Monday, June 21, 2010

Start of Level 2: Weeks 21-22 Chocolate

Chocolate fruit cake with chocolate leaves

Level 2 started with chocolate. I've never been much of a chocolate die-hard, and given the choice between chocolate and vanilla, I would choose vanilla any day. That fact didn't stop me from eating probably pounds of chocolate during the 2 weeks we spent on the first chocolate unit.

Somehow my ID got dipped in chocolate without me realizing

Before we could do anything, we needed to learn about chocolate. We got to try a bunch of different types of chocolate, including a 99% cacao chocolate. You can't even imagine how bitter that was. I used to be a strictly milk and white chocolate person, but in the past couple years, my tastes have changed and I've developed a real appreciation for dark chocolate.

Chocolate Orange Truffles

After learning about the history and manufacturing process of chocolate, it was time to move on to tempering chocolate. Tempering chocolate is the process of melting and cooling chocolate to a certain temperature then creating the proper structure required for chocolate to be hard and strong when it sets. It sounds easy, but it took a while for a lot of us to catch on to the process. And it was really, really messy.

The mess of working with chocolate was the primary reason I disliked it so much. After every class, I would leave totally covered in chocolate. We did get to make some pretty cool things with it though. Our first project was was a box that was entirely made of chocolate and held chocolate orange truffles we hand-dipped. We also made a bow on top, also out of chocolate.


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