This Peruvian chocolate was once thought extinct.  They managed to bring it back and Montage Deer Valley makes it the centerpiece of their housemade chocolates.  featured post *tasteologie

This Peruvian chocolate was once thought extinct. They managed to bring it back and Montage Deer Valley makes it the centerpiece of their housemade chocolates.

September 30th, 2011

What impressed me most from my visit to Montage Deer Valley was their commitment to making things from scratch.  Part of this practice is rooted in the traditional mountain value of self reliance, but it also provides a great opportunity to use amazing ingredients.  Pastry chef Raymond Lammers heads up the pastry team which has taken on not only the desserts for the restaurants at the resorts, but also makes the chocolates.

This is a piece of Pure Nacional. After groves of it were lost in Ecuador, this rare cocoa variety was believed to be almost extinct. A valley up in the mountains of Peru was recently discovered. After a lot of science and hard work the wild cocoa trees there were discovered to be Pure Nacional. The beans are hand harvested, and sent to Switzerland for processing. Chef Lammers has secured a supply and shares this amazingly floral chocolate variety to guests of the hotel. It is unlike any chocolate I've ever tried before and is a wonderful treat especially in confections of the hotel.
Here they line the molds with chocolate. The key is to wait until just the right moment to scrape of the excess. If the chocolate is too warm the edges will smear... if it's too cold then the edges will be brittle and break.
They line the bottoms of the molds with different colorants to make these candies as beautiful as they are delicous.
The diversity is truly inspiring. The pastry chefs are constantly coming up with new flavor combinations.
Over the course of a few night's turndown service you end up with quite the collection!
You can also try their chocolates at the bar. Vista Lounge offers a chocolate and wine flight. Each chocolate is presented in a simple bar form as well as a truffle. It really gives you an opportunity to study the differences between them. The Peruvian chocolate really stands out here. Its bright floral notes are brought out even more by the fruit flavors in the wine.
Every night Montage Deer Valley sets up a make-your-own s'mores bar outside near the fire. They offer hot chocolate, a variety of housemade marshmallows (try the cinnamon!), and some of their in-house chocolate for a truly artisanal s'more treat. Long sticks protect against burnt fingers and a little DIY marshmallow roasting is the perfect way to wind down after a day of exploring Utah.
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