Patience & Skill Forge Luscious Creations

Making chocolate looks easy, until you’ve tried it. I did, thinking The Conche’s monthly chocolate making class would be a great backdrop for both Loudoun YMCA’s annual fundraiser, “Chocolates Galore and More” (Feb. 28 at Lansdowne Resort), and of course, Valentine’s Day. Needless to say, I got schooled.

Simply making chocolate shavings for truffles and decorations for bonbons provided a valuable lesson in how heat (“tempering”), humidity, thickness, mixing and overall patience contributes to the quality of chocolate. Says Master Chocolatier Sara Dobson, “Chocolate is very complex and it takes a lot of practice to get everything right.”

Basic Truffle Recipe

Ingredients:

  • Cream                          116 grams
  • Dark Chocolate            168 grams
  • Butter                             46 grams
  • Honey                            15 grams
  1. Heat cream and honey together.
  2. Pour over melted chocolate in thirds while stirring.
  3. Add softened room-temperature butter and mix until smooth silk emulsion forms. 

Executive Pastry Chef Kathleen Faliskie advises: “The colder your hands, the more spherical you can make your truffles.”

The Conche is named for the process of mixing chocolate for a prolonged period at a precise heat. The same precision produces great dinner, brunch and cocktails. Chocolate making classes may be customized to any event or age. The next regularly scheduled class is Feb. 8.

The Conche, The Village at Leesburg, 1605 Village Market Blvd SE, Leesburg, VA 20175; (703) 779-1800, http://the-conche.com