For posterity and record keeping, I’m making a blog post with each Chocolate of the Month as the month ends. Here’s December!
First of all, the Facebook photo album with glorious photos of this month’s chocolate is here, check it out!
I had the idea for peppermint bark as the December Chocolate of the Month a while ago, and I knew right away the challenge was going to be finding good peppermints to crush into the chocolate.
I’m not against grabbing a Starlight mint here and there after a restaurant meal, but the Lagusta’s Luscious kitchen is not a place for artificial red dye and insanely refined sugar.
Unfortunately, I’m not a fan of all-natural peppermints. Every brand of organic, vegetable-based food coloring peppermint I’ve ever had has either not been pepperminty enough, or, horrifyingly, I swear I can taste the food coloring, which is often concentrated cabbage and/or beet juice.
What’s an all-natural chocolatier to do? Well, I decided to just make my own peppermints.
I bought some heavy duty kitchen gloves, did a bunch of tests, found a great source for organic and vegetable-derived food coloring that didn’t taste suspiciously cabbagey yet wasn’t made from terrifying chemicals (or bug bodies, as some red food coloring is), and I finally had it. Best of all, because I made the peppermints myself I can use my special chocolate mint flavoring–the same flavoring used in the peppermint patties. It has a glorious real minty flavor that is never overwhelming.
I was so excited about my entrance into the world of sugar work that my sweetheart, Jacob, and I made a video all about it. Click here for hot sugar action!
As a special bonus for our Chocolate of the Month Club members, we’re also including a small box (1/4 lb, the regular truffle box size) of White Chocolate Bark with Dried Cherries and Almonds only with Chocolate of the Month Club subscriptions.
Yes, my friends, vegan white chocolate. It doesn’t taste like wax, I promise you! I was able to procure some organic fair-trade cocoa butter from my chocolate suppliers, and from it I’ve made my own white chocolate–yep, from scratch. Don’t worry, white chocolate lovers, we have not seen the last of this magical ingredient!