I cut and dipped all the caramels and the citrus peels, plus I made English toffee and started in on the chocolate-dipped apricots. I am not sure I bought enough of the apricots; I may need to go back next Sunday and buy another box.
Here are some quick shots:
Total it was about six and a half hours of work, with occasional breaks while more chocolate was tempering. (Tempered chocolate has a limited working time; after about 30-40 minutes it starts getting too thick to work. So then you have to reheat some of the chocolate (or melt more chocolate) to thin it out, which means going through the entire tempering process again.)
Plan for this week is to cook up the two batches of fudge (chocolate walnut Armagnac and coconut tequila lime) that I didn’t get to this weekend, and put all the newly-made chocolates into containers. I have two full-size sheet trays of candied citrus peel, two trays of caramel, and one of English toffee; each tray is equivalent to two home baking trays, so that will probably take an hour or two. i will also trial the goat-cheese-and-honey ganache, trying to find a food-safer way to make it work.
Next weekend (two days before the beginning of Chocopalooza!) I will dip the easy stuff: chocolate covered apricots, chocolate covered candied ginger, and the coconut almond fudge. The last two both contaminate chocolate: the ginger leaves little gritty bits of sugar and the coconut fudge leaves bits of shredded coconut – important because one of my friends has a lethal allergy to coconut! So after I am done dipping that batch, I will get rid of the leftover chocolate and start fresh with a new batch. (I give the contaminated chocolate to a friend, who refers to it as “chocolate slag” and uses it in hot chocolate, etc.)
My brain is now in full-on chocolate mode, so don’t expect too much about Autumn Splendor until chocolate season is over (November 20). Chocolates ho!