I was pretty frustrated with how little we got done yesterday, until I looked back and realized how much we actually got done!
Here is your eye candy for today (the candied citrus is not included – it got put away before I could take a photo):
I’m moderately happy with the hand-painted backgrounds: I like the color, and the gold-white background makes the colors brighter. However, next time I think I’ll make the backgrounds solid rather than just spattering it in places; there isn’t much of the white-gold “background” showing, so the bits that do show look like a mistake rather than something intentional.
The backgrounds were also a pain to cut because they had to be individually hand-cut – normally you can “stack and whack” transfer sheets, stacking them and then cutting with a rotary cutter. But with the colored cocoa butter painted on, they were too delicate to do that, so each had to be cut individually. When I tell you that there were over 1200 of them, you can see what a job that was! It took me four hours to hand-paint them all and Susan took two hours to cut them. Next year I will prep and cut them well in advance.
The flavors are excellent. I haven’t yet tasted the hazelnut-raspberry fruit pate or the Concord grape/peanut butter, but the ginger lime chili caramels sprinkled with peanuts are wicked good. (I cannot claim credit for the flavor combo; I stumbled across it at the Chocolate Salon, from Cocotutti chocolatiers, and adapted it for a dipped rather than soft caramel. Theirs is better in my estimation, but mine ain’t too shabby, either!) The Concord grape/peanut butter gets the Mike seal of approval – he came home from work, tasted it, and said, “Hey, this is good!” Munch munch, munch munch, and suddenly most of the leftover bits and pieces were gone. I take that as a good sign. 🙂
Anyway, here is a list of today’s production:
- candied yuzu peel
- candied Meyer lemon peel
- candied bergamot peel
- candied grapefruit peel
- ginger-lime-chile caramel (with peanuts on top)
- peanut butter and jelly (Concord grape jelly)
- raspberry-orange fruit pate with hazelnut gianduja
Made centers for:
- Honey chai caramels
- Raspberry marshmallows
- Pecan gianduja with maple fudge
Plus I hand-painted (and Susan cut apart) over 1200 transfer sheets to decorate chocolates with.
That’s not too shabby for a day’s work!
Unfortunately, because I started out behind, I’m still behind on my schedule. So this morning, I’ll be refactoring my schedule to see whether I’m likely to finish in time. I can always put in a few more hours of work each day if necessary, but I don’t think I’ll have to.
On today’s slate:
Make the following centers:
- White guava
- Prune, port, cinnamon, and honey
- strawberry and balsamic vinegar
- Fig cognac
- Apricot buttercream, orange blossom honey, cognac
Cut and dip:
- Raspberry marshmallows
- Maple-pecan centers
- Chai caramels
- white guava
- prune, port, cinnamon, and honey
- strawberry balsamic vinegar
That is a bit of a tall order, even with two people, so a few of the centers might get put off to Friday. Probably not a huge deal, as a third helper comes in on Friday and Saturday, which will further accelerate production. I think I’ll be OK.
Off to work on chocolate! Mike isn’t up yet, so I’ll start with quiet stuff, like putting away chocolates and maybe painting some more chocolate transfer sheets. Once he’s up, it will be time to rev up the chocolate factory!