Name: Audrey Little, owner
A Little Confection
How long have you been in the confectionery game?
Fifteen years. I worked for the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory for many years before I started my own business, so I got my training there.
How much more chocolate do you make for Valentine’s Day than you would on a normal day?
A lot more. We’ll be dipping 20 flats of long-stem strawberries. Normally we do maybe one or two flats. And we don’t use the tiny little strawberries; we use the big long-stem strawberries. They’re very elegant, and delicious.
Are certain chocolates considered “more romantic” than others?
Our long-stem strawberries are probably our No. 1 seller on Valentine’s Day, but we have a fine selection of handmade truffles, which are very popular. Valentine’s Day people are looking for something a little extra, so some people will still pick out of the case if they are in a rush, but 99 percent of the business we do on Valentine’s Day are things like truffles or strawberries, something extra special.
What is the most unique chocolate-based confection you’ve ever created?
Chocolate-dipped bacon. We take strips of bacon and dip it in chocolate, and it’s fantastic. We won the Best of New Hampshire with that, and we sell out of it everyday by about 2 o’clock. But we always do some pretty interesting things. We’re not afraid to try stuff. During summer we might do things like mango dipped in chocolate and then sprinkled with cayenne pepper. We always have something waiting in the wings.
What is your favorite kind of chocolate or candy?
Our gourmet caramel apples are phenomenal. And our truffles – they are very creamy, smooth, rich. They’re like velvet on your tongue.
Describe the chocolate-making process.
We have two tempering kettles, one for milk chocolate and one for dark chocolate. When you’re making chocolate, the chocolate has to be a certain temperature, the outside air or atmosphere has to be a certain temperature, and it just all has to come together that way or the chocolate won’t set up properly. You’ll get a bloom out of it; the cocoa butter will rise to the surface and put a haze over the chocolate.
Is life actually like a box of chocolates?
Yes, I think so. Didn’t he say you never know what you’re going to get? I think that’s a good thing, though, because there’s always some surprise.
Who are your rivals in the chocolate biz? Willie Wonka? Baby Ruth? Eminem?
I’m sorry, but Willie Wonka wouldn’t be one because I have his Oopma Loompas right in my basement. I would let you see, but they are very grumpy when you wake them and they sleep during the day.
Is it appropriate to give chocolate to a chocolatier on Valentine’s Day? If so, what should one get them?
Honestly, it’s very difficult for me to eat the chocolate here sometimes, but there are days that I come in that I just have to have chocolate. I do still eat it; I just don’t eat it every day. But actually it’s good to give a chocolatier somebody else’s chocolate, because we like to spice it up and figure out what everybody else is doing.
If you weren’t a chocolatier, what would you be?
I’d love to be a veterinarian. As a matter of fact I almost became a veterinarian, but I decided I couldn’t possibly put animals to sleep. You have to have a certain place in your heart that just understands you are doing the best for the animal, but I’m just not the one to do it.
Tap dancing. I haven’t been dancing for the last couple of years, but I’d been taking tap up until about two years ago. My daughter was dancing so we did some dances and took our own personal classes and did the recital.
I like to be out in nature. I like to go for nature walks, just appreciate nature. It brings me back to my childhood when my father used to take us into the woods and look under rocks and logs and salamanders were there, that kind of stuff. I guess I’m a nature buff.