…and could you ask for a better shot? Here are fifty-one kilograms (about a hundred and twelve pounds) of Valrhona white, milk, and dark chocolates, and another nine kilograms (about twenty pounds) of Valrhona cocoa. No girl could possibly ask for anything more.
This weekend I am starting my flavor trials. Here are the top few flavors on my list:
- Kaffir lime, lemongrass, ginger, coconut milk caramels in dark chocolate
- pear, sage, and honey fruit jelly, with sage-honey ganache (not sure dark, white, or milk), dipped in chocolate
- Chocolate pistachio fudge
- Pistachio ganache with kirsch
- Pistachio/white chocolate gianduja and dark chocolate ganache
- Walnut gianduja with cinnamon milk chocolate ganache
A couple of those flavor combinations come from my FAAAAAABULOUS new chocolate book:
Jean-Pierre Wybauw is one of the foremost experts on chocolatiering, and this is his fourth book. Each of his books is a wonderful combination of theory and practice: it starts by explaining the theory of how everything works and then provides a mouthwatering set of recipes. The first three books in the series plus Peter Greweling’s Chocolates and Confections are my chocolatiering bibles. And now – just in time for chocolate season – a new one!
I haven’t yet had time to devour the book completely, but I did page through the enticing food porn, I mean chocolate recipes, and pull out some interesting flavor combinations. Some of them, like peach fruit jelly and vanilla ganache, are classics that I just hadn’t thought to try yet; others, like raspberry-coriander, sound really intriguing; and others, like caraway-lavender, I can’t visualize at all. Which means I really have to try them!
I have also just finished writing up five pages detailing the things I learned about katazome while studying with John Marshall. I wanted to write down absolutely everything I could remember before I forgot it all – and, while I’m writing it, why not share it with the world? So, with John’s permission, I wrote four pages covering carving stencils, making katazome paste, stenciling the paste, and applying pigments + soy milk. There is also a fifth page that provides links to the first four.
This was no small task – those five pages are over four thousand words, plus photos and video! But I thought it was important to capture what I learned. I’m strongly drawn to katazome, and will likely return to it at some point, integrating it with my weaving somehow.
Here’s a pic of a katazome tiger that John did as a demo during class, and which I rinsed out yesterday – gorgeous!
Meanwhile, the book was on temporary hold while I wrote up the katazome stuff, but I’m back on it now. I’ve written the first seven hundred fifty words of my first prototype chapter, so I’m about a quarter done. Hoping to make more progress in the next several mornings, now that the katazome dissertation is complete!
Finally, we have made a shocking discovery: Fritz has become a hardened criminal! It all started with Mike’s socks. They were migrating. We’d come home and find a scattering of socks all over the house. Since Mike wasn’t doing it, and I wasn’t doing it, that left only two possibilities. Naturally, Fritz came under suspicion, given his previous history of drug abuse (you may recall that he loves sniffing shoes), but as Tigress also is quite playful, we weren’t quite sure. Until this morning. Mike woke up around seven o’clock to the sound of a cat pawing at something. He opened his eyes, and there was Fritz, digging in Mike’s clean laundry basket! Eventually Fritz found a sock, and made off with it. Mystery solved!
(But I knew deep down inside that all this shoe-sniffing would lead to a life of crime…we should have sent him off to rehab while there was still time!)
Here are a few photos of the culprit in action. Unfortunately, I was laughing way too hard to take a video…