"Odd Jobs" Segment

Many thanks to Jennifer Costa for coming by the chocolate factory and filming me at work for her "Odd Jobs" segment on WCAX. Jennifer is traveling around Vermont and highlighting hard-working or creative people with unusual careers. I love that my career is considered unusual. I wouldn't have it any other way. You can watch the segment here:

McCracken’s loved three dimensional art for as long as she can remember. But after graduating art school, a degree in 3D illustration and ceramics wasn’t paying the bills. So, she traded clay for cocoa and took a job managing the chocolate company’s retail store. That is until her bosses discovered her background.
— Jennifer Costa

Caramel Apple Segment on WCAX The :30

Apple season is in full swing here in Vermont and there's no better time to start dipping them in caramel, nuts and chocolate. Last night I was on WCAX The :30 with a quick lesson on how to get started making your own caramel apples.

The video and full recipe are available here.

My thanks to the WCAX team for such a great time! 

Caramel Apples Dipped, Swirled and Devoured

Caramel apples getting a chocolate drizzle

Thanks to everyone who came out to the Lake Champlain Chocolates and South End Kitchen caramel apple dipping session at EatxNE. We started with 100 local apples and by the end of the afternoon each one had been dipped, swirled and devoured. That's a lot of sticky fingers! 

I hope you all had as much fun as I did. Leave a comment below and let us know what you thought!

Caramel Apple Dipping at EatxNE

Eat by Northeast (ExNE) is a FREE 3-day celebration of Vermont food and local food organizations. The weekend (09/19/14 - 09/21/14) will feature delicious local food, beers and ciders, as well as free music. Have I mentioned how I much I love Vermont?

There will be over 30 free seminars from chefs and food enthusiasts who will teach you how to take advantage of everything the Vermont food shed has to offer. Speaking of which...

Kids -- Come Make Your Own Caramel Apples

Caramel Apples, image courtesy of South End Kitchen

Caramel Apples, image courtesy of South End Kitchen

It's apple season, everyone! Come out to Oakledge park and dip some caramel apples with me and Chef Lauren. The apples are from just down the road and the caramel is made from local ingredients, and we think that makes them taste even better. The session is for kids, but I encourage parents to taste test anything their kids make. You can call it a "parent tax" or part of the "cause I said so clause" ... I won't tell.

The session is at Oakledge Park in Burlington, VT and will take place on Sunday, September 21st from 3:00pm - 3:45pm. Here's the event description:

Celebrate the local apple harvest with a Vermont fresh caramel splash! Learn how to make a fabulous caramel at home using the best ingredients available – local butter, milk, and heavy cream. Pick your favorite local apple, dunk it in warm caramel and roll it through nuts and chocolate.

The event is free, but please make sure to reserve your FREE SPOT on EventBrite to make sure there's a spot for your child.

Other Great Sessions from South End Kitchen

Make sure to checkout some of these other great sessions from South End Kitchen:

  • Savory cooking with chocolate (09/20 @ 1:00pm)
  • Cultivate your kitchen confidence -- a chef demo (09/20 @ 2:00pm)
  • Sweet alternatives to sugar -- use honey! (09/20 @ 3:00pm)
  • Taste Interaction -- learn the science behind your tastebuds (09/21 @ 2:00pm)

A Rock Star's Chocolate Request

2014 Grand Point North logo in chocolate for Grace Potter and the Nocturnals

2014 Grand Point North logo in chocolate for Grace Potter and the Nocturnals

I was on maternity leave during last year's Grand Point North, so I was really looking forward to this year's festival. That excitement only grew when I found out that Grace Potter and Matt Burr had requested a chocolate sculpture to be delivered to the show!

I've had the pleasure of working with these guys in the past so I wanted to make something a bit different this time around. Something to welcome them home to Vermont. As I thought about it more, the answer seemed obvious -- the GPN logo. I can only imagine how much effort and coordination it takes to producing a festival like GPN. The band pays particular interest to local musicians, artists and food and I've always respected that. So for this year's sculpture I kept it simple and celebrated the festival. My favorite part? Those white chocolate wings and each individual chocolate feather.

I'm hoping that Grace and the guys had a chance to enjoy this sculpture as a post-show snack. I already have some great ideas in mind for GPN 2015 if they're looking for their next chocolate fix.

Chocolate Bar Class

Summer hours have ended for our South End Kitchen chocolate bar class, but classes are still available most Saturdays! Check out the online class schedule for more information and sign up today to reserve your spot!

About the Class

Tie on your apron and discover the fun of working with chocolate  — from tempering to moulding.  This great class for first-time confectioners will start with a brief lesson on chocolate types, then we'll dive right in, showing you how to create your very own bars.