Spring has finally arrived and with it the first real holiday of the Spring season, Easter. Here in New York the weather is finally turning, growing warmer and more gorgeous every day.
Its been an interesting time since my last post. There is so much that goes into running a small business and like most people I don’t have the means to just exist on the earnings I make from the chocolates to subsist on solely. So I have a part time bartending job that I keep to keep cash flow coming in. At the moment I am between jobs, having left my previous employment at Superfine about a month ago. It is an incredible establishment, run by three really incredible women, Tanya, Laura and Cara lee, who have been my friends for years. They have supported me and this business for years and I will always be grateful for their support. But all things come to an end and there are always new beginnings ahead of us. I would love to finally make the leap and just run the business and see how that goes but the past couple of months have shown me that its still not quite at that stage yet.
Enough about me. I am truly excited about the flavors for this Easter, once again calling upon my life, my childhood and my travels to draw inspiration for the flavors in this box. I won’t bother to describe them here because the descriptions for all of them follow but trust me, this is a great box with many unique flavors and combinations. I always have favorites and I think my favorite for this box is the Chamomile Infused Prosecco Dark Chocolate Covered Cherries. The chamomile is a beautiful addition that just ties everything together. So make sure you don’t pass on those.
I’m adding a new delivery option, if you live within the New York City boroughs. For a five dollar fee I can hand deliver your chocolates to you if you would like, time and availability depending. I’ve implemented this feature for several of my customers already and people seem to really love the personal touch so I’ve decided to open it up to everyone. And the five dollars is to cover the cost of subway both directions. Otherwise I can and do ship anywhere in the world.
Besties – There is nothing better in life that good friends; people who make your life so much better just by being around. They often don’t even have to do anything to enrich your life but they always do. One such good friend of mine, Liz has her birthday at the beginning of April. Liz is beautiful, super intelligent and full of life. She’s constantly trying to change the world around her for the better and she is incredibly inspiring. She is also of Greek descent and very proud of her heritage. So for her birthday I have created the Bestie, a baklava inspired honey walnut marzipan filled dark chocolate confection with hints of orange and cinnamon.
Easter Creams – when I was younger my brother’s best friend Wayne’s mother started making chocolates for Easter. I remember Wayne bringing over a box of them for us and being amazed that she had made these beautiful, delicate little confections. One of them, an orange cream filled egg was my favorite and I marveled that an actual person I knew had made magic of this sort. I had no idea how she did it. Now I do. In an homage to Wayne’s mom and her orange cream filled eggs I’ve made an Easter Cream, blood orange and gunpowder green tea butter cream filled dark chocolates.
Cartzel Sandies – ok I have to admit one of my favorite guilty pleasures. Caramel and pretzels. I love the two of them together. And one of my absolute favorite things to do is to make up a batch of caramel sauce and then dip pretzel rods in it. Its like candy fondue but better. These will give you just a taste of what that is like, beautiful caramel cream sandwiched between two pretzels, dipped in dark chocolate. Sheer heaven in the simplicity. And just in case you’d like to try the sauce with rods, I am including my recipe for my caramel sauce.
Bo Wayne’s Most Fabulous Incredible Caramel Sauce
- 2 cups sugar
- 1/4 – 1/3 cup light corn syrup
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 cups heavy cream
- Put the sugar, corn syrup and water into a large pot and stir well to combine. Put over medium high heat and let sit. Don’t stir. Stirring can cause the sugar to crystallize. If you notice it starting to color unevenly, pick up the pot and gently swirl the contents to mix. You’re going to leave it sit until it starts to caramelize. Meanwhile, in another smaller pot, bring the cream just to a starting boil and turn it off. You just need it to be hot when you pour it into the sugar.
- After about ten minutes the sugar will begin to caramelize. At this point pay close attention because it can go from amber to black very quickly. It will go golden and then amber and keep going darker. The darker it goes, the more bitter and burnt tasting it will get, and also the final product will be thicker. This part is all personal preference. I prefer a nice tan, bordering on amber hue.
- When it gets to the color you’d like, turn off the heat, take the pot with hot cream and slowly pour it it. It will bubble up fiercely so be careful, don’t dump it in all at once. At this point you can also start stirring.
- Once the sauce stops boiling and settles you can pour it into jars and let cool. Keep refrigerated. When you want to serve just take out and let it come to room temperature or pop into the microwave and heat at ten second intervals. You don’t want it too liquid, just fluid enough to dip pretzels in.
Cluckers – When I was a child growing up in Northern Minnesota my mother married my second father, Marty Clark, who promptly adopted my brother and I and gave us his last name. Somehow my brother then earned us the nickname Clucker which drove him crazy. I didn’t mind, that sort of thing never bothered me but when somebody called either of us Clucker you could see on his face how much it enraged him. So for my brother, and for all the kids who received nicknames they hated, this is for you. Nothing deflates the power of nicknames poorly earned than to turn them into a beautiful confection that everyone loves. Peanut butter caramel cream cups with peanut butter cream. Because we all have that wounded kid inside us hating that nickname that hits home so awfully. Lets feed them some joy this Easter.
RoiBos – Sometimes there isn’t much of a back story to some of these flavors. Sometimes its just an itch of an idea that pops into your head and no matter of scratching will do until you actually try it and see how it is. Usually I’ve found that the itch is an inkling about something good, sometimes great. Its like everything is coming together to point you into a direction and in that direction you must go. Soft roiboos vanilla caramels covered in dark chocolate and sprinkled with salt flakes.
Kirby’s – My friend John Kirby’s father is a lawyer who won a case against MGM for Nintendo over Donkey Kong. They subsequently (so the story goes) named the little video character after him. And John was given a beautiful sailboat that he’s named the Donkey Kong that he takes out constantly over the summer with his work partner (Libby Handros. They make amazing documentaries. Look them up) and anyone they can fit. One time he asked me to make up a box of coconut confections for his wife. So now anything coconut reminds me of him. Plus they kind of look like Kirby. Coconut cream fondant with fresh candied coconut and a drizzle of salted caramel in white chocolate.
Liz Lemons – I make these wonderful cream centered chocolates flavored with Lemon and Lavender, one of my favorite combos. One day my friend Liz said, I bet that lavender and lemon would taste great in a pate de fruits. I bet they would too. Bam, here they are. And I love Tina Fey as Liz Lemon so its a double whammy. Sometimes its that simple. Lavender and lemon pate de fruits, a bit on the tart side so expect a kick. Dipped and half dipped in dark chocolate. For all of the fabulous Liz’s in our lives.
P3 – Pears have always been my favorite fruit. When I first moved to Paris I noticed a fruit vendor and decided to buy a couple of pears to take to Le Jardín du Luxembourg to read Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast where he writes about going to meet Gertrude Stein and walk with her and her dogs in those same gardens. It was a small produce vendor and as I entered I went straight to the pears and picked one up. The vendor, a portly middle aged Frenchman quickly came over and started scolding me in French. I have no idea what he said since my French was terrible at the time (and still is) but the gist came through. Put down the pear and back away slowly. I learned that in Paris you don’t handle produce. You tell the person manning the shop what you’d like and they get it for you. And if you develop a relationship with the vendor you get better produce. Ah, Paris. So for these beauties take pear purée, diced pears and a soupçon of poire william liqueur. C’est très magnifique!
Wine Cherries – The wine cherry for Easter harkens back to my childhood growing up in Northern Minnesota. I don’t even know if chamomile was abundant where I grew up, along the North Shore not far from Canada. But every time I smell it, it instantly transports me back. We lived just on the outskirts of town, about a mile, maybe two. And it was a straight shot mostly downhill which we took on our bikes. Somehow we managed to find this hidden trail that lay just off the side of the road that was much more scenic and wild and we instantly started taking it to and from town. Whenever I smell chamomile, it takes me right back to that trail, to feeling young and invincible and wild. Dark chocolate covered cherries soaked in chamomile infused Prosecco with chamomile infused Prosecco fondant.
Banana Lammies – Lammies is short for Lamingtons which is a beautiful Australian cake pastry. I decided to take that and give it my own spin. I take banana cake and layer it with banana caramel cream. Cut into squares they are dipped in a vanilla bean buttercream glaze and finished off rolled in crushed pecans. These have been a hit ever since I started making them. I only make a few since they are best fresh so order soon if you want these.
How to order…
I have two different sized boxes for the chocolates:
Small 9 piece box $20
Large 30 piece box $6 0
You can order a mixed box which I put together myself or you can order whatever sized box of individual flavors as well.
Banana Lammies 1 cake for $5 or 3 cakes for $15
If you live within the NYC area and want to set up a delivery by me its just an additional $5 charge to cover the cost of the subway. Otherwise all orders are shipped locally and internationally by USPS and nationally by FedEx. Once you place your order with me I put it together and ship and then I give you a total including shipment.
I accept all forms of payment. Venmo being best, paypal, credit cards, cash, etc, etc. I’m sure there are newer forms of payment that I don’t know about yet. But one can only do so much.
HAPPY EASTER EVERYONE!!!