There is one simple truth that women across the nation understand that our male counterparts don't quite get-chocolate in and of itself is its own form of therapy. Rich, delicious therapy. There is something comforting about taking a bite of chocolate that instantly helps us feel a tiny bit better about whatever is stressing us out. What a lot of us-male and female-don't realize is how good chocolate can truly be for us.
Julie Pech, founder of The Chocolate Therapist, knows and she has crafted an entire business around the numerous health benefits of eating dark chocolate. She managed to merge the two loves of her life, nutrition and chocolate, into creating her dream of becoming a published author. After 16 months of research, she wrote The Chocolate Therapist, A User's Guide to the Extraordinary Health Benefits of Chocolate. Once the book was available, she made it her personal mission to convert the chocolate loving public into dark chocolate fanatics. As her popularity grew, Julie found herself in great demand-radio and television stations were requesting to interview her and she was often featured in newspapers and magazines. She began to incorporate additional chocolate knowledge into her talks and soon found herself making presentations on the proper way to taste chocolate and pairing wine and chocolate. She hired a local chocolatier to make her custom recipes, eventually buying the shop herself when the owners decided to sell.
Julie's unique recipes are hand crafted from all natural ingredients and never contain preservatives, dyes or artificial flavors. These tempting creations can be purchased in her Littleton, Colorado shop or through The Chocolate Therapist website. I was fortunate and received a variety of Julie's chocolates to sample and my mouth has never been happier! The sample package I was sent contained the following chocolates: Down by the Sea Salt Bar, Double Shot Bar, Sea Salt Caramels, Toffee Bark and Peanut Butter Meltaways. Unfortunately, I am highly allergic to almonds and was unable to try the Down by the Sea Salt bar or the Toffee Bark, but I have co-workers and roommates who were more than happy to fill in for me. The toffee nearly caused a riot at the restaurant where I work. Comments I overheard were "Oh my God, this is amazing!" "This is the best toffee I have ever eaten." and "Can you get me more of this? I can't stop myself from eating it.". My roommates shared the Down by the Sea Salt bar and said that it was very, very good chocolate. I have no direct quotes from either of them, but the smiles on their faces spoke volumes.
I shared the Double Shot Bar with my oldest son, who loves his chocolate as rich and as dark as his coffee. Upon popping a piece into his mouth and savoring it for a moment he smiled and said "Pretty good, Mom!" High praise for a kid that almost ordered anchovies on his pizza at lunch today. This bar is made with a 55% dark chocolate and ground espresso beans. It has a delightfully dark hue, possesses a beautiful sounding snap and a offers up a deep, rich flavor that is second to none.
I shared the Peanut Butter Meltaways with a co-worker of mine that I know has a penchant for chocolate and peanut butter. Upon popping a piece into his mouth, his eyes lit up as he exclaimed "Oh my!". I have been known to ply this particular co-worker with Reese cups when he gets in a bad mood, so I knew this was high praise indeed. Instead of a straight peanut butter filling that most peanut butter candies possess, The Chocolate Therapist's filling is a blend of chocolate and peanut butter together that offers a deeper, richer flavor that isn't as overpowering as straight peanut butter can be. I found it unusual and intoxicating at the same time.
Last, and certainly not least, are the hedonistic Sea Salt Caramels. I saved these specifically for myself and savored every last decadent morsel. Rich buttery caramel is enveloped with dark chocolate then sprinkled with sea salt. The flavor combination is absolutely amazing! I have been a fan of caramels since I was a child and I have never experienced a candy quite like these.
I am a candy crafter, so I know first hand of the time and dedication it takes to create unique recipes, and Julie's are above those of any other chocolatier I have tried-myself included. If you are looking for a treat for yourself or a loved one, I will highly recommend The Chocolate Therapist to anyone searching for a truly memorable chocolate experience.