Happy new year!
I hope you all had as relaxing and enjoyable of a break as we did. We spent some quality time on the east coast with family, then a lovely week dog-sitting on the Peninsula.
And now that we’ve given away all our Christmas gifts, I can write about them here!
This year, we gave homemade gifts of… you guessed it… chocolate! And to tailor the chocolate to each of our family members, we adjusted the percentage and tried for the first time (successfully), flavors and inclusions. Inspired by Patric’s Red Coconut Curry bar and Cocanú’s Romulus Remus, among others, we broke into this unknown territory! We used flavor oils from Chocolately and spices from local ethnic grocery stores. It was quite an adventure in flavor!
Two caveats: up to this point, we’ve been very strict about sticking with the basic ingredients in order to stay true to our name: Root Chocolate. However, 1) these were gifts and really fun to play around with, and 2) we’re still discovering/defining our real niche and aren’t ready to limit ourselves to what our name implies. We’ll see where chocolate takes us!
Here’s a rundown of this season’s chocolate gifts:
- Hot & Spicy: 80% Madagascar with Kashmiri spices
- Smoky: 80% Madagascar with smoked paprika and hot chili pepper oil
- Orange: 70% Madagascar with orange oil
- Mint: 70% Madagascar with creme de menthe oil
- Indian: 70% Madagascar with Garam Masala
- Nutty: 70% Madagascar with crumbled pecans
We also, for the first time, used small molds of about 5 grams each, and wrapped the baby chocolates in foil. They look very professional, if I do say so myself!
In my humble opinion, the orange was the best. We learned that just a single drop of orange oil is enough for many many grams of chocolate. Similarly, the creme de menthe is particularly powerful!
According to our family members, the Garam Masala was a huge hit – both unusual and delicious. We’ll have to fine tune that one for future use!
What flavors do you suggest infusing into chocolate? What were your favorite tasty Christmas treats?