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Counting Sheep: The Creation of Sophie the Sheep
By Purdys Chocolatier
3/17/2017 4:58:00 PM  

Sophie the Sheep plushie toy

Sophie the Sheep is a pretty special sheep: She's a baaa-utiful cuddle buddy from the tip of her squishy nose to her fluffy tail (and what a fluffy tail!).

But that's not what makes Sophie really special.

Sophie started out an original sketch by Carrolyn, Merchandising & Visual Coordinator at Purdys Chocolatier. Carrolyn chose the colour of Sophie's velvety skin and soft wool, the prettiest button eyes and exactly where each stitch that makes up Sophie's nose and eyelashes had to be placed.

We think Sophie's sketch is not so much a sketch as it is a portrait—doesn't it look just like Sophie posed for a picture?

Sophie also stars on the cover of our vintage-inspired Waiting for Spring Tin.

You might also spot Finnegan the plushy bunny on the tin so if you're looking for a cute, sweet, heartwarming and so very delicious gift for someone this Easter, grab the Waiting for Spring Tin and make it come to life with Finnegan and Sophie.




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Categories: Awesome Initiatives, Gift Guide
J is for Jasmine, Joy and Justgiveittomenow
By Purdys Chocolatier
3/16/2017 4:05:00 PM  

Jasmine Caramel

Hello world, we've just launched Jasmine Caramel, and it's a gorgeous piece both in looks and taste!

Inside a creamy milk chocolate shell, you'll taste a lush liquid caramel that's just bursting with floral jasmine flavour.

Each shell is speckled with naturally coloured cocoa butter, and you can read more about this incredibly cool process in our previous blog post: Into the Dome: Cocoa Butter Spraying Process.

Jasmine Caramel was inspired by Songkran, the Thai New Year, and by its famous Water Festival where thousands of people bring on the new year with epic water fights.

Songkran comes from a Sanskrit word that's literally translated as "astrological passage", which is another way of saying "transformation" or "change".

In Thai culture, water symbolizes purification and it's used to wash away bad luck to start fresh for a new year.

As for Jasmine, it's a hugely popular flavour in Thai desserts so it makes for a fitting tribute to Songkran—but it's also a piece that celebrates Spring (#nomoresnow), new things and the joy of chocolate.

We're sure you'll agree when you try it.




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Categories: Ingredients
Chocolate Bunnies, History Of
By Purdys Chocolatier
3/9/2017 3:01:00 PM  

History of chocolate bunnies

The very first written record of any kind of egg-laying bunny comes from the 1600s, in Germany.

The Oschter Haws (Easter Hare) brought coloured eggs as gifts for children. In later versions of the story, she hides the eggs in the garden for children to find.

Yes, she.

The Oschter Haws was decidedly a female hare. Hares have never been domesticated (unlike rabbits) but they are closely related to rabbits. So how did the Oschter Haws become the Easter Bunny, which most people identify as a male rabbit?

In the 1700s, German immigrants (later called the Pennsylvania Dutch) brought the Oschter Haws to the Eastern United States—along with an established tradition of chocolate.

There’s no record of who invented the chocolate Easter bunny but chances are good it was someone of German descent. Tins for chocolate moulds that date back to 1890 have been found in Munich, Germany.

Meanwhile circa 1890 in Pennsylvania, drugstore owner Robert L. Strohecker crafted a 1.5 meter (5’) chocolate rabbit as a way to advertise Easter.

And that's all it took. By 1925, chocolate bunnies had, ahem, multiplied in popularity. Some even had accessories like bowties or hats, which gave them a gentlemanly vibe.

We dug through the Purdys archives and found a fabulous photo (dating circa 1980s) of chocolate bunnies on display at our Kingsway Factory Kitchen in Vancouver, Canada, which is where we still craft all of our chocolates.

Charles on display at Kingsway

The largest bunny on the right is Charles, our 12 kilogram bunny named in honour of Charles Flavelle, then-owner of Purdys Chocolatier. You can still buy Charles today in select Purdys shops (look for him in the display window, you can’t miss him!).

And did you know that a group of bunnies is called a fluffle?

We have a whole fluffle of chocolate bunnies, some hollow, some solid but all made from only 100% sustainable cocoa, to guarantee a Hoppy Easter for everyone.




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Categories: Ingredients
Whiskey, Whisky, What?
By Purdys Chocolatier
2/27/2017 4:32:00 PM  

All about Whisky/Whiskey

What better way to cheer on St. Patrick's Day than with whiskey, Ireland's unofficial official drink?

Specifically, Irish Whiskey Truffle, which is a deep dark chocolate truffle made with Bushmills Irish Whiskey from Ireland’s oldest distillery (licensed in 1608, whoa).

Whiskey (or whisky, more on that in a bit!) is crafted from a mash of malted grains like barley, corn or wheat. The amount of each grain used, where the whiskey is distilled, and how the whiskey is aged is what creates different types like Irish whiskey, Scottish whisky, bourbon, scotch and moonshine.

‘Whiskey’ comes from the Gaelic phrase uisce betha, meaning ‘water of life’, a translation of the Latin aqua vitae, which was used to describe spirits (not the spooky kind, the drinking kind!).

Whiskey with an ‘e’ refers to the Irish or American liquors. Whisky without the ‘e’ refers to liquors distilled in Scotland, Canada and Japan. The plural of whiskey is whiskeys while the plural of whisky is whiskies. Still with us? An easy way to remember which is which is by keeping in mind that there's a 'e' in Ireland and America but there's no 'e' in Scotland, Canada or Japan.

And while you can buy whisk(e)y made in the USA, Canada or Japan, it's the Scots and Irish who are best known for it. Whisk(e)y was most certainly invented in either Scotland or Ireland sometime during the Middle Ages (and we hear they're still 'discussing' who should claim the credit for inventing it).

The process of making whiskey (or whisky) is as individual as the maker. It all starts with the grain, generally barley, steeped in water and then left to germinate. During this process, starch in the grain is converted into sugar by special enzymes. After about 6-7 days of germination, the grain (now called malt) is dried to halt the germination process.

The dried malt is ground into grist, mixed with hot water, then yeast is added to begin the fermentation process.

Lastly, the mixture is distilled at least twice, and then aged in wooden casks, traditionally oak casks.

However, the Bushmills Irish Whiskey we chose specifically for our Irish Whiskey Truffle is aged in former Oloroso (a type of sherry) casks, which gives the whiskey rich, fruity notes that are the ideal complement to our rich dark chocolate.

So grab a few Irish Whiskey Truffles and get ready to cheers, or as the Irish say, Sláinte (pronounced slawn-cha, meaning 'health').




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Categories: Ingredients
Matcha, Matcha Man: How matcha green tea became a thing
By Purdys Chocolatier
1/25/2017 12:38:00 PM  



If you’ve been by our website or a shop recently, you might have spotted Matcha.

Our take on matcha is a creamy ganache crafted with real matcha green tea powder, butter and white chocolate (made from only 100% sustainable cocoa) inside a milk chocolate shell.

But what exactly is matcha, how’s it different than other teas and why is our chocolatier Rachel McKinley excited to creatively craft chocolate confections using matcha?

Matcha and regular green tea come from the same tea plant, Camellia sinensis, native to China. But sometime in the early part of the 12th century, Japanese Zen Buddhist monks brought back from China a new kind of tea: one that had been steamed and ground into a fine powder.

In other words, matcha.

And while matcha became less and less popular in China, it became a staple of meditation for Zen Buddhist monks and then a favourite of the warrior class and the Shogun rulers. Today, matcha is essential for tea ceremonies throughout Japan, and around the world it has gained in popularity as an ingredient in both sweet and savoury dishes.

Matcha tea leaves are prepared in a special way. A few weeks before harvesting, the tea bushes are protected from direct sunlight with cloths, and these shaded conditions stimulate the plant to create more chlorophyll and amino acids, deepening the flavour of the tea leaves.

Whole leaves are expertly picked, steamed to preserve the colour and nutrients, then dried, deveined and destemmed. The leaves that are deemed ideal for matcha tea are known as tencha.

Tencha is ground into a fine powder in a very slow, gentle process done with large granite wheels. The process is done this way to avoid scorching the leaves. That fine powder is called matcha, literally “ground tea”.

Matcha has a strong, robust umami flavour that plays really well with cocoa. Have a taste.




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Categories: Ingredients
Recent Posts
Counting Sheep: The Creation of Sophie the Sheep
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J is for Jasmine, Joy and Justgiveittomenow
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Chocolate Bunnies, History Of
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Whiskey, Whisky, What?
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Matcha, Matcha Man: How matcha green tea became a thing
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Into the Dome: Cocoa Butter Spraying Process
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