One Day Chocolate Course at Sylvia’s Kitchen

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Well, today I opened up the doors of Sylvia’s Kitchen in Sussex to four lovely students and what a wonderful day we had with chocolate.

Ruby, Clare, Annette and Caroline booked on to this course some time ago (Clare’s was a Mother’s Day present and Ruby’s had been bought by her Dad Peter as a treat – she’s a keen baker and cake decorator, something I loved to see today).  Caroline and Annette already have great cake skills but both wanted to learn more about chocolate, how to handle it, what you can do with it and just some general playing around with different and new techniques.  My main aim today was for my students to learn some new skills and techniques in a relaxed, fun and informal atmosphere and to bust some chocolate myths too, which I hope I have achieved.    We started off the day with making some pouring ganache which was left to cool whilst the cakes were “torted” (split and filled) with a whipped ganache filling.  The cakes were then covered in ganache, achieving a smooth finish before pouring over the liquid ganache  (well, I did warn them it would get messy!) Apologies for the slightly fuzzy picture – probably because I was laughing along with these lovely ladies!

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We then worked with the chocolate transfer sheets, colouring chocolate and either wrapping or panelling with the patterned chocolate around the cakes – the results were fantastic.

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A quick break for lunch and a chat was followed by some rose modelling. We soon discovered who had the hottest hands!  It’s speedy work with modelling chocolate so bowls of cold water for chilling fingertips were at the ready.

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With roses moulded we moved on to colouring more chocolate, making chocolate shards and flakes, making chocolate fans and moulded blossoms. The cakes were all then finished with some ribboning.

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A great days work by everyone.  Tea and coffee was on tap all day – what was the highlight of my day?  Well the fact that one student brought their slippers with them really made me smile, knowing how relaxed they (Clare!) felt about the day :)  Ruby shone as the youngster of the group who I’d love to see again to teach more, I loved to see the pleasure and satisfaction she was getting from her creations.  Annette and Caroline did brilliantly, Annette kept us entertained all day with her chit chat which was just great and Caroline kindly showed me some of her creations which was really good to see too.  Thank you ladies for a lovely day spent with you, I really hope you will be able to practice and use the skills learnt today at home and go on to produce more wonderful birthday, celebration or wedding cakes yourselves.  Liz x

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