Chocolate …’nuff said really.

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          So this post is going to be a little different. During the week we did a full workshop with Ciaran, one of the Cooks Academy part-time tutors, about chocolate tempering.

This is a pretty involved and technical process whereby the chocolate crystals are re-shaped in order for the chocolate to be shinier and stronger. All of this is fantastically interesting, if you are studying it in person. Less so when you are reading about it and just came here to see the pretty pictures am I right?

          So for your consideration, I present to you, a timeline of all of the wonderfully delightfully deliciously extravagant things we did over the course of the afternoon. Along the way I will explain a little of what is going on but I’ll try not to get bogged down in too many details. I know you are just here for the sexy pictures.

The chocolate is melted over a low Bain Marie
The chocolate is melted over a low Bain Marie
The chocolate is moved around and mixed until it reaches a specific temperature, this is different depending on what type of chocolate you are using
The chocolate is moved around and mixed until it reaches a specific temperature, this is different depending on what type of chocolate you are using
The Chocolate is spread out on a flat cold piece of Marble or Granite
The Chocolate is spread out on a flat cold piece of Marble or Granite
This is to cool down the chocolate to a suitable temperature
This is to cool down the chocolate to a suitable temperature
the Chocolate is then placed into the bowl along with a little of the upcooled Chocolate
the Chocolate is then placed into the bowl along with a little of the upcooled Chocolate
The Chocolate is now Tempered and ready to go. Just look how excited he is
The Chocolate is now Tempered and ready to go. Just look how excited he is
Make sure to fill the modules right to brim
Make sure to fill the modules right to brim
...Damn that looks so good
…Damn that looks so good

Here is where it gets a little different. If you are making solid chocolates, just scrape the surface level and then refrigerate, like we did here. Happy days. If however you plan on making filled chocolates, pour out the chocolate at this stage. This will leave you with a fine layer of chocolate on the surface of your moulds. Let this harden, then fill with your favourite chocolate filling (more chocolate anyone?). Cap with another layer of chocolate, refrigerate, eat and grow fat. Truly this is a beautiful process.

Yep...B-E-A-utiful!
Yep…B-E-A-utiful!
Mini Tempered White Chocolate Bars with Hazelnut Praline
Mini Tempered White Chocolate Bars with Hazelnut Praline
Dark Chocolate Ganache Filled Chocolates
Dark Chocolate Ganache Filled Chocolates
Hemispheres of White Chocolate
Hemispheres of White Chocolate
Expert hands at work
Expert hands at work
Careful now...
Careful now…
Half Dark Chocolate Ganache and Half White Chocolate Mousse
Half Dark Chocolate Ganache and Half White Chocolate Mousse
Chocolate Shards
Chocolate Shards
Tempered Dark Chocolate shapes
Tempered Dark Chocolate shapes
A Wave Display
A Wave Display
A Splash of Colour
A Splash of Colour
More possible display ideas
More possible display ideas
The addition of a fondant flower takes what originally quite architectural looking and makes it more natural
The addition of a fondant flower takes what originally quite architectural looking and makes it more natural
Or in other words... It's real pretty
Or in other words… It’s real pretty
A little more upmarket but none the less. Delicious!
A little more upmarket but none the less. Delicious!

Well I hope you had fun. I know I did. I had deliciousness. It was seriously messy though. Like I wouldn’t recommend taking on something like this if you don’t have too much space and / or time. It is a serious undertaking. It is totally worthwhile though. The finished result was absolutely unparalleled in quality. This was pretty much all up to Ciaran though. The man has an intrinsic skill with the chocolate, able to make and shape some stunning little pieces in no time at all. Most certainly a day well spent.

~ Mark O’Brien

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