Sunday, March 16, 2008
It's time to start filling the orders from the woman who won my chocolate auction. Since tomorrow is St. Patrick's Day, I figured I would try and make her some Irish Cream truffles, since she liked those so much. I had hoped to make the Irish Cream ganache yesterday so I could dip them today, but it didn't work out. I think I'll have to deliver them a day late, and actually dip them tomorrow.
This is the first step in the process however. Once you mix up the ganache, ideally one would pour them into a square of the right size that is made using stainless steel caramel bars. I looked into buying some and as insane as it seems, to buy a set of 20 stainless steel bars costs $340. That's just nuts. Up until now, what I've used is a baking pan filled with plastic wrap which was a messy nuisance. Taking inspiration from one of my teachers at the CIA, I decided to head to Menards to see what I could find, since he told us that a hardware store is a goldmine for pastry chefs. With a little snooping, I found these chrome plated shelf brackets which are exactly the right size. They're even dishwasher safe. All told, less than $10.
I'll let this set up over night, then tomorrow I'll cut them into 96 one inch squares. That's a lot of chocolate! The cool thing for me to imagine is the potential value added to these tasty squares. As far as materials, the pound of milk chocolate costs me about $7.00, and a pound of dark chocolate for coating them is about the same--that's at retail prices. Besides that, a cup of cream might be $1.00, and the Irish Cream, butter and vanilla extract are negligible. The cocoa butter transfer sheets that I'll use on top probably cost $1.00, but with a huge order that would amount to pennies. Total invested in this batch of chocolate: about $16.00. If I sold these for $1.00, I'd easily clear $90.00. And for a handmade chocolate that's this tasty, $1.00 is a bargain. At one of the local food stores, handmade truffles like this go for $2.30 each. As far as time involved, I'll probably have about two hours invested, so that's about $45 an hour, not bad.
It gets me excited thinking about the possibilities!
I'll show some pictures of the finished products tomorrow.