It's Never Too Early for Chocolate

I have to admit, I was looking forward to this morning the entire weekend.  Today was chocolate taste testing day!  Before watching Chef's demonstration on the tabling method of chocolate tempering, we were introduced to various kinds of chocolate--seventeen to be exact.  I had to take little samples home to photograph, document on the blog, study, and of course re-taste (just in case they taste different here at home--ahem).  All of the names and descriptions are listed from left to right.

Chocolate Components
Cocoa Nibs - Dry roasted pieces of the cocoa bean from which cocoa butter and cocoa solids are extracted.  Ground up, it is known as unsweetened cocoa powder.
100% Cocoa Butter - Separated fat from cocoa nibs.
Cocoa Liquor/Mass/Solids - Unsweetened chocolate.
 Dark Chocolate
Callebaut Semi-Sweet Chips - 52% cocoa solids.
Bakels Dark Coating Chocolate Disk - Chocolate mixed with shortening.
*Cacao Barry Dark Disks - Bitter chocolate containing 70% cocoa solids from St. Dominique.
Valrhona Manjari Pistol - 64% cocoa solid chocolate with a bitter cherry/berry taste.
Milk Chocolate 
Callebaut Milk Chocolate Chips - Incredibly sweet and balanced milk chocolate taste.
*Valrhona Lactee Pistols - Caramel tasting milk chocolate containing 40% cocoa solids.
Cacao Barry Lactee Disks - 35% cocoa solids milk chocolate with somewhat of a powdered milk taste.
White Chocolate 
Bakels White Coating Chocolate Chunks - Waxy tasting white chocolate.
Callebaut White Chips - White chocolate with an intense sugary zing.
*Valrhona Ivoire Pistols - Soft, smooth, and almost buttery tasting white chocolate.
Specialty Chocolate
*Gianduja Cubes - Utterly delicious, soft, Italian combination of chocolate and hazelnuts. 
Cacao Barry Chocolate Coffee Beans - Chocolate flavored with coffee and shaped like a bean.
Cacao Barry Orange Lactee Chunks - Surprisingly incredible combination of milk chocolate and orange.
Ibarra Mexican Chocolate Chunk - Grainy chocolate with a heightened cinnamon taste with a similar effect as cinnamon gum.
*My personal favorite chocolate choices

The rest of the day we learned the basics to chocolate tempering.  Basically you melt chocolate, pour a portion of it on a workable surface (marble or stainless steel), work the chocolate with a spatula and pastry scraper until it thickens, add it back to the unworked chocolate to bring down the temperature, if properly tempered, the chocolate is ready for use.  We blew up mini water balloons and used then as molds for chocolate cups.  We dipped them in the chocolate and also piped on the balloons for a more bird's nest effect.  We also used acetate and chocolate transfer sheets to create different designs.  I'll take more pictures as the week progresses--there will be a lot more chocolate tempering in the coming days.  I returned home very much pleased with the morning's events but perhaps a little too sugar rushed.

1 comment:

  1. Jon. This post was amazing. You are so so talented and I can tell you just love what you do. Thanks for sharing. These are the one's I want to try:

    1. Gianduja Cubes
    2. Callebaut Milk Chocolate Chips
    3. Valrhona Lactee Pistols
    4. Cacao Barry Chocolate Coffee Beans (is it bad that I like the smell and flavor of coffee flavored chocolates?)