At Delysia Chocolatier, we are true believers in chocolate – as long as it is sustainably grown, ethically sourced and artisanally made, without the addition of any artificial substances. Sadly, the same cannot be said for many industrially manufactured, brand-name chocolates.
We wouldn’t want to scare any chocoholics away from their favorite supermarket or corner store chocolate bars. However, as good chocolate citizens who care, we think it’s part of our duty to share a list of…
5 Shocking Ingredients You May Find in Brand-Name Chocolates:
1. Rat hair
In truth, it’s not so easy to keep a large food plant rodent-free as it is your kitchen. For this reason the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) permits 1 rodent hair per every 100 grams of chocolate. The FDA refers to the possibility of a rat hair in your chocolate as an “unavoidable defect.”
2. Polyglycerol Polyricinoleate
Quite a tongue twister… which is why this alliterative ingredient is often referred to as PGPR. PGPR is a favorite flavor shortcut taken by some large corporations who would rather avoid the cost and labor of adding actual cocoa butter to their chocolate products. Deemed safe in small doses, severe chocaholics can suffer from liver problems if they ingest large amounts of PGPR.
3. Powder Cellulose
Also known as wood pulp, this ingredient is used to keep the chocolate in chocolate milk from forming clumps. It’s also what gives chocolate milk a rich, brown color that most people think is due to the chocolate itself.
4. Heavy Metals
A recent study carried out by an independent state-certified lab discovered that many brands of commercial chocolate contain lead in quantities that surpass levels set out by the California Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act. To date, it’s unknown if these traces are natural or due to manufacturing and shipping practices, however, we think lead is for pencils, not for chocolate!
5. Cockroach limbs
You might be shocked to know that 60 insect pieces per every 100 grams of chocolate is considered safe for consumption by none other than the FDA. The reason the FDA is even going there is because research shows that the average commercial chocolate bar contains 8 insect parts (a genteel way of referring to ground-up cockroach bodies). Scientists claim that contamination by roaches is nearly unavoidable… at least without the use of far more toxic pesticides…
If reading all of the above bugs you, know that you can seriously diminish the chocolate shock factor by purchasing sustainably sourced, preservative-free, handcrafted quality chocolate made with care and love by chocolatiers such as Delysia.
Unlike some commercial brands, our chocolates aren’t shocking but soothing. Furthermore, the only insects that you’ll find among the ingredients – such as crickets in our chocolate bark – are not only nutritious and delicious, but there on purpose!
Mother’s Day is one of our favorite times of year here at Delysia Chocolatier. Chef Nicole is a mother of two herself, so she fully understands how joyous the occasion can be – especially when there is chocolate involved!
We are happy to invite all moms and their families to join us for a Mother’s Day tasting filled with special treats that celebrate motherhood.
Why We Celebrate Mother’s Day
Mother’s Day is a time to honor the women who give their lives to give life. There’s no bond stronger than the one shared by mothers and their children. It’s so powerful it helps to shape the next generation before they’re even born.
Once your baby comes into the world the work is far from over. Have you ever wondered how valuable a mother is to her family? Over $143,000 a year – that’s the monetary equivalent of the work stay-at-home moms put in around the house. Salary.com surveyed thousands of moms to discover all the different jobs they handle and how many hours are put into each role. Not surprisingly, moms put in a lot of overtime.
Sounds like you deserve a little time off. Being a mother is the hardest, most selfless job a person can take on, which is why Delysia Chocolatier enjoys helping moms take it easy on their special day.
Get the 5-Star Treatment You Deserve This Mother’s Day
We are giving moms a taste of the sweet life during our Mother’s Day tasting event. It is guaranteed to be a fun-filled afternoon the entire family will enjoy, especially hard-working moms.
Most moms love getting chocolate on Mother’s Day. Usually, however, mom-worthy chocolates are beautifully wrapped or arranged, jewel-like, in a gift box. The upshot is that moms usually guess what they’re getting even before they even lay eyes on exquisite truffles, barks or molded chocolates. What’s missing is a delicious element of surprise.
Here at Delysia, we love surprises (of the joyous kind) almost as much we love chocolate. As such, we thought we’d divulge a few great ideas for surprising your mom with chocolate on Mother’s Day.
Hidden Chocolate Treasure
If you’re great at thinking up clever clues (and have excellent penmanship to boot), consider a chocolate treasure hunt for your mom. Hide an array of chocolates in unlikely spots throughout your mom’s home and garden, along with clever clues as to where she might encounter subsequent treats.
If your brain cells are shot and your handwriting is virtually illegible, forget the clues. Just hide a bunch of chocolates in unusual spots your mom is likely to (be surprised to) find them.
Chocolate Bubble Bath
Mother’s Day is a great opportunity to get your mom into a tub for a relaxing soak. Decorate the bathroom with candles and fresh flowers, pour some wine, and cue up some mellow tunes. Then fill the tub with homemade chocolate bubble bath that will leave your mom’s skin soft and scented.
All you need to make your own bubble bath is dark chocolate, milk, and some unscented bubble bath salts (the fewer, and more natural the ingredients, the better):
– Heat 1/3 cup of milk gently in a pot
– Add a bar of chocolate, chopped into small pieces.
– Let the chocolate melt without bringing the milk to a boil.
– Add the bath salts to the mixture and pour into a full tub.
– Call your unsuspecting mom into the chocolate-scented bathroom.
Most moms suspect they might receive a sweet chocolate treat or even dessert on Mother’s Day. But what if you surprise your mom with a home-cooked, gourmet meal in which every single dish you serve, from soup to soufflé, features chocolate?
If your mom still has room for dessert, there are countless recipes for chocolate cakes, tortes, crêpes, soufflés, puddings, custards, pies, and mousses. Or just skip dessert and cut to the best surprise of all: a gift of chocolates, crafted with love by Austin’s most Mom-centric chocolatier.
Mothers of all kinds play a special role in our world, shaping us into the people we become. Every Mother’s Day, we get the chance to appreciate everything they do. Whether you and your mother spend the day together, or just spend a nice long time catching up on the phone, it’s lovely to look back on all your memories together.
Those precious times of childhood, the awkward teen years, and then adulthood… throughout it all, our moms are there: supporting us, loving us, and laughing with us.
Anyone who has been pregnant knows it’s a crazy time. Suddenly Christmas arrived and I didn’t have any holiday gifts. I turned on my problem-solving hat and cooked up some chocolate truffles for friends and family. Fortunately, they were a hit!
From there, chocolate making transitioned from a stress-relieving hobby to a more serious side hustle until, two years later, I opened Delysia.
It’s always stuck with me that as I was about to become a mother for the first time, I also became a mother to my business.
Motherhood has truly shaped me as a chocolatier. My sons, Sébastien and Colin, are my two taste-testers. Some of our sweetest memories have been making chocolate together, pun intended!
Happy Mother’s Day!
This May, I invite you to visit our home away from home: the Delysia Chocolate Culinary Center. You can definitely see my engineering background come through in the modern design of our Culinary Center, but I believe you can also sense my maternal spirit. It’s a place that feels kind and tender, and warms your heart. And just like home, there’s always something baking.
This Mother’s Day, I look forward to spending the day with my husband Rahul and our sons at our Culinary Center for our Mother’s Day complimentary tasting, where we will honor mothers by giving them a mimosa and a molded chocolate rose. I hope that you will join us for our special event and I wish you and yours a very Happy Mother’s Day!
You may sip margaritas and treat yourself to a salsa tasting on May 5th, but we’ll be celebrating with chocolate this Cinco de Mayo. Chocolate is a worldwide food phenomenon today, but it was actually first discovered in Central America by the Mayans. It’s just one way the Mayans played a significant role in Mexico’s history.
Hundreds of years later another historical event impacted the culture of Mexico. On May 5, 1862 Mexico beat the French Army in the Battle of Puebla. The unlikely victory created a surge of national pride that led to the Cinco de Mayo holiday celebrated by people on both sides of the border.
Show your support and national pride by celebrating Cinco de Mayo with one of Mexico’s most important cultural contributions – chocolate!
Try a Chocolate Tequila Drink
Tequila is undoubtedly the official libation of Mexico. Typically, it comes in one of two varieties: silver or gold. But tequila makers are expanding the selection with new flavors, including chocolate.
Mar Azul is one of those tequila makers. They’ve combined 100% agave tequila with natural semi-sweet and dark chocolate flavors. Like Delysia Chocolatier, Mar Azul uses a handcrafted process and sources their chocolate from the finest cacao beans.
Many of the “Mexican” dishes we eat on Cinco de Mayo in the U.S. are an Americanized version that’s far from authentic. In the state of Puebla, where the famous May 5th Mexican/French battle took place, chalupas are a traditional food.
Typically, chalupas are loaded up with savory meats and cheese, but it’s a dish that allows for modification. On Cinco de Mayo, fry up a fresh corn tortilla for a dessert that’s a spin on classic Puebla cooking. Instead of layering on cilantro, onion and shredded pork, drizzle melted Delysia Mexican hot chocolate bark onto the fried tortilla along with a sprinkling of cinnamon, sugar and queso fresco.
Share Chocolates Infused With Spicy Latin Flavors
Get an authentic taste of Central America with a box of Delysia Chocolatier’s Latin Collection Chocolate Truffles. We’ve infused our fine dark chocolate with the peppers used in traditional Mexican dishes for a flavorful combination of spicy and sweet.
Each box contains nine decadent truffles that are perfect for sharing at a Cinco de Mayo party. The Jalapeno Truffle provides a peppery taste without the heat while the Cayenne Truffle and Habanero Truffle add a touch of tingling spiciness.
Statistically speaking, things can get a little hectic on Mother’s Day. This maternally-inspired holiday is the busiest day for restaurants across North America. It’s also the day on which phone traffic is most intense. Viewed these high levels of busyness, it makes sense to start planning Mother’s Day strategies well in advance of the second Sunday in May.
Some mothers like flowers. Other mothers like perfume. While at Delysia we have nothing against either blossoms or scents, we’re a little partial to the fact that most mothers like chocolate. As such, we’ve included chocolate in the following preparation strategies for planning the perfect day for a Mother.
Immerse Mom in Nature
It’s no coincidence that people so frequently refer to “Mother” Nature. Mothers inevitably love being surrounded by the peaceful, sweet-smelling, contemplative calm of a natural setting – be it a beach, a forest, a field or even a park. To our mind, the only thing better than wandering around Nature is sitting down in the midst of Nature. Preferably on a comfy blanket. With a picnic basket. Plan both the trip to the idyllic spot and the picnic in advance. If you really want to make your Mom’s day, you’ll plan to include a box of Delysia truffles in that picnic basket.
Take Mom to a Spa
Many moms make mothering seem effortless. However, behind-the-scenes, it’s not uncommon for moms to suffer from bouts of maternal burnout. To express gratitude for all her effort, treat your mom to a relaxing session or full day at a spa. Many spas have reviving and nourishing treatments featuring chocolate. But even if the spa options in your area are sadly chocolate-free, you can still treat your mom anyway. After, bring the day of pampering to its grand finale by serving her a rejuvenating mug of Delysia hot chocolate.
Throw Mom a Party
Parties are great fun – as long as your Mom doesn’t have to do any prep work or cleaning up. Planning a Mother’s Day party for your mom entails a fair amount of advance organization. This is particularly the case since you’ll need to order Delysia chocolate bark in advance. As the key ingredients for the chocolate cakes, pies, tortes, mousses, souffles and/or cookies you plan to serve at your Mom’s party, our bark – which comes in flavors as varied as lavender and mocha – will ensure your Mother’s Day party is festive, memorable and deliciously mother-pleasing.
Home dessert tables are a delightful way to highlight the pièce de résistance at your party: the dessert!
Whether you’re planning a home dessert table for your friend’s bridal shower, your child’s birthday party, or just a fun get-together with family, follow these tips to make it beautiful.
5 tips to set the perfect home dessert table
1. Choose a theme.
A home dessert table without a cohesive theme is just a bunch of desserts on a table. Decide on a theme to tie all your desserts together.
It could be a color: people can bring cookies, cakes, or homemade lollipops. Anything goes, as long as they’re all red!
Alternately, you could choose a type of dessert, such as chocolates, cakes, or pies.
Finally, you could choose a seasonal theme related to the occasion, such as winter favorites, best desserts to eat on the go, or the funkiest kid desserts ever.
2. Create height.
Desserts are pretty flat. It’s just the nature of most food – it’s pretty flat. If you’re working with cakes, you might be lucky to get a few inches, but otherwise, you’ll have to get creative to make your dessert table visually appealing.
Add levels to your dessert table to excite everyone’s eyes along with their taste buds. Hang a banner or streamers on the wall behind the table. Use cake stands and decorative boxes to display some desserts higher than the ones on serving platters.
Decor goes beyond the food itself. Drape a printed fabric over your boring kitchen table. Place decorative candles and mini flower bouquets in appealing arrangements. Add to the theme with cute ornaments or picture frames of your guests of honor. Top it all off by sprinkling in some confetti (bonus points if it’s edible).
Don’t forget the most critical piece of decor – your dessert name cards! Get a cute set of blank name cards, a few colorful markers, and write out the names of your desserts in a pretty script.
4. Figure out your servings.
Organize your dessert menu depending on how many guests you’ll have. If you’re serving smaller desserts like cookies or cupcakes, a good rule of thumb is to assume 3 or 4 servings per guest.
Then you need to account for people’s varying dietary needs and preferences. To make sure everyone have enough options, add three to your serving number. So, if you’re assuming 3 mini-desserts per guest, you’ll want to have 6 different dessert options for them to choose from.
Variety is part of the joy of a dessert table, but it can quickly fall into overwhelm – for both the host and your guests. Follow the tips above, and you’ll deliver a dessert table that’s just the right amount of sweet.
5. Let Delysia Chocolatier help.
Will you be featuring chocolate in your dessert table? Many of our chocolate treats here at Delysia can fill out your dessert table, whether you use them as decor or as the main event!
Chocolate has a number of amazing properties, but could it really be used as an alternative fuel? As scientists look for renewable energy sources, some say chocolate could be a viable option for powering vehicles.
The Science Behind Using Chocolate as an Alternative Fuel
If you’re skeptical about chocolate powering a vehicle, turn your attention to Britain. In 2009 British scientists at the Warwick Innovative Manufacturing Research Center were able to build a Formula 3 race car that ran on chocolate. They teamed up with Lola Cars racing team to build the vehicle from the ground up. Yes, the car was designed specifically to test the chocolate alternative fuel theory, but it worked nonetheless.
The biodiesel used to power the special Formula 3 race car was made with chocolate byproducts. In addition to being a cleaner fuel source, the byproducts from creating chocolatey treats get repurposed rather than ending up in a landfill.
At Delysia Chocolatier we only use the purist chocolate and handcrafted processes that minimize waste. But the big mass-chocolate producers create hundreds of pounds of byproduct waste at their factories. The Warwick team got their chocolate byproducts from a nearby Cadbury factory.
How Chocolate Provides Power
The secret behind chocolate’s power is fat. The project’s lead scientist, James Meredith, explained that anything with fat can be converted into a biodiesel. Unfortunately, the Formula 3 regulations don’t allow for chocolate biodiesel – yet.
The goal wasn’t to highlight how amazing and versatile chocolate is for the planet. The team that built the Formula 3 race car wanted to prove to people that even racing can be more eco-friendly. In addition to running off of chocolate alternative fuel, many of the race car components were built with biodegradable vegetable fibers and recycled materials.
The idea of using chocolate as an alternative fuel didn’t begin with the Warwick Formula 3 race car. Back in 2006 scientists at the University of Birmingham announced they had found a way to extract hydrogen out of chocolate waste. The scientists used e.coli bacteria to ferment the sugar in the waste, which generates formic acid. The formic acid is then converted into hydrogen, a clean burning fuel.
Have you ever wondered how chocolate comes to be? In this month’s Notes from the Chocolatier, I’m going to share with you the 5-step journey the cacao bean takes to become a chocolate treat.
First, farmers harvest pods from the Theobroma cacao tree once they are ripe. It’s important that they are fully ripened. Otherwise, they won’t deliver enough cocoa butter or sugar to be delicious.
After the pods are harvested, farmers remove the cocoa beans from the pods and pulp to prepare them for fermentation. Fermentation is the process that turns raw cocoa from bitter to sweet. For seven days, the cocoa beans sit out in the heat. Humidity must be present to interact with the yeast and bacteria of the cocoa beans and allow fermentation to occur. After a week has passed, the beans are dried.
Just as espresso beans are roasted to become coffee, so are cocoa beans to become chocolate. Using the dry roasting method, the cocoa beans are constantly stirred. This consistency helps evenly roast the beans.
Once roasted, the roasters remove the hull from the cocoa bean and extract the nib. This nib is ground into a fine powder containing both cocoa butter and solids. During that grinding process, the cocoa butter liquifies as a result of the friction. This is called cocoa liquor. Then the cocoa liquor is poured into molds, creating unsweetened bakers chocolate.
Finally, the real chocolate magic happens. Chocolatiers create various chocolatey treats using cocoa liquor, bakers chocolate, cocoa powder, or cocoa butter by combining them with other ingredients. Typically, we’ll blend cocoa liquor with a bit more cocoa butter to produce that classic smooth texture of chocolate. To create white, milk, or dark chocolate, we simply blend in varying degrees of sugar and milk.
Like many chocaholics around the world, at Delysia we take the subject of chocolate fairly seriously. However, on April 1, all bets are off. When it comes to April Fool’s Day, few items are as prank-worthy as chocolate in its various forms. It’s precisely because chocolate is such a beloved and innocent pleasure, that messing with someone`s chocolate can be so effective – and fun. We combed the Internet and compiled a list of 8 great foolproof chocolate pranks:
1. How Green was my Cupcake
Make a batch of chocolate cupcakes. Prior to baking, drop Brussels sprouts into the center of the batter.
2. An Oreo that Keeps the Cavities Away
Unscrew an Oreo (or similar chocolate cookie). Replace the cream center with sparkling white toothpaste.
3. Talk about Runny Yolks
Since April 1rst coincides with Easter, there are plenty of chocolate eggs around. Make a small hole in the bottom of an egg and then fill the hollow interior with mustard yolks (and mayonnaise whites).
4. There’s a Finger in My Pudding
Punch a hole in the bottom of a plastic chocolate pudding container. Stick your finger up through the pudding and serve.
5. Truffles that Will (Literally) Make you Tear Up
Make a batch of chocolate truffles with chocolate covering deliciously pungent shallots.
6. Who’s Been Messing with my M&M’s?
Sow chaos by mixing look-alike Skittles in with a bowl of chocolate-filled M&Ms.
7. Pop Goes the Chocolate Cake
Cut the top of a pasta or cereal box. Press a blown up balloon into the open box, firmly tape it down and cover with a thick layer of chocolate icing. Serve with a (very sharp) cake knife.
8. Time for a Relaxing Chocolate Shower
Unscrew the shower nozzle and fill it with cocoa powder. Then suggest that someone take a nice hot shower.
Finally, shocks, surprise sand laughs aside, there are few things in life as frustrating as having one’s enjoyment of chocolate thwarted. For this reason we recommend that the execution of chocolate pranks be followed by presenting the prank victim with the real thing: delicious, sustainable, hand crafted Delysia chocolate truffles, chocolate bark, and molded chocolate that only a(n April) Fool would refuse.