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Haley

Looking for advice on holiday chocolates workflow

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I always make hand dipped and molded bonbons for friends and neighbors at the holidays. This year I have already had so many people ask if they can buy boxes of chocolates from me to give as gifts so I have decided to up my quantities this year.  But now I’m trying to figure out how to schedule out my time.  In past years I have set aside one week where I have just resigned myself to a completely messy kitchen, fast food every night for dinner, and basically neglecting my family and all other responsibilities for 5-7 days.  I would really love to find a better workflow this year.  When do you start your holiday chocolates?  Do you make any in advance and refrigerate or freeze them?  Would a wine cooler be better for storage?  I live in Alabama, so it will still be hot and fairly humid even in December!  Any advice on workflow would be appreciated as I would love to keep my sanity at an already busy time of year.

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Keep your sanity during a Christmas rush?  Surely you jest.

 

By all means make as many in advance as you can and freeze them. That's what I am doing right now. There are steps to take to make this procedure work without ruining the product, but if you do it correctly, they will be fine.

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@Haley not sure if you have already checked into your state and local laws but if you have not, I would definitely recommend that you do that before selling your chocolates. Depending on your state and county you may / may not be allowed to select items produced in a residential kitchen. There are many things to research before selling: business insuance, getting a tax id number, business license, collecting sales tax, packaging, labeling, etc.. Also, I'd recommend that you know the shelf life of your product and include some instruction about chocolate care & shelf life with each box of chocolates. There are always some that want to savor their chocolates and they may not be aware that perservative free chocolates will not last as long as store bought chocolates.

 

Freezing can work well (and there are excellent instructions in Greweling's book for professionals) but I have found that not every bonbon responds as expected to freezing (some lose flavor, some flavors intensify and change the balance of flavors, texture can change, etc.). I always test  portion of a batch of a new flavor to see how it does with the freeze - thaw cycle and then note if I should freeze future batches or it this is a flavor that I make within a week of sale.

 

Good luck, have fun, and I hope you enjoy the holiday craziness!

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2 hours ago, curls said:

@Haley not sure if you have already checked into your state and local laws but if you have not, I would definitely recommend that you do that before selling your chocolates. Depending on your state and county you may / may not be allowed to select items produced in a residential kitchen. There are many things to research before selling: business insuance, getting a tax id number, business license, collecting sales tax, packaging, labeling, etc.. Also, I'd recommend that you know the shelf life of your product and include some instruction about chocolate care & shelf life with each box of chocolates. There are always some that want to savor their chocolates and they may not be aware that perservative free chocolates will not last as long as store bought chocolates.

 

Freezing can work well (and there are excellent instructions in Greweling's book for professionals) but I have found that not every bonbon responds as expected to freezing (some lose flavor, some flavors intensify and change the balance of flavors, texture can change, etc.). I always test  portion of a batch of a new flavor to see how it does with the freeze - thaw cycle and then note if I should freeze future batches or it this is a flavor that I make within a week of sale.

 

Good luck, have fun, and I hope you enjoy the holiday craziness!

Thanks!  I have The Greweling book and usually skip straight to the recipes (until the inevitable troubleshooting is needed 😂).  I’ll look back at it for steps to properly freeze some. 

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