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Panning: one of the oldest candy-making techniques in which melted chocolate is drizzled over nuts tumbling in a pan until they become uniformly coated with the topping. Panning: just one of the candy making processes you can watch at the newly opened Charles Chocolates.
Owner Charles Siegel is a chocolatier rather than a chocolate maker, and an experienced one at that. He's been turning chocolate into chocolate confections since the age of 25. His new eponymous shop on Florida Street is a showcase for his bars, chocolate covered almonds, and filled chocolate bon bons, as well as a cafe.
By showcase I really mean showcase: the shop has floor to ceiling glass windows which let you watch the candy-making process. On any given day you might see his staff filling chocolate butterflies with a Tupelo honey ganache, panning almonds, or mixing an extraordinary amount of add-ins to his signature chunky bars of chocolate.
"My bars are different than most," Charles explained. "I was inspired by mediants, which are a classic French confection featuring two pieces of candied fruit and two nuts on a piece of chocolate. I was frustrated that I could never get the whole thing in my mouth. Most 100 gram bars are long and thin. Ours are much more thick. I want you to get some of every flavor in each bite."
In addition to the chocolates, there will be a rotating selection of baked goods including a chocolate chip cookie, brownie, tart, and cake. All are oversized and super chocolatey; a chocoholic's dream. Click through the slideshow to see more of what to watch and eat at Charles Chocolates.
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