Savoring chocolate is one of life’s greatest pleasures. So, when Store Manager Holly had an opportunity to take her love for chocolate to the next level, she jumped at the chance.
Growing up a “farm girl” and spending much of her time in a saddle, clad in riding boots, Holly would have never imagined that anything else could rival her love of horses. That was until she met the owners of Duluth Candy Co, Pat and Don Garofalo. There she was introduced to the fabulous world of all things chocolate. I mean what’s not to love about chocolate. There is the science part that says chocolate releases “feel-good” chemicals in the brain. But then there is the velvety texture, the pleasing aroma, and the creamy decadence of it. There’s simply nothing like it! So when Holly was offered the opportunity to become a certified Chocolatier, her only response was YES!
Chocolatiers first begin with an in-depth understanding of chocolate as the foundation of their learning. The work of a chocolatier requires the artistic and technical expertise to blend different types of chocolate with other ingredients and mold the confections into intricate designs. They obtain the knowledge and techniques to make fabulous chocolate and develop their own chocolate recipes. They then move on to make candies and craft elaborate displays of chocolates. Some of the types of confections they make include chocolate covered fruits and nuts, truffles and chocolate bonbons.
One of Holly’s first creations upon her return was Chocolate Hollies. Chocolate Hollies put a fun twist on classic flavor combinations. Hollies are a Pate de Fruit topping an Italian Gianduja. Sounds fancy right? Pate de fruit is a lovely, firm fruit preserve and Gianduja (Jan_doo-ya) a blend of roasted nuts ground to a fine paste and added to milk chocolate.
When asked what is her favorite aspect of creating her own chocolates, Holly said, “Making good chocolates and candies takes skills that you can only get with practice, time and patience. It’s not easy and can be frustrating, but when you get it right it is simply magical.”
And, when asked what she has up her sleeve for new concoctions, Holly said, “I am working on some new lovely flavor combinations such as blood orange and cardamom.” Sounds exciting. Anyone else wondering where to sign up to be a taste tester?!