Archive for January, 2010

Kakao King Cake is King!

Posted in Uncategorized on January 19, 2010 by Brian

We’re very proud to share with you some fun news: Kakao won the Professional Bakery division of the Iron Barley King Cake Competition!

The Kakao team — Shannon, Kate and I — kicked around some ideas, and Kate was set with the task of creating a Kakao King Cake. King cakes are traditional to Mardi Gras, usually a type of brioche dough with purple, green and gold frosting. Of course we don’t use any artificial colors at Kakao, but since we decided to make a chocolate king cake, it didn’t really matter.

Kate put it all together, first making the dough, which required a complicated — and slightly messy — kneading process.

Then she frosted it — with chocolate frosting, of course — and dusted it with different shades of cocoa powder and powdered sugar.

What’s that gold bit? Well, Kate’s been also working on some all-natural chocolate colors. It couldn’t be all brown, could it?

Congratulations, Kate!

Taste Testers Wanted

Posted in Uncategorized on January 14, 2010 by Brian

When I meet people for the first time, they often get excited when they hear that I have a chocolate shop. “I love chocolate! If you ever need any taste testers, give me a call!”

Now’s your chance.

We at Kakao are in High Experimentation Mode, trying flavors and techniques and recipes that we’ve never tried before. (In some cases, like the way Kate is trying some natural colorings in chocolate, we’re doing some things that no one has tried before — more on that in a future post.) And like any good experiment, we need to evaluate the result, and for that we need your help.

In exchange for free chocolate and confections for you.

Here’s how it works: go to your Facebook page and search for Kakao Chocolate. On that page, find the “Become a Fan” button and, well, become a fan of Kakao.

When we have something we need you to taste test for us, we’ll post it on the Kakao page, and you’ll get the update on your Facebook page. We’ll let you know what we’ve got on that particular day, and give you a passcode you’ll need to use when you come in. You come into the shop, give us the passcode, we’ll give you the candy, and you’ll tell us what you think.

Of course these opportunities will only last until we run out of that particular chocolate, or to the end of the day, so you’ll have to be quick about it.

As an added bonus, as a Kakao fan you’ll be able to keep up with all our happenings at the shop — our special events, holiday specials, and of course our new confections. We’ll still have this blog, of course, and we’ll make sure to post on Facebook when we update it.

As I said, LOTS of fun stuff planned for the coming months, so stay tuned!

Winter Wonders

Posted in Uncategorized on January 8, 2010 by Brian

We’ve got a lot of fantastic stuff to cover here, so maybe you should sit down before you go any further.

Then, where to begin? Well, let’s start simply, with our new addition to the shop, our truffle case!

Beautiful, isn’t it? It will be great when you come visit the shop to be able to see all the different truffle flavors we have on hand.

Speaking of new truffles, we’ve got a fantastic new truffle, something completely different. All our truffles to date have been hand-dipped, and a creamy ganache center. Our latest creation — handmade by Kate — is a piped truffle, made by hand-piping an even creamier ganache into a shell of chocolate.

Aren’t they beautiful? Yes, that’s white chocolate decorating the tops of the truffles. And yes, that’s gold powder. (And yes, it’s edible.) The ganache, by the way, is a pomegranate liqueur.

And yes, they’re amazingly good.

Next up, something Shannon created, a new pates de fruit, made with champagne. No bubbles (we’re still working on that), but the combination of champagne and strawberry purée, all dipped in white chocolate…well, take a look, and imagine what that tastes like. We’ll definitely be making lots of these for Valentine’s Day!

And last, but not least, here’s something completely different. Kate created some meringue that’s unlike anything we’ve tried before. Not puffy meringue, but a sheet of meringue. And not just plain, but with toasted unsweetened coconut.

We tried some, and immediately thought of the snowy day outside, and how nice and toasty it was inside. Kakao Snowy Coconut Meringue is the perfect way to experience snow that’s delicious and sweet, but not cold.

We’ve got small batches of all of these confections — along with our traditional truffles (including some Mattingly’s Stout Porter Truffles), sea salt caramels, marshmallow pies, and other treats — available at the St. Louis Community Farmers’ Market tomorrow and at the shop (open Tues- Fri from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays) for as long as they last. Or until we make more.