Caramel

Locals Guide: October

Caramel

At Branson’s Chocolates, we make our caramel, and everything else, by hand. We use a very old recipe, the highest quality creams and sugars, and cook our caramel in copper pots the old-fashioned way, all to achieve the best blend of sweet and gooey, but not sticky, caramel.

We serve our caramel plain or sea-salted; dipped in milk chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate, or nothing at all, in sticks, bars, and in our almost famous caramel sauces—Gourmet Lavender Caramel Sauce using local lavender from English Lavender Farms, Gourmet Whiskey Caramel Sauce using III Spirits Whiskey, and Gourmet Caramel Sauce for the purists. In other words, there’s a caramel for everyone.

“If you haven’t tried Branson’s Chocolates, you should do so immediately.  I bought some p-nut cups and turtles for my wife… shared them with the family this weekend.  Quote from the mother-in-law: ‘that’s the best caramel I’ve ever had.’”  –Dan McKillop

“I bought two turtles last spring and still drool when I think of how amazing they were – and my friend agreed completely. You have mastered the blend of caramel with amazing flavor and chocolate.”  –Joanne Turner

You can find your caramel deliciousness right here in Ashland at Branson’s Chocolates, at 1662 Siskiyou Boulevard.  We’re just a block south of Omar’s, next to Carpet Mart. We’re open Monday – Saturday 10-5:30.

You can also find Branson’s Chocolates on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, and at bransonschocolates.com for online chocolate shopping.

Huckleberry

Locals Guide: September

Huckleberry

Huckleberries are related to both blueberries and cranberries, taste like a tart blueberry, and are so juicy they have to be processed or eaten right away. Huckleberry season is short, usually only August and September, so Branson’s Chocolates is debuting Huckleberry Truffles and Huckleberry Bars right at the peak of their season. We’re dreaming of Huckleberry Truffles, smooth creamy dark chocolate center with a hint of huckleberry! And the Huckleberry Bars in delicious Milk Chocolate. We take a Huckleberry Fruit Spread made right here is Oregon; cook it down with some milk chocolate to make the gooey Huckleberry center.

‘A love of huckleberries — combined with their scarcity — has created a decades-long effort to produce the berry commercially. A University of Idaho researcher named Dan Barney spent over two decades attempting to create a domesticated huckleberry that would reliably produce delicious fruit at home. He retired without accomplishing his mission. “Domesticating the wild huckleberry is impossible,” says Amit Dhingra, associate professor in the horticulture department at Washington State University. “They have been established in the wild in certain conditions in the forest, and their genetics are suited specifically for that purpose.” Most forests require a permit and limit the amount of berries a person can take home. Some rules also specify that berries be picked by hand.

Throughout history, finding and picking huckleberries has been hard work, yet for people who love them, the effort is worth it. When asked why huckleberries are worth all this trouble, Joe Culbreth laughed. “I don’t know,” he says. “But once you’ve eaten huckleberries, you’re hooked.”’

You can find all this huckleberry deliciousness right here in Ashland at Branson’s Chocolates, at 1662 Siskiyou Boulevard.  We’re just a block south of Omar’s, next to Carpet Mart. Come on down and get your own batch of Huckleberry Truffles and Bars. It’s sure a lot easier than heading out to the forest to forage them for yourself. We’re open Monday – Saturday 10-5:30.

You can also find Branson’s Chocolates on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, and at bransonschocolates.com for online chocolate shopping.

Thanks to https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2017/08/11/542690164/for-the-love-of-huckleberries-august-brings-out-hunters-of-elusive-fruit

Sugar Free/No Sugar Added Chocolates

Locals Guide:April

Sugar Free/No Sugar Added Chocolates

If you’ve been drooling over all the deliciousness here at Branson’s Chocolates, but stayed away because of the sugar, you are in luck! We’d like to introduce you to our Sugar-Free/No Sugar Added Chocolates. We have Hazelnut Clusters, Peanut Clusters, Almond Bars, and Solid Chocolate Bars in both Milk Chocolate and Semi-Sweet Chocolate; and Hazelnut Bars in Milk Chocolate, Espresso Bars in Semi-Sweet Chocolate.

We use maltitol, a sugar alcohol, in our sugar free chocolates. Sugar alcohol is a somewhat misleading term, as it is actually neither sugar nor alcohol. This type of sugar substitute is particularly helpful to people with diabetes, because only a portion of it is digested and absorbed. And the part that is absorbed through the intestinal tract is absorbed slowly, so there’s a relatively little rise in blood sugar. So if you are watching your sugar intake, come on in and try our Sugar-Free/No Sugar Added Chocolate. You’ll be glad you did!

If you want to catch us out and about, we’ll be—

  • Thursday April 12th, we will be at the Opening Night Bash—Savor The Rogue®—from 7:30pm to 10:30pm. This event includes a delicious tastings of local foods and beverages, including our chocolates, and a no-host bar. Ticket required. For more information go to ashlandfilm.org
  • April 13th-14th, Friday 3-10pm and Saturday 10-5pm, we will be at the Pear-a-Fare in downtown Medford during the Pear Blossom Festival. This event includes vineyards, breweries, distillers, local artisan food makers all under the festival canopy serving tastes, and selling products. Tasting glasses and tickets to sample the flavors will be for sale at the Pear-a-Fare entrance. Vendors will also be selling wine, beer, coffee, and other local drinks by the glass. Our artisan food makers will have a wide variety of products for sale as well as samples available.org

 

You can also find Branson’s Chocolates on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, and at bransonschocolates.com for online chocolate shopping.

Thanks to https://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/taste-test-sugar-free-chocolate#1 for the maltitol information.

Pumpkin Spice

Locals Guide: October 2017

Pumpkin Spice

If there is one word that perfectly describes the sights, the scents, and the tastes of autumn, that word is pumpkin—bright orange pumpkins carved and lit for Halloween, glowing pumpkin spice scented candles, and warm homemade pumpkin pie ready for dessert. We’re doing our part to carry on this autumn tradition at Branson’s Chocolates, where we’ve created Pumpkin Spice Bars in creamy White Chocolate and Pumpkin Spice Truffles in sweet Milk Chocolate just in time for pumpkin season.

Pumpkin Spice flavor isn’t just a new trend. “’History shows that pumpkin spice-like combinations have been used for millennia in various cultures,’ said Kantha Shelke, a scientist at Corvus Blue, a Chicago-based food science and research firm and an adjunct professor of regulatory science and food safety at Johns Hopkins University. ‘For instance, similar mixtures of spices are used in Indian masala chai and Middle Eastern baklava.’ Shelke notes that ‘spices are powerhouses of phytochemicals — chemicals that the plant makes to protect itself — that can afford us health and protection from many health issues.’” Here’s to Pumpkin Spice, and everything nice!

Branson’s Chocolates, your pumpkin spice headquarters, is right here in Ashland at 1662 Siskiyou Boulevard.  We’re just a block south of 7-11, in the Minute Market shopping center. We won’t be out and about in October, so come see us in the store and get your pumpkin spice fix. We’re open Monday-Friday 10-6, and Saturday 11-5.

You can also find Branson’s Chocolates on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, and at bransonschocolates.com for online chocolate shopping.

(Thanks to http://www.cnn.com/2017/09/13/health/pumpkin-spice-ingredients-science-explainer/index.html)

Customizing Chocolates

Local’s Guide: Aug 2017

Customizing Chocolates

Ask us about

CUSTOM MOLDED CHOCOLATE

and

CUSTOM LABELING

The delicious finishing touch for any business, any occasion, any event!

Let us customize our delicious chocolate for you.

 

Custom labels can be created from your business logo, your motto, your event, your photograph, even your name, just about anything that will fit on a label.

We custom label chocolate bars for many local businesses. In fact, if you’ve had chocolate at Paddington Station, Paddington Station’s Inspired By Oregon, The Paddington Jewel Box, all nine locations of The Grange Co-Op, Tudor Guild Gift Shop, Craterian Theater, Camalot Theatre, Holly Theatre, The English Lavender Farm, Sew Creative, Griffin Creek Coffee Roasting, Kriselle Cellars, Schmidt Family Vineyards, Paschal Winery and Vineyard, or Weisinger Family Winery, you’ve probably had Branson’s Chocolates without even realizing it.

Many businesses including Abigail’s Bed and Breakfast, Bayberry Inn Bed and Breakfast, The Iris Inn B&B, McCall House Bed and Breakfast, AmeriTitle Inc., Highbanks Machining, Siskiyou Endodontics, and Larry Steiner at Edward Jones Investments use our custom labeled chocolate for Thank You Gifts.

We create custom labeled chocolate for events such as weddings, showers, races, fundraisers, corporate meetings, grand openings, promotions, company dinners–anything you want to be remembered.

We can create Custom Molded Chocolate in almost any size bar or square, with your name or logo. Just ask Butler Automotive Group, Acorn Consulting Services Inc., Ashland’s Main Street Inn, or The Blue Giraffe.

If you want to talk about customizing Branson’s Chocolates for your business or event, stop by our store at 1662 Siskiyou Boulevard here in Ashland, M-F 10-6, Sat 11-5, except August 27th we will be at The 3rd Annual Benefit Car Show at Phoenix’s Petro Truck Stop/Iron Skillet Restaurant , 10am-4pm.

My First Chocolate Bar

My First Chocolate Bar

Did you know that Branson’s Chocolates has not always produced chocolate bars? We used to be strictly focused on the production of everything but chocolate bars; truffles, barks, turtles etc.

In July of 2009, Ashland Springs Hotel asked me to make a hazelnut cranberry in milk chocolate bar as well as a marionberry in dark chocolate bar for retail purposes. As well as these being my first chocolate bars, this was also my first major custom labeling and custom flavor order. There are unique struggles that come with learning how to create a new confection. It took me about six weeks to get the ideal consistency of filling that would be considered hotel friendly. Chocolate can be a messy item!

Currently, 3/4 of our production is chocolate bars. You will see our bars in many different locations from Ashland Spring Hotel to Butler Automotives thank you gifts!

We have a variety of flavors including almond, blueberry, blackberry, caramel, cayenne cherry, coconut, cranberry, espresso, hazelnut, macadamia nut, mint, peach and many others! If you do not see a flavor you enjoy we encourage you to place a custom flavor order with us! You can learn more about our custom ordering process by  clicking here to read our blog post discussing your options!

 

 

Chocolate Bars

Our Confections Series: Chocolate Bars

Chocolate Bars

If you have ever wondered what exactly a Truffle is, or what different flavors of chocolate bars we sell, this series will provide all of the answers to your questions. Over the next couple of months, I will be writing separate blog posts as part of a series on the different types of confections we offer including Truffles, Cremes, Chocolate Bars, etc.  To read our post about Truffles, the first installment in this series click here

Today we will be talking about one of our best selling products; Chocolate Bars!

So what exactly is a Chocolate bar? A chocolate bar is formed using a mold that can be filled with nuts or fruit or a variety of other items. All of our bars are handmade, hand-wrapped and hand-labeled with no chemical preservatives used in the process. However, we have not always produced Chocolate Bars here at Branson’s Chocolates. Click here to read more about my story of how I made my first chocolate bar.

If you enjoy our Chocolate Bars but are looking to try something new, you may also enjoy our Clusters. We produce four different types of clusters including Hazelnut, Peanut,  Coconut and Raisin Clusters.

Each individual bar can be purchased for $3.25 with a discount on our six piece box(website only). Many of our bars, along with many of our other products, can be purchased here on our website or in our retail location at 1662 Siskiyou Blvd in Ashland, OR.

We have 22 different flavors of Chocolate Bars, and if you find we do not have a flavor you want we offer the option of customizing your ideal bar!

Almond 

Our Almond Bar contains whole roasted salted almonds in the center of a milk chocolate or semi-sweet 58% (dark) chocolate bar.

 

Blueberry 

Our Blueberry Bar contains whole soft dried blueberries drenched in layers of semi-sweet 58% (dark) chocolate.

Blackberry 

Our Blackberry bar is created by cooking a seedless marionberry (Oregon Blackberry)  preserve combined with a semi-sweet 58%(dark) chocolate reduction covered in layers of semi-sweet 58% (dark) chocolate.

Caramel 

Our Caramel Bar is created by using our soft and chewy caramel covered in milk chocolate.

Cayenne Cherry 

Our Cayenne Cherry Bar uses soft dried cherries in semi-sweet 58% (dark) chocolate that has a cayenne pepper kick.

Cherry 

Our Cherry Bar envelops soft dried cherries in white chocolate.

Coconut 

Our Coconut Bar uses our creamy coconut center covered with layers of semi-sweet 58% (dark) chocolate.

Cranberry 

Our Cranberry Bar uses our soft dried cranberries and smothered in milk chocolate.

English Toffee 

Our English Toffee Bar uses our Old-Fashioned English Toffee and surrounds it with semi-sweet 58% (dark) chocolate.

Espresso 

Our Espresso Bar uses locally roasted and finely ground espresso beans gently stirred by hand into either milk chocolate or semi-sweet 58% (dark) chocolate.

Hazelnut 

Our Hazelnut Bar uses dry roasted Oregon Hazelnuts with layers of either milk chocolate or semi-sweet 58%(dark) chocolate.

Honey Comb 

Our Honey Comb Bar use pieces of Honey Comb (toasted expanded sugar) in a semi-sweet 58% (dark) chocolate bar.

Krunch 

Our Krunch Bar contains gluten-free brown rice Krispies covered in either milk chocolate or semi-sweet 58% (dark) chocolate.

Macadamia Nut 

Our Macadamia Nut Bar contains direct from the farmer in Hawaii, chopped macadamia nuts covered in milk chocolate.

Midnight 

Our Midnight Bar contains solid bitter-sweet 72% (darkest) chocolate.

Mint 

Out Mint Bar contains Seely Family Farms (Clatskanie OR) peppermint oil combined with semi-sweet 58% (dark) chocolate.

Peach (Seasonal) 

Our Peach Bar contains Beebee Farms (Central Point, OR) peaches, reduced to a preserve and reduced more using white chocolate and covered in dark chocolate.

Peppermint 

Our Peppermint Bar uses Peppermint candies mixed into White Chocolate with a touch of locally sourced Peppermint Oil.

Pumpkin Spice (Seasonal) 

Our Pumpkin Spice Bar uses a house blended pumpkin spice mixed into a white chocolate bar.

Solid 

Our Solid Chocolate Bar comes in milk chocolate, semi-sweet 58% (dark) chocolate, sugar-free milk chocolate or sugar-free semi-sweet 58% (dark) chocolate.

Salted Caramel 

Our Salted Caramel Bar uses handmade soft chewy caramel surrounded by Milk Chocolate or Bitter-Sweet 72% (darkest) Chocolate, topped with flakes of sea salt.

Strawberry 

Our Strawberry Bar uses a strawberry preserve and milk chocolate reduction smothered in layers of Milk Chocolate.

 

Thank-You Bars 

Our Thank-You Bars are engraved with the words “Thank You” into your choice of a milk chocolate espresso, milk chocolate or semi-sweet 58% (dark) chocolate bar.

 

Fruit Filled Chocolate Bars

Local’s Guide: September 2016

Fruit Filled Chocolate Bars

Just in time for autumn harvest, Branson’s Chocolates is introducing chocolate bars with fruit centers in three delicious autumn flavors—Strawberry Milk Chocolate bar, Blackberry Semi-Sweet Chocolate bar, and Peach Semi-Sweet bar, all made with local fruit. The peaches are from Beebe Farms, which is located right here in Central Point, and the strawberries and blackberries are from Columbia Empire Farms, just south of Portland. Beebe Farms has been offering locally grown farm fresh produce since 1889, including tree ripened peaches, fresh picked corn, tomatoes, melons, cucumbers, berries, apples, and more. You can check them out at https://www.facebook.com/beebefarms/ . Columbia Empire Farms has been harvesting the finest berries and hazelnuts fresh from the farm since 1976. Check out their website at https://www.columbiaempirefarms.com/ .

 

If you want to find us on the web, we’re at—

If you want to catch us out and about in September, here’s where we will be—

  • September 16th -18th, Friday thru Sunday, we’ll be “Celebrating Abundance” at the 2016 Harvest Festival—a celebration of the beauty and bounty of Southern Oregon and Northern California. We’ll be there Friday 5-10pm, Saturday 12-8pm, and Sunday 12-5pm. For more information, check it out at http://www.attheexpo.com/sectionindex.asp?SectionID=3 . This year the Harvest Festival features Southern Oregon Brewfest, Battle of the Bones BBQ Cookoff, and Wildlife Images’ Wildlife Olympics, along with local livestock on display, outstanding arts, crafts, and photography, and other exhibits that celebrate the regional harvest and the abundance of fall. The Harvest Festival features food, drink, music, and lots of old-fashioned fun for the whole family. And of course, our incredibly delicious chocolate! See you there!

And be sure to come see us in our store at 1662 Siskiyou Boulevard here in Ashland. We’re just a block south of 7-11, in the Minute Market shopping center. We’re open Monday-Friday 10-6, and Saturday 11-5.

Krunch Bar

Local’s Guide: August 2016

Krunch Bar

Summer—it’s the season for relaxing, for taking it easy, and for keeping it simple. So Branson’s Chocolates has brought back the classically simple, deliciously crispy Krunch Bar. Imagine, if you will, creamy smooth milk chocolate swirled together with crunchy crispy rice cereal, poured by hand into bars—it’s the perfect combination of crunchy, creamy, melt-in-your-mouth goodness.

Be sure to catch our August Chocolate Talk video on our YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/c/BransonsChocolatesAshland . Brian Goodwin directs and shoots our videos each month, and they always feature our Item of the Month—for August it’s the Milk Chocolate Krunch Bar. Check us out every month to watch me making our latest product and talking about chocolate. You can also catch us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/bransonschocolates , where you’ll find out all about our latest events and happenings, and if you follow us on Instagram at https://instagram.com/bransonschocolates/ or @bransonschocolates, you know that’s where we post mouth-watering photos of our delicious chocolates.

We won’t be out and about in August, so come see us in the store at 1662 Siskiyou Boulevard here in Ashland. We’re just a block south of 7-11, in the Minute Market shopping center. We’re open Monday-Friday 10-6, and Saturday 11-5. Come in and get a Krunch Bar or two for yourself. Happy Summer!

Pumpkin and Chocolate

Local’s Guide: November 2015

Pumpkin and Chocolate

If there is one word that perfectly describes the sights, the scents, and the tastes for autumn, that word is pumpkin—bright orange pumpkins carved and lit for Halloween, glowing pumpkin spice scented candles, and warm homemade pumpkin pie ready for dessert. We’re doing our part to carry on this autumn tradition at Branson’s Chocolates, where we’ve created Pumpkin Spice Bars in creamy White Chocolate, and Pumpkin Creams in sweet Milk Chocolate and rich dark Semi-Sweet Chocolate just in time for pumpkin season.

I was so honored this month to receive the Ashland Chamber of Commerce’s 2015 MANUFACTURING BUSINESS OF THE YEAR AWARD. I would not be where I am without the support from our family and friends that have helped over the years, and also our loyal customers! Thank you, everyone!!

Be sure to catch November’s Chocolate Talk video on our YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/c/BransonsChocolatesAshland . Our videos are always directed and shot by Brian Goodwin, and feature, of course, our newest items—Pumpkin Spice Bars and Pumpkin Creams for November. You can watch me making our latest product, and pick up some chocolate tips along the way. You can also find us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/bransonschocolates , where you’ll find out all about our latest events and happenings, and if you follow us on Instagram at https://instagram.com/bransonschocolates/ or @bransonschocolates, you know that’s where we post mouth-watering photos of our delicious chocolate.

If you want to catch us out and about in November, here’s where we will be:

  • November 7th & 8th, I will be at the Ashland Culinary Festival at the Ashland Hills Hotel & Suites, where we will have chocolate for sale.
  • November 14th, at Grizzly Peak Winery I’ll be pairing our delicious chocolates and truffles with Grizzly Peak’s award-winning wines.
  • November 21st, I’ll be at Paddington Station’s 42nd Annual Holiday Open House, with Peppermint Bars for sale, in addition to all our other chocolate that Paddington Station regularly carries.