Flutterby™! : I want candy

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I want candy

2006-09-13 15:13:48.743008+00 by Dan Lyke 0 comments

Our neighbor Diana, a few doors down, makes chocolate truffles, cookies and the like. She's got her wares in a number of local specialty shops and is getting something of a reputation. For quite a while I've been wanting to see how she works to improve my own chocolate skills.

Recently she had surgerey, and in the ensuing "how can we help?" discussions she mentioned that she had to make five hundred some truffles for the Marin Organic "Taste of Marin" event. So last night we made 13 double batches of ganache, tonight we form the centers, tomorrow night we'll dip them.

It's different working with her, when I'm doing chocolate I have a bunch of thermometers out and I'm constantly checking temperatures of water baths and confections to the degree. She's very much of a "that feels right" bent. But we worked well together.

Because of some issues in his housing situation, Alan, Charlene's developmentally disabled brother, has been staying with us for a week or so. He doesn't get up here often, and even though his birthday is a month and a half off he wanted to celebrate with Charlene and Athena. So Charlene made him a fire engine cake, for which I made up a ladder. The first one got broken, so last night I broke out the instructions for making workable sugar and tried again.

The first time I tried that recipe I left out the cream of tartar and went to about 305°F, and while it was somewhat workable, not everything came together right. Last night I think I got it right with the ingredients, pulled it to just 300°F, and had something that was fairly workable. I even tried blowing it a bit, and while I got some interesting balls I kept getting thin spots and blowing out the sides. There are clearly technique issues I need to work out, but I'm making progress.

[ related topics: Bay Area Chocolate Food - Cake ]

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