Saturday, October 21, 2006

Chocolate Week Chocolate Week Chocolate Week

I've been too busy trying fine chocolate this week to write (oh, and working a bit too!).

I have just finished the second of the two luxury chocolate tours and am now relaxing on the couch, laptop on lap (hmmm...) completely buzzed from all of the chocolate. Now, in general chocolate shouldn't really have this much of an effect on your biochemistry, but when you consider just how much I have consumed in the past three days, well, over 300 compounds are having some effect. :-)

So, how much chocolate have I eaten?

Well, I didn't go to that many of the chocolate events this week but I spent all of today and all of Thursday touring London's best chocolate stores sampling lots at each. Thursday's tour was followed by the chocolate soiree, a 3 course chocolate extravaganza at Volupte lounge with Burlesque dancers and a musical trio playing show tunes.

Last night I went to a presentation by Damien Allsop, the former chocolatier from Melt. He makes very cool chocolates with a water-based ganache (ganache is the soft chocolate centre of the best kind of chocolate, made from warm cream and chocolate mixed together). So, no cream, though he does add some clarified (ie. flavourless) butter to help maintain the creamier texture. The main reason for not using the cream is to keep the flavour as pure to the original chocolate flavour as possible. It was a very delicious evening, we tasted squares of pure chocolate, he made a water based chocolate mousse and we tried some ganache chocolates he'd "prepared earlier". It was really interesting to learn all the science-y stuff behind chocolate making.

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