Beyond the Bonbon


Beyond the Bonbon Blog

The Glennmade Philosophy on Love and Dark Chocolate

The Glennmade Philosophy on Love and Dark Chocolate

We hope that love was in the air for you this Valentine’s week! Our first Valentine’s Day holiday season has now come and gone and throughout this past week, I’ve been able to reflect on our Glennmade philosophy on love and our dark chocolate confections. We’re pretty happy with the amount of people who were able to purchase and receive our dark chocolate heart bonbons in our various flavors and hope that all of you very much enjoyed your Valentine’s Day. Yes, I’m sure many of you wanted to buy and have them shipped but due to certain circumstances, we were just not ready to properly do so. We hope and promise next year will be a different story!

When reflecting on our philosophy of how we meticulously craft our dark chocolate bonbons, I felt that it’s necessary to point out what makes them unique. Each bonbon mold cavity is hand colored with one, two or three colored cocoa butter colors, which we try to connect with the various flavor profiles for each bonbon. Every single bonbon is different, unique and has it’s own personality and imperfections. There are no two bonbons that are the same and no bonbon is perfect.

This bonbon philosophy in fact parallels extremely well with the other main topic of this blog post and that is love. Every single person is different from each other. Our appearance, smile, and personality are some attributes that help make us stand out from everyone else. If you’ve found love in life thus far, you are quite lucky. Others may have not or may have lost their significant others. For all those lucky readers reading this, you may have found love many years ago and have been married for many years. For some, you may have been dating for a long time and for some, you may be just starting to date someone and are forming a relationship as we speak and for those who haven’t found that lucky person yet, there is still hope! In any of these situations, everyone has an idea of their ideal significant other. What type of person they are, do they have an amazing smile that brightens up a room or a personality that clicks well with yours are all important factors.

During our entire meticulous process to create each of our bonbons, we’ve discovered just how important each component is and how it parallels to fostering and sustaining a loving relationship.

Cleaning and Buffing Our Molds

Every time we use our polycarbonate molds, we make sure that we rinse them in hot water and dry them carefully and buff each cavity with cotton balls. The cotton balls help clear away any chocolate or cocoa butter left from when the previous batch of bonbons were de-molded. The very act of buffing each cavity brings out a nice shine to each bonbon when the cocoa butter is in temper and applied to each cavity. When in love or finding love, we tend to carry along the past, the hurts, the negativity and the memories you’d just like to forget forever, as if they never happened. The process of “buffing” could be us taking an extra few minutes and make sure that if you’re in between a relationship or in a rocky one, that you wipe away the past and start fresh. Positivity thrives in all situations. It also brings a new blank canvas or blank book to start painting or writing your story with that special someone.

Coloring Our Molds

There are various components to discuss when it comes to coloring our molds. We pay attention  to the amount of cocoa butter we use, the design of cocoa butter that we make in each cavity and adding on an additional layer of white cocoa butter to brighten up darker colors that we use. We try to connect the colors we use with the flavor profile for each bonbon; however, we’re not trying to scientifically make perfect connections with color and flavor, we want to make them stand out and attract you to them.

When we look into ourselves whether we are courting someone to taking a spouse out for a long awaited date night, we always consider our appearance. We want to look our best to impress our significant others. When we consider the amount of cocoa butter for our designs, we make sure not to put too much which may hamper the appearance or worse, make it tough for the bonbons to de-mold when they are done. Appearance can make or break a budding relationship. A first impression is everything.

The designs we make with the cocoa butter are simple, easy designs. We’re not rocket scientists and don’t want to over complicate it as it is we don’t have much space to work with so simplicity is best. Whether you’re forming a relationship or in one – no matter the length – discover the commonalities, the things you both have in common, likes, dislikes, pet peeves, etc. and the composition of all these together create a design with which the other person sees and in the end makes a decision on whether there is a future or how much more they fall in love each day as the relationship strengthens and is nurtured by both sides. Appreciate these because every detail counts in the end.

Colored cocoa butter bonbons molds - From top left to bottom left: Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter and Jelly, Peppermint, Honey Cinnamon and Basil and Olive Oil. Notice their unique swirls and how they are all unique.

To certain bonbon designs we add an additional layer of white cocoa butter. This helps brighten a darker color combination that we use. Focusing on the little things can be very beneficial and not over doing anything. A little thing that makes someone remember a funny time they had together can brighten someone’s day. Harness that mentality as much as possible to brighten the mood. We do this with our bonbons and it’s a vital part of the finished product because there seems to be a brighter edge to them and helps in the overall appreciation of the confection.

Ganache

We normally use a dome shape mold for our bonbons. This Valentine’s Day we made small batches of bonbons with our heart shaped molds. The amount of ganache (for those who don’t know what it is – it’s an emulsion of heavy cream, chocolate, butter salt and other flavors that create an amazing, luscious reward inside a chocolate shell) that we use for our bonbons correlates with how much we put into a relationship. The flavors that make up the ganache are reminiscent of putting ourselves onto a plate when cooking or sharing things about ourselves, which depict the person we are. However, the amount of ganache is what matters. If we don’t pipe in enough, then there’s more chocolate than ganache and you’re not really able to enjoy the flavors found in the confection the way it’s meant to taste.

Our ganache filled heart shape bonbons. Notice that they have the same amount enough for dark chocolate to seal in the outer shell.

When we look at relationships, we must put a lot into it. People say it’s a 50-50 partnership where everyone puts in 100% focus to keep it alive and well and to keep improving it day after day. If someone in a relationship isn’t putting in the right amount of effort, then the proportions are off and the experience is off. Things don’t feel right and things can spiral out of control and potentially fail. When you focus on putting yourself forward, you’re letting the other person get the full you and enjoying everything you have to offer. Don’t gyp the other person when forming or sustaining a relationship. It will inevitably leave a bad taste in their mouth, in chocolate terms a mass-produced chocolate that has no unique attributes, lacks personal attention in its creation and ultimately flavor. When both sides work in harmony, the finished product will feel great and day after day, month after month and year after year, the relationship will become more complex but make the overall product so much better.  When a complex ganche is created in it’s intended ratio and when you have a well-tempered chocolate shell for protection, the experience will be magical.

Finished Product

There are many aspects of the finished product that we can discuss but for now, let’s focus on the shine and the overall design and appearance. When we de-mold our bonbons from our molds, there is a very noticeable shine to each confection. We notice the uniqueness of each, how it draws us in and of course the imperfections and flaws in each bonbon. 

Whether developing, nurturing or strengthening a relationship, we look for the things that make us happy. Our focus on shine with our bonbon’s appearance is analogous to how your significant other smiles or laughs and brightens your day or lights up the room. There much behind that smile or laugh and it draws us in – the same with each confection.

The design compositions and all of its nuances remind us of a significant other’s personality. Things like someone’s sense of humor, wittiness, attitude and charm help compile the wow factor that we are attracted to. When looking at a bonbon’s design, there are a lot of nuances that are present from the size of a swoop or how two colors merge together, these bring a uniqueness that we appreciate and tell us a story.

Inevitably, we find that there are definitely design imperfections with our bonbons. Since every one of them is unique, there may be less color in one area or various motions that take away some cocoa butter allowing for chocolate to show itself. When developing relationships we notice some flaws that the other person may have. This happens all the time and we shouldn’t turn away from it but yet embrace it. We are all imperfect beings and it’s apart of who we are and in the end make us the amazing people we are. In essence, we find perfection through all of the imperfections, and other qualities that make up that person or confection. You can always reference that perfection is in the eye of the beholder and so to one person one particular bonbon may not look as beautiful as another. We’re okay with that on our end with our confections, but when forming or in a relationship, you need to learn and figure out what you’re attracted to and once you find it – of if you’ve already found it – it will make everything else in life seem secondary.

Our Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter and Jelly heart shaped bonbons in honor of Valentine's Day! Notice the unique design and appearance and yes, even the imperfections that we love so much!

The Glennmade Moment

When giving someone special one of our dark chocolate confections, we want you to embrace the moment. When you take in everything we just discussed and once you taste the dark chocolate shell with the luscious and complex flavor profile of the ganache and you’re brought to a smile and a sense of something you can’t put your finger on, you, my friend have just experienced a “Glennmade Moment”. Release the butterflies and realize that something special is happening. Let it happen and embrace it.

Although I don’t consider myself an expert on love, I’d consider myself an expert in helping put smiles on people’s faces when they enjoy our chocolate confections. As we move past Valentine’s Day season, it’s important to take these lessons and implement them into our daily lives – if you’re not doing so already – to improve upon your daily relationships. When forming, developing and/or strengthening a relationship, we shouldn’t need a holiday to show that special someone that they are special – it should be a more regular thing. I’m not saying to spoil them with chocolate every single moment of every single day, (Don't hold me to that, though) but when you need to reevaluate where you are, get a box of our bonbons, take in their appearance, taste the flavors and complexities, appreciate the differences and imperfections and you will find yourself experiencing the perfect Glennmade Moment to get you back on track. Sharing this experience with your special someone will also make for a wonderful bonding experience that hopefully will lead to a lifetime of happiness.

The best of luck to all of you!

Glenn

 

2015: Meticulously Crafting My Dark Chocolate Legacy

Sitting on my couch during the first night of 2015 and just a few days from my 30th birthday, stuffed from a wonderful New Year’s Day family gathering at my brother’s house, I had an inclination to recover from the food coma I was in. I decided to scour Apple TV and search for a movie to watch on Netflix or on iTunes. After watching an action packed movie and a documentary on the story behind Sriracha (which was pretty awesome), I came across a documentary on wine, “American Wine Story”. Although I was immediately drawn to it, I had to really talk myself into watching it by watching the preview trailer about 3 or 4 times before making the purchase to rent it.