Chocolate, caramel, pecans.
The memory of my first chocolate Turtle lingers long. I was a teenager in an era where neighborhood confectioners were common. Ice cream parlors of this ilk were confectionery companies, as well. Often family-owned, multi-generational businesses of quality and longevity. Marble floors, mirrored walls, two-seat wrought-iron chairs and tables. To this day, I have the memory of walking past the glass case and spotting those soft, deceivingly nondescript beauties, and can remember clearly the sensuous feel of the candy in my mouth.
Now, the Turtle has high order on the Essential Confection table of re-creation. Essential Confection models and honors great confectioners of the past.
As a new confectionery business owner, I’m attempting to understand the universe into which I’m stepping. In so doing, I feel a little like the person who stroked the elephant while blind-folded. Arms outstretched, flailing in the dark, trying to determine what’s in front of me and what it is I’m feeling. The exercise causes me to recognize 1. how little I know and; 2. that feeling one part of the animal cannot a determination make.
Yet, steps must be taken. Skills must be refined and perfected. Courage to tackle the perils must be mustered.
Wearing the hat of the technician, the hat that likely got me headed toward the confectionery business abyss in the first place, I refine recipes until I have products I can confidently present to the world. The Essential Confection sugar & cream Caramel, the EC salted chocolate, anise, orange, chocolate espresso and cinnamon caramels. Creamy, dreamy and voluptuous. Done.
My desire to inaugurate recipes of the past with a contemporary crown is a core theme of the business. Helping people restore the memories of that which they loved, and reintegrating those memories into this moment. The Turtle Trio, chocolate, caramel and pecans, still wins.
Through much experimentation, I’ve discovered techniques to enhance the depth of flavor and texture of each component. A little chocolate tempering guidance from my Oregon Culinary Institute (OCI) pastry instructor, and confidence in my product is percolating.
What memory do you have that’s tied to a confection of your youth? Were there chocolate or fruit or citrus candy recipes in your family or neighborhood confectioner, the memory of which still seeds your awareness? Was the confection attached to holiday celebration? What was most memorable?
Quality. Simplicity. Intensity of flavor. Today’s Essential Cinnamon Turtle can again be restored to its rightful place of sovereignty.