Monday, February 23, 2009

Look at me!

So, once again I have failed to write something interesting about a restaurant or bakery or anything of the sort, and am now going to toot my own horn at you all, but I'll bet some of you will read this anyway, because now you're probably curious...ha. Or maybe I'm just a little tipsy off the Swedish 'non-alcoholic' cider* and rum flavoring I was using earlier. last week was my niece's birthday and this particular niece wants to be a chocolatier when she grows up, which as the foodie I am (even though I sort of hate that term) I think that's pretty darn awesome. Especially since she just turned 7. So I like to encourage this behavior in her, and one day I was walking through IKEA, buying the 'non-alcoholic' pear cider that my brother likes and that is now making my stomach a little queasy...or maybe that was the week old quiche...nevermind...and I saw their little interestingly shaped silicone ice-cube trays. They have these cute little flower shaped ones, and I said to myself--chocolate mold. The thought also occured to me that my good friend and former roommate Heidi would use edible glitter stuff on her chocolate creations, and I thought the combination of all these elements (minus the cider) would make a really great birthday present.

So I got the chocolate mold ice cube tray, one for her and one for me, the cider, and some sort of breakfast cereal that's package was announcing rather dramatically that it was good for me, and headed off.

Later I went to Orson Gygi's culinary supply shop for the first time, and I was totally blown away by how big it is, and how much I want at least one of everything in it. I got edible shimmery airbrush paint and little Wilton paint brushes, dipping chocolate, and lots of other things both for her and me (does this make me a spoiled brat?) and ended up spending WAY too much.

The sad part of that was not how much I spent but that somehow I managed to pick out the waxy nasty chocolate they make those little foil wrapped Easter candies from. Blech. I went back and got some Ghiridelli chocolate though, so hopefully that will be better, and I can use the waxy stuff to practice on, and put lots of flavoring in, which is what I did tonight.

I decided to paint dipping chocolate into the flowers and fill the centers with truffle filling--mint and raspberry--and make chocolate dessert cups by painting the chocolate into little silicone mini-muffin cups. While I tempered the dipping chocolate, which if you've never attempted is a royal pain in the head, I made the truffle centers, which is kind of like making ganache, and put the flavorings in. They won't be ready until tomorrow, so I used the dipping chocolate I attempted to temper, which sort of failed, to fill the flower molds for solid chocolates. I flavored them with left-over rum flavor oil from some cake of the past, but I really over did it with the whole bottle. I also put in a good amount of cinnamon to cut the rum flavor, and ended up with kind of a cool flavor combination.

The part is that I got to paint them.
And here's how they turned out:

Hopefully I'll be inspired to write more when I finish the truffles and dip them, and when I fill the dessert cups.

I gave the paints, the brushes, and the mold to my niece on Saturday and she seemed genuinly excited about the idea of shiny pink, blue, and purple chocolate flowers, so I was pleased about that too. What a terrible aunt, encouraging her to play with her food.

*It really is non-alcaholic, and I can't find anything on the label to indicate that it isn't, but I'm sort of wondering at this point. That's what I get from trusting a guy who regularly impersonates the Swedish Chef.