Monday, December 11, 2006

This December, I am into...

I'll be seeing you soon!

...empire-line dresses, to be worn alone or with straight leg /skinny jeans, lip gloss with a hint of peppermint, like those from Burt's Bees or Urban Decay, So You Think You Can Dance II, Smiling Pasta, boxing classes at the gym, mission trip to Cambodia, listening to FM 103.2 online, cranking out the Christmas tunes (guilty pleasures include Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas and 98 Degrees’ I’ll Be Home for Christmas), stuffing my face with party food, Christmas parties and NY celebrations, and last but not least, my birthday!

It’s going to be a great month. :)

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

La Maison du Chocolat

Posting about the chocolate workshop yesterday reminded me about the lovely little box of chocolates I bought when I was in Tokyo in August. On my last day in Tokyo, I was walking along Omotesando and chanced upon the little La Maison du Chocolat stand, and tempted by the delicious array of truffles, bought one small box to bring home. We tried to save them for as long as possible, but that is just impossible when it comes to good quality chocolate. They were gone in a week.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Chocolate fun!

You can see more photos in my flickr account.

If there was one food you could name which is universally loved by everyone, I would have to say it’s chocolate. What else can inspire instant salivation at the mere mention of its name, giant smiles of satisfaction on the first taste, and instantly make a bad day good?

I decided it was time to take my appreciation of chocolate to the next level – it wasn’t enough to merely appreciate eating chocolate, I had to learn how it was done. And that’s how I found myself at Shermay’s Cooking School last Friday afternoon at a chocolate truffle workshop taught by Executive Chef of Au Petit Salut Patrick Heuberger.

I didn’t realise how much planning ahead was required, and what a precise science chocolate truffle-making was until I saw the entire process of tempering chocolate. The temperatures had to be right, or the chocolate wouldn’t crystallise properly to form the right bonds. Thankfully, we just had to sit back and relax and watch chef Patrick do all the hard work.

While I like to say that I made chocolates, I have to admit that everything had already been made in advance, like the ganache and praline fillings. All we had to do was decide what fillings we would like, and decorate the chocolate truffles. For this class, we had ganache, praline, roasted chestnuts, chestnut paste, marzipan, orange peel, hazelnuts, pistachios and white chocolate to play around with.

There was so much fun decorating the chocolates, I almost forgot that the greatest pleasure of chocolate was in the eating. Since the two boxes could only hold so many truffles, I just had to eat the remainder before leaving the class. Oh well. So this is what I ended up with:

Do you think I can become a professional chocolate maker now?

For more chocolate fun and other great classes, go to:

Shermay’s Cooking School
Chip Bee Gardens
Blk 43 Jalan Merah Saga
Tel: 6479 8442