Friday, June 27, 2008

Salted Milky Way

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!


Anonymous said...

Oh my god, make this again! And sell it to me!

I'm also dying to try your marzipan cupcakes. Now that I'm mostly recovered from my stomach flu of death, expect me in sometime this week!

Anonymous said...

Here in Delaware with the whole family. We have discussed it thoroughly -- it turned into quite the argument, since if there's one thing we care about, it's chocolate-covered treats. We agreed as a family that the candy bar we would most like to see reinvented is...


Specifically, we would like to see the peanuts replaced with almonds, and the use of dark chocolate (of course) rather than milk chocolate. Ryan says that Snickers "should be much better than it is," and we feel that the changes above would help immensely.

As an aside, we take some issue with the classification of Take Five as a "classic" candy bar -- didn't it only come out a few years ago? Regardless, we all love Take Five, and we'd love to see what genius you could work with such a glorious combination of flavors and textures.

We're counting on you, Will!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Will, Love your blog and I can't say love your chocolate because I live far away ( Texas), but I'm sending some people over ( Niece) and Do you think you're going to franchise any soon? here in Texas?

Anonymous said...

Haha, I agree with Clan Frazier. Take Five, ahoy! Classic, shmassic. I don't care. Semantics, peh. It's a delicious conglomeration of multi-texured goodness, and will only be made better through application of your culinary wizardry.