Hello, lovelies. Thanks for your patience while I took a bit of a break. It was a case of life spinning madly out of control, and something had to give. While I’m sad that it was this blog, I’m glad to be back and writing. I’ve had a good think about how to balance the things I need to do with the things that I want to do, and I’ve come to a decision.
I’m going to post, at minimum, once a week. Yes, that’s significantly less than the daily posts that I started with. However, seeing as how I started this blog while I was delightfully unemployed, I think that a weekly post is a happy compromise. It’s a case of quality versus quantity. This way, I can have a week to think about what I want to say, and make it count. [So she says hopefully.]
Yup. And now we return to your regularly scheduled programming.
I’ve started working with chocolate again. I’ve been writing about it and tasting it for nearly a year now, but I really needed a break from working with it. It didn’t occur to me how much I missed it, but I’ve been experimenting for the past couple of weeks. And, I’m pleased to report, I love it again. LOVE. IT. There’s something about watching chocolate melt, playing with the temperatures, tempering it, and inspecting the final products. And, of course, eating it.
In honour of International Bacon Day, I made a batch of bacon caramels and dipped them in chocolate. Dipping the caramels was surprisingly tricky. They were softer than caramels that I’ve worked with before, so I had to work quickly before they relaxed into limpid pools of caramel goodness.
And, each caramel donated a bit of bacon fat to the bowl of chocolate. It was exceedingly generous of them, but by the end of the batch the chocolates were looking like they weren’t setting as well. I panicked a bit (oh noes! have I lost my tempering touch?) until I realized that it was a layer of bacon fat on top of the chocolate. Hrm. They did set in the end, and they were delicious, but this is a logistical detail that I’ll have to work out.
This weekend, when gifted with some fresh basil from a friend’s garden, I made some lemon-basil truffles. They’re more basil than lemon, but they taste bright and summery and delicious, and I’ll take it.
In culinary school, I always emerged from chocolate classes looking like I had taken a bath in it. I was notorious for getting two horizontal streaks, one each at chest-level and waist-level. Chest-level corresponded to the rim of the giant bowl of chocolate that I was tempering, and waist-level corresponded to the height of the granite counter.
Thankfully, I work cleaner these days. The kitchen is spotless and I didn’t get anything on my apron – though, I confess that on my evening run yesterday, I found a streak of chocolate on my high-tech, air-wicking running shirt. The chocolate pixies must be after me. It only makes me run faster.