12.15.2011

Christmas Chocolates and a Chocolates Giveaway



I originally posted without a giveaway.  I was thinking I was too late to send out boxes of chocolates then my arm was twisted by a few comments. I'm such a push over.  At the bottom of the page you will find an entry form.


The season has arrived for me to dip my Christmas chocolates.  You can check out Last years chocolate post
for a little more history as to why I spend two weeks of my Christmas season covered in chocolate.

The first year I was married I was determined to learn how to make my grandmother's chocolates.  She was so patient with me as she gave me recipes and explanation over the phone.  I followed her instructions to the letter.  She told me that she beat her fondant out on her back porch in the cold in her robe and nightgown...I did the same.  It took hours of hand beating to get the fondant to "turn" and I thought I would just about freeze to death out in the cold beating that fondant.  Almost 20 years later and light went on in my head and I decided to try my Kitchenaid mixer.  I sat it out on the back porch, plugged it in and let the machine to the work. What took me so long to figure that out?

Grandma's recipes are "tried and true".  I have had to make adjustments and some tweaking over the years, but I must admit I have not found a fondant equal to my grandmothers.

This year I introduced a new truffle to the family.  Cardamom Chili dipped in dark chocolate.  It's heavenly, however, I wish I would have added more chili to create a little bit more heat.  We give it the thumbs up!
I think it will stay for a few years.

Here is a list of the following truffles that I made for Christmas 2011:

Mint cream fondant dipped in semi-sweet chocolate
Rum cream fondant dipped in semi-sweet chocolate and rolled in toasted hazelnuts
Coconut and toasted Almond Joys dipped in milk chocolate
Caramel Turtles made with rich caramel and Georgia pecans dipped in milk chocolate
Sea Salt Caramels dipped in milk chocolate and sprinkled with Tahitian vanilla bean and french sea salt
Butter English Toffee dipped in milk chocolate then rolled in toasted almonds
Dark Chocolate Lavender Truffle sprinkled with sugared violet petals from Chartres, France
Gingerbread Truffles topped with candied ginger
Cardamom Chili Truffles sprinkled with chopped pistachio nuts
Cashew clusters dipped in milk chocolate  (I make the clusters to use up any excess chocolate)
Toasted almond clusters dipped in dark chocolate





After a week of preparing the centers for the chocolates, it's time to dip.

I begin by slowly melting a 10 lb block of chocolate.  I purchase Belgian Callebaut in light and semi-sweet.

I have a large warming pan that can melt a 10 lb. block.  It's fabulous.




I prepare the centers and cut the caramel before dipping.




I use a marble slab for dipping and tempering of the chocolate. 

I'm ready to dip.




 Last year I started a tradition of letting Emi, my granddaughter dip her own caramels.

Emi is now a pro and will probably carry on the tradition of chocolate dipping.




What could be better than playing in warm melted chocolate?




How about licking your fingers clean!  It can't be helped...you have to lick the fingers at least once.

I can assure you that Emi takes home all of the chocolates that she dips and I clean off the marble slab
and put on new chocolate before I begin my own dipping.





Dipped Almond Joys.





Dipped Turtles.





I have sampled one chocolate from each tray and I'm here to report they are just as delicious as Grandma's.




Lavender Truffles topped with candied Violets from Chartre, France.

Love these!




Gingerbread Truffles aka "Nipples of Venus".

Divine!

I usually spend three 10-12 hour days dipping.   After dipping I carefully layer the chocolates between sheets of waxed paper and store in tins.  They are kept in a cold room in our basement until I am ready to place them in boxes and deliver to friends and family.  

I have to admit that I tend to hold on to them for about a week.  At this point they are mine... ALL MINE!




After a week dipping recovery I begin to box the chocolates and get them ready for deliver.

This is the point where I eat the most.  It's all about quality control...I have to make sure they are worthy to be given as a Christmas gift.  Sometimes I come across a chocolate that just isn't pretty enough so I eat it.  





It takes me 4-5 hours to box and wrap my chocolate gifts.  

I have 60 boxes of chocolates sitting on my table ready to for delivery.  Don't worry I always stash some away for the family to nibble on for a few weeks.  




Another season of dipping in honor of a great woman, my Grandmother.  I'm so grateful she passed on her tradition and talent to me.  This way I can  create something in my kitchen that I can share with my friends, neighbors and family that would show how much I really care for them.  Each one of my chocolates are carefully dipped with love.


Christmas is a celebration of the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.  I believe that Christmas should be big and grand for that reason.  Can you think of a greater cause for celebration?  Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem to Mary.   His arms are stretched out to us always with the great invitation to "come unto Him".  I will rejoice during the Christmas season as I give a little homemade gift to those I love in celebration of the birth of our Redeemer. 

video

This is just a short video that expresses the true meaning of Christmas to our family.
Enjoy!  You can view more my clicking here.


Merry Christmas!
With all my love,
Janet




As you wish:  I will giveaway two boxes of my Christmas chocolates.  Just fill out the form below and submit it to me.  The contest will end Dec. 17th at noon Mountain Standard Time.  Hopefully the winners will receive their treats before Christmas. I will do my best. I will ship anywhere that is possible.

Bon Chance!





15 comments:

  1. So cute and so chrismasy!
    Nice fnding you...
    http://my-greek-cooking.blogspot.com/

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  2. janet..This is not fair...Please send one box for me too...I would love to have sample in all of the chocolates..Do you need me send my address..

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  3. These look heavenly! A friend referred me to your blog after I begged her for your sour cream apple pie recipe. She was kind enough to get me hooked at a pie party we hosted around Thanksgiving.

    That said, I sure wish you were doing a chocolate giveaway this year! My husband will not eat dark chocolate, no matter how hard I try to convince him. To me, he is insane! The darker the better.

    Many thanks and have a Merry Christmas!!

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  4. Instead of eating the ugly ones, you should have an "ugly box of chocolates" giveaway :D

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  5. Your kitchen looks like a gourmet candy store again. You are truly a pro!

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  6. Janet, you are amazing--60 boxes of chocolate! I can't even imagine how much time (not even considering the cost) of making that much candy with so many different fillings. I still want to take some classes from you in candy making. Please let me know when you decide to do it.

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  7. FABULOUS! I want to go dunk my face in a bowl full of melted chocolate! MERRY CHRISTMAS!

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  8. Your chocolates are better than Godiva!!! Save a mint fondant for Cara and a turtle for me

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  9. Thanks, Karen. They are waiting for you.

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  10. Thanks, Steve. That means a lot coming from you. The photos were rejected by Foodgawker AND Tastespotting...I hate them both! They make me feel like such a failure.

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  11. Janet, Please say you will teach a candy making class at some point and that I can come! You are my fav foodie! I refer people to your blog all the time. ;)

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  12. Hi Marilyn. Thank you for all the referrals. Absolutely NO on the candy making class, but you are welcome to come hang out in my kitchen while I'm making them. I always dip the first week of December. I have taught classes before and the prep works takes just as long as it does to dip my Christmas chocolates. Merry Christmas!

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