How fortunate I was to meet Susie in person at the marketplace for International Food Wine & Travel Writers Association at the elegant Loews Resort on Coronado Island in San Diego.
Susie’s infectious smile and enthusiasm enticed me to read her book. Like a compelling novel or a box of chocolates, I devoured it, cover to cover, in one night.
As a pastry chef, Susie learned more baking secrets, as an instructor at Cordon Bleu program at the California School of Culinary Arts.
This famous culinary school program is where the Hill Team began their first food book about chefs. Like the savory chefs we write about, the best pastry chefs in the world insist on fresh local ingredients.
My favorite artesian indulgence is bittersweet, which packs the cleanest, most powerful punch. In Switzerland I buy Lindt, and Valrhona, in France. In San Francisco I can’t resist Ghirardelli white chocolate, even though it isn’t really chocolate. It is cocoa butter, sugar, milk powder, plus some secret flavorings.
Tasting techniques for chocolate are similar to a wine tasting. However instead of going from light to dark chocolate, begin tasting with dark, then milk, and finally white, in order to keep the palate initially free of dairy and sugar.
Like wine , the fragrance and flavor of chocolate, trigger memories of joy.
I’m not mentioning Susie’s tips about storing chocolate, because if you follow her recipes, there will be no chocolate left to store. As international chocolate judges, Maralyn and I know the real stuff.