At Sugar Love, we've always offered shipping across the country and into Canada. In fact, way back in 2015, we were only an online shop for some time. So during this unprecedented time of social distancing, quarantining and plain ol' home-bodyness, we're already set up to fulfill those orders.
What is new to us though, is offering curbside pick-up for the Reno Tahoe area! Read more for dates and hours available.
It's the time of year for backyard BBQs, watermelon and ice cream. Lots and lots of ice cream! I just can't resist a good ice cream sundae with a high quality hot fudge sauce. And to scratch my own itch for such a hot chocolate sauce, I designed a decadent hot fudge sauce using honey as a base.
Using a local honey instead of the more typical corn syrup base gives this fudge sauce a richer and less saccharine sweetness. It also gives the chocolate sauce a thicker texture which means it won't immediately pool at the bottom of your bowl (unless of course, you heat it to temperatures similar to Dante's sixth level of hell).
Another reason this hot fudge sauce is so rich is that we use both cocoa powder and real chocolate. Many quick recipes call for cocoa powder only which produces a less full-flavored chocolate-y profile. Our mixture of cocoa powder and French dark chocolate five the sauce a deep, rich chocolate taste.
The last crucial quality concern for me was how the sauce would react once poured on ice cream. My biggest pet peeve with many high-end chocolate sauces is that they often turn into a hard shell on the ice cream. Our blend of honey, fresh cream and butter make sure that this sauce stays somewhat fluid and flexible once poured on the cold ice cream.
A few of our early taste-testers (you'd be surprised how many people volunteer to help out a chocolatier when it comes to tasting new products!), have found other users for this hot fudge sauce:
- to make decadent mochas
- as a garnishment or finishing touches on plated desserts
- as a topping for waffles and crepes
- to make a delicious chocolate martini
- one person suggested eating by the spoonful straight out of the jar, but I can't recommend that in good conscious since it's not calorie free lol
Our sauce comes in a glass jar so you don't have to worry about popping it into the microwave. And it generally takes between 10 and 20 seconds to heat it up just perfectly! Keep this product refrigerated as there is fresh cream and butter. Lasts for about 30 days.
Buy it in our shop or online here.
This past year in particular has been one of the most challenging and rewarding years of my life. My house flooded, I lost the lease on my big expansion plans for the business, and then I lost the business funding attached to that, my grandmother died rather suddenly, my dog of over ten years had to be put down, and I've had stress upon stress about meeting deadlines and bills due as every entrepreneur feels at this point of the game.
However, I was also the first ever Chocolatier of Artown, grew my recipe book by about 38 recipes in 2017, studied under one of the best chocolatiers in the world, partnered with amazing vendors and makers in the area, presented my chocolates to local government, was mentioned by Bloomberg as one of the reasons to move to Reno, and most importantly, have met so many wonderful people like yourself who can appreciate my nerdiness for chocolate and food at large.
So thank you! The late, late nights and the early mornings when I was either crying from stress or making another batch of Earl Grey Tea truffles, those stressful times were completely justified by every passionate talk about ingredients or online review that praised my work. The whole reason I created this company was to slow down and enjoy the simple things in life, because really, that's all we have. Sometimes I get too focused on growth curves or how well that other company is doing, but then one of you will come in and tell me your latest travel stories and the interesting things you learned and ate. And I remember that why I do this business is to connect with you, and food just happens to be the avenue.
All this emotional rambling is to tell you who have been through thick-and-thin with me, thank you. Every small gesture, every time I hear "this is the best chocolate," and all the online reviews, mean the absolute world to me. Thank you, and I hope you have an amazing season - may your Thanksgiving be filled with food and your holidays with traditions from your family.
Here's to another crazy year for Sugar Love!
xo Krysta Bea
One of the best reasons to live in Reno is our annual, city-wide, month-long celebration of art called appropriately enough Artown. Every July since 1996, the city comes together to celebrate all things art including live music, visual arts, dancing and often movies in the park.
Spending most of my childhood in the Reno and Sparks area, I was unaware that the amount of art in our community is not common. When I moved to Alaska – I noticed the lack of art almost immediately. While not the only reason I moved away from Alaska, it certainly was a reason I wanted to come back to Reno.
Last year, I got the crazy idea to have artists design something for the tops of my chocolate and I would craft recipes based on their art or on the artists themselves. After an open call for submissions, I picked five artists that all created something truly unique and representative of their work. Then came the challenge: what flavor do you create for an adorable blue yeti? While quite challenging, I loved it!
This year, I reached out to the Artown organization and asked if we could do an official Artown box of chocolates. They were interested immediately which made this little chocolatier’s heart melt. Kate O’Hara, the 2017 Artown Poster Artist, then created the digital art for the chocolate based on elements she had created in the poster. And they are gorgeous!
Two of the designs immediately inspired flavors: the ballet shoes just seemed to be perfect for champagne and strawberries and I wanted something simple but spectacular for the Artown logo so why not showcase that beautiful Vietnamese 73% Dark Chocolate I had just tried a few months back? Especially since Artown is focusing more and more on global efforts in addition to our local roots.
The other three designs were more challenging. Eventually I settled on a key lime pie inspired recipe for the slightly groovy, retro feel of the musical design. Key lime pies seem a bit nostalgic for me and the colors kind of hint to a lime flavor, a good fit for the design.
The sky line of Reno with the mountains in the back made me think of late nights in the city with snow falling. If it’s late and snowing, you probably need a drink to help keep the cold away – so I knew I wanted to do an alcohol based truffle, but which one? I began digging through cocktail books and websites when I came across a 1920s drink called the Brainstorm. It’s an Irish whisky drink with Benedictine and dry vermouth, and it’s usually served with an orange peel. I asked the owners of the Stamp Social Club to make one and it was perfect! Slightly spicy, sweet and floral – perfect for a truffle! I named it the City Collaboration since it really takes the entire city to come together and brainstorm to put on this wonderful celebration every year.
The most difficult design for me was the bird design. I think it’s the fact that the bird almost labels the chocolate as being poultry. But luckily most would understand that it’s not a good idea to have poultry in chocolate! Where to go with that as inspiration? Well, what do birds eat? Or should I do something with blueberries since the bird is blue? Or maybe focus on the branches in the background – are they sagebrush, could I do something with sage?
Eventually, I chose to do something that birds eat – sunflower seeds. But how to best present them? I ended up creating a two-layered confection with the top layer being a roasted sunflower seed gianduja in milk chocolate and the bottom layer a dark chocolate and honey ganache. And while this was the hardest for me to create, I think it’s my favorite one!
If you’d like to try these limited-edition flavors, they’re for sale only during the month of Artown 2017. You can purchase them online and in our store. 10% of the sales will be going to continue supporting Artown. Also, check out the full calendar of events during July, including our own event at Sundance Books and Music on July 27th.
Last spring, I stumbled upon a cocktail recipe for a French Tart. It's a simple drink to make with wonderfully complex flavors. Since then, I've been obsessed with making it into a confection. And I think I've done it!
The drink recipe (found here) has fresh grapefruit juice, simple syrup made with fresh rosemary, a splash of fresh lemon juice, vodka and St Germain. When you make the rosemary simple syrup in advance (and it really is very simple to do), throwing together this drink in a shaker is easy and will still be impressive to your friends and family. And what better drink to wish for warmer temperatures (c'mon Reno and/or winter weather)?
So while the drink recipe is surprisingly easy to throw together, the recipe for this confection took me a long time to create. The biggest issue was controlling the amount of water that is naturally in fresh squeezed grapefruit juice. Because you are creating a confection that must be shelf stable for a minimum of three weeks, even with dairy products present, the chemistry of the interior is very important. And water is easily the biggest enemy in creating a wonderful chocolate. I toyed with the idea of using a grapefruit essential oil, but that just isn't my style. I like using the ingredients as they're found in nature whenever possible.
This lead me to create something other than my usual truffle made of a ganache base. Instead, this month I present the French Tart jelly. This jelly is made with fresh grapefruit juice, rosemary, lemon juice, vodka, St Germain and pectin, not gelatin. One reason being the natural source of gelatin, but the real reason is the texture. The texture of a pectin jelly is so addictive. You can thank French pâte de fruits for my addiction to that texture!
Right off the bat, let me apologize for the tardiness of this update! 2017 has threw me for a real loop (flooding of my house three times, grandma in/out/in the hospital, temporary second location opened and failed, etc etc). But I've also had loads of good news too!
The biggest one is that the manufacturer is back from holiday in China and so we're moving forward with the final design touches of the 2 piece boxes and they'll be underway soon! This was the work of our Kickstarter campaign that we ran in December. These two piece boxes will allow us to serve the corporate and wedding market better. And I can't wait to get my hands on them!
Our expansion plans are moving along as well. The expansion is into a our own kitchen that will be larger and allow for more types of goodies (drinking chocolate anyone?). And of course, pretty new pieces of equipment as well like this one I've been drooling over for months now: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7qgCiDNauvI Isn't that pretty? No one else seems to drool as much as me... haha
Did you know that February marks two years in business for Sugar Love? Where does the time go?? Also, when do I get paid? haha
xo Krysta Bea