Monday, October 19, 2009

Chocolate class at Black Pearl Epicure

I love a cooking class; no matter how basic it is, I always learn something I didn't know before.

On Saturday, I attended a chocolate course conducted by Kylie Simpson (head chef at Baguette Restaurant) at Black Pearl Epicure in The Valley. This class was designed primarily as a fun exercise for people with an interest in the topic, so I didn't learn as much as I would have at a William Angliss course, which is taught from an industry perspective. However, I did learn how to make chocolate cups (never had a clue how they made those before!) and got to use gold leaf for the first time.

First up, we made chocolate cups by piping melted chocolate into paper or foil cups. I worked out that my favourite cups for this purpose are the foil ones, because they don't distort as easily (which gives you a wonky shaped cup), and because you can easily see where you have piped the chocolate. (I used brown paper cups, which both distorted through my not so careful handling, and in which it was difficult to see where I had piped and where I hadn't).

Once the chocolate cups were set, we filled them with strawberry and coffee ganache, sealed them with more chocolate, and decorated them:

Pretty effective, yeah? I think these would make great Christmas presents that are easy to make.

Kylie had already made some chocolate brownies before class, and we decorated them with chocolate silk and a chocolate glaze (also made by Kylie) and bits and bobs like gold balls, gold leaf and nuts:

Finally, we made chocolate discs a la the European style of pressing fruit and nut pieces into the plain chocolate discs:

Mine were ginger and orange, cranberry and pistachio, and pear and hazelnut.

This was a fun, stress free class, and I found Kylie to be a good teacher.

I am doing another Black Pearl class next month, which I also hope will be good.


Anonymous said...

I love taking cooking classes. They are so much fun. I've taken all sorts. This one sounds fun and everything looks yummy.

Anonymous said...

The chocolates are beautiful! They would definitely make good gifts. I really enjoy taking classes and this one sounds like it was great.

Brenda said...

If there was any class to go to, chocolcate class would be my just can't go wrong with chocolate hey : )

Food.Baby said...

They look lovely! I've wondered what the Black Pearl classes are like. I've got my eye on a few of the Christmas ones coming up.

Happy cook said...

Till now i have nver been to a cooking cless, i would love to do it, but then i have to go alone which i don't want as most of my friends hate cooking.
I love that chocolate cup, i totally agree it will make a wonderful gift.

The Caked Crusader said...

what lovely creations - I love the idea of making your own choc cups, they're always so expensive to buy

Ivy said...

Have never attended any cooking classes but I'd love to if I had the chance. The decoration looks pretty.

Palidor said...

One word: WOW!

Cakelaw said...

Hi Wendy, they are fun.

Thanks Jill - cooking classes are addictive!

LOL Ellie - agreed! Even disasters will taste good.

Hi Susan, this class was good. I am doing the Christmas cake decorating class - because my decorating skills need lots of work ;)

Hi Happy Cook, you could try buying them a class as a gift and going with - or how about your daughter? (If it helps, I go alone.)

Thanks Crusader - I know, bought chocolates are always expensive, yet these are so easy.

Thanks Ivy. Perhaps you could drop a hint to Santa for Christmas to give you a class vocuher??

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

I made something like those last ones the other day! They look gorgeous and they were a trial run for gifts! :D

veron said...

I adore cooking classes. And a chocolate one is one I would not pass up!

adele said...

You made mendiants! I love those. :)

Jennifer said...

I love the word "wonky"....I've already used it twice today!:)

What a wonderful thing to do, taking a class...and gold leafing sounds fun!

Your chocolate cups sound fabulous.:)

Tammy said...

I love those first chocolates - they look wonderful

Cakelaw said...

Hi Lorraine, Kylie assured us that these were all the rage in Europe - and I know that Koko Black and Ganache Chocolate in Melbourne sell similar chocolates as slabs.

Hi Veronica, me either! Too good to resist.

Hi Adele, I knew that the discs had to have a much more romantic name - thanks!

LOl Jennifer - "wonky" is a good word, isn't it.

Hi Tammy, I was surprised at how easy they are. However, I would get a higher bench to do it because of all the bending over piping - the benches in class were very low, and that night I had a knot in my back that required a heat bag.

Cakelaw said...

Thanks Palidor - you slipped in there before my last comment.

Dee said...

Cooking classes sound like a great way to spend a weekend (especially if they involve chocs!). There are a couple of classes I'd like to attend, but I'm still trying to work up the courage.

Pity about the bread - sounded yummy :)

Peabody said...

What a yummy class to take!

Julia @ Mélanger said...

I just love Black Pearl classes. I have a couple coming up next month. I could spend all my money there. These look so delicious!