Chocolate Penguins ;) … and a Chocolate Egg!

In yesterday’s very last Intro to Chocolate class we were Moulding 3D Figures in Chocolate. 🙂

Yes, you read that corectly, yesterday’s class was the last class for Intro to Chocolate. So very sad. 😦

But at least we went out on a fun note! We made 3D Figures. Cute and Yummy! I made two super cute little penguins. 😀 I also made a big chocolate egg. 🙂

Super cute Chocolate Penguins!
Chocolate Egg.

100% Spelt Bread and 100% Wheat Bread

In last night’s Rustic Artisan Bread class we made 100% Spelt Bread and 100% Wheat Bread.

Spelt is condidered an ancient grain. It has been cultivated since 5000 BC. It is a relative of wheat: however, many individuals with wheat allergies claim that spelt is easier to digest. Spelt does contain glten. Starches in spelt are more soluable than the starches in whaeat and therefore often require the use of less water.

In last night’s class we did a little bit of an experiment. We decided to have the bread according to the recipes, and then repeat the bread recipes but with gluten added to see what the result was. In the end we ended up with two Spwlt Breads – one with gluten added, one without; and two Wheat Breads – one with gluten added, one without.

Dark Chocolate Truffle Flan and Chocolate Mousse Tarts

In last night’s Art of Pastry class we made Dark Chocolate Truffle Flan and Chocolate Mousse Tarts.

Can you say decadent? Yes you can when you eat these! 😉

The Chocolate Mousse Tarts were made with the Chocolate Pastry that we pre-made the previous week. They were baked in little fluted shells, then let to cool. We then piped chocolate mousse into the shells, and garnished them with chocolate shavings and fanned fresh strawberries. Mmmm… yummy! 🙂

The Dark Chocolate Truffle Flan was also made with the Chocolate Pastry that we pre-made the previous week. It was rolled out to fit a large fluted pan. It was baked and then let to cool. We then made the Truffle Flan filling and poured it into the shell. We then decorated the top with finely piped white chocolate designs, and fresh raspberries. I even added a delicate touch to the crust by piping little dots around the outer shell edge. We then put them in the fridge to set. Of so decadently delicious! 😀

Taste the Season & the Festival of Lights!

This past weekend Brent and I went to Niagara-on-the-Lake for their annual Taste the Season event. Its an event that we enjoy going to every year. We then spend a night in Niagara Falls and go to their Festival of Lights.

Every November, Wineries of Niagara-on-the-Lake get set for wine and food extravaganza. Hailed as the ‘go to event of the season’, this popular touring and tasting program celebrates the season’s bounty. It’s also a great time to explore unique wine and gift selections or stock up for all your holiday entertaining.

You buy “passports” that allow you to spend one weekend touring  22 wineries where each stop will feature a premium VQA wine and a delectable food pairing.

The CAA Winter Festival of Lights in Niagara Falls, Ontario includes over 125 animated lighting displays and 3 million tree and ground lights which can be seen within the Niagara Parks Winter Wonderland (5 km route), including the world-famous Enchantment of Disney displays and the world’s largest illuminated Canadian-American Flag.

       

Napoleon Cakes w/ French Pastry Cream and Strawberries.

In last night’s Art of Pastry class we made Napoleon layer Cakes w/ French Pastry Cream and fresh Strawberries. Yummy! 🙂

It started with the pre-made puff pastry we had made two weeks ago. Only this time we couldn’t let it puff up like with the turnovers and strudel. So we had to “poke” holes into it so it would bake flat. While the pastry was baking, we made the most delicious French Pastry Cream. We then put the pastry cream into the fridge to cool, while we sliced fresh strawberries. When everything was baked and cooled, we began our production of layering our dessert.

First we trimmed the edges of our pastry. Then we divided the pastry into three equal strips. The layering of the dessert begins with the first layer of pastry. Then we added French Pastry Cream. Then a layer of fresh sliced strawberries. We then added an extra layer of cream to help hold the strawberries in place. Then the second layer of pastry was placed on top. Then we added the layers of cream, strawberries, and additional cream. Then we added the last layer of pastry. We then cut the dessert in two equal squares. We then dusted them with pink icing sugar, and adorned the cakes with large fresh strawberries fanned out for decoration. Voila! 😀

Many times in fine bakeries the square cakes are then cut into an additional eight sections. These sections are then called Napoleon Slices.

We also made up Chocolate Pastry for next week’s Art of Pastry class. 🙂

Ooh La La… Chocolate Moulds..

Today I received something absolutely fabulous in the mail… my chocolate moulds that I ordered!! Yay!

I have been waiting very patiently for these moulds. Okay, so I didn’t have to wait too long, because I only ordered them mid last week, but still I was anxious and very excited. 🙂

So what did I order?

For my last Introduction to Chocolate class we will be making figures from chocolate moulds. Not sure if I was going to use this mould very often, added to the fact that most of these figure moulds cost a fortune, I found a cute mould on sale. Technically, he’s a cute little Easter Chick, but if you look very closely, you could totally make him into a cute little baby penguin. And I love baby penguins. 😉 Here is what he will look like when I make him:

Isn’t he cute? 😛

I also bought two other chocolate moulds on sale. And one was so ridiculously cheap that I couldn’t pass it up! Ha! The first one is an enrobed truffle chocolate design mould:


The second one I love because of the fact it reminds me of mini toblerone bars.. Super cute!

The last two chocolate moulds that I chose I actually paid full price for. And therefore, I wanted something artistic. Something unique. Something sculptural. Basically, something that represented my taste in design, that I could then translate into chocolate bonbons. The first is a praline innovation chocolate mould:


The second is a squared praline chocolate mould.

Aren’t they fabulous?! I can’t wait to use my new chocolate moulds in my new class Chocolate Confections starting in January. 😀

Orange Meltaways and Caramel Pecan Clusters

In today’s Intro to Chocolate class we made Orange Meltaways and Caramel Pecan Clusters, or in other words, “Turtles”. YUM!

The Orange Meltaways are a simple chocolate treat, that just melt away in your mouth and have a interesting cooling sensation when they do. Therefore, although we made them with an orange flavour, any flavour, especially a minty or peppermint flavour would work fantastically well. We used only four ingredients to make the Orange Meltaways: dark (Lindt) chocolate, coconut oil, orange oil, and icing sugar for dusting. They were cut to a nice small size so that you can just “pop” them into your mouth. 😛

Slicing through the Orange Meltaways with a guitar.
Dusting the Orange Meltaway cubes in icing sugar.
Orange Meltaways. Yum!

For the Caramel Pecan Clusters, we used 35% cream, sugar, corn syrup, honey, salt, butter, vanilla, whole toasted pecans, and milk chocolate. Now these Turtles were alot of work. But definitely well worth it! Yummy! 😉

After the carmel was set, I pulled the soft caramel onto little balls.
Pushing caramel balls onto roasted pecans.
Turtles ready for dipping in chocolate.
Turtles. 🙂
Lots of yummy Turtles and Orange Meltaways..

Oat Bread and Whole Grain Oat Bread

In last night’s Rustic Artisan Bread class we made Oat Bread and Whole Grain Oat Bread.

In our Whole Grain Oat Bread we used the following ingredients: milk, yeast, fine ground whole wheat bread flour, rolled oats, salt, honey, vegetable oil, a soaker (consisting of fine ground whole wheat bread flour, oast bran, steel cut oats, salt, and water) we had made the week prior, and a biga (consisting of fine ground whole wheat bread flour, yeast, and cold water) we had made the week prior as well. The final result was a delicious very dense bread that we baked in loaf pans, in a regular oven. 😀

In our Oat Bread we used the following ingredients: yeast, water, strong baker’s flour, rolled oats, oat bran, salt, vegetable oil, milk powder, and honey. The final result was a very yummy free-form loaf, baked in the stone oven. 🙂