Pierre Hermé Macarons at SF Cooking School

August 13th, 2014 · 1 Comment · Cookies, Recipes, San Francisco, Sweet Spots

sf cooking school macaron class
SF Cooking school macaron class

It's been a while since my pastry school days, and oftentimes I feel the itch to get back into class to keep up with the newest trends, brush up on old skills, or just to be around some nice shiny professional equipment again.

After talking to chef Nicole Plue about her role as the instructor for SF Cooking School's professional pastry program, I was eager to have the chance to see her in action. My opportunity came with the pastry workshops for enthusiasts she's also teaching. These intensive classes are usually three days long and focus on specific topics like laminated doughs or breakfast pastries. One came up on the schedule that really caught my eye: macarons Pierre Hermé style, using recipes from his gorgeous cookbook MACARONS. You can never get too much macaron making practice, so thanks to Jodi, the head of the SF Cooking School, I was in!
 

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A Sweet Social at Godiva

August 6th, 2014 · 3 Comments · Chocolate, Events, Reviews, San Francisco, SF Events, Sweet Spots

Godiva storefront
Godiva storefront

Last week I went to a summer sweet social - only it was at Godiva, and the sweets were Godiva's newest creations, their Trufflelata and Belgian chocolate soft serve. Not your typical ice cream parlor fare, for sure. I made sure not to eat too much before I went and wore my stretchiest pants in anticipation of a lot of dessert.

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{Giveaway}: Godiva’s Sweet Summer Treats

July 25th, 2014 · 103 Comments · Chocolate, Giveaways, Reviews, San Francisco, Sweet Spots

Strawberry Bridge
 

Happy almost-weekend! I'm helping to start it right by holding a Godiva giveaway!

Godiva selected me and a few other bloggers to be their summer social ambassadors, and help spread the word about some of their new creations for summer. 

Although I'll never say no to chocolate truffles, when it's hot and steamy outside (and we do get a couple of those days in San Francisco, fog notwithstanding!) something cold and sweet fits my cravings best. Godiva is introducing two new treats that fit the bill:

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Westfield Tastemaker Dine On Time: Dessert First + CocoaBella

June 5th, 2014 · 1 Comment · Events, San Francisco, SF Events, Sweet Spots

 
CocoaBella Chocolates In App jpg
Dessert First, CocoaBella Chocolates and Dine on Time

I've been rather busy with some fabulously fun collaborations lately! I'm proud to reveal another of my recent projects: I'm a Westfield Tastemaker, working with Westfield Labs on their new Dine on Time app.

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How to Bake with Craft Chocolate (Plus Bar & Bean Giveaway!)

October 29th, 2013 · 57 Comments · Chocolate, Chocolate, Cookbooks, Giveaways, Recipes, Reviews, Sweet Spots

intensely bittersweet chocolate souffle

Happy (day after) National Chocolate Day! I've been getting plenty of intriguing new chocolate to keep me occupied - perhaps it's a good thing I have a baby to prevent me from eating it all at once!

I was recently contacted by Bar & Bean, a new online shop for small-batch craft chocolate from around the world. Bar & Bean is dedicated to educating people about the qualities and nuances of craft chocolate, and they helpfully include tasting notes for the bars on their site, as well as detailed information about the chocolate makers.

I got the chance to meet Jasdeep, the creator of Bar & Bean, who is passionate about introducing people to the world of craft chocolate. He's brought an impressive roster of chocolate makers onto Bar & Bean, many of whom I haven't heard of or had the opportunity to try yet. Jas recognized that many people are either unaware of all the craft chocolate out there, or intimidated by the plethora of choices. By organizing his site with cocoa percentage and flavor profile searches, and adding tasting notes, he's hoping to demystify the process. Jas has also developed some detailed personal notes on how to taste chocolate, which he shares in his tasting classes in San Francisco; check the Bar & Bean website for details.

As a introduction to Bar & Bean, I received a baker's set consisting of five bars from Poco Dolce, Ritual, Escazu, and Dick Taylor. An early Halloween haul, indeed!

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{SF} {Chocolate Review} TCHO’s New TCHOPairings Bars

October 10th, 2013 · 5 Comments · Chocolate, Reviews, San Francisco, Sweet Spots

TCHOPairings Bars

Things have been a little on overdrive around here. A baby that can crawl and stand, lots of recipe testing, and the holidays peeping around the corner.

The nice thing about being a new mom, of course, is that people are infinitely sympathetic and kind. “Oh, you must be so busy! It’s ok if you’re late to the party!” “Oh, don’t worry if you forgot to bring the thing! You must have so much on your mind these days!” “You must be totally sleep-deprived – don’t worry about looking tired!” (Wait, what was that again? I look like crap?)

But I’m trying, gosh darn it. I don’t want to use a baby as an excuse to let everything fall by the wayside in a flaming, forgotten ball of fail. It’s just that when you have a baby, and things don’t go well, events tend to snowball much more dramatically.

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