Chocolate!

So we are now at our daughter’s house near Minneapolis Minnesota.  Many of you know she is a Chocolatier.  What that means is she makes awesome chocolate goodies!  She works part time in a cute little shop called L’More Chocolate, and I got to spend an evening watching her (and pretending to help out some).

Chocolate needs to be tempered very carefully- meaning brought to a certain temperature for a while, then a different one, then used at a very specific temperature.  We made truffles, which involves coating some molds with chocolate, waiting for that to set, then adding the filling (ganache), waiting for that to set, then adding chocolate for the bottom of the truffle (backing).  Does that sound like I know what we’re doing?  Well, kind of…

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Here Becky is “Shelling” – adding chocolate to a mold.  The chocolate is kept at an even temperature in a large pool under a grill, and some is continually pumped up and out this faucet.

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Here she spreads it to get in all the molds.  She will then invert it, leaving only a thin layer in each of the molds.  Then she scrapes off excess, which goes back into the chocolate pool, where it is brought back to temperature, and pumped out again.

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Now, when they are adequately set, she fills each mold with the right amount of ganache, which we have made of lighter chocolate and any of hundreds of flavorings.

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Here she is adding ganache to some white chocolate truffles.  Some finished ones are in the neighboring tray.

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Once those are set, it’s time for “Backing”.  She is doing some white chocolate cameos here.

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When all has been set up adequately, you get to knock them out of the trays.  This is great fun, and sometimes a bit difficult.  Knocking the trays quite hard, upside down on a hard surface will usually get most of them out, but it may take a few attempts.  And if one falls out when you’re on a downswing, you might smash it!  Then you have to eat the evidence…

So that’s what she does at work.  At home it’s for fun, and with no huge machine to keep the temperature at exactly 87.5 degrees, it’s a bit of a challenge.  But she made a bunch this week for a fundraiser at her daughter’s school.  It will be an auction Saturday night, and this is what the boxes look like:

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There are also little bags of Bark, which are awesome too!  I’m sure they will be popular at the Fall Fiesta!

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So now for some not so exciting stuff…  Our boat will be longer getting fixed up than I was hoping…  and then it will be winter and cold where she is.  So we probably will be road tripping (on land) for most of the winter.  I’m not going to compete with my daughters in putting cute pictures of my grandkids online, so I will most likely cut back my blogging for a while.

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