A little while ago, Greg had Nicole Desormiers, our in-house chocolatiere increase the heat in the fillings for our much beloved “Molten Chocolates” by using our Scorpion Pepper Jelly for the filling. Once the new hotter chocolates were ready for sale, Greg asked me to announce that the World’s Hottest Chocolates were now available.
Having been making the only real “hot chocolates” known to mankind for ages already, we didn’t quite expect what happened thereafter. Chocolatiers Chef Ricky Sanders and Renee Rohrbach of Madision, New Jersey, whose chocolatier business specializes in single source cocoa and unique unheard of ingredients, challenged the title. Known for making a spicy chocolate toffee, which I truly enjoy, they felt that our claim was easily challenged and would create a confection to rival ours.
Thus this war was born. (This link shows the “pissing contest” that started the “war”.
Our friend, Vlogger Ted Barrus, offered to arrange judges for the challenge and we endeavoured to get the chocolates all in one place to ensure their safe delivery to the judges.
The judges chosen for the competition were named and the challenge was on.
*Ted Barrus, Ted the Fire Breathing Idiot; http://www.youtube.com/user/tedbarrus
*Si Blakey, reviewer for Peppers and More; http://www.youtube.com/user/evilaim
*Jeff Smith, Cutlery Lover and reviewer of all things cool; http://www.youtube.com/user/cutlerylover
*Matt Zion, Wreckless Eating; http://www.youtube.com/user/wrecklesseating
*Brad Bishop, Bishop Brad; http://www.youtube.com/user/dbaptizt
*Zach Leaf, Hot sauce collector and reviewer; http://www.youtube.com/user/knotsnvolts
While Chef Ricky and Renee created the concoction that would compete against the Peppermaster Scorpion Chocolate, Greg and I tried to get the chocolates to Madison. We packed up a box with (what we thought was) lots of protection, an ice bag, sealed edges, etc. And sent it “overnight” using UPS. Big mistake. Apparently, everything that UPS Canada sends into the US makes a first stop in, get this… Louisville Kentucky. Obviously it is flown there. Then, the packages are removed from one plane to be sent to their “Regional hub”, the North-Eastern Seaboard’s hub is somewhere in New England, and then it is put onto trucks and sent off to its destination. In this case, Madison, New Jersey.
Needless to say, that with temperatures in excess of 100 degrees farenheit in all locations, sitting on the tarmac in Louisville, nevermind New England, by the time the package arrived in New Jersey, it was a visual mess — smelled good though. You can see the results of that ill-fated attempt on Ricky’s Youtube channel.
So, delayed by a week, Greg and I drove down to meet Chef Ricky and Renee in Lake George, New York. Here’s the video of Greg and I tasting the P-Bomb during that meeting. — Remind me, one of these days to write about Lake George. It’s the first time I’ve ever seen a full blown, functioning carousel that is obviously a permanent fixture, in the middle of town — with the sole exception of Disney, that is. But, I digress.
We handed off the chocolates to Rick and Renee, had a half-decent lunch, (Let me make the quick comment here that being married to a brilliant chef is an invitation to dislike the food cooked/served just about everywhere but home), traded off presents and returned home to await the delivery of the competition chocolates to the judges.
For the last two weeks, Greg and I have been in production, so it was a hard week to wait on pins and needles for the first judges’ Vlogs to come out.
Well, the videos have been posted and the results are as follows:
All of the judges, with the sole exception of Wreckless Eating’s, Matt Zion, gave the points to Madison West Chocolatiers.
At the moment of this writing, the sole Canadian judge, Si Blakey of Artic Chilli’s has not yet been able to post the results of his scoring as he has spent this past weekend moving.. He’s given the scores to me via Facebook, and his votes also put Madison West in the lead. He says the video will be posted as soon as he is able.
I think it’s safe to say that our formidable competitors have kicked our proverbial chocolatier butts! With a score of 5 to 1.
I was originally reticent about having a hot chocolate comptetition with two professional chocolatiers whose business has been built around competitions and amazing chocolate confections, but all in good fun. The product called the P-Bomb by Madison West Chocolatiers, definitely has the distinction of being hotter than our Peppermaster Scorpion Chocolates and it is, as Greg and I had to concede, softer, milkier chocolate than the absolutely wonderful Fair Trade, organic certified dark chocolate we use.
Before I leave you to watch the videos, I’ll make a few clarifications for the Vloggers, many observations of which were incorrect.
Here are the actual ingredients of the two chocolates…
Peppermaster Scorpion Chocolate ingredients:
Chocolate Coating: sugar, cocoa mass, cocoa butter, lecithin, vanilla.
Pepper Jelly Centers: Fair Trade Certified Organic cane sugar, fresh naga peppers, vinegar, citric acid, fresh scorpion peppers, pectin.
Madison West P-Bomb Chocolate ingredients:
P~Bomb ingredients, 70% single origin dark chocolate, pecans, dried cherry, sugar, honey, egg white, special blend of pepper powder from Volcanic Peppers, scorpion peppers, herbs, salt, Pure Evil from Texas Creek
As you can see, neither company used Moruga Scorpion peppers. Contrary to some comments, Brooks Pepperfire Foods in making the Scorpion Chocolate uses only fresh peppers; no dried peppers or powders were used.
Neither company actually put pepper into their chocolate, so, any heat tasted in either chocolate enrobage had leeched there from the “filling”. Chocolates tend to be warm when they are made, so the melting point where the chocolate and the filling meets, would have become spicy simply through osmosis.
As you can also see, Madison West REALLY did have chocolate in their recipe, even though the packages sent to the V-judges did not actually include chocolate it really was a result of human error.
Peppermaster chocolates were made to be sold into an established market, so in a sense they are indeed Hershey-Bar style confections. Madison’s P-Bomb was deliberately confectioned to defeat Peppermaster from the “official title”.
Some folks will remark that the Peppermaster chocolates had different shapes and weren’t exactly identical. This is owing to the fact that the original packages of chocolate, where care WAS taken to ensure that the judges all had the same shapes, ate into our supply of chocolates which were of various shapes because those were what we had in stock to replace the ones that UPS left sitting in the sun.
Join us in congratulating Madison West Chocolatiers’ P-Bomb on winning the official title of “World’s Hottest Chocolate”.
Now, I’ll leave you to watch the videos while Greg ruminates on whether or not to launch a rematch.
You can order Madison West’s P-Bomb on their website at http://www.madisonchocolatier.com or on their Facebook shop at http://www.facebook.com/madisonchocolatierswest
Send some love to the judges. We think they all did a fantastic job.