Summer is a rough time to be a chocolatier! Chocolate is temperamental stuff, and it's happiest when it's about 68 degrees with low humidity. Which is not a common occurrence in Michigan in July and August! So rather than fight the heat, I usually just take the summer off.
But that can be a hard choice to make when the market is filled with juicy, fresh and *local* fruit, and my garden is overflowing with fresh herbs just waiting to be infused into a ganache or caramel.
So when the Huron Valley chapter of Slow Food International [http://slowfoodhuronvalley.com
] invited me to participate in their special "Slow Food Dinner in the Vineyard" fundraising dinner on August 10, I was thrilled at the opportunity to present some of Michigan's bounty. And I feel especially honored to be invited to serve my creations alongside those of some of our great local food luminaries, like Eve Aranoff from Eve The Restaurant and Craig Common from The Common Grill.
Tickets are still available for this event, and you can read all about it at http://slowfoodhuronvalley.com/events.html
. But even if you can't attend, you can still get a taste of summer, Tammy's Tastings style, because I'm offering up a special summer sale.
There are four flavors:
Raspberry - I usually use frozen organic raspberries for the puree that gives my dark chocolate raspberry combo its distinctive tang. This time I'll be use fresh local fruit from the Farmer's Market.
Fresh Mint - One of my all time favorite flavors, this combines dark chocolate with mint picked straight from the garden.
Cherry-Thai Basil - Sour cherry preserves from Michigan Spoon Fruit are paired with a dark chocolate ganache infused with leaves from the Thai Basil plants growing outside my front door. I think Thai Basil is a heavenly combination with chocolate, and the cherries provide a sweet & sour counterpoint that brings it back down to earth.
Lavender Caramel - Another Tammy's Tastings classic flavor, but also garden fresh, infused with just picked lavender buds and flowers from my community's herb garden.
A beautiful gift box of 12 pieces is available for $22, and a round of 5 pieces is $10. Please email me directly to place your order. Orders must be received by noon on Friday, August 1st for guaranteed fulfillment, although I'll continue to accept orders after that based on availability. Chocolates will be ready for pick up early next week.
A word about shipping... Remember how I mentioned that chocolate really doesn't like the heat? In order to ensure that you don't end up with chocolate soup, I can only ship orders that will be received within a day, and there will be an additional charge for ice packs and/or insulated packaging. Fortunately, Michigan is centrally located, so there are a number of cities FedEx Ground will reach in a day. This is the most reasonably priced option. But if you don't live in one of those cities, I will have to ship your chocolates via overnight mail (USPS Express or FedEx Express). I will send you pricing options when you place your order so you have all the information before purchasing.
Enjoy your summer, and all the great tastes it brings! And look for me in October, when I'll be bringing you a great line of gourmet candy bars just in time for Halloween.
Wishing you good tastes,