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What are you baking for Valentine's Day?


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250 plus boxes of truffles, six in each plus a little molded heart or frog, for the preschool truffle drive.

That's a huge amount of volume, Kerry! I'm impressed. Can you describe a little bit about how you're going to handle production and how long it will take you? IIRC, it's not like this is your day job, right?

Definately not my day job.

About a week or maybe a bit more before dipping day I'll make my ganaches and filling for the raspberry hearts. I pour out the ganaches onto large plastic trays (new aquisition this year at PMCA). When the ganache is well set up (a couple of days usually) I scoop out the truffles with a little 1 tsp disher that I have, stopping when my hand cramps badly. I let them sit on parchment covered sheet pans until they are firm enough to give a quick roll between my hand to smooth off the rough edges. This can be anywhere from an hour to a day depending on the softness of the truffle. Over the next few days I turn them over to make sure they dry thoroughly on all sides (ie don't have a sticky bottom on the parchment). I put the raspberry filling in piping bags and seal them closed with the vacuum sealer. Everything stays at room temperature - actually everything stays in my living room, the table looks like a bomb hit it by the end of the week. I just stack the sheet pans each at 90 degrees to the one under it.

During the week I'll mold the white choc raspberry hearts, as many molds as I can drag together at a time. I mold up some 3 gram chocolate frogs and hearts.

Dipping day. someone shows up with a truck, everything gets transported to Krista's kitchen where all the preschool volunteers are waiting to dip. We temper up all the chocolate and make an assembly line of dipping and decorating. Some of the volunteers are separating truffle cups and preparing the boxes. In the afternoon the second group starts the assembly line of placing the chocolates in the truffle cups, then the cups in the boxes with the chocolate key. Close the box, apply the gold loop. Every family takes home boxes to sell. Last year I sold about 50 of the boxes, this year, not my problem.

Voila!

Which reminds me I'd better get my ass in gear and start planning this since I'm going north to work for a few days the week before Valentines.

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Butterscotch Pot de Creme sounds delicious... willing to share your formula?

I just finalized the menu yesterday and (shudder) getting ready to plan for Easter.  Among numerous heart-shaped chocolate items, I'm doing a cherry pie for two, butterscotch pot de creme, a heart-shaped pull apart cinnamon roll coffee cake, and blueberry bread pudding for two.

Karen

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time to pick violets to candy:

Gorgeous. Are those your own candied violets? Demo? Please?

thank-you!

yes they are mine.

I may have time to do a demo in the next few weeks but it's just the standard method of frothy egg white and superfine sugar given everywhere. I am careful to brush a very thin layer of egg white on, but to cover it completely, so they hold their original shape.

Also, my aesthetic rarely includes food coloring but after doing a great number of these a few years back and then watching them fade in no time, I now mix in a bit of violet paste with the sugar.

I am hoping to scrounge enough pink violets to do this year. I have a couple plants but they do not flower prolifically, and the snails like them too.

I love violets - does anyone know if there is violet liqueur to be had in the US? when I've googled, the sites listing it are British.

more:

gallery_8512_4054_38975.jpg

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time to pick violets to candy:

Gorgeous. Are those your own candied violets? Demo? Please?

thank-you!

yes they are mine.

I may have time to do a demo in the next few weeks but it's just the standard method of frothy egg white and superfine sugar given everywhere. I am careful to brush a very thin layer of egg white on, but to cover it completely, so they hold their original shape.

Also, my aesthetic rarely includes food coloring but after doing a great number of these a few years back and then watching them fade in no time, I now mix in a bit of violet paste with the sugar.

I am hoping to scrounge enough pink violets to do this year. I have a couple plants but they do not flower prolifically, and the snails like them too.

I love violets - does anyone know if there is violet liqueur to be had in the US? when I've googled, the sites listing it are British.

more:

gallery_8512_4054_38975.jpg

There is a thread out there on violet liqueur. I had someone bring me back a bottle from France.

Here is the thread

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I candied cherries when they were in season for fruitcake that I baked this fall. The cherries sat for six months or so in the fridge, so I kept them in the syrup. When time to use them, I drained the syrup, and froze it.

Nightscotsman's recipe at the beginning of the marshmallow thread calls for strawberry puree. I'm planning on adjusting his requirements for the cherry marshmallows. I'm contemplating throwing in some flecks of cherry.

The cherry candying experiment went extremely well. I cannot believe how beautiful and delicious the outcome was. I'm looking forward to the cherries in the farmer's market this summer -- I'm going to candy at least three pounds of them.

The results are that good.

I like to bake nice things. And then I eat them. Then I can bake some more.

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The method I used, with my notes:

Candied Cherries

1 pound fresh cherries, rinsed, stemmed and pitted

2 cups granulated sugar

1/2 cup water

1/2 lemon

1 cup apple juice

In a non-reactive saucepan, bring the sugar and water to a boil.

Add the cherries and the lemon half.

Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until syrup is red and slightly thick, about 20 minutes.

Cover and let stand 2-3 hours, or overnight.

Strain the cherries, reserving the syrup, and set them aside.

Discard the lemon half and add the apple juice to the syrup.

Bring the syrup to a boil and cook for 5 minutes.

Return the cherries to the syrup, reduce the heat and cook slowly until the syrup is thick.

Heat to about 220 degrees if you are using a candy thermometer.

Remove from heat and cool.

The cherries can be stored for at least six months in the refrigerator.

NOTE:

I would do the reduction, then add the cherries for a few minutes at the end, and then allow to cool. A pound and a half of cherries cooked down to one pound, maybe less, based on how shriveled they were at the end. The cherries begin to wrinkle and lose their shape at the end. So, less cooking is optimal. The reduction takes a lot longer and at a higher temperature than is indicated here.

I like to bake nice things. And then I eat them. Then I can bake some more.

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  • 11 months later...

Ofcourse Chocolate is the most popular. Throw in some milk and whites, but what is a sure hit?

I do 2 different chocolate desserts boxed in a hand stamped box tied with red ribbon, 2 red plastic forks and a card.Decorated heart cookies, truffles........

I need a few more ideas to have a larger assortment and more variety. The items all need some "shelf life" and must also need to be displayed (either refrigerated or dry will work)

I offer about 20 different individual desserts, so I would be glad to swap some for the day of love.

"Chocolate has no calories....

Chocolate is food for the soul, The soul has no weight, therefore no calories" so said a customer, a lovely southern woman, after consuming chocolate indulgence

SWEET KARMA DESSERTS

www.sweetkarmadesserts.com

550 East Meadow Ave. East meadow, NY 11554

516-794-4478

Brian Fishman

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Hey Brian- I caved and bought the Hero stuff (paying for shipping aack!), waiting for it to arrive.

I ordered the cherry jam because I'm doing variations on the linzertorte - using the hazelnut dough from RLB's Pie and Pastry Bible (it's very sturdy, you don't even have to roll it, just press in pan and go). So I have three variations: cherry, raspberry and the apricot jam from Agrimontana. You can store the linzers for a week at rm temp wrapped. For the lattice, I just make up another batch of dough and add egg white until it is a pipe-able consistency - use a small round tube (ateco 3) to pipe it with or the lattice expands too much due to the increased egg white and doesn't look good. I always figure that people are going to get a box of truffles anyway, and

The restaurants I sell to are asking for "fondue" for V-day and I'm suggesting flavored ganaches with different marshmallows for dipping. But marshmallows are definitely catching on here, and the marshmallow thread has lots of good ideas.

You could create another "dessert box to go": half-dip heartshaped marshmallows, truffles, cookies or mini tarts ..... Last year, I did broken heart cookies for anyone who was a grinch about V-day...it was not a huge seller but the new gourmet store is really interested these.

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Cookie bouquets.....especially the ones that are delivered.....are real big in my neck 'o the woods.

Other than that, I can't really offer anything up that's new or exciting......basically anything I can bake into the shape of a heart is what I'm doing......... :raz:

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I don't particularly like Magnolia Bakery in New York City, but they do these chocolate mini pies -- deep chocolate with a little shot of whipped cream on the top.

They are very sexy to eat -- you kind of have to remove them from the little pie tin to eat them (undressing) and then they are uncontrollable (lusty) to eat, and then they are so soft and luxurious in the mouth (use your imagination).

Heart shaped? In a red box? Whatever, they are a very sexy food for sharing.

I personally, not a bakery, make individual heart-shaped red velvet cakes. Also very sexy -- but more visually instead of sensually.

I also like raspberry truffles (suggestion) because they aren't red, but you think red when you eat them. (Secret).

I also like a certain heart-shaped plain dark chocolate mold that Li-Lac chocolates has -- it is just the right shape to fill the mouth, but with rounded corners, and very lush.

From a consumer point of view, I'm thinking go creative with actual physical experience rather than packaging.

I like to bake nice things. And then I eat them. Then I can bake some more.

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I'm planning a multi-course V-day dessert as a thanks to some of our best catering customers (with the side benefit of generating some advertising) but most of what I'm doing is plated stuff so I'm no help. Interested in hearing what you're doing though if it's not a secret. For mine, chocolate will be everywhere with each course focusing around a different fruit (except for one, which will focus on the chocolate) and I'm working on some to-go containers of flavored chocolate "paints" for... ummm... whatever they decide to do with them after they leave.

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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