First, about how last Saturday went:
Broadway Market can develop strong blustering gusts like in a wind tunnel. Pleasant in Summer but in Winter it can be bitingly cold.
The market wind is truly nasty. It would blow my stash of empty cake boxes away & would scatter my stall neighbour Kim’s handmade cards & plant holders everywhere every 30 minutes. When the wind is so strong, the stall table would shake magnitude seven, & I hold down on it like I’ve encountered a storm on a sailing journey. Which may sound like an exaggeration, but I remember my Danish stall neighbour’s rack flying off her table & smashing her beautiful plates… But last Saturday, the gust of wind blew the plastic sheet off the roof of my stall…! Thank goodness it wasn’t raining – otherwise it could have ruined all my chocolates & cakes… Sales-wise, it went well, but except for my truffles – I had atleast twenty left. Truly disheartening when this happens, but not so bad an outcome for D & my friends in my neighbourhood…
For this week’s entry, I’ll list the chocolates & cakes I currently sell at the market.
- Flourless Moist Chocolate Cake: Sold as slices & as whole cake. The ingredients are just butter, sugar, eggs, organic chocolate & a tablespoon of Triple sec (orange liqueur). It’s my ‘best seller’ & it’s the one with many repeat customers.
- Gateaux Basque: Sold as slices & as whole cake. A very rustic looking French cake with a layer of custard cream & dried prunes baked in to it (in the picture above). The surface has a hand-drawn pattern – done by rubbing egg wash (coloured brown with coffee granules) first & then drawing the pattern with the end of a spoon (hence scoring the coloured egg wash away).
- Tarte Tatin: Sold as slices & as whole cake. See my earlier entry to read more about it.
- Poppy seed & Summer Fruit Sponge Cake: Sold as slices & as whole cake. I love the slightly nutty aroma & taste of poppy seeds. The tangy taste of the berries go really well with the sweet sponge. The colour of deep-reds & blues from the berries look great against black-specked sponge.
- Caramelized Banana Loaf: Sold as slices & as whole. The banana has been cramelized first before being incorporated in tho the cake batter. There are broken up walnuts in it too, it is a really good combo with banana.
- Luxury Brownies: Chunky squares full of pistachios, walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, & pecans. Pure luxury. There is a big ‘brownie-battle’ at the market with so many stalls selling it, but I can truly say it is the most chocolatey & most & dense of ‘em all!
- Fresh Berry Tart: Small, medium & large sizes, also in individual heart shapes (pictured above). It has baked almond cream sponge (or frangipane) under the packed layer of fresh fruit like raspberries, blueberries & strawberries. It makes the stall look colourful & it often catches the eyes of the passers-by & hopefully stop them on their track!
- Pear & Almond Tart: Small, medium & large sizes. Frangipane with sliced pears & almond slices.
- Lemon Cream Tart: Small, medium & large sizes. Frangipane with lemon cream & white chocolate lettering.
- Chocolate Tart: Small, medium & large sizes, also in individual heart shapes. Filled with dark ganache infused with cinnamon & raspberry puree layer underneath. Decorative cocoa powder stencil work on top.
And then there is the chocolate truffles & molded bonbons, sold in bags or in a box selection):
- Caramel Truffle: tempered dark chocolate coating. Caramel liquid & chocolate is mixed to make the ganache.
- Earl Grey Truffle: tempered milk chocolate coating.
- Raspberry Truffle: tempered white chocolate coating.
- Classic Vanilla Pod Truffle: first coated with tempered dark chocolate & then dipped in cocoa.
- Hazelnut Crunch Truffle: Gianduja (chocolate containing about 50% hazelnut & almond paste) ganache mixture, coated in tempered dark chocolate & then covered in caramelized hazelnut nibs.
- Mendiants: White, milk & dark. Molded chocolate discs with nuts & dried fruit, or with candied orange discs.
- Molded chocolate shapes: White, milk & dark or a marble effect. Rabbits, cats & heart shapes.
As you can tell, I make quite a fair bit. I get asked numerous times about how long it takes to make them, & the answer is…
= I spend at least twenty hours during the week (on Thursday evenings & about fifteen hours on Fridays) & then about seven hours on Saturday to sell it.
At the end of Saturday, it feels like I put my body & soul in to it. But without question, it is never a chore. I enjoy it (except for the washing up part!) & my effort is rewarded. I love being ‘my own boss’ & make what ever I want to make. I love selling directly to the consumer & enjoy chatting to them (except for when some bloke really haggle at the end of the day, to the point of disrespect – ‘cos it’s what you do at a market innit?‘).
So anyway, hop down to the market & sample some of the items! Come on, I know you have a sweet tooth in you!!