I've always been interested in making chocolates (I made them as a very little girl with my Nana) and want to start. I've recently purchased a Chocovision Minirev and need to buy a few molds. My understanding is polycarbonate is the best way to go (right??). I'd love to take a class, or classes. Is there a place to find ones in Utah? I've searched the web to no avail. Suggestions? If I can't get classes, are there videos or online classes that are great? I'm open to any and all suggestions. I am just a hobbyist. Thank you so very much!!
I encourage you to visit cocoatown.com. You can receive online classes becoming available very soon . The classes will be taught by our own "Top Chef" Erika Davis as well as by the owner of cocoatown Dr. Balu, whom teaches the scientific process of creating great chocolate. We also sell every product that you may need in-order to create chocolate from the bean to the bar.
Gygi's will have two days of chocolate classes each November. Those are really helpful. They may have some through the other times of the year.
Ruth Kendrick taught some classes last year, I'm not sure if any classes are on her schedule right now though.
Beyond that Valhrona TV http://www.valrhonaprofessionals.com/valrhona-TV.html is pretty useful. So is Callebaut TV http://www.callebaut.com/usen/callebauttv is pretty good too.
Ecole Chocolat http://www.ecolechocolat.com/ is good.
The chocolate apprentice http://chocolateapprentice.com/ has a great blog about what she learned at the Ecole Chocolat.
Welcome to the Chocolate Life! :)
Hi Arianna, I teach classes in Salt Lake, Ogden and Logan. My next class is scheduled at Love to Cook in Ogden, April 12. Not sure what I will be teaching, but it will involve chocolate:). Other than that, I will be teaching at Bakers C&C, Gygi's and Love To Cook in Logan, in the Fall. Come to the Natural History Museum on March 22-23 and meet many of us local chocolatiers at the Chocolate Festival.
Thanks for all the great suggestions!! Larry, thanks for the website suggestions! I think those are great places to start! Larry, are you a hobbyist or a professional? Ruth, I'd love to register for your class in April! I assume I contact Love to Cook to do that? I wish I could come to the Natural History Museum on the 22 or 23rd, but I'm attending Cookie Con (a convention for cookie nerds!!) and am already booked. As a side note, Ruth are you from Chocolat?!?! If you are, I am absolutely I love with your work. You are such an artist!
Thanks, yes, I have Chocolot:). To register call 801.393.2230. Be sure and let me know who you are.
Ok, my husband wants to take the class with me (FUN!) so, I'll be registering us both tomorrow. I also bought a copy of your book!!
If I wanted to buy a little bit of chocolate to fool around with what brand chocolate should I start with? I have a tempering machine (Rev1 by chocovision). Also any suggestions on polycarbonate molds? I was at Orson Gygi and saw Fat Daddios molds and LOTS of different kinds of chocolate. Thanks for all your help! I can't wait to meet you in April!
There are so many ways to answer your questions. I would order your molds on line after you figure out what you want. As to chocolate, again, depends on a lot of factors. The only chocolate that Gygi carries that I would consider is Callebaut. Bakers C&C carries a lot more options. We can talk in April.
I have been making chocolates/bon bons/pralines for a little over a year, but can offer a bit of advice-based on my positive and negative experiences--on molds. At first I didn't realize that the molds differed considerably in what size finished piece they turn out, and as a result, I initially purchased some quite small molds. A lot of people like smaller chocolates, but I found them difficult to fill and too small to provide a good taste of the filling (perhaps I am just making excuses for gluttony!). Then I learned that many manufacturers provide a guide to size by specifying the weight of the finished chocolate. I find this guide counterintuitive--it's the volume of the cavity one cares about, not the weight of the product, and nobody has explained what they weighed to determine the figure (is it the weight of a piece of solid dark chocolate or ...?)--but weight is all there is to go on and it does provide a useful aid. I have found that weights between 11 and 16 grams per piece work best for me. I have some dome-shaped molds that hold 18g, and they are particularly good for two-layer pralines or one that has a whole hazelnut submerged in a praline filling. So far no recipient has complained about the larger size, and these do not look out of proportion in a box with smaller pieces.
In the U.S. I have bought online from J.B. Prince in NYC, Tomric in Buffalo, NY, and Chef Rubber in Las Vegas. Bakedeco.com also has lots of molds, but their images are very small. J.B. Prince has good prices and quick service, but they do not provide weights to help (that's how I ended up with small molds in the beginning). Tomric has a very large selection, and they carry (or can obtain) anything from chocolateworld.be in Belgium. BUT--and it can be a big issue--most Chocolate World molds take at least the 3-4 weeks stated on the Tomric website to arrive, or longer. Just remember that when you shop online, don't go by how large or small the mold looks in the image.
As for purchasing chocolate, I use chocosphere.com. They have a huge selection and carry just about every mainstream chocolate. They also sell smaller amounts (such as 1 Kg bags) so it's possible to try various options without breaking the bank. They have good customer service and quick delivery. I have also bought from Gygi (but, as Ruth said, only Callebaut). Worldwidechocolate.com is very similar to Chocosphere in their offerings; they have free shipping on orders over $99, but the base prices are a bit higher than Chocosphere's. Their offerings are, in my opinion, somewhat more limited than Chocosphere's (for example, World Wide Chocolate does not carry 1-Kg blocks of Amedei and does not have Felchlin at all).
I think Callebaut would be a good chocolate to start. Look at their website to decide among all the choices, and note the drops system that tells you how viscous the chocolate will be when melted.
Thank you so much Ruth and Jim! I really, truly appreciate all the help. Jim, I couldn't agree more about some molds being TINY. When I was at Gygi I was astonished at how miniscule nearly ALL the molds were! They only had one that I would have considered usable. In my mind chocolates should be larger than one bite. I'll research your suggestions on weight. I have seen some molds that have specific dimension. The one mold (fat daddios) at Gygi that I liked the size of was a little over an inch wide (it was a dome, with a "swirl" decoration). Ideally, I'd like to just buy a few molds that I'll go to over and over again, rather than investing TONS of money in molds that once I know what I'm doing I regret having purchased.