I am not sure that my first attempt at so-called “home-made” chocolates has been a total success. But I am sure that my colleagues will devour them during next week’s Third Annual Chocolate Week.
My first use of the chocolate moulds did produce professional looking delicacies – even down to the white chocolate drizzling; though I am yet to eat one of them. The chocolates looked good, they fulfilled my contribution to Chocolate Week, they were fine. I should have left it there, with my work done – but that is not in my nature.
With all the arrogance that comes with an almost complete lack of experience and having something of a success under my belt, I of course, decided to do more.
YouTube is an evil organization. It gives you an easy incentive to click on some video or other and then take inspiration from the seductive advice offered there to parachute yourself into situations where you need the maker of the video on hand to help you through the inevitable difficult moments.
The first video I watched was of some implacable German matron urging her viewers to attempt liqueur chocolates. From the very first instruction, which was to make your own wooden tray to fit in the oven, I felt that this form of chocolate delight was not going to be for me. The fact that you also had to construct your own moulds and wait for days for the bloody things to work also made me disinclined to follow this particular teacher.
The next video seemed much more to my taste and much more immediate. I therefore decided to follow the advice of a more homely American lady and make chocolate creams.
Finding the ingredients in the supermarket was not as easy as the advice from the video but, with Toni resentfully following at my heels, the raw materials were eventually purchased.
The amounts of each ingredient were given in American with cups and ounces but were deliberately (I can only assume) vague. I used the same free approach when it came to making the filling for my chocolates and found myself adding an inordinate amount of sugar to try and get the dough-like consistency that was effortlessly achieved by the lady in the video. This did not happen.
You can imagine the scene with me scooping out a wodge of gooey condensed sweetened milk, icing sugar and melted butter and trying to wrap it round a disconcertingly green cherry. The mixture stuck to anything it touched and my final “sweets” were craggy, shapeless chunks of pure calories. Dipping them in dark chocolate softened some of the sharp edges but they remain intimidatingly massive and solid. There are, however some of the smaller chocolates with only a nut pressed into the mould which look far less intimidating to eat. I think that I should make more of the smaller ones as they look much more professional and indeed edible!
I have been very remiss with my writing, but I shall leave my thoughts on Les Contes de Hoffmann – my last opera, to another day.