Guatemala City. Note the volcano in the distance.

Carlos and I are having a fantastic time making chocolates. I’ve now been through the complete process of turning beans into bars, or in Carlos’ case, ice cubes. (He’s found ice cube trays a cheap and effective way  to store working chocolate).  Tomorrow we’ll make the drive to Finca Los Ujuxtes to see how the cacao is grown and processed.

It occurs to me y’all might want to see some pretty pictures. Here’s Guatemala City from Carlos’ place. Lush, eh? Note active volcano Pacaya in the distance.

One of the first things we did when I reached the Danta Chocolate shop was to mold White Chocolate bars with Nibs. Here’s a shot of Angelica, one of Carlos’ three assistants, wrapping the finished product.

Angelica wrapping bars
Angelica wrapping bars

The best fun though, was me and Carlos melding our individual styles to create some collaborative truffles and bonbons. After a run to the market we settled on five recipes.

Blackberry Truffle, a white chocolate ganache of tart Guatemala blackberries and New Hampshire apple cider syrup enrobed in Las Acacias milk chocolate and finished with a blush of lavender lustre.

Plantanos Verdes y OO, green plantains caramelized in fruity olive oil and coarsely pureed, wrapped in a swirl of Las Acacias 60% dark chocolate.


At the market

Chili-Maple, pure New Hampshire maple syrup infused with Guatemala chilis, dusted with allspice, and wrapped in squares of  dark chocolate. And finally, the queen of the batch,

Mango with Green Jalapeno and Lime, fragrant fresh mango blended with jalapeno chilis and lime juice in an orange-speckled dome of Las Acacias 60% dark chocolate.

If you’d like to buy these pieces you’ll have to stop by Danta Chocolate in Guatemala City; I’m bringing back our recipes, but not our results. (There’s no room with all the bars I’m packing!)

Time to get back to work folks. Next round I’ll post some photos of the finished pieces.