A few weeks ago, I finally enrolled on the course of my dreams (literally – I have great dreams!), the Ecole Chocolat Professional Chocolatier programme. I have wanted to do this course since I first learned of it almost a decade ago, and I have wanted to be a chocolatier since I first tasted the heavenly stuff as a small child.
I started working on my first practical assignment today, learning to temper chocolate. This is the method of heating and cooling the chocolate to precise temperatures to achieve stable crystallisation, which helps it set properly. It also gives good chocolate its characteristic gloss and that fantastic ‘snap’ sound when broken.
There are two methods by which one can temper – today I tried the more difficult one, the traditional tabliering method which involves pouring the molten chocolate onto a marble slab, and then swirling it around to cool it. It was difficult to know whether what I was doing was right, and the technique is certainly one requiring a lot of skill. After several points of doom, and subsequent panics trying to salvage my mistakes, I finally got the chocolate into temper. It’s glossy, it snaps, and I’m thrilled to bits 🙂
The real test will be if I can do this time and time again…