Chocolate and Caramel

I’m a member of Les Dames d’Escoffier, which means I get to hang out with some amazing, talented, accomplished women in the food world. Last night, my local chapter had a Chocolate and Caramel event. We met at Kelly Delaney’s Cakes for Occasions kitchen. Lee Napoli, one of the most inventive chocolatiers in Boston, showed us her truffle-making technique. It’s all about very good chocolate at the right temperature.


Next, Denise Baron, of Burton’s Grill, made caramel. I’ve struggled for years to get caramel right. The step where you boil down the sugar is so tricky! It seizes up. It burns. It boils over. It doesn’t get dark enough. Do you use a spoon? Wooden or metal? Wipe the sides down with water? Denise had a trick. Add a tiny amount of lemon juice to the sugar, and let it boil. There was over a hundred years of food experience in the kitchen last night, and none of us had ever heard that one before. It works! Here is a photo of the perfect, fresh ginger-infused caramel.


Next, Kelly taught us how to make buttercream roses and sent us all home with our own cupcake cake hearts.


When I got home, my husband got a truffle, a cupcake and a spoonful of caramel. After all, he closed up the barns so I could make sweets. This morning it was cupcakes for breakfast!


  1. OMG! That is an event after my own heart! A chocolate and caramel night? My two most favorite things in the world…besides wine of course! Wish I was there! What a fun evening!

  2. Lucky man, just found your blog looking for the PB marathon. We have alpacas and now I want to put a videocam in the barn to see what we are missing. Great blog. I will be posting a link from my blog later this week. Thanks for sharing.

    • Three of the 8 picture books so far are about the animals. Are you writing about alpacas? For those interested in what we’re talking about, go here.

  3. So happy to meet you and the rest of the Dames last night. I had a very enjoyable and inspiring evening. Love what you’re doing here, been reading your archives and watching the cams.