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Local coffee, chocolate makers collaborate

A cup of coffee or a chocolate bar – which makes a better antidote to the afternoon blahs?

It needn’t be an either-or proposition.

The Stafford-based Virginia Chocolate Company has collaborated with Blackstone Coffee Company, of Fredericksburg, to create a chocolate bar made with Blackstone’s locally roasted coffee beans.

The bar is available at Blackstone’s cafe in Eagle Village and at Olde Towne Butcher in downtown Fredericksburg, and could be sold at other outlets in the future.

The product came about when Virginia Chocolate marketing director Jennifer Scales approached Blackstone owner Don Merritt about selling some of the company’s products–including its existing coffee chocolate bar–in his cafe. (Read a previous story about the Virginia Chocolate Company here.)

Merritt asked if the coffee bar could be made with his coffee, and what resulted is a chocolate bar that combines 62 percent cacao with Blackstone’s Dunkel Roast, its darkest roast, ground and mixed into the bar.

Coffee and chocolate are complementary flavors, and the coffee both lifts up the chocolate flavor in the bar and adds a hint of crunch.

Merritt is at work in his test kitchen trying to create a cafe mocha using the bar. He’s hoping to offer the beverage on his holiday menu, topped with house-made whipped cream and chocolate shavings.

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