Tag Archives: chocolate

Albanese Candy

In 2014 – 2015 when I was working on my original 50 “new things”, visiting the Albanese Candy Factory in Merrillville, IN was on my list but I never made it. My travels between Indianapolis and Chicago were for work and/or were with fellow travelers more interested in the destination than the journey.

So the candy factory made my “crazy list” as in, “you are crazy if you think that will happen…”

Now 2018 provides an opportunity. My oldest son accompanies me from Indianapolis to pick up my youngest son at Loyola University Chicago and bring him home for summer break. I am blessed that my boys are willing to indulge me and make the short detour to visit the factory.

This place is massive and we only see the gift shop. Albanese manufactures the “world’s best” gummies and chocolates.

In addition to making gummies and chocolates, Albanese Candy seems to sell every candy imaginable. This includes nuts and trail mixes. We peek into the factory through viewing windows to see gummies being made. There are also videos explaining how they make gummies and chocolate candies.

Reminds us of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory! We leave with gummi bears and some chocolate favorites like peanut butter buckeyes and coconut haystacks. Yum! This is definitely worth the detour and we hope to return.

Remember, it can be about the destination and the journey!

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Donaldson’s Chocolates

This is a quick “new thing” post to encourage you once again to stop by those spots you drive by hundreds of times, thinking that you will stop and visit another day.  I’ve driven by Donaldson’s chocolates on I-65 in Indiana literally hundreds of times for years.  I love chocolate and have wondered about this small business but never stopped.  Usually we are in a hurry to get home or it is past closing time.  


On Valentine’s Day, I was in Lafayette for work from 9:00 – 12:00 and had a few minutes to stop on my way back to the office.  This was a quick stop to select a small box of chocolate for my husband and sons. The friendly staff gave me a sample and I picked my favorite – coconut haystacks. Yum! 

What attraction or business have you driven by a hundred times in curiosity?  Make a stop!


Truffles

Who knew that truffles are basically chocolate and cream?  When I saw this 2 ingredient basic recipe in the Every Day with Rachael Ray magazine, it had to be one of my “new things”.  The basic recipe is to warm 3/4 cup heavy cream to a simmer and pour into a bowl with 12 ounces chopped semisweet or bittersweet chocolate to make a ganache.  Then the magazine offers several variations to jazz up the truffles.  I chose the variation made with raspberry liqueur since that is a new ingredient for me.   

 

The basic recipe says to cover and chill the ganache for 2 hours.  Then, using a tablespoon measure or scoop, form the ganache into balls and chill on parchment paper until firm, about 30 minutes.  The Fresh Raspberry variation calls for 3 Tablespoons raspberry liqueur added to the warm ganache.  Line mini muffin pans with paper cups. Spoon 1 Tablespoon warm ganache into each cup and press one raspberry into the center.  

  

Chill for 2 hours and enjoy.  As the magazine says – ridiculously simple!  Who knew?

  

Chocolate Peppermint Ice Cream

Three of my “New Things” during my 50th year involved ice cream:

  • A stop at Jeni’s ice cream on our way from Akron, OH to Indianapolis
  • Purchasing Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home book during my Sister Trip in Columbus, OH
  • Buying an ice cream maker and making homemade ice cream

I’ve been experimenting with my ice cream maker so while this is not a healthy recipe, it includes a new ingredient for me – peppermint essential oil.  (Working with essential oils was also a “New Thing”.)

The staff person at our local health food store told me the peppermint essential oil can be ingested but the flavor is too strong to cook with.  I insisted on buying essestial oil rather than an extract since that’s what the recipe calls for.  If you read Jeni’s book, she swears by quality ingredients.  

Here’s the chocolate syrup made with Ghiradelli dark chocolate.  

  
Here is the cooked milk before adding the chocolate ice cream base.

  

Then you combine the mixtures and cool in an ice bath for about 30 minutes.

  

The peppermint essential oil is added in drops through the opening in the top of the ice cream machine while the ice cream is spinning.  I didn’t find the peppermint flavor to be overpowering with the essential oil.

  

Then you enjoy the ice cream – YUM!