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Sweet Deals Coming Your Way!

Posted on November 9, 2012 1:06 PM by Meghan

Come on down and Gobble UP!
Our three retail stores are having sweet deals on all kinds of yummy treats—including caramels, hot chocolate,  and milk and dark chocolate—20-50% off!  Hurry, though, it’s only from Sunday November 11- November 18.  It’s the perfect time to stock up on some holiday gifts, chocolate turkeys and even stocking stuffers!

There will be free tastings too!

LCC Retail Stores
750 Pine Street
Burlington, VT
Monday-Saturday 9-6pm
Sunday 11-5pm
802-864-1807

65 Church Street
Burlington, VT
Monday-Thursday 10-8pm
Friday-Saturday 10-9pm
Sunday 11-6pm
802-862-5185

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


Chocolate Made From Scratch

Posted on October 12, 2012 10:50 AM by Meghan

 

Crankenstein.  Refiner. Winnower.  Sour. Spicy. Earthy.  Fruity. 

What do these things have to do with chocolate?

We are thrilled to present a rare opportunity to see chocolate being made from bean to chocolate bar.  

Blue Bandana Chocolate Maker, a fresh approach to making chocolate at LCC, will have table top equipment (like a crankenstein) to demonstrate how raw cocoa beans are transformed into finished chocolate. 

We talked briefly with Eric Lampman, son of LCC founder Jim Lampman, about how Blue Bandana Chocolate maker came about.

The real adventure began in November 2009, on a trip to visit my first cocoa farm, in the Dominican Republic. After a quarter century of growing up a part of Lake Champlain Chocolates, I finally found myself on the front-end of the cocoa supply chain. I wanted to learn more about chocolate processing, and so I began with a few small pieces of equipment to make test batches of chocolate and refine my technique.

After exploring cocoa beans from six different countries, I settled on three exceptional dark chocolates:  Madagascar 70%, Guatemala 70% and Madagascar Wild Pepper.”


Slow Food Vermont will also be on hand to guide participants through a sensory journey while tasting these three new bars.  Madagascar 70% and Guatemala 70% may sound similar on paper, but your taste buds will tell you differently!

 
Here are the details:  ongoing form 12-4pm at our Factory and Retail Store at 750 Pine Street in Burlington.

Come be one of the first to taste Blue Bandana Chocolate Maker!

 


A Slice of Chocolate Heaven

Posted on September 24, 2012 10:54 AM by Meghan

Did you hear that? That was the sound of our catalog dropping.
 
At least that’s the lingo we use around here.

What does that mean to you? 
It means that the new LCC catalog with the luscious sea salt caramels on the cover should be arriving in your mailbox any day, if it hasn’t already.

With all the junk, excuse me, mail, we get, the LCC catalog is a like a little slice of chocolate heaven coming into your day, and I can’t imagine many of you would complain about that.

We’ve talked before about all that goes into creating this catalog- the photoshoot, the food styling, the props, the copy—this is no small endeavor.  And while most people order their chocolate via the web, there is still something so satisfying and delightful about getting a beautifully photographed and designed catalog that you can sit down and leaf through…at least we think so (even though we may be a bit biased).

You’ll see some of your old favorites like our handmade truffles, chocolate gift baskets and chocolate party favors, but there is some new stuff in there you’ll want to check out—like the Chocolate Tower and a stunning new Chocolates of Vermont giftbox and the Revel Chocolates (which you heard about Lauren talk about a couple weeks ago).

So when the catalog arrives, take a moment to savor (or drool, it’s ok) over our chocolates. We’ll be here ready to take your order whenever the mood strikes!  Just give us a call at 800-465-5909 or go online and we’ll have them to you in no time!


Music, Kids & Dogs. You can’t go wrong.

Posted on September 14, 2012 9:27 AM by Meghan

We’ve got you covered for this weekend.

Music Fan? Grand Point North.
Have kids? Sara Holbrook Anniversary Celebration
Love Dogs? Shelburne Museum Goes to the Dogs.

We talk a lot about how lucky we are to live in such a vibrant and beautiful place as Vermont. This weekend is just one example of how much is going on—so much that you probably can’t do it all! But here at LCC, we try.


Starting this afternoon through Saturday night we’ll be at the Grand Point North Festival with plenty of Grace Under Fire in tow. It’s the second year of this music festival started by Grace Potter and it gets bigger and better every year. This year there’s Grand Point Local, a local food selection of “Vermont’s best purveyors,” and some fantastic Burlington and national music acts. And did we mention it’s all happening on the shores of beautiful Lake Champlain?

Just up the hill on Saturday, we’ll be dishing out our ice cream at Sara Holbrook’s 75th Anniversary celebration. Bring your family and check out big trucks, face painting, music, bouncy house and more local food, happening from 10-2pm at Battery Park in Burlington.

And last for all you dog lovers, Shelburne Museum “Goes to the Dogs” is a favorite annual event. Featuring “pawlympics,” dog dancing, dog costumes and lots of dog tricks! We’ll have our ice cream cart there because everyone knows that dogs LOVE ice cream.

Hope to see some of you out there this weekend! And if not, we’ll be posting lots of pictures next week!


Celebrating 20 years in the South End

Posted on September 6, 2012 9:58 AM by Meghan

One of our favorite events of the year is this weekend- The South End Art Hop!  It’s hard to believe they are celebrating their 20th year!   The south end of Burlington is a special place for LCC—it’s where Jim Lampman started the company and where we still are today (just in a slightly bigger building).

lake champlain chocolates building

art hop posterLikewise the art hop has grown from a grassroots movement to show some experimental art to a full-blown, amazing celebration of over 400+ artists at nearly 100 locations.   And like every year, we will be displaying some chocolate masterpieces created by resident sculptress Emily McCracken.  She usually likes to keep her creations under wraps until the big reveal tomorrow night, but the poster below should give you a hint

blue bandanaWe are also highlighting another type of craft for this year’s art hop—the art of making chocolate from bean to bar.  It is a sub-brand evolving at Lake Champlain Chocolates that sources, roast, winnow (separates shell from nib), grind, conche, and refine cacao beans into chocolate from scratch.
Blue Bandana Chocolate Maker will be making its debut with three amazing new chocolates:  70% Madagascar, 70% Guatemala and Madagascar Wild Pepper.  Get in here and be one of the first to taste this first batch of exceptional chocolates.

And last but not least, if you’re doing the kids art hop, don’t forget to hop into LCC, complete your passport and collect your prize!

We have a feeling this is going to be a hop you don’t want to miss!


The Splendor of Vermont

Posted on August 22, 2012 4:08 PM by Meghan

I’m in denial that summer is almost over.  We’ve had an amazing one here in Vermont this year, I’m not sure Lake Champlain has looked more beautiful than it has lately.  Case in point below (taken last night!)


We are lucky; however, that fall in Vermont also tips the scales in the beautiful department.  And I have to say that I do love curling up with a cup of hot chocolate after being outside in the cool, crisp air.

So with the coming of fall, comes our stunning new autumn graphics.  We spend a lot of time (almost as much as making the chocolates themselves) on our packaging—it must live up to the quality of the chocolates!  I thought it might be nice to share some words from the designer herself and hear the concepts behind our handsome designs.

These designs mimic a linocut technique that is more “folksy” but yet retains a contemporary feel. This is achieved through color and shape and pattern of the interior (“veins”) of the leaves as well as the repeat patter in the bottom portion of the box.
We all expect the traditional hot bright saturated hues of autumn- the reds, oranges, and yellows.  This color palette explores the intermediate colors- ginger oranges, muted teals, olive yellow greens and stormy grey purples- that are also present in this transitional season.
The decorative patterns on the leaves depict the multi-faceted framework and unique structure that each leaf possesses and takes it to a purely graphic level.  They became art.
Fall is a tapestry of color that is not only visual but tactile and both the leaf graphics and the repeat pattern of leaves and seed pod reinforce that proposition.


Here’s to fall- the splendor of Vermont.


A New Chocolate Maker is in town.

Posted on August 21, 2012 10:45 AM by Meghan

We have some exciting news to share at Summervale this week!

Blue Bandana Chocolate Maker is coming to life based on the principles of quality, transparency, taste of place, and the craft of making chocolate.  It is a sub-brand evolving at Lake Champlain Chocolates that lets Eric Lampman source, roast, winnow (separates shell from nib), grind, conche, and refine cacao beans into chocolate from scratch.

We’ll have two brand new bean to bar chocolates to taste: Guatemala 70% and Madagascar 70%. These may look similar on paper, but your taste buds will reveal the complexity and nuance of these distinctive origins! Plus, our table top chocolate making machines will be in action! Come discover terroir of chocolate and take part in the emerging craft chocolate revolution.

To learn more about the store of Blue Bandana check out this recent article.


A Citrus Bomb!

Posted on August 2, 2012 11:20 AM by Meghan

Alchemist Heady Topper (8.0%ABV) with Dark Chocolate Orange Peel and Dark Chocolate Covered Almond.

 Last but not least, here is our final pairing from the Brewer’s Festival. 

We admit, it took us awhile to find a chocolate that could handle this double IPA; but once we hit upon our dark chocolate orange peel, it created a citrus bomb! 

Alchemist’s Heady Topper carries a huge aroma and even bigger flavor. A variety of citrus (orange & grapefruit), bitter and a sweetness of pineapple are led by a piney aroma.  Coupled with the orange peel, there is a cohesive play of sweet and sour.

The chocolate almond’s bitterness complements this big beer, meanwhile roasted almond is boosted when tasted after a gulp of the Heady Topper.

While many of the beers we pair with are local to the Vermont area, we hope this encourages you to try your own local craft brews with some chocolate.  It’s an experience that will literally change how you think about beer AND chocolate!


Cucumber Sriracha Pops

Posted on August 1, 2012 11:17 AM by Meghan


As delicious as our chocolate truffles are, they just can't cool you off like one of our refreshing ice pops.  Here is a super cool and spicy treat that will keep you as cool as a cucumber this summer.

Cucumber Sriracha Pops
Yields: 10 – 3 oz. Pops
1.5 lbs.     cucumbers
1/4C     honey
1/3C    sugar
1/3C    water
1 tbsp    lime juice
1 tsp    sriracha hot sauce

1.    Put empty pop mold in freezer to chill, and submerge 10 pop sticks in water to soak.

2.    Bring water, sugar, and honey to a boil to dissolve the sugars. Set aside to cool.

3.    Cut cucumbers into ½-1 inch pieces and puree in blender until smooth. Strain through a fine mesh strainer to get mostly juice and some puree.

4.    Combine strained cucumber, lime juice, sriracha sauce, and sugar/water/honey mixture.

5.    Pour mixture into pop molds, leaving about ¼  inch space at the top for expansion when freezing.

6.    Put lid on pop mold. Insert pop sticks. Put in freezer to freeze until solid (about 2-4 hours).

7.    To remove pops from mold, remove the lid, dip the bottom part of the mold in lukewarm water bath for a few seconds to release. Then, pull each pop out individually.

8.    Eat immediately or place in airtight plastic bag to store for later.

*The pops will keep for about a week in the freezer.


Chocolate Beer: A Vermont Partnership

Posted on July 31, 2012 10:39 AM by Meghan

 

Without further delay, here is beer and chocolate pairing number two from the Brewer’s Festival.

Last spring our friends at VT Pub & Brewery gave us a call and said they wanted to try brewing a chocolate stout and wondered if we would be interested in providing them with our gourmet chocolate.  We spent, oh about, one second thinking about it before we said “of course!”

And so the Lake Champlain Chocolates Stout was born.  Brewed with Madagascar cocoa nibs roasted here at LCC, this stout is the Pub’s first beer to go through the experimental line three times and move to 14BBL production!  Rich, dark, smooth and sweet, this is a full-bodied milk stout.  We’ve been a big fan of this beer since we first tasted in April 2011, but we had yet to try a pairing until this year’s Brewer’s Festival.

We found the organic butter and heavy cream in our Organic Vanilla Truffle was the perfect complement this milk stout and the deep, roasty, chocolate flavors blended nicely with the Madagascar bourbon vanilla. 

A chocolate beer and a chocolate truffle: this pairing proves you can never have too much chocolate!