Nancy Biehn: Artisan Chocolatier


Nancy Biehn
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
Place an at order Sweet Gem Confections online

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