The Best Chocolatiers & Confectioners in America

TasteTV and the International Chocolate Salon are pleased to announce the 2017 award winners for the title BEST CHOCOLATIERS AND CONFECTIONERS IN AMERICA

Luxury Artisan Chocolate Art Gallery

The cool and tasty Chocolate Art Gallery at the annual San Francisco International Chocolate Salon event (www.SFChocolateSalon.com) features chocolate skulls, diamonds, dresses, statues, zen gardens, cakes, and even Legos in Scharffen Berger Chocolate.

The Chocolate diamonds come from Chocolatines outside of Chicago, and the zen garden and legos were created by the International Chocolate Salon.

 

Video Recipe for Caramelized Dark Chocolate Hazelnuts

A delicious recipe for Caramelized Dark Chocolate Hazelnuts.

Created by Saratoga Chocolates, and filmed for the TASTEABLE CALIFORNIA television series.

Why we love Guittard’s EPIQUE 70% Chocolate Bar

Guittard Epique chocolate-3

One of our favorite new dark chocolate bars is not from a young upstart artisan bean-to-bar maker, but from a traditional and historic bar maker with a new product line.

Guittard Epique chocolate-1Guittard’s new 70% cacao EPIQUE Blend No. 49 bar is squarely in our “can’t stop eating” list. With chic packaging and color schemes, as well as an included description that this bittersweet chocolate bar has “dried red fruit notes and anise end notes,” the EPIQUE sounds almost like a wine varietal. This particular chocolate varietal includes Forastero, Trinitario, Criollo.

As such an esteemed vintage, it is also a bit more expensive than its E. Guittard predecessors, but well worth it.

Weighing in at 70% cacao, EPIQUE lacks the slightly bitter notes that one could expect in a dark bar over 68%. In addition, a creamy and delicious texture places this product in the “addictive even to non-dark chocolate lovers” category.

Guittard Epique chocolateIt is not an inexpensive snack, but at a $5-$6 price point this still comes in at the lower end of the premium artisan bar scale as far as cost, especially when considering so many artisan bars are now on the shelves at $10-$15.

We have long been fans of the Guittard product line and family, and even included their history in our bestselling book, FRENCH CHOCOLATE (also known as Chocolate FRENCH).

It could be argued that with EPIQUE, Guittard is using this product to appeal to a more costly market while not alienating its current customers. If that is true, then bravo on a job well done! Either way, we love the end result.

Four Top Caramels you have to Taste

CaramelGold2015

If you have love caramels, then you have to try these four Gold Medal award-winning selections from the 2015 International Chocolate Salon’s Artisan Chocolate Awards.

 


 

Luxx Chocolat Bees Knees_5107

Luxx Chocolat Bees Knees: Caramel and ganache infused with honey and Jack Daniels Honey Whisky, 1800 Resposado Agave Tequila and fresh organic apple cider. A dash of fennel citrus sea salt.

GOLD: Best Exterior Design, Most Unique, Best Overall Chocolate Artistry

 


 

Luxx Chocolat CinnaFig_5097

Luxx Chocolat CinnaFig: 72% dark chocolate (Venezuelan). 2 layers, one made with creamy cinnamon caramel with Black Mission figs and the other, a ganache made with mascarpone and goat cheese.

GOLD: Best Exterior Design, Best Ingredient Combinations, Best Overall Chocolate Artistry


 

phillipashleychocolates-Chelonii

Phillip Ashley Chocolates Chelonii™ – salted caramel pecan praline

GOLD: Best Taste

 


 

 

ChocolaTas Milk_5079

ChocolaTas Milk_5082ChocolaTas Milk chocolate covered salted caramels. Smooth creamy caramel in milk chocolate, with a sprinkle of fleur du sel.

GOLD: Best Packaging