Making fudge for Christmas is a tradition for us. This year, we tried to improve the recipe by finding the best ingredients possible, and the best technique.
We recently discovered a new chocolate shop in Santa Cruz – Mutari. They are very careful to source their chocolate from responsible growers. Their growers farm year after year on the same location, not moving into new lands, and they know how to grow and harvest the product to produce the best tasting chocolate. Then Mutari roasts the beans themselves to create the best chocolate possible.
The photographs we took in Bruges, Belgium were published in the online magazine “Two Bright Lights“. They featured it as “Travel & Nature: Belgian Adventures”. We loved Bruges and are thrilled that they loved our photos.
Serving Prince William’s groom cake added a royal touch to this recent wedding.
Bruges is famous for it’s medieval buildings and it’s chocolates. We made it our mission to sample as many as possible. In case you are wondering, Mary’s chocolates won the contest – they are the Chocolatier to the royal family – we can see why! Bruges is now my favorite place to travel.
I was holding out for the best pastries, and when I got to Holtkamp I stopped looking. I got sucked in the door by the meringues in the window, but it was the cakes that were really incredible.
Best toffee ever!! No lie! I know that’s just my opinion, but I’m pretty sure it’s true. This is what we decided was OMG toffee! Especially the white chocolate and macadamia nut. The toffee is handmade by Goose’s Goodies, a family candy maker in Santa Cruz.
Ashby Confections creates custom chocolates for special occasions. They can tailor colors, designs and flavors to compliment the style of an event, and can even monogram the chocolates or do wine pairing. They are located in the Santa Cruz area, and work with other local producers such as Driscoll’s Berries and Beauregard Winery. We think the globes are especially elegant – pictured in this post is a banana ganache globe.
Update: Jen Ashby just told me that Ashby chocolates is moving to Scotts Valley and will soon be located at 16C Victor Square, near the Scotts Valley Market, and they are offering a 10% discount to all their Heather’s customers through the end of the year.
Tucked away in Scotts Valley is Chocolate Visions, a Chocolatier with a very unique and incredible product. They add wine from some of the local wineries, and fruits and herbs from local growers when making the ganache for their chocolates. Then they dip the chocolates on site to make innovative chocolates with the flavors of Santa Cruz. The olive oil and lavender is from Valencia Creek Farm in Aptos, the Framboise is from Bonny Doon Vineyard, and the wine is from Equinox and Burrell School vineyards and winery. They even do personalized monogrammed chocolates for special events.
Richard Donnelly Chocolates is perhaps the most well known Chocolatier in Santa Cruz. He has won a number of awards and is considered one of the best in the country, and it is easy to see why. There are a number of delicious choices for a wedding but we loved the little hearts the most. He also creates special little gift boxes which would be perfect for visiting guests’ welcome baskets or wedding favors.