Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Speaking of Hot Chocolate...

With the colder weather approaching, who doesn't want to sit down with a refreshing cup of Hot Chocolate? 

If you feel the need to make your own, here is a great recipe for you to try. 

Peppermint Hot Chocolate

1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
3 drops peppermint oil
Sweetened whipped cream, for garnish
Chocolate shavings, for garnish

In a saucepan, combine the cream, milk, sugar, and salt and heat over medium-low heat. When the cream
mixture just begins to steam, add the chopped chocolate, and stir, until melted. Stir in the peppermint oil.
Divide the hot chocolate among mugs and top with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.

Makes 4 servings.

Feel free to purchase chocolate Callets at our store or online. (

Don't feel like being an "At Home Chef" today? We also have pre-made mixes for quick and easy making. (just add milk) Choose from one of our 7 amazing Premium Belgian Hand-Made Hot Chocolate mixes.  We also have single serve sizes available too!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Ask a Chocolatier---How to Temper Chocolate in a Microwave

Microwave Chocolate Tempering

Chocolate must be carefully tempered (or pre-crystallized to achieve the luster, proper melting properties, and stability of quality chocolates).   The technique is quite easy if practiced with care and patience. 

Here is a quick method to achieve a beautiful temper to your chocolate without specialized equipment.   Chocolate may be melted in the microwave. The cooking time will vary with the kind of microwave and the amount of chocolate.

1.    Place the chocolate in a microwave-safe plastic container. Chocolate should be broken up; it will melt faster and more evenly in small pieces.
2.    Microwave on high for one minute.  Stir. 
3.    Use rubber spatula to coax remaining soft pieces to melt. Continue to stir and if necessary, continue microwaving in 5-10 second increments until melting is complete.
4.     Chocolate should appear smooth, shiny and free of bubbles, grainy consistency or lumps. The melted chocolate is in temper and ready to be used!

1.     Heat SLOWLY!  Do not overheat.  Even though it seems as if the chocolate is melting too slowly, 5 seconds will make a significant difference!
2.    White chocolate will melt slower than milk chocolate
3.    Dark chocolate the slowest
4.    Use high quality chocolate for all cooking projects—the better the ingredient, the better the results.

Chocolate Resources—these are great online resources for fine chocolate.  You can also purchase chef-grade chocolate at Cocoa Dolce Artisan Chocolates or William-Sonoma in Bradley Fair.


World Wide Chocolate

Baker’s Catalogue

World Market

Green Acres

Monday, July 29, 2013

Meet the Staff--Lisa Mickey

-What is your favorite thing about working at Cocoa Dolce?

My favorite thing about Cocoa Dolce is its fun and unique work environment. The Cocoa Dolce atmosphere encourages its employees to learn and grow individually while empowering them to work as a team to contribute to a blossoming and ever=growing business. It is a great fusion of fun, spunk and professionalism  p truly a special business to be a part of. 

It is an environment where you can learn several different techniques and develop a style of your won.  It is also conducive to creating and refining one's palette in the chocolate world.  In the day-to-day operations, I see a great variety of confectionaries travel in and out of our production facility. 

Here are a few things I see every day, helping the me continue to grow and love what I do each day.

Casting a bar mold, getting ready to make filled bars.

Hand-tempering some Fortunato #4 for the day!

Checking over a tray of Lemon Chocolates before they head over to the store.

Making some yummy Caramel for the Day

   That's me, hand-tempering for a class!  It's a technique called Tablering.

--Do you have a favorite chocolate to make?  Why?
 I have several things that I continually make on a day-to-day basis. Some of the popular items that I make are not chocolate confections. You can always see me making a batch of Vanilla Bean Marshmallow, or English Toffee (which I love to eat!) or Sunflower Seed Brittle. Those are the things that are different to make and are some of my favorites---if I had to choose J The list will always grow, but I like making just about anything.

--Do you have a “most memorable” moment with your time at Cocoa Dolce?
I have several “most memorable” moments at Cocoa Dolce and with the friends that we have become over the years! I always like doing events that are off-site and seeing people’s reactions to our chocolates! I also think it is fun when we release new items and seeing them fly off the shelves! We tend to always have fun doing launch days and events!

On the macaron launch day, all of us production workers took a group photo with our matching shirts and coordinating macarons!

Beth and Kelly Peterson displaying a tray of macarons a few days before the official launch! They are so delicious.

Here is a picture of our booth at Death by Chocolate. Kelly Peterson and Shelby White helped all of us win the People’s Choice Award for Cocoa Dolce! It was a fun night for everyone!

This was probably one of my favorite trips with my Cocoa Dolce family! We went to Washington D.C. in hopes to receive the Dream Big Small Business of the Year Award with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. It was lots of fun seeing the city and most of all it was an honor to see so many people in love with our chocolates!

--If you weren’t working at Cocoa Dolce, what would your dream job be?
If I was not working at Cocoa Dolce, my dream job would be a chef or sous chef in a restaurant. I have always had a passion to go to culinary school and pursue more advanced schooling in the cooking world. Hopefully I could bring my chocolate life to another realm of the restaurant business!


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Pate de WHAT??

There is a new product making its debut on July 11th at Cocoa Dolce.  But what is Pate de Fruit?

Pate de Fruit are recognized as one of the widely known confections around the world.  You can find this confection through chocolatiers around the world or high end gourmet shops.  They are described as bite sized pieces of jellies and covered in sugar.  The process of making these is far more intricate than it might seem.  Since this is a sugar-based confection, temperature, texture and finished appearance is much different for each flavor and completely opposite of chocolates.  So, it has been a true learning experience for all of us.

Pate de Fruit (pronounced “Pat-day-fwee”) translates from French to fruit paste.  The intricacy of this confection is the creation of the base, created mainly from fresh fruit purees. 

The kitchen at Cocoa Dolce has been busily creating these amazing fruity confections all summer.  Are you ready for Black Cherry, Wild Strawberry, Mango, Blood Orange, Lime and White Peach? Check out our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter page for picture updates.

Don’t forget to pick up your box this Thursday, July 11th!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Employee Spotlight--Kelly Peterson

Meet one of our newest additions to the Cocoa Dolce Team.  Kelly Peterson, Pastry Chef, has been with us for almost a year now.  Get to know her a little more....

*What is your favorite thing about working at Cocoa Dolce?

 Definitely the people.  You could have the worst job ever (not that mine is anywhere close) but being surrounded by awesome co-workers will make all the difference in your day and attitude.


 *Do you have a favorite chocolate to make?  Why? 

 Champagne truffles because every time I make them I get a picture in my head of me eating the entire tray.


*What is your dream chocolate?  (as in, what chocolate, if Beth would allow, what would it be….in details!  Ingredients?  Finish?)

 I would love to see a strawberry cheesecake chocolate coated in graham cracker crumbs and strawberry drizzle.


*Do you have a “most memorable” moment with your time at Cocoa Dolce?

 90s music dance parties that randomly breakout in the kitchen.


*If you weren’t working at Cocoa Dolce, what would your dream job be?

 Sounds very cheesy, but I am very lucky to be doing my dream job.
Welcome to the Team, Kelly!  We are excited to have you on board!




Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Love at First Sight

With Mother’s Day fresh in our minds, we wanted to fill you in on the process for creating our adorable Mother's Day picture!

We had talked about whether to include models with our promotions, in-store or online marketing, print ads and so on.  However, over the years we have decided that our chocolates speak for themselves.  Plus, the logistics of the “right person”, model fees, etc. just hasn’t fit well into our marketing outlook…until this great idea came along! With some of our staff members as new parents and some great customers in the same boat, we thought it might be a perfect time to have our first model shoot.

As all the mom’s and dad’s unloaded the car seats, diaper bags, wardrobe options, bottles and more, you can imagine the scene at the Cocoa Dolce Kitchen may have been a little chaotic.  Our photographer, a long-time customer and mother of two of our models, wanted everything in place and set up before the parents and children arrived so that everything could run smoothly. In discussing the details of this shoot, we knew the idea of working with young children there may be some tears and attitudes involved, not to mention diaper changes and bottle breaks. So, we spent a lot of time talking about the game plan and having all the props set for the shoot.

In a way, we had hoped there might be some chaos or maybe even a chocolate smudged face in the mix, but it was as if these kids were pros!  Every baby sat and played with their prop just as we had all dreamed about.  We tried to include assortment boxes, chocolate making materials and even chocolate.  With the idea from our great Wichita Chamber friend (and mother of one of the children), we had a list of taglines to choose from and some adorable babies to use as models.
Here are a few shots of the “chaos” of working with such young models. 

Selah Myers (far left baby)

A little tribute to the Cocoa Dolce Family.  Here are 3 employees (former and current) and their little ones.

Abby with Camdyn, James with Adi, Angie with Braden

Who are the Models:
Cash Landon--Son of Courtney and Holly Landon

Audra Myers—Daughter of Matt & Jenny Myers
Camdyn Kocukov—Daughter of Andrew & Abby Kocukov
Braden Gonzalez—Son of Andy & Angie Gonzalez
Corinne Myers—Daughter of Matt & Jenny Myers
Marco Laham—Son of George and Jocelyne Laham
Adi Tully—Daughter of James & Molly Tully

Cocoa Dolce chocolates and adorable babies.....Love at First Sight!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Weddings and Proposals

        Over the years we’ve been fortunate enough to be involved in some pretty special events in the lives of our customers. As a chocolatier, it’s not unusual for us to be called for wedding favors and treats. We do this on a completely custom basis for what each person wants for their special day.  However, we do have a Wedding Menu (available upon request) with preset options if you need help deciding, all are customizable. It’s also not unusual for us to get a request for something we’ve never done before. These requests are always fun to fill, as it gives us a break from our usual line of chocolate, and allows us to get creative and stretch our muscles, so to speak. 

Sadly, we don’t always think to get pictures when we do this, and we don’t always remember to ask our customers either. But here are a few examples of what we do have record of. These are all well in the past (no worries about ruining any surprises) but they do give you an idea of some of the things we can do.

Some of you might be familiar with our square shaped truffles with the pretty designs on top. Those are called cocoa butter transfers, and they work like a temporary tattoo. We partner with a great transfer company that allows us to choose designs that we can use in the store.  We can have these transfers custom made, and we do, mostly for our corporate customers, but they only come in bulk. They can be done for any occasion though, if given enough notice. For “on-the-spot” orders that need to have a custom look, we can hand pipe on the design. In this case a proposal. 

Here’s another fairly simple request. This gentlemen knew her favorite chocolates, and had us custom make a box and put the ring in the center. This was her dessert after a picnic in her favorite park. 

This is an example of a simple favor box we can do. These are the most common custom orders we get. This is a one piece box, and can be tied with any color ribbon that would most fit your color scheme. We can also order in custom colored boxes of almost any size, if given enough notice. 

We’re always honored to be a part of your special day, and we take great care that our custom orders are delivered exactly as requested. If you are interested in making a custom order of your own, we suggest coming by the shop. Any of our girls can give you suggestions, ideas, or take an order, but for something really special you’ll probably want to speak with one of our managers. They are always happy to help, and will be able to show you examples of what we’ve done in the past, or maybe even something we’re working on right now.