In 2003, when Gail Ambrosius learned that it was likely she was going to be laid off from her job as a cartographer with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, she decided to take the leap of her life. She was 43 years old, a single mom, and she had a dream that had been steeping in her soul for decades. She wanted to make chocolates—dark, delicious gourmet truffles like the ones she had devoured on a high school trip to Paris. When the layoff materialized, she was ready. She had a business plan in hand. Then she want back to school, taking an online class from Ecole Chocolat, and returning to France to study under the renowned Valrhona and Cluizel chocolatiers.
When she returned to Madison, Wis., going from business to business with her swoon-worthy truffles in late 2004, she discovered that she was on to something special. That first holiday season, friends and family helped her out at her tiny shop. Within six months, she hired her first employee. Now an award-winning chocolatier, she ships her deliciously creative small-batch, handmade chocolates around the country.
Based in Madison, Wis., she and her small staff make each chocolate by hand in small batches at her shop in the city’s funky East Side. True to her Madison roots, Gail is progressive in her approach to chocolate and business. She’s involved in every step of the process from ensuring the cacao farmers receive fair payment and practice sustainable agriculture to purchasing the equivalent of 100 percent of her energy use in wind and solar power. She regularly travels to Costa Rica to work with the cacao farmers near Lake Nicaragua, sharing her expertise about the American chocolate market and helping the families learn how to make and sell their own chocolate bars.
Gail Ambrosius Chocolatier was so gracious to send me out two of her wonderfully exquisite and unique chocolate creations to review and giveaway to one of my lucky bloggy friends.
Oh Heavens, where do I begin.....
Sorry, my mind and taste buds were wandering, longing for another chocolate experience, like nothing else I have ever had before.
Gail Ambrosius "Smooth, oh-so-sweet caramel wrapped in silky dark chocolate and sprinkled with a touch of fleur de sel marries the very best of sweet and salty. It's melt-in-your-mouth, swoon-worthy chocolate heaven. Oh, caramel joy!"
I am a huge fan of salty and sweet. Gail has done an amazing job and combining these two elements, plus differing textures into a mouth water flavor explosion! The love and now crave the creamy rich dark chocolate and soft buttery caramel delicacy...with the over the top salty crunch of the fleur de sel. The only bad part is I am writing this, drooling, and my box of 5 are already gone.I wish there was some way I could find to create "taste-o-vision" with Gail's Truffles...that way I could share with the world how unique, daring, palette pleasing and over all worldly experience.
I am so honored the Gail hand selected the 12 piece Chocolatier's Choice Truffle Box just for me (and one of my lucky followers) to experience and enjoy.
This is an actual photo of my hand selected box. Aren't they gorgeous! Each one very different and a work of art. I am going to decide a few of the truffles I received.
**Don't be afraid of these special creative combinations! They are all amazing and like no other chocolate I have ever had. The flavors and textures so how combine to udder perfection with the skills of Gail.**
"Rishi’s delicate Wild Rose Tea, infused in sweet cream, romances the mild smoothness of Venezuela’s Carenero Superior chocolate. Tasting this light and delicate play on the taste buds is like breathing in a heady bouquet of roses. It’s a mindful muddling of the senses, best savored in blissful quietude." The truffle was absolutely beautiful with the small dried rose petal on top! The flavors are beautifully mild and work so well together to melt in your mouth...a small bite of perfection!
Lemongrass with Ginger
"Inspired by Asian cuisine, this fragrant fusion—featuring mild, buttery 70% Venezuelan chocolate—tastes of lemon groves and the steamy tropical sun. Gail infuses dried organic lemongrass into coconut puree with a few generous scoops of sharp ginger pulp. Topped with candied lemon peel and dried safflower, this meeting of East and West has rapidly become a favorite." This was so complex and enjoyable. I loved the contrast of textures from the smooth, silky, creamy center to the bright chewy ginger topping this artful truffle.
"This ancient recipe began the enduring love affair with chocolate—earthy cacao blended with the sweetness of cinnamon and the fire of roasted chilies. Gail uses toasty, nutty 65% Colombian chocolate and a suggestion of cinnamon to lure your taste buds into happy complacency before the heady rush of heat on the finish. It will leave you glowing." The balance of this sweet heat was perfection at its finest. As the truffle melts in your warm mouth the flavors combine to tease your palette. It is spicy? It is sweet? Yes and Yes, you won't be disappointed!
"The strong, deep flavors of Ecuadorian Arriba chocolate demand an equally strong flavor companion. Gail uses Just Coffee espresso, made from organic, fair-trade beans here in Madison. Arriba’s hint of floral rides lightly atop the earthy espresso and chocolate to fully awaken your taste buds." This truffle doesn't take much explaining...Chocolate and Coffee always a beautiful marriage!
Now on to the Giveaway and Details:
One Winner will receive:
$33 worth of Gail Ambrosius Fine Made by Hand Chocolates..5 piece caramel box and 12 piece Chocolatier's Choice Truffle Box
Open to US residents only age 18 or over. You must complete the Mandatory Entry to be eligible. This giveaway Ends 09/03/11 at 11:59pm MST.
Please leave a separate comment with your email address for each entry that you complete.
*** Mandatory Entry - Visit Gail Ambrosius and tell me which Hand Made Fine Chocolate you would like to try or have tried.***
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Tweet about the Giveaway: You can copy and paste the following Tweet over on Twitter once per day. Remember to let me know you tweeted.
Copy and Paste Tweet:
#Win $33 of Gail Ambrosius Fine Chocolates @GailAmbrosius @busch0218 blog http://fishfulthinking-cbusch.blogspot.com/2011/08/gail-ambrosius-chocolatier-fine.html?spref=tw Ends 09/03 #giveaway
Leave a comment telling me one place that Gail Ambrosius is sold.
Subscribe to Gail Ambrosius Newsletter (bottom of their web page).
Tell me which sense you enjoy the most to experience chocolate.
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Enter other active Giveaway's on Fishful Thinking Let Them Eat Cake Pops $104 Value (Ends 08/24), Spongefoot Steak Wash and Wing Sauce $8 Value (Ends 8/27), Fresh Feet Wipes -2 Winners $6 Value Each (Ends 8/28), Penna Great Olives Blue Cheese Stuffed Olives & Parmesan-Asiago Dip$15 Value (Ends 8/30), Mehlenbacher's Taffy 11 Winners $200.50 Grand Total Value (Ends 9-27), Endangered Species Chocolate $20 Value (Ends 9/9), Buddy Fruits $15 Value (9/10),Jacob Bromwell Old Fashioned Popcorn Popper $42 Value (Ends 9/12) make sure to leave a comment about each one you enter.
Thank you Gail for Elevating Chocolates to a whole different level. Each one is a flavorful experience!