Chocolate – whether it’s milk, dark, white, infused with mint or orange, covered in nuts or coconut, shaped like an egg or a heart – we all love it.
But, how do you make these sweet treats? I had the pleasure of attending a one-on-one class led by Cocoa Mester business owner Anna Sterling to find out.
Anna guided me through the steps to make my own truffles and an Easter egg.
First, I had made truffles. The process was much simpler than I imagined; I chopped solid chocolate callets in to small pieces and then poured hot cream quickly over the top before combining the two.
After being chilled in the fridge for around half an hour, the mixture had become a ganache – a delicious looking smooth chocolate butter. I then had to pipe it out in lines on to a baking tray; a skill which did not come naturally to me, I must admit, as I am no baker – but I was proud when I did pipe one line of chocolate.
Anna was kind and offered a hand when needed, but she was very encouraging and helped me to do as much as I could.
After another chill in the fridge, I cut the ganache in to bitsize chunks and then gently squeezed them in to truffle shapes before rolling each ball in cocoa powder and melted chocolate. I found this part fun as I got my hands covered in chocolate.
Next, it was on to the Easter egg. I started by painting a colourful design on to some Easter egg moulds using edible paint. I must confess my design did not have the same polished and professional flair as Anna’s, but I enjoyed the chance to get creative.
Then, I made the egg shell. Anna had already melted some callets for me in her chocolate melting machine. I learnt how to temper the chocolate by stirring the lovely melted mixture of milk and dark chocolate and adding cold solid callets until the temperature of the chocolate dropped to the optimum temperature of between 30 and 31 degrees. This is what would give the egg that lovely shiny surface and silky texture.
I poured the melted chocolate in to the mould and allowed it to set for a short time before pouring the excess chocolate back in to the machine.
After being given time to set, it was then time for me to (nervously) remove the egg shapes from their mould. Thankfully, they came out easily without a crack! Anna made a baking tray hot using boiling water and I used the underside of it to melt the rim of one of the egg halves before quickly sticking it against the other.
My yummy treats were complete – and they tasted abolutely divine.
To find out more about Cocoa Mester, visit www.cocoamester.co.uk. You can find out details about the chocolate making classes available online. Anna’s boutique kitchen is based at Unit 1.8, Krynkl, 318-328 Shalesmoor. Anna makes lots of lovely ready-to-buy products that can be bought via her website.