:
Instagram, 
Facebook

Christy's Gourmet Gifts | Chocolates in Burlington Ontario | Craft Shows Handmade Photo 12. Jennifer Elliotson Art
Jennifer Elliotson’s visual art pieces are heavily inspired by nature around her. The blues, teals, and greens along with other bright bold colours create inspiring places that you just wish you were there. Not to mention, they make great statement pieces in a home!
Follow on social at:
Instagram
Facebook

Fair November (Website, Facebook)

Christy's Gourmet Gifts | Chocolates in Burlington Ontario | Craft Shows Handmade Photo 71. Straystones Jewellery & Metalwork
Guelph resident Jenny Pulling creates one of a kind jewellery and wall art utilizing copper, brass and sterling silver. The name came from when she first started her business, where she created custom pieces using found stones. From there, she has honed her craft and begun incorporating creative metalsmithing techniques. Her pieces are sure to have people talking!
Follow on social at:
Instagram
Facebook

Christy's Gourmet Gifts | Chocolates in Burlington Ontario | Craft Shows Handmade Photo 32. Hipknitized
What’s a Canadian Winter season without some cozy knits involved? Hipknitized creates handmade knitted pieces like touques, infinity scarves, shawls and much more. They use natural wool, organically dyed and created ethically locally. These make perfect Holiday gifts!
Follow on social at:
Instagram
Facebook

One of a Kind Show (Website, Facebook, Instagram)

Christy's Gourmet Gifts | Chocolates in Burlington Ontario | Craft Shows Handmade Photo 51. The Bean Ladies
The Bean Ladies make many wonderful products including bean snacks, soups, chili, salads and desserts. Flavours for their bean snacks include everything from Salt & Malt Vinegar, Apples N’ Cinnamon to Dill pickle! My favourite is their lazy man’s lentil soup!
Follow on social at:
Instagram
Facebook

Christy's Gourmet Gifts | Chocolates in Burlington Ontario | Craft Shows Handmade Photo 82. carolyndraws
Owner Carolyn designs, illustrates and hand-letters all of her handmade cards, which are sure to make any receiver crack a smile! Her cheeky cards are available for a variety of events, from Christmas to Birthdays and Anniversaries. She also makes gift tags and calendars!
Follow on social at:
Instagram
Facebook

Do you have a favourite artisan or artisan show? Share it with us in the comments below!

Want to find out where Christy’s Gourmet will be next? Check out our full list of Fall and Holiday events at THIS LINK. 

Be sure to follow us on social media at:
Website http://www.christysgourmetgifts.com
Instagram https://www.instagram.com/christysgourmet/
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/ChristysGourmetGifts/

Halloween Sweets Table

Are you planning a Spooktacular Halloween celebration for friends or family this year? Christy’s Gourmet is here to help you plan the spookiest, tastiest Halloween yet – with some delicious, high-quality Belgian chocolate fun!

First things first, one of the best ways to have some Halloween fun and impress your guests is with a Halloween Sweets Table!

The Christy’s culinary team has put together some amazing treats for the spooky season, including:

Decorated Sugar Cookies
Christy's Gourmet Burlington Ontario Halloween Party Ideas Photo 6 Christy's Gourmet Burlington Ontario Halloween Party Ideas Photo 7 Christy's Gourmet Burlington Ontario Halloween Party Ideas Photo 4
Witches Finger Pretzels
Christy's Gourmet Burlington Ontario Halloween Party Ideas Photo 2Halloween Bark
Christy's Gourmet Burlington Ontario Halloween Party Ideas
Meringues
Christy's Gourmet Burlington Ontario Halloween Party Ideas Photo 5 Christy's Gourmet Burlington Ontario Halloween Party Ideas Photo 3For more from Christy’s Gourmet, follow us on social media:
Website
Instagram
Facebook

We’re hosting a Halloween themed giveaway over on Instagram, be sure to enter!

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Thanksgiving Table Settings

Is there anything better than putting on a cozy knit sweater, breathing in the fresh scent of Fall and enjoying a delicious meal with the ones you love? We think not!

Thanksgiving Fall Chocolate and Sweets Burlington Ontario | Christys Gourmet Gifts

The return of everything Pumpkin Spice definitely marks the beginning of the Autumn season, despite what the thermometer may say! The Harvest season, and Thanksgiving, are just around the corner and we are ready to start decorating.

Setting the mood with the table is an important part of hosting a fabulous Thanksgiving meal.

Whether you choose to go a simple route, or something more extravagant, we have some ideas for you… Christy’s-style!

Thanksgiving Chocolate Plate Setting | Burlington, Ontario | Christy's Gourmet Gifts

Chocolate Plate Settings
Our Belgian Chocolate plate settings are a favourite among all ages of the Thanksgiving party. They can be used for a simple gathering, or a fancier-style gathering, and come in many different shapes to fit your party needs. Contact us for details on what kinds of shapes we can do!

Thanksgiving Cookie Plate Setting Burlington Ontario Thankful | Christy's Gourmet Gifts

Cookie Plate Settings
Our cookies are a popular choice for Thanksgiving meals and help add an extra pop of colour to your dining table. One of our favourite choices are our Pumpkin cookies, which can come in white or orange, but we have a large selection of decorated cookie options.

Thanksgiving Chocolate Smash Turkey | Christys Gourmet Gifts Burlington Ontario

Smash Turkey
The Chocolate Smash Turkey doubles as both a centerpiece for your dining table and dessert! The whole experience of the Chocolate Smash Turkey will keep guests talking about your event for months afterwards. Simply set up the turkey in the center of the table on a cake plate or platter, use the mallet to smash the turkey open and enjoy the Belgian chocolate exterior plus the Christy’s Crunch from inside the turkey. Yum yum!

What are some of your favourite ways to decorate your Thanksgiving table? Share some tips with us in the comments below!

Just Peachy!

Peach season has finally arrived! When you live in the Green Belt like we do, that’s a pretty big deal. Is there anything better than taking that first sweet and juicy bite out of a locally grown stone fruit? We think not!

Peach Recipes | Christy's Gourmet Gifts

But there is more than just one way to enjoy this fuzzy favourite; from festival ice cream parfaits, to party drinks, or sweet treats, peaches are a versatile ingredient that makes any event extra special.

One of our favourite ways to enjoy peaches is with a kicked-up Peach Sangria. Citrus, white wine, and the delicious peachy flavour with a touch of bubbly is sure to put a smile on any peach-lover’s face.

Peach Sangria Recipe | Christy's Gourmet Gifts Burlington Ontario

Here’s how to make it:

White Wine Peach Sangria Recipe
1 Bottle White Wine
1 cup Peach Nectar or Peach Juice
1 Liter Ginger Ale or 7UP
Local Peaches, Sliced
Ice

  1. Place sliced Peaches into the bottom of a serving jug.
  2. Add ice.
  3. Add White Wine.
  4. Top with Peach Nectar or Peach juice.
  5. Top with more ice and more peaches. Stir.
  6. In glasses, put Gingerale.
  7. Pour the sangria mix over the gingerale and stir with a spoon.
  8. Garnish with extra peaches and enjoy!

Peach Sangria Recipe | Christy's Gourmet Gifts Burlington Ontario photo 2

We love the peach craze so much, we had to create our own homage to the tree-fruit, with peach-shaped cookies! A soft sugar cookie, decorated with sweet royal icing is sure to bring your party, event, or even just your Instagram account, to the next level.

Peach Cookies, Burlington Ontario | Christy's Gourmet Gifts Decorated Cookies

And we aren’t the only ones that love peaches! In nearby Winona, Ontario, they host the annual Winona Peach Festival – celebrating the fruit that they grow right in the region. Highlights of the festival include the famous Peach Parfaits topped with Ice Cream, the “Peach of a Car” show, and the amazing local retail vendors.

Find the festival in Winona this Friday August 24th, Saturday August 25thand Sunday August 26th. The details about the festival can be found at THIS LINK.

Do you have a favourite way to enjoy peaches? Share the details with us in the comment below!

For more from us, follow @christysgourmet on instagram

Meet Buttercup

Meet Buttercup 

Christy's Gourmet Gifts Travelling Sweets Trailer

We are excited to announce a brand-new addition to the Christy’s Gourmet family; “Buttercup”, or “Cup” for short!

Christy's Gourmet Gifts Travelling Sweets Trailer Photo 2

Just in time for the Summer season, the new “Buttercup” is our mobile sweets pop up. She is available for rent or for hire in the Burlington, Hamilton, Oakville and Milton areas via Christy’s Gourmet Gifts.

Here at Christy’s we love to celebrate traditions with our customers and now we can join you anywhere!

Christy's Gourmet Gifts Burlington Ontario Travelling Sweets Trailer Photo 5

Whether you’re celebrating a wedding, shower, fundraising event or something in between – Buttercup puts an extra special spin on the occasion, guaranteed to make your event memorable…and she sure is instagrammable!

Christy's Gourmet Gifts Burlington Ontario Travelling Sweets Trailer Photo 4

Our sweets pop up can be set up anywhere provided a flat service is available.  We will travel to your event, set up, serve and tear down. Choose from a variety of sweet options or customize to meet your needs, like:

  1. Fresh Waffle Pops
  2. Ice Cream
  3. Dippity Do I Love You (Ice Cream Sandwiches, Cheescake Pops, Buttertarts). What ever you can think of, we can dip it in delicious Belgian chocolate
  4. Customize (Cotton Candy, Popcorn – you name it we can do it)

We are always thrilled to work with you to see your vision become a reality. Ask us about the do it yourself options too!

Christy's Gourmet Gifts Burlington Ontario Travelling Sweets Trailer Photo 3

Find Buttercup sweets trailer and the Christy’s Gourmet Gifts team every Saturday at the Ainslie Wood Community Market at GRAIN&GRIT Brewery at 11 Ewen Road in Hamilton

Christy's Gourmet Gifts Burlington Ontario Travelling Sweets Trailer Photo 6

For more behind the scenes info on the Christy’s Gourmet biz, or to find out where Buttercup is today, follow us at:
Instagram www.instagram.com/christysgourmet
Facebook www.facebook.com/christysgourmet
Website www.christysgourmetgifts.com

Do you have an idea for Buttercup? Contact us here

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Bean to Bar Chocolate

Chocolate making is an art form. Tougher still, is the bean-to-bar process, which requires many different steps and precision…but results in some of the most amazing sweets you’ll ever taste! We are pleased to say that we now offer both options at Christy’s Gourmet Gifts – creating chocolate in-house with products like our Christy’s Crunch, and creating handmade bean-to-bar chocolates, some of them vegan!

Chocotalk | Christy's Gourmet Gifts Bean to Bar | Burlington, Ontario Chocolate

With Bernhard’s expanding passion for high-quality chocolates, and the knowledge he has gained along the way, we are able to create innovative products that aren’t readily available at local chocolate shops, one of our favourites being our Coconut Milk Chocolate Bean-to-Bar. Bernhard was first inspired to create bean-to-bar from his trip to Costa Rica – he explored the chocolate industry from the grower and agricultural end, and was inspired  by the farm-to-table movement that’s currently flourishing in the culinary industry.

Chocotalk | Christy's Gourmet Gifts Bean to Bar | Burlington, Ontario Chocolate Photo 2

To give you a behind the scenes look at the detailed process, Bernhard shares a bit more about our creation process for bean-to-bar chocolate below:

Chocotalk | Christy's Gourmet Gifts Bean to Bar | Burlington, Ontario Chocolate Photo 11 Source high-quality processed beans from the farmers. Bernhard uses a variety of high quality beans, choosing to source them from different farms and locations like Honduras or Mexico, to sample the different flavours that are available to us. Currently, he is sourcing his beans from Peru, but each shipment of beans he receives is a different variety.

Chocotalk | Christy's Gourmet Gifts Bean to Bar | Burlington, Ontario Chocolate Photo 32 Processed beans then go into the crushing machine to bring the beans down to smaller, workable pieces and separate the husks.

Chocotalk | Christy's Gourmet Gifts Bean to Bar | Burlington, Ontario Chocolate Photo 43 A winnowing machine is then used to separate the smaller cacao nibs from the husks. The husks are set aside to make anything from tea to garden filler.

Chocotalk | Christy's Gourmet Gifts Bean to Bar | Burlington, Ontario Chocolate Photo 54 Then, the chocolate liqueur is created by placing the nibs into the refiner. Once the chocolate has heated, sugars, any extra cocoa butter (which adds a smooth mouth-feel), and spices or flavourings can be added, and then we continue to process in the refiner for around 48 hours.

5 From there, we complete the tempering process and place into chocolate moulds for cooling.

Chocotalk | Christy's Gourmet Gifts Bean to Bar | Burlington, Ontario Chocolate Photo 2

The bean-to-bar process may be a long one, but the products that come of it are even more customizable flavour-wise, and more raw. Some of our favourite bean-to-bar creations in the shop have been our antioxidant bar with cacao, goji berries and blueberries, our gianduja bar, and more!

Interested in making your own chocolate at home? To temper your own chocolate, follow the instructions below or read our detailed blog post here.

Temper Chocolate - Tabling Technique
The tabling technique is best done on granite or a stone counter top. (Use parchment paper to cut down on the mess). I like doing this method because it gives me a real feel for the chocolate and let's me see it start to crystallize.
Ingredients
  • Chocolat callets
Instructions
  1. Measure out the amount of chocolate you need. Melt the chocolate in a clean dry bowl in a microwave. Do short bursts of 30-45 seconds, stirring in between until chocolate is totally melted and you reach 45 degrees Celsius.
  2. Cover a countertop with a piece of parchment paper. Pour roughly ⅔ of the melted chocolate onto the parchment.
  3. With a pallet knife or spatula, work the chocolate until it starts to crystallize (the step right before it starts to harden), if it goes too far and begins to get clumpy, you will have to start again from Step 1.
  4. Once it starts to crystallize, put the chocolate from the parchment paper back into the melted chocolate in the bowl. Mix it together and make sure it all blends in.
  5. To ensure readiness: Milk and White Chocolate should be brought to 28-30 degrees Celsius. Dark Chocolate should be brought to 31-32 degrees Celsius.

 

For more talk of chocolate, follow us at:
Instagram
Facebook
Website

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Mother’s Day Party Two Ways

Girls Night In or Afternoon Tea?
Is your mom more of a Girls Night In with wine type, or an Afternoon Tea and brunch type? Good news! Whichever way your mom enjoys spending her time, we have Mother’s Day party ideas for both options… so you can give her just the celebration she was hoping for.

When planning an Afternoon Tea and Brunch for mom, the first thing you’ll have to think of is the tea. We have some fabulous loose leaf tea artisans in the area, who make such a large variety of loose leaf flavours, that anyone could find a new favourite! Some of our top picks include: Tealish’s Caramel Crunch Black Tea, Sloane Fine Tea Merchant’s Coconut Almond Rooibos and 3 Teas’ Spa Blend Herbal infusion.

Christy's Gourmet Gifts | Chocolate in Burlington Ontario | Tea Party Cookies for Mothers Day

In addition to the tea – impress your mom with a hand-decorated Tea Party themed cookie pack, available at Christy’s Gourmet Gifts. After all, you’ll need something to serve alongside those yummy drinks.

Christy's Gourmet Gifts | Chocolate in Burlington Ontario | Tea Party Cookies for Mothers Day 2

And of course, you can’t have a brunch without a main dish! Below is a recipe that has been handed down through generations in our family, a classic and simple recipe that yields big results: Brodie Pancakes! The secret here is the special Brodie flour (which can be found at Bulk Barn and other bulk food stores), which is self-rising – giving you a fluffy, light pancake…almost like a soufflé.

Christy's Gourmet Gifts | Chocolate in Burlington Ontario | Brodie Pancakes for Afternoon Tea Mothers Day Photo 3

You can either enjoy the Brodie Pancakes plain, and top them with butter and maple syrup, or add in additional ingredients like blueberries, chocolate chips, or bananas. The options are endless!

Christy's Gourmet Gifts | Chocolate in Burlington Ontario | Brodie Pancakes for Afternoon Tea Mothers Day

Brody Pancake Recipe
2  Eggs
3/4  Cup White Sugar
2  Cups Brodie Flour
1-1/2  Cup Milk
Blend altogether.  Cook on fairly hot pan greased with a little butter.  Turn when the surface is bubbly. If using mixer, beat eggs and sugar together, add milk, then beat in flour.

Christy's Gourmet Gifts | Chocolate in Burlington Ontario | Brodie Pancakes for Afternoon Tea Mothers Day

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When planning a Girls Night In with mom, the first thing it starts with is the movie! Some of our favourite films to watch with mom include: ‘Freaky Friday’ (for a fun, family friendly flick), ‘Crazy, Stupid Love’ (a romantic comedy, if that’s more your mom’s thing) and ‘The Blind Side’ (a heart-warming drama, featuring a mom who just rocks!).

Christy's Gourmet Gifts | Chocolate in Burlington Ontario | Girls Night Out Party Cookies for Mothers Day photo 2

But movie night just isn’t movie night without the snacks! Serve up our hand-decorated Girls Night In cookies, in the shape of a Martini glass, a Leopard print shoe and a polka dot X O.

Christy's Gourmet Gifts | Chocolate in Burlington Ontario | Girls Night Out Party Cookies for Mothers Day

And with it, a delicious martini! See below for one of our favourite Chocolate Martini Recipes, that pairs perfectly with those cookies.

Christy's Gourmet Gifts | Chocolate in Burlington Ontario | Chocolate Martini for Mothers Day 2

Chocolate Martini Recipe
1 1/2 fluid oz Chocolate Liqueur
1 1/2 fluid oz Creme de Cacao
1/2 fluid oz Vodka
2 1/2 fluid oz of Cream (Half-and-half)
1 cup ice
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with lid. Shake until mixed and cool. Pour into a chocolate drizzled cocktail glass. Enjoy your special drink! 

Christy's Gourmet Gifts | Chocolate in Burlington Ontario | Chocolate Martini for Mothers Day

That martini won’t last forever.

That’s where one of our chocolate-dipped rosé bottles comes in! Choose your favourite rosé to enjoy with mom, purchase it, and bring it over to us. We will dip it in a chocolate that is paired to the drink. Not only is the look of the chocolate-dipped bottle impressive, you can pull the ribbon tabs on the chocolate, the chocolate will fall onto a plate below and you’ll be left with a tasty pairing to enjoy the full movie through! Our favourite rosés are: LOLA Blush Pelee Island VQA, Kew Vineyards Rosalie, or if you’re feeling very fancy – Moet & Chandon Brut Rosé Champagne.

Christy's Gourmet Gifts | Chocolate in Burlington Ontario | Chocolate Dipped Wine for Mothers Day

Happy Mother’s Day!
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Where to find the products?
Tealish Fine Teas’ Caramel Crunch Black Tea: www.tealish.com
Sloane Fine Tea Merchant’s Coconut Almond Rooibos: www.sloanetea.com
3 Teas Spa Blend Herbal: www.3-teas.com
Tea Party Cookie Pack: Christy’s
Girls Night In Cookie Pack: Christy’s
LOLA Pelee Island Rosé: Website
MOET & Chandon Brut Champagne Rosé: Website
Kew Vineyards Rosé: Website

Don’t Forget to Follow us!
Instagram: @christysgourmet
Facebook: ChristysGourmetGifts

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Central American Chocolate Tour – Part 1: ChocoTalk

ChocoTalkBanner4Central America Chocolate Tour – Part 1
By Bernhard Mueller, Master Chocolatier at Christy’s Gourmet Gifts

Do you follow us on Facebook? If so, you probably would have noticed the posts about my chocolate adventure to Central America; Costa Rica to be specific.

Well, I’m back, and I’m ready to share my new-found chocolate knowledge with you wonderful ChocoTalk blog readers!

I arrived in San Jose, Costa Rica on a Thursday.  It was 25 degrees C and breezy.  I had a lovely visit with my brother Gerhard who travels to Costa Rica often.  He showed me the sights of San Jose including the markets and local chocolate shops.

ChocoTalk | South America Chocolate Tour | Part 1 | Christy's gourmet Gifts in Burlington Ontario

I must say I was most impressed with all the food and not just the chocolate.  Fresh fruit, veggies and eggs the colour of sunshine…Wow! I could get used to that.  I loved walking the farmers market. I wanted to buy everything! I was most interested in a fruit called soursop.  The locals claim this fruit has cancer curing properties. I am not sure if this is true, but I really did enjoy its sour yet subtly sweet flavour…a must try for anyone planning on visiting this region.

ChocoTalk | South America Chocolate Tour | Part 1 | Christy's Gourmet Gifts in Burlington Ontario

After my brief visit with my brother I headed out on a long venture to the other side of Costa Rica on the Carribean Coast just north of the Panama border.  I was told I must rent a 4×4 in order to successfully arrive where I was headed and wow were they right!  I arrived at approximately 2:30 in Puerto Viejo at my beautiful destination the Mango Walk cacao farm.

The beautiful sounds of exotic birds greeted me as I walked the path to start my chocolate tour with the chocolate maker from Caribeans, Paul Johnson.  This is Paul on the right. He is originally from Minnesota and moved to Costa Rica 12 years ago where he learned the art of chocolate making from bean to bar.  I can’t wait to tell you more about this guy…. But that will come soon.

ChocoTalk | South America Chocolate Tour | Part 1

As part of my introduction to the Caribeans chocolate farm we enjoyed a chocolate tasting experience  perched on top of a hill overlooking the jungle canopy with the Caribbean coast off in the distance.  This view was by far one of the most spectacular things I have ever seen in my life!  The sounds of jungle birds, howler monkeys and crashing waves contributed the overall experience.

ChocoTalk | South America Chocolate Tour | Part 1 | Christy's gourmet Gifts in Burlington Ontario

It was here in the tasting lounge I felt my chocolate  journey truly began.  I paired delicious single plantation chocolate with spices like cayenne pepper, rosemary, mint, garlic, anise, sea salt and more.   The chocolate was dark, bold and had fruit undertones.  My personal favourite was the cayenne pepper with sea salt combination.

Tasting Pairing Evening

After my tasting experience, I checked into my cabin.  I felt like I was entering the movie Jurassic Park!  My cabin was nestled in the jungle forest….It was beautiful.  All that beauty did come at a cost though…… because when you stay in the jungle, you get the jungle!  I am not going to lie, I was glad there was a cage around my cabin most nights.  Enjoy these pictures of my cabin and the critters that lived with me for 7 days.

ChocoTalk | South America Chocolate Tour | Part 1 | Christy's Gourmet Gifts in Burlington Ontario

Some photos courtesy of www.themangowalk.com

ChocoTalk | South America Chocolate Tour | Part 1 | Christy's Gourmet Gifts in Burlington Ontario

Some photos courtesy of www.themangowalk.com

Well that’s all for now.  My cup of Costa Rica coffee and delicious dark chocolate awaits.

In my next blog I will tell you all about the bean to bar experience.  Please stay tuned for more chocolate adventures.

ChocoTalk | South America Chocolate Tour | Part 1 | Christy's gourmet Gifts in Burlington Ontario

You can meet the Chocolatier face-to-face at our Tasting Day on Saturday April 9thth from 2pm to 4pm. Bernhard will be offering free samples of Costa Rican bean-to-bar chocolate. Come by 3530 Mainway in Burlington to try it! Taste the difference quality makes!

A Lesson in Chocolate Tempering: ChocoTalk

ChocoTalkBanner4

A Lesson in Chocolate Tempering

Ask any chocolatier in the industry what one of the most important skills is to learn and they will likely tell you the art of tempering.

ChocoTalk with Christy's Gourmet Gifts Master Chocolatier | Burlington, Ontario Chocolate and Gift Shop

Tempering chocolate is the art of bringing the chocolate to a certain temperature and viscosity, so that you don’t get ‘bloomed’ chocolate.  Think of cocoa butter and chocolate like oil and vinegar, they desperately want to separate – this creates bloomed chocolate. Tempering chocolate creates a chocolate/cocoa butter utopia, where the chocolate is not able to separate within itself

There are two types of bloom:

Moisture Bloom – Sugar crystals pull in moisture and expand. With the moisture bloom you will see spots throughout the chocolate.

Fat Bloom – Cocoa butter separates from the rest of the ingredients. With the fat bloom you will see a hazy look throughout the chocolate.

Below you will see a photo of chocolate with a fat and moisture bloom, compared to a properly tempered chocolate bar. Which would you rather eat?! 😉

ChocoTalk with the Master Chocolater | How to Temper Chocolate | Burlington, Ontario

How can you tell if you have a properly tempered bar? Even if there are no signs of a moisture bloom (spots) or a fat bloom (hazy), a tempered chocolate will have a tell-tale ‘snap’ sound when you break it.  An un-tempered bar will bend slightly when you try to break it. In addition, tempered chocolate ‘sets’ quickly with a glossy finish, where un-tempered chocolate will ‘set’ slowly and you’ll end up with a dull finish.

Are you interested in learning more about how to temper chocolate? Take a look at the how-to below OR join me at one of our Chocolate Making Workshops!

-Bernhard, The Master Chocolatier

Temper Chocolate - Tabling Technique
The tabling technique is best done on granite or a stone counter top. (Use parchment paper to cut down on the mess). I like doing this method because it gives me a real feel for the chocolate and let's me see it start to crystallize.
Ingredients
  • Chocolate callets
Instructions
  1. Measure out the amount of chocolate you need. Melt the chocolate in a clean dry bowl in a microwave. Do short bursts of 30-45 seconds, stirring in between until chocolate is totally melted and you reach 45 degrees Celsius.
  2. Cover a countertop with a piece of parchment paper. Pour roughly ⅔ of the melted chocolate onto the parchment.
  3. With a pallet knife or spatula, work the chocolate until it starts to crystallize (the step right before it starts to harden), if it goes too far and begins to get clumpy, you will have to start again from Step 1.
  4. Once it starts to crystallize, put the chocolate from the parchment paper back into the melted chocolate in the bowl. Mix it together and make sure it all blends in.
  5. To ensure readiness: Milk and White Chocolate should be brought to 28-30 degrees Celsius. Dark Chocolate should be brought to 31-32 degrees Celsius.
Notes
*Tip from the Master Chocolatier, Bernhard*
Drizzle some of the chocolate on your finger once you think you have brought it to correct working temperature. Touch your lip with the chocolate. If the chocolate reads cold, it is good to go.

 

You can meet the Chocolatier face-to-face at our Tasting Day on Saturday February 6th from 2pm to 4pm. Bernhard will be offering free samples of a new favourite single origin chocolate. Come by 3530 Mainway in Burlington to try it! Taste the difference quality makes!

If you’d like a more in-depth introduction to chocolate, join Bernhard at one of our Chocolate Making Workshops on Thursday, February 11th, Friday February 12th or Saturday February 13th. More information can be found at our website: http://www.christysgourmetgifts.com/store/item/?id=162

Stay tuned for a video where we discuss different chocolate tempering techniques.

Meet Bernhard, the Chocolatier: ChocoTalk

ChocoTalkBanner4Meet Bernhard, the Chocolatier

We are very excited to announce that Bernhard Mueller, the Master Chocolatier and Baker at Christy’s Gourmet Gifts, will be starting his own segment on the blog called ChocoTalk!

In this segment, Bernhard will discuss everything from chocolate tips and tricks, recipes, behind the scenes at Christy’s and more.

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Want to get to know the expert? Check out our interview with Bernhard the Chocolatier below!

Bernhard the Chocolatier | Christy's Gourmet Gifts | Burlington, Ontario

What inspired you to become a chocolatier?

With a European background, I grew up tasting chocolate. Chocolate was a central part of all our family traditions. This fueled my passion and love for fine, high-end chocolate. As a teen, I worked in the German club and was involved in helping to make European dishes and traditional baked goods. I was always intrigued by the artisanal nature of European chocolatiers. Their passion for hand crafting chocolate using only quality ingredients inspired me. Later in life, I was blessed to meet my wife Christy, who was a talented baker with an entrepreneurial spirit. Together we started Christy’s Gourmet Gifts and with her encouragement I persued my dream of becoming a chocolatier. It has been a sweet life adventure and I look forward to all that the future brings.

Are you working with any noteworthy ingredients lately?

Right now I’m experimenting with pairing 70% French Dark Chocolate and health foods – such as chia seeds, hemp hearts, buckwheat sproats and goldenberries. Our customers have been raving about it so far! A perfect way to start the New Year, antioxidants and chocolate!

Chia Seed French Dark Chocolate Bar | Christy's Gourmet Gifts | Burlington, Ontario

Do you have a favourite chocolate?

I know as a true chocolatier I should prefer dark chocolate, but I have a sweet tooth and to me there is nothing better than a piece of creamy milk chocolate.

What is your favourite part about being a chocolatier?

I love experimenting with new products, and being creative with chocolate pairings. Trying and bringing in interesting single origin chocolate is also my favourite part about being a chocolatier. For instance, I just brought Amedei Porcelana bars from Italy into the Christy’s Gourmet Gifts shop. These are created with one of the rarest cocoa beans in the world. How amazing is that?!

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Bernhard the Chocolatier at Christy's Gourmet Gifts

You can meet the Chocolatier face-to-face at our Tasting Day on Saturday February 6th from 2pm to 4pm. Bernhard will be offering free samples of a new favourite single origin chocolate. Come by 3530 Mainway in Burlington to try it! Taste the difference quality makes!

If you’d like a more in-depth introduction to chocolate, join Bernhard at one of our Chocolate Making Workshops on Thursday, February 11th, Friday February 12th or Saturday February 13th. More information can be found at our website: http://www.christysgourmetgifts.com/store/item/?id=162