It’s been since November since I last posted on this blog — a lot has happened since that last post not the least of which was moving from Austin to Chicago. The Austin Cook With a View kitchen has been retired and is now surely filled with the aromas and foods of India – the buyers of our home were from Southern India and they love to cook so I am glad that the kitchen will remain busy and productive.
As for a new Cook With a View kitchen, we’re in a transition period while Patrick and I explore the Chicago area and decide where to buy our next home. What comes with that however is an exploration of Chicago’s culinary assets — and let me tell you they are bountiful. But before I get to that I wanted to share with you an interview with a friend and former colleague who has recently turned her creative force into a new candy business called Sweetly Sinful Candy Company.
Just in time for valentines day I encourage you to RUN not walk to your computer peruse her website and either call (208-315-3634) or email YUM@SWEETLYSINFULCANDYCO.COM to order your Sweet some sinful sweets and see what kind of trouble you get into!
here’s what Suzann had to say about making candy
CK: So Suzann you are one of the most creative people I know. Is making candy a creative endeavor for you?
SK: It is! Every chocolate I make is a design project, from flavors to color and shape, along with the final sheen and presentation in the box. I love that I can use all my experience as a graphic designer in this business!
CK: Have you been making candy all your life?
SK: I started making candy at 15 – it was my first job! Stirring caramel over a huge kettle, wrapping chocolates and the like. Then it became a holiday tradition making caramels, hard candy, truffles, etc. After a few years of giving them to local friends, they finally talked me into making them for resale!
CK: What is the most surprising thing you have learned about making candy?
SK: Patience is a virtue! And chocolate is as complex and varied as wine. Try one bar made from beans in coastal Ecuador, and it will taste completely different than a bar made from cacao beans grown in the Ecuadoran mountains.
CK: What are your most popular candies? Are these your favorite?
SK: Caramels, no doubt about it. They are my favorite as well, and I really love the fleur de sel caramels dipped in dark Belgian chocolate. They are sublime, and quite addictive.
CK: Ill never forget your stories of working with the Bee Professor in Montana. Have you considered collaborating with him or creating a line of honey candy in honor of his work and that time in your life?
SK: Ahhh…..Dr. Bromenshenk. I love that you remembered that! The bee man with his buzzing behavior. I had not thought of that concept, but it’s sure a cool idea! I may have to process that a little more and come up with something. I do have a ton of honey from my dad’s Montana farmland, and have been conceptualizing something with honey and milk chocolate. Or a lemon, lavender and honey flavored truffle.
CK: Have you found that men and women have different flavor favorites?
SK: Surprisingly, no. Just when you think you can predict something, it becomes the opposite! A big, burly guy loving a white chocolate and plum heart, and his tiny girlfriend going for the super dark chocolate with espresso and whiskey!
CK: Is your family supportive? What advice have they given you on this endeavor?
SK: My family, and most of all my husband, have been behind me 100%! I could not do this without them and their encouragement. They all want me to go for it and make this a full-time endeavor.
CK: Are you interested in your company growing?
SK: Right now, I would like to see slow growth and make a living as a full-time chocolatier, then eventually add an employee or two until I am ready to open a retail chocolate shop. That’s a few years down the road, and I don’t want to get too big. I don’t want to lose sight of my original principles of small batches of hand-crafted artisan confections. No big machines or robot arms here!