Atélier de Chocolat

On Monday I went to an EDUCO sponsored event: a Chocolate Workshop!  We went to the chocolate museum Chocostory.  First we got a sample of a few different types of chocolate.  Then we had a private lesson in how to make chocolates.  It was surprisingly precise and difficult.

We started by pouring some of the heated chocolate onto a stone slab, then we moved the chocolate around in a certain manner.  The lesson was in French and I didn’t quite catch the purpose of this step.  Anyway, after this we returned it to the big vat and mixed it around.

The next step was to get the mold for the chocolates and fill it up.  They had special scrappers (they called them triangles..? ) to make sure everything was filled perfectly and cleaned off.  Of course, there was a special way to clean these as well.  After it was full, we had to shake and tap the mold so the chocolate got sufficiently all over the mold.  And then?? pour it back into the vat.  At this point I’m wondering why we put so much work into these molds just to pour it back… but then I see him put the mold in the freezer and I realize that a thin layer of chocolate stayed in the mold, and that we will now work on the filling.

The filling was a hazelnut filling, and we mixed some chocolate with it to make a nutella-like paste.  Then we put the filling into bags that resembled cake-decorating bags.  We piped the filling into each of the molds, leaving room to close off the chocolates when we were finished.

For the closing off stage, there was a 3000 euro machine that had running chocolate… you would pause the machine, then carefully control the dispersement of chocolate to cover each of the chocolates in the mold.  Once this was done, you leveled it off with a triangle again and put it back in the freezer.  After about 10 minutes they were ready to eat.  You thwack the mold onto the table and they pop out !

I really enjoyed the experience.  At sometimes the language barrier was difficult because my cooking vocabulary isn’t phenomenal.  We each got to take some of the chocolate home.

As I mentioned before this took place in a chocolate museum, so after the workshop, we got to go explore the museum and learn about different types of chocolate, different ways of making chocolates, cocoa beans, etc.  The workshop is only available by reservation for groups, but the museum itself is available to anyone with a cooking demonstration (you don’t get to participate)  and a video explanation (in english) and tasting of chocolate! I highly suggest it for choco-philics who visit Paris!!

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