Restaurants

Katherine Anne Confections in Logan Square specializes in caramels, truffles, marshmallows and hot chocolate

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Just because the kids will be savoring their haul of Halloween sweets, that doesn't mean adults are left out of the fun.

The Hungry Hound says a new sweet shop in Logan Square is taking a more grown-up approach to its sweets, and they only focus on four things.

Imagine how much fun it would be if, every day, you went to work and focused on making caramels, truffles, marshmallows and hot chocolate? Not a bad gig. And, at one new confection shop, those four sweet indulgences are designed for kids of all ages.

While the kids unwrap their tiny packages of mass-market, corn syrup-infused Halloween treats, know that there is an adult option in Logan Square. Katherine Anne Confections has only been open about a month, but they've been busy every day, creating luxurious hot chocolates with homemade marshmallow, thumb-sized truffles and lots of caramel.

"It's got cream, sugar, we use a little bit of honey in ours; the reason it's called a caramel is because the sugar caramelizes, so it creates that golden, delicious caramel flavor that we're used to," said Katherine Duncan, owner of Katherine Anne Confections.

One of Duncan's most popular is flavored with rosemary.

"We grow our own herbs behind our production studio, so we steep a big handful of rosemary into the cream before we make the caramel," she said.

Once it's poured out and cooled, Duncan adds some Maldon sea salt, and then just cuts it up into bite-sized pieces with a giant mezzaluna, hand-wrapping each one.

Eight or nine hot chocolates are typically on offer. They all begin with a base of chocolate, butter and salt, occasionally infused with notes of coffee or pink peppercorns.

Hot cream and milk is added to the base, then it's heated for about a minute in a microwave, until finally, it's whisked up and then poured out immediately. If you want a marshmallow, they make about six different types.

"You basically boil a sugar syrup to about 250 degrees, you let it cool down and then you mix in gelatin that's been bloomed, or hydrated in a little bit of water, so you whip that up for about 10 minutes until it turns from a syrup into a beautiful, fluffy concoction," said Duncan. "Pour it out, let it sit for 6 hours or overnight; and then the next do you just cut it, dredge it in powdered sugar, so it's not sticky, eat on its own, makes awesome hot chocolate."

There are also about 15 flavors of truffles, if you're so inclined.

"Right now we have a peanut butter and green apple, we have a pineapple upside down cake truffle. It gets pretty exciting," she said.

Duncan says while it may seem like there are a lot of candy stores, she says that's not the case.

"There's really not that many. There's lots of sweets, lots of delicious treats out there. Pie is obviously very popular. Doughnuts are incredibly popular, but there's not a lot of really amazing chocolate. So, we're just trying to add to that," said Duncan.

Katherine Anne Confections
2745 W. Armitage Ave.
(773) 245-1630
http://www.katherine-anne.com/

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