Thursday, March 22, 2012

Chocolate 101: Lessons from Purdy's

When we were at Purdy's on Monday, I had no idea that our visit would entail a whole lesson in tempering chocolate with Gary, the head chocolatier.  I was so excited, because I've often skipped this step and could never figure out why my home made chocolate treats ended up with bloom on them.

Bloom:  that white, mouldy looking stuff that forms on the surface of chocolate, caused often by it not being tempered properly, or when chocolate is not properly stored.

So how can you temper your chocolate at home?  Gary explains this far better than I can...

More chocolate lingo:

Ganache:  chocolate mixed with whipping cream, often used for truffle fillings. I like to top cupcakes with it instead of icing.  It's liquidy at first, but will set up as it cools.  When you have tempered chocolate and want to mix the two, it's far easier to mix chocolate into warm cream than vice versa.

Gianduja:  a 50/50 mixture of melted chocolate and nut pastes or butters, such as almond or hazelnut butters.  This is a great filling in cakes or used for filled chocolates, such as hedgehogs.

So now, I have no excuse for bloom on my chocolate treats.  It really only takes a few minutes, and Kevin tempered chocolate all by himself without a problem!

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