If you are a fan of chocolate and are yet to make your own, this class from Aberdeen’s Cocoa Ooze is a must.
The chocolate aficionados of the north-east, founder and director Jamie Hutcheon’s products have been a firm favourite of locals and tourists alike over the years since he started the business in 2008.
As part of Provenance Festival, a 10-day food event organised by Opportunity North East, the public have been given the opportunity to try make their own chocolates.
Taking place at the premises at New Jasmine House on Greenbank Place, Aberdeen, Cocoa Ooze is no stranger to hosting these events, with children’s parties, adult workshops and corporate bookings all a regular part of the offering.
What was the workshop?
Mastering the art of being a chocolatier for the afternoon, the two-hour class from 3.30pm to 5.30pm was all about learning the art of chocolate and experimenting with flavour.
We kicked off the class by making a chocolate ganache with either dark, milk or white chocolate. My friend and I picked white chocolate and while I melted it down in the microwave (heating it in short blasts), she was busy warming the cream.
Once both were ready to be combined, we did so and stirred away. This left a glossy chocolate mixture which we’d be piping into our truffle shells.
We were then given the opportunity to split out chocolate (if desired) into two or three different bowls to make different flavours of white chocolate ganache.
We decided to split it into three making orange, lemon and raspberry.
There was a whole host of flavoured essential oils and essences to add to the chocolate including whisky, Champagne, coffee, hazelnut and more to pick from.
We then decided to have dark, white and milk chocolate truffle shells which the team had already prepared. After we were happy with our flavouring we piped the ganache into the 28 shells between us – this was very therapeutic rather relaxing.
Video of what to expect…
Next, we decided which ganache would go in which shell, and then picked what flavour of chocolate would be the last outer later of the truffle.
There were three layers in total to make up the ganache, shell and outer layer. We decided to mix things up again and used a combination of the trio.
To make the chocolate to dip our now filled shells, we melted some more chocolate down. Lauren took responsibility for the white, while I looked after the dark and Jamie the milk.
We then gathered our toppings from the toppings station to prep for decorating the truffles. There was everything from mini marshmallows to popping candy, not to mention chocolate swirls and lots of sprinkles.
Once all of the chocolate was melted and ready, Jamie showed us how to ensure each truffle was fully covered by using a fork to move it around in the bowl, and then tap off the side of the bowl to remove any excess.
We then popped them onto baking paper, decorated them as we desired and then left them to dry. We did one at a time to ensure the chocolate didn’t dry before we decorated them.
Our truffles consisted of:
- Lemon white chocolate ganache with a milk chocolate shell, dipped in milk chocolate and topped with popping candy (with a few getting coconut sprinkled on top).
- Orange white chocolate ganache in a dark chocolate shell, dipped into dark chocolate and decorated with a mix of gold chocolate sprinkles and honeycomb.
- Raspberry white chocolate ganache in a white chocolate shell, dipped in white chocolate topped with a mix of pink sugar and violet.
Taste testing is obviously a crucial part in making chocolate, so there was plenty of that throughout, too. And there was also a pot of chocolate for us to dig into as we went along which was obviously empty by the end of the class!
Once we’d made the truffles it was then onto making two chocolate bars each. This part was relatively easy and just involved melting the chocolate of our desire (I went for a bar of dark and milk while my friend opted for white and milk), putting it in a mould and then adding toppings.
Lauren went to town with lots of toppings while I just added popping candy on the dark one, and coconut and honeycomb on the milk.
Whatever you make on the day (and don’t eat) you package and take home with you.
Learning how to make truffles and chocolate bars for the first time was really interesting – and a lot of fun!
You can directly see the work that goes into making Cocoa Ooze’s products and this crash course on how to make the perfect truffle in two hours has given me plenty of inspiration for Christmas this year.
With the opportunity to experiment with plenty of flavours, I’m sure you’ll find me in the kitchen again soon, trying out all sorts of combinations.
At £38.50 per person and an estimated £20 of products you end up taking home, I think this hands-on, interactive course is definitely worth it – especially as it is something different to do and is a tutored workshop.
The next chocolate making class for Provenance Festival takes place this Saturday (October 2) from 9.30am to 11.30am.
Address: New Jasmine House, Greenbank Place, Aberdeen, AB12 3BT
T: 01224 467212
Price: £38.50 per person