I love a cooking class; no matter how basic it is, I always learn something I didn't know before.
On Saturday, I attended a chocolate course conducted by Kylie Simpson (head chef at Baguette Restaurant) at Black Pearl Epicure in The Valley. This class was designed primarily as a fun exercise for people with an interest in the topic, so I didn't learn as much as I would have at a William Angliss course, which is taught from an industry perspective. However, I did learn how to make chocolate cups (never had a clue how they made those before!) and got to use gold leaf for the first time.
First up, we made chocolate cups by piping melted chocolate into paper or foil cups. I worked out that my favourite cups for this purpose are the foil ones, because they don't distort as easily (which gives you a wonky shaped cup), and because you can easily see where you have piped the chocolate. (I used brown paper cups, which both distorted through my not so careful handling, and in which it was difficult to see where I had piped and where I hadn't).
Once the chocolate cups were set, we filled them with strawberry and coffee ganache, sealed them with more chocolate, and decorated them:
Pretty effective, yeah? I think these would make great Christmas presents that are easy to make.
Kylie had already made some chocolate brownies before class, and we decorated them with chocolate silk and a chocolate glaze (also made by Kylie) and bits and bobs like gold balls, gold leaf and nuts:
Finally, we made chocolate discs a la the European style of pressing fruit and nut pieces into the plain chocolate discs: