Tag Archives: Fran Bigelow

Tasting Notes: Fran’s Gray Salt Caramels

I found these little pieces of delight at the local Metro Market. As I’ve been researching salt of late, it gave me an excuse to purchase more chocolate.

I’m going to forego my typical tasting note template and simply say this -

There are three spices that chocolate companies are not using near enough, in my not so humble opinion. They are cinnamon, cayenne pepper, and salt. (Not all used together, mind you, but individually in pieces of chocolate).

Alas, chocolate is too often seen as a product for children, so my own designs and desires for additional flavors are regulated to “gourmet” samplers. But trust me, you haven’t lived until you’ve had a chocolate truffled whipped with juuuuust the right pinch of cayenne pepper. It’s one of my favorite things in the world.

Salted chocolate is a close second. Here in the States, salt and candy are an anathema, rarely allowed to play together. This prevents us the pleasure of trying such items as salted licorice, or in this case, salted caramels.

If you haven’t tried salted caramels, you must. Savory candies are such pleasure, especially when the saltiness can contrast with the slight bitterness of the chocolate and the scorched sweetness of the caramel.

UPDATE: Oour favorite chocolate gourmand, David Lebovitz, mentions in the comments that the best way to eat these is with the salted side down on the tongue. I whole-heartedly agree.

Technorati Tags: food, candy, salted caramels


2005 James Beard Awards

206 and 425 are well represented this year as the James Beard awards nominations have been announced (.pdf file – you’ve been warned).

I want to give kudos to the following Seattle/Kirkland folks who were recognized by the institute:

2005 James Beard Foundation/KitchenAid Book Awards

Category: Baking and Desserts
Pure Chocolate
Authors: Fran Bigelow with Helene Siegel
Publisher: Broadway Books
Editor: Jennifer Josephy
Price: $35.00

2005 James Beard Foundation Restaurant and Chef Awards

Category: Outstanding Pastry Chef Award
Leslie Mackie
Macrina Bakery & Café
2408 First Avenue
Seattle, WA 98121
206-448-4032

Category: Best Chef: Northwest/Hawaii
Scott Carsberg
Lampreia
2400 First Avenue
Seattle, WA 98121
206-443-3301

Joseba Jiménez de
Jiménez
The Harvest Vine
2701 E. Madison
Seattle, WA 98112
206-320-9771

Holly Smith
Café Juanita
9702 NE 120th Place
Kirkland, WA 98034
425-823-1505

John Sundstrom
Lark
926 12th Avenue
Seattle, WA 98122
206-323-5275

Congratulations to everyone of you. You are all deserving.


Moments when life is good


So I’m sitting at home in my studio apartment. I am geeking out on the internet, as I am prone to do, when there is a little knock upon my door.

It’s fairly late, and I live in a building that you have to be buzzed in, so I am suspicious. I carefully open the door, and what do I see?

Why it’s a certain special someone, bearing a certain special gift: A cookbook.

Not any cookbook, but a special cookbook – Pure Chocolate : Divine Desserts and Sweets from the Creator of Fran’s Chocolates written by Seattle’s own Fran Bigelow.

I’m given specific instructions. To earn this book, I have to complete two tasks:
1) I have to make a version of the Key Lime White Chocolate Tart that’s coincidentally bookmarked already.
2) I have to make the Alsatian Onion Tart that Orangette had posted only days before.

I agree to these stipulations. The cook book is handed over and I drool over the pictures for the rest of the evening.

*sigh* My life is so good.