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Our Blog: Chocolate Talk

An Intern's Perspective: Grace and Chocolate

Milk Chocolate Truffles

Last week I had a killer truffle molding marathon, with the sole purpose of getting faster and more efficient. I logged my rate of enrobing and when I reported my results, I got a smile, then a wince, followed by a phrase that has rang in my head ever since “you’re not fast enough.” Thing is, I had my nose down, I was in the zone and I had no idea how to improve. I was assured that it would just happen with practice, but was thankful for some sage wisdom that followed, about seeking grace, not speed.

It was one of those lessons that seemed to span so much in life, and while I wanted to argue, I knew it was true. Movements that are rushed can splatter chocolate and cause problems that slow the process down. It’s like when you speed to get somewhere instead of properly readying yourself and leaving on time, or hustling up and down the stairs instead of getting what you need all at once.

So back for more this week, I had a batch of espresso truffles to get through, and I was determined to improve my time. For the first half I hustled and splattered, and some of the truffles were ruined by sloppy technique and a messy, unsteady fork. For the second half, I tried to focus on motions that would make me feel as though the truffle were a marshmallow. I tried to make my hand free from feeling like it was coming home from the dentist. That earlier wisdom proved sound, and though my actual speed was nearly unchanged this time, the truffles were better, and my time was not diminished by the thicker chocolate as I would normally expect. In my head I repeated my new mantra in the kitchen: Grace in Chocolate.

It was a pretty good day after that. I put my new ganache rolling experience to work, rolling a tray of white mint classic truffle balls for enrobing. I knew when I started that my technique was amateurish, but after my boot campish exercise a couple weeks ago, I can finally make those 0.2 ounce balls without the assistance of a scale. After I started, it was explained to me that eventually I’d be able to make them from a palm full of ganache, instead of cutting each off the cutting board. That sounded crazy, and I said as much, but halfway through my assignment, I was starting to get that technique down as well. I made a couple small mistakes, but I ate them, so nobody has to know and believe me when I say those white mint truffles are no joke.

I finished up by filling some milk chocolate mold shells. This is one of my favorite things we get to do. Our milk chocolate truffles have dark chocolate stripes on the top, which are first piped over the empty mold in narrow, zigzagging stripes before we scrape them and fill the shells with milk chocolate. I find those dark lines on the clear molds to be quite possibly the most beautiful thing we get to make. My shells took more time than they should have, but they were nearly eggshell thin, and I think I was able to keep most of the trays free of any air bubbles, which ruin the final product. I was proud of how they turned out, but awfully glad I didn’t put a stopwatch on the process to bring me back down to Earth.

 
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