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  1. Valrhona Inspirations

    Wow, I think I tried some store-made analogs of these Valrhona products this past Christmas. There's a chocolatier in Toronto called Soma (pastrygirl mentioned them above) - they have a mango-chili-salt bar and a raspberry bar that I believe were also just the fruit/cocoa butter/sugar combo, and they were deeeelicious! They were so intense and fruity in flavor and the cocoa butter was not over-powering. A little definitely goes a long way - perhaps a used alone as a shell might be too intense/overpowering, though I might couple it with a thin layer of couverture behind it. Who knows?! There are sooo many flavor possibilities with this combo of freeze-dried fruit and CB, and even more when used as a shell. I'd be curious to try it out. Here's the link to one of the bars: https://www.somachocolate.com/collections/plain-and-simple-bars/products/copy-of-mango-chili-bar?variant=34619378445
  2. Update: I made the basil marshmallows - it worked, but tasting basil in a sweet application will take some getting used to. Maybe if it's paired with another flavor... Also, I'll be curious to see if the basil suspended in the mallow browns after a few days.
  3. Hmm that could work! I have to get some freeze dried basil and crystals and try this now haha!
  4. I have some too (rose flavor). I imagine they'd melt since they're made with sugar?
  5. I'll try it out, thanks!
  6. Hmm interesting thought - would it stay crunchy? That would be a funny texture! (ps- freeze dried is different than the spices we get in the grocery store, right?)
  7. Has anyone tried making basil marshmallows? I've read about steeping basil leaves/dried basil in water overnight, straining, and then using the "basil tea" as your starting liquid. Another recipe boils basil leaves in the syrup (but I'm not sure how those leaves don't scorch at 240F). Ideally, it would be great to have little green flecks of basil leaves (fresh, not dried) in the marshmallow but I fear that they would (1) turn black pretty quickly, and/or (2) get moldy super fast. Ideas?
  8. I received this cat mold from a friend but have no idea how to clean it without scratching it. I tried warm soapy water with a sponge, but it's still got gunk on the inside and is still pretty tarnished on the outside. Does anyone know? Thanks!
  9. @understandingcocoa yes for me it's much easier to melt a small amount of CB rather than the whole bottle, so I find the containers to be very handy. I keep them in a cabinet (they used to be in a box in the cabinet but given how many there are, they no longer fit). The fading pink bonbons were in indirect light but I haven't had any issues with others fading. There's something wonky about that pink.
  10. I guess whether you can taste the CB depends on how sensitive your palate is. I have one color (princess pink by CR) that has a distinct 'off' smell. It does have white mixed in it, and when I use it on bonbons, the bright pink color actually fades after a few days. Very strange. I still chisel CB out of the bottles and only heat a little more than the amount I'll be using. I recently transferred each color to its own little container and am embarrassed to say how many colors there were (and how many containers I needed!), so I *really* hope they last a good long while!
  11. Jim - glad to hear you had success with this, and thanks for sharing. Do you feel like there was enough air incorporated into the MM given that it was pipeable? If you get a chance, it would be nice to see a cross-section of your finished product.
  12. EYE am watching you... hehe... creepy marshmallow eyeballs for Halloween.
  13. Lol YES PLEASE!! One seat reserved, @Beets3 and @Jim D. have yet to confirm.
  14. Update: I made ginger PDF using the recipe on the Perfect Puree website. Initial observations: it only called for 2 TBSP of the ginger purée (which seems low), 1 cup of sugar + 2 tsp (seems very high considering the purée is already a syrupy consistency because of the high sugar content), and 3/4 tsp of tartaric acid (crazy high IMO, not to mention does a sour flavor really go well with ginger?). I followed the recipe but decided to experiment with the acid. I poured out the majority of it into a frame, and with the rest I added a pinch of the acid to see what it would taste like. Results: the batch without the acid tasted gingery enough but was cloyingly sweet. Bleccch. Wayyyyy too sweet for me. The batch with the acid was less sweet but did taste a bit odd - ginger doesn't really seem benefit from acid the same way that fruit does (which already has a citrus component to it and so the acid helps brighten up the flavor). I don't think that I'd know it was ginger flavor if tasting for the first time. Also worth mentioning that it was a little firmer (but I'm not sure if that was due to lowering the pH or just spending an extra minute in the pan). Lastly - what would you dredge these squares in?? Adding more sugar seems like adding fuel to the fire but adding acid will throw off the taste. Maybe ginger PDF wasn't a great idea. Next steps: I used apple pectin - can I melt this down with some water and make a syrup to add to drinks? (Can't remem if it's thermoreversible). Perhaps now I'll try some of the other ideas.