Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Chocolate Week: 1st event: Damien Allsop and Seventypercent

Some of the bars we tried:

My chocolate high is only just beginning to fade... It's good though because I've been really productive since I got home. I was even productive on the tube on the way home!

It was a fabulous night. Damien gives such great talks about the science behind chocolate. Here is him making a ganache for us:

I learnt the very useful fact that when chocolate appears to seize it just needs more of whatever liquid you are adding to it! And I learnt - by comparison - that a chocolate ganache made with water is MUCH nicer than one made with cream. Oh and I learnt that I REALLY want a foam maker. The silver canister-thing that uses little gas cylinders to produce instant food foam (or instant chocolate mousse equivalent).
This is a picture of the water-based chocolate foam:

Here's my tasting plate. I like to try a little bit of each and save part of the piece so I can compare along the way (because the plate fills up one piece at a time):

Damien also told us a little about his current pet project: adventures with an olive oil ganache, which we got to try with a fifteen year-old balsamic vinegar. I love the balsamic and chocolate but I'm personally not overly fussed about the olive oil. Especially after having the water-based ganaches which are so much lighter. Apparently the size of the microns of fats are larger than those of your tastebuds so fats tend to coat your tastebuds thus impeding your taster to some degree (as well as adding texture/"mouth feel".

Gosh, I really need to sleep. I'm off to a preview of Stardust tomorrow night (non-chocolatey).

Oh, I've finalised more details for Saturday. There's only four tickets left now though! If you want one of them go to www.chocolateecstasytours.com/luxury.htm.

Sweet chocolate dreams...

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