Friday, December 31, 2010

Julie and the Chocolate Factory

Happy Holidays to you all! I am going to share with you all of the hard work I put into Christmas gifts for family and friends this year.

I refuse to take it easy and do one thing at a time, so amongst all of the other holiday madness, designing two new menus for my place of work and doing multiple other design projects, I decided to open a temporary chocolate factory in my ant-sized kitchen. What fun!

I will admit that I started designing the labels back in November. So smart. I went to Calgary to Mona Lisa art store and got some pretty fun semi-transparent velum paper and some craft/postal parcel paper. Went to Nu-Roots in Canmore and got chocolate foils and all of my raw chocolate ingredients (cocoa butter, cocoa powder, cashews, essential oils, chocolate molds, etc.) and to a new artisan grocer across the road called Feast to get lovely vanilla beans.

I decided on the 4 flavours:
2 white - Lemon and Blueberry Rooibos
2 Dark - Cinnamon Chipotle and Orange Coffee

I love old movies (and some modern movies too) so I gave each bar a special movie theme name. I guess I started with the Lemon White Chocolate- I wanted to call it "Jack Lemon" (like the actor) and the other bars followed suit. I sent the wrapper files up to the printing company in town and got them to print on the special velum paper.

After writing down who was to get the chocolates and how many, I was suddenly seeing 60-80 bars in my future! Did I mention that my freezer is smaller than any normal freezer and can only fit two three-bar molds at a time? No big deal.

Happily making chocolate, I realized I would need more cocoa butter from Canmore. I drove in, only to find out that Nu-Roots was totally out, as was Nutters, and there would likely be some coming in AFTER Christmas! Oh crap! Chocolate factory halted.

The week before Christmas I happened to call my friend Brooke who was going to Nu-Roots and asked her to keep an eye out for cocoa butter. By some Christmas miracle they had just received a new order of cocoa butter and it wasn't even on the shelves yet! (insert that sound the heavens make when they part and the sun bursts through). Chocolate factory commence.
Part 1: Melt + mix ingredients, pour into molds, freeze, pop out of molds, put back in freezer with like-flavoured bars.
Part 2: Foil wrap each bar, craft paper wrap each bar, label each bar, seal each bar with wax. The only downfall of the process was that I had to use scotch tape to seal the craft paper - how amateur.

This is the final product, after many hours of hard work, blood, sweat and sealing wax. (No blood or sweat contaminated the chocolate, but the odd cat hair may have).

Jack Lemon

Some Like it Hot

Orange Mocha Frappuccino!

Blue Suede Brew

(upside down on foil)

Julie's Chocolate Factory is temporarily closed for a two week vacation in Costa Rica!

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