I attended my first ever chocolate workshop last week, and it opened up a whole new world. Had a peep into some chocolate handling techniques, chocolate tempering process and had my first bite into a 45 minute old ganache coated with Valrhona Equatoriale Dark 55% (ganache not prepared by myself unfortunately, but of which recipe I do have). I got to bring the entire box (as above) home! If you are a baker or chocolatier reading this, and think my work (remember it's just an hour of experience) is worthy of consideration for an entry into your kitchen, please doooooo let me know!
Marvelicious... I cannot describe well enough how satisfying that feeling was. Melting ganache in the mouth, with freshly chopped and toasted nuts on the outside to add good texture and a swelling sense of pride; these really made my weekend.
The rest of the week was spent reading about the subject. I have just gotten hold of The Essence of Chocolate: Recipes from Scharffen Berger Chocolate Makers and Cooking with Fine Chocolate by John Scharffenberger, Robert Steinberg, and Deborah Jones and Chocolate: The Definitive Guide by Sara Jayne-Stanes. I can't wait to get hold of some equipment to try making my first Devil's Chocolate Cake. (Is it a valid excuse to replace good old Kenwood for Kitchenaid?) I shall continue eating the self-made chocolates in the meantime.
Oh... by the way, if you love macadamia and milk chocolates, you might love Meiji's. I find it a little too sweet but it's a generous dose of nuts in a small box. I would have some friends going to New York next week, I am hoping they can help bring back a box from Kee's Chocolates and Marie Belle (can't resist great packaging).