The Pastry School Diaries: Confessions of a Chocoholic
Editorial Assistant Lauren Katz is enrolled in the part-time Pastry & Baking Arts program at New York City's Institute of Culinary Education. Follow her each week as she shares her sweet experiences!
After the past few lessons about making chocolate confections, I will never look at a chocolate bar, truffle or bonbon the same way.
The art of making chocolate is one that requires patience, expertise and creativity. Once melted over a double boiler (to prevent burning), you need to constantly watch over chocolate like it is your most prized possession���it can't get too thick, too thin, too hot or too cold. Just a few degrees off and your chocolate becomes dull or does not set.
We started off easy with mendiants, which are rounds of melted chocolate that are piped onto a baking sheet and topped with a variety of dried fruits, nuts, spices and other flavorings.
We then moved on to rolling truffles. We made a wide assortment, from maple-bourbon, to green tea, to caramel to strawberry.
Finally, we learned how to make and fill bonbons, which was the most time consuming and temperamental process out of them all. The results were gorgeous, though.
I've enjoyed learning about chocolates because of all the different flavor possibilities: you can add so many different sweet, savory, spicy and tangy ingredients to your product—chocolate really is like an blank canvas.
I want to know: What's your dream chocolate combination?
Check back next week for more sweet tales!