Saturday, March 17, 2012

Making chocolate truffles

It was a birthday present - two people to learn the secrets of making chocolate truffles. M and I booked to go to the session at Ettington Park Hotel and made an early start to be there at 10am. The course was run by Chocolate Experience, based in Warwickshire and Simon, our chocolate chef began with a short history of chocolate before the demonstration. He mixed two parts of rich dark melted chocolate with one part double cream stirring quickly to get a smooth mix that soon began to set. At the right consistency he was able to squeeze this out of a piping bag into sausages of chocolate, which were then chopped into chubby chunks and rolled into small spheres. So this was all we had to do to start with, and we found space at the tables and the fun began.

The chocolate was surprisingly tough to squeeze out of the piping bag and the two beside us had an explosion as their chocolate broke free, so they had to start the piping all over again. M and I ended up with a nice collection of chocolate spheres - getting on for fifty! Who is going to eat all these chocolates?? Some of the spheres were less golf ball sized - rather tennis ball-ish. Think these looked more like sharing portions or deserts!

Back to the demo table and Simon showed us how to coat the ganache balls in shiny chocolate coats before rolling them in flavours such as dessicated coconut, icing sugar or cocoa. So once again it was our turn and we ended up covered in delicious chocolate, but there is a limit to the amount you can lick off your fingers without feeling a bit sick! We had to wash our hands and cool them in cold water several times as we coated our truffles.

Eventually all were completed and we had little rows of different 'flavours' of chocolate truffles. To make them taste different inside, we would need to add liqueur to the original mixture taking out the equivalent amount of double cream. And while we were working away, we chatted with our neighbours. On one side, the girlfriend had bought the course as a romantic thing to do with the boyfriend for Valentine's Day. The other side  we had a couple of roly-poly chaps who had come to learn so they could get their grand children, nephews and nieces to make chocolates as part of a Willy Wonka themed Easter Party. We asked which of them would be Willy Wonka, but they said their son would be him and they would play the Oompaloompas. They were the right sort of shape for that!

To finish everything off we made up little cellophane bags of our chocolates with pretty bows and that was that. It was a great way to spend a Saturday morning and we came away with some lovely presents.

Experience Chocolate
Chocolate Delight
Ettington Park Hotel