Our Donation Thursday Program began for us on November 10, 2016. The program was born from a need to connect Team Mayana Chocolate to something bigger than ourselves. Proving that great chocolate candy can do more than tantalize our senses it can help change our world as well.
For nearly 100 years, the ACLU has fought for the individual and civil rights of everyone in this great nation of ours. We’ve been able to do this because of people like those above and those reading. We promise will continue to do so for the next four years and far, far into the future. Thanks again for your support. - ACLU
Every Thursday, 40% of Mayana Chocolate's online sales will be donated to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
With your help, Mayana Chocolate can send Love, Peace and Chocolate. Please consider placing your chocolate candy order and to lend your continued support to ACLU.
This is Tamara writing. It was in early December 2006 when I met Chef Daniel Herskovic surrounded by fabulous food, drinks music and work. I was working a second job as a server for private catering jobs in Chicago. Daniel's private chef career was booming. So much so that it was a long 10 days after meeting before our first date. He arrived with a chocolate box and confidence.
You won't hear this very often, but I was thrilled when I found out that he had just started a new relationship a month before we met. It was nearly all encompassing. He would often arrive to our dates with evidence on his shirt sleeve or the corner of his mouth. Her name was Chocolate. My jealously of his time spent learning about Chocolate was easily erased by watching Daniel work with his newest recipes. Tasting his creations became almost as exciting as seeing the man himself.
When Daniel proposed marriage to me on Valentine's Day 2009 there was the sound of our dog lapping champagne from his bowl followed by a fabulous dinner with "Congratulations!" written in chocolate on our dessert plate.
We spent our early months of dating talking about and eating great food. A theme that still continues today. We still operate our private catering business in Chicago, Chef Daniel. Mayana Chocolate has grown with new recipes, packaging, people and community outreach.
It brings a smile to my face knowing that it all started with a chocolate box and confidence. Almost as big a smile as our 2 year old son gets when he tells people that "Mommy and Daddy work at a chocolate factory!"
Laura Louise Photography
When you buy a Mayana Chocolate Candy Bar you can be assured you are going to get a thick luscious layer of caramel. A good caramel is tricky to make. It is also expensive, labor intensive, and takes many hours to make a single good batch. That is why I want you to have a lot of it!
During our first year of business I had many sleepless nights as I tried to figure out what would make our caramel perfect. There are many factors that come in to play.
First was textural. How do we create a caramel that is not grainy, but rather luscious and smooth. It takes sugar and also some corn syrup. We don't use high fructose corn syrup which is a cheap alternative to sugar. Our corn syrup is expensive and helps keep the sugar in the caramel from turning in to granulated form again. Also, a key to a good caramel is fat. We use a lot of Wisconsin Cream and Butter in to our caramel. It is not just caramelized sugar that gives caramel it's dark brown color. It is the milk proteins that are caramelizing. Have you ever seen butter brown in a skillet? That is what is happening to the butter in our caramel. It slowly cooks away for four hours in our copper kettle.
That brings to me another ingredient to good caramel -- Time. The slower a caramel cooks the deeper the flavor. Proteins are caramelizing and sugars are concentrating. Only time can make that happen. In technical terms this browning effect called the Maillard reaction. This is the same reaction that happens when steak is searing on a grill or a hot pan. A steak with a nice caramelized crust always tastes better than something pale. It is possible to crank the heat and make a caramel fast, but it will not have the depth of flavor that our four hour long caramel has. Also, high heat will make your caramel prone to burning (Just like an overly hot grill will char steak versus develop a deep caramelized color and flavor.)
We cook our caramel to 241 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature is firm enough for the caramel to hold it's shape, but soft enough so that it will never stick to you teeth. We pour the caramel on to 8 foot long granite table and let it sit there overnight. Fortunately for us our neighbors are Precision Counter tops and they have kindly outfitted our kitchen with 24 feet of Granite Tables. If you are making caramel and are having problems, please feel free to reach out. I'm very glad to share information that I have learned over the years.
Thank you for visiting our blog! Please enjoy 20% off your purchase of one or more Spring Collections by entering "SPRING2016" at checkout! See Details below.
Spring is a special time of the year. The evidence of new beginnings seem to be everywhere we look. Depending on where you live you might be seeing buds on the trees, green grass, flowers and for the really lucky...flip flops.
However you choose to celebrate spring invite us into your home with the purchase of Mayana Chocolate's Spring 9 Piece Collection. It is a fabulous gift to give to family, friends and don't forget yourself.
Flavors (Top row from left to right): Passion Fruit, Crisp Peanut Praline & Caramel, Cookies N' Cream. Flavors (Middle Row): Lemon & Earl Gray Tea, Raspberry & Lime, and Mayan Spice. Flavors (Bottom Row): Strawberry Graham Cracker, Fleur De Sel Caramel, and Pistachio.
Inspired by spring, the 9 piece collection features floral designs, heart shaped pieces and vibrant colors. The outside of the box is tied with a fuchsia ribbon and has a hand applied multi-colored hot wax seal.
We love details. We love spring. We love your support. As a THANK YOU we invite you to receive 20% your order when using the following code at checkout: "SPRING2016"
*When purchasing one or more Spring 9 Piece Collection.
*Code good thru May 31, 2016.
I want everyone who buys our artisan chocolate to have a great experience whether you’re buying from our website or from one of our specialty retail partners. That’s a good goal for any small business and it will always be our goal here at Mayana Chocolate.
I make mistakes... There, I said it. As a new mom (Isaac is almost 8 months already!) and a small business owner, I have made a few customer service mistakes; But when I heard that one of our online shoppers had a negative “Give Chocolate” experience I was mortified.
The story: We have a new candy bar flavor called Heavens to Bacon and it features, yep, BACON! There's been a lot of buzz on social media about it. "Where can I get this new bar?!" On Facebook, I answered one particular chocolate and bacon lover’s inquiry by telling her she can "get them at this great store in the northern suburbs of Chicago. We just sent them!" Then, few days later, I heard back from my Facebook fan that her mom had gone out of her way to pick up a Heavens to Bacon candy bar at the store I recommended. Her mom had intended to buy the Heavens to Bacon and then deliver it to her daughter during a cross country reunion. Alas, when her mom got to the store, there were plenty of our delicious candy bars in stock, but not the one she wanted. This was my mistake and not the stores’! What had happened was we had shipped the wrong candy bar flavors to the store.
I will always admit my mistakes. But, as a business owner, I believe I have to go one step farther: Once I figured out what had happened to our disappointed Facebook Fan and her mother, we shipped out a free Heavens to Bacon candy bar to her. For her awesome mother, who went far out of her way to purchase a candy bar for her daughter, we'll be sending a 9 Piece Artisan Candy Box from us for Mother's Day. Mom's like this one deserve to be honored everyday! We give chocolate to moms everywhere.
On the part of my wife and I, a move required a huge leap of faith. In Chicago we had a wonderful following of dark chocolate loving customers and food writers. We were located in a huge metropolis of people who could afford our high end chocolate. I personally tossed and turned every night before the move, wondered if rural Wisconsin would be a place where we could continue to grow our business. Where would our customers come from? How would we grow our small business?
As soon as we came to Spooner our new community embraced us with open arms. We had immediate support from several stores who now carry our chocolate. Of course Chicago continues to buy our boxed chocolate but being outside of the city also helped us open our eyes to possibilities outside of the Midwest. We now have retail partners on the West Coast, East Coast and most states in between. Our move to the country has only made us a much larger company.
There is no traffic while I drive to work but I have to keep a vigilant eye out for deer the road. There’s also Wild turkey crossings, bald eagles, an occasional black bear and a white buck that I’ve seen 4 times. I’m happy that I moved Mayana Chocolate and my family to Wisconsin. We are surrounded by great people, fantastic businesses (Thank you NWRPC!) and nature and that translates to better chocolate candy.