Interview with Darling Gourmet Biscotti
Darling looks and decadent tastes with San Diego biscottis
Darling Gourmet Biscotti
Nothing screams decadence like chowing down on biscotti with your morning coffee. San Diego's own Darling Gourmet Biscotti has you covered. Featuring a wide array of signature flavors (as well as seasonal masterpieces), Darling Gourmet Biscotti is the ultimate San Diego cookie company. In fact, Darling Gourmet Biscotti will be featuring new flavors and gift boxes for the upcoming Valentine's Day season! To learn more about Darling Gourmet Biscotti, we spoke with co-owner Amber Smith about her business, her creative process, and the delicious cookies she sells!
Why did you get into baking and creating these amazing biscotti?
I have always been a baker, in the non–professional sense. From a very early age, I was interested in baking. That interest, I suspect, developed because of my enormous sweet tooth and combined with a love of baked goods and a strong need to fulfill the creative side of my personality. I had never intended to make it a profession until a couple of years ago. I have always loved bakeries, cafes [and] the social customs around enjoying a dessert and a coffee with family and friends. I got into a biscotti baking phase, and I was inspired in a way that had not happened before. Once the idea to create a gourmet biscotti company took hold, I simply could NOT not do it.
Tell me about the different flavors you offer.
We have our signature collection online and are often rotating new or seasonal flavors throughout the year. A list of our signature flavors includes:
The Muse: Chocolate biscotti with dark Belgian chocolate pieces.
The Romantic: Vanilla biscotti with amaretto liqueur, tart cherries, dark chocolate and toasted almonds.
The Vixen: Brown sugar biscotti with candied almonds.
The Dreamer: Vanilla biscotti with sea salt caramel and roasted pecans.
The Vagabond: Vanilla biscotti with toasted hazelnuts and white chocolate.
We have fun seasonal flavors like eggnog biscotti, spiced fig biscotti, or our current seasonal favorite that is an orange biscotti with Gran Marnier, cranberries and dark chocolate. We are excited to start working on some light and fun flavors for Spring!
We focus on flavor profiles that have some depth, and we keep the texture light and crisp without that crunchy, dry sensation that most people associate with biscotti. Our biscotti are meant to be enjoyed as a stand alone cookie, but by all means, enjoy it with some coffee or tea!
What was the creative process behind creating your biscotti flavors?
The creative process in creating these is by far my favorite part of the business! Anything that inspires us, we snap a pic of, write a note about, and store that idea for later. You never know what is going to inspire you. It could come from a savory meal at a great local restaurant or a small gift shop. For example, most recently I was at Borough Market in London where a cookie stand had some interesting cookies that kind of blew me away. I scooped a few up, took pictures, ate them, took a few notes and will at some point create something based on that experience.
Sometimes it's even a color or pattern that will trigger an idea, and we will work backwards and think of flavors based on cool designs. Naming new flavors can be tricky, because I often know the flavor before the name, and it's like naming someone who has a fully formed personality: it has to fit!
Where are your biscotti available?
Locally, you can get our biscotti at all 3 Bird Rock Coffee Roasters locations, at Cafe Mingei in Balboa Park and at the Darling Gourmet Biscotti website.
You participated in our inaugural European Market in the Del Mar Plaza, and you sell a wide variety of gift boxes on your website. In your opinion, what makes biscotti such a great holiday gift?
Biscotti is a great any time of year gift, in part because it's unexpected. Our biscotti in particular are not like anything on the market. [We have] fun and pretty packaging and interesting flavors. And who doesn't like getting sent a box of cookies?!
Which flavor of the Darling Gourmet Biscotti is your favorite/best seller?
That is a two part question. Both my business partner Andrea and myself are having a love affair with the Muse at the moment. That is our current favorite. It is by far the most outstanding chocolate biscotti I have ever eaten. Our best seller is a toss up between The Muse (chocolate biscotti with dark Belgian chocolate pieces) and The Dreamer (vanilla biscotti with toasted pecans and sea salt caramel).