Okay, so in my header is says I am a chocolatier wanna be and you have yet to see any serious chocolate yet right? Well, that is because I only “go into production” once or twice a year now due to time constraints – and waistline constraints. But, that time has come around so strap yourself in ‘cause I am about to make Willie Wonka blush!!
You won’t see recipes, because I read somewhere that if you have a secret recipe that everyone raves over, don’t give it away. Otherwise you will never be able to show up at a function and have something unique. Ya, I know; how selfish of me, but, someday these yummies may be smiling back at ya from a shiny glass case with my name and a price tag next to them! Besides, there are jillions of candy recipes out there and since I feel candy making is a very personal thing I think you should find something you like and make it your own.
My gift baskets are my pride and joy, and I hope, people look forward to receiving one every year. I make a variety of things to go into every one of my gift baskets, everything has chocolate in or on it except one – periodically I make pecan pralines because they are the absolute favorite of my dearest friend Claire. I never put baked goods in my baskets – I save that for just plain giving, but I do sometimes add a nice champagne or sweet wine.
I really do love chocolate, and I’m picky. As you can see from the photos, I use a wide variety of chocolate. I use certain brands for certain things, sometimes coverture, sometimes eating chocolate, depends on what I am making. I really do prefer a very good eating chocolate for many of my truffle centers – they just seem smoother and creamier. And no I am not talking Hershey’s here; although I like a Hershey bar as much as the next guy. It’s all a science really, fruitier chocolates for fruit, nuttier chocolates for nuts and so on. There really are differences and if you want to really give yourself a sugar high, stop by a very good candy shop or go on line to one of my favorite places Chocolate Source and buy a few different kinds. Try some Callebaut, or Valrhona, or maybe Lindt coverture (yes folks it does exist!). Have yourself a little tasting session and see what I mean – you’ll be amazed.
I try to make something new every year, just to keep my regular recipients guessing. Everyone has their favorites, and I was surprised to find out that for some people truffles were not at the top of their list. Sheesh, how could that be! I will admit the year I introduced Turkish Delights (rosewater geleé in milk chocolate) it was not a huge hit among my American friends, although my European friends were quite thrilled for a taste of home. Wonder how people are gonna feel about Orange Blossom Water and Bitter Sweet Chocolate?
Swiss White Chocolate Truffle with Cointreau Enrobed in Belgian Bitter-Sweet Chocolate
Belgian Semi-Sweet Chocolate Truffle with Baileys Irish Cream Enrobed in French Milk Chocolate
French Milk Chocolate Truffle with Amaretto Enrobed in Belgian Semi-Sweet Chocolate
Belgian Bitter-Sweet Chocolate and Australian Crystalized Ginger Mint Patties
Buttery Mint Patty Enrobed in Belgian Semi-Sweet Chocolate
Peanut Butter Dreams
Peanut Butter & Swiss White Chocolate Enrobed in French Milk Chocolate