November 15, 2011


History of Chocolate by Jonathan Grahm

Chocolate comes from the fermented, roasted, and ground beans of the cacao or cocoa tree. The word "Chocolate" comes from the Nahualt language of the Aztecs. The Nahualt word xocolatl means bitter water. The pre-Columbian peoples of the Americans drank chocolate mixed with vanilla, chile pepper, and achiote. Europeans sweetened it by adding sugar and milk and removing the chile pepper. They later created a process to make solid chocolate creating the modern chocolate bar. Although cocoa is originally from the Americas, today Western Africa produces almost two-thirds of the world´s cocoa, with Côte d´Ivoire growing almost half of it. Today, it is one of the most popular and recognizable flavors in the world.

A Short History of Chocolate

Chocolate is made from the seed of the cacao tree, a tree native to lowland areas of South America. Cacao was used as far back in history as 1100 BC. Although historical evidence shows the Mayans used the cacao bean prior to this, most of the popular credit is given to the Aztec civilizations. Cacao played an important role in the Aztec society, serving both as a drink and as currency. Columbus originally observed the natives scrambling to pick up the seeds when they spilled without realizing their value to them. The drink “xocolatl” or “bitter water” was consumed by the Aztec elite society. According to legend the Aztec ruler Montezuma consumed up to fifty cups of chocolate a day. Perhaps the myth of chocolate was born when Europeans first observed Montezuma drinking xocolatl prior to visiting his concubine.

Although Columbus actually was the first to bring cacao back to Spain, it wasn’t until Cortez returned to Spain with cacao beans that Europeans first started consuming it. Unlike the people of South America, Europeans found the drink bitter and sweetened it with sugar. Within 100 years the secrets of cacao had spread throughout Europe and chocolate was a favorite in the royal courts of Europe. 



In 1828 the Dutch chemist Van Houten invented a press to extract the cocoa butter from the roasted ground beans leading to the invention of the chocolate bar. When Daniel Peters developed a technique to incorporate condensed milk into the chocolate and was able to maintain a stable product milk chocolate was born. At around the same time in the United States, Milton Hershey used fresh whole milk.

History is sprinkled with anecdotes relating to chocolate and its various uses. In addition to Montezuma’s use of cacao as an aphrodisiac, the great Italian lover Cassanova allegedly used chocolate for the same reason. Reportedly he actually preferred chocolate to champagne. At one stage, chocolate was marketed as a medicine both in the United States and in Europe.

 
 
 
November 15, 2011


Custom Chocolate: Kenneth Cole x Compartes Collaboration

Custom Chocolates for Kenneth Cole!

 
Check out these awesome chocolates we customized for Kenneth Cole with their logo.  They are filled with our dark ganache + sea salt caramel...absolutely to die for and stunning! These organic custom chocolates are our most popular corporate gift in sizes ranging from 5, 10 and 20 piece boxes to mixing them in with our larger 3 lb and 5 lb chocolate assortments! They are too pretty to eat, until you taste one that is! ;)  Email us sales@compartes.com with your logos for a quote or call 310.826.3380!
 

 

 
November 15, 2011


Custom Chocolate for Weddings by Compartes Los Angeles

Check out these gorgeous pics the lovely bride and groom's friends snapped of our chocolates in beautiful 4 piece favor boxes (customized with monograms and the date of the wedding) as well as the chocolates set into a beautiful spread on the tables of the wedding reception.  This whole wedding was done so beautifully and our custom compartes chocolates for wedding favors were a special added touch that complimented everything! Check out the pics and please call us at 310.826.3380 for inquiries on favor boxes we can put together for your next event!

 

 

 


 
November 15, 2011


Compartes Chocolatier LA Jonathan Grahm talks Taste Food Festival

The official chocolatier at Food & Wine Magazine's Taste of Beverly Hills gourmet food celebration - Compartes Chocolatier Los Angeles' Jonathan Grahm chats and shows us around the festival. Watch Compartes Chocolatier Jonathan Grahm give you a quick tour!
 

 
Compartes Chocolatier artisan chocolates made in Los Angeles with all natural organic ingredients, featured in magazines such as "W", "People", "Time", "US Weekly", "Bon Apetit", "Food and Wine" and much more was chosen to be the OFFICIAL chocolatier at the 1st annual "Taste of Beverly Hills" food festival. Here is a quick peek inside an LA foodie festival complete with tons of celebrities in attendance, celeb chefs and the best of the best of Los Angeles restaurants.
 
 
November 15, 2011


Faith Evans & Compartes Chocolatier donate 5000 boxes to Japan Tsunami Relief



Grammy-winner Faith Evans and Compartes Chocolatier have teamed up to donate 5,000 boxes of our chocolate Love Nuts directly to the shelters housing victims of the Japanese earthquake & tsunami. Compartes Japan staff have begun delivering the chocolates as a symbol of hope, love and sweetness to the survivors providing them a little bit of sweet sustenance in the form of these delicious chocolates. Faith Evans is proud to be able to give this gift to the people of Japan in an effort to help the victims of the devastating tsunami and earthquake disaster. Follow @Compartes on Twitter http://www.twitter.com/compartes for updates on our efforts.

 
For more information on Compartes Japan, please visit http://www.compartesjapan.com 
 
November 15, 2011


Custom Chocolates: City National bank Salted Caramels

For a grand opening of new branches, City National Bank customized our delicious organic Sea Salt + Caramel chocolates! Handmade in our Los Angeles chocolate factory and personally delivered to the City National Bank event, Compartes unique, high-quality gourmet chocolates are truly the perfect corporate branded gift!


Contact us to have your logo or design on our chocolate! Ideal for customizing weddings, baby showers, special events or as thank you favors to clientèle!
 
See some of our former clients boxes including Chelsea Lately, Dreamworks Animation and more, click here!

 

 

Compartes Chocolates, a favorite at LA Artisan Food Festival

Compartes Chocolatier participated in Artisanal LA, an event celebrating the city’s finest local, sustainable and handmade foods.

Our latest addition to the Compartes catalog – a jar of our incredibly addictive homemade organic honey peanut butter sea salt – sold out! So right after the event came to a close we headed straight to the factory to make more for the second day of the weekend long event – which again sold out!! No wonder, with our honey + peanut butter + sea salt truffles, it was an irresistible souvenir to take home and spread on toast from breakfast! You can also buy the peanut butter truffles which are dark chocolate coated and filled with our homemade peanut butter spread by clicking here  LA Weekly even named our peanut butter as "best of the event". Read LA Weekly's glowing review of our peanut butter here!



Foodies swarmed around the Compartes booth and we were left with more write-ups than any other participant! People absolutely adored our signature truffles and our magnificent display of custom chocolate boxes we have created for corporate clients. Anyone can customize our organic chocolate truffles with names, logos, colors; any design you can think of! For info on custom chocolate email info@compartes.com or call 310.826.3380  

  

 


Health Benefits of Chocolate: Good for you, Healthy Skin

Here's a formula for sensational skin: cleanser, moisturizer, sunscreen, and . . . chocolate?

You heard right. When eaten, flavanol-rich cocoa, the main ingredient in dark chocolate, improves skin's texture, thickness, hydration, and blood flow. It may even boost your skin's defense against the sun by up to 25 percent! How? It packs serious antioxidant power. Just don't overdo it -- chocolate can be high in fat and calories, too. And you still need to wear sunscreen every day.

Chocolate's good for your skin? It's true! Antioxidant compounds in cocoa, called flavanols, improve artery health by boosting blood flow, and that boost may be good for your skin, too.



A unique, organic Artisan Dark Chocolate Bar from Compartes. A high percentage of cocoa ensures our bars are rich in antioxidant power. The one at left is artfully decorated with organic apricots and Japanese spices. These make a delicious addition to anyone's day! Click here to shop them online.



Researchers discovered this chocolate benefit in a study of women who consumed half a cup of cocoa (containing 329 milligrams of flavanols per serving, the amount in a 3-½ ounce serving of dark chocolate) daily for 12 weeks. At the end of the study, the women experienced less skin dryness, scaling, and roughness compared to the beginning of the study. Also, their skin was thicker, exhibited improved blood flow, and was even more resistant to sun damage. Pretty amazing!

November 15, 2011

Beer › Chocolate › Compartes › Recipe ›


BEER Brownies Recipe: Compartes Chocolate x Beer = Good

I know this sounds a little weird, ok, a lot weird, but these are some awesome brownies. And anyway, it's not like I'm pouring PBR into my brownie mix. The trick is in using a dark, malty beer you like that already has some desserty characteristics. Toasty, bready, toffee, coffee, chocolate flavors come to mind, and you can go a little crazy with the possibilities (could you imagine coffee porter brownies??). I chose to use the Bruery's Rugbrod, a toasty, spicy, Christmas-y Danish Rye ale that gave the brownies a lightness belied by their fudginess. It sounds contradictory, fudgy yet light, but the bubbles appear to be working their magic. To put an exclamation point on the spiciness I added a pinch of cayenne and cinnamon, just for a hint lingering in the background, and lightly sprinkled halved walnuts on top for their toasty, nutty goodness. I love how rustic the scattered walnuts look on top of the brownies, plus they add a lovely crunch. Enjoy!  PS - Compartes makes seasonal beer chocolate truffles too!


Ingredients:

3 ½ oz dark chocolate (70% cocoa and up) - you can puchase a Compartes 77% Dark Chocolate Bar (4 oz.) for this!
2 tablespoons instant espresso
tablespoons of butter
4 eggs, at room temp
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar, loose, not packed
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup flour
2 teaspoons vanilla paste (or extract)
1 cup malty beer (I used the Bruery's Rugbrod, a Danish Rye Beer, but a Belgian Quad, a Stout, or a Porter would work)
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup walnuts, halved and toasted lightly

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 and pop in the walnuts until just toasted, about 5 minutes. Sift together the flour, spices, and cocoa powder. Meanwhile, melt the chocolate, instant espresso and butter in a bowl over boiling water, add the beer and stir to combine, then let cool. Beat together the eggs and sugar until thick and shiny. Continue beating on low while adding flour mixture and wet ingredients alternatively. Finish with the vanilla. Do not over mix. Fold in the chips. Pour into a buttered and floured 9 x 13 pan and sprinkle the walnuts on top. Bake for 30-35 minutes.
 
- Guest Blogger Claire Thomas from The Kitchy Kitchen

Children's Chocolate Party at Compartes LA Chocolate Store

We all know how much energy children have, but wait till you bring them to Compartes Chocolatier to dip their own chocolate! Yes, that’s right, last weekend at Compartes Chocolatier, more than twenty children came to dip their own chocolates… it was not as messy as it sounds!

Entering in little groups they first each gave their name which was written down and attached to their own tray. They then received a guided tour of the factory containing some of the original Compartes equipment from 1950…

… and then came the fun! Into the Magic Room, laid out on plates were marshmallows, Oreo cookies, Graham Crackers and Pretzels...

 

Choosing five pieces each, the children dipped their selections into the kettles of milk and dark chocolate, laid each piece out on their tray, then with a bit of effort (waiting for chocolate to dry is as exciting as it is difficult, at any age!) tried their patience outside with fun and games.


Twenty minutes later and finally dry, they collected their very own hand-dipped confections and sat down to enjoy the deliciousness and satisfaction. We were left with some very happy children!!


Does this sound like something you are interested in doing for your children? Please drop in to our store, call or email us for more information on planning your own chocolate-covered party!