Archive for August, 2013

Chocolate Bees, Ladybugs Take Flight at John & Kira’s
Friday, August 30th, 2013

Head Chocolatier at John & Kira’s, Angela Sticco, attended The Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College in Philadelphia for culinary arts.

Upon graduating she realized that while she loved cooking, she also wanted to learn more about pastry, bread and chocolate. What better to do that than to take on an apprenticeship in France? For three months Sticco worked under Chef Frederic Godard in his bakery, Chez Botrel, in Chartres, France. She worked 12-hour days six days a week for free, in exchange for room and board. There she learned how to temper chocolate, prepare croissant dough, braise a whole rabbit in mustard sauce and more.

On her day off she would take the train to Paris and eat everything she could. A few short years after returning from France she found herself with the itch to live in Europe again. She lived in Palermo and Sicily for a year and a half, traveling as much as she could while she was there to sample food from different regions. In between her travels she worked for a local fudge company in Philadelphia called Betty’s Tasty Buttons and spent a few years with Di Bruno Bros., a specialty food company and worked for a few bakeries and catering companies in the area.

When did you first aspire to be a chocolatier? 

To be honest, I don’t know that I did aspire to become a chocolatier. I just always knew that I wanted to do something artistic and highly specialized in the food industry. While I attended culinary school I became enthralled with specific foods and would read and eat as much as I could. One month it would be honey, the next it was Brie, the next was chocolate, butter or prosciutto di Parma. I always wanted to excel in just one category. Once I got the job at John & Kira’s I knew it was what I was meant to do. I have this odd combination of talents: attention to detail, speed and just a touch of OCD, which is perfectly suited to producing high volume chocolates. Who knew my capacity to do one thing over and over again for hours could eventually pay off?!

What does it mean to you do be a chocolatier?

To me, it means that I am part of a very long tradition of artisans that create beautiful, edible pieces of art. I am really big on tradition and I’ve always been taught to honor handmade skills. My family, my home and my city are all big parts of my life as well. Being a chocolatier for a local company in Philadelphia is like a dream. I get to do what I love in the city I was born and raised in, while using old techniques. It’s quite a career!

Tell us about your honey. What type(s) do you use?

We use clover honey in our products. It ‘s a mild, sweet, floral taste that goes great with Valrhona 62% chocolate.

What do you love about working with honey?

I love the viscosity of honey and it’s ability to transform a normal caramel into something otherworldly, like in our caramel bees.

Your products are so unique. We love the honey ladybugs and bees! Where do you get your inspiration? 

We get our inspiration mostly from the local gardens that we support.

Do you have any plans for future products including honey?

Of course! Our caramel bees are such a popular product we are always looking for more outlets to use honey. We always are testing new recipes and working on product development at John and Kira’s. The more honey in our repertoire, the better!

 

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BTS Chocolate’s Original Sin
Friday, August 30th, 2013

This variety of honey-sweetened chocolate is a sumptuous treat of honey, dark chocolate and butter.

It joins a line of “sinful” chocolate varieties that include honey.

BTS’s chocolate honey has been produced in small quantities for more than 15 years, only recently having become a mainstream product. Every jar is made with hand-crafted attention to detail, inspired by a health food cookbook from Moosewood Collective in Ithaca, N.Y.

Want to see what other confections contain honey?

 

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Liberty Chocolates
Friday, August 23rd, 2013

All seven of Liberty Chocolate’s chocolate bar flavors—Dark, Peppermint, Almond Coconut, Maple, Acai and Blueberry, Moon Time (cherry/pomegranate), and Hot Pepper—include honey, and are dairy-free.

The cacao beans used in the chocolates are fermented, aged and organic.

Liberty Chocolate is a family-operated company in Worcester, Vt. The company has a strong passion for wholesome and high-quality foods. For a list of ingredients per bar, visit http://libertychocolates.com/products/.

Want to see what other candy products contain honey?

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