Guess which incredibly beautiful and even more
talented female singer-songwriter will be enjoying our cordial cherry
butterflies after her concert tonight?
Hint: Her name rhymes with Sailor Lift.
Cub Scout Pack 26 can usually be found fishing,
camping, and building, but tonight they were in the fanciest chocolate
shop around, learning the art of chocolate sculpting.
A couple of the Heritage Girls couldn't resist joining in the fun!
You’ve driven by countless times….the windows are covered, the sign is simple, what is this place? Finally, a moment is spared in your busy day to explore….you open the door, and it takes a moment for your eyes to adjust to the sudden light change. But, when they do, you stop for a moment and try to take it all in. You look up and down, distant and near…there are sparkly things everywhere.
A sincere voice from just beyond a window in the distance welcomes you in. It’s almost overwhelming, the beautiful displays of chocolate, but alas the owner explains, “We’re a little unconventional here.” You listen intently as she continues….”We specialize in cordial cherries of more than 150 designs and more than 60 different flavors. We are the only company like ours in the world.” As instructed, you select a beautiful gift box, one more fitting for porcelain or jewelry than chocolate, and begin your chocolate experience. Just a few small steps from the front door, a curious sight catches your eye. Old doors, rich in history and distressed with memories, are laid to form rustic tables of the fanciful kind. Atop the faded wood, stand proud and glimmering, chrome cake stands. Inside, each holds precious, edible jewels that beckon the sense of taste. As you journey through this storybook shoppe, you see one cordial cherry more whimsical than the last. Your empty box begs for such treasures and you finally give in. First, the sweetest snowman with sugared hat, and then the most adorable penguin with hand-sculpted chocolate wings.
Before you know it, you’ve entered the domain of the flavor-infused cordial cherries. The delicate, hand-made paper tags that adorn each cherry’s stem tell of unique flavor combinations….Banana Crème, Raspberry, and Peppermint are just a few that intrigue you. Lifting the display lid propels aromas so intense, you’re eager to lift the next one. You can’t resist meandering throughout the store….everywhere you turn, there are beautiful things and decadent chocolates….fudge tied with satin ribbon, bonbons adorned with 23K gold leafing, truffles displayed beneath chandeliers…. At last, your box is full. The owner, while working away on the next tiny, chocolate sculpture, notices you approach the counter. Wearing a hand-made French toile apron and hair tied in a bun, she steps away from her art to package your chocolate gift box.
She inspects each chocolate before carefully placing the rustic French toile lid atop the shiny black base. A twine ribbon secures the box, and as if that wasn’t pretty enough, she reaches for a fresh sprig of greenery grown on her miniature tree farm behind her home and finishes with a simple tag and bow. This is the chocolate experience at The Cordial Cherry.
Chris Sund, Director of Sales and Marketing for Lucky Bucket Brewing Co. challenged me to create five extraordinary chocolates to pair perfectly with five of their hand-crafted artisan beers. And, so the adventure began....sampling each of their beers, researching their brewing process, and then my favorite part....mixing and matching spices, herbs, nuts, fruits, seeds, oils with various chocolates until I found the perfect combinations.
Heartland Wheat ~ Brewed with citrus variety hops and golden yeast, I decided to compliment this beer with a glazed lemon peel chocolate truffle coated with course sugar and blue poppy seeds for texture.
Lager ~ A light beer with a subtle maltiness, we decided to go bold and spicy on the chocolate. A rich dark chocolate truffle coated in cocoa powder and cayenne pepper concealed a surprise cashew inside.
Spring Break ~ This beer is full of flavor, brewed with rose hips and a number of spices including one of my favorite, cardamom. I paired this beer with a complementary chocolate truffle infused with cardamom, surrounded by a chocolate cup, and topped with a candied violet petal.
IPA ~ Otherwise known as India Pale Ale, this beer is complex, incorporating a number of floral hops and flavors. So, I decided to go simple, yet decadent on the chocolate....a 64% dark chocolate truffle coated in powdered sugar....delicious!
Certified Evil ~ Aged in Cabernet barrels and sweetened with molasses and honey, this beer begged of a complimentary chocolate. We combined cinnamon, nutmeg, and clover in a creamy chocolate ganache, topped it with brown sugar, and set the whole thing on a white chocolate disk.
These ladies surprised their guys with a sweet and private French truffle-making class. Chocolate and cream are decadent enough, but we spiced it up with some candied ginger, cardamom, and cayenne....a bit of flaky coconut, raspberries, and cloves too! The flavor and texture combinations were endless, as was the playful banter, endless laughter, and fun ideas for future truffle-making endeavors!