Friday, May 21, 2010

Syrup Service

Velvety smooth and ready for service.

It's milk delivery day at Spro and time to make more chocolate syrup. As I meet people in the industry who ask: "what syrups should I buy?" I always wonder why they just don't make it themselves.

True, it's not easy to make your own syrups. Simple, but not easy. However, it's not a monumental task and when you use really great ingredients, the flavors shine through in a stellar fashion.

But using great ingredients also means increased costs. I don't know how much it is to buy commercial syrups but I know that our ingredients are some of the best we can find. It also helps that we only offer chocolate and vanilla syrups, and not the plethora of flavors that so many coffee shops across America offer.

Gotta have nice labels. Scissor cut, of course.

Chocolate syrup is really quite simple. Just take two cups of heavy cream and heat it in a pan with one cup simple syrup until it starts to simmer.

Perhaps I should note that the simplest way to make simple syrup is to take any container, fill it halfway with sugar, top off with hot water and stir until dissolved. This will give you a roughly 43% sugar simple syrup and can be used as a base syrup for just about anything.

Once the cream and syrup mixture has come to temperature, pour it over 16z of your favorite chocolate (the darker, the better - I think) and whisk it together until smooth. Note: it's going to be easier if you chop a block of chocolate into pieces or use couverture: little round discs or chips.

Whisk until smooth and use as necessary. Refrigerate overnight and use within seven days. Longer term storage is possible via freezing. If you do refrigerate, be sure to place container in a bain marie (hot water bath) to re-liquify the chocolate sauce so it passes easily through a squeeze bottle.

As a side benefit, you can cool the sauce, allow it to solidify, scoop out little ganache balls, bathe in chocolate, allow to harden and voila!, you've made your own chocolate truffles.

This week I'm also trying a little different approach to our vanilla syrup. Utilizing four whole vanilla beans, ends cut and split in half, in a half gallon of simple syrup. I'll allow it to steep in the fridge for about a week before using for service.

Otherwise, I'm just dying to get out into the warm weather again.

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