So I’ve had my first foray into chocolate making. I bought a chocolate making class from one of those “cheap” deals like Groupon (which always seem cheap until you get your credit card bill), and finally got round to using it. The class was held at Cocoa Nymph, an expensive boutique chocolate shop in Vancouver. The class began with a lecture on the history and science of the cocoa bean and chocolate, and then onto some tasting of various different types of dark chocolate. Though I already knew much about chocolate, I did learn a few new things, like the fact chocolate does not caffeine, just a similar substance call Theobromine.
Then came the “hands-on” part of the evening. We were learning to make truffles. We were each given our own, small slab of ganache (which is dark chocolate and heavy cream mixed together, poured into a mold and cooled), and some small cookie cutters and knives. As it turns out, unless it’s a particular simple round shape (like a heart), the ganache was a bitch to get out of the cutter. I tried making a few stars but they ended up looking like starfish after the seagulls had got at them. At that time I gave up on the cutters and started shaping the ganache freehand. I thought it would be like plasticine or playdough. However, it was more difficlut than that, as the chocolate kept sticking to my palms rather than to what I was shaping. It was all I could do to resist the urge to lick my hands, which was frowned upon in a public kitchen setting. Anyway, I managed to shape a star, a few balls of various sizes, a moon, triangle, a fish, and a heart. Then came the enrobing step. A large heated vat of fine, liquid chocolate was placed on each table and we were shown how to drop our truffles into the chocolate, coat them, and then remove them carefully from the chocolate. I was pretty good at it, my only real “problem” was having a hard time tapping the extra chocolate off, meaning all my truffles had an extra thick coating of chocolate on them. Then we decorated them with chocolate sprinkles, little curls of white and pink chocolate, and even transfers of edible ink. So this is how they looked in the end:
I was pretty happy with most of them. The only real mistake as such is the star (to the right of the fish above), which after being coated in extra thick chocolate and cocoa powder really does look like a lump of poo. If had been presenting these to someone as a gift, I would have cut off the little, messy bits of chocolate that had stuck after enrobing, but they were just for me, so I wasn’t going to waste extra yummy chocolate. In the end they were delicious, for which I cannot give myself the kudos, as the kind women at Cocoa Nymph had prepared the ganache and tempered the chocolate. I feel I learnt enough that I want to try making truffles again in my own home, this time with extra flavours like rose, orange or almond in the ganache.