The Bread Doctor

artisan bakery in Torrington, Wyoming
September 3, 2014

Marzipan Magic…is she really Willie Wonka?

This morning, I did not get up and walk along the river, but I am going in the morning.  I was studying for class today and the music for the next GCT production, Plaid Tidings.  Before I knew it, it was time to head to Marda’s Workshop, because I certainly got the golden ticket.  I would gladly be two feet tall and Oompa Loompa orange if it meant that I could live long enough to glean all of the experience that my teacher has. She really is a modern-day Willie Wonka in the magical sense.  Just when you think that you know what is going on, she pulls some outrageous stuff out of her closet and the candy-making just became spellbinding.  I am thrilled every day.

The first order of business today was to create mint caramels…the last of the nirvana from yesterday, and possibly one of the best.  We combined her caramel with mint white chocolate to create a wonderful filling for these beauties.  The initial white-green luster paint is painted on the mold before the chocolate goes in and is hidden until the big reveal when the chocolates are turned out. The photo does not really do it justice, but it is cool.  Of course, using the leaf mold is a great touch.  The flavor is not overpowering, but very smooth and the caramel just takes it all to another level.

Mint Caramels

After we decided how to make the mint chocolates up we headed into marzipan bases and French truffles. The first thing we did was make a marzipan chocolate that appears to be a maritime hat that Napoleon might wear…so its name is Chapeau Napoleon.  It is a layer of marzipan wrapped around an Amarena cherry (preserved sour cherry from Italy).  These are very tasty and easy to make.

Yes…that is 24 K gold dust brushed on the top….perfectly edible.
Chapeau Napoleon

Then we turned the Marzipan into a raspberry filling, that contained two kinds of raspberry essence (super-concentrated fruit) and freeze-dried raspberries.  These were double-dipped in white chocolate tinted pink and have a very intense raspberry flavor.  We also made dark chocolate mint truffles and they were not ready for photography as we finished them at the end of the day.  I have learned that a good chocolate tempering machine is a must to make the chocolates turn out well, and I have learned many good techniques from her in just a short time….more to come.  Here is a snapshot of the marzipan raspberry truffles.

Just before the white chocolate hardens, the chocolates are rolled in pink luster dust.
 This is a colored dust that has crushed pearls in it to add shine…totally amazing and magical.

Needless to say, my jaw was on the floor when we rolled the truffles around in pink fairy dust and they were shiny.  This effect is better appreciated in person, or by a better photographer.  We are doing a bit more marzipan tomorrow, but then headed to cream centers.  I am looking forward with great anticipation.  I am scheming about all of the ways these techniques and products may find their way into the bakery.  I will be the best Oompa Loompa that I can be.