gracecheung604 | write on time: Handmade Chocolates at Cocoa Nymph

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Handmade Chocolates at Cocoa Nymph

On Monday night, I attended a chocolate workshop at the new location of Cocoa Nymph on the East side. Located at West 7th just by Main, they have a large enough facility to teach chocolate aficionados how to make hand-dipped truffles. Prior to this, my only chocolate experience was at Edible Canada for Cocolico & Van Houtte's Coffee and Chocolate tasting. lots of chocolate Would you believe this is how much chocolate they have in the back? And this isn't even all of it! Lots of chocolate here, each box is 10kg of Belgian chocolate and all are a minimum of 64% chocolate. It smells heavenly here! hot chocolates xIn addition to making some delicious chocolates, we were also invited to taste some of the goodness that Cocoa Nymph has to offer. First up, drinking chocolate. We got to sample both their dark and milk chocolates and both were amazing. I love dark chocolate, so I was drawn to the darker one first. However, the milk chocolate had a great texture too. Drinking chocolate is different from "hot chocolate" because it's not made from cocoa powder (what's left after the removal of the cocoa butter), instead, it's made with real chocolate and made with chocolate shavings or little nib-like sprinkles. Because the cocoa butter is still a part of the mixture, drinking chocolates are much richer than regular instant chocolate.  vegetarian At their new location, Cocoa Nymph also serves up some savoury sandwiches in addition to their sweet treats! First up is the Veggie Sandwich, served in a farmer's loaf and loaded with an olive hummus, some avocado, a bit of goat cheese with some red onions, sundried tomatoes and a bit of romaine to line the whole thing. This was grilled and the goat cheese melted perfectly to warm up the rest of the ingredients. I am not usually a fan of veggie sammies, but I think I could make an exception for this one.elk The also have another sandwich, made with elk, some juniper salami, buffalo mozzarella and a bit of greens. There is also a smear of grainy mustard, maple butter and  on a hummingbird whole grain loaf. See the seedy goodness there? But enough with the savoury dishes...let's get onto the sweet stuff!  Untitled Here is the owner, Rachel, giving us a brief history of how Cocoa Nymph came to be. ganache In our annotated class, the ganache was already made in advance and kept cold so that we could work with this. This amount is enough for about 12 people, we each got a section to work with.  Ganache is simple cream poured over chocolate and then stirred until melted into a creamy smooth mixture. It is then cooled so that we can work with it. ganache After cutting it into rectangles for us to play with, Rachel showed us how to use cookie cutters to create various shapes for our chocolates. We then get to enrobe them in chocolate and then decorate them! decorations First of the decorations...these are made of cocoa butter, and will melt at room temperature, so be quick if you are going to use these! decorations More decorations...chocolate curls, chocolate sprinkles and cocoa nibs. If you want a perfectly round truffle, the secret is to drop the truffle into the toppings, roll it around and leave it. That way, the bottom gets coated too! hard at work Across from me at the decoration table was Rick Chung...check out his technique! Roll and then dip! hard at work Here is Bennett Chin making some fancy that a flower I see? chocolate bath This is the melted chocolate that you're supposed to dip everything into. Stir it well and then just drop your ganache into the vat of chocolate to begin the enrobing process. bits and pieces So this is the Enrobing process, take the ganache, dip it into the chocolate and then lift and place back onto the parchment. Those little forks, scoops and other utensils help you rescue your little truffles out. Once they are all done, they put it into the fridge while everything sets.finished product This is my box of truffles, I used lollipop sticks and sprinkled lots of the shaved chocolate on everything. I love the decorative box that they gave us to put our "homework" in. finished product So here is another and hopefully better view of this...and I think this is it. See how I used the sprinkles and cocoa nibs? for sale Fortunately, Rachel makes much more attractive truffles and sweets than I do. The ones you see above are their home-made marshmallows...lots of flavours such as vanilla, raspberry and orange. I am betting these would make amazing smores! for sale One of my favourite flavour combination is salty and sweet. Look at this...honey and sea salt? Defintely a winner in my book! for sale And if you're nuts for nuts like my om, then these citrus flavoured pecans are the treat for you.for sale I regret not getting a box of these while I was there, but as a lover of tart flavours and dark chocolate, I could probably eat all four of these!for sale At first, I thought these were chocolate covered cashews, but's stout filled chocolate! for sale And finally, we have the Chariot, a dark chocolate ganache with chilies.  This could be the death of me, but what a way to go!
If you are interested in learning how to make your own chocolate truffles, be sure to check out CocoaNymph East and have Rachel show you the ropes!
Take Note:

  • Sandwiches are good - especially the elk one
  • Chocolate classes are limited in size so you get the attention you need when creating your truffles
  • Wear gloves, wash your hands and tie your hair back!

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