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By Erik Mathes - Photos: Adeline Ramos

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At Schakolad Chocolate Factory in Davie, Florida, the mother-daughter duo of Adriana Schaked and Dafne Reich are elevating chocolate to an art form.  From the immense selection of milk, white and dark chocolate truffles (including sugar-free and vegan/non-dairy varieties), to the countless choices for both in- and out-of-the-box gift ideas, Schakolad is a spot you’ll want to etch into your memory for holidays, special occasions, and, of course, occasional (or more than occasional) bouts of sheer indulgence.

Adriana is the wife of one of Schakolad’s co-founders, Baruch Schaked, so the business is rooted in family values.   This reflects in dedicated customer service, one reason Schakolad has become such a beloved community fixture in this South Florida suburb.

Part of a franchise of about thirty stores nationwide, every Schakolad Chocolate Factory location is independently owned, meaning each store’s management can put an individual stamp on the products (kosher under ORB supervision ) and the marketing strategies.

schakolad 5Workshops for children and for adults

To attract children and their parents, Schakolad is now running $1 specials Monday-Friday until August 31st, as well as a series of summer programs for local youth.  These workshops ($9.50/child, advance registration required) introduce kids ages 6-15 to the history and process of chocolate making.  Participants then craft personalized treats, such as chocolate pizza, and assemble goodie bags for home.  There are also in-store events for adults, and the venue is available for birthday celebrations.

On a tour of the factory led by Dafne, I went through an unforgettable tasting of Schakolad’s finest confections.  I’m not a chocolate lover at heart, which I confessed to Dafne early on, but she explained she’d convert me in no time.  Was she ever right. The first offering was a milk chocolate cashew truffle, so rich and creamy compared to commercial candy, and even other well-respected brands I’ve had.

After sampling an dark chocolate ganache —70% cacao — with Jamaican rum, a velvety vehicle of bittersweet chocolate and sugary rum with no trace of alcohol aftertaste, I bit into bliss when I tasted the vegan dark chocolate espresso truffle.  My expectations of vegan food aren’t usually lofty since I’m a devout carnivore, but this non-dairy nub nailed it when it came to nuanced flavor, giving off just enough oomph to taunt my threshold for bitter tang while simultaneously seducing me with subtle sweetness.

Then, I sampled the “Schakolatte,” a smooth and luxurious hot chocolate drink.  The key to this luscious drink is the real chocolate, as opposed to powdered cocoa that is tragically used in typical drinks of this type.  If you’re passionate about hot chocolate, you need try a Schakolatte (also available with espresso), as it’s akin to the platinum version of your beloved drink, thick and full of flavor.

Looking for something to cool you down while you sip on your Schakolatte? Schakolad Chocolate Factory serves up silky ice cream in chocolate fudge brownie, cookies & cream, strawberry, coffee, and “caramel caribou,” a vanilla-caramel swirl studded with caramel-filled chocolate chips.   

Now that you know the goodies you can treat yourself to, let me tell you about the unique gifts found at Schakolad.  I’m sure you’ve used wine as a present before, but have you ever given a bottle of wine that’s been dipped in divine chocolate?  Didn’t think so.  Have you presented your lady a pair of designer shoes for birthdays past?  Perhaps she’d like heels made of milk chocolate this year instead.  Schakolad Chocolate Factory can make these, and more scenarios happen.

With an abundance of different molds Schakolad can create almost any high-quality chocolate object conceivable, including cars, flowers, and even toothbrushes and teeth made from white and milk chocolate (to mess with the minds of recent dental school grads and veteran dentists alike!).  They also sell chocolate handcuffs, multiple flavors of chocolate body paint, and other risqué chocolate objects for more adult parties.

With their vast assortment of original gift ideas, custom selection of fine truffles, ice creams and hot drinks, Schakolad Chocolate Factory is well worth a visit if you haven’t already been.  You’ll be running back for seconds!

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Erik Mathes is a personal chef, in-home cooking instructor, creator of the blog “Rantings of a Chef” at kitchencoach.tumblr.com, and founder of www.kitchencoachFL.com.

 

 Schakolad Chocolate Factory
7740 Nova Drive, #3
Davie, FL 33324 (Just south of 595 and east of University Dr.)
(954) 472-6155 http://www.schakolad.com/store20

Monday - Thursday ~ 10am - 7pm
Friday ~ 10am - 5pm
Saturday ~ CLOSED
Sunday ~ 12pm - 5pm

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