Rolling out valentine treats

As Cupid rounds the corner with his partially drawn bow and arrow, chocolatiers brace for an influx of lovers seeking treats for their sweeties.
Krystle Wagner
Feb 13, 2013

Business is amping up this week at Chocolates by Grimaldi for the Grand Haven business' first Valentine’s Day. It means spending hours hand-dipping delectable candies and sending them along an “I Love Lucy”-esque production line.

Molli Laham, the shop's owner, said most people would be surprised to know what goes into making the mouth-watering creations.

“I think it’s worth it,” she said of the tedious process.

Each morning begins with Laham adjusting the temperature on the shop's melter machine according to the type of chocolate it's churning. The large milk chocolate melter holds 250 pounds and sits at 88 degrees, while 20 pounds of dark chocolate churns in 92 degrees.

The chocolates are parked overnight at 100 degrees or more.

Heating up and cooling down the large quantities of liquid chocolate isn’t a quick process. It takes between an hour and 15 minutes up to three hours to complete the process, Laham said.

“It’s a lot of waiting,” she said.

Chocolatiers have to be careful to get the heat just right to achieve an optimal temperature. Even the slightest half-degree makes a difference, Laham said.

Chocolatier apprentice Jenny Hanlon said tempering is a sensitive and labor-intensive process. But it provides the best feel, proper texture and better flavor, she said.

“You’ve got to have a passion about it to do it well,” Hanlon said.

To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

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