5427 College Avenue Oakland, CA 94618, 510-654-7159

Monday, June 29, 2009

Tempering Chocolate Can Be Nice!

If you have ever melted chocolate and let it set up again only to find that it now has white streaks and is no longer shiny, then you need to know about tempering. There is nothing wrong with the chocolate when it gets that way or "out of temper" and it still will taste good, but the texture has changed and this can be fixed. Tempering chocolate is necessary to make the crystals align, so that you get a nice smooth shiny chocolate that is pretty with a good "snap" when broken.

The Exploratorium Magazine got together with Angela Arzave, from EOS Restaurant to make this handy guide. You may find it is something you can do with your kids as a fun scince experiment.

If you would like to make chocolate dipped strawberries or confections this guide will help you make beautiful works of art and you can pick up some great quality chocolate for baking and confections right here at Bittersweet.

This could be a great summer activity for the whole family.

Now you can find us easier.

Facebook has allowed us to set up our own username and now you can find us easier than ever.

We are now at www.facebook.com/BittersweetRockridge.

Check us out and become a fan today!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Looking to learn more about chocolate?

I discovered a great Educator's Resource put out by the Field Museum in Chicago and tied to their Chocolate Exhibition. This exhibition is touring the country over several years. Some of you may have seen it when it was in the Bay Area in 2005, the next time it comes close to us is Anaheim 2011.

But, if you are looking to learn more now and can't wait until it is in your area check out their education page. There are also some great pictures and overview sections.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Closing Early Tonight for Event!

Tonight is the Chocolate Tasting Event with Seneca Klassen and so many people signed up we are closing early to accommodate them. I am sorry to say that the event is full and for one night only we will be closing at 7:00 PM.
Thank you for your patience and understanding and we will see you bright and early on Friday morning!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Chocolate Bar Pick o' the Month

This month I am going out of my normal realm of dark chocolate and picking a milk chocolate bar. There are just a handful of milk bars that I like and one of them is on the dark side.

This month I am picking the Chocolat Bonnat Java 65% Milk Chocolate Bar. This bar is darker than your average 33% milk, by far, and is so creamy with this caramel tone that is so nice. It is easy to savor and yet not so milky that you feel it coats your mouth. The strongest of Bonnat's strong milks-this bar offers a delightful blend of the Java white smokiness with the sweet cream of the milk. A great introduction to darker chocolates for milk chocolate lovers (or vise versa)!

Bonnat is out of Voiron, France and make a number of the bars that we carry. They have a long history in the chocolate business, established in 1884, that dates back to the drinking chocolate of early Europe.

It can also be found in our shop online, but if you have the chance please come into the store and try it for yourself.

Monday, June 22, 2009

REally?! Chocolate Stamps?!

Leave it to the French to think of this one, Chocolate Scented Stamps. Who would have thought?

Actually, they are really kinda pretty and each frame represents a different time in chocolate history. Could make a fun, but not very useful, gift. They were minted to commemorate the 400th Anniversary of chocolate's arrival in France in 1609.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Chocolate Tasting Event is Full!

Our Chocolate Tasting Event being held on June 25th is now full. Thank you all for your interest and we will try to have another one soon.

Father's Day this Weekend!

Along with our new Askinosie Bar we have a some new items in the store just for Dad!

A few of the items include a Scotch Pairing Box with 3 chocolate bars that go great with a nice glass of scotch and a Father's Day Gift Box with several nice chocolates and a Bittersweet Gift Card, and my favorite; the Wine & Spirits Truffle Box. What a treat for Dad! Who wouldn't like to receive some fabulous chocolate just for being you?

Stop by today, supplies are limited. Show Dad he's someone special with a Bittersweet Gift Box.

New Askinosie 77% Davao Dark Chocolate Bar

Askinosie is one of our most popular chocolate bars. It is fair trade and organic and just plain yummy. We are proud at Bittersweet to carry one of their newest dark chocolate bars, the Davao 77% Dark Chocolate Bar, a single origin from the Philippines.

"The first cacao brought to Asia in 1600 was grown in the Philippines and we are the first chocolate maker to export Filipino cocoa beans in nearly twenty-five years. The beans used to make this tantalizing bar are very exclusive, making the Davao, Philippines chocolate bar uniquely exotic. There has never before been a single origin bar from the Philippines. "
- Askinosie website

It really is a nice and rich dark chocolate that is gently intense with a long earthy finish and falls in line with the quality of the other Askinosie bars. Stop by today to check out our newest family member, Askinosie Davao 77% Dark.

Tonight! - Customer Appreciation Night!

This is our opportunity to say "Thank You" for helping Bittersweet Cafe be the place to be! Stop by tonight between 7-9 PM and we will have treats and tastings and specials on all our merchandise. Let us pamper you! I will see you tonight!

Monday, June 15, 2009

New Summer Hours!

Beginning next week, Sunday, June 21st, Bittersweet Cafe, Rockridge will be sporting our new summer hours and will be open an hour later. Now you can enjoy your favorite drink later!

New Hours:
Sunday-Wednesday: 9:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Thursday-Saturday: 9:00 PM - 10:00 PM

Remember, this all begins Sunday, June 21st.

Have a great summer!

Thursday, July 23rd - 7-9 PM - Ian Huddleston Performs!

Ian Huddleston, a renown musician, will be performing acoustically on the guitar for your listening pleasure. His taste run across the board so you never know what he will play next, but you know it will be good. You may have met him already behind the counter here at Bittersweet and we would like you to get to know his other talents. Bittersweet will have a special on his favorite drink all night.

Grab a loved one and enjoy some live music and chocolate bliss.

Thursday, July 2nd - 7-10PM - Ice Cream Social!

As I promised, more events are on the way! This next one is Thursday, July 2nd, from 7-10 PM, is a celebration of Summer and everything good about it, our Ice Cream Social!

Come and join us for specials on our ice cream treats and help us bring in warm weather and days of no school. It's July and the heat is on. What better way to cool down and celebrate the coming Independence Day than with ice cream!

Grab the kids and stay out late at Bittersweet Cafe.

This Thursday is Customer Appreciation!

Mark your calendars, this Thursday, June 18th, from 7-9 PM is Customer Appreciation Night.

We are planning on having some treats and tastings, and maybe a special item or two, so be sure to stop by and meet your friends. Bittersweet wants to say "Thank You" for being such great customers and helping us be the "hot spot" in the neighborhood. We have been going strong for 4 1/2 years and are looking forward to many more.

Customer Appreciation Night, this Thursday from 7-9 PM. See ya here!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Poetry Reading This Thursday from 7-9PM

Just a reminder of our Poetry Reading this Thursday, June 11th, from 7:00-9:00 PM, featuring our own Chelsea Martin and some of her friends. We will also be having a special on her favorite drink, Chocolate Milk. For more information just click on the link on the left hand side of this page.

See you here!

New Amano Montanya Bar

Many of you know about Amano and their amazing chocolate. Their Occumare Bar was voted "Best Bar in America" by NPR and their Madagascar Bar was voted "Best Bar" of the Chocolate Salon 2007 in San Francisco. Well, now they have a new bar out and we have it.

"The Montanya 70% Dark Chocolate Bar has been released as a "Limited Edition" due to the rarity of the cocoa beans used to produce it. The rare cacoa is grown in the mountains, most all cocoa is grown in secluded valley's or in flat areas. This chocolate is made from cocoa beans that break that mold. They come from deep within the mountains of Venezuela. the only way to reach these secluded farms is either to hike or by horseback. Similarly, the cocoa beans are brought out after the farmers have carefully harvested, fermented, and dried the beans to bring out their most beautiful flavor. These rare cacoa beans produce a chocolate like no other with a complex deep and rich flavor that is sure to make chocolate lovers swoon."*

"The flavor is enchantingly complex and it will create a passionate lover of this beautiful chocolate out of each person who tries it."*

I must say that I agree, it is another hit for Amano Chocolate. It is a limited edition, so supply is short. Some in to Bittersweet today to try it for yourself.

*Information provided by Art Pollard, Amano Founder, Head Chocolate Maker.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

New Event Addition - June 18th

Another addition to our Summer Events series is our Customer Appreciation Night on Thursday, June 18th, from 7-9PM.

Be sure to mark your calenders and bring your family for some treats and tastings and fun goings on. We will have some specials and it is a chance for you to enjoy Bittersweet as we say "Thank You" for helping to make Bittersweet Cafe a success and the place to be.

Keep your eye on this blog as more events are on their way!

Thank you and come join us for the festivities.

More Chocolate Health Facts...

Here is an article that I just came across giving us even more reasons (or excuses) to eat dark chocolate.

This story from the UCSF website, sites a study examining "chocolate's effects on the blood vessel function of healthy people. They report that small daily doses of flavonoid-rich dark chocolate consumed over two weeks improved the blood vessels' ability to dilate, or expand. They also report that a particular flavonoid thought to be beneficial for blood vessel function, epicatechin, was absorbed at high levels in the blood."

The study was funded by the UCSF School of Nursing. Chocolate for the study was provided by the American Cocoa Research Institute, Vienna, VA.

Click here to view the entire article.

Monday, June 1, 2009

The Hot Chocolate Effect!

Hot chocolate science fun

Funny posting here about the so-called 'Hot Chocolate Effect'. Something for you to try at home. Who knows maybe it'll open up a whole new Chocolate Sciences division.

Thanks to Lisa at talk.dnadirect.com for the link!