The Petits Chefs were in for a treat this week as I’d lined up the fabulous Kerry Beal (professional chocolatier, aka The Chocolate Doctor) to come and work with them. If you’ve ever wondered how to keep kids focussed during school hours in the month of December, apparently chocolate is the answer! A couple of pots of melted chocolate, an EZ Temper machine (which Kerry invented, how cool is that?) to ensure perfectly tempered chocolate (the shiny stuff that “snaps” just so) and a few squeeze bottles will ensure kids are focussed for an entire hour. In December. No mean feat. Oh, the promise of a box of chocolates at the end of the session doesn’t hurt either!
Kerry talked the boys through the process of tempering chocolate (it’s all science and I’ve never seen them listening so closely – or perhaps it was the large pot of melted chocolate in front of Kerry as she spoke?!) and showed them a few different techniques for filling molds to make both solid and hollow shapes. Then we put the tempered chocolate in the squeeze bottles and let them loose!
Kerry had made a few samples of items before she came so she had examples of chocolates ready to remove from their molds (solid and hollow items that she showed the boys how to join together using a hairdryer, a flat metal tray and a little common sense – you lay the molded chocolate pieces on the warm tray until it starts melting a little the stick them together while they’re still warm around the edges – magic!) as well as molds that we would later fill with crunchy caramel pieces and cover in milk chocolate to make “crunchy frogs”.
And those frogs?
Ok so all that chocolate – how to make sure that everyone gets “the same amount” (always a big question in our sessions)?
I can’t imagine December is a quiet time for a chocolate maker – we’re so very grateful to Kerry for taking the time for this session (and all the pre-prep!). We also can’t thanks Cacao Barry enough for providing the chocolate for this session. Really good chocolate DOES make a difference in items like this and both boys and adults who tasted these noticed the difference immediately.
Follow Kerry on Facebook to keep up with all her chocolately adventures!