Marzipan Creams

Local’s Guide: July 2017

Marzipan Creams

Marzipan Creams are our Item of the Month at Branson’s Chocolates in July. Marzipan is a sweet paste made of finely ground almonds and sugar or honey, and often flavored with vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, orange, or lemon. It is a traditional European treat eaten like candy, often molded into fruit shapes, sometimes dipped in chocolate. Our Marzipan Creams start with our classic cream recipe, stir in almond paste, and then dip it all in our delicious rich semi-sweet chocolate.

Across the world, Marzipan has many variations. In Latin America, the almonds are replaced by peanuts, and they call it Mazapan. In Mexico, pine nuts and pistachios are substituted for the almonds. In the Middle East, Marzipan is usually flavored with orange-flower water.

Marzipan treats have an ancient history. Legend has it that during a 15th century famine when flour became scarce, bakers created a replacement using eggs, sugar, and stores of almonds.In Germany and throughout much of northern Europe it is considered good luck to receive a Marzipan pig on Christmas or New Year’s Day. Marzipan is a traditional food to eat on weddings and religious feast days in Italy, Greece, and Cyprus.

But don’t think that Marzipan is only for European history buffs with a sweet tooth. People everywhere love Marzipan so much that it has its very own holiday—January 12th is National Marzipan Day.Marzipan is even the name of a character in the Nutcracker ballet. How sweet is that?

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. If you’re lucky, youmight even catch us dipping and pouring chocolate!

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

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!

(Thanks to www.seriouseats.com/2010/12/marzipan-history-what-is-it-almonds.html  andwww.bbcgoodfood.com/glossary/marzipan .)

English Toffee

Local’s Guide: April 2017

English Toffee

We are featuring English Toffee this month at Branson’s Chocolates. Our Old-Fashioned English Toffee is cooked in a copper kettle and poured onto a table to cool, then each piece is hand-dipped in creamy Milk Chocolate or rich Semi-Sweet 58% (Dark) Chocolate and topped with bits of roasted, salted, almonds.

 

Crunchy, buttery caramelized sugar with nuts and chocolate—what’s not to love? As it turns out, only its name. The English Toffee so many of us prize is actually an American invention. What the English call Toffee is a plain candy made of sugar and butter, sometimes with added nuts. But what Americans call English Toffee is actually what the English call Buttercrunch. Either way, this crunchy chocolaty confection is one of our best sellers! Come on in, get some for yourself, and find out why.

 

Easter Sunday is April 16th, and even though we always make chocolate bunnies till we’re bursting at the seams, they are so popular that we always manage to run out. This year, in order to guarantee your bunnies in the chocolate of your choice, we are accepting pre-orders. Please call 541-488-7493.

 

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

  • April 6th, Thursday 7:30-10:30pm, I will be at the 16th Annual Ashland Independent Film Festival’s Opening Night Bash – Savor the Rogue®. This event includes delicious tastings of local foods and beverages, and a no-host bar. Tickets are required. ashlandfilm.org

 

  • April 7th-8th, Friday 3-10pm and Saturday 10-5pm, I 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 are 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 find Branson’s Chocolates on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, and at bransonschocolates.com for online chocolate shopping.

 

(Thanks to http://www.sallybernstein.com/food/columns/zonis/toffee-buttercrunch.html)

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.