Monthly Archives October 2020

Chocolate store hosting political poll based on chocolate sales

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By Hayley Crandall

Democratic and Republican chocolate for sale. (Credit: Ultimate Confections)

Ultimate Confections, a chocolate factory on the outskirts of Milwaukee, is running a campaign poll based on the sales of its themed chocolate items. The sale is ongoing until election day.

Chocolate treats available for purchase include chocolate bars and chocolate-coated Oreos decorated with the Democratic donkey and the Republican elephant.

Ultimate Confections, 820 N. 68th St., has been selling politically inspired goodies since the start of the year. Originally, the confectioners hoped to coincide with the Democratic National Convention, owner Pat Murphy said. They wanted a way to participate in the DNC held in Milwaukee and attract visitors.

“We were going to take them through Visit Milwaukee and things, hotels and everything,” Murphy said. “And then things started to sparkle with the virus, but while we were putting all of these things together, I thought about selling this at the store.”

But as time went on and the DNC ended, the treats were still popular with customers. Without thinking too much about it, the store continued to replenish its stock. It wasn’t until October that Murphy became curious.

“I decided I was going to take a look at the point of sale system and see where we are at, Democrats versus Republicans, just for fun,” Murphy said. “It’s an organic poll; we don’t call people or try to put a microphone in their face and ask them who they’re voting for.

Being as organic a poll as it gets, Murphy said he was interested in ongoing sales tracking leading to the creation of the poll and plans to release the store’s election results.

But he doesn’t give too much weight to the results. Murphy acknowledges that this is by no means scientifically substantiated and while some similar polls like this have been accurate in the past, nothing is guaranteed.

“Can this poll be accurate? Absolutely, ”Murphy said. “What will he be? I really don’t know.

Ultimate Confections at least hopes this poll will add something fun to a topic that has been fraught with conflict.

“It’s kind of a fun, light-hearted event related to this huge election where we can all sit down and have fun and say, you know what, at the end of the day we all love chocolate,” Megan said. Maze from Ultimate Confections. .

They hope it is wrong in attracting customers rather than making any political statement.

“I think in these crazy times lightness is something we need a lot more,” said Maze. “We feel good that we can add a little more to allow people to breathe deeply and smile at them. “

Ultimate Confections plans to release its results on the morning of Tuesday, November 3. The results can be viewed on the store’s social media pages. Chocolate can be purchased at the physical store, 820 N. 68th St., or online at

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Portland Cacao influential chocolate store closes

Cacao, the 15-year-old downtown Portland chocolate factory, is the latest long-standing local business to announce its permanent closure.

But while it’s tempting to assume that COVID-19 has claimed another institution, that doesn’t appear to be the case here.

Instead, co-owners Aubrey Lindley and Jesse Manis seemed to indicate that increased competition in what was once a small niche had pushed them in a new, as yet undetermined direction.

“As the market has grown and consumers have become more informed, our role has changed,” read the message on Instagram announcing the closure. “When we opened, we helped introduce the world to a new way of thinking and talking about chocolate, representing the first wave of American artisan chocolate makers. Discovery and exploration continues, but we are re-evaluating our place in this and what the future holds. “

Indeed, when Lindley and Manis opened the store at 414 SW 13th Ave. in 2006, its impeccable origin product line ushered in an artisan chocolate boom in Portland, in some ways directly – Sebastian Cisneros, owner of Cloudforest, worked at Cacao for five years. .

The store’s last day of opening is, deservedly, Saturday, October 31, also known as Halloween, which will be marked with half-price offers as inventory clears. . Go get your Gloop.

In better news for those who worship their dark master the cocoa bean, Moonstruck Chocolate Co. reopens its three Portland-area branches – downtown, St. Johns and Beaverton Town Square – for the first time since March on Friday, October 30. And to celebrate, the brand is launching a new product: vegan truffles, made from oat milk. And yes, Karen, one of the flavors is pumpkin spice.

Related: We visited each of Portland’s Bean-to-Bar chocolatiers.

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Martha Stewart’s Mile High Salted Caramel Chocolate Cake Recipe

Chef’s Notes

Truly, Crazy, and Deep Chocolate: Pools of rich salty caramel separate the layers of chocolate cake, which are then coated in dark chocolate frosting and dusted with flaky salt. Prepare the wonderful cake layers and caramel up to three days before assembly (cooling actually improves texture for stacking), so you can make it effortless.



Make the cake: Preheat the oven to 350 F. Butter three 9-inch round cake pans. Line with parchment; parchment of butter. Sprinkle with cocoa, patting the excess. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt with an electric mixer on low speed until just combined. Increase the speed to medium and add the eggs, buttermilk, lukewarm water, oil and vanilla; beat until smooth, about 3 minutes.


Distribute the dough evenly among the prepared molds, smoothing the top with an angled spatula. Bake in oven until cakes are set and a toothpick comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Transfer the mussels to a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes. Unmold the cakes on a wire rack to cool completely.


Make the caramel: In a medium saucepan over high heat, combine the sugar, corn syrup and 1/4 cup of water. Cook, without stirring, until mixture is dark amber, about 14 minutes. Remove from heat and carefully pour in the cream (the mixture will splash); stir until smooth. Return to high heat and cook until a candy thermometer reaches 238 F, soft ball stage, about 2 minutes. Pour the caramel into a medium bowl, stir in the salt and let cool slightly, about 15 minutes. Stir in the butter, 1 tbsp at a time. Let cool completely.


Meanwhile, prepare the frosting: in a small heatproof bowl, whisk together the cocoa and boiling water until the cocoa is dissolved. Using an electric mixer, beat butter, icing sugar and salt on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Reduce speed to low; add the melted and cooled chocolate and beat until well blended, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the cocoa mixture and beat until completely smooth. (The frosting can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days; bring to room temperature and beat before using.)


Using a serrated knife, cut tops of cake layers to level; divide each in half horizontally to make a total of 6 layers. Transfer a layer to a serving platter or cake stand lined with strips of parchment paper and spread 3/4 cup of the caramel on top. Top with another cake layer and repeat with the remaining caramel and cake layers, leaving the top layer uncovered. Refrigerate until set, about 1 hour. Spread a thin layer of frosting over cake to form a layer of breadcrumbs; refrigerate until stiff, about 30 minutes. Spread frosting evenly over top and sides of cake in a swirling, plunging motion. Sprinkle with sea salt.

Reprinted from Martha Stewart’s Cake Perfection. Copyright © 2020 by Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. Posted by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC.

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In pictures: Whittaker’s opens its first chocolate factory

Whittaker’s first store opened yesterday at Auckland International Airport. Photo / Supplied

In case you missed it: It was one of the best Herald stories on social media this week.

Whittaker’s kiwifruit chocolate company has opened its very first store.

The company yesterday opened its first physical presence at Auckland International Airport – after more than 120 years in business.

Whittaker’s Marketing Director Jasmine Currie said the store would allow the chocolate brand to engage with chocolate lovers when they leave the country.

“We are very excited to finally share the news of the opening of our first permanent storefront,” said Currie.

“Our store at the airport will allow us to engage directly with Whittaker’s Chocolate Lovers, enriching the fantastic interaction we have with them through our social channels.”

The store will be operated by French retail company Lagardère Travel Retail.

Currie said the store opening reflected the popularity of the chocolate brand, both with New Zealanders and abroad.

Matt Whittaker, Sales Director at Whittaker.  Photo / Supplied.
Matt Whittaker, Sales Director at Whittaker. Photo / Supplied.

“We constantly hear from Whittaker chocolate lovers about the high demand for Whittaker’s from friends and family overseas. The new Whittaker’s store will be the perfect comfort for any traveler who needs an authentic Kiwi gift. “

Przemek Lesniak, Managing Director of Lagardère Travel Retail for the Pacific Region, said the company was proud to have developed the store concept.

“We are extremely proud to have worked with Whittaker’s to develop this concept and deliver their very first retail store, reflecting the values ​​of the Whittaker brand,” he said.

“It’s a real testament to our shared vision.”

Whittaker’s has been voted New Zealand’s most trusted brand for seven years in a row.

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