For Chocolate Lovers only

Hi! My name is Stephanie Zonis, and welcome to the September, 2004 edition of For Chocolate Lovers Only! Each month, you’ll find a recipe or two, tips, and recommendations on great chocolate specialties. This month is about saying goodbye to summer, of course, but one has to do so a step at a time, hence these couple of ice cream recipes… 

Chocolate Recommendation of the Month: If there is a cardinal rule in food, it’s that you have to use good ingredients to achieve a good result. This month’s recommendation, La Dolce Gourmet, has a solid understanding of that concept. Although this small company is still very new, they produce admirable truffles (take your pick of milk chocolate or espresso dark chocolate). Not content to rest on any truffle-making laurels, La Dolce Gourmet also offers barks in three flavors (I love the sound of the coconut almond bark, featuring toasted coconut, toasted almonds, and milk chocolate), spiced nuts, and their newest venture, chocolate-covered premium pretzels in 4 varieties (the idea of the dark chocolate pretzel with coconut intrigues me).

I like this company for several reasons. There are a lot of small chocolate businesses out there, but La Dolce Gourmet uses high-quality Belgian chocolate as a basic ingredient. The chocolates are made in small quantities, meaning it’s easier to keep an eye on product quality. No preservatives or waxes are used. Their flavor combinations are well-chosen; nothing is thrown together just for the sake of shocking your tastebuds. Their selection is increasing slowly, as it should be---they don’t sell any new product until after much experimentation, when they believe they’ve got it just right. I’m told that “occasion” chocolates (those for everything from communions to wedding favors to corporate functions) are a specialty of this house. You can find La Dolce Gourmet at (908) 268-4940, or surf on over to

Upcoming Chocolate Event: There’s an old saying that the seventh wave always goes farthest upon the beach. Is it true? Why not attend the Seventh Annual Chocolate Show in New York this November and find out? The Show runs 11 through 14 November this year, and there will be a  Fashion Gala (open to the public) the night of 10 November to benefit DIFFA (Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS). As has been the case in the past few years, the Chocolate Show will be held at the Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 West 18th Street between 6th & 7th Avenues. However, this year, the adjacent Altman Building will also be part of the Show, an arrangement that should help to alleviate last year’s overcrowding problems. By the time you read this, advance tickets for both the Gala and the Show should be available online at Prices this year? For the Fashion Gala, $120. For the Chocolate Show, $20 per adult, $15 per senior citizen (over 65) or student (with ID), $10 per child age 6 to 14, and children under 6 are admitted free.

Yes, yes, that’s fine, Stephanie, but get to the good stuff; tell us who’s going to be exhibiting! Just to name a few companies, Guittard Chocolate (I was an R & D intern for them years ago, and if you haven’t had their chocolate you’re in for a treat), Laurent Gerbeau Chocolatier Bruxelles, Mas Amiel, Anna Shea Chocolates, Claire’s Confections, and something called Nutritious Chocolate from Gary Null Associates will all be present. You know the demo lineup will be great; it always is. How the organizers manage to pull in so many celebrity pastry chefs in one weekend is beyond me, but they do just that every year. For more information, call toll-free (866) CHOC-NYC, or head over to Look for more information in this column next month, too. 

Upcoming Chocolate Event (UK): Sara Jayne-Stanes is Director of the Academy of Culinary Arts in London, and I happen to know that she makes some amazing truffles. Her skills in both areas will stand her in good stead, as she is chairing London’s very own Chocolate Week, which runs from 4 to 10 October. There will be organized tours of the city’s best chocolate shops, chocolate-themed meals at some great restaurants, chocolate cocktails at selected bars…the Royal Garden Hotel is even offering chocolate-themed weekends. Kew Gardens will showcase its cocoa tree with daily talks and chocolate samplings, as well, and there will be too many other events to describe. Chocolate Week has partnered with the charity Sense, which aids those who are deaf as well as blind. If all of this isn’t reason enough for a trip across The Big Pond, I’m sure I don’t know what is! How to get more information? Surf on over to


Do you have a comment, question, or suggestion? I’d like to hear it. E-mail me at: Please specify that you’re writing about chocolate, or I might think it’s spam.


Published: September 2004