Yesterday’s flavor trials got to a slow start, primarily because I had to do a lot of setup before I could start mixing flavors. I had a new set of stainless steel frame bars which needed to be filed smooth and scrubbed clean, and I needed to restring my new confectionery guitar. Together, those two tasks took nearly eight hours. What with other chores, and playing with kittens, I only got about four hours to work on chocolate tasting.
However, I did get quite a bit done in those four hours: I mixed up batches of cherry fruit pâté, tomato fruit pâté, lavender caramel, lavender salt caramel, truffle caramel (one with fresh truffle grated over the top, sprinkled with regular salt, one with truffle salt sprinkled over it), regular salt caramels, and three kinds of ginger ganache with citrus marmalade (bergamot marmalade, orange marmalade, Meyer lemon marmalade).
And here is photographic evidence:
I haven’t gotten around to tasting anything yet, though, as most of these flavors are meant to be combined with other flavors, not eaten straight up on their own. For example, the truffle salt caramels and the vanilla salt caramels will be paired with a dark chocolate pepper ganache (and anything else I happen to think up), the cherry jelly with a white chocolate kirsch ganache, and the tomato with chipotle, thyme, basil, and citrus marmalade ganaches. (I may try mole spices with raisin in a ganache, too, though I am more likely to try this with today’s batch of smoked sundried tomato jelly.)
The intent for today is to finish mixing the flavor combinations I started yesterday, cut them with the guitar (to get practice using it), and dip them in chocolate. If I have time I will trial a few more flavors – mostly ganaches, as they are quick and easy. I’ll bring the results to my coworkers on Monday – we just had a big software release, so it’s the perfect occasion!
And, because no blog post would be complete without adorable kitten photos, here are four to entertain you, shot by my very talented photographer friend, Lieven Leroy: