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November 12, 2013

Charles Chocolates Bars

by Anne Paddock

Charles Siegel is the creative genius behind San Francisco based Charles Chocolates, a company with a total passion for producing the finest confections.  Established in 2004, Charles Chocolates makes a variety of sweets:  truffles, cremes, nuts, pralines, caramels, orange twigs, gourmet S’mores, chocolate covered nuts, edible chocolate boxes (really!), and my favorite: the Charles Chocolate Bars. Made by hand in small batches using the finest ingredients – chocolate, organic herbs, fruits, organic cream and butter, and nuts – and traditional artisanal techniques, Charles Chocolate Bars are decadent, rich, and deeply satisfying.

There are seven different types of bars:29746_402378782559_8345109_n

Salty-Sweet Hazelnut Bar: Roasted hazelnuts in a meringue of Fleur de Sel and sugar are paired with 65% bittersweet chocolate to create one of the most addicting chocolate bars ever made. My daughter found this bar in a Portland, Oregon  chocolate shop (appropriately named Cacao). Knowing my passion for hazelnuts, she thought I would devour it. I did. And, then I ordered more.29746_402378787559_7655129_n

Salty-Sweet Pecan Cherry Bar: Dried Michigan cherries and pecan halves mixed with a meringue of Fleur de Sel and sugar are blended with 65% bittersweet chocolate to create a truly amazing chocolate bar. Crunchy, chewy and so delicious, these bars are remarkable.29746_402378757559_3330003_n

Salty-Sweet Cashew Bar: This award-winning bar is made of 41% milk chocolate with whole cashews that have been roasted with a meringue of Fleur de Sel and sugar. For those who prefer milk chocolate, look no further.

Tres Cojones Bar (Triple Nut Bar): Roasted almonds, hazelnuts, and pine nuts are blended with 65% bittersweet chocolate to create a dream nut bar.

Caramelized Cocoa Nib Bar: Cocoa nibs are caramelized by hand and then blended with 72% bittersweet chocolate to create one of the finest chocolate bars ever made.

Toffee Coffee Bar: Rich almond toffee is blended with locally roasted coffee beans and 55% milk chocolate for an incredible combination of taste and texture.charleschocolates1-239403513

Peanut Praliné Bar:  Deep roasted peanut praliné is combined with 55% milk chocolate to create the ultimate crunchy peanut butter cup in a bar.

file_35_2The bars can be purchased at the Charles Chocolate boutique (535 Florida Street, San Francisco) or on-line through the company website: www.charleschocolates.com. Each 3.9 ounce bar is $7.95 plus shipping. To try all the bars, consider the Ultimate Chocolate Bar Collection – one of each of the seven varieties – for $50 plus shipping.

Photos courtesy of Charles Chocolate.

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