Whew! It’s the day after Thanksgiving, which annually means a chocolate extravaganza. I spent this morning filling chocolate molds, then just finished making four flavors of truffle filling:
–apricot-vanilla with icewine
–roseapple jam (the roseapple is a Hawaiian fruit that tastes like rosewater)
–Armagnac (like Cognac, but stronger flavored and better for chocs IMO)
–roasted banana with icewine
I like to add a little alcohol into my chocolates as it helps the flavor; the icewine was an inspiration of the moment. My brother makes wines, you see, and he’d sent me a bottle of icewine that I’d been saving “for a special occasion”. Voila! It turns out to be wonderful icewine, and I plan to share it with Noel tomorrow.
Noel is one of the guys I met through my personals ads–he’s a scriptwriter working as a water meter reader while studying for the bar. Very interesting guy–we had a first date last week, and he’s coming over tomorrow to help out with chocolates (tomorrow is chocolate truffles, chocolate-covered sour cherry/almond clusters, and maybe chocolate covered cinnamon caramels). He’s bringing some wine with him, a nice Merlot, which I may try reducing and adding to truffles. (Yes, I know, I have a one-track mind. 🙂 )
I’m a little bit concerned because I’m low on chocolate–at this point I’m down to about 20 lbs, which I know sounds like a lot, but when you consider that I used up a good 8 pounds just this morning, isn’t much at all. I should have bought more!! But oh well, that’s water under the bridge. I won’t be able to get more until nearly Christmas (at which point I will restock myself for the year).
I was mortally embarrassed but also quite gratified yesterday at Thanksgiving dinner–I brought some caramels and some toffee as my contribution to the feast, and people LOVED them. I mean, they were RAVING over them, for at least ten or fifteen minutes. I didn’t know what to say. But I’m glad they liked them. 🙂
Anyway, I made a bunch of molded chocolates–two kinds of hearts, one leaf pattern with a squiggle of white chocolate down the center, one leaf-shaped with gold sparkle over the top (achieved by mixing cocoa butter with edible gold sparkle dust and patting it into the mold before adding the chocolate), one round chocolate with a white chocolate swirl, and one plain round chocolate. They’re in these very high-quality chocolate molds that I retrieved from Richard Donnelly–heavyweight, clear plastic that you can whack on the table without the slightest trace of bending. A far cry from the “regular” plastic molds. They really do turn out excellent results.
Oh, and I am COVERED in chocolate. At least this year I had the sense to invest in an apron. So the apron and my arms are covered in chocolate (and I may never get my fingernails clean again), but the rest of me is relatively chocolate-free.
Other flavors on the short list:
Maybe other stuff if I get experimental. I had planned to make strawberry truffles, but decided the jam was too sweet…chestnut truffles got nixed after the chestnut puree I bought turned out to be awful. Quince truffles, ditto, though I plan to make my own quince jam next year, and try it with that.
Right now I’m waiting for my flavored ganaches (chocolate-cream-butter mixture) to cool so I can pipe them into the chocolate molds and finish off the molded chocolates. After that I’ll unmold them, put them into candy cups, and get some food. Then I’ll probably make some jasmine-tea-vanilla-orange-blossom-honey caramels, and/or some cinnamon caramels, in preparation for tomorrow.