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Bittersweet chocolate workshop!

We did a chocolate making workshop yesterday with a local chocolate company, and it was the most fun I’ve had in ages, we absolutely loved it! Good for me, as it was a present from me to Chris so I snuck in really!

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We learnt how to pipe chocolate to make discs and lollies, and how to make delicious truffles, and then packaged them up really nicely. In the photos you can see us piping our creations, they worked really well! We are hoping to practise soon so we can use our new-found skills to make tasty presents for everybody at Christmas. Rather than try to describe it all I’m just going to list everything we learnt, and then I will add some recipes when we’ve done some!

*chocolate pipes really well
*it’s best to use disposable piping bags. These are apparently available in Lakeland
*fill the piping bag, push the chocolate down as far as possible, twist the top so it holds in place, and make a 2 mm hole in end
*when piping, squeeze the bag gently. To make a disc go from the middle and just let it spread put as far as you like. There are lots of shapes you can make from discs
*you can make a lolly by placing a lolly stick on top of your disc. It will start to drop through so twist it a bit and it will stick in at the bottom
*you can decorate them with sweets etc! but you haven’t got that long to make them stick in, he said 3 minutes whilst the chocolate is on the tray, 20 whilst it’s in the bag
*pipe onto baking parchment, just to avoid mess, it doesn’t particularly matter which type you use
*when you pipe another type of chocolate on, they will stick well together so you can create patterns. Allow the first chocolate to dry first
*you can use a paper cone to pipe a smaller amount of chocolate
*you need to use decent chocolate. We are going to buy the little buttons meant for melting either from hobbycraft or thorntons
*as with the rest of it, this is easier as a two-person job, especially when you’re getting used to it
*you need to temper the chocolate for doing this… We didn’t learn this bit as they had a machine for it, so this will be a whole new world…

*when making truffles, use the following proportions;
*milk chocolate, 1 cream to 3 chocolate
*white chocolate, 1 to 4
*dark chocolate, 1 to 2
*we used 150ml cream to 450g chocolate. This made 60 small truffles!
*we mixed the cream and chocolate first, which was easy
*to make the truffles! he suggested piping the truffle mixture first, to make it easier to cut up. We needed to use a 2cm hole in the piping bag and pipe long sausages
*at this stage we let it rest and harden. This is one of the ways I’ve gone wrong in the past!
*we then chopped it into chunks! squashed it with our fingers and then made balls. You have to work quite fast or it will melt, and squashing it with your fingers is to avoid touching it too much
*you coats it with melted chocolate, but you don’t want too much as this is just to help the coatings stick . His way of doing this was brilliant! In the past I’ve dropped the truffles into the melted chocolate, but this is awkward and you end up losing some! You do need two people to do this though! Put your hand in the bowl of melted chocolate and coat the truffle in your hand, not the bowl
*the other person then uses spoons to coat the truffle, ideally in a tray of coating. Then leave the truffle in for a minute or so to dry a bit before putting it on a tray to dry. Doing it this way you avoid having a big chocolate base!
*the coatings we used were: sugar with edible glitter, cocoa (we didn’t bother with this), caramelised crushed nuts, dark chocolate shards, white chocolate shards

*we packaged our creations in little cellophane bags and tied with ribbon (we used two colours on each bag). This was really easy and looked great

In the short time I’ve been writing this post I’ve eaten 3 truffles and a chocolate rabbit… We probably shouldn’t go chocolate making all that often!

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