Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Chef JJ is Back

Oh yeah, Chef JJ is back from Corsica with a nice tan and is ready to wrestle dark chocolate into submission.

He made four different filled chocolates covered with dark chocolate - coffees, truffles, mendicants, and orangettes. Then he threw together a chocolate platter, a chocolate tower, a chocolate box and some triangles for a little something extra. I don't think he had an idea of what he was going to do, the concept just came to him while he was playing with the chocolate. The chefs here are little enamored of the edible gold dust, they dip a knife in the powder and then blow it into the mold, pour in the chocolate and voila - golden chocolate!

Watching him build the tower out of the random-looking pieces of chocolate was really amazing, he just kept adding another component until it looked like this. Again, Chef JJ makes it all look easy. I don't usually love truffles with a cocoa powder coating - they make me sneeze - but these were so good, I made an exception. The coffee flavored ones were OK, the Mendicants (nuts and candied fruit) were nice, and I never got to try the chocolate covered candied orange peel before my classmates got the last of them!

I didn't get great photos today, sorry, most of them have a classmate's hand and camera in the frame. I will make truffles and coffee flavored chocolates tomorrow. Dark chocolate hardens much faster than milk chocolate, so I will have be fast, but Chef JJ never gives anyone a hard time about getting dirty, he usually ends up with a smear or two on his jacket even if he wears the hideous plastic apron.

Afterwards, a classmate and I went to Mora, the cooking supply shop that specializes in pastry equipment, to buy a chocolate palette knife and some little dippers to pull the chocolates out of the bowl. They are so cute - tiny little instruments. I can't wait to get my red marking tape on them. I couldn't resist a new plastic spoon to supplement the one I burned to hell in my Tarte Aux Pommes disaster, and a ring mold to practice some assembled desserts. Then we headed to L'as du Falafel for a quick lunch. Nothing better after too much chocolate!

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