Archive for September, 2009

Fall Chocolate Unveiling

Posted in Uncategorized on September 30, 2009 by Brian

And not just chocolate!

Please join us this Friday, October 2, anytime between 6 and 9 p.m., for an open house and special tasting for our new fall lineup of chocolates and pastries.

We’ll have chocolate to taste, wine to sip, and music to enjoy — flamenco guitar, thanks to Lliam. And we’ll have some great new fall confections and treats available for the first time this year, including:

  • Pumpkin Truffles – real pumpkin puree, nutmeg and cinnamon in a sweet cream and milk chocolate ganache, dipped in milk chocolate and topped with a toasted pumpkin seed. (Ask the couple who came in today to pick out truffles for their wedding – they tasted the freshly made pumpkin truffle ganache and changed their order to include these truffles.)
  • Caramel Apple Truffles – apple syrup in a silky smooth ganache, dipped in semi-sweet chocolate and topped with a bit of caramel (I think, anyway; I’m still working on this one).
  • Hot Chocolate – yes, it’s back! Real ground chocolate, our special cocoa powder, and just enough sugar make our hot cocoa the perfect cool weather drink. Unless you need a cold weather drink, and then you’ll want…
  • Mexican Hot Chocolate – our hot chocolate mix, with a touch of cinnamon and TWO different ground peppers, to give you just a bit of extra warmth, right when you need it. Both of our hot chocolates are available in dry mixes to take home or in steamed milk to enjoy in our cafe.
  • Pumpkin Marshmallows – seriously, these are amazing. Shannon came up with these fluffy little beauties that are unlike anything you’ve ever tasted before.
  • What else? Shannon and Kate have been playing with fall flavors — apples, pumpkin, maple, cinnamon, and more. I can’t wait to see what they come up with for Friday.

You won’t want to miss Friday night at the Kakao Cafe, 2301 S. Jefferson, 63104. And don’t forget the Tower Grove Farmers’ Market on Saturday, which is hosting the Farm Aid Homegrown Urban Country Fair. And next Thursday we’re hosting a Lush Tub Show at the shop. See you then!

Green Homes and Other Events

Posted in Uncategorized on September 25, 2009 by Brian

We’ve got a busy couple weeks ahead of us, with great opportunities for you to experience Kakao Chocolate and get to know some of our friends and partners.

green homes

First up — tomorrow! — is the Green Homes Festival in mid-town St. Louis, sponsored by the Missouri Botanical Garden’s EarthWays Center and the Missouri Coalition for the Environment. It’s from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the 3600 block of Grandel Square, just north of Lindell and west of Grand. You’ll see over 75 exhibitors and 28 expert workshops exploring solar power, home energy efficiency, transportation alternatives, recycling and composting, green homebuilding – even keeping backyard bees and chickens!

This popular St. Louis event continues to grow. This year they’re introducing Sustainable Stuff – The Green Craft Fair, showcasing resourceful artisan fashions, jewelry, home décor, toys and gifts, and will have a special area where kids can paint a Metro bus with Sarah Linquist, the Muny’s Master Scenic Artist. Kids (and their parents) can also build and race a solar car and print pictures with sunlight.

The Local Food Court will feature treats from Schlafly Beer, Local Harvest Grocery and Café, Atomic Cowboy, Cummel’s Café, Sweet Art, and, of course, Kakao Chocolate, where we’ll have our sea-salt caramels and marshmallow pies. 

And mark your calendar for a couple of other great Kakao events. Next Friday evening, October 2, we’re hosting an open house with special tastings of our new fall line of confections and pastries. We’ll bring back our popular pumpkin truffle (made with real pumpkin!) and debut our new caramel apple truffle. We’ll also have some other fall-themed treats developed by our amazing pastry chefs, like Shannon’s incredible pumpkin marshmallows. The open house, which will also include flemenco guitarist Lliam Christy, will be from 6 to 9 p.m. at our shop at 2301 South Jefferson, 63104.

The next week we’re excited to announce a Kakao Tub Show! That’s right, Tub — not trunk — as in bathtub, as in Lush handmade soaps ! You can find their fresh, handmade soaps, shampoos and fragrances in cool shops all over the world, and on the evening of Thursday, October 8, you’ll find them at the Kakao Cafe! Stay tuned for more info.

See you soon!

Chocolate and Coffee and…Dinner?

Posted in Uncategorized on September 13, 2009 by Brian

We’re still fairly caffeinated from our week of free coffee and $1 espresso drinks in the shop (2301 S. Jefferson, St. Louis). The specials were in celebration of our new hours: Tuesday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. (closed at 3 on Wednesdays) and Saturday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. We’re serving some fantastic regular coffee from local roasters Kuva, Goshen, Chauvin and Mississippi Mud, and have selected Kuva for our espresso drinks.

And on that note, we’re excited about a very special dinner at Local Harvest Cafe this Wednesday, September 16, featuring Kakao Chocolate and Goshen Coffee. Chef Clara Moore has a wonderful menu planned with both vegetarian and omnivore selections, including:

  • Chocolate espresso square served with ginger soup
  • Fresh greens with espresso vinaigrette and chocolate shavings
  • Lamb braised in coffee and bittersweet chocolate / spicy chili with fresh cornbread
  • (Menu subject to change — Chef Moore might be inspired in a different direction, after all!)

We’re helping by creating some special confections for the occasion, including the chocolate espresso bark and our Turkish coffee truffle, made with Goshen Black Dog Espresso blend.

You might be wondering how chocolate and coffee work for entrees and side dishes. Trust us, it’s great! Just ask anyone who’s tried the Kakao Cocoa Grill Rub on a pork steak or lamb burger, or anyone who’s used coffee to marinade a steak.

There are two seatings on the 16th, at 6 and 8 p.m. Call Local Harvest at 314.772.8815 to make your reservations before they fill up!

Free Coffee!

Posted in Uncategorized on September 4, 2009 by Brian

What goes better with chocolate than coffee? (Well, oftentimes wine, but that’s a whole different story.) We’re pleased to announce that Kakao is now offering coffee, espresso, lattes, cappucinos and special Kakao coffee drinks.

Does that make us a coffee shop? In a way, yes, we suppose it does. We’re first and foremost a chocolate shop, and we of course still have all the truffles and caramels and marshmallow pies. But we’ve also had neighborhood folks ask about coffee, and we see all the traffic on Jefferson driving to work in the morning, and think there’s a way that everyone can benefit.

For the coffee, we’re still testing a number of espresso beans, all locally roasted. We’ll settle on one espresso, but we’ve tasted so much fantastic coffee from nearby beaneries, we’ve decided to rotate different roasts and local roasters for our drip coffee, including Kuva, Mississippi Mud, Chauvin, and others.

Oh, and the special drinks! Barista Bethany is working on some great coffee drink recipes, with syrups we make in-house — vanilla syrup, caramel syrup, chocolate syrup, and more.

Of course we’ll also have hot tea, specially blended by our friends at Traveling Tea. We’ve been busy with some amazing pastries, too, like biscotti, scones, fruit-filled pastries, tarts, and more to come. Did I mention we have free wi-fi in the shop?

And about that free coffee — yes, free drip coffee today, tomorrow and next week (yes, expanded hours!), and $1 espresso drinks ($0.50 more for syrups) to introduce you to our new offerings.

New Kakao Hours:
Friday, Sept. 4: 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Saturdays: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Sundays: Closed
Mondays: Closed
Tuesday – Friday: 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. (closed Wednesday at 3)