Category Archives: chocolate sauce

Barefoot & Chocolate

Is there really anyone who doesn’t like Nutella? I must admit I don’t usually indulge my cravings because it’s like chocolate crack and all too easy to overdo. But, my real reason for not eating it is the hydrogenated oils. Barefoot & Chocolate, whose name derives from the Sasha and Trent’s images of “jumping in the lake on a hot summer day, bliss inducing yoga, and sharing laughs with dear friends over good food and chocolate,” makes a Hazelnut Chocolate spread that is even more delicious with no hydrogenated oils.

The texture is dreamily creamy, the flavor a great juxtaposition of chocolate, nuts, and sweetness. (Over twice the amount of nuts in other spreads.) I can’t imagine a child who wouldn’t be just crazy about this. As an adult, it appealed to my inner kid. I don’t know about you, but when I get a new toy I like to experiment. I started imagining well-toasted English muffins with some gorgonzola and hazelnut chocolate spread, crepes with fruit and hazelnut chocolate spread, filling little chocolate liqueur cups garnished with a caramelized hazelnut, as the center of mini chocolate meringues topped with raspberries, or swirled into Greek yogurt. This jar is just brimming with possibilities. Trent, one of the founders, has some incredibly delectable recipes on their website, like: Chocolate Quesadillas, Chocolate Hazelnut Pumpkin Pie, and Banana Coconut Chocolate Almond Bread.

I also tried their Almond Coconut Chocolate spread, which was completely different. The consistency is still creamy, but thicker, and the coconut has been completely amalgamated into its luxuriously velvety texture. I found the chocolate almond flavors predominated with the coconut adding a subtle undertones. It’s a tiny bit less sweet and would be fabulous on whole grain toast with thin slices of crisp apple or barely ripe banana, sprinkled with a few grains of sea salt.

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Rawmio Gourmet Organic Raw Chocolate

Happily, I have eaten a lot of chocolate in my time. It is for that reason that I am especially thrilled when something new and delicious comes over the transom. Rawmio, a company that manufactures raw, organic barks, spreads, and a decadent looking truffle cake was an exciting find.

When raw bars are done well, they offer up a wildly deep and satisfying chocolate experience. Rawmio’s Organic Gourmet Hazelnut and Fig Raw Chocolate Bark has that earthy, interesting profile down pat. The texture is dry and crumbly, which makes this more like a food than a confection. The flavors all pop with crunch and freshness. Add-ins, including nibs, are not only scattered on top of the bar, but mixed in with the chocolate, as well. The hazelnuts are sprouted, the black mission figs chewy, coconut sugar adds sweetness, while vanilla and Himalayan pink sea salt round out this seamless cornucopia of flavors and textures.

The bars weigh in at 2.2 ounces, but they are very dense and rich. I found 1/3 of a bar very satisfying.

I also tried their Chocolate Hazelnut Spread, which was absolutely delicious. Diving right into the jar with a spoon, I was greeted with a creamy, smooth, nutty, chocolatey experience. Later, I warmed it up a bit as they suggest on the label and poured it over some frozen vanilla Greek yogurt. I loved the way it became chewy upon contact with the cold yogurt. It would also be quite yummy spread on apple slices, in crepes, or warmed to a more liquid consistency and drizzled over a Pavlova.

Kudos to Rawmio for packaging their bark in a pretty re-closable sleeve that added to my joy.

I don’t know how long this will last, but at last check rawguru.com had a special on the bark, three for $14.95. The spread is $27.90 for two 6 ounce jars. Yes, it’s an indulgence, but almost all good dark chocolate is. Furthermore, if you are a chocolatier you might find a teaspoon of this dense deliciousness makes a sublime filling for bonbons.

Grown Up KidStuff

I have always been a fan of dark chocolate sauces poured over ice cream, drizzled on cake, in trifles, or blanketing fresh fruit. Grown Up KidStuff, a company that devotes itself to chocolate and caramel sauces, uses dairy products from a family farm whose cows are treated with neither antibiotics nor bovine growth hormones. The sweeteners are cane sugar and molasses from a company that supports an elephant sanctuary, and their two Ghanian cocoas hail from a firm involved with the International Cocoa Initiative and the World Cocoa Foundation, which promote sustainable farming practices, farmer training, and support and development of farmer cooperatives. The company also supports local prairie restoration, to return the prairies to their original beauty, and to help prevent the loss of native species and birds. (I believe National Geographic did an article on the prairies about a year ago.)

No matter how great the provenance of the ingredients, the most important thing is: How does it taste? I sampled their full line, which currently consists of four sauces. The original is a thick, dark chocolate that is very satisfying and versatile. Their chocolate sauce with Grand Marnier has a hint of orange that adds extra interest and no discernible alcohol taste. I started fantasizing about warm chocolate mousse cake plated with this sauce and drizzled with some actual Grand Marnier. Sometimes, more is more, even if Mies van de Rohe spins in his grave every time I say it. I love their spicy chocolate sauce with its layers of complexity and heat. And, even though it is not chocolate, I want to mention their caramel sauce, a super rendition of this rich classic.