Holiday Chocolate Sales
From Chocolatiers Wiki
The chocolatiers have been building a tradition of selling handmade truffles on Valentine's Day. However, there's no reason not to spread this into other holidays as well. Below are notes on how to run the Valentine's event, as well as ideas on how to run events for other holidays.
In the past this has been strictly truffles, but there's no reason not to branch out. So the truffle recipe is first, followed by other things that could be made and ideas on how to make them.
2 cups chocolate
- 1 cup if using dark chocolate
- 2/3 cup if using milk chocolate
- 1/3 cup if using white chocolate
If using extract for flavoring:
- Approx. total 2 tsp max for dark chocolate
- (Not sure for milk or white, but use less)
Any other flavorings desired
Heat the cream until it's almost too warm to the touch or simmering gently at the most. Add the extract until it tastes a little too strong, but be careful not to go above the amounts suggested above, or the ganache will come out very soupy. Add it a little at a time (maybe in 1/2 tsp intervals), tasting in between, and stop when the taste is right. Remember that it won't be as strong once you add the chocolate. Anything that dissolves in can be added instead/as well, like the instant coffee... Once you have the flavoring in (see below for teas), then bring the temperature down to such that the top pot is warm to the touch, but not uncomfortably so. Add the chocolate one cup at a time, stirring it until it's all melted in before adding the next cup. If it starts getting gritty, you've got it too warm; turn down the temperature, and if you'd added all or almost all the chocolate you may want to add a little extra. Once it's all stirred in, put it into whatever bowl you're cooling it in, stick that in the freezer, and then clean up (and lick the bowls).
To add a tea or some other flavoring that needs to steep and then be removed: Empty it in (that means cut the tea bag and just dump it in, as the cream won't go through the bag). Let it simmer for a while to dissolve the flavor into the cream. Then, use another bowl/pan to strain the cream into. Try to get as much of the tea leaves (or whatever else you're using) out, but it's not a huge deal if a little slips by you. Once it's down to just the cream, continue as usual.
Rolling and Dipping
You'll need a lot of chocolate for this, but how much depends on how big you make the truffles. Use a spoon to scoop the ganache out and roll it into balls. If it's really soupy, then you'll want to dip immediately, and be careful to completely cover the truffles, or the ganache will leak out. If not, then it's generally wise to put the balls onto another sheet and stick them back in the fridge or freezer to reharden a little, as chances are you softened them a lot in rolling them. Once the ganache has rehardened, melt a decent amount of whatever type of chocolate you'd like to coat them in. Using a fork, dip the truffles into the coating chocolate and cover them completely. Then place them on another tray and put them back in the fridge to harden.
If you're planning to put some sort of powder topping on the truffles, you need to put it on when you first dip them. Most other decorations can be added later, especially if you're putting more melted chocolate onto them.
Notes on Sales and Pricing
On Valentine's Day 2016 we sold truffles for $1 each and 4 for $3, most people bought the package deal. In addition, penis truffles were $1.50 and sold well. Pure chocolate molds were also $1.
T-shirts were sold for $15, which seems to be a good balance of people considering buying and buying.
Getting TechCash set up would be good, a lot of students do not carry cash.
White chocolate ganache does not sell well, even when coated with dark or milk chocolate. For Valentine's Day 2016 this happened because we had way more white chocolate than anything else, but note in the future that adding extracts helps.
Dark chocolate raspberry sold out first.
We always get questions about vegan truffles, may be good to have them on hand.
Better signage is important.
Amounts and Flavors
Most popular flavors:
- dark chocolate with almond and coffee
- milk chocolate with Chai
- milk chocolate with peppermint
- milk chocolate with strawberry
Other notes: There should be at least two "normal" dark chocolate flavors. Also, the white chocolate raspberry ganache should probably all be dipped in dark chocolate.
Chocolate Covered Strawberries
Pretty simple. Just temper chocolate, then dip strawberries in it and put them on something where it can harden. Maybe hold until it's partly tempered (use cold strawberries) and then re-dip to get a thicker chocoalte coat?
Chocolate Covered Cherries
Same principle as the chocolate covered strawberries
We should be buying molds that could be used to make these. We could either take orders, or just make them. Since it would be molds, it should be easy to do either while we're making ganache or while we're dipping. (Maybe one person fills molds while others roll ganache.) At least at the beginning, we'd probably want to stick to all one color/flavor, no fanciness.
Chocolate Bark works very well for a Christmas/Winter Holiday chocolate sale, because large amounts can be made relatively quickly. This was run as a pre-orders only event Holidays 2006, and worked pretty well.
Chocolate bark is made by melting chocolate, mixing it with some flavoring (often nuts, other things include fruit, caramel, or other candies), and then pouring it into a large sheet, which can then be cut into smaller pieces.