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B.T. McElrath Chocolatier

Minneapolis husband and wife handcraft chocolates in delectably bold flavor combos

by Evan Orensten in Food + Drink on 14 June 2011

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As small-batch chocolatiers become increasingly common, standing out takes more than just organic ingredients. The husband-and-wife team behind Minneapolis' B.T. McElrath Chocolatiers take artisanal chocolate making to a new level with their expertly-blended, flavor-popping bars. Infusing sustainably-sourced chocolate with fresh cream and other ingredients—like fruit, toffee or sea salt—the enthusiastic purveyors whip up some delicious concoctions.

But the real secret ingredient in the duo's confections is the slightly obsessive passion they put into each bar. Crafting them in the original Betty Crocker R&D space, chef Brian McElrath uses techniques like layering each flavor by hand and airbrushing them with colored cocoa butter. "There can be no errors," he insists. "One can't speed up the process or do things quickly because they have to be done the right way."

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We tasted several different flavors, but the Passion Fruit & Tangerine bar was a surprise hit for its mix of white and dark chocolate and tangy fruit undertones. The Salty Dog was also a crowd-pleaser, especially for those who love the savory-sweet combination.

Wrapped in packaging made from Sustainable Forestry Initiative paper printed with vegetable dyes, B.T. McElrath chocolates sell at numerous retailers around the U.S. and online for $5 per bar.

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