Blog

  • Introducing The Rainbow Collection

    Introducing Intrigue's Chocolate Co.'s featured gift for 2019: The Rainbow Collection.

    Check out this spiced chocolate bar Rainbow Collection in its’ classy, handsome new gift box! Whether you are giving a gift to a chocolate fanatic, a bibliophile, or a scotch and cigar coinsurer, this tasteful collection box will make a perfect gift. Available in our retail stores (Pioneer Square and Capitol Hill), or Online.

    We first introduced these spiced bars with a Kickstarter in 2017 (you can activate a time machine to visit that project by Clicking Here). Each bar has a multi-step reveal that will delight those that enjoy the details. Let’s go through them together.

    Give a chocolate gift this year. The Rainbow Collection box is available in our retail stores (Pioneer Square and Capitol Hill) and Online.
  • Featuring Forte's Holiday Chocolate Truffles 2019

    For your truffle gifts this holiday season of 2019, we are excited and honored to be featuring the award-winning chocolate truffle box of Master Chocolatier Karen Neugebauer from Forte Chocolates.

    Sea Salt Caramel in Milk Chocolate – WORLD GOLD, International Chocolate Awards 2018
    Pumpkin Spice – WORLD GOLD, International Chocolate Awards 2018
    Rosemary Orange Caramel – WORLD GOLD, International Chocolate Awards 2018
    Lemon Pepper in White Chocolate – GOLD, NW Chocolate Festival Awards 2018
    Marcona Almond in Milk Chocolate – GOLD, NW Chocolate Festival Awards 2018
    Sea Salt Caramel in Dark Chocolate – GOLD, NW Chocolate Festival Awards 2018

    These truffles are a perfect gift for anyone who likes fine foods. Every flavor in this box has won an award in at least one chocolate competition, domestically or internationally. Karen is one of the top ten most decorated chocolatiers in the world, and the quality of the truffles and the flavors prove it.

    Many of our customers we see only once a year - for the annual holiday Intrigue Chocolate Truffle Box. Due to construction and the changing city landscape of Seattle, we no longer have access to a facility that can produce those truffles. Earlier this year we sunset our ganache truffles. Though we hope to eventually bring them back, for 2019 we wanted to offer an alternative to our loyal fans - so we worked with our sister company Forte Chocolates to do so.

    Intrigue Chocolate and Forte have a long history together. We both focus on exploring and developing flavor through the medium of chocolate, are hyper vigilant about sanitation and process, and we share our expertise with each other. If you didn’t know, Intrigue Chocolate prepares all of Forte’s cocoa mix cans in our kitchen, and in exchange Karen and her team form our spiced bars in their facility. They are experts in the art of tempering. If you like honey in your chocolate bar - one of the most difficult ingredients to work with - then you want this team to make it happen.

    You can pick up a box in our retail stores (Pioneer Square and Capitol Hill), and we can ship boxes to you or someone else by ordering Online.

  • The “Classic” Cup of Cocoa?

    At Intrigue Chocolate, we have some opinions on what makes the perfect cup. We started by designing the flavor of the cocoa mix. Now, in collaboration with local Seattle ceramist and graphic designer, we are presenting the mug. Both are available now as a bundle Online.

    Although Corianton has been slinging clay as a side hustle for years, he is most well known for his graphic design work. At 25 he became the youngest Art Director for The Stranger, a well known Seattle news publication. He’s designed brand identities for restaurants, nightclubs, and Intrigue Chocolate Co! You can see more of his graphical work here: www.headquarters.studio

    Aaron and I were recently at one of Corianton’s informal pottery shows and were struck by inspiration – a hand-crafted clay mug might just be the perfect vessel for hot cocoa. It’s tactile, rustic, and radiates warmth when held in the hands. But what about all of the other details?

    We brainstormed.

    Size – this cup is roughly 12oz. We determined this volume based on what we see customers like best at the coffeehouse. A 12oz mug is large enough for a full serving of cocoa, but not so large that it is difficult to hold. It leaves enough room for marshmallows or whipped cream, if that is part of your “classic cocoa” experience.

    Ridges – Corianton suggested the smoothly spiraled finger ridges because they were so satisfying to hold. Hands just naturally mold to the suggested grip. Because they are subtle, they have the benefit of fitting every hand shape, while also feeling bespoke. The extra curve means more of your hand can touch the mug and warm up.

    Color – Deep, rich, and speckled, just like cocoa powder. We chose a reflective, light glaze that will give the saturated brown of the hot cocoa some delicious contrast, while leaving the satisfying but stark white to the marshmallows.

    Who do you know that loves hot cocoa?

    Give the gift of experience this year, give the gift of hot cocoa. We have coupled the mug and the cocoa together to make a “Classic Cocoa Gift Set”, available now in our retail stores (Pioneer Square and Capitol Hill), and Online.

  • Snacking Chocolate - Broken Slab Line

    Snacking chocolate, our Broken Slab line, is our expression of fascinating ingredients paired with fresh, high quality craft chocolate made from the bean and wrapped in informal packaging. This is the newest creation of Intrigue Chocolate, and what we hope will appeal to the customer looking for a small treat every day.

    An average chocolate bar is packaged into a fancy box, envelope, or wrapper to look beautiful on a shelf. This chocolate bar experience is best suited as a gift because of its visual appeal, or for the chocolate lover who carries a bar with them at all times – in a desk drawer, pouch or purse, or left on the counter at home to enjoy small bites at a time. Sometimes this means the time between when the chocolate is made and when it is enjoyed can be many months apart. That’s ok – the chocolate should be tempered well and won’t spoil, however the flavors and the texture may diminish over time.

    Snacking chocolate, by comparison, is so FRESH! The flavor of the bean is distinct and present, the texture is smooth but still rustic, and the melt is delightful. By using less formal packaging, we can keep the price lower. And by packaging the chocolate in smaller quantities, you can purchase bundles and gift to many people in the office, at home, at a wedding or event.

    The snacking chocolate will delight the purist who wants just the flavor of chocolate. If this describes you, you are in luck! We are making chocolate in small batches so we can rotate the origin quickly. Yesterday we were serving Bolivia and Belize, and today it’s Tanzania. If you’re someone that wants to learn the difference in flavor by region, this is a perfect way. We can even show you how to keep good notes.

    Pairing the chocolate with dried fruits like strawberries and cherries - or with complimentary ingredients like toasted sesame or popped amaranth - is how we are putting our flavor expertise to good practice. If you were a fan of the rotating 400 flavors of truffle we crafted since 2006, you will love this new exploration of fine ingredients and flavors paired with craft chocolate.

    Our Broken Slab snacking chocolate is available online, or in our retail stores in Pioneer Square on or Capitol Hill.

  • An End to Intrigue's Ganache Line - Sun-Setting the Truffles

    Dear fans of Intrigue,

    Starting this month, we will no longer produce our hand-made ganache products – truffles, truffle bars, and truffle collections. What’s been made is all that remains. (Last available boxes can be purchased on our website and in our retail stores.)

    This is a significant change. It’s been published more than once: “A simple ganache is at the heart of Intrigue Chocolate”. Our flavored ganache products - a passion of Aaron’s and our medium for educating and delighting customers - is the foundational product of Intrigue. Aaron has crafted his ganache truffles for 18 years, first at home, then under the umbrella of Madres Kitchen and distributed with their lunch program, and then 13 years as a fully independent business. The team has crafted, hand-wrapped, and sold over 200,000 truffles! We’ve opened two locations with the ganache line as our anchor. Our chocolate has seen every continent of the globe, including Antarctica! It’s been gifted to mothers, fathers, lovers, wedding guests, celebrities, and even the richest man in the world. There are some children who have grown up with Intrigue Chocolate in the fridge every month.

    More about the truffles:

    The Intrigue of Aaron Barthel, Master of the Ephemeral Chocolate Truffle - Article by Dr. Chocolate, Kristie Lesslie

    Kickstarter Project for New Packaging - 2012

    We love this smooth ganache, full of expression and opportunity. We are so proud of our truffle’s history and its’ impact on the Seattle food scene. A dream was fulfilled. Now it’s time to dream anew.

    We’ve made this decision for a few reasons. The production space required to produce the truffles is being displaced (next to the viaduct, soon to be prime real estate). Hand-crafting each truffle, hand-wrapping them, hand-stickering them, hand-folding each box, hand-packing them, and then the retail effort required to lead sampling flights, introduce, and educate the customer can be exhausting and expensive.

     Aaron is feeling passionate about investing his time and attention in our newest creations. Please welcome our bean-to-chocolate product line:


     

    Broken Slab
    Craft chocolate made by Intrigue.
    Minimally processed, hand formed, and rough tempered.
    This is chocolate for snacking.
    *Vegan, no Soy, no Nuts, no Gluten

    Our “Broken Slab” are bite-sized craft-chocolate medallions or little broken slabs, and in true Intrigue fashion, made with inclusions like toasted sesame, cherries, candied ginger, popped amaranth, strawberries, etc. They are DELICIOUS, they are already selling out in our retail stores, and they are the future of Intrigue Chocolate Co. You can purchase Broken Slab Snacking Chocolate online now, as well.

    Intrigue will continue to produce our cocoa mixes and spiced chocolate bars. Syrups, sugars, and teas will continue in a limited capacity.

    We hope that you will give these new inclusion chocolates a try. We’ve found they have wide appeal. Either way, thank you for your support of Intrigue Chocolate Co, and for loving the ganache truffles and truffle bars as much as we do, and for being advocates of Intrigue!

    From the Chocolate Exhibit at MOHAI, 2014

    Best – Intrigue Chocolate / Aaron Barthel

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