By now you've probably seen one of the life-size replicas of the Stanley Cup created entirely out of chocolate.
The hunger-inducing images have made their way across television and the internet, including thousands of mentions on Twitter. In that regard, the decadent trophies have accomplished their goal. The idea behind the edible art came from NBC Sports which is broadcasting the Stanley Cup playoffs. World renowned chocolatier Jacques Torres was hired to sculpt 30 of the sought after NHL prize, of which 28 were sent to various members of the media. (Torres was allowed to keep two for his stores.)
But the chocolate replicas almost never made it off the drawing board.
"They came to me three times before we said yes," Torres reveals.
The 52-year-old master pastry chef doesn't do custom work. The time and energy required to create such labor intensive pieces rarely returns a worthwhile profit. But after the hat trick of meetings and some convincing from those close to him, Torres realized how unique an opportunity it was.
"It's cool to do something that historical," he says. "Everybody knows the Stanley Cup."
That didn't make the process any easier though. Torres had to hire an artist to help replicate the trophy and then allocated six chocolatiers to the project. The facsimiles took five days each to make and weighed in between 46 and 50 pounds. Mr. Chocolate, as he is affectionately known, wouldn't reveal the actual value of each of his Stanley Cups except to say, "the chocolate costs quite a bit of money."
The only other custom project Torres recalls taking on was creating a dragon out of chocolate a few years back. He says the only reason he took on the request was because he'd never made a chocolate dragon before. It took him an entire week to complete.
"From time to time I need that kind of excitement and challenge," he says.
The chocolate Stanley Cups were certainly exciting, especially for those lucky enough to see one in person. Torres made a delivery stop recently on CNBC's "Sports Biz: Game On" with Darren Rovell. Co-host Erin Sharoni called it a marriage of the two best things on earth: Hockey and chocolate.
"I was beside myself," she says. "Jacques is such an amazing artist, and the chocolate replica looked EXACTLY like the real thing, minus the actual writing. I am a qualified judge, considering that the real Stanley Cup was on our set the very same day."
For those wondering, the replicas are not just for display. Torres used his finest chocolate, nothing less than 60 percent cocoa, and after some admiration the three-foot cups are meant to be eaten. During his Game On appearance, he cracked one into several pieces for the hosts to try.
"It tasted BETTER than it looked. Ever had Jacques Torres chocolate before?" Sharoni asks. "It's a glorious experience. Try it before you die."
-- Adam Watson is the food czar at ThePostGame. You can follow him on Twitter @AdamKWatson.