Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Try, Try Again...

I've been making chocolate professionally for about 25 years.  It's not a big fat brag, it's just what I do.  You'd think I'd have it down by now. That's what I think most of the time.

I've had it in my head to bring back an old favorite, Figaro, to the shop.  It's been in my head for a few months now.  I just could never find the time, it seemed. I realized at the start of the week that in fact, that wasn't true.

I was nervous.

I hadn't made it in years, maybe a decade.  I have shadowy memories of it only being partially successful.  After I had made it a few times, I still didn't feel like I owned the recipe.  It harshed my candyland mellow, and eventually I dropped it from our repertoire.

I'm old enough that I don't like not being an expert at my job.

I've got a birthday coming.  Such stupid thoughts in the face of another ring around the sun, said I!

I got all the ingredients last week, and then I put it off again, until just yesterday.  I'll tell you what: when I flubbed the first batch, I wasn't surprised at all.  Not a whit! Don't get me wrong, it was super tasty.  Just wrong.  In lots of ways.
So pretty. So wrong.

After retreating into my office to do some non-threatening paperwork, I thought about it some more. Double checking my math, my ratios.
The thing about making a mistake in chocolate (especially Figaro), is that it's costly, and I dislike wasting money almost as much as not being an expert. Double whammy, mammy, get on your horse and ride!

And so I did.

Figaro?  You're MINE now.

Second time was a charm, but the best part of the whole process was having a laugh at myself and who I think I am sometimes.  It's got me all jazzed up to make some more mistakes.  We're just heading into a fairly predictable summer season; there's plenty of time and space to work on some new ideas.

Or maybe just make some of the things I love best.

Did I ever tell you how much I love torrone?

Stay tuned.  Who knows what could happen next.

your flawed, but devoted, chocolatier.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Shame.  I hang my head in SHAME, people!
I've not had a hot minute to sit down and say hello since....

Oh hell, last year.
it's been 5 months since I wrote last.  Here's some bacon. 

here's some smoky chipotle to cover the blogger's shame halo.

this one's just cute.
So so so much to report, Turtle Faithful!  First, let's go back to LAST YEAR's last post, which talked about our new location in Salem MA.  318 Derby St, people!  It's the prettiest shop we've had in Salem to date. Just lovely. The neighborhood has been so warm and supportive, and Amy, Brandy and Kathleen have been loving the new space.  A complete lemons-to-lemonade story, as far as I'm concerned.  Huzzah!
We had a great holiday season in both shops, then a great Valentine's Day, as well.  One of the reasons Valentine's Day was so fab (despite its being on a Tuesday) was that the Phantom Gourmet filmed an excellent piece on us.  Couldn't have been nicer to work with, and the timing of the release was beyond perfect.  Watch it here: 

In that same week (more great timing, and lovely people to work with), our caramel apples got the spotlight on InsiderFood, here:

SO:  we had a crazy amount of really wonderful publicity, and have gotten to see a ton of new faces as a result, not to mention all of our loyal customers who have made us what we are today. We are lucky dogs!
In chocolate news, we've stretched our truffle wings a little this winter, and added a couple of new flavors:
Sharing is optional, and not necessarily recommended.
One of our turtle worker bees, Natalia, (and her husband) love to travel.  She often brings me back treats.  Last summer she brought me back a most divine pink grapefruit truffle, which haunted me for months.  I had to figure it out, as I didn't expect to be heading that way with the holidays approaching, and I wanted more.  I couldn't be more pleased with the final product (if I do say myself):  a true balancing act of tart, sweet, deep, dark, delicious.  Feeling pretty proud of that baby.
We also made a beautiful milk chocolate wild fruit ganache truffle.  I'm not always a milk chocolate-with-fruit type of gal, but I have to say, it's damn good.

Of course, March is here, so the Stout Truffle is here too.  Grab them while the grabbin's good, people.

See?  I've been a busy bee. Too busy to write until just this moment.  And actually, it was great to get back to the ole keyboard.  It's really something to put it all down and see how much has actually gone on in the past few months!

Next up?  Easter!  Stay tuned for bunny updates!  xxx