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.
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/ .
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!!
Warming up by blazing campfire, gazing up at the starry night, roasting corn on the cob on the barbeque – we love camping! And everybody’s favorite part of camping in S’mores – gooey marshmallows, crunchy graham crackers, and sweet chocolate. Eat them together, and they’re heaven on earth! At Branson’s Chocolate, we’ve got S’mores for you in August – made in both our rich Semi-Sweet Chocolate and our creamy Milk Chocolate. Of course, we only use gluten-free marshmallows and graham crackers. In fact, at Branson’s Chocolates, all of our delicious chocolate is gluten-free, allowing you to relax and enjoy our chocolate with all your friends and family.
Be sure to check out our Chocolate Talk videos on our YouTube channel www.youtube.com/c/BransonsChocolatesAshland. This month, of course, we are featuring S’mores, our Product of the Month for August. My brother-in-law Brian Goodwin directs and films our Chocolate Talk videos every month, where I discuss our Product of the Month, chocolate tips, and how I make our products. Each month we highlight a different chocolate confection, either a favorite classic or a new creation, and while S’mores are a new item at Branson’s Chocolates, they are definitely a summer classic.
If you want to catch us out and about in August, here’s where we will be:
August 15th, I will be at Troon Vineyard in the Applegate Valley, pairing our delicious chocolate with their award-winning wines.
August 22nd, we are providing dessert chocolates for the “extravagant, outdoor buffet created by popular local Chefs” for the Oregon Wine Experince Miracle Aution & Salmon Bake in Jacksonville, which benefits the Children’s Miracle Network. Make plans to attend this “Grand Auction featuring Live, Platinum, and Silent Auctions followed by music, dancing under the stars, and the opportunity to exchange stories and share wine around the fire embers.”