Pro Baking 1 series at the New School of Cooking in Culver City (Los Angeles) this fall/winter. For Class 5, it was all about the Chocolate! As you can imagine, no one was absent from class! :)
We learned about cacao seeds, nibs, and the history of chocolate. We had a chocolate tasting with a bunch of Tasting Chocolates (these are expensive and NOT for baking). My favorites were the single origin chocolates of Michel Cluizel. These chocolates are made from a single plantation, not a combination of many growers.
Hint: The Trader Joe's Pound Plus blocks of chocolate are repackaged high end chocolate from Belgium. Get it. It's yum and way way cheaper. (By the way, you can usually find this chocolate above the freezer and near the little boxes of mini peanut butter cups and chocolate covered sunflower seeds, it is not in the baking section)
Chef Carol, our instructor, also demonstrated making a Chocolate Decadence Cake or Flourless Chocolate Cake with a mound of chocolate ganache. The white lines are a combo of powdered sugar and heavy cream. You need heavy cream so you made the texture of the ganache...if you used milk, it would harden.
Valrhona Crunchy 55% Chocolate Pearls (available at Surfas)
Recaps of the New School of Cooking, Pro Baking 1 course:
Baking Therapy: Going back to school
Class 1: Quick Breads
Class 2: Custards
Class 3: Soufflés & Pate a Choux
Class 4: Tarts, Pie, Crisps and Cobblers