Sonja and Brandon are only too happy to act as guinea pigs for a crash-course in pairing wines and liquors with chocolates. Local fine-chocolate maven, Amanda Ormerod, opens our eyes to some of the finer points of making confections and how she ‘bootlegged’ her family recipes to bring outrageous flavor to the west coast.
Making chocolates with exciting spice and liqueur combinations, Amanda tells us about the process of creating quality sweets–from inspiration to finding flavors.
We also get into the issues of sourcing and consistency that face her as a small business owner, and the Bahamian roots of her tastes. With a set full of liquor and luxurious chocolate, it’s one of our most decadent visits.
Amanda Ormerod, co-founder and owner of Bootleg Chocolates, came to be a chocolatier after a long career as a producer. She creates her chocolates based on family recipes which she traces from four centuries in the Bahamas. She then filters them through her own education in chocolate making at UC Davis, and hand-creates each one.
With flavors based on rum drinks local to the Bahamas, as well as ginger, peppers, and other aphrodisiacs, Bootleg Chocolates has been a sensation in Venice, California.
00:01 Welcome to the Wine Down.
00:45 Sonja welcomes Amanda Ormerod
02:06 From the Bahamas to making chocolate in Venice.
05:26 “What is Ganache?”
07:28 “How did you make the step to production?”
08:36 Making the classic Bahamian cocktail into chocolate.
10:45 The process of chocolate making.
13:05 Dispelling myths about pairing.
14:51 The designs of the chocolates.
15:41 Clip on chocolate making.
20:41 Pairing Goat-Pepper Balsamic Chocolate with Sparkling Wine. Other nice combinations.
25:04 The tempering process for a chocolatier.
27:44 Global production of Cacao and the Cacao genome project.
31:54 How do people respond to wine and chocolate pairings?
33:01 Ordering chocolates and the-so called-chocolate season.
34:10 “The largest piece you’ve ever made?”
34:50 The history of chocolate, from new world roots to European aphrodisiac.
35:54 The chemical roots of the ‘feel good vibe.’
37:32 Chocolate as an aphrodisiac
38:36 The Bahamian Gullywash cocktail becomes a chocolate
40:38 How to get raw products refined to the final pieces; scalding vs. boiling.
41:54 The labor intensive nature of hand made chocolate and figuring out the retail process.
44:15 How conditions can affect a small chocolatier.
44:50 Amanda’s education in single-origin chocolates and blends.
47:30 The importance of consistency in beans and being able to adjust.
48:51 “Is there a chocolate community?”
51:45 Final favorite pairings: Goat pepper balsamic and Rum Vanilla bean.
53:39 Thanks and going out on a very dark note.