We all have that one friend who will always have that special spot in our heart. They’re our best supporter and at the same time, our honest critic. They are someone who laughs and cries with us, and stays by our side through thick and thin.
Oh chocolate ! It is undeniably one of the most loved food in the world–from bars, luxury brownies, chocolate dipped strawberries and gift boxed chocolates–everything just seems better with chocolate, don’t you agree?
But did you know that chocolate actually has a very rich history? Take a look at some of the most amazing facts about our favorite sweet treat:
1. The scientific name of cocoa tree is Theobroma Cacao, Greek for “food for the Gods”. But the word chocolate actually comes from the Aztec term “Xocolatl” meaning bitter water.
2. Chocolate has been very valuable through history. The Aztecs believed that the cocoa beans are gifts from their god Quetzalcoatl and used them as currency (10 beans = a rabbit, 100 beans = a servant). In the American Revolutionary War, chocolate was used to pay the soldiers.
3. The first chocolate bar was invented in 1847 by Joseph Fry. His company Fry & Son eventually merged with Cadbury.
4. Most of the world’s chocolate supply comes from Latin America (15%), Asia (17%) and Africa (68%). 33% of the global supply actually comes from Côte d’Ivoire in Africa.
As an old saying goes, “Always save room for dessert“. But have you heard that there are desserts we might have to save money for just to enjoy? It’s true! Just take a look at 5 of the world’s most expensive desserts:
Golden Opulence Sundae ($1,000)
New York City’s Serendipity 3 is known for great treats but this product is their most opulent on their product list. Recognized by the Guinness World Records in 2007 as “World’s Most Expensive Sundae”, Golden Opulence Sundae is so exclusive, reservations must be made 48 hours in advance.
Here’s a quick look at what goes into the Golden Opulence Sundae:
- Tahitian vanilla bean ice cream
- 23-carat gold leaf
- Medei Porceleana chocolate and Chuao chocolate
- gold dragets
- grande passon caviar with fresh passion fruit
Brownie Extraordinaire ($1,000)
If it isn’t dark, it isn’t chocolate! You may beg to disagree. But for dark chocolate fanatics, this is basically the rule of thumb.
Chocolates come in different types, and among the most popular are the sweet, semi-sweet, milk and dark chocolates. They differ mostly in the content of cocoa. Dark chocolates have the bitter sweet flavour, but some brands have really intense chocolate taste (70% to 99% cocoa percentage). These chocolates are mostly used for baking since sugar and other sweeteners and flavours are added to the recipe.
Working with chocolate can be both fun and frustrating, especially for home bakers. Chocolate is without a doubt one of the greatest culinary inventions. Despite the increasing number of flavours available now, chocolate remains a timeless classic. And really, it’s hard to imagine life without chocolates. Cakes, brownies and pastries would surely be not as enjoyable as they are now without this magic ingredient.
5. Knipschildt’s La Madeline au Truffle ($250)
Forbes Magazine recognized Knipschildt’s La Madeline au Truffle as one of the priciest chocolates in the world. This decadence is made from a rare French Perigord truffle (which is worth $1,000 a pound) and a rich chocolate ganace (of heavy cream, Italian truffle oil, sugar and 71% single-bean Valrhona dark chocolate) and very fine cocoa powder.
The packaging is equally extravagant as the chocolate comes in a silver box with sugar pearls. Each Knipschildt’s La Madeline au Truffle is made to order and has a shelf life of 7 days.
4. To’Ak Chocolates ($260)
Luxury is often equated with exclusivity. Exclusivity and the finest ingredients is why a 1.5 ounce bar of To’Ak Chocolate is considered to be the world’s most expensive pure chocolate bar. 574—this is the number of To’Ak bars produced in 2014. It is a small number for chocolate, mind you.
To’Ak is an 81-percent dark chocolate (ordinary chocolate contains just 5%) that is Fair-Trade and USDA organic. The name comes from the To’Ak cacao bean, which is found in the center of the chocolate. The beans are rare because the 1,000-acre forest where the beans come from is the only survivor of a 1916 “Witch’s Broom” disease.
Presentation and novelty is anything but your usual with To’Ak chocolate as it comes in a wooden gift box that has an Arriba Appelation map and wooden tongs (used to eat the chocolate bar).
3. DeLafée of Switzerland’s Gold Chocolate Box ($331.50)
The DeLafée Gold Chocalate box is part of the company’s line of edible gold creations. The set is a silk-draped wood box that contains 8 Swiss chocolates hand-decorated with 24 karat edible gold and an antique cold collectible (from the Swiss central bank from the years 1910 to 1920 valued at $133).
2. Golden Speckled Egg ($11,107)
In 2012, William Curley was awarded the Guinness World Records for his masterpiece—the Golden Speckled Egg—the World’s Most Expensive Chocolate Egg (non-jewelled).
The egg was about 3×2 feet tall and weighed 50 kilograms. It was made with Amedei chocolate, edible gold leaf, 12 smaller couture chocolate eggs, 20 mini chocolate bars, and 5 white flowers. The outside looks delicious enough but the inside is equally luxurious with chocolates of different flavors (like muscovado carame, juniper berry and rosemary).
The record-setting chocolate creation took 3 days to make and was sold at the Royal Courts of Justice, London, UK, on March 20, 2012.
1. Frrrozen Haute Chocolate ($25,000)
Serendipity 3 is known for delicious desserts and comfort food. But perhaps with a price tag of $25,000, this hot chocolate would be the most comforting of all. This combination of haute couture and chocolate is made from 27 cocoas from different locations around the globe, Le Madeline au Truffle shavings, and 5 grams of 23 carat gold to name a few.
The Frrrozen Haute Chocolate is served in a goblet lined with edible 18 carat gold crown and diamonds, and it comes with a golden spoon too.
These chocolates sure delight the senses, don’t they? But if you like luxury you can enjoy without the massive cost (and cost of travel too), why not try something from Dello Mano? We’ve got truffles, cakes, luxury brownies and so much more.
Since we started in 2006, we always get asked “Why handmade?” and “What makes your brownies so delicious?”
Dello Mano has stood the test of time. And we know that it’s our clients, who share the same passion for excellence as we do, that really have helped to get us to where we are now. Today though, we thought it might be fitting to let you in on a few of our secrets.
1. Handmade with love
To us “Dello Mano” is more than just an Italian translation for “of the hand”. It means the magic of careful craftsmanship, ingenuity and dedication to quality. Each product that comes out of the Dello Mano kitchen is a reflection of our values, our commitment to creat nothing but our best.
We take pride in coming up with our own special recipes, handpicking what goes into the treats and wrapping them up perfectly. The whole team–every single member of the Dello Mano family is responsible for bringing to you each flavorful bite.
From the flavor and recipe development, to cooking and baking and up to the moment you open the elegant packages–we keep the promise of excellence you can taste.
2. Premium quality ingredients
Only the finest, freshest ingredients go into Dello Mano products. The base of luxury brownies for instance, make use of Redland Bay free-range eggs, the highest-quality Belgian chocolate, and Australian butter (from grass-fed cattle).
What are brownies? No, they couldn’t possibly be simply a flat, baked chocolate dessert. Not even a cross between a cake and a soft cookie. According to us at Dello Mano, Brownies are little slices of heaven, period 🙂 They make us feel happy, period. And they satisfy our sweet tooth (without being too sweet), period!
Do you love art? If yes, how would you define it?
Here in Dello Mano, we love art as much as we love baking. And we make sure to incorporate it in everything we do. For us, art is creating something with love and passion. It is putting hard work and commitment to develop a masterpiece. It is selecting the best ingredients, paying attention to details, and being consistent in terms of quality.
To ‘nut’ or not to ‘nut’? That is the question. Much like the debate on adding raisins in oatmeal cookies, there is also a growing argument on whether or not to add nuts to brownies.