theo's chocolate university
I am proud to announce that I graduated and received my diploma from Chocolate University! It was a lot of hard work and licking my fingers but I got through it with flying colors. Steve, the chocolate maker extraordinaire certainly showed us the ropes. The goal of this class was to make ganache successfully and then dip it into tempered chocolate.
Everything inside of a classic Theo confection is a ganache consisting of chocolate, cream, butter, vanilla bean and honey. If you are a vegan making ganache, you can substitute some of these ingredients for oat milk and brown rice syrup. I discovered the key to making a successful ganache is temperature; it's all about temperature. I also discovered that unlike most chocolates, Theo doesn't contain soy lecithin in their product. That also means they have nothing to prove the viscosity of their chocolate except for cocoa butter. This is great news! This means Theo carries a much purer chocolate than most chocolatiers. After successfully learning how to make the ganache we learned how to artfully put together pastry bags and proceeded to pipe little dot-like shapes onto a baking sheet. We also inserted some into a silicone sheet which made the most perfect round truffle shapes.
After learning the precise art of making ganache, Steve then proceeded to show us the ways of tempering chocolate. Tempered chocolate simply means that the crystalline structure of the cocoa butter is correct. When chocolate is tempered properly, it has a nice sheen and snap. There are a couple different routes you can take to temper chocolate; the seeding method or the table method. We learned a lot about the table method which I actually practiced later at home. Here is a guide from Theo on how to learn either method: Click Me.
After the tempering lesson came the fun part.. Dipping the ganache into the tempered chocolate! For toppings they provided dehydrated apple slices, candied rosemary, candied lime zest, roasted garlic salt, toffee, smoked almonds and more. This process was messy and delicious; I tried my best to keep my truffles classic and simple.
If you haven't taken one of Theo's Chocolate University classes, I beg of you to check it out! I had so much fun and learned a lot about one of my favorite food groups. For a list of upcoming classes click here.