Serving Suggestion

Serving Suggestion

Chocolaterie Stam Pineapple Tapas

Boca is what Central Americans call them. In Mexico, they are known as botanas. In Spain, they are called tapas.

Designed to encourage conversation, the serving of tapas, allows social interaction without the concern of eating an entire meal.  Also, in some countries it is customary for diners to stand and move about while eating tapas.  It is a cuisine that is exquisite, yet informal.

 

Stam Chocolate Pineapple Tapas

Ingredients:

Chocolaterie Stam 70% Extra Dark Chocolate Drops
1 pineapple
*Optional:  toasted almonds, toasted coconut, or graham cracker crumbs

Directions:

Core and peel fresh pineapple. Slice into 1 1/2 inch slices making them rings.

Place in large non-stick skillet and grilled on medium to high heat until slightly golden. Turn and repeat on the other side until all are toasted. Set aside to cool. Tamp pineapple rings lightly with paper towels to remove excess moisture (moisture may cause your chocolate to seize).  After cooling, cut rings into sixths and place at the end of a toothpick or skewer.

Melt Chocolaterie Stam 70% Extra Dark Chocolate Drops on low heat either in double boiler or microwave method.

Once melted, dip the skewered pineapple chunks in the 70% Extra Dark Stam Chocolate and place on wax paper covered tray.  Place in refrigerator until set.

*After pineapple is dipped in chocolate and before chocolate is set,  place the skewered fruit on a bed of optional toppings.

We at Chocolaterie Stam want you think about our chocolate the same way—sophisticated yet approachable; in other words, delicious and affordable.  Can you think of other ways to combine chocolate and fruit for your next intimate gathering?

National Jumping Frog Day is May 13th

kikkers
 Looking for a way to celebrate a Tuesday?

It has been 148 years since Mark Twain published his first truly successful piece of writing. Known originally as Jim Smiley and His Jumping Frog, the subsequent The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County is a story that was later, to Twain’s surprise, found to bear a striking resemblance to an ancient Greek tale.

Regardless of his unintentional plagiarism, we find the story charming and clever. We wish that we had known him, and that he had tried our “kikkers.” (Kikker is the dutch name for frogs.) Made with pecans, caramel and chocolate the kikker is Stam’s version of the famous “turtle.”

 

 

 

Every Day Should Be Mother’s Day

MomsLoveStam

Mother’s Day is May 11, 2014 and she looks good for a century old (or 5 centuries, depending how you look at it).

Celebrating 100 years anniversary this year, Mother’s Day became a national holiday in 1914 after President Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation. Surprisingly, many senators were not on board with the idea, as they felt celebrating mothers for just a day was insulting.

While Anna Jarvis is credited with starting the holiday, there is another celebration that dates to the 16th century that is believed to be the origin of the holiday. On the fourth Sunday of Lent, in Europe, people would celebrate “Mothering Sunday.” 

Mothering Sunday, sometimes known as Mother’s Day, is held on the fourth Sunday of Lent. It is exactly three weeks before Easter Sunday and usually falls in the second half of March or the beginning of April.

Traditionally, people visited the church where they were baptized. Mothering Sunday is now a celebration of motherhood. People visit and take gifts to their mothers and grandmothers.

How do you appreciate your Mom?

 

 

 

 

 

We’re Minding our Bees for Youse

beeterfly

 It may become a little more difficult to say, “pass the honey, Honey” in the future, as the fates of honeybee colonies continue to look grim. It is estimated that last year in 2013 in Iowa, 70% of the commercial honeybee industry collapsed due to harsh weather.

Honey production, although important, is not the only important task that honeybees provide. Pollination is the real value of honey bees. We all like to eat a diversity of foods in our diets. One-third of our global food supply depends on pollinators and much of our world’s biodiversity relies on the services they provide.

Plant, Grow, Fly

That’s why we applaud the work of the The Plant.Grow.Fly initiative. This worthwhile project is providing a gardening how-to guide for Iowans to support natural pollinators such as honeybees or butterflies.

Using region-specific garden recipes, you can plant the flowers and grasses that benefit local species the most.

The Plant.Grow.Fly project also is backed by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Science Center of Iowa, Drake University, Polk County Conservation, Warren County Conservation, Madison County Conservation, Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden and Des Moines Area Community College’s West Campus as well as a national program, Monarch Joint Venture.

Stam’s does their little part

“It is believed that no effort is too small and that each of us can do our part to preserve the biodiversity around us — just by planning gardens in our yards.” says Jesse Lowry, Blank Park Zoo’s conservation coordinator.

So, this May 2014, Chocolaterie Stam with the help of David Hance, will plant on the corporate campus in Des Moines, a small pilot plot of butterfly and bee friendly natives. Additionally, Chocolaterie Stam has established with the help of apiarist friends, a hive of honeybees for eventual use as a natural ingredient in one our future bonbons. We will continue to check-in with our progress over this first summer and keep you posted on the “buzz”.

Do you Crackle, Kladdkaka, or Hagelslag?

World Chocolate

(L to R) Crackle, Kladdkaka, and Hagelslag

It occurs to us, at Chocolaterie Stam that, because we are of Dutch origin, we may enjoy common foods differently than our American friends do.  Don’t get us wrong, we loooooove (six o’s!) a good American apple pie, yet shouldn’t we stop to consider how the rest of the world loves their chocolate?

The Aussies eat crackles, and the Swedes love their kladdkaka…

Aussie Crackle
Easy to make, the Australian crackle is often a sweet treat associated with children’s parties, along with “fairy bread”.

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 tbsp. Chocolaterie Stam baking cocoa powder
  • ¾ cup coconut oil (available at most gourmet and health food markets)
  • ½ cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
  • ½ tsp. salt (optional)
  • 2 cups rice crispies

Directions:

  1. Sift the cocoa and confectioners’ sugar into a bowl. Whisk together gently.
  2. To melt the coconut oil, immerse the jar in hot water for a few minutes. Measure out ¾ of a cup and whisk it into the cocoa and sugar until mixture is smooth.
  3. Whisk in the shredded coconut, salt and then the rice crispies.
  4. Spoon into cupcake holders and refrigerate.

Yields: 12 chocolate crackles

Swedish Kladdkaka
Known in Sweden as kladdkaka, or chocolate sticky cake, is another way that the world enjoys chocolate.

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup cake or all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 4 Tbsp. Chocolaterie Stam baking cocoa
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla sugar (or substitute 1 tsp. vanilla extract)

Preparation: 

Preheat oven to 350º. Lightly butter a round 8” or 9” springform or cake pan.

Whisk together the eggs and sugar. Gradually mix in the flour and salt.

Stir cocoa and vanilla sugar (or vanilla extract) into melted butter until well-combined. Add cocoa-butter mixture to batter, stirring well until any lumps are removed.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Cook in 350º oven for 25 minutes. Check for doneness; the edges of the cake should be crisp but the center still moist and sticky (Tip: A good test is to insert a toothpick first into the cake’s edge: it should come out clean. Then, insert it into the center of the cake. It should come out smeared with gooey, melting chocolate). Do not overcook (but if you do, you’ll have stellar brownies as a compensation prize!).

Dust with powdered sugar and serve with whipped cream, if desired.

Yield: 6-8 servings, for people with restraint.

 

Dutch Hagelslag

The Dutch love their chocolate “hagelslag” or chocolate hail.  No need to use a recipe, just put the purchased sprinkles on buttered bread and enjoy.

Is this the first you’ve heard of chocolate kladdkaka, crackle or hagelslag?  What other international ways do you know of eating chocolate?  Leave a comment and let us know.

Tea for Two Lips

In honor of the Kentucky Derby, we have taken liberties with the drink of choice for this annual equestrian promenade.  We call it a Mint Tulip. MintTulip Stam Mint Tulip Iced Orange Tea Prepare Pickwick Orange Tea

Orange Pickwick Available at Chocolaterie Stam Stores

Orange Pickwick Available at Chocolaterie Stam Stores

In one quart of boiling water add 4 Pickwick Orange Real Fruit Tea Bags. Steep for 5 minutes, then remove bags.  Allow to cool to room temperature.

Mint Infused syrup 

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 10 springs fresh mint

Directions (in 2 pint storage jars)

  1. In a large sauce pan combine the water and sugar on medium heat. Carefully, mix the ingredients well over the heat making sure to not splash anything out of the pot. Once the sugar has dissolved (about 5 minutes) place the washed mint springs in the pot. Turn the heat off and let the mint seep for 5 minutes.
  2. Carefully pour the syrup into 2 pint size mason jars. Divide the sprigs of mint evenly amongst the jar.
  3. Allow the syrup to rest until they reach room temperature then seal and store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
mint ice tea

Serving Suggestion

To assemble the Stam Mint tulip (per 16 oz Iced Tea Glass)

1. Add 2 oz. syrup to cup.

2. Add brewed Pickwick Orange iced tea.

3. Stir well.

4. Fill with ice.

5. Garnish as desired.

And we’re off to the races!

The Stambrella Project

Print

The Stambrellas for Hawthorne Hill Project 

As Easter approaches and our days loll toward the month of May, it occurs to us at Chocolaterie Stam, that,  Mother’s Day is just a hop, (pun intended) skip and a jump around the corner. To celebrate April’s transition to May, Stam’s has asked a coterie of local artists to hand paint umbrellas for one our favorite charities—Hawthorne Hill.

In the month of April, Chocolaterie Stam Des Moines will hang artisan-designed umbrellas in their Ingersoll and Valley West Mall store. Customers will vote for their favorite by “wishing them to win”—throwing donations and money into their favorite designs.  The Stam “brella” which collects the most  “wishes” will be awarded the Best in “Show”ers and a 40 piece box of Stam Chocolates.

Rules: 

1. Stam will provide fabric paintable umbrella for each artist to interpret the best use of color, texture and design.

2. Artists must submit the ‘brella design by April 21st, 2014 at 2814 Ingersoll Avenue for installation either at Valley West Chocolaterie Stam or Ingersoll Avenue Chocolaterie Stam

3. All “judging” will be by placing donations (wishes)  in the umbrellas with all proceeds going to Hawthorne Hill.

4.  “Judging” will be complete on May 05, 12pm Midnight

5.  Artist and winner will be notified by Facebook and twitter May 07, 2014.

6.  All ‘brella artist entries will be auctioned by silent bid at our Mother’s day open house, Thursday, May 08, 2014.

7. All proceeds will be donated to Hawthorne Hill