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Expert Interview Series by our friends at Cilantro: David Levy of Chocolate Tales About Making Fine Chocolate David Levy, the founder of Chocolate Tales, manages his dream chocolate business. He stays on top of the latest and greatest trends to ensure his events and workshops are incomparable to others. We checked in with David to hear about his chocolate-themed events and learn a few tips about making fine chocolate.How did you come to love all things chocolate?My passion for chocolate started at an early age. After working in the food and hospitality industry for 10+ years and working with chocolate as a hobby, I decided to run chocolate workshops for my VIP clients. After receiving positive feedback, I began to play around with the idea of starting up a business dedicated to interacting and teaching using the chocolate. Because of the overwhelming demand, I kept growing the business. Currently, Chocolate Tales runs 700 – 800 workshops per year.

Talk about the chocolate workshops, home parties, and other events that your company puts on. What kinds of “chocolicious” options do you offer?

Chocolate Tales has over 20 programs for our guests to choose from. We have divided the programs into categories so as not to overwhelm our customers. We provide workshops that last from 45 minutes to half a day. We offer Home Parties, Bachelorette/Bridal, Corporate Team Building, mobile chocolate studios at weddings and special events, as well as child birthday party entertainment and much more.

What kind of responses and feedback do you get from people who attend your chocolate-themed events?

People love our events. We are able to provide a full-service mobile chocolate experience. The guests get a chance to taste, learn, and make fine Belgian chocolate to their hearts’ content. Our focus is on providing a positive, friendly, and professional interaction with all our clients. Our guests get a chance to make chocolates they would only dream of buying at a specialty chocolate store.

Other than a love of chocolate, what other traits and abilities should a skilled chocolatier possess?

Creativity, stamina, precision, and dedication.

What’s the most unusual chocolate-related food, dish, or recipe that you have prepared?

Chocolate Chicken

Could you share a chocolate recipe with us that’s targeted toward grownups instead of kids?

Truffles

Ingredients:

  • 400g bitter chocolate
  • 150g cream 35%
  • 2 Tsp instant coffee
  • 1 oz brandy

Preparation:

  • Place the chocolate in a stainless steel mixing bowl.
  • Heat the cream in a saucepan until it starts to simmer, then add the instant coffee and bring to a boil. Pour the cream onto the chocolate and make sure it is completely covered, then let it sit for a minute.
  • Start mixing the cream until it’s one shiny mass. Now you can add the brandy!
  • Cover the bowl and place in fridge for 6 hours.
  • On parchment paper, prepare an even layer of cocoa powder, take out some of the ganache, and use a spoon to form it into a nut-shaped ball before placing it on the cocoa powder. Roll it around in the cocoa and move it to a clean surface (it helps to use latex gloves to do this).
  • Once you’ve made it all, place it in the fridge for about an hour and then serve. Enjoy!

For people who do not live in Ontario and can’t experience one of your workshops or events, what suggestions do you have for people who want to host a chocolate-making party of their own?

Keep it simple and engaging. It’s always a good idea to make truffles with your guests.

Complete this sentence: “When I’m preparing something chocolatey in the kitchen, I feel naked if I don’t have my…”

“… infra-red thermometer.”

What appliance or gadget should every budding chocolatier have in his or her kitchen?

A melter/tempering machine or Ez-Temper.

Feel free to check out some more great articles @ Cilantro – The Cooks Shop 

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Imagine building a bridge out of chocolate – and doing a good deed at the same time!

Join us at the Toronto Chocolate Festival and build a delicious miniature replica of structures like San Francisco’s Golden Gate or London’s Tower Bridge.  It’s just $5 to take part – and while you’re having fun, your donation will help support Toronto’s SickKids Hospital, Canada’s largest centre dedicated to children’s health.

The Chocolate Tales team will be near the entrance of Roy Thomson Hall, Toronto, Sunday November 6th 2016 at the 6th Annual Toronto International Luxury Chocolate Show from 11am-6pm.

In case you’re wondering, the bridges are made of edible bricks, coated with fine quality melted chocolate, donated by famed supplier Callebaut.  All sorts of mouth-watering and colourful decorations are on hand to help replicate architectural features – and there’s even melted blue cocoa butter to recreate the water below.

And with all that delicious chocolate, it’ll be tough to hold back from licking your fingers!

But how does something so tasty stay so sturdy? 

Get there early to find out the sweet secret - and share the fun to help SickKids at the same time!

  • o   Building a Chocolate Bridge 11am-6pm close to the entrance of Roy Thomson Hall, Toronto, Sunday November 6th 2016 at the 6th Annual Toronto International Luxury Chocolate Show. Tickets $5 and proceeds go to SickKids Foundation, Toronto.

 We run chocolate-making ​workshops and events for all ages! Click here to book a workshop or call  1-800 905 2858 

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For chocolate lovers one of the sweetest times of the year is Halloween, Hallowe’en, “All Hallows’ Evening”, or All Saints Day- any way you shake it, it’s one of our favourite times of year too! This celebration has been around for over 2,000 years. Today it’s the second largest commercial holiday in the United States with Halloween-related sales of approximately $6.9 billion a year. That’s a whole lot of candy and chocolate…

But everyone knows that the best way to ward off monsters and vampires is with more chocolate. So, check out our events for Halloween 2016 !

Spooky Chocolate Making Workshops:

During October, we will be featuring Halloween inspired chocolate moulds for you and yours to create some spooky looking chocolates at our Classic Chocolate Making Workshops!

Hilariously Terrifying Home Parties:

If you are planning on hosting a Halloween party this year, be sure to think of us! We can help you and your guests have a hilariously terrifying time with our Haunted Mobile Chocolate Parties!

Workshops and events are suitable for all ages! Click here to book a workshop or call 1 800 905 2858 to book a Halloween party!
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Thank you to our friends over at Cera Packaging for this lovely infographic!

The Evolution of Your Favourite Chocolate Bar Wrappers

The world of chocolate has changed massively since its conception in the early 1900s.

Early wrappers were made from basic tin foil with limited colours and graphic until they evolved into the colourful aluminium wrappers that we see today.

The packaging of chocolate bars has even evolved into the psychology of the human brain and its reaction to seeing certain colours.

Take a look at this great infographic below and learn some of the history behind the evolution of the chocolate bar.

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10 Incredibly Smart Ideas To Get Your Life Organized:

The hot weather is melting away and September awaits us. As the new school season starts and a change of pace sets in, it’s the perfect time to organize our lives. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed with things to do, or perhaps find that you put off doing what you enjoy because you never get to the fun “list”, you may need an intervention. It’s not too late to figure out a system and revamp your schedule so you can make time your friend! Here is our list of 10 recommendations you can implement today:

1)   Spend 15 minutes organizing everyday- from sorting our mail to mystery foods in your fridge!

2)   Keep a list of your passwords safe – on your desktop and perhaps a printed copy filed in a cabinet

3)   Find an online backup program like Dropbox and use it!

4)   Be ruthless in your closet and buy a closet organizer

5)   Use a morning checklist and prioritize

6)   Keep an emergency gear bag a work and in your car–  pack batteries, stain remover, pens, advil ect.

7)   One credit card per adult, period.

8)   Use a calendar to schedule your days

9)   Set a timer to get things done giving yourself a reasonable time frame

10)  When working put away distractions like your cell phone

Now that your life is getting organized, be sure to make time for fun!

Our team of Chocolatiers eagerly anticipate the new school season because in addition to being a great time to refocus it’s also a time that inspires new learning. September marks back-to-school. What better way to retain new information then by having a creative outlet that is fun and rewarding? Chocolate Tales offers plenty of workshops teaching you something new while keeping the agenda entertaining and fun.

Once you get your calendar organized, check out our event calendar and sign up for a workshop today!
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What is a chocolatier? A chocolatier is a person or company who makes confectionary from chocolate. Chocolatiers are distinct from chocolate makers, who create chocolate from cacao beans and other ingredients. If you have never tasted chocolates sculpted by a chocolatier you might be curious to know what makes chocolate made by a chocolatier better than the rest.

Being a chocolatier involves skillfully working with chocolate to create delicious pieces of edible artwork. There is a distinction between a chocolatier and a chocolate maker- a chocolatier is a master or expert able to beautifully design pieces that also taste sensational, while a chocolate maker doesn’t traditionally have the skills to handcraft chocolate with the same artistic and sensory appeal.  Furthermore, factory made chocolates aren’t made with the same high quality ingredients, original designs or chemistry. How about formal education – must you attend culinary school to become a chocolatier? There are two distinct ways of thinking about that question.  1) If you do receive formal education, you’ll acquire much of the technical knowledge necessary for making chocolates, and you’ll receive some hands-on experience as well. You’ll almost certainly end up working for, or apprenticing to one or more chocolatiers. These placements are really the best way to pick up practical knowledge of the ins-and-outs of chocolate making, as well as other aspects of the business.  2) On the other hand, there are many chocolatiers who don’t  usually won’t hire culinary school graduates, claiming that they come in with too many preconceived notions about making chocolates and aren’t receptive to the chocolatier’s ways of doing things. So in these cases, having some background but not formal education may be more desirable when working with or for a chocolatier! 

Formal education or not, to become a good chocolatier generally, it takes years of experience and a good understanding of confections to master the art of working with chocolate; Chocolatiers are experts in: a) the history and facts about chocolate  b) the chemistry of chocolate’s flavors and textures  c) chocolate tempering, dipping, decorating and moudling  d) confectionery chemistry and formulations (ganache and fondant)  Chocolate Tales is excited to be able to share the art of chocolatiering with you, creating hand-made chocolates with decadent white, milk, and dark 100% pure Belgian Chocolate. Come check out our online store or visit a workshop to learn some chocolatiering skills today!
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One of the best summer attractions Ontario has to offer is a trip to wine country, Niagara Region, for some wine tasting, good food and site seeing. That’s why we are very excited to announce our collaboration with Pondview Estate Winery this summer. Join us for a classic Wine and Chocolate Tasting Tour!

During the tour you will be guided by a Pondview Estates wine expert and a Chocolate Tales Chocolatier. You will enjoy a tasting program that is classic, artisan and delicious, combining the flavors of the region with chocolates that enhance the experience. After your tasting, linger in the wine tasting room or enjoy another glass of wine on the veranda!

Here are some of our favourite chocolate and wine pairings that inspired this tour program!

WHITE CHOCOLATE

Best Paired Wines Rosé Port, Ice Wine, Muscat, Orange Muscat, Moscato d’Asti, Sweet Tokaji, Vintage Port, Lambrusco (Dolce or Amabile), Brachetto d’Acqui

MILK CHOCOLATE

Best Paired Wines Moscatel de Setubal, Montilla-Moriles, PX Sherry, Creamy Sherry, Rasteau, Aged Vintage Port, Rutherglen Muscat

DARK CHOCOLATE

Best Paired Wines Vin Santo, Port, Late Harvest Zinfandel, Banyuls, Maury

Tours are scheduled all summer long. See our calendar for event days. Singles and groups of any size welcome! Want to learn more or book today – give us a call at 1 800 905 2858 or book online! 
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Kids celebrate with us! If you are looking to make for a memorable experience choose chocolate making for your kids next birthday party. We are a mobile party option, which means we deliver the best in chocolate entertainment right to your door.   Our kids parties include a vast variety of activities, including but not limited to making: truffles, lava cakes, chocolate dipped marshmallows, lollipops, cupcakes and more! Kids love our activities because they are hands on and they get to personalize all of their very own chocolates.  Our kids backyard parties are a customer favorite. Backyard parties are great for several reasons. Party guests get to enjoy the weather during the spring and summer as we are surrounded by nature. Further, while our home parties are mess free, backward parties ensures minimal house traffic and of course is still a mess free option.

For parties large or small, during a weekday or weekend, outdoor or indoor, interactive or mostly entertainment… you name it, we’ve hosted it! Parents love our kids parties too! •  We take care of all party details – no ingredients to buy and no clean up, so you and your guests can relax. •  Delicious AND safe; we use only the best high grade Belgian chocolate. Chocolate is also nut free. Ask about egg free, gluten free options as well! •  We cater to you, our client: we host home parties for adults and kids to suit your party needs.  Click here to choose from one of our unique hands – on chocolate making packages and get a party quote today!  
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Mother’s Day is May 10th! It’s a modern celebration honoring one’s mother, as well as motherhood, maternal bonds, and the influence of mothers in society. It is celebrated on various days in many parts of the world, most commonly in the months of March or May. We love moms for the various things they teach us and their love and support along the way!

We also love moms for their resourcefulness and problem solving abilities… moms always know just what to do! In honour of this, we wanted to share this ingenius Mothers Day Craft Hacks, followed by a mothers day gift idea DIY video! Mom’s Craft Hacks Video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vwMH9eJGTcU

DIY Mothers Day Crafts: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7uM6A3xbFyI

On mothers day we show our appreciation to our mothers and mother figures in various ways- spending time with them and gifting them small tokens they will love!   Whether you’re buying for your mom, wife, sister, or friend, nothing says “you’re the best” like our events and luscious treats. Spend time with mom, at our Classic Classic Chocolate Making Workshop or host a home party with the family.  You also can’t miss out on these delectable chocolate treats – hand crafted gourmet chocolate truffle boxes or something more playful such as a customized chocolate bar such as the very berry – dark chocolate bar covered in dried strawberries and raspberries! From the bottom of our heart to yours, we love moms! Happy Mothers Day, The Chocolate Tales Team
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Your favourite Chocolate making business is growing!

Did you know you can join us for a workshop in Stoney Creek or Woodbridge? You can! We collaborated with Goemans Appliances @ www.goemans.com and we are now featuring our workshops at 2 of their locations:

Goemans Appliances 
167 Chrislea Rd
Woodbridge, ON L4L 8N6
Canada

Goemans Appliances 
903 Queenston Road
Stoney Creek, ON L8G 1B6
Canada

At these locations we host one of our most popular chocolate making workshops – the Truffle Making 101 several times a month!

Become a truffle master and register for the Truffle Making 101 class! Suitable for anyone, this class will share with you the techniques, tips and tricks of chocolate truffle making including how to personalize your hand-rolled treats!

Click here to check out our event calendar and register for a class!


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