In December, when I got the e-mail from a store that they were having a "Chocolate" class to teach people how to make chocolate candy, cakes and goodies, I knew it was post graduate education that I needed. I wasn't sure how I was going to get my wife to agree, so I invited her- saying it was a pre-Valentines present- and it worked. 3 minutes later, WE were signed up!
I couldn't wait! I did all kinds of things to help the time pass (see my previous blog about the SF Fancy Food Show). Finally, the day arrived and I was so excited: a night of chocolate with the acceptance, approval and companionship of my beautiful bestest friend - how sweet it is! Bottom line: It far exceeding my expectations.
When Amy and I arrived at the Dallas, Texas Viking Culinary Arts Center (www.vikinghomechef.com), next door to my favorite store in the world (the Apple Store on Knox street), neither of us realized that this was going to be a completely "Hands-On" 3 hours course in how to make Truffles, Double Chocolate Lava Cakes, Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries and a Chocolate Pate with a Cabernet Cordial.
"Hands-on" means they give you an Apron, let you make a mess and tell you to lick the bowl. I was with 5 very nice/proper women, which meant I got to lick all of the bowls. WOW, what a treat.
The class started with a sampling of various kids of chocolate: grocery vs. specialty, milk, white, semi-sweet and dark. Frankly, I loved them all! They also gave us instruction on Tempering chocolate and a "chocolate chart" that further described the different types of chocolate and the flavor and uses of each. Then we moved to the prep table and began to make and eat our way through 3 and a half hours of chocolate, chocolate, chocolate.
Our gourmet chef instructor, Lisa Aldana, was terrific.
I strongly encourage you all to take a class. It was great fun and I am now a certified graduate in chocolate from a very prestigious Culinary Arts School. CIA, here I come.