The movie themed chocolates from Misfit Confections

Most people don’t see a pickle and turn it into a cream puff, top it with a dill pickle meringue, or pair it with melon sorbet. Then again, most people — or pastry chefs — don’t think like Rachel Bossett. They don’t fill their molded chocolate candies with cheddar caramel popcorn crunch or mayonnaise caramel.

Diners at Dirt Candy on Allen Street may know their vegetable desserts, if not their name. Probably fewer have tried her chocolates, but she’s steadily developing a following for her side business, which she pursues from her employer’s kitchen.

Bossett quietly makes them in tiny batches under the trademark Misfit Confections. Her most recent launch was a Halloween collection featuring a candy man Theme. Those who saw the 1992 Gothic Fright flick would understand the scene Bossett was referring to when she called one of her five candies “Mirrors,” but probably couldn’t imagine what it involved. It featured mayonnaise caramel along with nougat and toasted walnuts for an effect bordering on Snickers.

A headshot by Rachel Bossett.

Rachel Bossett, pastry chef at Dirt Candy and founder of Misfit Confections.
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How did she get here? Bossett’s starting location was Seattle in 1977 in a remote neighborhood where her paternal grandfather had bought a house in the ’50s and her father had grown up with other black families. He married a white woman, Bossett’s mother, and they raised their daughter there at a time when the neighborhood was changing. When the hippies moved in, those who stayed banded together and formed a “diverse village of one family with all the aunts and all the kids,” she says. Most of these children were boys, and Bossett considers himself “boyish” because of it.

Fast forward to college: Unimaginative and unmotivated as a student at the University of Washington, she dropped out and found work. She has been known to pop up places with a ton of cupcakes. “You should become a confectioner” was the frequent feedback. Lacking any other purpose, she listened, found work in a few bakeries, and enrolled at the former French Culinary Institute in New York City in 2010.

She was surprised at how much she enjoyed learning about chocolate, but didn’t focus on it. Instead, she zigzagged her way through the gamut of patisseries across the city. She notes, “I couldn’t always decide on the ‘best restaurants,’ because they never pay very well.”

The pressure to make money was compounded by the fact that for the first six years of her tenure in New York City she was in an abusive relationship where “there was no physical abuse at all. It was all psychological and partly financial,” she says.

When she finally left, she recalls that her “brain was messed up.” But she couldn’t take a break. So she continued to work and built up a varied resume that eventually landed appearances in upscale restaurants.

In 2019, she reached the vegetable-focused Dirt Candy, where she remains a full-time pastry chef.

A collection of Jamaican-style sorrel flavored truffles.

Jamaican Style Hand Rolled Sorrel Truffles by Misfit Confections.
Rachel Bosset

From the start, Bossett challenged himself to build desserts around peppers, for example, which eventually became a Sachertorte whose chocolate cake layers were topped with jam, not made from the classic apricot variety but from the vegetable.

As she settled into her new job, she picked up chocolate again and soon began selling her inventions via Instagram. Her boss, Amanda Cohen, the chef and owner of Dirt Candy, allowed her to use the restaurant’s kitchen in her spare time, where she continues to invent and produce her new, albeit sporadic, collections.

Misfit Confections’ first release was a six-candy Christmas set inspired by Die Hard Late 2020. It was an extremely limited edition (only 12, ordered via DM) that Bossett made mostly for her own pleasure.

Peach Candy by Misfit Confections.

Peach for a custom order in 2022.
Rachel Bosset

“We know it’s not technically a Christmas movie, but it’s an absolute Christmas movie, isn’t it?” she says of her theme. sure, Everyone Anyone who has seen the film knows that the chocolate, reminiscent of Twinkies, was created as a nod to John McClane’s pregnant wife, who had cravings for the snack and repeatedly sent her cop husband to buy them. And isn’t it obvious that she named a “Nakatomi Plaza” because that’s where all the action took place? That would be with your regular bonito caramel and a rice seaweed crunch – obviously. Apparently to anyone but Bossett.

The truth is, it’s doubtful anyone else would conceptualize things that way, let alone pull it off in edible form. Why can she? “Some people think outside the box, or as Ghaya Oliveira liked to say of Daniel, ‘Turn the box on its head.’ I like making little boxes,” she says, referring to her chocolates. “The smaller you make the box, the more creative you have to be.”

A collection of various savory and sweet candies from Misfit Confections.

Festivus candies from Misfit Confections.
Rachel Bosset

Misfit Confections has since introduced three more small boxes Die Hard (thriller for Halloween 2021 and Come to America for Valentine’s Day last February.) She decided on the company’s name after reading British screenwriter Michaela Coel’s memoir. Outsider. Bossett associated with the author’s story. “It’s about her upbringing in London, which she never really fitted in,” she says. “They asked her to give that speech one time at this very fancy rich people thing, which it’s not from at all… And I was like, ‘You know what? I like this.'”

She can increase production with each new launch, although there is a limit to how much she is willing to increase her numbers. “If I were trying to scale up right now, I’d probably hate life, and that wouldn’t work that well for anyone,” she says.

Chocolate Hearts by Misfit Confections.

Artificial hearts for Valentine’s Day 2022.
Rachel Bosset

Two chocolate hearts filled with peanut butter and banana pudding.

Holiday Love: Peanut Butter Banana Pudding by Misfit Confections.
Rachel Bosset

She doesn’t want to go the traditional – that is, French – route. “I just want to keep being super creative,” she continues. “When I see other chocolatiers, even in America, talking about what’s palatable to their audience, they’re 100 percent clearly thinking of an affluent, whatever you want to call it, upper-middle-class white audience. And I don’t think about that audience when I’m creating because I’m from a completely different place. And I’d rather make it more interesting where I’m from.”

She envisions her future self as a contentedly reclusive chocolate guru in the spirit of legend Jacques Genin in Paris, “hiding in his little shop down that alleyway,” she says. “I kind of wished that for myself. I just hang around in some kind of lab and do the really good stuff for the best places and people.”

Their holiday treats are on sale now while supplies last and include a Buddy the Elf snack bar ($6); the Festivus Collection ($22) featuring meatloaf caramel and coffee coconut candies; Holiday Love Hearts with Peanut Butter and Banana Pudding ($8) and Jamaican-style Sorrel Truffle ($5).

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