A few weeks ago I received a friendly email from Becky Cortina of Ethereal Confections, offering samples of handmade candy for review, candy literally made to order. Becky wrote, “Ethereal’s bean-to-bar confections are all handcrafted from beans we ethically source from single origin estates and co-ops; paying above fair trade pricing. We care for our community, customers, and staff-putting our hearts into creating smooth and delicious chocolates for all to enjoy.”
I invited over a couple of guests to sample with me, at a distance from each other but not from the chocolate. This is what happened:
Oh my, so many chocolates! This is the list of what we tried and our thoughts on each:
Dark Chocolate Bars topped with 1. Strawberries, Rose Petals and Pink Peppercorn: very fresh strawberry flavor and a lingering peppery finish. 2. Candied Ginger, Candied Orange Peel and Coriander: “yum” was the common descriptor, followed by how refreshing it was, the coriander really played out on the finish, and who took that one home with them? 3. Whiskey Infused Chocolate Bar with Whiskey-Soaked Cocoa Nibs: loved the crunch, the chocolate, and one guest commented that it made her wine taste so much better! 4. Blueberry, Lavender and Almonds: Saved that lavender for the finish, the aromas were top notch, as was the combination of flavors.
Sample box of 4 dark chocolate truffles: (We weren’t completely sure what these all were but were told what they probably were.) A Caramel Mocha with toasted coconut on top was better than a Carmel Macchiato at Starbucks, the Salted Karma with a dusting of salt was extremely rich, the Peanut Butter Jelly Time with peanuts on the outside, chocolate and jelly inside was devoured by my PB and J sandwich a-day husband and the Bourbon Pecan was nutty, salty, with peppery notes that were a nice surprise, as well as the use of quality bourbon.
Dark Chocolate Olive Oil Meltaways collection included: Vanilla Sea Salt had a chalky quality – not unattractive – and a very nice balance. The Blood Orange was firm – not gooey – and dark, rich, citrusy, with a bite, I loved it. And finally a sample of the Raspberry Vanilla had a wonderful burst of fresh raspberry layered with all that wonderful chocolate.
The consensus from the group was summed up by this statement they agreed on: Tasting the Ethereal Confections simulated a feeling of love – they were that satisfying.
From Ethereal Confections
In a historic town square in the quaint town of Woodstock, Illinois, we – Mary, Michael, & Sara – opened our craft chocolate and dessert bar, Ethereal Confections, in 2011. Since day one, we have continued to take the same care and attentiveness with each and every handcrafted bean-to-bar sweet, importing whole cacao beans from farmers producing single origin beans from Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Ghana, and Haiti. The cacao beans are then roasted, winnowed and ground into chocolate that gets transformed into exquisite confections and inventive flavor combinations.
All cacao we import is ethically sourced. We only source from countries where we can visit the farms and co-ops. We pay above fair trade pricing – with a direct positive impact on farmers and communities. We only import heirloom, organic cacao- meaning the aroma and flavor is always the best possible!
All of our products:
Contain no preservatives.
Are gluten/dairy free.
Contain organic ingredients.
Have exquisite flavors not found in any other product.
Are showcased by beautiful packaging.
TO ORDER AND LEARN MORE: Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for wholesale interest and to their website for individual purchases:
Eve Bushman has a Level Two Intermediate Certification from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET), a “certification in first globally-recognized course” as an American Wine Specialist ® from the North American Sommelier Association (NASA), Level 1 Sake Award from WSET, was the subject of a 60-minute Wine Immersion video (over 16k views), authored “Wine Etiquette for Everyone” and has served as a judge for the Long Beach Grand Cru and the Global Wine Awards. You can email Eve@EveWine101.com to ask a question about wine or spirits.