Milk Chocolate Ganache

Before we begin, what is ganache?

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ga·nache (ɡəˈnaSH/): a glaze, icing, sauce, or filling for pastries made from chocolate and cream.

If you have ever enjoyed a ChocXO truffle or ChocXO chocolate drink, you have tried ganache.  This magic combination of chocolate and cream is undeniably delicious and easy to make.

Our recipe will teach you to make your own ganache at home.  Store it in the fridge for up to a week, but we don''t think it will last that long.  Add it to your coffee, use it to make your own killer hot chocolate, or just eat it with a spoon.  The last one is our personal favorite.

Ingredients and supplies:

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream (the better quality cream, the better tasting the ganache)
  • 25 ChocXO Organic 37% Milk Chocolate 40G Bars broken into small pieces
  • 1 whisk
  • 1 large mixing bowl
  • 5 - 10 mason jars for storage (depending on the size)

Recipe:

  1. Heat up 2 cups heavy cream over medium/high heat until steaming.  Make sure to stir the milk to avoid scalding or burning.
  2. When milk is ready, pour heavy cream over the chocolate.
  3. Let sit for a moment.  The ChocXO trick is to take that time to wash the pot where the milk was heated-- easier to wipe clean while it's still warm!
  4. Whisk, whisk, whisk until incorporated.
  5. Pour the product into mason jars and store in the fridge.

Tips & Tricks

  • The magic of ganache is that you can make it your own.  Want a softer ganache?  Add more cream.  Want something more stable?  Add more chocolate.  Play around and figure out what you like.
  • Ganache will solidify in the fridge.  Scoop some out, zap it in the microwave, and use it to drip fresh fruit.
  • To make a ChocXO style hot chocolate, combine 4 oz ganache with 12 oz steamed milk.  You can also make a cold version for the best chocolate milk... ever.

Best. S'mores. Ever.

use chocxo organic chocolate caramel thins to bring your summer bonfire game to a whole new level.

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INGREDIENTS & TOOLS:

  • Marshmallows
  • Graham Crackers (we're partial to cinnamon grahams)
  • ChocXO Organic Chocolate Caramel Thins (dark chocolate, or milk chocolate, or both)
  • Wooden dowels
  • Access to an open flame.  If you don't have a fire pit, don't worry!  Sterno has a great non-toxic flame made just for s'mores.  Check it out here.

 

Recipe:

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  1. Set up the s'more: break a graham cracker in half & put one Organic Chocolate Caramel Thin on one half.
  2. Roast the 'mallow to golden brown perfection (we prefer golden brown, but if you prefer burned.... who are we to argue?)
  3. Place the warm 'mallow on the Organic Chocolate Caramel Thin, smash it closed with the other graham cracker, and enjoy!)

 

(For anyone new to making s'mores, I suggest watching THIS video and learning from the best.)

 

If you tried it, let us know what you think below!

XO.

Mexico: Part One

Brett & Rob, ChocXO's in-house cocoa hunters, took a trip to southern Mexico in February to source beans and learn about the birthplace of chocolate.  Before we learn about the trip itself, let's learn a little bit about the United Mexican States.  Similar to the United States, Mexico is a federal republic made up of thirty-one states and one federal district.  (We have a federal district too! Washington, D.C.).  Cacao grows primarily in the states of Chiapas and Tabasco, so that's where Brett and Rob went.  The majority of the trip was spent in San Cristóbal de las Casas in Chiapas.  According to Lonely Planet, San Cristóbal is surrounded by dozens of traditional Tzotzil and Tzeltal villages and at the heart of one of the most deeply rooted indigenous areas in Mexico.  Despite that, and maybe because of it, San Cristobal is also a big tourist destination.

Now onto the trip (as told by Brett and transcribed by Sasha).

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DAY ONE

Both Rob and I fly out in the morning, but from two separate locations (I fly out of California and Rob flies out of Vancouver).  We meet up in the Panama Airport for our connecting flight to Tuxtla, Mexico.  It is a long grueling day of travel and we arrive late that evening.  We are greeted at the airport by our guide and translator for this trip, Gerardo.  We got in touch with him thanks to our boss and fearless leader, Richard Foley.  The two of them worked together years ago to help bring Tabasco beans into the United States.  We hope he can help us do the same this trip.  Gerardo has rented a car and drives us the two hours from Tuxtla to San Cristobal.

We are exhausted when we check into the hotel, but we are also very, very hungry.  The three of us head into the street to find grub.  We wander into a hole-in-the-wall taco shop, and start to order.  We get classics like carne asada (steak), along with lengua (tongue), tripas (small intestine), and ubre (udder).  We really want to experience the birthplace of chocolate and that means taking risks.  Truth is, all of the food was delicious and the perfect way to end the day.

Full, and happy, and even more exhausted, we return to the hotel and collapse in our shared room, ready to start a new day.

DAY TWO

I wake up excited.  Rob wakes up hungry.  Today is the day we get our hands on some Tabasco cacao beans-- the incentive behind this entire trip.  Gerardo takes us to meet Hernan.  Who is Hernan?  Let's just say that Hernan has his hands in every part of San Cristobal.  He owns distilleries, cacao plantations, a jade museum, a shop in town, and a travel business.  He is a certified Mayan priest.  If you need something, he is the guy to help you get it.

We meet up with Hernan for breakfast at a small local joint that he owns.  In fact, this is where we get our first taste of cacao nativo (a hot drink made of cacao & sugar) and pozol (a cold drink made of cacao & masa).  The drinks are amazing and absolutely unique to our palates.  Yet, this is as common to drink in Chiapas as an iced coffee in Orange County.  Hernan teaches us the traditional way to drink these drinks, explaining the history and the purpose behind the cups.  

The trip is going great so far.  We have experienced so many new things in the first 12 hours, and we can't wait to translate it into chocolate.  Rob gets down to business and starts talk beans (with Gerardo's assistance in translating).  When will we try the Tabasco beans, how long will it take to export them, and how soon can we see the plantation?  Blame it on translation issues, but takes us halfway through breakfast to hear the truth:

"Oh, I sold all the Tabasco beans."

Ucayali River Cacao Launch

We had the best time at the launch of our latest Reserve chocolate with the XO Insiders a couple of weeks ago.  Here are some highlights:

special guest: Dan Pearson

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We kicked off the night with Dan Pearson.  (If you have ever enjoyed the Fortunato No.4 bar, this is the guy you want to thank!).  He graciously spent his Friday night driving up to Orange County to share his story with us.  We learned about how he stumbled into the chocolate industry, almost literally, and what is happening with Maranon chocolate today.  After the talk, Dan stuck around to mingle and eat chocolate with the rest of us.

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behind the scenes factory tour

Brett & Mitch took groups inside the factory and showed them what they're working on.  They were doing maintenance on the conche along with working on a new batch of Camino Verde.

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chocolate, chocolate, chocolate!

And, of course, the chocolate itself.  Each box included (1) 80% Ucayali River Cacao Bar, (1) 80% Ucayali River Cacao Bar with puffed quinoa and sour cherries, (2) 80% Fortunato Bars, (1) 6-piece box of limited edition truffle flavors, and (1) 100% Ucayali square.

 

 

Pssst.... if this looks like fun, you can join too.  Click here to learn more about the XO Insiders program.