Faced with an overwhelmingly long to-do list, with lots of projects demanding attention, I’m doing the only possible thing: playing hooky for the day.
More accurately, I’m spending the day playing with chocolate. This is a project near the bottom of the urgency list, but it sounds like more fun and requires less concentration than the other items on my list, and I need to decompress, so I’ve popped it to near the top. I spent this morning coming up with recipes and plan to spend this afternoon testing some of them. (In between doing some home improvement stuff, which really does need to get done.)
Here is what is on the slate to be tested:
- Maple ganache over pecan gianduja. Pecan gianduja is distinctly nontraditional, so I will have to make it myself – grinding toasted pecans very finely with an equal amount of confectioner’s sugar, then mixing in melted, tempered dark chocolate. Then I’ll need to boil down some maple syrup, and mix with cream, butter, and dark chocolate to make the ganache. I’m debating whether to add some ginger to the mix; I may try it both ways.
- Key lime ganache over coconut gianduja. I’ll have to make the coconut gianduja myself as well (same recipe as the pecan gianduja, only with coconut instead of pecans). Then I’ll make the key lime ganache with lime juice, lime zest, white chocolate, cream, and butter. I’m debating whether to add some rum, and again, will probably try it both ways.
- Concord grape or strawberry fruit pate over peanut gianduja. For this gianduja I’ll likely use a milk chocolate base, but haven’t decided yet. I think strawberry fruit pate will probably go better with chocolate than concord grape, but again, I think I’ll try it both ways. (I really love a good peanut butter and jelly sandwich!)
- Sassafras with white chocolate and maybe some cinnamon or orange
- Curry, mango, passionfruit, coconut ganache – a recipe from Ewald Notter’s The Art of the Chocolatier, sounds intriguing.
There are other flavors I want to try but frankly, I’ll be lucky if I get through the first couple today, as I expect making gianduja will be fairly time-consuming. I’ll probably make half-batches of each of the flavors – I would prefer to make even smaller batches to reduce waste, but it’s impossible to make very small amounts of gianduja, so I’ll make a half-recipe and then “donate” it to my and Mike’s coworkers on Monday.
Anyway, this sounds like fun! and as Dr. Seuss says,
If you never did, you should
These things are fun, and fun is good.
So that’s what I’ll do today, creatively speaking.