Still lots of yum.
A brief shot of what one of my weeks look like. It was our chocolate bonbon week, after a brief interlude of making chocolate egg sculptures (the first ones, not so pretty…but we were practicing!). The egg sculpture week, while really fun to do and great practice with tempering, wasn’t quite as tasty.
This past week, 10 different chocolate bonbons were created from some delicious ingredients. We made ganaches, tempered chocolate, poured/scraped/melted and in general, made a mess which resulted in us ending up with approximately 20kg of chocolates. Only 10kg ended up on our aprons, I think.
It was heaven.
First up, we made an anis-cannelle (anise and cinnamon flavored) chocolate ganache filling. Here’s my spices, spicing up my cream.
And then with the chocolate, poured into a mold to set up.
Once it was set, we spray gunned the block with a thin layer of chocolate (later, to be the base of the bonbon)…I love this spray gun. So does Chef. Here he is, spraying all his chocolate fillings. All of our soft centered chocolates were coated with this chocolate layer, to make the dipping easier. Well, getting the dipped chocolate off our forks easier.
The second chocolate was a lemon and basil flavored chocolate ganache filling, called a Garrigue – a bit too basil-y for me, but such a lovely idea. I plan on playing with this one in the future. Here we have basil infusing the cream. Lemon zest is also in there, with lemon juice to be added later.
Once the ganache was set, with its thin layer of chocolate, this too was onto the guitar to be split into even pieces. Here’s the guitar in action!
We also made a pistachio and almond paste filled bonbon, called an Aladin. These were super delicious, and in no way has my love of all things pistachio influenced my opinion.
We rolled these guys into little bite sized balls…
…then flattened them…
…and finally cut them into perfect little circles, to later be dipped in their chocolate coating. I claimed this one.
One of the sweeter bonbons was called a Baiser Vole, or a “secret kiss”. It was a passion fruit-apricot and hazelnut praline ganache filling. I felt quite fancy for being able to pull this one off, I must say.
First layer – passion fruit and apricot. Delicious.
We then layered on a hazelnut praline, which we had made the previous week, and chocolate ganache. This is the stuff of dreams. Hazelnut praline is magic.
Into the guitar, ready to be dipped in chocolate…
Moving along, we come to the Hesperide. Not my cup of tea, but that’s because I’m not a huge fruit-pieces-in-bonbons-type, but it was a delicious filling. It starts with our chocolate molds getting a thing coating of chocolate.
In this goes a little layer of apples cooked with butter, sugar and a liquor called Calvados. Hmmm.
Then comes the milk chocolate and caramel ganache, flavored with Calvados again. This ganache was incredible. I ate some with a spoon…but if there had been vanilla ice cream anywhere, it would have been gone before it had time to go on the chocolates.
Then we covered the bottom with more chocolate, to seal our bonbon. One, done and done!
Another of my favorites was the Palerme. Any clue why? More hazelnut ganache! This wasn’t the praline, just a hazelnut flavored chocolate ganache. Super delish.
…and then let it set up!
The chocolate is calling me from my countertop, must have a piece…
Ok, back. We then made a Palets Or, a coffee and cognac flavored ganache, piped into circles and then flattened, waiting to be covered in chocolate. You have to be quick with the piping, because the ganache starts to set and then you can’t flatten them in time. Oh the glory of chocolate being temperamental…
We also made Schuberts. When Chef asked if we knew Schubert, my partner responded with “I know a Seibert, but not any Schubert.” I found this hilarious. Isn’t kitchen humor awesome? Please say yes.
Right. Anyway…Schuberts. They are orange and almond paste fillings, with a milk chocolate ganache swirl on top.
We made 55 of these suckers, each.
Good thing, too. They were awesome.
Then, we made the classic truffle! Dark chocolate, milk chocolate, cream, and whisky. All in a bite size. Wow.
We piped them out, first (just 80 each this time).
Then rolled them into little truffle balls, coated in cocoa powder.
Then, since we’re pastry chefs, we dipped them in chocolate again and rolled them around in more coco powder, so the shell would be hard and they would keep longer.
Our last one was an Orangette, simple and delicious. Candied orange zest, dipped in chocolate. I ate half while making them, and the other half on the walk home from school. Oops.
With some of our chocolates fully made, we got to the process of covering our fillings. All chocolate was tempered (melting chocolate to 55°, spreading it out on cold marble and keep it constantly moving to cool it to 29°, then bringing the temp back up to 31°, so that it will be super shiny! This is where most of us got covered in chocolate), then the fillings were lovingly dipped individually with our special chocolate forks, and topped in their individual way. It was one of my favorite things to do, but some of my classmates didn’t agree. Crazies.
Some shots of the process:
Setting down to set.
Palets Or, with plastic on top to smooth out the bonbons.
Decorating the tops, before the chocolate fully sets.
My box, ready to go home with me.
And the rest of our boxes, ready for gifts and to be sold through our school’s store.
After this, we made more chocolate eggs. I made sure to have chocolates nearby, so that with the smell everywhere, I didn’t eat my sculpture. But here’s my work. White chocolate egg, with white chocolate lily, painted with glitter of course.
When the white molding chocolate didn’t set and actually started melting (so sad…so very, very sad), I made a quick dark chocolate flower before the final presentation. Not as pretty, but still fun!
If at all possible, I love chocolate more now. It was hard work, getting it right, but the feeling when you did was so worth it. Loved it! Plus, I have 2 boxes of chocolates to take on the plane with me. Considering I will be flying for about 21 hours or so, I wonder how much will be left when I arrive…