A new year brings two new flavors for ESC our dark chocolate with sea salt and almond and our dark chocolate with cherry are the newest additions to our 3 oz natural bar line. These new gluten-free bars feature a puffin and owl on the wrappers and were selected by our consumer’s after a month-long contest which was held over the summer on our website.
As we continue to develop new flavors in the future we want to know what flavors you would like to see added and what new animal’s you want to see featured on the labels?
As Endangered Species Chocolate has continued to expand its product offerings over the past few years, we’ve never had a place where we could try out new recipes without having to worry about invading precious production space. A small area in production was sanctioned where new product development took place…but that changed a few months ago when Endangered Species Chocolate converted part of an old storage area into a new test kitchen!
Our test kitchen gives us a dedicated space where we can get creative. This new space includes a tiny tempering machine to heat chocolate and stir in inclusions. A mini fridge cools down the chocolate and stores samples until they’re ready to be tasted…I mean tested.
This test kitchen has gotten a workout over the past few months! We’ll be introducing TWO NEW FLAVORS in January and a brand new product line (shhh – top secret) is in the works, set to launch in early 2014. So tell us, what would YOU cook up in our new test kitchen? Comment below with flavors you’d like to see from Endangered Species Chocolate.
Life kind of slows down when you sip hot chocolate. It’s almost like the cup you hold in your hand creates a barrier to noise, interruptions, and worries. You become mellow and in love with the world. What’s that? You don’t experience this when you drink hot chocolate? Hmmm… maybe that’s because you haven’t tried this recipe.
It’s rich. It’s decadent. It’s life changing. Set your cell on silent, light every candle in your house and get yourself to the kitchen. It’s time you experienced Hot Chocolate Bar bliss!
HOT CHOCOLATE BAR
1 smooth milk or dark 3oz. Endangered Species Chocolate bar, chopped
1oz. water, room temperature
1 tablespoon hot water
1 1/2 cup hot milk
In a double boiler over low heat, combine chocolate and 1oz. room temperature water until melted. Stir until smooth.
Remove from heat. Whisk in 1 tablespoon hot water. Stir in milk (you may wish to use less milk than the recipe calls for. Experiment.) Pour into 2 demitasse cups. Smell, sip, savor. Sweeten to taste if needed.
Creates 2 servings.
Question: To garnish or not to garnish? Comment below on how you top off your cup of hot chocolate.
I don’t work in our production area on a daily basis, when I have the good fortune of finding myself back there I’m always amazed at how everything seems to work like a well oiled machine. The manufacturing of our chocolate looks as if it’s part of a synchronized dance that is set in place by the humming of machines and shuffle of our production workers.
Our confection creations begin with large tanks slowly stirring the chocolate before inclusions such as raspberries or almonds get poured in them making your favorite bar come together. Once the bars are set into the molds, they meticulously come out of the lines and workers inspect to make sure each bar looks like perfection. They are then wrapped in our labels with an inspiring animal on the cover and boxed-up before moving back into shipping.
In shipping, you’ll see precisely labeled boxes our quality department has put together letting our production workers know about any allergens they contain and eliminating the chance of cross contamination for our customer’s.
Finally, forklifts whisk by you carrying boxes of chocolate as they get set-up on pallets which are then picked-up and shipped off to ultimately end up on the shelves of your favorite store. In my next post we’ll explore ESC’s new test kitchen.
Some Endangered Species Chocolate Bars (like the Wolf, Bat, and Panther) already have a Halloween vibe about them…featuring creatures that prowl in the night. But other flavors (think Otter, Chimp, Sea Turtle) aren’t exactly the type of treat you’d give to a friend on Halloween…UNLESS you gave it a costume! Here are two simple ways to dress up your chocolate bars for Halloween.
THE BAT BAR
- Black construction paper
- 3oz. Endangered Species Chocolate Bar
- Goggly eyes (or draw your own!)
Cut your black construction paper in a bat shape using this template (or freehand it if using a chocolate bar that is a different size).
Lightly glue chocolate bar into the center of the bat shape.
Affix googly eyes to the head of the bat with glue.
Finally, fold the wings in over the chocolate bar and spot glue them into place.
Mummified Chocolate Bar
Now that you’ve mastered the Bat Wrap, give this mummy chocolate bar costume a try! Instructions can be found at The Idea Room, a great place to get all sorts of fun, crafty inspiration!
Helpful Mummy Tip: cut crepe paper in half lengthwise to make a skinnier “bandage” – makes it much easier to wrap around the chocolate bar.
After working at ESC for four years I can tell you what seems like an ordinary day for me isn’t a typical work day for most people. When you first walk into the building you get hit with a whiff of chocolate although like anyone who’s worked here for more than a few weeks sadly, you will be become accustomed to the tantalizing aroma and don’t notice it anymore unless you go back into shipping or production and they are running one of our stronger aromatic inclusions such as mint or orange then you can defiantly smell it (more on that later).
As I wait for my computer to boot up I go into the kitchen and grab some coffee. ESC purchases organic coffee and no disposable cups here; everyone uses reusable mugs and dishes each day. After answering emails and returning some calls I head back into shipping to coordinate samples going-out and I get hit with the nose twitching smell of mint. Which almost immediately makes my stomach grumble and luckily it’s time for lunch. As I walk back to the kitchen and grab my lunch out of the fridge you’ll notice no soda or snack machines around. This is an employee inspired effort to help support company wellness. This time of year I enjoy making salads with produce from my home garden and reading a book while eating my lunch outside on the ESC patio.
After lunch it’s time to start going through the 10% GiveBack applications that have been submitted over the past few months so that we can pick our next partnerships. After carefully reading through some applications and giving my feedback it’s time for a quick meeting. As I walk to the conference room you’ll notice almost all the materials in the building including desks, chairs and even the carpet is made from recycled materials. The rest of the afternoon is filled with phone calls, research, emails and some writing. Late in the afternoon several employees head out back to the work-out room to de-stress and work-up a sweat.
After finishing-up for the day, I gather my things and head out to the parking lot. While you see several eco-friendly cars and employee’s car pooling you’ll occasionally also see employees ride home on their bikes when the weather cooperates. Next time I’ll give you a peek into the factory where our chocolate is made.
Recently, chocolate has gone from sinner to savior as an onslaught of chocolate-centric research reveals that there are benefits to scored with each sweet bite. But not all chocolates are created equal. Different chocolates contain different amounts of the magic ingredient, flavanols (aka antioxidants that gobble up destructive molecules). As a general rule, the more bitter (the chocolate) the better (for our bodies). Here’s how the sweet stuff stacks up…
With fewer flavanols than dark, milk chocolate isn’t a top choice if your indulgence goal is to reap healthful antioxidants. You can pump up the health factor by selecting milk chocolate that has a high cocoa content (aim for 40+%) and fruit or nut inclusions to boost the good-for-you ingredients.
Try: Endangered Species Milk Chocolate with Cherries ($2.99 for 3oz). This bar boasts a 48% cocoa content and the cherries add an extra little dose of antioxidants.
Sigh. Sorry. This confection doesn’t contain any cacao at all! But chocolate is really all about pleasure, right? So smile and indulge (in moderation, of course).
Try: Divine White Chocolate with Strawberries. The strawberries, dried at the peak of ripeness, will add a dose of antioxidants to your sweet treat.
The good news – you should probably be eating dark chocolate on a regular basis because this stuff is pretty darn good for you! The bad news? It only takes a little bit of dark chocolate per day to reap the benefits, so indulge in moderation. Since my official title is Chocolate Goddess, not Chocolate M.D., leap to these links to get solid info on how dark chocolate can protect you from UV damage, boost your cardiovascular health, and even lower your blood pressure.
Try: Endangered Species Chocolate 88% Dark Chocolate. ($2.99 for 3oz). It’s our highest cocoa content chocolate bar…remember, the bitter the better!
March is national Nutrition Month; a great opportunity to assess your diet and get reacquainted with sound eating habits. So as you prep your plate with leafy greens and bright red fruits. don’t forget to add a touch of brown – chocolate brown, that is! We all have a need for something sweet and dark chocolate is a healthful way to indulge that desire. Scientific research shows that dark chocolate in small amounts can promote heart health, help cells resist damage from free radicals, and even help you better cope with stress.
Want to reap the maximum benefits from chocolate? Keep these 3 things in mind when selecting chocolate:
1. Aim for chocolate that has a 70% cocoa content or higher.
2. Make sure the first ingredient listed is chocolate liquor or cocoa (not sugar).
3. Choose natural and organic chocolate for a healthier planet and healthier you!
Cocoa contents of our dark chocolate at Endangered Species Chocolate range from 70-88%, chocolate liquor is the first ingredient listed on the nutritonal panel, and we offer natural and certified organic chocolate selections. Healthful never tasted so good!
What’s your preferred cocoa content?
This recipe is one of my favorites! It’s easy, quick and most likely you already have all these ingredients on hand. These cookie bars travel well – a great way to pack a bit of homemade love on your next hike, picnic or packed lunch.
Oatmeal and Chocolate Chunk Cookie Bars
- 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup uncooked oatmeal
- 1 bar (3oz.) Endangered Species Chocolate Dark Chocolate with Almonds & Cranberries, coarsely chopped into 1/4″ chunks
- 1/2 cup almonds, coarsely chopped (optional)
PREHEAT oven to 350 degrees F.
CREAM together butter and sugars. Add egg and vanilla. Add flour, salt and oats. Stir in chocolate and almonds.
SPRAY an 8″ square baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Pour mixture into baking dish and spread evenly.
BAKE for 35-40 minutes, until top is slightly browned. Let cool. Cut into twelve 2″ squares or 24 bars.
Want another on-the-go homemade chocolate snack? You’ll use three 3oz Endangered Species Chocolate bars in this recipe, Dark Chocolate Macadamia Nut Bark with Sea Salt.
What is your favorite dessert to take on outdoor adventures? Share by commenting below.
Over the years, I’ve managed to alienate boyfriends, good friends, my husband and (for shame) my 5-year old son with my die hard S’more beliefs. So be forewarned, I fear I may come off a tad pretentious in this post.
S’mores are seriously delicious and should be approached with as much culinary mastery as you can muster in the woods. Making a stellar S’more comes down to perfecting two things: your chocolate choice and marshmallow roasting technique.
Be it bitter sweet or true blue milk, the key is to find a quality chocolate that has the perfect thickness – or should I say thinness. The chocolate needs to be thin enough to be able to melt under the fleeting heat of a marshmallow. I swear by bite-sized chocolate squares(like these from Endangered Species Chocolate).
Repeat after me, “coals are key.” Unlike flames, coals slowly heat the marshmallow from the inside out, producing a hot gooey center under a toasty brown crust. For the love of the great outdoors, do not set deliberately set your marshmallow ablaze over the flames of the fire! As kids, we all experienced this camping faux pas, blew out the flame and ate the evidence. People that claim to love the taste of charred marshmallow, in my opinion, are confusing good taste with childhood nostalgia.
See, told you I would come across a tad persnickety. But surely there are others out there that hold strong opinions (aka love) for the S’more. I implore you – comment below and share your S’more techniques. Show my husband and child that I am not the only one that can kill a campfire kum ba yah vibe when S’mores aren’t taken seriously!
For ideas on dressing up your S’mores, throwing a S’more party and more, visit Endangered Species Chocolate’s S’mores photo albumon Facebook.