Ginger Squares

Local’s Guide: May 2017

Ginger Squares

Dark Chocolate Ginger Squares are the newest item at Branson’s Chocolates. We use Spiritopia Ginger Liqueur, “The World’s Finest Sipping Ginger”, crafted locally in Corvallis. Spiritopia uses only “ultra premium ingredients because taste rules”, uses no artificial ingredients, and we are proud to feature their Ginger Liqueur. Our Dark Chocolate Ginger Squares start with a dark chocolate ganache center made with Ginger Liqueur, then we dip the ganache in another layer of dark chocolate, and top it with a white chocolate stripe. It has a deliciously warm and slightly spicy flavor.

Ginger has a very long history of being used in traditional and alternative medicine, and is given the status of a “natural medicine chest” in ancient Ayurvedic medicine because of its numerous health benefits. Ginger has many benefits beyond helping fighting the flu and the common cold. Ginger has been used to help digestion, is often used to treat chronic indigestion, and appears to be highly effective against nausea, having long been used as a remedy for morning sickness and sea sickness. There is some evidence that it may even be as effective as prescription medication. The active ingredient in ginger can help fight infections, ginger’s anti-inflammatory effects can help with osteoarthritis, and may be effective over time at reducing muscle pain and soreness.

In relatively new research, substances in ginger appear to lower cholesterol levels, improve brain functions and protect against Alzheimer’s, lower blood sugars, improve heart disease risk factors, and even help prevent cancer.

Ginger is delicious added to hot tea, juice, or smoothies, or the best idea of all, our Dark Chocolate Ginger Squares.

If you want to catch us out and about in May, we will be at—

  • The Jackson County Master Gardener’s Spring Garden Fair at the Jackson County Expo, May 6th and 7th, Saturday 9am-5pm and Sunday 10am-4p.

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

 

(Thanks to https://authoritynutrition.com/11-proven-benefits-of-ginger/ and http://www.foodmatters.com/article/10-healing-benefits-of-ginger)

Earl Grey Tea Squares

Local’s Guide: March 2017

Earl Grey Tea Squares

Maybe you’ve heard the story of about a gift of black tea and bergamot oranges being sent from China, only to have the tea accidentally absorb the orange’s flavor during shipping. Or the one about how a friend of the Earl Charles Gray blended bergamot oil into the Earl’s tea because of the mineral flavor of the water? Or maybe how the recipe for Earl Gray Tea was actually given to the Earl as a reward for his accomplishments in China? However the recipe came about, today Earl Gray Tea is a well-loved favorite with many benefits.

  1. The bergamot in Earl Gray Tea relaxes and relieves stress, fights anxiety and depression, and boosts mood. And it has enough caffeine for a boost of energy, clarity, and focus.
  2. One of the most popular effects of Earl Grey Tea is weight loss, and it is considered to be a natural cold remedy, both thanks to the bergamot extract.
  3. Tea helps you stay hydrated due to its high potassium content.
  4. Earl Grey Tea contains high quantities of antioxidants, which helps fight off free radicals that cause diseases such as cancer. Antioxidants also help your skin to stay healthy by fighting the free radicals that damage skin.
  5. A study found that people who drank three cups of black tea daily dramatically lowered their triglyceride levels and increased their ‘good cholesterol’ HDL after three months, lowering their risk for heart disease. The participants also had increased levels of antioxidants. And research on patients with high levels of blood fats found that ‘bad’ cholesterol (LDL) was reduced by 39% after a month of taking Earl Grey extract. It also reduced blood sugars by 22% and raised ‘good’ cholesterol by 41%. The reduction in blood sugar also shows that Earl Grey Tea may be highly beneficial for those suffering with diabetes.

But the best thing about Earl Gray Tea is that it is delicious, which is why BRANSON’S CHOCOLATES created our EARL GRAY TEA SQUARES. We steep Earl Gray Tea into rich cream, and then stir it into a dark chocolate ganache. We cover the ganache in milk chocolate, and top it with a stripe of more dark chocolate. We are passionate about local products from local vendors, so we use tea from Full Leaf Tea Company based in White City, and cream from Umpqua Dairy.

You can find us, and our EARL GRAY TEA SQUARES, at

  • The Oregon Chocolate Festival at Ashland Hills Hotel & Suites, March 4th-6th, Friday & Saturday.
  • The Oregon Cheese Festival at Rogue Creamery on March 18th-19th, Saturday & Sunday.

Bransons Chocolates              @bransonschocolates         Branson’s Chocolates

https://bransonschocolates.wordpress.com/  for our new blog!

https://bransonschocolates.com/  for online chocolate shopping

 

(http://worldteanews.com/insights/brief-history-earl-grey  and http://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/10-surprising-benefits-earl-grey-tea-you-never-knew.html)

Matcha Green Tea Squares

Locals Guide: January 2017

Matcha Green Tea Squares

Branson’s Chocolates is beginning 2017 with introducing Matcha Green Tea Squares. Matcha powder is mixed into a white chocolate ganache, formed into squares, and then topped with a sprinkle of matcha powder. According to many studies, matcha tea makes this a sweet treat loaded with benefits: L-Theanine, an amino acid known to create calmness and improve memory, powerful antioxidants including polyphenols and EGCg which is believed to be a powerful anti-carcinogen and catechins which help lower LDL cholesterol, to name a few. Thanks to http://www.naturallivingideas.com/10-amazing-benefits-of-matcha-green-tea/ .

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

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

  • January 20th & 21st, Friday 4-9pm & Saturday 11am-6pm, we will be at ChocolateFest at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland. It is the ‘Northwest’s Premier Chocolate Festival’ with over 70 vendors of chocolates, treats, and libations. We’ve been going to ChocolateFest for seven years, and it’s an amazing experience for chocolate lovers. In fact, our Rich Chocolate Truffle won the People’s Choice Award for Best Truffle at ChocolateFest. For more details go to chocolatefest.org .

We’re often out and about at many of the local wineries and events. For the latest event updates, please check us out at https://www.facebook.com/bransonschocolates . If you’d like to see us at one of your favorite local events, you can contact us on our Facebook page or email us at info@bransonschocolates.com . We’d love to hear from you!

Lavender Squares

Local’s Guide: July 2016

Lavender Squares

Branson’s Chocolate’s Product of the Month for July is Lavender Squares. We infused locally farmed lavender into a semi-sweet ganache center, dipped the ganache in our Semi-Sweet (dark) Chocolate, and topped it with sprinkles of lavender buds. The lavender lends an earthy flavor to this dark, delicious chocolate. Lavender Squares are an indulgent, aromatic treat for the senses.

Culinary lavender has been used in cooking for centuries. Allegedly Queen Elizabeth I had a jar of lavender preserves on the table at every meal. It is used in both savory and sweet dishes. Lavender makes us think of both decadence and tranquility, perfect for a summertime treat.

Be sure to catch our July Chocolate Talk video on our YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/c/BransonsChocolatesAshland . Our videos are directed and shot, as always, by Brian Goodwin, and feature our Item of the Month—Lavender Squares. 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 July, 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. Maybe you will even catch us dipping and pouring chocolate!

We will be closed on July 4th, come join us in celebrating our nation’s independence. Ashland puts on quite a party for the Fourth of July, starting with a hometown parade and ending with a fantastic fireworks display. Happy Fourth of July to you!

Wasabi Ginger Square

Local’s Guide: March 2016

Wasabi Ginger Square

If you like your dessert a little spicy, or slightly exotic, or even a bit adventurous, we have the chocolate for you—Wasabi Ginger Chocolate is our Product of the Month for March. We add wasabi powder to a chocolate ganache square and top it with a piece of candied ginger. It’s a gourmet treat for adventurous chocolate lovers which is inspired by a wasabi ginger potato chip.

Easter is early this year, on Sunday March 27. So plan ahead and pick up some of our Chocolate Bunnies, in sweet Milk Chocolate or rich Semi-Sweet Chocolate before they’re gone. We will also have gift boxes of chocolate, perfect for your Easter basket, and filled with your favorite chocolates.

Be sure to catch our March 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—Wasabi Ginger Chocolate. Every month you will find me there, making our latest product, and talking about chocolate. 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 March, here’s where we will be:

Caramel Cherry Cordials

Local’s Guide: February 2016

Caramel Cherry Cordials

Our February Product of the Month is Caramel Cherry Cordials. Imagine a sweet cordial cherry, dipped in handmade caramel, then coated in our rich semi-sweet chocolate. Perfect for a sweet Valentine’s Day gift, or a delicious treat anytime. Be sure to check out this month’s Chocolate Talk video on Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/bransonschocolates and YouTubehttps://www.youtube.com/c/BransonsChocolatesAshland to see how we make them.

And our Valentine’s Special is back by popular demand. When you buy our red heart-shaped box of delicious Truffles, we throw in a single red rose. So sweet! So romantic! (Limited availability)

This month we are celebrating two years of retail sales, and we would like to thank our many, many customers, some of whom enjoy our delicious handmade chocolate almost daily, while others not quite so often. To all of our retail customers, we say Thank You!

Previous to having our retail space, we sold our chocolate wholesale for many years. We would like to take a moment to also thank all our loyal wholesale customers. Branson’s Chocolates are sold locally and more at Ashland’s Shop ’n Kart, B Cazwell’s Floral Dezines, Enchanted Florist, Made in Oregon stores, Slugs ‘n Stones ‘n Ice Cream Cones (Brookings), Talent Liquor/Market, and Troon Vineyard. And many local businesses such as Anderson Auto Body and Blue Giraffe Day Spa and Salon give Branson’s Chocolates as ‘Thank You’ gifts to their customers.

Our chocolate is also sold privately labeled, at the Grange Co-op (all locations), Black Bear Diner (Mt. Shasta), Craterian Theatre, English Lavender Farms, Greenleaf Restaurant, Grizzly Peak Winery, Handy Stop Spirits (N. California), Hi Lo Café (N. California), IFA Country Stores (25 locations across the western states), Kriselle Cellars, Mountain Silverado gas stations (5 N. California locations), Old 99 Road Wine Shop & Specialty Foods, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Paddington Station (all 3 locations and our longest-standing customer, THANK YOU VERY MUCH!), Paschal Winery & Vineyard, Phoenix Gift Boutique, Schmidt Family Vineyards, Sew Creative, Sports & Spirits (N. California), Tudor Guild Gift Shop, Weisinger Family Winery, and 12 Ranch Wines.

 

And we privately label ‘Thank You’ chocolates for many fine businesses like AmeriTitle (Ashland & Medford), Ashland Insurance, Bayberry Inn, Butler Automotive Group, Edward Jones Investments (Larry Steiner), Farrell’s Glass Service, Iris Inn, Living Opportunities, Main Street Inn, Pear Blossom Association, Siskiyou Endodontics and Scott Valley Bank.

We are honored to have so many amazing wholesale and retail customers. Whether you buy cases of chocolates, or a single truffle, we thank you all!

Jasmine Tea Square

 Local’s Guide: January 2016

Jasmine Tea Square

Happy New Year, and welcome to 2016! At Branson’s Chocolates, we are excited for the changes that a new year always brings. One of those changes is our expansion. We are excited to start using our new addition, which is set to become our packaging room where we’ll be wrapping and packaging our mouth-watering chocolates for both retail and wholesale.

Another exciting New Year’s announcement is January’s Product of the Month– Jasmine Tea Squares, part of our gourmet chocolate line. We’ve mixed exotic jasmine tea into a semi-sweet ganache center, which is then dipped in delicious Belgian milk chocolate and topped with a sprinkling of jasmine tea.  It’s a delicious combination of bitter tea’s antioxidants and jasmine’s floral delicacy with gourmet Belgian chocolate.  Blissful everyday indulgence!

Jasmine tea is a sweet, fragrant, floral tea made by scenting tea leaves with just-blossomed jasmine flowers. The flowers are mixed with the tea leaves in temperature-and humidity-controlled rooms. Tea leaves are naturally highly absorbent and therefore make the perfect base to accept the fragrant scent of the jasmine flower simply by coming into close contact with the blossom. The flavor of jasmine tea is coveted, and is often used to flavor tea-infused dishes, especially desserts like chocolate.

In aromatherapy, jasmine essential oil is believed have a tranquilizing effect. And a 2005 study conducted by Kyoto University found that the smell of jasmine reduced study participants’ heart rates and produced “calm and vigorous mood states.” Jasmine tea is also full of powerful anti-oxidants which can help protect your body against damage from free radicals.

Be sure to catch January’s Chocolate Talk video on our YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/c/BransonsChocolatesAshland . Brian Goodwin directs and shoots all of our Chocolate Talk videos, which feature our current Product of the Month confection —which is Jasmine Tea Squares this month. Check us out on Facebook athttps://www.facebook.com/bransonschocolates , where you’ll find out all about our latest events and happenings, and follow us on Instagram athttps://instagram.com/bransonschocolates/  (we’re @bransonschocolates by the way) because you know that’s where to find mouth-watering photos of our delicious chocolate.

We’re often out and about at many of the local wineries and events, and January is no exception. January 22-24, we’ll be at ChocolateFest in Portland at the Oregon Convention Center. You can find more information about ChocolateFest at http://chocolatefest.org/ .

Thanks to http://www.amazing-green-tea.com/jasmine-tea-benefits.html and http://www.teatulia.com/tea-101/what-is-jasmine-tea.htm .