I’ve nearly finished selecting flavors for this year, and the decision has been agonizing, because there are so many wonderful flavors I could do!
Here is the line-up so far:
- White chocolate, lavender, Meyer lemon fudge
- Coconut tequila lime fudge
- Coconut almond fudge
- Some kind of chocolate fudge (walnut or hazelnut most likely, but possibly with dried apricot or dried pear)
Chocolate-dipped fruits and caramels:
- Candied bergamot peel
- Candied Meyer lemon peel
- Candied grapefruit peel in rose geranium syrup
- Candied orange peel (Cara Cara variety)
- English Toffee
- Jasmine tea – orange blossom honey – vanilla caramels (a perennial – my personal favorite)
- Lavender salt caramels (new this year)
- Ginger lime chile peanut caramels
- Dried apricots (a fallback space-filler in case something goes wrong)
- Candied ginger (another fallback space-filler in case of problems)
- Toasted sliced almonds with kirsch-laced sugar and dried sour cherries, held together with a mix of praline (hazelnut-caramel) paste and dark chocolate (new this year)
Two layer bonbons:
- Passionfruit caramel with white chocolate rum ginger ganache (new this year)
- Cherry jelly with white chocolate kirsch ganache (new this year)
Bonbons with a white chocolate based center:
- Fig cognac
- Strawberry balsamic vinegar
- Prune, port, cinnamon, and honey
- Apricot honey
- Vanilla latte
- Eggnog (nutmeg, vanilla, rum) (new this year)
Bonbons with a milk chocolate based center:
- Black currant with Cointreau
- Ginger with chopped candied ginger (new this year)
Bonbons with a dark chocolate based center:
- Raisin ganache with mole spices (cinnamon, clove, oregano, cumin, anise) (new this year)
- Caramelized banana
- Jasmine tea
…and I can select one more flavor. I’m trialing nine more flavors this weekend, mostly marzipans and other nut-based centers. If I decide to use more than one of those, then I’ll probably drop one of more of these: chocolate fudge, vanilla latte, caramelized banana, saffron, and jasmine tea. All of these are excellent flavors (thus the “agonizing choices” part), but they’ve appeared in past years, and I like to have an assortment of new flavors in addition to the old perennials. So the competition to get into the boxes is really fierce.
Since I am close to finalizing my flavor list, I’ve started entering this year’s recipes into my ingredients spreadsheet. This spreadsheet lists every ingredient in all my flavor combinations, with the amount of each. Each year, I create a new sheet within the spreadsheet, cutting and pasting this year’s flavors, and then total up the columns to get how much I need of what. Instant shopping list!
It’s tedious work, but definitely worthwhile. Manually totaling up ingredients for 30 recipes would drive me nuts! especially if I had to do it every year. Putting it into a spreadsheet vastly simplifies the process, and I only have to enter each recipe once.
The main event for this weekend (aside from trialing chocolate flavors) will be kitten-proofing the house. They’ve been in the master bedroom for two weeks now, and it’s long past time to give them the run of the house. But that means armoring all the electrical wires, cleaning up all the precarious stacks of Stuff that might get knocked over, replacing open trash cans with covered ones, and so on.
But well worth it to have this adorability running around the house: