An invitation to a chocolate day at the Edinburgh New Town Cookery School – it doesn’t get much better than that!
My first experience of the Edinburgh New Town Cookery School was when my daughter went on one of their courses a couple of years ago and I’ve been benefitting ever since, so I was very excited to be invited along for a day of what turned out to be an education in chocolate.
Our instructor for the day was Charlotte, who was obviously not only really passionate about chocolate but also hugely knowledgeable. Charlotte gently guided us through various methods of making chocolate ganache and how to temper the chocolate, as well as explaining how chocolate was made and giving us samples of different chocolates. Her samples of different 100% chocolates were a real eye opener – it was like having your eyes opened during a wine tasting when you can taste fruit in one sample and liquorice in another.
I have to confess to being quite surprised that one of the most important pieces of equipment in the process of producing our delicacies was a hair drier, but it worked perfectly in keeping the optimum temperatures while working.
At lunch time we were treated to a meal prepared by various students at the school, as would be expected, this was packed with fresh seasonal ingredients which had been combined with delicacy and finesse.
So, on to getting our hands dirty (in my case very dirty). It turns out that, just like pastry, it’s good to have cold hands when working with chocolate and I certainly didn’t. Charlotte kept a close eye on everybody’s work and quickly pointed out that the solution to my problem was a pair of latex gloves. We were given a wide range of ingredients with which to flavour our ganaches and I opted for Tequila with lime and salt (my take on a chocolate tequila slammer).
The day I enjoyed at the Edinburgh New Town Cookery School is part of their intermediate and six month diploma course, the next round of which starts in January and can be booked at: Edinburgh New Town Cookery School Course