Chocolate making at Cornwall College

As much as I love baking with chocolate and of course eating chocolate, when it comes to actually making chocolates I don’t have a whole lot of experience.

My tempering attempts in the past have not gone too well, so when I saw Cornwall College advertising a FREE chocolate making course I got pretty over excited and signed up straight away.

So a couple of weekends ago, I finally got to go on the course and spent a morning learning about and working with chocolate – could there possibly be a better way to spend a day?!

The course was taught by Grant Mather, one of the college’s chef lecturers, who was very knowledgeable and a very patient teacher! He started by explaining about different types of chocolate, and demonstrating the tempering process.

The only method I’ve tried before is the seeding method, where you add a big chunk of already tempered chocolate to your melted chocolate to cool it down, so it was interesting to watch Grant’s preferred method of cooling the chocolate by working it on a marble slap with a spatula and paint scraper.

Grant showed us a few different ways of creating different finishes on moulded chocolates – rubbing in white chocolate and red cocoa butter with a finger and drizzling white chocolate with a piping bag – before flooding the moulds with dark or milk chocolate.

I’ll be completely honest, when the giant pot of melted chocolate came around, it took every ounce of my willpower not to just stick my face in it, but I managed to hold back, just!

We then filled the truffles with ganaches and caramel, and experimented with some different ways of making truffles with a set ganache, which used a higher ratio of chocolate to cream than the fillings, and also had a go at some chocolate dipping while the moulded chocolates set.

At the end of the session, we turned out all out chocolates. Up until this point I hadn’t realised just how many we’d made, but literally, just look at this sea of chocolates!

We all got to take a tub of chocolates home, I think I had about 30 which kept the pony and I well fed for a week or so!

Big thanks to Cornwall College and to Grant for putting on the course – it was super!

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8 thoughts on “Chocolate making at Cornwall College

  1. I’m in pastry school right now and we are doing chocolates right now. It is tough work. It’s messy and it’s frustrating at times, but there is nothing like making that final product. Feel damn proud of what you did. Not a lot of people have the patience for it. I wish I could show you the pics of the stuff we did. Those moulded ones right there look fantastic!

      • I go to the Notter School of Pastry Arts. It’s a small school started by Ewald Notter. He is a chocolate expert. He used to compete doing those complex chocolate and sugar sculptures. It has been an amazing experience. I’ve learned so much. I’m proud that I finally took the plunge after 2 years of dithering.

  2. Oh so glad you had a good time. You had a different teacher to us and it looks like you covered a few things we didn’t. The chocolates look so professional. I was immediately going to buy myself a thermometer after the course so I could get to grips with tempering, but I’m still dithering over which one to get 😦

    Have yet to write my post up.

    • I have a chocolate thermometer which seems pretty good, it was a gift though so I’m not sure what make – it’s in a yellow tube case if that helps! Did the chocolates you made look like the ones from my course or were they completely different?

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