Join Us for a “Sweet Tooth Nightcap”

Hartstone Inn "Sweet Tooth NIghtcap"

Sumptuous cocktail or a delicious dessert… why choose?  Join us in the parlor every evening from 9-10pm for a “Sweet Tooth Nightcap.”  We’ll tempt you with dessert martini’s like Godiva Chocolate and Vanilla Bean or warm you up with French Vanilla Kahlua Cappuccino. There’s even an assortment of cordials for $5!   Your Sweet Tooth Nightcap will be served by the fire with a scrumptious small dessert, sure to create sweet dreams!


Dip Me In Chocolate Romance Package

Celebrating life, an anniversary, or just need some romantic time alone ? We’re here to help your loved one feel extra special!  Your getaway includes 2 nights lodging, a beautiful bouquet of flowers, a bottle of bubbly and a personalized chocolate plate with a delicious assortment of homemade chocolates & caramels.  Multi-course breakfast each morning and memorable five course dinner for two are included.

Holiday Chocolate Making

This weekend we welcome back Kate Shaffer of Black Dinah Chocolatiers to teach guests how to make gorgeous artisanal chocolates for everyone on their lists. Kate will guide participants through tempering chocolate, flavoring and mixing ganache, dipping truffles, and a few fun decorating techniques. We have a feeling this is going to be a very hands on class with a lot of chocolate to mouth movement.

A few pictures of Black Dinah’s famous chocolates and the island they are made on (where Kate lives)…Check back here next week to see pictures of the class and hear stories from it.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Sign photo




All photos by Black Dinah Chocolatiers.

Holiday Chocolate Making Class

Join Kate Shaffer of Black Dinah Chocolatiers for a Holiday Chocolate Making Class at the Inn December 11th or 12th.  Learn how to make gorgeous chocolates for everyone on your holiday gift giving list 

Participants will get hands on instruction in the basic skills necessary for artisanal chocolate making.  Kate will guide participants through tempering chocolate, flavoring and mixing ganache, dipping truffles, and a few fun decorating techniques

Class is informative, entertaining, and of course, filled with delicious chocolate. Class is from 1-3pm and is $45 per person.  Or, book a two night Cooking Class Package.  Package pricing starts at $345 and include a gourmet, five course dinner for two! 



Chocolate Chip and Walnut Cookies

We are sharing this recipe for Chocolate Chip and Walnut Cookies just in time for your holiday baking. This should come in handy whether gifting tins of cookies, preparing for a party, or just stocking up for guests. We always have a variety of fresh baked cookies at the inn for guests during Afternoon Tea, which of course you know if you have spent time with us.

This recipe comes from our first cookbook Hartstone Inn Cookbook. These chocolate chip cookies can be made without the walnuts if desired, or another type of chopped nut can easily be substituted. If you really like chocolate, add 2 Tablespoons cocoa powder and 2 Tablespoons chocolate syrup to the recipe, and replace the chocolate chips with an equivalent amount of 1/2-inch dark chocolate chunks.

Chocolate Chip and Walnut Cookies

Makes 40 cookies.

1 cup vegetable shortening
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 cups chocolate chips
1 cup walnut pieces

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Cream together the shortening, sugars, eggs and vanilla until fluffy.

3. Mix together the flour, baking soda and salt. Stir into creamed mixture. Mix in the chocolate chips and walnut pieces by hand.

4. Make balls with a #40 ice cream scoop and place about 2 inches apart on a baking sheet lined with a nonstick baking mat or on a lightly greased baking sheet.

5. Bake for 15 minutes. Transfer the cookies to cooling racks to cool.

Happy Valentine's Day

We hope you had as much fun on Valentine’s Day as we did here at the Inn. The weekend was bustling with activity from private “Chef for a Day” cooking classes on Friday and Sunday to a chocolate cooking class for 14 people on Saturday with Kate Shaffer from Black Dinah Chocolates. We made chocolate truffles: white chocolate filled with a Key lime ganache and dark chocolate filled with a raspberry ganache. There were heart shaped sugar cookies with tea in the afternoon and a full dining room for dinner each evening. It was great welcoming back returning guests and meeting new guests.

Last night we served our Roasted Sweet Potato, Rutabaga and Green Apple Soup and one of the guests requested the recipe (which is in my second cookbook), so here it is. s recipe serves six.

Roasted Sweet Potato, Rutabaga and Green Apple Soup with a Maple Cream
1 large sweet potato
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup (8 Tablespoons) unsalted butter
1 cup chopped yellow onions
1 cup peeled, diced rutabaga
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and diced
1 quart chicken stock
1 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 Tablespoons Maine maple syrup
Kosher salt and white pepper to taste
Maple Cream (recipe below)
1/4 cup croutons
1 Tablespoon sliced scallions 

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Peel the sweet potato, slice into 1/2-inch-thick slices and lay on a foil-lined baking sheet. Drizzle with the olive oil and season with kosher salt and white pepper. Roast in the preheated oven for 30 minutes.
  3. Place the butter in a large saucepan and place over medium heat. When the butter melts, add the onions and sweat for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the rutabaga and Granny Smith apple and continue to cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the chicken stock and the roasted sweet potatoes and simmer for 20 minutes.
  4. Remove from the heat and blend the soup with either a handheld immersion blender or in a regular household blender until smooth. Add the cream, maple syrup and season with salt and white pepper. Bring back to a simmer and serve with a dollop of whipped maple cream, croutons and finely sliced scallions.

 Maple Cream
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 Tablespoon pure Maine maple syrup
Small pinch of white pepper
Large pinch of kosher salt 

1.  Place the heavy cream in a cold mixing bowl and whisk on high speed until stiff. Add the maple syrup, salt and white pepper and whisk to combine.

Artisan Chocolate Making II

I am happy to announce that Kate Shaffer of Black Dinah Chocolatiers  will be teaching another cooking class here at the Hartstone Inn this coming weekend, April 25th & 26th. Class openings are still available on both Saturday and Sunday and the course runs from 1-3 p.m. Cost is $45 per person. Kate recently blogged about the class on her website’s blog and I have included an excerpt here:

“I plan to cover various hand-tempering techniques, “shell” and figurine moulding, and the making of chocolate decorations, including the use of colored cocoa butter and transfer sheets.  This is a hands-on course, and though some of the techniques are quite advanced, all that’s required of participants is a willingness to have fun and get your hands a little chocolate-y.  We’ll taste our creations at the end of class and you will be able to take a box of your handmade chocolates home with you.”

Call for reservations: 207.236.4259. Hope to see you in the class.

Easter at the Hartstone Inn

Join us on Easter, Sunday, April 12th for our Easter Brunch at 11:00 am or for our Easter Dinner at 5:00 pm. Chef Michael has created some holiday menus and will be displaying some of his antique Easter chocolate molds, complete with chocolate eggs and bunnies. 

Easter Brunch Menu

 Mango and Passion Fruit Smoothie


Baked Bosc Pear with a Raspberry-Star Anise Sauce and Lemon-Almond Biscuit


Hartstone Benedict with either House Smoked Salmon or Prosciutto


Shrimp and Mushroom Quiche with Gruyere Cheese and tossed Greens


Grilled Atlantic Salmon with wilted Spinach Walnut Dressing


Assorted Tarts and Petite Fours


$23.95 per person


Easter Dinner Menu

Maine Seafood Tartlet with a Chive Custard


Sweet Potato, Rutabaga and Green Apple Soup with a Maple Cream


Maine Blueberry Sorbet


Braised Lamb Shanks “En Croute” with a Celeriac Puree and Grilled Vegetables


White Chocolate Soufflé with a Pistachio-Crème Anglaise


Easter Candies and Chocolates


$45.00 per person plus taxes and gratuity

Chocolate Cooking Class a Great Success

This past weekend the Hartstone Inn featured a chocolate cooking class with Kate Shaffer of Black Dinah Chocolatiers. Both Saturday’s and Sunday’s classes were sold out and the response was very positive. Kate started the class with an introduction of herself and her business. She then discussed the basics of chocolate from the difference between types of chocolates (bittersweet, semisweet, milk and white chocolate) to the proper way to melt chocolate.

Next, we made two ganache fillings, perfectly selected for the upcoming holidays. First came a Gingerbread-Dark Chocolate Ganache, followed by a White Chocolate-Eggnog Ganache, my personal favorite. We then formed and cut the ganache and coated them with everything from walnuts and cocoa powder to dark chocolate and decorative transfer paper. Kate then showed the class how to dress strawberries with chocolate tuxedos and we made bark with various types of chocolates, nuts and dried fruits.

Finally, Kate discussed packaging options, we tasted the results and packaged up some samples for the students to take home with them. Thank you Kate! We look forward to your follow up class (title and class description to follow) on April 25th and 26th, 2009.

Artisan Chocolate Making for the Holidays

Mary Jo and I are excited to announce a new series of cooking classes at the Hartstone Inn with Artisan Chocolatier Kate Shaffer of Black Dinah Chocolatiers. If you are not familiar with her chocolates, you are in for a real treat. Kate’s beautiful hand-crafted chocolates are made here in Maine (on the small island of Isle au Haut) and are inspired by fresh, local ingredients and her love of flavors from the tiny corners of the world.

The first class in the series, “Artisan Chocolate Making for the Holidays,” will be held on Saturday, December 6th, from 2:30-4:30 p.m. or Sunday, December 7th, from 1-3 p.m. in the kitchen at the Hartstone Inn.

Following is a brief outline of the course:
What chocolate should I use? A real quick primer on how to choose chocolate that you like and how to figure out what you like.
¨ tasting chocolate
¨ what’s with those percentages?
¨ bittersweet, semisweet, milk and white—what’s the dif?
¨ what makes chocolate “real?”
¨ reading and understanding labels

Working with chocolate in the home kitchen
¨ like water for chocolate: how to avoid ruining chocolate and what to do when you do.
¨ using the refrigerator
¨ storing chocolate

What the heck is ganache?
¨ What does it take to be a truffle?
¨ Making ganache and understanding emulsions

Making holiday chocolate confections
¨ truffles
¨ nut clusters
¨ bark
¨ strawberry tuxedos
¨ cups and bowls

¨ packaging and storing

Visit the Black Dinah Chocolatiers online shop on her website for details on her chocolates and to order gifts for the holidays. I guarantee you will be very impressed with her product and presentation. Other classes in the Chocolate Series with Kate will be scheduled soon on our cooking class page on the Hartstone Inn website. Space is limited in each class so sign up soon by calling 1-800-788-4823 or email us at