October 2010 Chocolate of the Month: Autumn Bonbon

For posterity and record keeping, I’m making a blog post with each Chocolate of the Month as the month ends.

Here’s October, a chocolate I particularly adored.

First of all, the Facebook photo album with glorious photos of this month’s chocolate is here, check it out!

October Chocolate of the Month:
Autumn Bonbon: maple cream + chestnut + kabocha squash + Hudson Baby Bourbon whiskey

I wanted to capture the essence of fall in Upstate New York in a bonbon, so I gathered up all the fall flavors I loved, then kept messing around until my testers agreed that it was great. This took a while. Pretty much everywhere I went I carried a little box of bonbons and forced (OK, it wasn’t that difficult) people to tell me if there was too little maple, too much squash, and can you taste the chestnut? before I even said a proper hello.

But it was worth it: kabocha squash, grown by one of my favorite farmers, Bart Colucci from Meadowview Farm right down the road from me, is the sweetest, most vibrantly orange squash you’ve ever seen. I use it in my “pumpkin” pies instead of pumpkin, which can be flavorless compared with the deep, rich, desserty flavor of kabocha. The kabocha squash purée is then combined with chestnuts that have been ground to a powder; award-winning, world-famous Tuthilltown Whiskey made just down the road the other direction (I’m not kidding–within five miles of us are some amazing foodie gems!); maple cream made weekly by Oliverea Schoolhouse Maple, deep in the Catskills just north of us; and a touch of Hawaiian vanilla (hey–it’s as local as you can get for a tropical product!). This amazing mixture is then encased in bittersweet chocolate shells with a branch design and packed in a box ready for your autumn dessert table.

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