Valentine’s Day is approaching quickly. For my small chocolate business it is the last big hurrah of the chocolate season before things slow down coming on summer. Yes, chocolate season. People often laugh when I say this but for my business there is a definite chocolate season, albeit one of my own making. I don’t have a storefront space and since there isn’t a place for people to walk into at any time to buy chocolates the orders usually revolve around holidays. Halloween starts it off, then Thanksgiving, and a steady incline towards Christmas. Then it drops off headed towards Mother’s Day. Father’s Day doesn’t garner any attention as far as chocolates go. I guess dad’s don’t deserve them.
I’m working on slowly improving things with the boxes themselves. I’m trying to make the boxes a bit of a joy to open, not just for the chocolates. One of the things I’ve been working on is a small chocolate guide that will be included with each box. Its not your standard guide, since my chocolates are not your standard chocolates. And to give you an idea of what I’m offering this year for Valentine’s Day here is the guide below.
Each one of my chocolates has a story. They originate from traveling and experiencing new flavors and cultures, from memories of my childhood and from people that I meet. Put together in the box and you have an entire novel, each chocolate a chapter. And of course for Valentine’s Day the novel is about Love. I hope that you enjoy.
Cinnilla Hearts – Cinnamon. Vanilla Bean. Two of the most basic flavors in baking but combined they become somehow incredibly complex. They remind me of the chanting Hindu symbol, Aum, or Om. Within those letters lies the entire universe. Within the simple lives the complex. Its the same with these two flavors when brought together, every flavor seems to exist within these two notes. Maybe that’s why I love these dark chocolates filled with luxurious cinnamon vanilla bean caramel cream. Maybe its why you will too.
Gingers – Imagine a beautiful, famous, red headed actress, suddenly stranded on a tiny island with six other castaways, most of them arguably slightly insane. Despite her situation and despite being stranded far from any sort of civilization, she wakes up every morning, perfectly styles her hair and makeup and insists on donning some sort of body hugging sequin dress. Now that is the definition of fabulous. And what better name for these gorgeous dark chocolate covered, ginger caramel creams than after my childhood’s favorite tv sexpot.
Granadas – Granada is the Spanish word for pomegranate, which is appropriate since it is the symbol of the city. And it is also a symbol of love. I’ve taken a water based ganache and infused it with pomegranate molasses and a hint of Spanish saffron. Add a splash of Prosecco and you have the perfect confection of love. v
Honey Date Marzis – Marzipan was created in Toledo, Spain, in el Convento de San Clemente when it was Muslim ruled and Andalusia was known as Al-Andalus, or so one story goes. And if you go to Toledo today, everywhere you will find places selling marzipan. One of the best known is in the Plaza de Zocodóver, the Santo Tomé, el Obrador de Marzapán, a marzipan bakery from the 1800’s. Marzipan and almonds have long been associated with love and aphrodisia, as have honey and dates. Separately the three have been said to cause euphoria, combined I am afraid of the effects. Proceed with caution. v
Pacos – I created these for my last boyfriend, a beautiful Spanish man from the south of Spain. Francisco. I loved him deeply and although things didn’t work out I love him still, just as much. These little chocolates represent for me the beauty of love, lasting love, even though relationships change the love can remain, just as strongly. And just in case you’re wondering, Paco is short for Francisco. Bananas foster cream center with a smidgeon of strawberry vanilla bean jam in luscious white chocolate.
Pâté de fruits – A fancy French name for fruit jellies. For Valentine’s Day I’ve combined Sour Cherry and Green Tea for a cool blast of, er…love. The cherry has long been a symbol of sexuality, representing in literature both the male and female anatomy. And green tea has been found to provide benefits for the sexual health mostly in men (but it can’t hurt the women either). So be careful. One of these is probably sufficient. v
Roseberry Dreams – The rose has forever been associated with love and sexuality. And strawberries are, well, strawberries. Combine the two and you have a beautiful roseberry dream. Delicate rose fondant with strawberry vanilla bean jam. Its a beautiful combination and just perfect to give to someone you love or secretly desire. Or just eat for yourself. Self love is the best love after all. v
SoS – I think of these as Snickers on Steroids. A soft salted peanut caramel enrobed in dark chocolate and sprinkled with sea salt and a chili powder spice mix. They definitely have a bit of heat. And the beauty of chilis, powdered or otherwise, are that they mimic all the effects of being aroused when ingested, they stimulate endorphins, speed up the heart rate and break out a sweat. So maybe for Valentine’s Day I’ll change these from Snickers on Steroids to Snickers on Sex.
Wine Cherries – Chocolate covered cherries were always a favorite of mine as a child. I loved everything about them. The cherry and liquid sugar inside always seemed like magic to me whenever I would bite into them. How did they do that? How? Well now I know and I’ll tell you the secret: it is magic. Pure and simple. And to make these little beauties even more magical I’ve added Prosecco into the equation. Cherries soaked in Prosecco with Prosecco fondant. Because saying you love someone is a magical thing. v
And in the large box only:
P2J – Peanut butter squared jelly. Its like an element on the periodic chart of cooking. Imagine a small square of peanut butter cookie with a smear of sunshine raspberry jam and topped off with a square of peanut butter nougat. Or caramel. Or both. I haven’t really decided yet.
The little v at the end of some of the descriptions is to let you know that these chocolates are vegan.