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Beer is great. Chocolate is great. Beer + chocolate, also great. Better than all of that? The absurdly decadent, incredibly flavorful delight that is this year’s chocolate Hammer of Glory.
Developed by Kitty Gannon, the head sugar master at Old City’s Shane Confectionery, the miniature replica of Philly Beer Week’s mascot features dark chocolate molded around caramel made with Weiss Wit beer from Delco’s 2SP Brewing. Also hiding inside the shell are crunchy candied pistachios, chewy bits of candied orange peel, sumptuous pistachio-milk chocolate “meltaway” and a sprinkling of Cape May sea salt to enhance and bring the flavors together.
Truth be told, this version blows away the original chocolate HOG, which made its debut at Philly Beer Week 2014 after PBW president William Reed approached Shane Confectionery owners Eric and Ryan Berley about making an edible copy of the mallet.
“I was looking for a rock candy version and they came back with the chocolate idea,” Reed recalls. The result — filled with ganache infused with Dogfish Head Theobroma — was good, but the 2016 edition is at least 50x better.
Gannon, 26, joined the Shane team two years ago after attending the Culinary Institute of America and training under certified master pastry chef Frank Vollkommer. She’s made it her mission to elevate the quality and variety of products served at the historically accurate candy shop — just about everything is now made in house — and that includes the PBW hammer, the first of which was created just before she came on board.
It takes quite a bit of work to produce the incredible result she came up with — check out how it all comes together in the video below. Want to try one? Pick it up at the Shane’s storefront throughout Philly Beer Week.