Saturday, August 20, 2011

Nancy Biehn: Artisan Chocolatier

Nancy Biehn
 Watching Nancy Biehn make chocolates is a divine way to spend an hour. Tasting her candy is double divine.  I had the great pleasure to do both while visiting Ann Arbor, Michigan, a city renown to foodies. Sweet Gem Confections, Nancy's company, makes its home within Morgan and York, a fine wine and specialty foods store.


Nancy developed a passion for chocolate while living in Spain. When she came home, she started making treats as gifts while perfecting her skills. Her friends convinced her to open a business and Ann Arbor tastes far richer for that. She's a warm and engaging instructor, just naturally sweet you might say. Ms. Beihn's demonstration made the craft look easy, alas, I know the technique requires precise temperatures and timing.
Her artisan chocolate company uses only pure cacao liqueur, sugar, milk and real vanilla. The dark chocolate contains between 64% - 99% pure cocoa liqueur, and the milk between 38 - 45%. Her select staff of chocolatiers add fresh fruits (many of which they gather themselves), nuts, spices, herbs, espresso, and top-shelf liqueurs from around the world. Sweet Gem Confections are 100% preservative free and always made in small batches. 




I watched Nancy dip strawberries into melted chocolate that finished with a gloss as shiny as patent leather shoes. The deepness of the dark chocolatey brown complimented the freshness of a seasonally ripe berry. She also made more complicated truffles with a green tea infusion. Such indulgence!


You can order Nancy's extraordinary truffles, caramels and chocolate barks online. If you are lucky enough to get to Ann Arbor, sign-up for one of her chocolate-making classes.




Sweet Gem Confections
at
Morgan and York

1928 Packard Road
Ann Arbor, MI 48104

Click to order Sweet Gem Confections online

1 comment:

Maralyn said...

Absolutely beautiful. How nice to experience this.