For Chocolate Lovers only
Chocolate cake

MARCH 2002

Petites Boules de Neige

Seven Layer Liqueur Cake

Brandied Hot White Chocolate

Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake

Sweet Spot


Hi! My name is Stephanie Zonis, and welcome to the March, 2002 edition of "For Chocolate Lovers Only". Each month, youíll find recipes, tips, and recommendations on great chocolate specialties.

Chocolate Recommendation of the Month: What do Amsterdam and Des Moines, Iowa have in common? If you think the answer is “nothing”, then you are not familiar with Chocolaterie Stam, a small company whose roots trace back to the Netherlands in the 19th century. Today, there are two Stam stores in Des Moines and several more in Amsterdam run by members of the Stam clan, making this truly a family business. Offerings include chocolate bars, sugar-free chocolates, molded chocolates (take a look at the pretty swan centerpiece), and wedding favors, not to mention the croquant chocolate oublies, which are a combination of crunchy toffee sugar and ground hazelnuts accented by milk or dark chocolate.

I ordered Chocolaterie Stam’s copper “ballotin”, a plain and old-fashioned box tied up with a fetching ribbon. The chocolates inside are a cross between American and European styles. Many are larger than their European counterparts, but there are a number of elaborate shapes I’ve never seen in American chocolates. The extensive use of hazelnuts in centers is a delightfully European touch, but the peanut clusters and caramel-pecan tortoises are distinctly American. I can’t recall the last time I had so much fun with a “split personality”! The chocolates taste fresh, and the ingredients used are of good quality. The nice people here will work with you, too; I specified certain types of chocolates I did and didn’t want in my ballotin and had no trouble. One caveat: although a small pictorial guide was included, it was difficult to read and didn’t show all of the chocolates in my box, so you may have to guess about some centers. If you haven’t finished (or started) your Easter chocolate shopping, this is a business you ought to know about! Chocolaterie Stam can be reached by phone at (515) 282-9575 or (877) STAMCHOC (the latter is a toll-free order line); by fax at (515) 282-9763; or at their website,

Chocolate School of the Month: Richardson Researches, Inc., of Hayward, CA uses limited class sizes and a hands-on approach to teach people about various aspects of the chocolate and confectionery industries. Terry Richardson has a lot of experience under his belt, and, whether you’re an individual seeking knowledge with an eye toward starting your own chocolate business or a corporate employee who wants to better understand the technology of confectionery, you’ll find a course here to help you. These courses are not cheap, but then they are not casual overviews into their subjects, either, and they are designed for those who are serious about what they do. Don’t look at the list of products you’ll make in the Gourmet Continental Chocolates class, or you’ll have to sign up for it immediately! You can contact Richardson Researches, Inc. by phone at (510) 785-1350, by fax at (510) 785-6857, or via their website at

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