Why I have a blog

My photo
Since I never seem to get around to sending out Christmas cards or letters, I decided to blog a bit to keep my fans updated. :-)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

A new Thanksgiving tradition

I joined B.S and family for Thanksgiving today over at Silly Girl's grandparents' house. We started with cheese and crackers, chips and dip, veggies and other appetizers around 11AM. About 1PM we decided to institute a new tradition--one I am calling "Life is short, eat pie first!"

Yep -- we had pie for lunch. The turkey dinner will start around 5.

I think I really like this. I often pass on pie after Thanksgiving dinner and just catch it the next day as part of the leftovers extravaganza. I found I really enjoyed having it earlier in the day. And, since we have more than 1 pie/person this year, there is plenty of pie left for those who want some after dinner today (and for me to have some more tomorrow).

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Hmmm...round 1 of the experimental technique did not go well

So here's my plan -- if I can use the shell molding method of chocolate making, I might get a better seal on my cherry chocolates.

So, I followed the instructions in my awesome candy book by the CIA (Culinary Institute of America) to polish my chocolate molds and fill them with tempered chocolate. I then deviated slightly from the instructions and turned them over to drain on cooling racks (instead of a bowl). I must have waited just a bit too long to drain them, because the chocolate did not really drip down through the cooling rack grid very well and more chocolate than I anticipated remained in the cavities of the mold.

I persevered anyway, hoping to identify other challenges with my plan. With the extra thickness of the chocolate in the cavities, there wasn't room for the extra-large maraschino cherries I have on hand. I cut them in half and dropped them in. I then piped in some fondant (there wasn't room for much) and sealed with chocolate.

This batch won't be beautiful, but here's what I learned:
1. I need smaller cherries (I might have to go to Gygi's on Saturday and see if they have some smaller ones)
2. I need deeper molds that are more rigid than the ones I have. I'm thinking about investing in one of these.
3. I need a better scraper. (I'm thinking a wide rigid putty knife)

I will first try another round in my existing molds and see if a thinner wall of chocolate might work better. But not tonight. If you have any ideas, send them my way!

Halloween is over...time to start dipping chocolates for Christmas!

Yep candy fans...I'm working on a batch of chocolate-covered cherries tonight. I'm experimenting with a different technique to see if I can resolve the issues I've had with the cherry juice oozing through weak spots in the chocolate covering. More later..