New School of Cooking - Pro Baking 1 - Class 5: Chocolate

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Brown Sugar Cupcake with Cream Cheese Frosting

I'm taking the 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)

New School of Cooking - Chocolate Class New School of Cooking - Chocolate Class
We made brown sugar chocolate cupcakes (made with Dutch-processed cocoa) and had a selection of frostings and toppings. So-called "Buttercream" (next week we'll make an Italian Meringue Buttercream - the real buttercream): Vanilla and Chocolate, and a chocolate gananche. We used jumbo cupcake holders to hold a nice topping of ganache.

New School of Cooking - Chocolate Class

New School of Cooking - Chocolate Class
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.

New School of Cooking - Chocolate Class
The next day, I practiced by making the cupcakes again and frosted them with some cream cheese frosting (just for you @justjennrecipes!) The little balls? Those are delicious 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
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Esi said... [Reply to comment]

I love those pound plus bars. My parents used to get those and break off little pieces for our dessert when I was a kid. So...when are you opening your bakery??

Audrie said... [Reply to comment]

I did not just try to lick the screen...

DailyChef said... [Reply to comment]

Amazing pictures! And, thanks for the tip on the Trader Joe's chocolate - definitely going to get some now!

Sook said... [Reply to comment]

Ah, you're killing me here. I'm craving these delicious chocolate cupcakes!

Beth said... [Reply to comment]

I always thought that TJs chocolate tasted pretty good! Thanks for sharing the tip.

Jessica said... [Reply to comment]

Thanks for the tip about Trader Joe's chocolate. I'm always on the hunt for good chocolate at a bargain price. I'm so jealous of both your baking class and your proximity to Surfas. The cupcakes are adorable and I bet they're sinfully delicious.

CB said... [Reply to comment]

Arrgghhh! Another reason I need to live closer to you. Thanks for the tip about TJ's chocolate blocks. Looks like I'm making another trip to Traders soon. Can I con you to get me some of those chocolate pearls next time you go to Surfas?? ;)

steph- whisk/spoon said... [Reply to comment]

that is outgrageously good-looking chocolatey deliciousness!! i looove cluizel chocolate! we used at a restaurant i used to work for, and i could never resist having a handful of buttons everytime i opened a new box!

Memória said... [Reply to comment]

Oh my goodness! These cupcakes look amazing!!! I want some now. I love how you frosted them.

Federica Simoni said... [Reply to comment]

Complimenti! è sempre un piacere passare a trovarti!!!

Laurel7221 said... [Reply to comment]

How were the chocolate cupcakes? The best you ever had or are you still using MS one bowl?

Katrina said... [Reply to comment]

Ahhh, my kind of class--CHOCOLATE! ;)

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

Seriously.. that has to be the cutest cupcake I've ever seen = ) I love all your tips and your bundt cakes.... I bought a nordicware thanks to you = )

Chef Aimee said... [Reply to comment]

Wow! I almost took a bite out of my monitor! These are PRO, indeed!

The Food Librarian said... [Reply to comment]

Laurel, Thanks for stopping by. These cupcakes were different than MS one bowl. These are denser than MS one bowl and they come out flat (good when you make a layer cake). I like both! :) - mary

Monica H said... [Reply to comment]

brown sugar, chocolate, and cream cheese. The only thing that would make this better is cinnamon. oh heavens!

The Purple Foodie said... [Reply to comment]

Oh how fun must it be to attend the class!

dharmagirl said... [Reply to comment]

oh, oh, i want to take this class!

i love the cluizel bars for eating. the concepcion is my favorite. do you know about ? great website to order premium chocolates from around the world.

thanks for the TJ's tip:)

Mary Bergfeld said... [Reply to comment]

These really look amazing! As a matter of fact your blog is amazing. I stopped by for a look-see and stayed much longer than I had Intended. I'll be back often. I've become a follower.

Trish said... [Reply to comment]

Hey, that is some baking you accomplished there! Wonderful shots too.

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

Fabulous photos.

However, I'm heartbroken that there is no recipe so that I can try and make some.

Meandering Eats said... [Reply to comment]

Gorgeous photos! I almost ate my computer screen. I really wish I had time to take a baking course, but maybe this summer or fall... in the meantime, thanks for letting me live vicariously!

Lucy said... [Reply to comment]

Your class sounds wonderful - a chocolate tasting? Yum! I love all the different chocolate goodies you made, especially the last cupcakes with chocolate pearls. Gorgeous!

Deana Sidney said... [Reply to comment]

That is one movie-star photo! Hope the class is as great as the product!

Pam said... [Reply to comment]

These look so yummy. I want one now.
Have fun in your class!

Di said... [Reply to comment]

*sigh* I really miss TJs, and not just for the chocolate. Your cupcakes look wonderful. And thanks for sharing the tip about making the white glaze with cream--I never would have thought of that.

Ellen said... [Reply to comment]

Oh man, I feel like I've died and gone to chocolate heaven, looking at these pictures!

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