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I had an opportunity yesterday to take a class with a master chocolatier visiting our island from California. At first I thought no way do I have time to do this. We‘re leaving for 3 weeks and the last thing I need to do is commit an entire afternoon to a class. But, really, I couldn’t afford not to do this. Chocolate is my work and this is continuing education for me.

Another thing that struck me about this opportunity. The man who taught the class is the executive chef for Guittard; a California based chocolate manufacturer. Now, I started with Guittard chocolate in 2002 when I started my business. I don’t use it anymore. I’ve switched to better quality European chocolate. But, at the beginning when I needed a lot of help with tempering and working with this finicky substance, the people in the lab at Guittard were a tremendous help. And, since I have never taken any formal training in chocolate work it seemed almost like Kismet that I could take a class with the company I started my business with.

I’m so glad I went! I watched as this man worked majic. He used a melting machine I’ve never seen before and now I’m going to buy one. He made a dry caramel and added toasted nuts and then ground the whole mixture to a liquidy consistency and blended it with one of his truffle fillings. He actually used fresh banana for a ganache - I thought this would be unheard of. He toasted his coffee beans to release the oils before grinding them and infusing them into his truffle filling - something I hadn’t thought of doing before.

In addition to all of this I have to say that this class was incredibly validating for me. I make my truffles and bon bons the same way he does in the traditional old school fashion. Even my pouring technique is the same as his.

As I close up shop for vacation, I’m inspired to create new  flavors in the coming fall. Today I duplicated his dry caramel and nut brittle but I used pine nuts instead of macadamias. The brittle looks really nice and now I’m going to grind the mixture and blend it with some bittersweet chocolate. Not sure how the whole thing will taste but the creative juices are beginning to flow.

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Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Coachmombabe wrote Jun 18, 2009
    • Oh, Cynthia! What a perfect way for you to continue your chocolate education! I’m so glad you found your day worthwhile, and no doubt WE will all be the richer for it too!  

      xoxo
      CMB



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mz. Queen wrote Jun 18, 2009
    • That’s when you know you love your job. Never miss an opportunity to grow in expertise. Good for you. Now enjoy your vacation.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Yana Berlin wrote Jun 18, 2009
    • Cynthia, you are incredibly fortunate to love what you do.

      There are so many people that are unhappy with their jobs, it is so sad to see someone who just does what he/she does because they don’t see another way.

      You love your job because you are soooo good at it, and because your chocolates are delicious.

      Have a great trip



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Marie66 wrote Jun 18, 2009
    • Cynthia, I’m so happy for youestatic Just by reading your story, you so love what you do.. I’m so glad that your day turned out great!! Now go and have fun on your vacation..

      CONGRATULATIONS!!!!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mary Clark wrote Jun 19, 2009
    • Cynthia....

      I have found that the times that I thought I didn’t have time to do whatever....attend a class..attend a meeting...but went anyway...are the times that I got the most out of that event.  

      Cynthia...your chocolates are the best I’ve ever had...EVER. So...keep up the good work....and enjoy your vacaction.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mjmurphy wrote Jun 25, 2009
    • Sounds so good...now I have a craving, there must be some chocolate around here somewhere!



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