Create your own Korean-style chocolate bar
I’m not a chocolatier, but I found a custom-confectioner to make me a Koreanforninan-style chocolate bar.
Chocri, a German company, made their American debut in early January 2010. For marketing, it has taken advantage of social media, such as Facebook, is building blogosphere buzz with a male vs. female contest.
In this Blog Relay Race promotion, the first group to reach 100 bloggers tagged wins something. (As of yet, I have not been tagged.)
I discovered Chocri bars on Foodbuzz and had to check it out since I’m a woman with chocolate in my genes. Figurately of course, my mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA, which are my really “female genes”) are firmly planted in Western Asia and Europe.
Starting with a choice of milk chocolate, white chocolate or dark chocolate (with 64 percent cocoa), customers can chose up to five different ingredients for their customized chocolate creations from 90 different options.
My Koreafornian chocolate included the following:
Closeup of the custom chocolate for Koreafornian Cooking, showing sesame seeds, pinenuts and chunks of dried pear. (Tamar1973 photo)
These chocolate bars are handmade, and many of the ingredients are fair trade and organic. Understandably, this is pricey indulgence. The bar I commissioned was US$12.20 for a 3.5-ounce bar so this is not a cheap box of chocolates. Also, they have a three-bar minimum, so my $12.20 bar became a $36.60 purchase quickly. The free-shipping offer, which I believe has now expired, also helped seal the deal for a femme frugal like me.
Notice the hygienic conditions in the chocolate factory. Since hair is not listed as a topping option, the workers wear hair nets to protect the chocolate. (courtesy of Chocri)
There are times when it’s perfectly appropriate to splurge. These chocolates makes the special gift for Valentine’s Day, a birthday or any day you want to give someone special a unique, customized gift that doesn’t require watering or dusting.
My Koreanfornian creation’s estimated arrival date was Jan. 27, and the order arrived a couple of days early — from Berlin via Switzerland apparently. That’s customer service rule No. 1: exceed the customer’s expectations.
When I saw the package, my eyes were naturally drawn to all the toppings, particularly the dried pear and pinenuts looking up at me. When I flipped the bar over, I found pure milk chocolate looking up at me. The toppings really are toppings, they are not mixed into the chocolate at all.
Hubby and I tasted the first bar. I could easily distinguish each custom ingredient. The sea salt and the cayenne were not overused but added subtle complexity — slight saltiness with a little heat that builds as the chocolate melts.
The star in this particular batch was dried pear. I normally do not like dried fruit. In fact, I mock my husband’s love of dried fruit by calling raisins and prunes “shriveled up dead fruit.” But this was different. The pears were obviously dried but not overly so.
If you want to try my recipe yourself, go to the Chocri site and type in code gi47mz. Chocri currently ships to Germany and the U.S. only. Sorry, the company does not currently ship to South Korea.