Sorry for the radio silence – I been busy!
I spent most of the last few days “in the weeds”, as they say – behind on the production schedule despite considerable help from friends. (Thus, no time for blogging!) I also had five unexpected batch failures (which is very unusual): the orange blossom ganache separated into an unpleasantly grainy mass, the maple pecan didn’t work, the white guava had no flavor, and the curry-mango-passionfruit-coconut and black currant Cointreau ones came out too soft to dip. I substituted two additional flavors, rum and saffron, but wasn’t able to make up for all five batch failures. As a result, I only finished twenty-nine flavors instead of my original target of thirty-two. I plan to make up two batches of fudge today: it’s quick and easy and sets almost immediately, so as long as it’s fully cool by the time the packing party starts (at one o’clock), it should work out fine. Since I’m limited to what I have on hand, I think I will do one white chocolate flavor (mocha cinnamon) and one dark chocolate flavor (chocolate ginger). If I had more maple syrup, I’d do a maple fudge, but alas, I’ve used it up already.
However, I think I’m OK for this year’s production, and I have some wonderful new flavors to trot out! The ginger lime chile caramel (topped with peanuts) is spectacular, and the chai caramels are excellent. The cinnamon ganache over walnut gianduja is just amazing – you start with a hit of cinnamon, evolve to chocolate, and then the walnut comes out at theÂ end, for a marvelous flavor experience that evolves continuously for almost a minute. And the hazelnut gianduja with raspberry pate and the peanut butter gianduja with Concord grape jelly got rave reviews.
And that’s just this year’s new flavors! I have old favorites like the jasmine tea caramels, the fig-cognac, the strawberry balsamic vinegar, the apricot-honey, and all sorts of wonderful stuff. Despite all the challenges along the way, I’m quite pleased with this year’s production.
Off to put yesterday’s chocolates into boxes! After that I will do the ritual weighing of the chocolates, and let you know the total figure. And, of course – photos, lots of photos!