Monday, August 22, 2011

Chocolate Lovers Cruise

We've just returned from our second annual Chocolate Lovers Cruise. This year instead of having chocolatiers on board that made a new treat every day, we had several different Maine-made chocolates to sample.

The first day was needhams from Occasional Cakes and Candies of Holden, Maine. Needhams are a traditional Maine treat that my mom (and Aiden's mom!) makes at Christmastime. The challenge for our guests was to guess the two main ingredients (aside from chocolate). Everyone guessed the obvious one - coconut. But no one guessed the not-so-obvious one - potatoes!

The next day we had seen Isle au Haut, home of Black Dinah Chocolatiers, as we sailed across East Penobscot Bay and anchored in Merchant Row. In honor of our proximity to the island, we enjoyed a sampling of their treats. These chocolates are as pleasing to the eye as they are to the palate! One is a white chocolate heart with gold leaf on top. Another is one of my favorites - a caramel with Maine sea salt on top!

Their packaging is creative with ribbons and a little paper scroll and inside the box is the description of each chocolate so you can identify what you're eating.

The next day we enjoyed six different flavors of chocolate bar from Coastline Confections as well as the most beautiful chocolates of all - individually hand air-brushed creations from Chocolatier Blue. These chocolates looked like jewelry!

Both Coastline Confections and Chocolatier Blue incorporated chili pepper in some of their chocolate. Some people really, really love that. I'm still unconvinced and tend toward the sweet and salty combos.

Wally whipped up a bunch of chocolate desserts including chocolate chip cookies and chocolate cake with chocolate frosting.

I made white chocolate schooners to decorate the cake. They were a big hit especially when people realized they were not plastic but that they were edible!

We also had milk chocolate lobsters from Safe Harbor Chocolates in every cabin like we always do!

There are many more chocolatiers in Maine and we plan to have even more samples next year!

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