How to Christmas-ify Your Chocolate Recipes
Posted: 29 Aug 2023
2 Cups of Sugar, 1 Cup of Christmas Magic: How to Christmas-ify Your Chocolate Recipes
It’s a classic trick of the trade done by everyone from your local coffee shop, all the way up to the titans of the food and drink industry. It doesn’t take hours of innovation and recipe development, nor does it take an entire overhaul of your chocolate arsenal. If you’re looking for simple solutions to Christmas-ify your staple chocolate creations, we can show you how.
The season of joy, of gift-giving, and of indulgence is nearly upon us, and for chocolatiers and bakers alike, the season of getting all of your (chocolate) reindeers in a row is already here. As the busiest time of the year draws closer, we’re certain you’ll be snowed under with recipe creations, stock planning, and of course, chocolate making. And while it’s a great idea to create a series of seasonal specialities, with a drop of flavour here or an extra ingredient there, you can easily turn your year-round customer favourites into Christmas classics.
If you’ve ever been to a major chain around Christmas, you’ll have seen (and probably tasted) something from their ‘Christmas menu’. You may have even been excited by the prospect of a new ‘caramel waffle’ latte or a portion of ‘festive cheese bites’. There’s no grand illusion here, it may well be the same latte you might have drunk in April with a few pumps of ‘caramel waffle’ flavour syrup, or the same cheese bites with a rich tomato dip, but that doesn’t detract from the amazing taste or popularity these products have. In the same way, here’s a few additions you can make to your chocolate flavours and inclusions to get a signature yuletide taste.
A Little Tipple Top-Up
Christmas time, chocolate bars and wine… Alcohol has made itself a mainstay in holiday festivities; from early Yuletide celebrations, to its warming effects on cold Victorian nights, all the way to loosening up (maybe a little too much) at the office party. Boozy notes embody the spirit of Christmas, which is why adding a splash of various alcohols to your pre-existing chocolates can transform them into a magical Christmas treat.
Orange is a popular flavouring choice year-round, but is particularly popular during the holiday season, with ori(n)gins rooted in 18th century Christingle, as well as being a popular stocking filler when oranges were a rarity. We’ve come a long way since the 1700’s, and these days, Terry’s Chocolate Oranges are a staple stocking selection. In the artisanal chocolate world however, a splash of our Cointreau alcohol concentrate can turn your orange flavoured chocolate into a decadent festive delight; with warming, orange sensations, they can evoke a Christingle effect!
The flagship of sweet Christmas treats, Christmas pudding may not be on the menu at your chocolate shop, but you can add the essence of it to your chocolates (unfortunately, it isn’t Christmas magic) – brandy or rum! Our St Remy XO or our Mount Gay Rum can be added to any ‘harvest fruit’ filling or ganache – raisin, apple, pear, peach, berry and more – to get that warm, sweet sensation of Christmas pudding that feels like the last of the log fire, flickering away inside your stomach!
A Fruitful Offering
Cherry + chocolate = Black Forest Gateau! An easy addition to dark chocolate or high percent cocoa milk chocolate, the addition of a rich, indulgent Griottine cherry can make for a Christmas classic encased in the bite of a bonbon. For an authentic and alcoholic black forest taste, add a little Kirsch to your ganache – this will also help in extending your shelf life!
Alongside a little vanilla, a white chocolate with a creamy ganache filling can be transformed into a Christmas trifle, all with Colac’s Forest Fruit or Strawberry sundae toppings – a nostalgic flavour profile reminiscent of a family buffet at Grandma’s house on Christmas Day. The best part about making a trifle chocolate is… everyone makes trifles differently! Some are alcoholic, some have a variation of fruit – which means whatever your starting chocolate and ganache, with a little gel, paté de fruit or sundae topping, you’ve got a Christmas treat ready to go, just like that!
In recent years, cranberry has made its way across the pond to become a staple on the Christmas plates of Brits up and down the country. Though thought of as the sweet tang that cuts through the gravy, turkey and stuffing of a Christmas dinner, the iconic taste of cranberry can still evoke a Christmas sensation in a sweeter pairing – our dehydrated cranberries are a perfect pairing to white Tintoretto or ganache, providing a sharper note to a rounded profile.
The First Drop of Snow
If alcohol isn’t the answer for you, and fruit isn’t your forte, then fear not! A little drop of flavour oils or Spice Drops, or a sprinkle of spices themselves can transform your chocolate treats into seasonal sensations! Here’s just a few ideas:
A pipette of peppermint! – A candy cane in liquid form, add a drop or two of peppermint flavour oil into citrus flavoured chocolate or ganache, including lemon and lime, rhubarb or pineapple, or even raspberry!
Like a winter night’s fireplace – Two Christmas classics that warm the body and soul, adding cinnamon and/or ginger Spice Drops to your orange or citrus flavourings make for a delicious and interesting flavour profile.
Clove is in the air this Christmas – A perfect counterbalance to the sweetness of apple, pear, and harvest fruits, cloves are sure to add a subtle warmth to your pre-existing recipe to create a cosy piece of confectionery!
Mulling over new recipe ideas? – Another one for your harvest fruits, a flavour that needs no introduction nor explanation, mulling spice Spice Drops are just what you need to bring in those festive cheers!
Is this Halloween? – While you’ll almost definitely see (and taste) pumpkin-spiced treats as early as Autumn, adding a few pipettes of pumpkin Spice Drops to orange or apple ganache – it’ll pair perfectly with those sharper notes, though may not be ideal with more ‘exotic’ fruits!
Silent chai, holy chai – If you’ve never tried anything spiced with chai, you’re missing out – it tastes like a Christmas candle (in the best kind of way!). A little bit sweet, a little bit floral, and a little bit spicy, Chai is a concoction of Christmas spices that can be added to chocolate that’s already tonka bean, coffee or tea flavoured, and is available in one convenient Chai Spice Drop.
These are just a few of our favourite flavourings you can include to make your existing chocolate range that bit more Christmassy – of course, there are plenty of other ways to do this, through the addition of nuts, through inclusions and decorations, and of course, specially tailored Christmas recipes. However it is you decide to celebrate Christmas in your chocolate shop, be sure to share your creations with us on our socials below, and from all us at Keylink, have a very Merry Christmas!