Tag: chocolate

Exploring the Art of Chocolatemaking

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:

chocolate school

learning to temper chocolate by seeding

learning to temper chocolate

tempering tests

melted chocolate

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:

chocolates for tasting

chocolate tasting plate

chocolate tasting plate

chocolate tasting plate

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.

red wine and espresso truffles

red wine and espresso truffles

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.

cocoa butter splatter art

chocolate bon bons with blood orange ganache

chocolate bon bons with blood orange ganache

chocolate bon bons with blood orange ganache

chocolate bon bons with blood orange ganache

chocolate bon bons with blood orange ganache

chocolate bon bons with blood orange ganache

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.

candied orange peels

orange pate de fruits with milk chocolate ganache

orange pate de fruits with milk chocolate ganache

orange pate de fruits with milk chocolate ganache

orange pate de fruits with milk chocolate ganache

orange pate de fruits with milk chocolate ganache

orange pate de fruits with milk chocolate ganache

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.

caramels with welsh sea salt

caramels with welsh sea salt

caramels with welsh sea salt

caramels with welsh sea salt

caramels with welsh sea salt

caramels with welsh sea salt

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.

hazelnut gianduja in dark chocolate

hazelnut gianduja in dark chocolate

hazelnut gianduja in dark chocolate

hazelnut gianduja in dark chocolate

hazelnut gianduja in dark chocolate

hazelnut gianduja in dark chocolate

hazelnut gianduja in dark chocolate

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.

vanilla fudge in milk chocolate

vanilla fudge centers

applying chocolate transfer sheets

applying transfer sheets

applying transfer sheets

vanilla fudge in milk chocolate

vanilla fudge in milk chocolate

vanilla fudge in milk chocolate

vanilla fudge in milk chocolate

vanilla fudge in milk chocolate

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.

dark chocolate espresso bon bons

dark chocolate espresso bon bons

dark chocolate espresso bon bons

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.

spiced rum caramels layered with chocolate ganache

spiced rum caramels with chocolate ganache

spiced rum caramels with chocolate ganache

spiced rum caramels with chocolate ganache

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.

preparing peanut clusters for enrobing

freshly enrobed nut clusters

chocolate peanut clusters

chocolate peanut clusters

chocolate peanut clusters

chocolate peanut clusters

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.

maple walnut truffles in milk chocolate

maple walnut truffles in milk chocolate

maple walnut truffles in milk chocolate

maple walnut truffles in milk chocolate

maple walnut truffles in milk chocolate

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream Cupcakes!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream Cupcakes

Between a busy period of costume design and wardrobe work, a string of out-of-town visitors, my first few weeks of chocolatier school (more on that to follow in an upcoming blog post!) and other various commitments, I haven’t had much (non-chocolatemaking!) time to spend in the kitchen recently. However, a few weeks ago I had fun creating these ice cream cupcakes, made with homemade chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream and edible dark chocolate cupcake cups. As August draws to a close and we head into the last, lazy days of summer, it seemed like the perfect time to share my recipe for these tasty frozen treats.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream Cupcakes

This recipe is fairly simple, but it does require a little bit of a time commitment, as it is best made in two parts, over two days or at least a few hours apart. Prepare your ice cream and dough the day prior to serving, to allow ice cream to solidify properly. On the day of, prepare your molded chocolate cups and fill with ice cream. Whipped cream, sprinkles, and other toppings should be added just before you are ready to serve your cupcakes.

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Bakery-Style Chocolate Mint M&M Cookies

Chocolate Mint M&M Cookies

Lately I’ve been obsessed with making bakery-style cookies.

You know the kind I’m talking about–soft, chewy, delightfully oversized, and packed to the brim with chips, chunks of candy, and other add-ins. So, after some success with my caramel M&M cookie recipe, and having spotted mint-flavored M&Ms at my local CVS, I decided to give a bakery-style mint chocolate cookie recipe a try.

Chocolate Mint M&M Cookies

With a delicious chocolate base, filled with chocolate chips, M&Ms, and Andes Mints, and topped with a healthy dose of green sprinkles, these cookies definitely pack a minty punch!

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