Last fall, I had a naming contest for a new chocolate confection made from my house-made marshmallows. An Eclipsed-up version of Rocky Road, Marshmallow Almond Rococo quickly became a hit and is now dressed to impress in our Asian Take-Outs
If you knew me before the retail cafe opened, you will have noticed that I have dropped 50 pounds. I here you all booing... "50 pounds? But you're a chocolatier. That's not fair!" Well, between significant changes in lifestyle, activity, and stress... my previous bulk seemed to melt away. Also... I just don't eat as much as I used to; when you're making sugar-laden temptations eight hours a day, somehow your cravings disappear. However, if there is one item in my chocolate inventory that even I find myself gulping down it would be the Rococo. It's just so damn tasty (and salty)! I enjoy it so much, I've been trying out other confection concepts in the same format.
When I started Eclipse in 2004, my interest wasn't really in confections. Truffle and ganache work is pretty different than the remaining world of sugarcraft. Yet in the past few months, my interest in "what's next" has been peaking. Searching for another confection obsession, last week I turned to my Chocolate and Confections: Formula, Theory, and Technique to explore the world of aerated fillings and nougats. "What is nougat, exactly?" you ask? In it's most basic conception, nougat is a whipped sugar syrup stabilized with egg whites, though there are many, many variations. Nougat is what one finds in so many American candy bar classics like Snickers, Three Musketeers, and the Mars Bar. It's family tree includes the other aerated confections like Marshmallow (with the addition of gelatin), Divinity (with fondant), Sponge Candy (with baking soda), and other less-recognised European treats like Montelimar and Torrone (with nuts and cocoa butter).
Well earlier this week I finally just dove right in. My first foray into this new culinary territory led me to a formula for "soft chocolate nougat", the kind you would find featured in as the standard filling for many a candy bar. I poured it out onto a base of my Crème Fraîche Caramel, cut to squares, and dipped each into 61% dark chocolate. But wait! I also topped each with a Smoked Chardonnay Oak Sea-salt. Surprised? You shouldn't be. I can't seem to make anything these days without a sea-salt or two tucked away somewhere. The resulting confection is more or less a Salted Milky Way.
Now before you come rushing in salivating, this item IS NOT available. It was merely a test to get my nougaty feet wet. I would, however, like to continue such candy bar explorations and would love to hear what classics you want to see "Eclipsed". Participate in the poll in the margin here and stay tuned!
PS- The first version of the poll apparently wasn't compatible with all browsers, so I had to remove and relaunch it. If you already voted, please do so again!