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The Hunt is On.

Posted on March 29, 2012 4:42 PM by Meghan


Cars are honking.  No, not in a bad, “I’m so annoyed” kind of way (this is Vermont after all). These honks sound happy.   Yes, even honks can have personality.  Ok, so why are all these cars honking so much?  I’ll give you one guess.  The Easter Bunny!

Everyone loves the Easter Bunny.  He dances. He waves.  He wears a bowtie.  Ok, sometimes kids may want to keep their distance, but absolutely everyone loves what the Easter Bunny brings in his basket each year.  A chocolate bunny, some chocolate Easter eggs, jelly beans, and some green grass and you’ve got yourself a perfectly filled Easter basket.

And then there’s the Easter egg hunt.  Even though it can be cold, and even snowing some years, there are some great easter egg hunts to choose from in Vermont.  One of our favorites is down the street from us at Oakledge Park, on the shores of Lake Champlain.  It’s the Eggstravaganza!    The LCC Bunny is there along with 10,000 eggs, food, activities, music— you name it, this Easter egg hunt has got it.


What sort of Easter egg hunts happen in your neck of the woods?


Be quick as a bunny!

Posted on March 26, 2012 10:15 AM by Meghan

Our stores have everything you need to fill your Easter basketchocolate bunnies, cream-filled eggs, all-natural jelly beans and even chocolate carrots!

Stop by one of our three retail stores and be sure to say hello to the LCC Bunny!

LCC Retail Stores

750 Pine Street
Burlington, VT
Monday-Saturday 9-6pm
Sunday 12-5pm
802-864-1807

65 Church Street
Burlington, VT
Monday-Thursday 10-7pm
Friday-Saturday 10-9pm
Sunday 11-6pm
802-862-5185

Route 100 – Cabot Annex
Waterbury, VT
Monday-Sunday 9-6pm
802-241-4150


What Bunny Personality are you?

Posted on April 15, 2011 1:53 PM by Meghan

At Lake Champlain Chocolates we have lots of different chocolate bunnies to choose from so sometimes it can be hard to decide which one is right for you.  Here is quick personality guide to help make your decision easier. 

Only the Best

The Cruisin’ Easter Bunny:  This bunny is driving a race car.  Do we need to say more?  Fast and furious, when it comes to Easter, this bunny means business.  Ahead of the pack with his cool car and decorative egg, this bunny has a competitive edge, is goal oriented and enjoys being in control.  The Cruisin’ Bunny loves a challenge but can be intense and is very persuasive about getting his own way. Watch out!

Center of Attention

Mr. Goodtime Bunny- Another aptly named chocolate bunny, this guy loves to be the life of the party.  A true extrovert, Mr. Goodtime lives in the moment but is also always in search for new and exciting experiences.   Bring him home to your house and he won’t disappoint with his hand-painted dapper jacket, egg and flowers.  Full of energy, he loves meeting different people and starting conversations.   Mr. Goodtime will get your Easter party started!

Altruistic & Agreeable

Organic Hopp’n Bunny- The organic bunny is new to the LCC Easter bunny family this year.  A compassionate little guy, this bunny enjoys helping others and highly values the quality of his relationships.  Considerate, friendly, helpful and generous, the Hopp’n bunny has a soft heart that makes people feel at ease.  Somewhat of an idealist, this bunny is created from certified organic chocolate making him right at home in a child’s Easter basket.

The Traditionalist

Classic Easter Bunny-  Old school to the core, this bunny has been around the block more than a few times, yet still holds strong year after year.  Every Easter he is prepared, organized and ready to act when needed. Not one to like surprises, he wants to know the details and specifics and is exacting in his work.  This must be why he continues to be our best selling bunny.  Looking proud and handsome in an Easter basket, the Classic is the gold standard to which all bunnies strive to achieve.

So tell us, which bunny personality are you?


Guinness Brownies

Posted on March 31, 2011 3:35 PM by Allison

Here at Lake Champlain Chocolates, it’s no doubt we like chocolate.  We also like beer.  We especially like combining beer and chocolate, either in pairings, in recipes, or by just noshing on some chocolate then swishing beer around in our mouths.  I’m only kidding.  Kind of.

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day this month, and also for an office bake sale to raise money for the United Way, I decided to take the classic March 17th beverage-of-choice (did you know that 13 million pints of Guinness are consumed every St. Paddy’s day?) and mix it with dark chocolate to make a delectable baked good.  The results? The moistest, richest and most intense brownie you’ve ever tasted. 

I especially like this recipe because it uses three different types of chocolate from our amazing baking chocolate inventory.

4 eggs
¾ c sugar
8 oz Lake Champlain Chocolates 54% Dark Chocolate Chips
4 oz Lake Champlain Chocolates White Chocolate Chips
6 tbsp unsalted butter (what’s up, Cabot?)
¾ c King Arthur’s Flour
¾ c Lake Champlain Chocolates Organic Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 ¼ c Guinness Stout
Confectioner’s Sugar for dusting

In a large bowl, beat eggs & sugar until light and fluffy.  Melt white and dark chocolate chips with butter over very low heat, stirring regularly.  Add to egg mixture.   In a small bowl, whisk together flour and cocoa powder.  Beat that into egg mixture until well combined.  Gently blend in the Guinness, the batter will have a very liquid consistency.  Pour into buttered 9x13’’ pan, and bake until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 30-40 minutes.

Allow to cool completely in pan.  Dust with confectioner’s sugar.

Makes 15 brownies.

Adapted from The New Irish Table Cookbook


Visiting one of our three Hot Chocolate Cafes is an experience for all senses.  You pull up a seat at the bar and watch a skilled barista whip you up a cup of foamy, creamy Gourmet Hot Chocolate right before your eyes.  With the right ingredients and a little patience, you can make your own steaming cup of deliciousness to enjoy at right at home.  Perfect for cozy Sunday mornings, evenings by the fire or warming up after a day on the slopes.

You will need:

Lake Champlain Chocolates Gourmet Hot Chocolate selection of your choice.  With Traditional, Old World, Mocha, Aztec, Organic Fair Trade, or our two newest, Chai & Mighty and Mountain Mint, you’ll have to try them all!

Milk (we’re all about the Vermont whole milk here, but you’re welcome to use any kind of milk or milk alternative that you may prefer)

Small saucepan, whisk, candy thermometer and Milk Frother if you have one.

Your favorite mug

Freshly whipped cream (simply combine one cup of cold heavy whipping cream, 2 tbsp of sugar and 1 tbsp of vanilla extract in a bowl.  Whip with hand mixer to desired consistency, about four minutes) or Marshmallows (find the recipe here!)

Follow measurements on back of Hot Chocolate canister.

In a small saucepan, heat the milk over low heat, whisking frequently until it reaches 140°.  Remove from heat and gently whisk in chocolate mix or shavings.  Pour into your favorite mug, and froth, if you have a milk frother, or whisk more to make foamy.  Top with freshly whipped cream or homemade marshmallows, and might I suggest garnishing with Old World Shavings

Enjoy.

 

(and I’m probably supposed to say, caution, contents will be hot.)


Chocolate, Wine & Cheese for the Holidays

Posted on December 22, 2010 9:38 AM by Meghan

Gourmet Chocolate. Aged Cheese. Fine Wine.  All three are always present at holiday parties and dinners, so why not combine them into one dessert that will be sure to continue the conversation late into the night?  Not only is this dessert idea unique and different, it’s foolproof and takes the stress away from spending hours in the kitchen trying to whip up a festive masterpiece.  Most cheeses and red wines are best served at room temperature, so this platter can be made well ahead of time, before guests even arrive.

It can be overwhelming to try and perfectly pair each cheese with each chocolate and each wine, so we’re here to help. Since we know chocolate, chocolate was chosen first and the cheese and wines were picked to accompany it.  The key is to keep everything simple: not only for the host’s own sanity, but also to not overwhelm guests.  Here are some pairing suggestions:

 


•    Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate is usually 50%-75% cacao and has strong complex flavors with nuances that are nutty, spicy, floral, earthy, and has a balanced aftertaste that is not too sweet.  Considering these flavor profiles, choose a savory Brie cheese or mild blue cheese to enhance the undertones of the chocolate.  Dark chocolate pairs well with full-bodied red wines: such as a Cabernet Sauvignon, which highlight the fruity and peppery notes in the chocolate, or a bold Australian Shiraz, which brings out the chocolate’s spicy subtleties.


•    Chili-infused Chocolate
On the coldest of winter nights, add a little spice to the chocolate selection by including chili chocolates, such as our Organic Spicy Aztec Squares or Aztec Chocolate Truffles.  The extra kick of cayenne and cinnamon in this chocolate nicely complements a ripened goat cheese.  A fruity, zesty red wine, such as a full-bodied Zinfandel will balance the raciness of the chocolate.

•    Sea Salt Caramels
Options are endless when it comes to choosing a chocolate covered caramel. One suggestion is our ever popular Sea Salt Caramel.  The buttery caramel with a touch of sea salt pairs well with a fresh goat cheese and wines such as a Late Harvest Riesling or a Demi-Sec Champagne.  These wines both have a honey and floral bouquet, which complement the caramel well.

•    Chocolate Covered Nuts
If these are included on the pairings plate, be sure to have a back-up supply.  Guests won’t be able to eat just one of these irresistible sweet-and-salty confections.  The saltiness of the nuts marry well with hard aged cheeses, such as an 18-month cheddar or a gouda.  A Pinot Noir, with its toasted and spiced berry notes is a natural complement to the chocolate and roasted almonds.

There is no one correct way to create a holiday chocolate, cheese and wine pairing.  With a little help of the local specialty food store’s wine and cheese experts, the possibilities are endless!


Stranger in a strange candy land…

Posted on December 7, 2010 4:48 PM by Lauren

Hello everyone! I’m Lauren, the new research and development assistant here at Lake Champlain Chocolates. I just recently graduated from The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY with a degree in baking and pastry arts and moved north to help create some new chocolately deliciousness for all of you! It was a long process to get here, but when I walked through the front doors of our Pine St. factory location for the first time I couldn’t believe it. I think it finally sunk in. I get to make candy for a living! Are you serious? Yes, I’m fairly certain this is real. As a chocolate geek with quite possibly serious addiction problems, this is a dream job, and I am grateful to have such an amazing opportunity.

Moving to Vermont by way of Tennessee, I didn’t really know what to expect. Everyone I spoke with asked why I was moving to a land so cold. I usually responded, “I’m doing it for the chocolate!” Honestly, though, all I had heard were vague descriptions of the landscape or a few comments about how cold it really gets, but I did not know that much about this small state. For those of you who have never been, it is absolutely beautiful here. You can be standing on the shore of Lake Champlain staring out over the water at the Adirondack Mountains with a breathtaking blue sky filled with rolling clouds, and the next minute you can be downtown Burlington with its vibrant culture, shopping, and activities. It really is a tremendous place. I know it will be great inspiration for new chocolates and candy. And sure, it is cold – pretty darn. They weren’t lying. Trust me. I’m working on developing my thick winter skin as we speak.
So, I am here, ready to brave the winter weather and hopefully make some pretty amazing stuff. Every once in a while I hope to stop by to let you know a little bit of what goes on behind the scenes at Lake Champlain Chocolates.


Easter Bunny Update!

Posted on March 30, 2010 1:36 PM by Peter Cottontail

Hey everyone- I’m back for another entry!   Phew, it was a busy weekend but the Egg-Stravaganza chocolate Easter egg hunt went off without a hitch and the Lake Champlain Chocolates Factory store was hopping (sorry, I can’t resist) with people buying chocolate bunny rabbits, frogscarrots and all sorts of delicious treats to fill their gourmet chocolate Easter baskets. So now we’re into the home stretch. Yes, Easter is THIS Sunday.  Don’t be caught at the drugstore buying up the last lonely piece of Easter candy on the shelf Saturday night.  You can still order Easter chocolates by this Thursday, April 1st (no joking!) and have it arrive on Friday, April 2nd.

Oh, before I forget I want to mention- if you’re in Vermont and near one of Lake Champlain Chocolates’ stores (Pine St or Church St in Burlington or Rte 100 in Waterbury), be sure to buy a raffle ticket to win the Ha ha Bunny.  This is no ordinary bunny and being a bunny myself, I know.  With 23 pounds of semi-sold milk chocolate and 2 feet tall, this bunny is impressive!  And how about those teeth?!  I’m a little jealous of the teeth. The best part is that all the proceeds go to the Burlington, VT Ronald McDonald House.

I think that’s all from this busy bunny for now.  I’ve got lots of Easter baskets to fill between now and Sunday!  I've been eating those Granola Breakfast Eggs like crazy to keep my energy up! And after that, you’ll find me relaxing on a beach somewhere enjoying something perhaps a bit stronger than chocolate.....


Where is the Easter Bunny?

Posted on March 25, 2010 1:06 PM by Peter Cottontail

 

 

Hi there- it’s me, Peter Cottontail.  The folks at Lake Champlain Chocolates were nice enough to let me be a guest blogger on their blog this week!  Yes, even bunnies blog. I thought this might be a good way to get the word out about where I’m going to be over the next week or so.  As you can imagine, with Easter just around the corner, I am one busy rabbit!!

So let’s see…. the Chocolate Factory Store on Pine Street in Burlington has me booked through the weekend and into next week. And you know, I have my pick of places to work so I wouldn’t work for just any chocolate company, only the best for this bunny.  So stop by and I can help you pick out the best Easter Basket, chocolate bunny or chocolate eggs gift.  There are so many delicious Easter chocolates to choose from- they even have milk chocolate carrots, my personal favorite. I am a rabbit, what do you expect?

This Saturday at 11am I’ll be at Oakledge Park helping out with the 8th Annual Egg-Stravaganza.  Personally, this is a great event for me to get primed for the real show the following week.  With 2-12 year olds searching for more than 10,000 Easter eggs, those kids keep me hopping -literally!   I’ll be available for pictures too.  (Note to self: get coat washed and brushed on Friday. No one likes a dirty bunny).

I do have other obligations but I can’t reveal all of them at once… stay tuned and I’ll post another entry next week with some more updates.  Anyone have any guesses?  You never know where the Easter Bunny will turn up.

For now- Hop on.


I’m the cake-maker in my family.  About a week before someone’s big day, with much anticipation, I make the call.  “What kind of cake would you like this year?”

A few days ago I got the go-ahead on a cheesecake from a very important family member.  I wanted a challenge, so I decided to guild the lilies a bit; add a chocolate crust and maybe some sort of chocolate cheesecake swirls. 

The chocolate crust was made from King Arthur Flour’s Chocolate Graham Crackers Recipe, mixed with a few tablespoons of melted Cabot Butter.  You can make this as thin or as thick a crust layer as you like, I used about 2 ½ cups of crushed crackers, for a ½”-thick bottom layer.  Our Unsweetened Cocoa Powder made the crackers rich and light, and the recipe makes enough for leftovers to nibble on for days after. 

For the cheesecake swirls, I melted a small handful of Lake Champlain Chocolates 54% dark chocolate chips, mixed them with about 1/3 cup of the cheesecake batter and piped out the decoration on top. 

The secret to making a cheesecake that doesn’t crack on top while baking?  Instead of placing your spring form pan directly on the oven rack, place it in a roasting pan filled about halfway with hot water, using foil to wrap the bottom if you’re nervous about water seeping in.  The extra humidity from the water prevents the cake from cracking and makes it extremely moist.

Crust
2 – 3 cups of Chocolate Graham Crackers, either homemade or store-bought
4 tbsp melted butter.

Cheesecake
¾ c + 2 tbsp granulated sugar
3 tbsp cornstarch
30 ounces cream cheese (3 ¾ 8-oz packages), softened
1 egg
½ c heavy cream
¼ tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp almond extract

Chocolate Swirls
2 ounces Lake Champlain Chocolates 54% dark chocolate

Preheat oven to 350º.  Generously butter the bottom and sides of a spring form cake pan.

To make the crust, crumb the graham crackers, either with a rolling pin in a plastic bag or with a mortar and pestle.  Mix with melted butter, press an even layer on bottom of buttered pan.  Refrigerate while preparing the cake.

Whisk together sugar and cornstarch.  Combine with softened cream cheese and mix over low speed until combined.  Add egg and heavy cream separately, combining well after each addition.  Add extracts.  Make sure to scrape down sides and bottom of pan to incorporate all ingredients.

In a double-boiler over medium heat or at 30-second intervals in your microwave, melt chocolates, just to liquid – do not over heat.  Add about 1/3 cup cheesecake batter and mix well.

Gently fill the pan with the cheesecake batter, smoothing the top by tapping it on the counter.  Pipe or drizzle the chocolate cheesecake and swirl around if you’d like. 

Bake for 40-45 minutes or until you begin to see very light brown spots on top of the cake.  Cool on a wire rack at least three hours and then refrigerate to chill before serving.