Today, in between casting more wax forms for the choco-button molds, I made two batches of caramel: a coffee caramel made of strongly brewed Panama Esmeralda coffee, and my traditional vanilla-jasmine-orange-blossom-honey caramels. The latter are terrific as usual; the coffee caramels are intensely coffee, and quite good. (Next year I’ll add a little orange spice to the mix, and see what happens.) The coffee caramels didn’t cook up quite firm enough, though – I stopped cooking them about a degree or two before I should have – so it looks like I will have to remelt and recook them. I may add the orange spice at that time; I have leftover orange peel – cinnamon – cardamom – what have you syrup that I might throw in. I’ll let Mike taste it and go with whatever he thinks.
The apartment smells wonderful– coffee, vanilla, jasmine – and the cats look contented. (But then, cats always look contented when they’re passed out on the sofa. Life as a cat must be really tough. You have to work really hard to do all that sleeping.)
Next on the agenda is a batch or two of fudge. I think I’ll make the usual stuff before tackling the more experimental candies. So it will be maple walnut, chocolate-macadamia nut (spiked with extra Valrhona cocoa), coconut almond, and the Meyer lemon-lavender-white chocolate fudge for now. Tomorrow I will do the more experimental stuff: coconut-lime (with candied lime zest, perhaps, or just the lime syrup leftover from candying), lemon basil, mocha. I bought 3 kg of Valrhona Tanariva, an excellent milk chocolate with caramelly overtones, and think it would be interesting to try that with the Panama Esmeralda coffee for mocha fudge.
I think it might also be fun to do an orange spice fudge – I have that wonderful spiced orange peel syrup that I don’t want to just toss out, I think it would be wonderful as a flavoring. Not sure how yet – must think some more.
Is this a bad time to mention that you can still sponsor me for $50, and get a box of these fantastic candies?