Sunday, September 1, 2013

late summer outdoor fête

The end of the summer was toasted with friends, crisp champagne, local cheeses & flavorful chocolate. Made with blended chocolates from Central America terroirs, I created a couple of different chocolate palets (bite sized chocolates flavored with aromatic oils & spices) for the occasion. Warm & aromatic, dark xocolatl palets with cocoa nibs, cinnamon & cayenne are a classic combination, the sweetness of the spice & heat from the pepper rounded out the deep & fruity chocolate blend nicely. Creamy chocolate palets with white truffle oil & smoked sea salt were a hit; the milky blend of chocolate & smoky piquancy of the sea salt complimented the earthy mushroom oil marvelously. Cheers!

Monday, November 26, 2012

holiday cheer

Happiest of Holidays to everyone, & thank you for all of your support, enthusiasm & patience
 ~ hoping to announce some good news this coming year...

Many thanks to my talented & supportive friend Karen for the photo styling xo

Sunday, July 29, 2012

bountiful love

It's wonderful to show up at an event & hand your offering over to capable & artistic hands knowing that when it is presented, it will look wonderful. Well, yesterday's wedding was a tour de force. The chocolate pâté with Bourbon whiskey showed up on the banquet table looking like a lush & bountiful Dutch still life. 

The wonderful couple taking vows knows & loves good food, so I gathered a variety of fresh & dried fruits, along with traditional anise pizelles for spreading & feasting. Dried mangoes & pears, along with fresh melt-in-your-mouth black mission figs, local currants, cherries & blueberries were arranged by the fabulous caterers into a gorgeous & delicious tableau. The enormous hill of chocolate literally disappeared within minutes. L'Chaim!

Monday, June 18, 2012

grand seasonal finale

The summer temperatures are arriving right on schedule, forecast to hover around 90ºF later this week, just in time for the solstice. Once again, I will be closing down my chocolate kitchen for the summertime after this weekend, although I will continue to make chocolate terrines by request, including one for a lovely wedding in July.

Today I rolled up my sleeves & got into the kitchen to make 160 mendiants for a wedding this weekend, in a race to beat the heat. These little beauties will be packaged later on today, then stored safely until Saturday for the happy couple.

Since the chocolates would be favors for the festive event, I wanted something as equally beautiful to the eye as to the taste buds. Flowers & dried summer fruits seemed in order, so I made three different varieties, with fleur de sel & blanched sliced almonds:
  • dried bing cherry with hibiscus flowers
  • dried strawberry with rose petals
  • dried blueberries with lavender
Cheers & many years of happiness to the wonderful couple!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

mendiants: bleu

Mendiants have really captured my imagination. These perfume-y bits are made with organic lavender blossoms, roasted almond slivers made with local raw honey, fleur de sel, & dried organic blueberries.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

i beg to differ

Mendiants, French for beggars, are traditionally made around the Christmas holidays, but I think they are a festive accompaniment to any occasion or a perfect gift, any time of the year.

Dried Turkish fig, fresh rosemary, fleur de sel & candied balsamic pecans float on top of a bittersweet chocolate medallion, for a balanced combination of chewy, crunchy, salty, bitter & sweet. Voila!

Monday, February 13, 2012

tux & tails

A classic & classy combination of French champagne paired with bittersweet chocolate, creating a delicate & fluffy ganache that melts on your tongue, leaving a whiff of sparkling wine behind. Dressed up with a crunchy marbled dark & white chocolate tile, these little numbers are ready to go out on the town & celebrate. Happy Valentine's Day!