Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Wedding Bells

Tis the season for weddings and weekends are quickly filling up with parties, favours and fun around Ottawa. The Candy Store has a pretty full dance card, but there’s always room for more. We’re delighted to announce that our little Westboro treat boutique has been given a shout-out in the most recent issue (Fall/Winter 2009) of Wedding Bells magazine!

Under the heading of “Candyland” in the Ottawa Planning Guide section, Wedding Bells has this to say about your favourite sweet spot:

The Candy Store (350 Richmond Road., 613-728-7500, is Ottawa’s premiere treat boutique. With hand-chosen confectionary from around the globe, it’s impossible not to find that perfect sweet. Their shop is literally a feast for the eyes and their selection will make you feel like a kid again. For those with a serious sweet tooth, opt for the Candy Catering service – where their team will come to the reception and set up a delicious buffet.”

We’re positively blushing and couldn’t be happier! Thank you so much Wedding Bells magazine for the lovely nod and we agree – nothing beats a candy buffet at weddings or events! For those planning an event but unsure of what a buffet would entail, give us a call, send us an email or stop by – our Wedding Coordinators would love to give you a personal consultation and assist you with all your sugary desires. We still have dates available for 2009, but are already booking 2010 for those who want to cross something sweet off their to-do list before the New Year!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

New kid in town

We're always on the hunt for something new to offer our friends at The Candy Store and nothing makes us happier than finding something we truly enjoy. We just know that chocoholics are going to rejoice at our most recent find: Nogal Chocolate from Switzerland! Nogal is a little company outside of Basel that makes very smooth and very flavourful chocolate out of the very finest ingredients, sourcing their cocoa beans from Africa and Central America.

Nogal Milk Deluxe and Nogal Dark Deluxe (72%) are the straight goods - full chocolate flavour for when you're craving something without all the fruits, nuts and spices that are currently en vogue. And these bars are hefty too! 100 gram bars wrapped in foil for freshness (remember last week's blog entry on fresh treats??) and slipped into a case that, once opened, the remainder of the bar will slip back into (we know, we tried!).

While we heartily recommend the 72% dark bar, we want to give some love to the milk chocolate bar as well - when was the last time you had real, honest milk chocolate? A gourmet milk chocolate bar, we all know, is hard to come by, so make sure you give this one a taste. The creamy, smooth texture and taste are heavenly


Thursday, July 2, 2009

Melting Point

Summer is all about the heat. From a warm summer breeze to the stifling interior of a car left in the sun, after paying our dues in the long winter months, we’re happy to have heat! Lately we’ve been asked about how the heat affects candy and chocolate, so it seems timely to share some tips on keeping your confections at their optimum level during any weather condition summer may throw your way.

The National Confectioners Association has a lot of really fantastic tips on the life expectancy and ideal storage conditions for treats. In fact, we happen to follow a lot of the same guidelines here at The Candy Store (as well as a few tailored just to us – for instance, our candy rarely stays in the store long – a month is tops for most items!). These tips are simple and easy to apply at home:

• A good rule of thumb to keep in mind for all candy and chocolate is to store them at a temperature no higher than 70ºF (21ºC – that means storing your goodies in the car is not recommended) and with relatively low humidity
• Dark chocolate that is wrapped in foil can last up to two years, but under a year for milk or white. Consider a dark, dry cupboard for storage (preferably not above the fridge where unnoticed heat may be directed) and place in a sealed container if you’re serious about prolonging your consumption
• All chocolate has the ability to “bloom,” that is, the cocoa butter in the bar separates from the cocoa solids due to an increase in temperature – keeping your chocolate at the optimum 70ºF will protect it from blooming. It is also not recommended that chocolate be kept at colder temperatures – when brought back to room temperature the warming can cause bloom too!
• Candy such as gummies can last up to a year if unopened, but let’s be honest, we’re opening them! Count on a maximum of nine months in a cool, dry place out of direct light (office desk drawer anyone?)
• Hard candies will pick up moisture, so make sure to store them in an air-tight container and they’ll be around for a year!
• Our most important tip for keeping those sweets around just a little longer would be: don’t share the location of your stash! Just kidding, candy is better shared and we love having a dish or two around the house just for that reason!

So as we head into the hottest days of summer, consider your confectionery friends and their comfort in your cupboard – when you have a craving you’ll be glad you did!