Baking kit from French Broad Chocolate
If you love buying from small makers, and you particularly love bean-to-bar chocolate, this is the year to buy your chocolate chips from Asheville, North Carolina-based French Broad Chocolate. Sixteen years ago, Dan and Jael Rattigan dropped out of grad school and bought an abandoned cacao plantation in Costa Rica. They eventually gave in to the lure of Asheville, and it’s now their home. They import cacao from small farms, and refine it into bonbons, chocolate bars and, yes, chocolate chips. These are no anonymous chips. The dark chocolate chips are made from beans sourced in Matagalpa, Nicaragua, as are the cacao nibs. Check out all the offerings on the French Broad Chocolates website. And, did we mention the limited-edition salted caramel white chocolate chips? You won’t find those from Big Chocolate.
$38 for the basics baking kit with salted caramel white chocolate chips, dark chocolate chips, milk chocolate chips and roasted cocoa nibs. Available at frenchbroadchocolates.com.
Macaron kit from My French Recipe. Courtesy of My French Recipe
Macaron kit from My French Recipe
Well-made macarons are crisp on the outside, chewy on the inside, and filled with delicious ganache. They are notoriously fussy to make. Three years ago, when Isabel Mota moved from Paris to Plano, Texas, she struggled with re-creating her favorite recipes, particularly in finding the right ingredients. Once she’d found what worked in her American kitchen, she started her company, My French Recipe, to share those ingredients and recipes with the rest of us. She offers kits for making chocolate lava cake, crepes, French pound cake, and for macarons. The macaron kit comes with everything you need, except egg whites. We tried the chocolate gingerbread version — crisp macaron shells, paired with chocolate ganache flavored with gingerbread spices. The kit included the mix, plus chocolate, spices, piping bag and tip. The flavors were the perfect combination for the holidays. Our tip is to weigh out the egg whites, if you can. Having the right consistency is important in getting the macarons just right.
$7.49 per package of a mix that makes 16 macarons; $29 for the chocolate gingerbread macaron baking kit. Available at myfrenchrecipe.com.
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