I’ve always wanted to attend a chocolate making workshop but never got the chance to because I would always put it off. That’s why when Chocolate Tales invited me to attend one, I was ecstatic. I’ve melted chocolates using the pot-over-water method but that’s a simple at home solution. I chose the tempering class to give myself a little bit of a challenge and because my fellow foodie Amy Lu was in that one.
Everyone gets a table to themselves with a small selection of equipment including a marble slab, mold, latex gloves, measuring cup, metallic colouring and spatulas. Chocolate Dave is the chocolatier and founder of the company. He not only describes how things are done but also goes into detail about the technique and the fundamentals. With some helpful questions and hints from Cocoa Kelly, the workshop proved to be very informative and interesting.
To save on time, there was dark and white chocolate already simmering . To show us how it’s done, Dave added chocolate discs and stirred it until it reached the ideal temperature (tempering). We were also able to take turns and stir the pots but after a few minutes, your wrist starts acting up. Apparently, there is a technique and if done right, you should be able to do it for hours.
Before you can pour the chocolate into a mold, you have to temper cocoa butter. It sounds easy but isn’t at all. You first heat it at an ideal temperature, then pour three quarters of it onto a marble slab and quickly pick and scrape repeatedly until you start seeing bubbles. Quickly pour it back into the cup with the cocoa butter from before and mix. Me and another woman were the only ones that could temper it, not bad for a first-timer!
Everybody’s moulds were a little different, mine was a little more intricate because of the stripes. You’re given small cups of red and white metallic colouring and what you do is sprinkle them in each hole. With your index finger, you lightly dab it into the cocoa butter you made before and rub it around a little.
When you’re finished, it should look a little something like this. It can’t be too wet or dry or else the colour won’t stick.
If chocolate is tempered properly, it will look like this spatula here when refrigerated; there shouldn’t be any bubbles or a thin white layer.
Everyone takes turns going up to create the outer shell of their chocolates. There’s me pouring the leftover chocolate back into the pot.
After you have a nice layer, the mould is refrigerated for a few minutes and then taken out when it’s hardened. Afterwards, you can leave it as is or fill it with anything you choose. They gave us white chocolate marzipan so I filled each one up about two thirds full. You then layer some more chocolate on top and refrigerate it again.
When it’s done, you flip the tray upside down and pop them out by tapping on it, they pop out so easily!
You’re given a box, ribbons and five small bags. You can divide the chocolates whichever way you like but I just put four in each bag.
I shared most of it but kept two bags for myself. Things really do taste better when you make it yourself!