February-March 2016: chocolate making

Our first chocolate making Crafty Night Out was such a success, Sally was able to talk Nanya of Chocolate Batik in to running a second one…! There were 10 of us in Sally’s lovely kitchen and we were spoiled with cups of tea and plenty of chocolate to nibble through the evening.

Nanya started off telling us a bit about how chocolate is grown and processed – did you know chocolate is porous throughout it’s life? It means it picks up the scents and flavours around it, which is why single origin chocolates have such different flavour. It is also why you should be careful what you store next to your chocolates at home, unless you want your chocolates to taste of leftover curry!

We all tried different single origin chocolates to see the difference ourselves; from flavours of wine and olives to soft caramels…all very delicious!

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Nanya then explained how to temper chocolate to give it a nice gloss and a crisp snap.

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We then moved on to the chocolate ganache…a bit of a taste and then we rolled them in to small balls ready to be dipped in chocolate and decorated. Some of us were rather neater than other (I blame my overly hot hands!).

While the truffles were left to recover from the (wo)man-handling, Nanya gave us bowls of melted chocolate and we made giant buttons on decorated acetate to give the finished buttons glossy patterns on the back. We decorated the tops with chopped nuts, sprinkles, couverture drops and more…it brought out the child in each of us!

All the way through the evening Nanya shared her hints and tips and answered all our questions – and when our bowls of chocolate cooled too much because we were talking, she warmed them up with a heat gun (you can use a hairdryer!). Then we were all set to dip our truffles before rolling them in cocoa or chopped nuts or decorating artistically!

When everything had cooled and set and we had eaten our fill of couverture and licked every spoon and fork, it was time to package our goodies and tie them with ribbons ready to take home and impress our friends and families.

Thank you so much Nanya for an amazing evening – if anyone would like a chocolate party please contact Nanya through her FaceBook page. Thank you too to Sally who not only TWICE let us cover her house in chocolate, but organises all the wonderful Crafty Nights Out for the Bath WI!