The Chocolate Life

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I'm looking for the best schools for chocolate, specifically artistic chocolate. Please let me know what you think and what the school's specialty is.

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Linda, my favorite is the milk cappuccino crunch.
I used to buy them at Amish Market which had a store right near my home in Forest Hills, Queens, NY. That store has now closed so I will have to go to the Amish Market in Manhattan to get them now.
I have a chocolate school here in beautiful Burlington Vermont. No more than 2 people at a time. Why only 2; because I prefer to give a hands-on personal class. In other schools, students spend a lot of time watching demos and getting very little hands on experience. Not only that, but they have to crowd around the table craning their necks to see what the instructor is doing. That also means that many students don't want to ask questions fearing that they may look foolish. I have had a number of students who have already taken classes with the big culinary/chocolate institutions, only to come away with very little knowledge and frustration. Many of my students have gone on to open their own successful chocolate shops.

Since I do not pad my classes with a lot of superfluous information, beginner and advanced classes run two days. Yes, I said two days. Not only do my students get hands on experience, but we also have a lot of fun. After the classes are over I am then always available online for questions. My students come from all over the country and also get to enjoy beautiful Vermont.

Students are given resources so that they have all the tools and contacts they will need. sweetonvermont.com
Well, I can teach you how to make artistic chocolate. However, my belief is that the eating experience is far more important. Truffles for instance got their name from the fungus. Therefore, square pieces with decorative transfer sheets are not truffles. They are squares filled with ganache. The ratio of ganache to the shell is small. You need to be able to sink your teeth into a truffle and get the full experience of savoring texture and taste. The texture of the ganache is important. Not runny or gooey and not hard either. Craig wrote about me on seriouseats.com after he visited Vermont last year. You can see what he said about my truffles.
So Jeff, when are you coming to visit me in Vermont. I think we would have a lot of fun and laughter together.
Linda
vermont sounds pretty. Do have a lot of feral hippie phish heads in burlington? that could be a deal breaker....
Vermont is gorgeous. Yeah! of course we have a herd of feral hippies and aging formerly raging feminists like moi. Phish heads too? Even though I think some rotted away when Phish disbanded.
Pack up your business and move to Vermont. We could have a blast. I'm off the wall and so are you. Interesting about your cheese truffles. I made some in 1996 and people thought I had gone completely out of my mind. What am I an anachronism? So come visit.
taunting me with anachronisms and rotting phishhead flesh might do the trick. I am afraid though that I am stuck here in oregon. the wifey's parents, the tween daughter, the farm, the fishing, theponytail now touching my waist, the lax MM laws-(oh my aching back)-and a firm commitment to having spent my whole life west of the sierra/cascade mountains. All these things combined have shown me that i aint going anywhere accept furthur west. the dream is to return to the south pacific and never comeback. let global warming slowly raise the ocean level over my head on some far off atoll where telecommunications are negligable at best. just drown in fish tacos and barreling reefs breaks.


ps.....you got that sponge candy thing down huh? we fuck with that seasonally and people really dig it. hurts my teeth
Yeah! I do fuck with a lot of stuff. I think I have it down, but it's so unpredictable. The first batch was the best and then it was 4 or 5 batches into the garbage. Finally I got another good batch. Everything has to be tweaked, but that's what I love about this business.
Well my friend, you have to at least come and visit Vermont. This was where the first hippies came and settled. This is also the most progressive state. I think what I like is the Yankeeness. Unpretentious people, nothing artificial. No frightening looking humans with their plastic surgery aberrations. Seeing that on TV really makes me feel creepy. We are a small state that has retained it's bucolic feel. You can drive 10 minutes and be in the country side. So, there you have it. Don't go further west, it just gets weirder.
I would like to be in Cape Town when the oceans really begin to rise. It's the most beautiful city in the world.... Even now when I look at photos I took when I was there in 1999, I notice one beach in particular that had a gorgeous rock formation is now out in the middle of the ocean. That's really alarming.
I ordered a box of sponge candy from very well known company in Buffalo NY -- supposed to be the home of sponge candy. Well, it was bloody awful and I mean AWFUL. The texture was good, but it was flavorless and left a bitter aftertaste. On top of that it came in a lovely box, but once opened what a shock. Two sealed plastic (not cello) bags of the sponge candy, some cracked, crumbs of chocolate; How unappealing; and the chocolate was really gross. So, that's my two cents and I feel kinda ripped off. We tossed it in the garbage.
Ha! I've lived in Buffalo for two years after moving from Oakland, Ca, where I had multiple artisan choc shops within walking distance. That there's known as fountain candy in these parts and it is loved. I stopped trying to make it work for me after a month -- mostly because my husband ate all the rejects and he couldn't take the experimental buying any more.
I might have to take a trip to Oregon. I too have an aching back; my shoulders are killing me, my neck is out of wack and so is my brain. I am sure that Vermont will pass that law one of these days as well as the AS. My memory is totally fucked....runs in the family...so there I go down lala land. Anyone interested in buying a great little chocolate company in Burlington Vermont? No kidding. sweetonvermont.com
I have had such a good time reading this forum this afternoon. I'm tinkering with a berry ganache and just decided that the flavor profile isn't right and should start over. Personally, I have been going to the school of hard knocks this past month doing exactly what Jeff recommended. Uh, minus the tempering machine, much as I crave it. There is no substitute for making errors and figuring out how to fix them. Though I would like to find a class that deals with spoilage (you know, bacteria, air, hygroscopy and such) and artistic elements that's somewhere in the midwest. Anyone have any ideas? The Callebaut class in Chicago would have been nice but I can't make it on those dates. I prefer hands on stuff. Does the internet class have videos at least? Or is it all lecture/question/answer/research format.

Oh, and BTW Jeff, Vermont IS a stunner. I spent a week biking around the state in the '70's and it is a conservative hippy paradise. Someday I'll make it to Oregon to compare. I would have entered the Oregon apprentice contest recently but didn't hear about it until too late. Good videos on YouTube. Your store looked great too.
Hi Beth: Glad you enjoyed Vermont in the 70's. Obviously it has changed a lot, but still retains it's beauty. Luckily for our ACT 250 which does not allow construction that would interfere with our overall way of life. No strip malls, no big ugly signs on our highways. All commercial buildings have to conform to strict codes.
As for a class, you'll just have to come back east. Did you read my postings above? I give hands on classes...no more than 2 people. You can check out my website or you can call me. The number is on the site. Linda www.sweetonvermont.com

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