Thursday, September 30, 2010

October Chocolate "Holidays"

October has many fun food holidays you could celebrate with chocolate, Sisters and Brothers.  Since we are hosting our annual Halloween Treat Challenge, I wanted to get these out there to you so you can make some decisions about your monthly chocolate consumption.

Of course in the USA and a few other countries, Halloween is the big candy holiday in October. We will be looking at a few chocolate treats that you could give out to trick o'treaters if you like.

The entire month of October hosts two different fun food holidays connected to chocolate.  Both the "National Dessert Month" and "National Cookie Month" claim October as their month.  Cookies are primarily a dessert item so I think these two events coincide well.

October 7 is "National Frappe Day" and there is no reason why a frappe couldn't include or add a bit of chocolate to be more fun.

October 10 is "National Angel Food Cake Day" and I'm going to get in touch with one of my sisters to see if she'd be willing to share her recipe for chocolate angel food cake because it is her husband's favorite and we had it every year for his birthday.

October 14 is "National Chocolate-Covered Insect Day" and if anyone company out there makes them, I will try them but I'll never buy this sort of thing even to share the experience with all of you.

The second Thursday in October (the 14th this year) is "National Dessert Day" while the third Thursday (the 21st this year) is "Sweetest Day".

October 18 is "National Chocolate Cupcake Day" and I'm thinking I might use this giant cupcake pan to do something to celebrate.  It was a gift from one of our new Mocha Acolyte's and his boyfriend.  Thank you, Tim and Long.




October 28 is "National Chocolate Day" and what nation that is will depend on where you are I declare. So everyone celebrate this one.

Remember there really isn't an official list of these sorts of holidays so what is in any one month or on any given day depends on your source.  I'm scanning for new celebrations you all can participate in from anywhere I can glean them.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Cupcake Birthday 2010

Your Chocolate Priestess had a great two day celebration of her 41st birthday this past weekend on both Saturday (her actual birthday) and then with a huge two-part party on Sunday.

I'm fine with cake but usually I don't think that cakes are as chocolaty as I really want them to be.  Brownies tend to taste more chocolaty to me and they can be made two ways: fudge or cake.  I think the fudge variety is more chocolaty but for some reason even the cake version tastes more like our Sacred Substance than a cake does to me. 

So I told my guys that I wanted dark chocolate brownies but since I recently bought a brownie decorating book I wanted something else done with them.  At first I wanted them cut into both teddy bear and heart shapes.  Using cookie cutters to trace around meant that the fudge variety, which is lower and firmer than the cake variety was required for this party.

The White Chocolate Acolyte baked them, two boxes actually in two 9 by 13 inch glass pans.  Then the Milk Chocolate Acolyte took the task of cutting then decorating them.  I'll put a bigger photo below so you can see more details.  He melted 2 boxes of Baker's White Chocolate squares and one box of their semi-sweet variety and spooned the melted chocolate over the brownies.  As you can see it was very thick.  Then he tried to use a stencil he made from wax paper to put heart in light green sprinkles on top.  Soon however he says he went for a brownie that was too warm and the stencil was messed up and he was frustrated.



I think they looked beautiful, don't you?  I mean, I'm the one who does most of the cooking and baking in our household, maybe 90% of it so I'm pleased when the guys try.  And to be honest, I don't have either the hand strength nor the patience to really decorate what I bake very well.

They tasted so GOOD!  Very dark and fudgy.  Even one guest who doesn't normally like brownies said she thought these were awesome.

Of course I did get other chocolate related items for my birthday but I'll talk about those in a later post.  Get ready, Sisters and Brothers, we are soon to embark on the Halloween Treat Challenge for this year.  It is not too late for you to get your favorite chocolatiers and candy makers involved so spread the word but do it quickly.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Dark (Chocolate) Rituals

Finally, your Chocolate Priestess has figured out how to give this link to the pdf to all of you so you may read this lovely article.

Please do click the link and leave a comment here letting us and the magazine know what you think about it.

Magazine Article

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Attune Your Body with Chocolate

Since today is technically your Chocolate Priestess's birthday and this means she'll be doing a lot and eating some rich but also some healthy food, I wanted to do a small Sacrament.  The people from Attune sent me a coupon for a free sample of their "Probiotic Chocolate Bar" which I found at our nearby co-op Bloomingfoods.

The bar was found in a end display with other small yogurt products.  That is because this 20g bar has live yeast cultures that are supposed to support digestive health.  This health claim has been around for some time for yogurt, indeed as a woman I've been told by various doctors that it can help not only my digestion but also my "female parts" shall we say.  That's a big problem because I really, really do not like yogurt at all. The idea then of a chocolate bar I can eat with similar health benefits is very appealing to me.

One bar retailed for $1.29 where I bought it.  One bar is one serving with 80 calories, 3.5g saturated fat, 3g fiber, 6g sugars, 1g protein, 4% of your daily iron but 30% of the daily calcium you need.  It is made of 68% cocoa content and has a very deep chocolate scent as soon as I opened the wrapper.  It is 3 inches long, almost 1.5 inches wide and 0.25 inches deep.  There is an etched active figure and the brand name on each of the two sections of the bar.

You should store this in the refrigerator until you eat it to help keep the cultures functioning.  The bar is very solid and makes a strong snap when I take a big.  Immediately there is a burst of dark chocolate bitterness that increases with each chew.  It has a less than smooth texture as well but it also is not grainy so a bit difficult to describe.  While this is only 68% cacao it tastes much more bitter than I would expect so try this if you like the mid-70% level chocolate. 

This is the best tasting probiotic anything I've ever had in my life.  I feel like I'm being bad eating a candy bar but I know that this may be pretty good for me.  So check them out because this could a healthy Sacrament you could use every day to get your chocolate fix and take care of your body.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Dating, Gifts & Chocolate

Continuing the them from Wednesday, Sisters and Brothers, I want to share a few more gifts I've been given, why they were good or not so choices and a gift we gave ourselves last night.

As I hope you remember, a while back I gave you a little photo tour of a shop in my town which has an entire half aisle of chocolates from around the globe.  It's a great place to find products that are not available anywhere else in town.  Two groups of friends realized this for one of my past birthdays and got me some bars from the event.

A trio gave me the Dagoba bars you see to the left.  Three flavors -- Lemon Ginger in 68% cacao, Raspberries & Rosehips in 59% cacao, and Lavender Blueberry in 59% cacao.  The other friend who gave me the gift from her European trip, also gave me one of the lavender bars.   We all laughed because we all knew where they went shopping.  I simply gave the lavender bar to another friend at some point in the year.  I'm not allergic to any of the bars so I practiced Moderation and had a bit of each and then also shared them.  I liked all of them though they are definitely not the best examples of these flavor combinations I've ever had.  the good thing about them all is that they can be broke into small sections easily and that helps with Moderation and sharing both.

The other gift my traveling friend gave from that same local store included three bigger exotic bars.  Two from Vosges -- "Barcelona" and "Oaxaca" -- and one from Valor.  These were truly unique flavors and one, the "Barcelona" I couldn't share at home because it had nuts so I'll save it to share with other friends.  My least favorite here was the 70% cacao with pieces of pears from Valor.  While the blend of the bitter chocolate with the sweet pear was nice the pieces of pears themselves were a bit disappointing.  I realize they need to be dry to be in the bar but their uniform shape was displeasing to my eyes for some reason and a direct bite into a piece didn't have the best texture.

Last night was a dating anniversary for my husband and I.  We mark three anniversaries in our lives -- dating (meaning we decided to see each other exclusively), engagement, and wedding.  We had an evening of pseudo Italian food at the Olive Garden but not dessert there because I bought an Italian cake from our local co-op.  This Balconi brand had three varieties at our store -- vanilla, hazelnut chocolate, and this triple chocolate version -- I think it is rather obvious why I got this one.

It was on sale and I thought it might be worth our trying.  The cake inside was protected by a plastic box that was great for saving what we didn't eat.  Word of caution, don't turn the package upside down though because the cake will fall abit and the lovely top get mushed slightly. 

You just lift out the cake using the tabs from the paper bottom and lift it again to replace it in the plastic box.  It is easy to cut once it is resting on just the paper bottom and sides because the side fold down.  Oddly this cake should have five servings -- each one 100g of a 500g cake.  I had no idea how to cut it like that so I just did four pieces and we each had one.

The cake itself has layers.  Two layers of creamy darker cake, three layers of lighter, thin cake, and then topped with white, milk and dark chocolate shavings.  This is not a healthy cake with about 26g of fats, over 60g carbs, and easily over 500 calories per piece as I cut it.  Definitely we could not eat any more and frankly this was after we went out for a few hours post dinner.  It is difficult for me to describe the taste other than to say that it reminded me very much of cakes I sampled when I lived in Italy for 9 months many years ago. It does not have hazelnuts -- exceedingly common in Italy and other parts of Europe -- be we were careful nonetheless.  No allergy problems to report.

The next two days it is my birthday and birthday party so I'm sure there will be more chocolate surprises ahead.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

More Gifts for a Chocolate Priestess

Yesterday I talked about gift ideas, not just for me but for anyone who has a hobby or a passion.  Let's focus more on Chocolate today and take a closer look at some of the lovely gifts I've been given.

First, note that chocolate doesn't always need to be food or drink.  There are many items that use chocolate as a theme or a decoration.  These can be sheets for a twin bed set, or games, or cookware, or signs, or t-shirts like we gave away recently.  The benefit of non-food gifts related to someone's passion or hobby is that it should last much longer than foods or drinks would.  I'll be reviewing a few such products soon from CSN stores again but let me look to a few food gifts I have received and tell you what I liked about them.

This first product was given to me in August by our Chocolate Coconut Acolyte who has visited the Sanders store several times and told me about their products.  These are the dark chocolate with mint patties that come in a single layer of 12 pieces.  These may look like York Peppermint patties but they taste more like Andes mints.  The mint is very cool and the chocolate is much thicker than any other product I've tried of the same type.  I liked this because she knew I had never had their products and she knew that everyone in my household would like this flavor combination.  That meant I shared them and thus was able to exercise Moderation with them.  I also liked them because she had to think about me when she was visiting them.

It is always nice when you know someone is thinking about you not because they must but because they see something they know you'll like.  Another friend of mine, Cindy, has the finances to travel far more than I do.  For the second summer in a row she gave me some lovely chocolates from aeschbach (lower case as they spell their name).  This time it was these bite size chocolates that melted in my mouth.  I'm not sure what they are called but they had a very frosting like taste to them and when I looked at the box's list of ingredients I saw why: added vegetable oil.  Again this was a product I'd never had before and it showed me that my friend was thinking about me even while enjoying Europe.

We'll continue with some more reviews of some gifts I've received as a countdown to my actual birthday on the 25th.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

What to Give a Chocolate Priestess

A few of the gifts I've received in the past year.
Your Chocolate Priestess's birthday is coming up soon, September 25th to be exact.  As we get older it can be a challenge to choose a gift for someone when they seem to have everything.  Do you go with something they all ready seem to have so much of?  A gift certificate?  Something completely different you hope they'll like?

In my experience doing the third option is generally a bad idea. What if you choose incorrectly?  Not only will the receipt need to act as though they like the gift, politeness you know, but they may have to use it once before hiding it away or re-gifting it to someone else.  Giving someone something you don't know they like also sends the message: I just didn't want to be bothered by figuring out what to give you.

Sometimes what you choose turns out to be good because it's drawn from what you've seen your friend or family member use.  Be careful because recently I gave a gift to someone whom doesn't share his partner's fondness for a certain store when I assumed since I saw them with products from there, they were both going there to buy things.

Gift cards or certificates are similar in that you need to be careful of what store you use.  These days you can avoid that with general gift cards that function as credit cards with pre-paid amount on them.  Going that extra mile to find a store you know your friend or family likes is even better in my experience unless the receiver is one of those folks who lose cards or misplace them.  Remember many business now are placing time limits on their cards and they start to lose the value you placed on them after a few months.

Going with something you know they love also has it's down side.  How many cow figurines do they have room for?  Do they all ready that wine or that hat?  Giving food items is useful if you know they will eat them and if you know what they all ready have or what they really like.

That's where things get tricky around here for my birthday.  Obviously I love chocolate but I am also trying to live up to our motto of Moderation and Purposefulness.  Part of what that means is that I slow down and try to appreciate the chocolate in all ways that my senses can.  I take notes and make posts so that you can learn about chocolate varieties without gaining weight or spending money on something that isn't the quality it should be.

The up side of giving me chocolate is that you know I'll want it and it very well could help me with this blog.  There are two important considerations for anyone thinking of giving me chocolate. What do I have on hand and what have I all ready reviewed.

You could come and dig around in my chocolate stash that I keep safe but then I'd know you were thinking about chocolate.  You could look through my books and see what I don't have yet.  That might involve more time than you are willing to spend.

Gift certificates are great then for someone who has a hobby or passion for something they all ready enjoy.  You show you know them but give them the option of what to do next with their love.  Remember you can get gift certificates for walk-in stores or online ones, you can get them for bookshops and bakeries, and you can even get them for kitchen shops or for lessons related to chocolate.

This probably seems like a blatant attempt to get gifts and while I can't claim to not like presents this is more a reply base on a recent conversation I had with a friend.  He claimed he'd have to think more about what to give me since clearly he believed I had enough chocolate all ready.  I was shocked, shocked, at the suggestion I had too much chocolate.

Individually I know all those words but collectively they make no sense to me.  I'm sure that could be said by any chocolate lover or cocoholic out there.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Origin Makes the Difference at Cocoa Dolce

Do you remember Cocoa Dolce, Sisters and Brothers?  We reviewed them first back in July of this year but they sent us an entire mini suitcase of products so it will take four reviews to thoroughly cover them.  This is a side view of that mini suitcase since I showed you the front and back before.  The stickers are starting to come off even though I am storing them in a cool, dry place.  That makes me sad but I'll always have the photos I took.

Today we are doing the second of those reviews by looking at the two single origin bars they sent our way.  Remember the special thing about single origin chocolate is that the soil, the conditions under which the cacao tree is raised, the type of tree it was, all these factors influence the flavor of the chocolate.  Both of these bars have the same ingredients other than where the cocoa came from and they are the same cacao content at 66%.  Any difference I report on them must be a reflection of where they are raised.

Each bar is 4.25 X 1.25 X 0.3 inches by dimensions.  The Mexican one, green foil, has a stronger scent than the Madagascar one in the red foil.  Otherwise both seem identical with three etched divisions. I do not have the nutritional information but if you practice Moderation I doubt it will be a big issue.  Both bars make a snap when I take a bite and even continue to crunch very slowly as I chew.  The cute little cocoa bean pods etched into the bars are interestingly placed across the three section breaks.  The Mexican at first tastes very bland but with each chew I feel a cocoa buzz building up as well as an almost smoky dark flavor. 

I clean my palate before trying the next bar because I want to fully appreciate the difference between these two origins.  Remember, Sisters and Brothers, only drink water and wait or clean your mouth out before switching between different flavors, types or varieties of chocolate.  The Madagascar bar feels a touch smoother and cooler when I take in my fingers.  If I take a very deep whiff I can pull out a very light scent.  This has a light flavor when I take a bite that turns into an almost sugary sweetness with a bit of fruity aftertaste.  Letting either bar melt in your mouth intensifies the differences and the cocoa rush.

Cocoa Dolce once more pleases your Chocolate Priestess and is a worthy Sacrament.  Please do check them out because there are eight varieties of single origin bars we did not receive to reveal to you all for a total of 10 bars you can buy individually or as a 10-pack.  You will not be disappointed plus cute little suitcase and these adorable "documents" that look like travel documents but give you information about the company and their products as well as awesome coupons you can use.  Mine expired but that's OK because I am rarely short on chocolate.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Chocolate Cult in Magazine

The issue of Spezzatino is out and the article about us is in it.

This is what the cover of the article looks like: 

I've been trying to figure out how to attach a pdf of the article, which the magazine said I could share here on blogspot as well as on my website.  I can't figure out how to do that right now and I've kept you all waiting for about two weeks all ready.

So this is what I'm going to do.  If you leave a comment AND your name on that comment links to an email for you, I will send you the pdf of the article.

Or you could wait and when I can figure this out, I 'll edit this and add it.

To read the entire issue devoted entirely to Chocolate you have to get a subscription but remember that your price will go toward feeding those in need.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Chocolate Walk 2010

Sisters and Brothers, here is a reminder that if you would like to join The Chocolate Cult for the 3rd Chocolate Walk in Brown County Indiana, you need to get your tickets soon.  I promise these will sell out.  So go HERE and check it out.  Then once you have your tickets, leave a comment and we can start arranging carpools.

For those of you who live a bit further away, one of the hotels in Nashville, Indiana, has a special deal for the event.  I'll add their information right now so you can check them out.


3rd Annual
Brown County Humane Society
Chocolate Walk
Saturday, November 13, 2010
*******************
Weekend Getaway
November 12 and/or 13, 2010
Friday or Saturday $189plus tax
Friday and Saturday $269plus tax
Package includes:
v      One or two nights in a One or Two Bed Suite
v    $30 dinner certificate to use in Darlene's- the hotel restaurant
v      2 Tickets for the Humane Society Chocolate Walk- Downtown Nashville
v      Complimentary Continental Breakfast each morning
v      Enjoy the Indoor Pool, Sauna and Whirlpool Spa
Limited packages available. Advance Reservations required.  Not available with other discounts.
Brown County Humane Society’s Chocolate Walk is Saturday November 13-10am to 5pm (time subject to change) in downtown Nashville. "Chocolate Walkers" may sample different chocolates by visiting  participating retailers. Local chocolate-makers and premier Indiana chocolatiers will be giving away chocolate to each Chocolate Walker. For the price of a ticket, a person can stop at as many shops as they wish, sample the delectable creations. All proceeds go directly to the animals.


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Halloween Treat Challenge 2010


The Chocolate Cult is pleased to announce our 2nd annual Halloween Treats Challenge for chocolatiers, confectioners, bakers, and purveyors of cocoa related treats.

The rules are simple.

Contact the Chocolate Priestess via thetammyjo@gmail.com and arrange to send a sample of your Halloween treats for review on The Chocolate Cult.

Send your sample early enough, and I will devote one day in October exclusively to your product — the earlier the better, because the thousand readers we get each month will have more time to order from you.  The sample does not need to be large, but there should be enough of each treat for the Chocolate Priestess to write a five-senses review of the product, and keep in mind that a photograph we take of the product(s) will accompany the review. 

On Halloween, October 31, 2009, I will name up to six winners of the challenge.  The categories will be Best Mass Produced Halloween Treat, Best Gourmet Halloween Treat, Best Baked Halloween Treat (for businesses that create their own unique products),  Best Independent Halloween Novelty, Best Halloween Treat Source (or those places that sell the products but do not create the treats themselves), and our across category winner will be labeled Best Halloween Treat.

In addition to be the featured product for the day your treats are revealed to the world, the winner of each category will be offered the opportunity to place a FREE ad on the blog for 30 days.  That ad must fit on the sidebar or at the bottom of the page, and you would need to provide the HTML code for it.  This means that you’ll get extra notice for an month before the very busy winter holidays.

Our winners last year included Taraluna, Equal Exchange, and The Cookie Sandwich Company.

Please contact thetammyjo@gmail.com if your company is interested in this opportunity. 

Monday, September 13, 2010

International Chocolate Day 2010

If you've been here a year, Sisters and Brothers, you might recall that your Chocolate Priestess went on a search for readily available chocolate products not made in the USA.  This year I decided to focus on two countries in my review for today's fun food holiday.

Actually, this is more a nice convenience that happened when I went to my near by Saharamart (I've reviewed them in the past so look them up) and found two chocolate goods on clearance that happened to be from Germany and from France.  Since my father's side of my family is from those two countries (plus Canada) and I did the first September Saturday Sacrament on a Canadian chocolatier, I thought it would be cool to honor by father's ancestors by looking at these two products.


The first is Bahlsen based in Hannover, Germany. Their "Afrika" cookies are wafers covered with milk chocolate.  They are very thin and very light tasty, made with both cocoa butter and chocolate liquor.  They do have wheat, milk, eggs and soy so be wary if you have any of these allergies.  One box has four servings of 8 cookies.  Each serving has 160 calories made up of 5g saturated fat, 5mg cholesterol, 25mg sodium, 1g fiber, 12g sugars, 2g protein with 6% iron and calcium that an adult needs daily.  Each these slowly or you may find yourself eating the entire tasty box if you aren't careful -- I didn't do that, I purposely shared to help me not do that.


The French chocolates I found also on the 50% off racks, are from Valrhona in France.  These are small bars weighing only 0.7oz each and normally costing $1.99 so that may shock several of you, Sisters and Brothers.   There were two varieties a "Tanariva" which is 33% cocoa and "Jivara" that has 40% cocoa.  The Tanariva's label says it will be "Sweet & Caramelized" and it does have that tangy sweetness I expect from caramel even though there is no caramelized listed on the ingredients.  The Jivara's label says "Creamy & Chocolatey" which is exactly what I taste.

Germany and France, thank you both for helping me celebrate "International Chocolate Day" this year.  What other country's chocolate will you use to celebrate today, Sisters and Brothers?

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Riot of Chocolate

The wonderful ladies of sweetriot sent us two types of products and today we're going to review two varieties of their unBar which looks like it is being re-marketed as the yumBar.  On their website we get this promise from sweetriot: "All natural, anti-oxidant-rich, dairy-free, kosher, gluten-free cacao with a mission."  I think that will interest most of you, Sisters and Brothers.

The bars are a 65% cacao in a purple wrapper and a 70% cacao in the orange wrapper.  Both are four 1 X 1 X pyramid of chocolate sections which make up the 1.34 oz.  These are full of chocolate in the form of cocoa mass, coca powder, cacao nibs, and cocoa butter.  No artificial flavors but some added sugar and soy lecithin.    There are some differences in the nutritional value of the bars.  The 65% has 10 more calories, 1 less gram of saturated fat,1 less gram of fiber, 1 less gram of sugars, but both bars have 3g protein with 2% calcium and 10% iron an adult needs daily.

The 65% is basically the dark chocolate and dark cocoa nibs.   Because it is so thick it is a bit difficult to take a nibble and when I get a bike it makes a loud snap.  Chewing produces a soft crunch from the nibs.  The bitterness floods my tongue and mouth making my eyes flutter with a cocoa buzz.  Definitely not for anyone who doesn't not love very dark chocolate.  Oddly the scent is not very easy to pick up and that might be a function of the older all dryness of the bar.  It is also very difficult to break off a pyramid from the quad.

The 70% also has the dark chocolate and cocoa nibs but it also has raisins and this gives me pause.  As  you might recall, this summer I reviewed a bar that had raisins and I was not impressed at all.  I don't honestly think that all fruits, all spices, all teas, and all nuts are good matches for any type or even any chocolate at all.  But I am fair as you know, Sisters and Brothers, so I open the orange wrapper up.  Again very little scent until I bring it to my nose.  I don't see any visible signs of raisins and don't smell them.  This is a little harder to bite off a piece and the bar tastes noticeably more bitter, almost coffee like.  It is very crunchy as I chew, the buzz even more intense that for the previous bar but 1/2 of the way through one pyramid I have yet to taste or feel a raisin.  Ok, I keep going with another bite, my head starting to feel light from the rush.  I do taste a raisin finally but I don't feel it on my tongue.  It has a sweetness that balances really well with this level of chocolate. 

Sweetriot is a wonderful company if you like dark, small treats that you can feel great about eating on several levels including your health, your taste buds, support for women owned business, and support for ethical, globally aware practices.  Their products are certainly worthy of The Chocolate Cult and I urge you to give them a try perhaps as a riot pack that will give you a sample of all of the offerings we've revealed to you in Saturday Sacraments.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Chocolate Fetish Winners

The wonderful folks at Kinky Barcelona have been watching the comments and enjoying them.  Even though we fell 10 entries short, they have been kind enough and told me to give the prizes away.

Our grand prize winner is mavido79 who will get a t-shirt. 






Our two tote bag winners are Sylvarose and J.Denae.









I will contact each of them and arrange for them to talk to the folks at Kinky Barcelona to get their prizes.

Thank you everyone of you for reading, commenting and joining us here in The Chocolate Cult. Remember we'll have more giveaways and contests throughout the year so keep checking back.  Our Saturday Sacraments are a must read.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Aunt Millie's Muffins

Today is "National Muffin Day" Sisters and Brothers.  Here in The Chocolate Cult, you know this means muffins with chocolate or cocoa, something from our Sacred Substance.  Before I reveal two varieties I found from Aunt Millie's, I want to remind you all that this contest which ends Friday morning still needs entries.  Such a generous gift from a company -- three prizes -- deserves a lot of attention from us.  Here is the LINK to it, share it with everyone you know.

Now on to the muffins. 










Aunt Millie's a mass producer of bread products and in the last year I've seen that they've increased their product line to include muffins.  I bought these at my nearby Marsh with a coupon when they were on sale earlier this summer.  Let me tell you, they were much better than I had hoped for this type of product but still not as good as homemade or bakery fresh muffins.

The first type are the "Chocolate Chip Muffins" which comes in a 11.25oz box and includes 6 muffins individually wrapped.  These are made with high quality milk chocolate chips that include both cocoa butter and chocolate liquor.  It also has wheat, milk, soy and eggs in case you have allergies to any of these.  Each muffin is 190 calories made up of 2.5g saturated fat, 35mg cholesterol, 150mg sodium, 30mg potassium, 2.5g fiber, 3g protein and six vitamins and minerals. 

The "Brownie Muffins" also came in 6 muffin pack but these are slightly larger with the entire box weighing in at 13.5oz.  More muffin means more calories and these come in at 220 calories per.  That includes 2g saturated fat, 15mg cholesterol, 130mg sodium, 155mg potassium, 1.5g fiber, 3g protein and seven vitamins and minerals.  Nutritionally it's arguable that these are slightly better over all but in terms of the amount of chocolate, these are definitely better with their dark cocoa.

If I had a coupon and these were on sale, I'd certainly consider buying these again. 

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Triple Delight Chocolate Bar

Don't forget to enter our latest giveaway if you live in the lower 48 United States. 

Today is "World Chocolate" Day, Sisters and Brothers.  I looked through the offerings we've received and found that I had a few treats from Cocoa Nymph, a Vancouver CANADA chocolatier.  To celebrate both this fun food holiday and do a Saturday Sacrament, they seemed just perfect.  I had two types of treats from them still to review: cocoa covered nuts and a bar of chocolate.  Since my day is incredibly busy today I went with the Sea Nymph bar.

One of the unique things about this "dark chocolate with sea salt & english toffee" (sic) bar is how it is wrapped. The lovely blue paper covering is pretty but it's the inside wrapper that was unique.  It's a sealed plastic envelop which reminds me of the more expensive sticker sheets I get from friends and family for my birthday or holidays from time to time.  This plastic wrapper is very easy to unfold and to reseal so you can eat a little at a a time then wrap it back up.

That's a good option since this bar measures 2.75 X 5 X 0.25+ inches.  It is very thick etched into 12 individual pieces.  Wonderfully the nutritional facts are for the entire bar because let's be honest, some of us may have problems controlling how much we eat once we taste this but I worked at leading our Sacrament in the proper way and limited myself to one rectangle.  The entire bar has 520 calories with 24g saturated fat, 15mg cholesterol, 520mg sodium, 10g fiber, 37g sugar, 5g protein, 4% calcium and 35% of the iron an adult needs daily.

First, the bar looks lovely with the pretty design on each rectangle.  It also looks huge for a candy bar but then this isn't a "candy bar" that insulting small chocolatiers when we use the same words we'd use before snagging a bar in the check out line of a store.  The texture is a little rough on the back to my fingers and I can see little air pockets in the bar, a sign to me that this was made in small batches with minimal machine attention.  It has a dark cocoa scent with a hint of salt and sweetness. Breaking off a rectangle is actually rather difficult because it is so thick.  It makes a very loud snap when I take a small bite and immediately I taste the dark cocoa.  Very soon the sweetness of the toffee and the crunch of those pieces, not air bubbles at all, hits my tongue.  Finally the bites fades down to the sea salt before ending with another strong cocoa essence.

The cocoa buzz happens after that one tiny bite and I know this is an amazing treat that Cocoa Nymph has created.  I don't even need a second bite of this 64% cacao delight that is how strong the chemicals in our Sacred Substance hit me this morning.  I am pleased to state that the Sea Nymph bar is a worthy Saturday Sacrament for us so do not let the price detour you.  I look forward to the fall when I try their cocoa nut collections.  Check them out and take a special look at their five different chocolate bar  confections.

Don't forget to enter our latest giveaway if you live in the lower 48 United States.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Chocolate T-Shirt/Tote bag Giveaway

As you've seen, Sisters and Brothers, we've given away chocolates, chocolate vegan syrup, even hot chocolate makers, but this week we are giving away three products from a fairly new company called Kinky Barcelona.  I know the creative force behind this new company who told me that I, your Chocolate Priestess, inspired one of his creation.

This is what I inspired:


See the kitty on top has a bar of chocolate and prefers that to her playmate.  The image is entitled: Chocolate Fetish.  The caption reads "I told you... Chocolate is my Fetish".



Kinky Barcelonia is going to give out one t-shirt (you pick the color and size) and then two tout bag with this design on it.  The tout bags are black and are made of strong canvas measuring 13.5 X 13.5 X 3.5 inches.  The t-shirts come in five colors that one winner may choose from and range from sizes small to 2X.

Since this is such a generous giveaway I need to demand more action on your part to enter this contest which will end by 8am Eastern Time on Friday, September 10, 2010.  Only addresses in the continental USA are eligible to win.

1.  To enter you must be a public Follower of The Chocolate Cult either through blogspot, Facebook, or Networked Blogs.  I do check this each time so if you joined for the last contest then left us you must rejoin -- honestly why would you leave your Sisters and Brothers in Cocoa behind?  You can join in either of those three ways linked to on the left hand side of this blog.  Make certain that your listing as a follower includes a way for me to contact you directly by private email. If you win and I can't contact you, I'll move on to the next person in line.

2. Click on the company link above or here (Kinky Barcelona) and check out their other designs.  Then leave a comment saying which design, other than this one, you liked best and way.

3.  To enter you must leave a comment below by 7am Eastern Time on Friday, September 10, 2010.   and that you do live in the lower 48 States of the USA.

4. This is such a generous offering, I need to see at least 25 entries from different readers to win.  So go out and let others know about this contest.  If we don't get enough entries, I'll postpone this contest and hope the nice folks at Kinky Barcelona will come back and offer it in the future.

The order of your comments will determine your number for the random drawing so the first person to comment will be #1, the fourth person will be #4 and so forth.  The winner will be chosen using this random number generator.  The two winners of the tout bags will then be determined using the same generator.  You cannot win more than one of these cool items.

The winner's names will be posted after I have contacted them and gotten their addresses for Kinky Barcelona to contact them and work out details like size, color, and shipping.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Forthcoming Magazine Article on The Chocolate Priestess

I just wanted to announce, Sisters and Brothers that there will be an article about your Chocolate Priestess and, of course, about us here on The Chocolate Cult in the online food magazine Spezzatino later this month.

I've seen a galley proof of it and it looks respectful and honest.  I hope it draws more readers to our flock and we keep spreading the love of and proper use of our Sacred Substance worldwide.

Spezzatino volume 11 will focus on Chocolate and the article about us will be on pages 22-25.  The article is called "Dark (Chocolate) Rituals: Spiritual Guidance from the Chocolate Priestess" and is written by Krista Scott-Dixon.

Each issue, Spezzatino focuses on one ingredient in depth covering it from how it is created/grown to the ways it is used along with how it affects the body and how culture looks at this one type of food.  Plus profits go to feed the homeless and the staff is entirely volunteer.  The magazine is in pdfs and it has beautiful photographs and well-researched articles.

Now some of the stats that are quoted are a month or two old so we've grown even in that time.  Once I discover a way to share this pdf if my readers here, I'll do so.

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