Behind the Bar: Blueberry and Lavender Bar
From the moment Honeymoon Chocolates started making white chocolate bars in 2016, Haley knew she wanted to make a white chocolate lavender bar. Her inspiration behind the bar was from one of her favorite food memories from her childhood. While on a family vacation, she went to a small local ice cream parlor, and it was there that she had lavender ice cream for the first time ever. Haley said it was “probably the best ice cream I have ever tasted, and it’s the only ice cream I’ve liked better than chocolate.” That is a huge deal because Haley is a self-proclaimed “choco-holic”. The ice cream had a lavender base with frozen blueberries added for texture. Haley asked the owner where he got the idea for the flavor because she loved it so much. The owner explained to her that one of his friends was a baker, and she had blueberry lavender flavored scones at her bakery. His friend suggested that he add the blueberries to the ice cream to add a contrasting but enhancing flavor. Haley has never been able to stop thinking about this flavor, and she knew it would be great in a chocolate bar.
When Haley starts thinking about new chocolate flavors, she thinks of her favorite ice cream flavors and how that could translate into a chocolate bar. The mixture of cocoa butter and honey, in Haley’s mind, are a similar base to ice cream. This translated perfectly into creating a bar flavor after her all time favorite ice cream flavor, blueberry and lavender. Lavender can be a very overpowering flavor when it’s used solely on its own, and as they didn’t want customers to feel like they’re eating soap, Cam and Haley use freeze dried blueberries. This adds to the color of the bar and the flavor. They also added some lemon to the bard to make it more citrus-y, bright and to add to its Spring flair.
Last year, the blueberry lavender bar was a fan favorite. The color of the bar was a very pale lavender because HM Chocolates were using milk powder to make the white chocolate base. This year they have been making a very conscious effort to move away from dairy products in general to have all of their products be accessible to anyone who may want to try them. Anyone with a lactose intolerance or a milk allergy can try the blueberry lavender bar this year because they used oat milk for the base instead of cow’s milk. Due to this change, the blueberries make the color of the bar a darker blue than last year. This is because the oat milk has less white pigment in it. Haley describes the new bar color as “the color of a crushed blueberry”. The oat milk also adds more to the flavor of the bar itself. It reminds Haley of the flavor of a pastry. Haley and Cam are really interested to see what customers are going to think of the flavor from last year compared to its upgraded flavor for this year!
The flavor isn’t the only thing that was upgraded from last year’s blueberry lavender bar. The packaging has been completely upgraded this year too. Cam decided to use the same lavender color for the color of the packaging as last year, but instead of the color filling the hexagons on the front of the package, he had the lavender color outline the hexagons on the packaging. Haley and Cam wanted the packaging to be different from last year to show that they changed the bar itself and to evoke a spring feeling as the bar is being released just in time for Spring 2021.
The new packaging is certified compostable and has a zipper for re-sealing the bar. Cam said that one of the issues they had when they eat HM Chocolates is that they will open a bar and eat part of it but they would need to put the rest of it in a ziplock bag to lock in the freshness of the bar. The new packaging completely eliminates this issue and gives customers a fresher bar from start to finish. It also allows the bar to last longer. The bars are also now heat sealed so the tasting notes that HM chocolates intended you to taste when the bar was made are there months after it is poured. Their stickers are made of sugar cane and they are also biodegradable.