Madame Chocolat’s Blog:
My Beloved Chocophiles,
We are coming into our third week this Tuesday and we are having so much fun… although, admittedly, we are all a little tired. This has been very exciting and chocolate covered adrenaline has been coursing through our arteries – which, BTW, according to scientists at the Harvard University School of Public Health, the European Journal of Nutrition and Medicine and over 136 different studies about chocolate and cacao, the internal lining of our arteries are more relaxed and are able to allow more oxygen enriched blood to flow through to keep our blood pressure down and our hearts healthy by reducing platelet stickiness and clotting… However, I am not sure our feet got that memo…? There are always so many things to accomplish in a day and we have yet to balance the art of our appropriate staffing needs.
Giftress Heidi returned tanned and lovelier than ever last Tuesday from her family tropical family vacation in Mexico. She immediately jumped right in and corrected a few small POS snafus we encountered whilst she was away. Then, on Wednesday it was just her and I at the shop. It was such a joy working side-by-side with her again and watching her work her magic. She really gets what customer service is all about; mainly because she enjoys it so much – and what a beautiful thing that is! Before she had left for her trip, she was busy in our “Paperwork Palace” (our back office) checking and entering in inventory and wasn’t able to work up front. I could tell she missed it a smidge…
Chef Genny worked hard on Monday and Tuesday to get Heidi and I set for Wednesday. “Trudy” (our vintage revolving pastry case) was bursting with all sorts of baked chocolate goodies and yum-yums! This allowed for Genny to take Wednesday off to spend with her main “little Dude” in her life – her precious 3-year-old. There was also a rumor of a pedicure…? Dearest Genny needed a little R & R, as she sure put in the extra hours to help cover for Heidi’s leave – I am so grateful for her and all of her efforts!
Chef Genny got a little wild and began filling our pastry cases with new “Sandwich Cookie” offerings. It all started last week with two chocolate butter cookies, dipped in chocolate that found themselves hugging a layer of peanut butter mousse filling. She garnished them with some of Ricky’s Lucky Nuts – vanilla and cocoa roasted peanuts from Durango (we sell these by the 8 oz bag, BTW). WOWSERS, indeed! The next thing I knew, chocolate butter sandwich cookie hearts with white chocolate raspberry mousse filling began to show up inside”Trudy”. What’s next, I wonder? The girl is on fire!
Heidi also had a few surprises up her sleeve as well when “Berry” and “Fudge” showed up on our shelves. These are two of the cutest plush bunnies animals you have ever seen. We all found ourselves hugging them and, as we did so, berry and fudgey smells wafted up from these cuties – adorbs! Many other Easter offerings are beginning to sprout up all over our shop thanks to our Giftress Heidi!
Our shelves are changing on a daily basis. Everyday brings with it new and exciting suggestions from all of you. Please, if you have something you’d like to see us carry, don’t hesitate to mention it! Just the other day a guest mentioned a chocolate foie gras from Washington State… I don’t think we will be sourcing that particular one out, but let me assure you, it made for some very interesting conversation, indeed! Keep it coming! We love your ideas and experiences!
We will be posting our hours on the website and front door in the next day or two. We are open from 10 – 6 Monday through Saturday and 11 – 5 on Sunday. We reserve the right to extend that either later or earlier but, based on the flow of you, our guests, over the past couple of weeks, we have found this to be most accommodating to all of our schedules. Heidi, Genny and I are all mothers and it will be nice to see our kids off to school and share a few evening meals with our families.
There have been many new additions to our Truffle Case this week! Robin Chocolate’s Rosemary Caramel, Mint Chip and her Key Lime Pie – all stunning pieces, indeed! Last week, we had her Lemon Souffle (among many others!). Genny and I had sacrificed one for ourselves so that we could explain the taste to our guests. We offered a small piece to a guest and, as her eyes began to soften, she proclaimed that it reminded her of her grandmother’s lemon meringue pie. She almost cried! Robin adds a small drop of lime (Key Lime) or lemon curd (Lemon Souffle) just inside the delicate shell to produce such pure and clean flavor. What a creative master she is!
In honor of Heidi’s return, I ordered The Art of Chocolate’s Pina Colada – garnished with a small piece of pineapple on top, this piece is a fiesta within the confines of your mouth – ole!
And YES!!!! We hear you! Marzipan is coming! Marzipan is coming… within the next two weeks. “Holy almond paste, Batman!”
I have been playing around with some dragee ideas. I candied some roasted hominy, panned them in dark chocolate and dusted them with cocoa powder. Actually, this is an idea originally from Spainish Chef Oriol Balaguer called “Kikos” which sounds far more eloquent then chocolate covered corn nuts! This idea appealed to me because of its regional and native connection to us here in Colorado and our proximity to the South West. I am still working on it, but it is proving to be promising. Genny remarked, “Just in time for the Rockies Opening Day…” Her hubby seems thrilled and is our designated taster for this new item.
As you may know, “Trudy’s” top shelf will always be reserved for our extensive gluten-free offerings. Honestly, we are cheating – just a little- when we put things like Chocolate Bowls of Chocolate Mousse or Chocolate Dipped Strawberries up there, as those items never had gluten in them to begin with.
We have had so many requests for more vegan products. Currently, we carry an extensive line of Poco Dolce bars and tiles that are vegan, in addition to Desiderio Chocolate’s Vegan Salt Caramels and her new Chocolate Covered Vegan Marshmellows. Chef Genny and I are perfecting our Vegan Chocolate Cake and Cup-o-Love Cakes with Vegan Chocolate Mousse and our very own Chocolate Tofu-No-Cream icing. And, may I add that our House Sipping Chocolate is beyond decadent with soy milk…?
Gee, this is fun! I think the only difference between chocolatiers, bakers and scientists is that our beakers are called measuring cups. Chef Genny has embraced the metric system and my insistence on scaling everything out in grams without incident. She is so very patient with me and, admittedly, I can be soooo annoying about my methodologies. However, I have noticed that a couple of my dearly loved spoonulas have slightly singed edges. Mmmmm….? I have since promised her that she can have as many spatulas as her sweet pastry heart desires.
Yup, life is, indeed, grand here on the West End of Pearl!
Thanks for letting me blather on so, my friends!
Warmest XX’s & OO’s, Sarah