Tag Archives: essential confection

Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice

Sugar and cinnamon, no unwillingness to taste the sweet spice…

Act II is underway as the OCI Advanced Baking sugar bakers gathered again for next-level training after a 2+ week break.

IMG_6394Notwithstanding 9-11 hours of sleep per day, a break of such length is fertile ground for deepening of focus, sharpening of technique and business planning for the new year. Focus: What products truly qualify as Essential Confection contemporized classics? Technique: reinforcing muscle memory of basic skills such as rolling and cutting, piping Chantilly rosettes and decorative chocolate filigree. Planning: Who is the Essential Confection guest and how do we voice the business model of supporting food organizations through guest partnership?IMG_6401

Big plans require small and consistent execution.  I practice a constant distillation of the excitement I feel in the creation of Essential Confection, with the balance of honing the number and type of products we offer.

And the search that helps our customer find us is on.

So, sugar and delectable new horizons once again hang in the air. Last night, both had the essence of spicy cinnamon. What do they have in common?

I can’t wait for the next bite.

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The [Re] Coronation of the Turtle

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.

IMG_5989Wearing 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.