I’ve always loved chocolatemaking. In August, I enrolled in the Professional Chocolatier Program offered by Ecole Chocolat. This intensive three-month certificate course is designed for aspiring chocolatiers with an interest in sharpening their skills and laying the groundwork for a future chocolate business.
The first few weeks of the program, we focused on perfecting the basic techniques of chocolatemaking. This included learning how to properly temper chocolate, both by hand and by seeding:
Then, we conducted a chocolate tasting. Learning to taste chocolates is an essential part of the chocolatemaking process. Chocolates sampled during the tasting exercise included everything from high-end coverture to cheaper chocolate bars available at any corner drugstore. It was fascinating to compare and contrast the flavors, and to learn to recognize the different textures, flavor notes, and aromas:
A good chunk of the program has focused on recipe development and hands-on chocolatemaking. During this portion, I’ve had the opportunity to experiment with a variety of recipes, perfecting different types of bon bons as well as different enrobing and finishing techniques. Some of the recipes I created during this portion of the program included…
Dark Chocolate Truffles with Red Wine and Espresso
A classic dark chocolate ganache enhanced with the flavors of red wine and espresso, rolled into balls and dusted with cocoa powder.
Dark Chocolate Bon Bon with Dark Chocolate-Blood Orange Ganache
A dark chocolate ganache enhanced with the flavor of blood orange, piped into shell molds of dark chocolate and decorated with a splatter of orange cocoa butter.
Orange Pate de Fruits with Milk-Chocolate Cinnamon Ganache and Candied Orange Peel
A classic orange pate de fruits layered with milk chocolate-cinnamon ganache, enrobed in milk chocolate and topped with a homemade candied orange peel.
Dark Chocolate Spiced Rum Caramels with Welsh Sea Salt
Spiced rum caramels enrobed in dark chocolate, topped with Halen Mon Welsh sea salt and finished with a decorative mark imprinted in wet chocolate with an enrobing fork.
Hazelnut Gianduja in Dark Chocolate
A dark chocolate and hazelnut gianduja, with the addition of sea salt and vanilla extract, molded in shell molds and finished with a decorative transfer sheet on the bottom.
Vanilla Fudge Centers in Milk Chocolate
A classic vanilla fudge center, allowed to caramelize slightly to take on a light caramel flavor, cut into squares and enrobed in milk chocolate, then finished with a decorative transfer sheet.
Dark Chocolate-Espresso Bon Bons
A dark chocolate and espresso ganache, molded in shell molds and finished with a decorative transfer sheet on the bottom.
Layered Spiced Rum Caramel and Dark Chocolate Ganache in Dark Chocolate
A chewy caramel flavored with spiced rum, layered with rich dark chocolate ganache and enrobed in dark chocolate.
Peanut Brittle Clusters in Dark Chocolate
A traditional nut brittle made with sugar, roasted peanuts, and a touch of vanilla extract, enrobed in dark chocolate and finished with a piped drizzle of white chocolate.
Maple Walnut Truffles in Milk Chocolate
A white chocolate and coconut oil-based chocolate truffle center, rolled into balls and enrobed in milk chocolate, then finished with a piped white chocolate drizzle.