The Chocolate Scoop

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    Marble Hill Chocolatier

    This O’Bryonville chocolaterie takes a fashion approach to chocolate, offering different “collections” of chocolates depending on season. According to its Web site, Marble Hill is a specialty retailer of premium chocolates handcrafted by artisans in New York City, Vancouver and Chicago, among others, all hand chosen by owner Bill Sands. At the moment, Marble Hill is still featuring its summer collections, one of which, the tropical collection, includes chocolates flavored with pina colada, mimosa, pineapple, pink lemonade, key lime pie, banana, kahlua and mojito.

    With the cooling of temperatures comes the fall collection of chocolates at Marble Hill, including Earl Grey, chai latte and even pumpkin-flavored chocolate. Sample the fall collection Oct. 5, when Marble Hill will be holding “Flavors of Autumn,” a guided tasting of five fall collection chocolates and three wines. The chocolaterie holds such a tasting every month. However, beginning in October, customers can visit any time to sample a chocolate or wine or stop by on a “Flight Friday” (also starting in October), a tasting of three wines and chocolates held every week at Marble Hill.

    Liz Rettig, assistant manager of Marble Hill Chocolatier, recommends making reservations for one of the tasting events at least three weeks ahead of time. Call the store at (513) 321-0888 for details.

    Fawn’s Confectionery

    Founded in 1946, Fawn’s Confectionery, is best known for its down-home goodie Copper Kettle Fudge, which is made in vessels matching the name. Fawn cooks the fudge in copper kettles over an open fire in the same Harrison Avenue kitchen in which its other candies are made fresh daily. Fawn’s makes all its own centers and buys its chocolate from a supplier in Chicago, says Kathy Guenther, co-owner of Fawn’s and daughter of founder Paul “Pep” Guenther.

    Fawn’s makes a wide variety of chocolates aside from the fudge, including chocolate-covered cherries, turtles, truffles, caramel made from scratch and coconut and peanut butter brittle. Summer isn’t the best time for candy making, Guenther says, but with the advent of fall and Sweetest Day, the chocolate business gets a kick start. Stop by Fawn’s right now for a fall candy preview with its caramel apples covered with orange and black M&M’s in honor of the city’s beloved Bengals.

    Graeter’s

    Although this Cincinnati favorite is best known for its ice cream (notably Black Raspberry Chip), Graeter’s also “has been handmaking the finest chocolates and confections since 1870,” according to its Web site. Chocolate candy batches are made with recipes that have been “developed from years and years of making candy,” says Chip Graeter, vice president of retail sales. “With each recipe, we take a center, be it peppermint or caramel, enrobe it in chocolate, send it down a long tunnel to cool it, and then the candy is ready to eat or to go in a box.”

    Some chocolates you can pick up at Graeter’s are pecan patties, black raspberry cream chocolates (made from the same puree as the ice cream), opera creams and Bengals-themed sweets, including chocolate-covered Oreos decorated with tigers and orange and black nonpareils. Graeter’s is also gearing up to be Greater Cincinnati’s Halloween candy stop, the stores’ focus come October with be everything candy corn, gummy spiders and cream pumpkins (not to mention caramel-covered apples).

    With 13 locations in the Cincinnati area, Graeter’s is a convenient choice for any chocolate lover.

     

    Aglamesis Brothers

    Visitors take a step into the past when they cross the Aglamesis Brother’s threshold. Two immigrants from Greecefounded this nostalgic ice cream parlor, candy kitchen and ice cream plant in 1908 (antique photographs of founders Thomas and Nicholas Aglamesis hang in the parlor). Pink décor, tiled floors and traditional wire ice cream chairs complete the traditional look.

    Similar to Graeter’s in that it’s best known for ice cream, nonetheless, the brothers make chocolate “the sincere way,” using only pure can sugar, fresh cream, vanilla extract and other quality ingredients in their chocolates. The chocolate creams (the Aglamesis Brothers’ opera cream recipe is a guarded secret) are made from scratch, beginning in copper kettles and ending with a chocolate waterfall — immersing candies in the “grandest velvety chocolate,” according to the Web site.

    There are two Aglamesis Brothers locations in Cincinnati; one on Madison Road and the other on Montgomery Road.

    Schneider's Sweet Shop

    Across the river is Schneider’s Sweet Shop, a Bellevue, Ky., staple since 1939. The shop began as an old-fashioned neighborhood candy and ice cream store. Today Schneider’s candies are still made with the same tried and true recipes the shop started with, according to its Web site.

    Schneider’s is best known for its opera creams, a Cincinnati specialty made with pure rich cream to “tantalize the taste buds and to create the ultimate of creams,” proclaims Schneider’s site. Kentucky Cream Candy, made with fresh heavy cream, is another featured item at the chocolaterie.

    Haute Chocolate

    Who is this fabled love? It's a thing, for starters. Chocolate, of course! Cultivate your first love for chocolate and you and your friends' affection for one another by participating in a tasting. Haute Chocolate of Montgomery Road can arrange a tasting event for ladies' night out.

    "It's a great way to spend a hot summer night here in Cincinnati," says Lisa Cooper Holmes, owner of Haute.

     

    Haute's evening of chocolate would begin with an introduction to chocolate, as well as a sampling of the three most common varieties: milk, white and dark. You can also watch employees make chocolate in the kitchen, and help out in the process yourself. Cooper Holmes says what happens at the event is up to you. Haute offers a full menu and confections for dessert.

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