Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Playing in the Chocolate at Chocolot

A week or so ago I was lucky enough to be invited to a chocolate seminar taught by Ruth Kendrick and her son, Ryan Kendrick, owners of the mega-award-winning Chocolot.

 Ruth gave us a little "Toys Are Us" demo to try help us understand the concept of lining up all the crystals when tempering chocolate that you're going to use for dipping.  The three keys are time, temperature and movement.

Ruth Kendrick making Milk Chocolate Honey Ganache.
What type of dipping chocolate does she prefer? E. Guittard, which is a family-owned American company and has a great-quality chocolate; also Valhrona and Callebaut. 

A lot of chocolate connoisseurs like nibbling on intensely flavored chocolate with different flavor notes. That's fine if you're savoring the chocolate all by itself. But when you're using chocolate for covering confections, Kendrick advises using a neutral-tasting chocolate so that it doesn't fight with the flavors of the centers. 

"I'm not a savor person, I'm a two-fisted chocolate person," she observed. (I think a few people in the group, including me, thought that description fitted us as well.) 

Enrober, or chocolate "waterfall" at Chocolot.

We went into Ruth's "laboratory" (it felt that way because we wore hairnets and gloves) and "played in the chocolate," as Ruth calls it.

This machine is called an "enrober" and you just put your candies, cookies, pretzels or whatever on the conveyor belt. They pass through a wonderful waterfall of chocolate that gives them an even coating. We  ran squares of buttery toffee, cinnamon bears and ginger snaps through the enrober.

Ruth demonstrated her  Milk Chocolate Honey Ganache, made with Slide Ridge dark honey from Cache Valley, and Rosehill cream from Morgan.

"I try to go as local as I can," Ruth told us.  The result was a silky smooth ganache that we piped into molds.

Ahhhhh. Pure chocolate heaven.

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