I finished the fudges yesterday and moved on to dipping the apricots, ginger slices, and coconut fudge. Unfortunately, the chocolate was a little too warm, and my tempering test didn’t catch it because (I think) the room was also too warm and my test smear of chocolate hadn’t fully set by the time I “read” it. As a result, the chocolate “bloomed” (got what looks like a dusting of white powder over it) and I will have to do the apricots and ginger slices all over again. Which means mail ordering the one, and waiting until I can get back to the Sunday farmer’s market for the other.
It’s not the worst of disasters – I was ahead of the game before this happened, so now I’m just back to my original schedule – but it is expensive and irritating to have to rework so much chocolate. Next time I will turn on the air conditioning and be more careful about my tests before starting. Chocolate, alas, is temperamental stuff, and needs to be handled with care.
But I’m sure my coworkers will appreciate eating the “seconds”!
Now I’m laying out the schedule for making the chocolates. This coming weekend will be all about making and dipping caramels, toffees, and other (relative) nonperishables, as well as making chocolate shells. The Monday and Tuesday of Thanksgiving week will be catch-up for anything that didn’t get done that weekend, and laying out the ingredients for the ganache centered bonbons so I can work faster once I start making them. (Ganache is a mixture of chocolate, cream, and butter, and is (once suitably flavored) the basis for truffles and other chocolate bonbons.) Wednesday evening will start the mixing-up of the ganache centers. Thursday will consist of cutting and dipping any ganache centers made on Wednesday night, plus making centers for molded chocolates. I haven’t figured out the other days yet.
And so on. There is a fair amount of intricacy in the scheduling – for example, it’s best if everything involving tempered white chocolate happens at the same time, so some of the centers and some of the dipping need to be done at the same time. Also I have two people coming over to help one or two of the days, and I need to adjust my schedule accordingly. This would probably be awesomely tedious (and not-fun) if I weren’t a project manager: I love this sort of planning! And to produce the kind of output I usually do, it’s critical.
Back to work! It’s planning time (rubs hands in glee).