Saturday, November 15, 2008

Chocolate sculpting

I don't know if you heard, but a little bird (who happens to work at Lake Champlain Chocolates) let me know about the Chocolate Sculpting Demo that was happening at the Lake Champlain Chocolates store on Pine Street in Burlington.

Emily Walton Jones and her buddy Rachel were the dynamic duo who showed us the basics... Emily is an artist for sure, and Rachel is as well, having just wrapped up performing in Cabaret. After they promised to teach each other their craft - they began. First, Emily started off just pouring loads of chocolate onto parchment paper to create the walls of the house. I don't know if you have ever seen someone pour out a gallon of chocolate, but a little voice inside me cried. Cried out that I didn't have a spoon to hold under the stream of liquid chocolate. Here you can see one of the large pitchers (but not the biggest one, and the smaller one used for white chocolate just after the first pour began:

While we waited for the first one to set up, some completed pieces were pulled off the shelf. Emily went through the process of making the various pieces needed, like the white chocolate windows. Soon it was really taking shape, and starting to look like a house, but there were many details that needed to be completed.

Really looks like a house now. Emily showed us how with some of the details. We had seen how to fill in the windows with some detailed 'stained glass' looking frames, and Rachel was also finishing off the roof with holiday colored Nonpareils. Now of course all of this looked relatively easy, but Emily Warned us to have lots of parchment paper available to make our bags to pipe the chocolate with. However, since she often set it down to review some steps, it frequently got cold on her, where as, at home, I could see this going much faster in the home - if you had your space set up properly.

Last steps - done! This was absolutely amazing, not only to see the work done, but as each step was progressing Emily grabbed a pre-made part (while the other ones were setting up) and gave pointers on how to make things flow smoothly, and

This was truly an amazing demo. I enjoyed every minute of it. Baby D slept through most of it, but was intrigued herself, if only partially, in what was taking place before her.

I will definitely go again! Now, as a person who used to do 'in your face marketing' the only thing I can think that the staff could have done to make this better, was to make it more interactive. Show us how to make the clever little parchment pastry bags that Emily made, grab people from the audience to 'glue' the Nonpareils onto the roof. Rachel could get them started, and then they could take over, give us some 'real life' experience so a project like this would seem a little less daunting.

Certainly - though - I didn't walk away from this empty, I walked away with my head swimming in Chocolate! Figuratively and literally as they had samples galore out, and then I also bought some Hot Chocolate, drank part of it, and added the rest to the coffee in my car to make a delicious mocha. Here are the samples I tried when I was int he store. Of course, each one was spectacular, especially the Chocolate Pecan Pie, which I grabbed the recipe for while I was there!

Evergreen Mints - Crunchy, bittersweet, minty!

Peanut Butter Leaves - Soft, pea nutty, yummy!

Chocolate Pecan Pie - Rich, decadent, nutty!


Leann said...

xSo glad you made it out for the demo. Those are great suggestions. I'll pass them along. I don't think anyone ever thought of that. Could be a lot of fun! I'll let you know about the next one we host. :-)

Dessert Dude said...

Thanks Leann - I definitely didn't think about much of that until after I left and though - "Wow, it would have been cool if..." as I felt a little scared to tackle one on my own. But then I thought of how I would have to eat my mistakes and I didn't mind so much. Thanks for listening to my feedback!