I got up this morning and tasted sixteen flavors of chocolate ganache! I will probably be on a sugar high all morning, but here are the winners:
- Kaffir lime, lemongrass, ginger, in a coconut milk ganache. Complex and interesting.
- Pink peppercorn, “Buddha’s Hand” citron (fingered citron), candied yuzu peel in dark chocolate. Peppery and aromatic with a high citrus note from the citron, and a flowery overtone from the yuzu.
- Rosemary quince – rosemary turns out to be an interesting flavor with chocolate, and the quince adds tartness and fruitiness to what might otherwise be too sharp.
- Cardamom, ginger, rosewater – the ginger adds a little “kick” and keeps it from being too blandly sweet.
- Three-chili calamondin – guajillo, ancho, and chipotle chiles, plus calamondin (a small citrus, like a tart, orange-y kumquat). Rich, deep flavor with a smokiness and a tiny bit of “kick” from the chipotle. The chile overpowers the calamondin, though, and is fine by itself, so for the actual production run I may just leave out the calamondin.
- Cherry rum – dried sour cherries soaked in rum, chopped, and added to ganache. The sweetness of the rum works well with cherry, and is less cliched than cognac.
- Beer. It’s OK, but not exceptional, and I don’t much like beer, so I’m skipping it.
- Elderberry – overpowered by the chocolate
- Dried cranberries soaked in various liquors (Armagnac, rum, cognac) – not enough distinctive cranberry flavor to be worthwhile
- Armagnac-soaked fruits generally – the flavor is too strong.
So now I have the final flavor list, with six new flavors added to the lineup – time to start calculating recipes and amounts, in preparation for a BIG chocolate order going in later this week!
I have also printed out all the patterns for the latest muslin, cut out all the pattern pieces, and pinned the darts. I hope to start sewing tonight. It will take longer than the other muslins since I will have to staystitch and match curves on almost all the seams – but hopefully will be worth the extra effort!