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Almond Butter Crunch: How It's Made

Posted on February 20, 2013 11:18 AM by Caitlin

Finished Lake Champlain Chocolates Almond Butter Crunch Mixing Toffee

Lake Champlain Chocolates began by creating truffles by hand out of the back of a restaurant. Now, thirty years later, we still craft many of our confections by hand. One of these chocolate candies is our Almond Butter Crunch, an English-style crunchy toffee filled with almond pieces, and covered in milk chocolate. Here is how it is made:

Pouring Almond Butter Crunch mixture

1. The toffee is cooked up in our large copper kettles. Using a blend of sugar, butter and evaporated milk, our cooks create a delicious gooey and sticky mixture. They add roasted almond pieces to this mix for the final touch.

Spreading warm toffee

2. This mixture is poured out onto our cooling table, where it is spread by hand into an even layer and left to cool.

Cutting Toffee in the Chocolate Factory

3. Lines are indented into the mixture to create pieces. Once the mixture has cooled and begun to set, it is indented into squares using a rolling cutter.

4. The toffee is left to harden: this takes several hours. When completely cool, the mixture becomes a crunchy toffee. If it is left out too long, it will begin to get sticky, so there is a specific window during which we need to work with it.

Chocolate Factory Workers Snap Toffee

5. Our factory team snap the toffee into pieces along the indented lines.

6. The morsels are sent through our "enrober": The enrober is possibly the coolest machine we have in our factory. Also known as a "chocolate waterfall," the three-inch-high curtain of liquid chocolate will coat anything that goes through it in a layer of chocolate. (You can see it coating our Sea Salt Caramels here.)

sprinkling almonds on toffee7. We top the chocolate-covered toffee with almonds that we have crushed ourselves: each piece of Almond Butter Crunch is sprinkled with almonds which are then patted down into the chocolate with a spatula.

Lake Champlain Chocolates Almond Butter CrunchSo now you know our secret. If you're ever near our Burlington factory, stop by for a visit, take a factory tour, and see our confections being made in person! In the meantime, feel free to buy our Almond Butter Crunch through our website.

In continuation of our Chocolate and Beer pairings from our Brewers Fest presentation, we move on to the next coupling in terms of going from light to dark. When hosting a tasting, you always want to increase in intensity so as not to overload the palette too early. This holds true whether it’s beer, chocolate or even coffee. So, the next chocolate and beer pairing is:

Pairing #2
Orlio Organic Beer Company Common Ale (5.0% ABV) and our Dark Chocolate Covered Almonds (54% cocoa content)

This combination is perfect for those doubting Thomases out there who are apprehensive about the idea of pairing beer with chocolate. Of course you have some sweet with the chocolate but it’s a dark chocolate and nuts so you also have a little bitterness, some salt and a nice nutty flavor.

The light-to-medium body of this Vermont-made golden ale starts with a creamy malt but moves to a clean but not overpowering hoppy finish which makes it a perfect partner to the dark chocolate covered roasted almonds. The almondy roast and light salty flavors mix with the bitterness of the dark chocolate and complement the malt and hops of the ale. There’s just enough savory to balance the sweet in this chocolate and set off the beer nicely.

This combination can easily be recreated at home with any true golden ale or even a Steam Ale or a California Common Ale if you’re unable to get your hands on this particular beer. And if you can’t find our dark chocolate almonds, try your local Whole Foods Market where you can get your hands on our Dark Almond Chocolate Bar. It may not be the exact same experience but the dark chocolate is 54% cocoa content as well so it won’t be that far off.

Bottoms up!
I love when I come across our products in magazines, on blogs and other random places, especially when it’s positive. So to thank those folks who take the time to include us in your daily or weekly musings, I’ll be sharing these blogs with you as I find them. I know I won’t be able to include everyone as sometimes they escape my notice for whatever reason but if you should happen to come across something of the like, please let me know.

This past weekend, we were mentioned on A Girl Must Shop. Come on, who doesn’t love the name?! Meghan Garnhum is the founder of the blog and she wrote a nice entry about our Organic Milk Chocolate Sea Salt and Almond bar. This made me twice as happy as it is one of my favorites. Check out the wicked nice blog entry she wrote about our chocolate bar.

Her blog is really neat and it features some pretty cool stuff so check it out!

Today, it’s cold. Spring is here and it’s cold. Surprise. Having said that, I’m sure you won’t be shocked to hear we’re getting a little tired of the cold in VT. So, to take the edge off, I have resorted to a favorite I save for special days when I need a little extra help lifting my spirits. Organic Milk Chocolate squares with Sea Salt and Almonds. They’re just the thing when nothing else will do. They have actual gray sea salt added in to the chocolate separate from the almonds and they’re just delicious. I love to get those tiny salty bits mixed in with the sweet milk chocolate and the roasty flavor of the almonds rounds it out nicely.

And since they’re organic, I can sell myself on the fact that I’m really putting good stuff into my body while I’m snacking. Does this make chocolate health food? No. But it does make me feel less guilty about it.

So, with a few squares and a cup of coffee, it’s only a matter of time until my mood is better and I’m back on top of my game. But hey, if that doesn’t work, I’ll try something else. Maybe the spicy Aztec Dark Chocolate squares. It’s worth a shot! Do you have any secret chocolate tips for boosting your spirits?