*You can now purchase my candy bars and marshmallows at http://www.bonbonbar.com/
I’ve been pretty quiet on the candy bar front recently, but it’s not for lack of
obsession interest. I still work on them everyday in some form, and I’ve been concentrating on getting familiar with the business and non-edible side recently. As someone who’d spent most of her life counting on her screenplays to support her… well, you can imagine how much there is about business and commercial food production that I’d never considered before. So, I’ve been taking measures to fill in some gaps.
And just as I respect the seasons of my farmers market produce, I’ve also had to bow to the fickleness of chocolate. Summer is not a good time for chocolate. “Heavy” considerations aside, the summer is just too hot for it without reliable temperature control. Chocolate generally likes to be at about 68F. Neither the chocolate nor the ganaches/caramels/nougats will set up properly or store well at a hot room temp — and the refrigerator is too cold. Our wine fridge isn’t much better. Only the kindness of chocolate-babysitting friends with central air saved my chocolate from ruin this summer — as well as discovering how perfectly delicious the Milk Chocolate Sorbet recipe is in Pure Chocolate by Fran Bigelow.
BUT… this is not merely a post of excuses. Oh, no. Autumn is upon us. Prime chocolate weather is imminent. I even made batches of newly-formulated Malt Bars and Coffee Bars this past week.
That’s another benefit of this summery reprieve — I’ve thought more about the bars and how they could be better. The perspective of time has cleared up a lot of issues. I’m committed more than ever to fresh, wholesome ingredients with clean flavors, and the revamped versions will reflect that. (Edit on 10/11) I just wanted to be more clear about my ingredients. I am using as many organic and/or local ingredients as I can find, especially from farmers markets. Right now, organic ingredients include cream, walnuts, hazelnuts, malt syrup, coffee (also fair trade and shade grown), strawberries, oranges, cinnamon, and ginger. Hopefully, that list will get even longer.
So, I thought it would be fun to send some candy bars out to my readers in the next few months and hear your feedback. To enter, just leave a comment on this post or email me telling me:
- Which bar(s) you’d most like to try.
- Whether you prefer milk or dark chocolate, or either.
- Your location (preferably city or state, but region is ok). Sorry, I won’t be able to ship internationally.
- As I test out more versions of the bars, I’ll randomly email interested readers in order to arrange to send them out. I’d like to have at least one reader taste each bar.Probable flavors include:
- Malt – Malt Ganache with Shortbread.
- Banana – Banana Ganache with Walnut Shortbread. Contains a little Rum.
- Coffee – Coffee-Hazelnut Caramel and Chocolate Nougat. May change a little.
- Peanut Butter – Compartments of Peanut Butter Praline alternating w/ homemade organic strawberry preserves, local honey, and caramel syrup.
- Coconut – Coconut Ganache with Passionfruit-Coconut Marshmallow.
- Spiced Caramel Nut – Roasted Peanuts, Cashews, and Cacao Nibs in a Cinnamon, Ginger, and Allspice Caramel.
- Spicy Caramel Nut – Roasted Peanuts, Cashews, and Cacao Nibs in an Ancho Chile Caramel.
- Salty Caramel Nut – Roasted Peanuts, Cashews, and Cacao Nibs in a Salted Caramel.
- S’More – Chocolate Ganache, Vanilla Marshmallow, and Graham Cracker.
- Orange – I’m reformulating this one b/c I want it to be simpler and better relate chocolate with orange. It could be orange caramel with chocolate nougat… or not.
- Scotch – Scotch Ganache and Caramel topped with Maldon Sea Salt.
- Bourbon – Bourbon Ganache and Pecan Caramel. This one used to be Jack Daniels, but I’m thinking that Maker’s Mark Bourbon would be better. The caramel may include homemade coconut milk or shredded coconut, or not.
- Beer – Guinness ganache topped with enrobed Corn Nuts, Potato Chips, and Pretzels. Possibly finished with Candied Bacon.