(This article appeared in the Fall 2022 issue of Pastry Arts Magazine)
To create high quality chocolate-based confections with the focus on flavor and creativity.
We produce a range of truffles and filled bonbons in addition to barks, brittles and candied nut items. We have loyal customers that purchase English toffee every week, but others that come in and want to know what’s new. My goal initially was to test out different fillings to gauge what was most popular, but up to this point everything sells! We also make many specialty gift items such as hats, purses and decorative boxes made of chocolate. These are really popular gift items which flew off the shelves at Easter and Mother’s Day. This tells me there is a demand for unique chocolate pieces.
I try to keep to a two- to three-day focused production – spraying, making the shells, filling and capping, then working on packaging and display. We vacuum-seal extra bonbons, freeze them, then gradually defrost them in the cooler before allowing them to reach room temperature and unpacking.
I have a couple of warmers (effectors) for the chocolate; I don’t have a tempering machine, but I can still work pretty efficiently with these. I pre-melt couverture under my sugar warmer and then fill the effectors to keep up the quantity needed. I also use the sugar warmer to melt cocoa butter for spraying.
Secret of Success
We are very unique to this area, so when customers come in for the first time they are a little overwhelmed and don’t know where to look. We are customer service focused, give out many samples and tell them about the chocolate origins and why they are unique. Once they taste the chocolate they understand, and then they are hooked! I also offer classes where we taste many origins and I demonstrate tempering and bar making. The store is also very open, so the customers see our production, and they really enjoy this.
Currently I am focusing on the first store, but we do plan to open a second retail location in another (more affluent) part of Birmingham next year. I will continue to expand the classes we offer, including truffle making, molded bonbons and novelty chocolate items.
Visit www.elizabethmoorechocolates.com/ for more info