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Kerry Beal

Report: eG Chocolate and Confectionery Workshop 2013

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I know in previous year's we've asked the participants to mention what they have learned - I find that quite interesting.

I should have done a basic tempering demo this year - sorry I forgot for those who might have benefited - and perhaps judging from our first day dipping things - a tempering in a mold'art demo too!

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Art and Wilma were very generous with their time and their factory

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But...we wondered about some of the things not found in your ordinary, run of the mill confectionery factory....

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Lunch at the Firehall

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The attendees, with a couple of missing faces. Chocera (who was on her way back home) and RobertM (who was taking the picture)

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LironP gave us a great demo on a couple of different tasty things

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I love the age span-shows what a great and warm group you are. Would love more details of what is what and all! Thanks for the photos!

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First of any, major thanks to Kerry for putting this conference together! I had a great time learning, playing around, and hanging out with everyone. It's always so much fun to see everyone in person.

My two main goals for the weekend were to play with aerated chocolate and starch-molded liquor cordials, and I didn't manage to get either one accomplished! We couldn't get the chamber vacuum machines at the school to hold the vacuum for long enough to let the chocolate set, and I didn't have a box with a one-way valve on it. So we scratched that. I did make a starch-molding bed, but decided that I would walk before I ran (for once), and went with the easier gelatin jellies rather than liquor cordials, which are apparently quite finicky. It was interesting - and messy - to see how starch-molding works. I hope to play around with it some more in the future, and maybe get those liquor centres I'm after.

Not that that stopped me from playing with booze candies: on Saturday I made some mezcal jellies, which were quite interesting, and then yesterday I made up a very boozy batch of bourbon/vanilla caramel, which we used in some dark chocolate shells my husband made. I was really happy with how they came out, and they've got quite the kick!

We also worked on the hazelnut lattes from Greweling, but didn't have a chance to dip them until we got home last night. But we're super happy with how they came out.

As always, the dinner on Saturday night was a blast, especially with FrogPrincesse mixing the drinks! Kerry very generously gifted me with the leftover booze, so I'll be posting some of the drinks I'll make with it in the coming weeks, over in the Spirits & Cocktails forum.

Hope everyone had (or has) safe travels home!

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I can attest to the deliciousness of the bourbon/vanilla caramels.... Those were AH-MAZE-ING

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Thanks Kerry, for putting together this wonderful workshop!! As always, it was great to talk to so many knowledgeable people about confectionery, and watch some nice demos. And of course, the dinner on Saturday was off the charts!

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Thanks for sharing all the wonderful pictures! It looks like it was a very productive and fun weekend.

I hope to be at the next one :-)

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I had a fantastic time this weekend and so did the little princess. Big Giant Thanks to Kerry for organizing such a fun event. Also, my thanks to all the other people who helped organize this, including Anna and the staff at the Culinary Institute. It was a treat to meet everyone and get my hands "dirty" with chocolate.

Kerry asked us to mention what we had learned - I started practically from scratch with my only experience being simple hand-rolled & dipped chocolate truffles. The main thing I learned was how to use chocolate molds (decorating, lining, filling, unmolding, etc).

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Question from Nicole at ChocoTransferSheets - Mike did you play with your chablons at the conference - I was so busy running around that I didn't see?

Also - what were peoples thoughts about the transfer sheets vs the transfers from Chef Rubber?

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Kerry, I was amazed by you before just from reading all the crazy cool things you posted on egullet, but my amazement of you knows no bounds you did such an incredible job with this conference!

This was my first time attending and I have to say it was just a really great experience from start to finish. Everyone was so welcoming from the start, it made you feel like you've known all these people all your life.

Saturday night dinner was a gut-busting experience in more ways than one ;-) and frogprincess your mixology skills are top notch!

For me I didn't do much in the way of applying the skills I saw at the conference, mainly because there was so much going on that I just wanted to observe and soak it all in, as well as just chat with people to get their experiences on chocolatiering. It was all well worthwhile as I had so many "ah-ha" moments of just little things that people were doing that I'm going to apply in my own practices to save me a heck of a lot of time.

Honestly I can't possibly list everything I learned this weekend, the list is embarrassingly long, but here's a few delicious tidbits

- pate de fruit is extremely versatile (thanks lironp)

- Steve Lebowitz does not have a blog on making dry caramel (that's Dave Lebowitz)

- it's much easier to just put your dipped chocolates on the transfer sheet itself then cutting them into little squares and placing them on top

- everclear and luster dust slurry makes simple elegant designs on hand-dipped chocolates

- wearing a mask while airbrushing is really quite important

The list really does go on but last but not least, beaver is really quite tender and delicious :-)~

Thanks everyone who attended for making this weekend truly enjoyable and I cannot wait until next year...Vegas baby!


Edited by YetiChocolates (log)

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I just came back home. I had a great time meeting everyone and playing with some recipes.

I will post the pic sometime this week.


Edited by CacaoFlower (log)

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I just came back home. I had a great time meeting everyone and playing with some recipes.

I will post the pic sometime this week.

Looking forward to seeing those pics - that was a lovely looking camera you had with you!

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The list really does go on but last but not least, beaver is really quite tender and delicious :-)~

In my line of work, that has a very very different meaning ....

:laugh:

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The list really does go on but last but not least, beaver is really quite tender and delicious :-)~

In my line of work, that has a very very different meaning ....

:laugh:

Surrounded by Mounties as you are!

The jokes were flying thick and fast - Kyle's mom's were sorry they didn't attend the dinner as they said it would have been a dream meal for them!

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Question from Nicole at ChocoTransferSheets - Mike did you play with your chablons at the conference - I was so busy running around that I didn't see?

Also - what were peoples thoughts about the transfer sheets vs the transfers from Chef Rubber?

I liked the ChocoTransferSheets but did not do a side by side comparison with the transfers from Chef Rubber. I did take home samples of each so when I have a moment I'll compare the two. Thank you very much for all the samples. Thanks to Kerry and all her helpers for putting together such a wonderful event!


Edited by curls (log)

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Firstly, I want to thank Kerry for all the work she put into organizing the workshop, and for providing such a great playground for us. It was so much fun to see everyone again, and also to make new friends.

My phone camera doesn't really do it justice, but this is a selection of the ingredients we were able to play with:

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We had everything from gianduja, hazelnut paste, praline grains, almonds, pectin etc., to more unusual ingredients (hello peanut(butter) powder), not to mention a fridge and freezer full of fruit purees of all kinds, fresh citrus and herbs, and of course tons of cream and butter to make ganaches and caramel to our hearts' content.

Some of the things I have learned or was inspired by:

-using powdered colours to obtain coloured cocoa butters

-by tasting ganache textures and mouthfeel comparatively, I learned what my preferences are

-caramelized white chocolate

-fixing a broken ganache

-the splatter technique with cocoa butter

-different applications for pate de fruit

-Steve's dehydrator setup for cocoa butters

-using a refractometer, not a thermometer to determine when pdf is cooked

Like Willow, I also had some a-ha moments during discussions with my fellow attendees, from different techniques of making ganaches (tempered, yes or no) or pdf (acid, yes or no), business advice, chocolate brand preferences and pricing, equipment options, information about local suppliers, chocolate and pastry courses etc. Some of my biases were challenged, and it was very valuable to get different opinions on these topics.

I also updated my ongoing wishlist with these two items that I now badly need:

-a guitar (I have a feeling hubby might not be cool with this one... :-) )

-a refractometer

Between the wonderful group of people, and the fabulous food, I had a fantastic time, and can hardly wait to see everyone again. (We'll just have to see how to work out some babysitting arrangements... :-).

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Really bummed I had to miss this, looks like it was a lot of fun. I'm enjoying looking at the pictures though.

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We even had a drawing sponsored by several of the companies that donated time, equipment and materials to make the weekend a success such as Chef Rubber and Chocolate Chocolate

Kerry was assisted by our youngest participant Ava

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Matt showing off a piece used to make freeformed pieces for a chocolate showpiece

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Willow with her new book and dipping fork

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Steve with his new book and dipping fork

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Bob with his new book and dipping fork

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Prabha with her new book and dipping fork

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Mike with his new Chablon

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Erica with her new attachment used for hand dipping

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Thanks Kerry. When you have the ingredients, the people, a little time and a place like that. Perfect storm.

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Looking at this, I'm feeling like a kid with its nose pressed to the window of a candy shop.

So, when's the next one? I still have hopes...

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