My day with a Chocolatier

November 9, 2010 at 10:43 pm Leave a comment

I had the lovely opportunity to learn about the art of chocolate making today from a client that I had given a color consult and furniture placement DIY guide a few months ago.  I was also enlightened about the difference between a truffle and a bon bon. We Americans like to call them all truffles when in fact they are not.  The true truffle is chocolate and cream dusted with cocoa powder all other chocolates with a hard covering are called bon bons.  Who knew?  All I know is they are delicious whether it is a truffle or a bon bon. 

Kristin Joslin is a chocolatier, and owns Cocoa Nouveau.  My husband bought me a box of her chocolates as a gift and I quickly became a huge fan of Cocoa Nouveau, only to find out she has limited times to work in her chocolate room and you need to get your hands on her chocolates while she is making them.  She studied in Germany and traveled to Paris where she finished her schooling, which is fascinating in itself.  She only makes natural chocolates; she uses the finest of chocolate from Venezuela.  She does not add preservatives so the chocolates do have a shelf life.  Who has left over chocolates anyway were my first thoughts….but when you have your delicious chocolates for purchase at a lovely storefront you need only supple the demand.  You can buy them by the box or piece at any of the locations below or you can order from her website for weddings and such.  If you add yourself to her newsletter she will send you and invite to her next batch…I feel special that she offered to let me help in her chocolate room. 

I knew her chocolates where delicious but I had no idea how labor-intensive chocolate making is.  The chocolate is so temperamental much like a woman and needs constant attention and caressing.  From the moment I stepped into the chocolate room, the aroma of the dark elixir filled the air.  I commented on the wonderful scent and Kristin quickly answered that she could not smell it anymore.  Poor soul…I cannot imagine not being able to smell such a palette-pleasing aroma. 

She was gently stirring a bowl of tempered chocolate that had a candy thermometer attached to the side of the stainless steel bowl and warming towel underneath to keep the chocolate at just the right temperature for dipping.  She had started this batches process on Monday with the infusing of creams and pouring of chocolates to cut into there perfect squares of goodness.  Some of the chocolates will receive transfers, some will receive crushed nuts, and of course, the truffles will only receive a dusting of cocoa powder.

I was able to help her with Roma, a chocolate cappuccino….so soft and creamy…yum is all I can say.  While Kristin dipped her cut chocolates, I was in charge of applying the transfer.  She does everything by hand which makes me appreciate her art of chocolate making even more.  We finished the Roma’s and started on Gibson, which is hand rolled chocolate with crushed peanuts….again I have to say soft and creamy sweet with the salt of the crushed peanuts…perfectly balancing the salt and sweet that I love.  She had prepared the chocolate rolls earlier and as she dipped and dropped them into the nut bath, I quickly covered them with the crushed nuts.  You can be safe and sure, she did not allow me to do anything that would hinder the process….smart cookie this one.  I have many talents but baking and chocolate making is not one of them.  We only had a few hours to work with the chocolate before it became too thick and had to be retired. 

I left the chocolate room with my mind full of wonder and appreciation for an art form that is lacking in our country, true chocolatier shops that only serve their chocolates and nothing else.  I admire her patience working with the temperamental substance but her patience is our decadent tasting of an exploding mouth full of delicious flavors of infused creams and Venezuelan chocolate that you must try each one to appreciate them.

Coco Nouveau website: http://www.cocoanouveau.com and a list of storefronts you can purchase her chocolates.

 If you attend the Let’s talk wine tasting in Chesapeake on November 13th you will get to meet her.  To my readers outside of Hampton Roads she also ships.

 These chocolates will also be available at Terebinth in Chesapeake and Integrative Manual Therapy and Wellness (350 W 22nd Street, Suite 108. Norfolk, Virginia 23517. Phone: (757) 216.4151)

London: 70% with Earl Grey tea
Rossetti: 65% with pomegranate
Istanbul: 42% with black tea and spices
Turin: 42% with hazelnut
Gibson: 42% with peanuts
Tiffany: 42% with pumpkin
Brittany: sea salted caramel
Verona: 42% with pear
Paris: classic truffle
Vienna: 70% with fresh ginger
Roma: a chocolate cappuccino
Avola: handcrafted marshmallow flavored with fiori di Sicilia
Reims: 65% chocolate and champagne
Normandy: 65% with calvados

This is the last event for Rossetti, Tiffany, Turin and Verona

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Holiday parties and helpful hints Happy Thanksgiving

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