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So why do we give chocolate on Valentine's Day?


When purchasing a Valentine's gift for your sweet - what is your go-to: Jewelry? Flowers? Chocolate? Most often than not, chocolate is a staple Valentine's Day treat. But why?

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Chocolate originates  form theobroma cacao, or more commonly known as the cocoa tree. The word "theobroma" translates to "food of the gods" and was used as a aphrodisiac by Montezuma and the Aztec Indians. Christopher Columbus also brought chocolate back to Spain and chocolate was used as an exclusive form of currency amongst the affluent. By the 1800s the Cadburry brothers had begun selling chocolate to the masses and finally, in 1861 the company sold the first heart-shaped box of chocolate for the holiday.

With chocolate holding such a regal history and being offered to the masses, the tradition of giving chocolate as a gift was born. To this day, chocolate is seen as a specail gift for a special person in your life!

Send your special someone a Valentine's Day treat! Shop our new Valentine's Day chocolate here!

Black Cyber Weekend!

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We're turning 2! Celebrate with us!


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It’s the most wonderful time of the year, no not the holidays, Red Elephant Chocolate’s birthday! This weekend, November 21-23, 2014, come celebrate Red Elephant Chocolate’s 2nd anniversary. Located in the heart of Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward and online, Red Elephant Chocolate celebrates its second year of business as the pioneer of the chocolate café concept.  In-house chocolatiers now craft all of Red Elephant’s handmade chocolate delights, with many other café products sourced from local artisanal producers.  In addition, the Third Ward Chocolate Cafe staff delights customers with made-to-order all natural chocolate enhanced beverages, ice creams, and desserts.

To celebrate, Red Elephant Chocolate will be offering specials in-store this weekend consisting of a pair of chocolate elephants with any $15 purchase or an ‘Elephants Intertwined’ chocolate pop with a purchase of $25 or more. In addition, head into the store for your chance to win some delicious chocolate treats by answering some fun “Elephact or Cocoafact” trivia Friday-Sunday. You can also spot “Cocoa The Elephant” parading around the store over the weekend.  Don’t below for your favorite of Red Elephant Chocolate’s most popular treats – sea salt caramels or truffles – for your chance to win Red Elephant Chocolate prizes!

Quadruple Threat Chocolate Cookies



  • 9 oz. Red Elephant Dark Chunk Chocolate (6 oz. melted / 3 oz. chopped)
  • 3 oz. Red Elephant Milk Chunk Chocolate
  • 2 oz. Red Elephant Theobroma Chunk Chocolate (melted)
  • 2 oz. Cocoa Nibs
  • 1-3/4 C all purpose flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
  • 6 oz. brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla


  1. Melt 6 oz. Dark Chunk Chocolate and 2 oz. Theobroma Chunk Chocolate together
  2. Whisk dry ingredients together: flour, baking powder and salt
  3. Cream butter and brown sugar
  4. Add eggs and vanilla
  5. Add melted chocolate then add dry ingredients
  6. Add 3 oz. each of chopped dark and milk chocolate
  7. Add cocoa nibs to dough
  8. Cover bowl and refrigerate for 45 minutes


Using a cookie scoop, place dough on a parchment lined baking sheet at least 2” apart

Bake for 8-9 minutes at 350 degrees


 5 dozen 1” drop cookies

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Happy Columbus Day!

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Today we celebrate Columbus Day! Not many people are aware of the role Columbus played in the history of chocolate...  even Columbus didn't understand how valuable the cocoa bean would turn to be! So, in honor of
Christopher Columbus, we'll sip on a cup of our Black Diamond X™ Cocao Bean Tea.

Top 10 Things to do in Milwaukee in the Fall


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Our convenient location in the heart of Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward, makes it easy to appreciate the city.  With fall basically here, we wanted to gather up our MKE Fall To-Do list.

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1. Take a ride on a Bublr Bike

Milwaukee finally hopped on the bike-share-bandwagon! With the weather still above freezing, fall is the perfect season to take a fresh ride and see your city from a waterfront perspective. 

2. Admirals are getting ready for their first puck drop

It’s always fun to cheer on a Milwaukee home team! Get near to the ice before it’s everywhere!

3. Farmers Market at Cathedral Square 

Fresh flowers and crisp apples, could anything be more autumn-centric?

4. Ad 2 Milwaukee’s Third Ward Scavenger Hunt

Don’t forget to rub the nose on our metal sculpture elephant, it’ll bring you luck in love and life - and in the hunt!

5. Brewery Tours

Now’s the time to sample some of our local breweries’ seasonally crafted beers.

6. Milwaukee Film Festival

Be educated, empowered and entertained by some amazing films at local, historic theaters this fall.

7. Gallery Night and Day (10/17-18)

If you’re an experienced art connoisseur or a newcomer, everyone can enjoy this great weekend event in the Third Ward.

8. Sea Dog Sailing (Open until the end of October)

If you missed it tho? s summer, now’s the time to see Milwaukee from the lake!  

9. Red Elephant's Fall Specials!

We’re excited to bring out our fall line of truffles, caramel apples, and harvest bars; all in the Third Ward Café right NOW, come on down! 

10. Elephant Appreciation Day

Since Monday Sept 22 is Elephant Appreciation Day, maybe a visit to our own Ruth and Brittany at the Milwaukee Zoo is in order.  And if you stop by to rub our elephant Sculpture’s nose on that day its doublé luck.


***Bonus: Elephact question: what kind of elephants are Ruth and Brittany?  Come to the Third Ward Café with the right answer on Monday Sept 22 and get an elephant chocolate!_______… ***

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Cocoa’s Chocolate Coconut Crisp



1 ½ cups of chocolate wafer crumbs

6 tablespoons of unsalted butter melted


¾ cup almonds chopped medium and toasted

1 ¼ cups of sweetened shredded coconut, lightly packed

4 ½ ounces of Red Elephant’s premium all natural dark chocolate Tears

14 ounes of sweetened condensed milk (one can) 

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Preheat the oven to 350 degrees with a rack in the center position. Line the baking pan with non-stick aluminum foil extending it several inches on two opposing sides to use as handles when removing the baked slab of cookies.  If using regular foil grease it well.

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Mix the base ingredients in a bowl until all the chocolate crumbs are evenly moistened. Set this aside for several minutes so the crumbs can fully absorb the butter. Squeeze it between your fingers; it should stick together. If needed, add a little more melted butter. Pour the base into the prepared pan and pat it until it’s level and even. Bake for about 5 minutes, until set.  Remove and cool on a rack. It will harden as it cools.

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Sprinkle the chopped almonds, coconut and Tears evenly over the cooled base. Leaving a quarter –inch border all around the pan, drizzle the sweetened condensed milk over the top.

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Bake until the condensed milk is bubbly all around the edges, with a few bubbles in the middle, and turns a light golden, about 25-35 minutes or so. Don’t bake too long or the squares won’t be soft and chewy.

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Remove the pan to a rack to cool completely. Once cooled, chill in the refrigerator, covered, for several hours to firm the slab up and make cutting the bars easier.  Use the foil handles to remove the slab and cut it into squares.

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Cocoa says, “YUM. Delish. Enjoy!”

Red Elephant Chocolate 'Tear™' Cookies


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  • 2 C minus 2 Tbsp. cake flour
  • 1-2/3 C bread flour
  • 1-1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1-1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1-1/2 tsp coarse salt
  • 2-1/2 sticks of unsalted butter (1 and 1/4 C)
  • 1-1/4 C light brown sugar
  • 1 C plus 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp natural vanilla extract
  • 1-1/4 C Red Elpehant Dark Chocolate Tears 
  • Sea salt
Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into bowl, set aside. Using a mixer with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars together until very light, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mix well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Reduce mixer speed to low, add dry ingredients and mix until just combined, 5 to 10 seconds. Add Tears and fold them in without breaking. Press plastic wrap against dough and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours. Dough may be used in batches, and can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or use a nonstick baking mat. Set aside. Scoop mounds of dough with ice cream scoop (about the size of a golf ball) onto baking sheet. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and bake until golden brown (about 18-20 minutes). Cool.

Chocolate Pumpkin Bread


Here's a twist on a seasonal favorite that you can enjoy all month long: chocolate pumpkin bread.  Perfect for toting to parties or even toasting for breakfast, this recipe can be baked in a beautiful bundt pan or two loaf pans.  If you want to be even more adventurous, bake in mini loaves, wrap in parchment, tie with twine, and give them to friends and family as tokens of gratitude.

The method is very simple and easy to involve the kids--but it may involve guarding the chocolate stash before mixing in the dough!

Chocolate and pumpkin may not come to mind at first as a great combination.  What makes it work is the richness of dark chocolate playing against the warm notes of pumpkin pie spice: cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and clove.  Pumpkin is packed with nutrients so you can feel good about getting a few vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants along with your dessert fix! 


Chocolate Pumpkin Bread


3 ¼ c Flour

1 ½ t Baking Soda

2 t Cinnamon

1 ½ t Nutmeg

½ t Ground Ginger (use fresh grated for more pow)

½ t Ground Cloves

½ t Salt


1 c Butter, softened

2 c Sugar

3 Eggs, room temp


1 ½ c Canned Pumpkin

10 oz Chopped Dark Chocolate Chunks

1 ¼ c Roasted Salted Pecans, chopped




Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease one bundt or two loaf pans. 

Sift together flour, baking soda, spices, and salt in bowl.  In stand mixer or second bowl, cream butter, sugar, and eggs.  Gradually add flour mixture.  Add canned pumpkin and mix well.  Fold in chocolate chunks and pecans.

Pour into loaf pans or bundt.  Bake at 350 degrees for 60-65 minutes.  Check for doneness with clean toothpick or skewer.  Cool on wire rack.  Do not remove from pans until cool.

Black Diamond Egg Cream


Here's one for a Saturday afternoon with the girls, Sunday with the family, or any time you're looking for a fun new beverage to serve. Using our Black Diamond Finely Ground Dark Chocolate, you can create your own upscale egg creams.  

What the heck is an egg cream?  

Admitted, this writer is not from the northeast.  I learned about egg creams from a sophisticated 1990s television show exploring the cultural anthropology of the inhabitants of Manhattan and Queens, otherwise known as The Nanny. In one such episode, the English butler, Niles, inquires of the Nanny's large, Wagnerian mother whether she needs anything from his service. "Oh nothing," she replies, "just an egg cream."

The first issue to clear up, of course, is that there is no egg in an egg cream.  But there is cream, at least in this concoction, as well as chocolate, seltzer, and ice. 

I played mixologist for the day and came up with an egg cream recipe I find pretty darn tasty. My toddler, of course, thought every version was equally worth running into the closet with to hide and drink down as fast as possible.  My mistakes along the way: 1.) Do not try to make Black Diamond into a chocolate syrup with a simple syrup base. The product turns so sweet that it's almost like drinking mouthwash (I know, weird). 2.) Do not try to melt Black Diamond by itself. Because it's a premium chocolate, it needs the addition of cream to melt smoothly. There's not a bunch of fake stuff in there.  3.) Do not use club soda. Club has a weird aftertaste that works great in mojitos but clashes with the chocolate. Use seltzer.

Here is the recipe:

Black Diamond Egg Cream

Makes 1 serving

Preserve the 2-1 ratio of chocolate to cream to make the base for your drinks. Combine Black Diamond and cream in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave at 20 second intervals, stirring each time. Be careful not to overcook the chocolate. Get it to a smooth consistency. If you do overcook, you may be able to rescue by adding more cream and stirring.

Pour melted chocolate into bottom of a highball glass. Add seltzer and stir. A bar spoon or bar whisk are helpful tools for this. Add ice. (Adding ice later prevents chocolate from hardening).  

Top off with more seltzer if needed.  Garnish with a squirt of whipped cream, mint or lavender sprigs (optional).

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