When the going gets tough, the tough eat chocolate. At least that’s how it works in my fictional town of Icicle Falls. It helps that the place has its very own chocolate factory. (Did I mention that this is my idea of an idea town?)
How I’d love to have my very own chocolate factory! This could prove dangerous though, since I’m a chocoholic. Belgian chocolates, truffles, chocolate cake, chocolate frosting, chocolate pudding, chocolate mint pie (my fav!), mochas, M&M’s, Hershey bars, chocolate chips (sometimes I even put them in cookies) – I love it all. So, writing a novel about a woman trying to save the family chocolate business was right up my alley. And, since I was including recipes, I had to test a lot of chocolate concoctions.
One of the candies, which was my absolute favorite, proved beyond my capabilities. For some reason, I can’t make truffles. Why is that? Why am I truffle challenged? I don’t know, but let me tell you every time I try the results are not pretty.
The first time I attempted to make truffles was a few books back. They were a complete disaster and I wound up with fudge. Well, that could happen to anyone, right? So I tried again for this book. Oooh, I was so brilliant – combining the flavors of white chocolate and rose water. Yum!
Carefully following basic truffle directions (or so I thought), I made the centers. Shouldn’t these be less soupy? Maybe I haven’t mixed this enough. Let’s keep mixing. And mixing. And mixing. Still gooey. Okay, let’s add a little more powdered sugar. Hmmm. Something is definitely wrong here. Well, I’m dipping them in the chocolate anyway. Oh, no! The coating is slipping off. Eeew. Can candy get leprosy?
Never one to let a little failure stand in the way of my success, I tried again. And those truffle centers still defeated me.
I know. I’ll stick the balls of goo in the freezer. That’ll make them set up.
Great. Now let’s dip ‘em in the white chocolate coating. And, wow, look at that. I have … a mess! Once more it was failure in the kitchen of Sheila Crockpot.
So I did what any good candy maker would do. I ate the evidence. And then (feeling slightly ill), I called a girlfriend and asked for help. She tried and hers turned out great. I sampled a bunch of those, too (and about overdosed on sugar).
You’d think that last round of candy over-consumption would have cured me of my chocolate addiction for good. But it didn’t. Chocolate is still my favorite reward and my best aid to creativity.
And I’m not going to feel too guilty about it. After all, chocolate is becoming the new super food. Dark chocolate has been shown to lower blood pressure, help keep you satisfied so you’ll eat less (great news for us dieters!), help fight stress, and even quiet coughs. So, you have my permission to indulge a little, too. And now, I think I feel a cough coming on. I’d better go see if I can find some chocolate!
About BETTER THAN CHOCOLATE:
Sweet Dreams Chocolate Company has been in the Sterling family for generations, ever since Great-Grandma Rose literally dreamed up her first fabulous recipe. But now it looks as if they’re about to lose Sweet Dreams to the bank—and that would be a disaster, not only for the family but for the town of Icicle Falls, Washington. Samantha, the oldest daughter and new head of the company, is determined to save it and comes up with the idea to host a chocolate festival! But fate seems to be conspiring against Samantha, and her mother’s attempts to help aren’t helping. To make matters worse, the future of the company is in the hands of her archenemy, bank manager Blake Preston. Samantha is pretty sure Blake couldn’t care less about Sweet Dreams, but he’s determined to prove to her that there’s something even better than chocolate.