Well I did have a bit of coffee today, just a little cup from the Monmouth Coffee Company down near Covent Garden and yeah it was pretty good, but not quite the life changing moment that I’d been led to believe. At the risk of sounding like a heretic… mneh, I’ve had better. The shop is absolutely fantastic though and the smell of beans in there is the life changing and more than mildly stimulating joy that I was expecting. I think I should give it another go when they’re less busy and I can go and have a proper sit sit, but really what I need is to have the courage to go and spend that £1000 on that coffee machine of my dreams and then show the world what real coffee should be like (once I find out what real coffee is… arrogance, woo!).

More importantly, today I’ve been trying to pick out flavours of truffle for the shop. I figure – back when I was trying to work out my schedule – that I could do 18 flavours of truffle for the shop and not go insane from overwork or bankrupt from having to throw away the leftovers from a million different ones. I thought up the number back in February when I had maybe four or five flavours that I really really liked and it seemed like loads of room for experimentation, but since then the amount of things that I’ve made and loved has just been much too much and my whole chocolate family is growing out of all reasonable proportions and so instead of – as I had originally thought – creating chocolates to fill the shop’s range I’ve actually got to take the list of flavours I’ve created and cut it into a fifth of its original size. Woe and agony and much wailing there! They’re all really awesome creations and having taken so much time to get them right or think them up it feels just plain wrong having to abandon some of them never to be seen again outside of the occasional special order.

Actually, despite the horribleness of the idea, once I got down to it it was really a lot of fun. The only reason it was causing me a headache was because I was trying to decide which ones to take out rather than which ones to include. Suddenly the task switches from which of your children aren’t going to get to go to college (decidedly unpleasant) to going to the pound and getting to choose 18 puppies to take home with you (decidedly amazing). I don’t think I should reveal the flavour list yet since there are still three spare spaces which I’ve left for things that I’ll develop over the summer, but to put your mind at rest all of the ones where someone has said “Ooooooooooooh that one’s the best chocolate I’ve ever had!” have made it in. Chili and Cardamon, being my favourite, is especially safe!

The real fun in came in trying to make everything balance out, not make the range too bitter or too sweet or too spicy or too alcoholic and also making sure that the whole vegan range of truffles would taste balanced if you just bought them rather than making them a strange and intense subset of water based truffles.

“Ok… we’ve got Champagne and Maple Syrup nicely filling the sweet and creamy section which leaves us free for an earthy milk chocolate hmmmmmmm…

oops, can’t have two salty white chocolates… got to take… Olive! It’ll look prettier when it’s all laid out….

and a gap here in the dark chocolate liqueur section, got to have something to fill it… something to balance out the general spicy feeling from the rest of the range… hmm… Amaretto!….”

It was a little bit like playing tetris actually…. and man do I love tetris! It’s just a pity that the Salami truffle is some sort of awful purple block twice the size of the screen that also makes everything turn orange and flash like a strobe light on steroids.

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