Friday, July 31, 2015

Introduction to Pastry and Baking Class Nine: Chocolate

Unlike Cammi who is a certified chocoholic, chocolate is one of those treats that I savor in very small quantities and on a rare occasion. Class Nine of the Introduction to Pastry and Baking at Institute for Culinary Education opened my eyes and piqued my curiosity. 

Milk Chocolate "Spicy" Truffles, Earl Grey Tea Truffles Enrobed in Coconut, White Chocolate and Cocoa Truffles
Perhaps the mystery and romance of chocolate, the variety of desserts it can be used in and the care that needs to be taken in melting and forming it coupled with the complexity of culture, politics and terroir of cultivating cocoa beans in Africa and South and Central America ignited my interest. 

Tempered chocolate cashew clusters topped with toasted coconut
I've made chocolate desserts at home -- mousse, cookies, and my signature Frozen Peppermint Ice Cream Torte with Fudge Topping and Chocolate Cookie Wafer Crust. I've even made savory dishes with chocolate: a Mexican Chocolate Mole Poblano Sauce, a peppery chocolate sauce served with chicken and rice.

Butter Almond Crunch Bars Topped with Chocolate and Almonds
But, nothing prepared me for the surprise and delight of making chocolate candy in class tonight. 

Cammi and Sandy piping chocolate ganach for truffles

Chef Drobbins Enrobing Earl Grey Truffles in Tempered Chocolate and Toasted Coconut

Milk Chocolate Truffles Seasoned with Cardamom and Ginger Enrobed in Chocolate and Cocoa Powder

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