in which i continue my love affair with b.t. mcelrath

…and his tauntingly wonderful chocolate bars.

Previously, I’ve displayed my adoration of B.T. McElrath’s Salty Dog and Chile Limón chocolate bars, which in my book are both standout examples of what fine chocolate can (and should) be. Varied, intense, playful, inviting, inspired. Lots of ins. Am I describing my interior decorating scheme, you may ask? No, not this time – although a post describing my infatuation with owl lamps may be in order.

Ahh, B.T. McElrath, providing a distraction from the sad and desolate times that are my most recent baking failure slash unpretty success. You see, gentle reader, once upon a last Friday, I set out to make a Meyer lemon tart. It couldn’t get much simpler, really; lemons poached for two hours in a simple syrup were then placed on a pre-baked (and pre-bought, sheesh!) rectangle of puff pastry. Leave it to meaver to mess this one up, although in all honesty, I blame the grocery store. When I arrived, issuing forth a looking-for-Meyer-lemons tune, I was shocked to find that lo-and-behold, the Meyer lemons were gone! Settling for lame-o regular and Meyer-less lemons, I chose to also pick up one (1) Seville [aka sour] orange, to intensify the syrup’s flavor and add some cheery color. I also thought to choose to write without hyphenating every other sentence.

Well. Intensify the flavor it did, to the point that tart became mouth-puckering. Looking to sweeten the deal, I added more sugar to the perfectly ratio-ed sugar:water mixture, before skipping off out of doors to photograph the same crocus for the fourth time in a week. Here it is!

After being notified a while later by phone that whatever hot mess I was cooking on the stove was indeed a hot mess, I returned home only to realize what a ridiculous choice I had made without thinking.

So. Plan B. Plan B??? The dessert I was making was for a dinner party, and I had a little under an hour to get everything sorted out. I still had my puff pastry (although it ended up almost burning in the oven on its own… suspicious), and the ingredients to make a lovely vanilla-scented (flavored?) whipped cream, so all I needed was the middle layer. Think, think.

Luckily, I had read earlier that day about an ingenious idea! Over at my newest and most enjoyed witty read of the day, Wayfaring Chocolate, Hannah had posted a recipe for a sort of coconut cocoa-nut butter, reminiscent of Nutella, but more appealing to me, a devoted Nutella kinda almost disliker. Having on-hand some almonds and chocolates in various stages of decay, I mixed my version up in the Cuisinart, abandoning the coconut somewhere along the way.

So thanks, Hannah, for saving the dessert at my dinner party. It was in the end fortuitous that I had acted so stupidly, as one of the dinner-goers hates all things lemon (and this I had temporarily forgotten).

It’s too bad the coconut cocoa-nut butter doesn’t make for a more enticing photograph – however, it does mimic the patterning of my intended topic for discussion: B.T. McElrath’s Passion Fruit & Tangerine Chocolate Bar.

I’m so lucky to have a most wonderful mother who beckons at my every chocolate call. More macaroons, I say! More B.T. bars! And more than anything, more more more of my favorite chocolate accompaniment, Tea Source Gold tea (which coincidentally, contains passion fruit)! And like always, she came through.

I mentioned the Passion Fruit & Tangerine Bar the last time I discussed B.T. McElrath. But now, I can profess my love – – – with photos!

Weighing in at 3.0 ounces (85 grams), B.T. bars arrive in a clean- and professional-looking box. The front labels this bar as 100% Natural (how could chocolate be anything but natural to me?), while the back reminds that chocolate is the hero here (I semi-repeat, how could chocolate be anything but a hero to me?), and that taking a bite will plunge me into a labyrinth of indulgence, where I will promptly become lost. Sounds right up my alley, so let’s dive right in, shall we? Let’s shall.

Due to each section’s rounded hump, the Passion Fruit & Tangerine bar is thicker than many of the other chocolates I frequently enjoy. Labeled alternately B.T. and BAR, you’re not likely to forget whose chocolate you’re labyrinthingly losing yourself in. For being such an aesthetically-pleasing mixture of dark and white chocolates, the bar is also tempered evenly and well. Each piece is a smooth snap off the ol’ block.

While mellow, the flavors of passion fruit and tangerine are present throughout the tasting. However, as warned, the chocolate(s) is(are) the hero(es) here. Not a fan of white chocolate as a Rule, I’m nonetheless pleased with the overall smooth taste of the bar. With B.T.’s Chile Limón bar, the added flavors didn’t kick in until the chocolate had nearly melted in my mouth. That isn’t the case here, where the fruitiness is ever present, and evenly palated by my mouth.

I hope to showcase more of these bars in the future, because I think they’re really pretty spectacular. And Minneapolis too, way to go. Two great chocolate treats in one week!

What I’m basically saying, to vaguely quote Shakespeare, is get thee to a B.T. McElrath!

B.T. McElrath Chocolatier

2010 E. Hennepin Ave., #78
Minneapolis, MN 55413

New this spring for B.T.: Blood Orange Blossoms, Chai-Spiced Honey Truffles, and Strawberry Balsamic Caramels, which reminds me of a recently-posted recipe for balsamic strawberry ice cream over at Bake Me Away.

And finally, check out my favorite part of B.T.’s advertising scheme: labeling their cardboard boxes, on the inside, as SFI Chain of Custody certified (see below) – way to go, forestry/chocolate interactions!


9 thoughts on “in which i continue my love affair with b.t. mcelrath

  1. *jumps up and down with excitement* Oh, Emma! This was such a lovely post to come across at 8:55am, as I stare down the barrel of another work day! I’m smiling and smiling at the computer right now, and so overjoyed that my recipe helped make dessert a success. I’ve always beleived dessert is the most important aspect of a dinner party ;)

    P.S. Awesome coincidence on this post of yours, too – the Salty Dog and Chile Limon are the two BT McElrath chocolates that I’ve reviewed on my blog too! Wish I could easily find the others!

  2. There are a lot of random things I would like to say in response to this post: I finally learned what a crocus was this week. How sad is that?!?! I’m so glad they’re out, though. I barely made the cut for Meyer lemons when I made my pie last week..they were gone the next time I was at the grocery store! I loved the play on words “coconut cocoa-nut.” In the future, when someone says coconut, I will see that phrase in my head for sure. Finally, your photos of the chocolate made me DROOL.

  3. Hannah: I’m glad to have cheered up your barreled work day! “Lookin’ down the barrel of a gun, son of a gun, son of a …. gettin’ paid gettin’ rich.” Just quoting some Beastie Boys, no big deal. I felt the same way about your yoga post though, it’s great to laugh for five minutes straight, despite what those around me in the office might think. Oh well, they know me by now.

    I’m also a firm believer in the power of dessert at a dinner party, but way too often no one leaves room for it and then everyone is sad. The non-dessert-eaters, me, the dessert – all sad!

    Finally, yeah, interesting coincidence about the B.T. bar reviews. Getting them in Maine takes plenty of careful planning, but perhaps one day some could wing their way to you:)

    Brianne: Rather than sad, I think it’s GREAT that you learned what a crocus is! Perhaps though you’ve appreciated them before, but without knowing their name? Glad you made the lemon cut, although it left you without a tragic story to tell, huh?

    Perhaps you could make some coconut cocoa-nut. I spent some time seeing if I could work that phrase in five or six more times, but alas, it was a no go. And awww, don’t DROOOOOOOOOOL too much (eew, gross). Hah!

  4. Gosh, your photos are stunning! And that is some gorgeous chocolate that I’ve been missing out on. I love things with passion fruit, and am intrigued by all the other flavors you mentioned as well. Thanks for the shout out! (p.s. “leave it to meaver” – har!)

  5. I had no idea you have a thing for owl lamps. There was a super awesome one in my house when I lived with the girls at 815 sophomore year. Do you recall the one I’m talking about? Also, legit beastie boys quote.

  6. Jessica: Glad you caught my punnyness, and found it punny:) I love passion fruit as well, and in general I’d say I’m pretty good at liking ingredients and flavors that I can’t easily get my hands on!

    Thanks for the kudos on the photos – I thought the same in regard to your fondant faces: WOW!

    seefoxrun: How do I not remember this owl lamp?? I bet it was amazing, because all owl lamps are. I have two, and both are stunning examples of owls in the prime of their lamphood. I wish I could remember yours… what did it look like?

    And, yeah, I can’t seem to abandon my B-Boys needs. They have a new record coming out next month – – – and they’re sort of almost OLD! For hip hop, anyway. My current favorite: “Coolin’ on the corner on a hot summer day / Just me, my posse and M.C.A. / A lot of BEER – a lot of GIRLS – and a lot of CURSING”!

  7. Or perhaps I could wing my way to Maine ;) I’ve always wanted to head up New England way, but haven’t yet! It’s the Jed Bartlet New Hampshire connection for me :P

    P.S. That’s why I always read the dessert menu first, at least at menus, and opt for two entrees (appetizers to you Americans) rather than a main. Gotsta have room for dessert!

    1. Hannah: New England is lovely. It’s been an interesting place to live for a few years, lots of history, and lots of funny accents. Fancy a lobsta suppah, deah??

      I had to look up Jed Bartlet… West Wing, huh? I’ve watched a few episodes, but clearly haven’t paid attention to anything going on. I’m more of a Gilmore Girls fan (saw your Tweet, had to look up Jon Hamm too, geez. Eight o’clock… at the oaaaaasis….), I always watch it when I’m feeling down, or having my own topsy-turvy week.

And now I'd like to pass the mic / So you c'mon and do anything you like ...aka, Leave your reply.

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