Today went fairly well – I mixed up five flavors of white chocolate based ganache (strawberry-balsamic vinegar, apricot-honey, vanilla latte, guava, yuzu) and got a good start on dipping the dark chocolate centers. I botched cutting up the saffron, badly: I may not have enough left to put it in all the boxes this year. I also botched the Armagnac by dropping about 10% of the centers on the floor; I still have enough for one in every box, but only if they all come out well. (Cross fingers and hope!) But the strawberry-balsamic vinegar, jasmine tea, and whisky truffles are all cut, dipped, and decorated, so I have made good progress for the day.
I would have finished off one more flavor if not for a major disaster: as I was going to temper the chocolate for the last batch, the tempering machine stopped working! The bowl quit rotating, and even after cleaning things I couldn’t get it to turn under any load. I thought I’d burned out the motor, and had horrifying visions of spending the next two days trying to produce 60 lbs of chocolates without a tempering machine! I’d have had to haul out the giant granite slab (currently doubling as a table), scrub it down, and temper chocolate the old-fashioned way, cooling it on the stone. Messy, tedious, and slow: even working 16 hours a day, I’d never be able to finish all the chocolates in time!
Fortunately, Mike rescued me. He inspected the machine, poked here and there, and finally identified the problem: two loose screws! He tightened them down and the machine promptly started working again.
Have I mentioned how glad I am that I married him? (And not just for his mechanical competence!)
Anyway, tomorrow I will spend the first half of the day cutting and dipping the centers I made today, then start mixing up more flavors. I may have friends coming over to help, which would be handy as I’m currently a bit behind.
And here’s your eye candy for the day:
I’ve also finished dipping the Scotch truffles, and decorated them with a nifty pattern of miniature Japanese crests (no pretty photos yet, alas).
Tomorrow morning I will put yesterday’s chocolates into boxes, then dip all the centers I mixed up yesterday and today. And then I’ll start doing the molded chocolates, and finish out the day by mixing up the flavors to be dipped on Saturday.
Yes, indeedy, I have my work cut out for me!