As part of this new in depth food exploration, i thought I would check out what kind of cooking classes Geneva has to offer. There are actually a number of schools and restaurants that offer demos, private or group classes of every length and for virtually every type of food. The Ecole Club Migros probably has the most options available, but I’ll go about cataloging all that in another post.
Of the endless classes they offer, I absolutely had to start with the chocolate lesson. I mean there was moelleux au chocolat on the menu, how do you say no to that? So for 2.5 blissful hours we melted probably a good 2000 grams of chocolate, with and without butter, eggs, sugar and flour. The chef was super friendly – an American by the way – and worked us through 6 (six!) chocolate based dessert recipes: pralines, truffles, passion fruit mousse in chocolate cups, chocolate pretzel sticks, chocolate shells, and of course the moelleux, the piece de resistance.
Making a moelleux is actually pretty simple. The recipe just calls for equal amounts of good dark chocolate (about 70%) and butter, twice the amount of powdered sugar, eggs, and just a touch of flour. Melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler, beat the powdered sugar beat into the eggs until they go white and frothy, and mix it all together. Coat the pan you are using with butter and a thin layer of flower to prevent it from sticking. We used small ramequins, about muffin sized, filled them up to 2/3rds, put them in the fridge to set for 40 minutes, and put them in the oven for 13 minutes. Like so:
No picture of the end result unfortunately – battery died and we ate it straight out of the oven!
Is it reeeeaally possible to make all that from scratch in just a couple hours you ask? Yes and no. The moelleux, pralines and truffles came out great (if you like the moelleux super runny. Otherwise it needed more time in the oven). The chocolate molds were trickier – and what an effin mess that was. You melt dark chocolate by itself in a double boiler, without letting the water boil. You blow up small balloons half way, so they are firm, but a reasonable size. You dip them in the melted chocolate and place them on a pastry sheet and into the fridge to set.
But wouldn’t the hot chocolate pop the balloon?
Why funny you should ask. In fact, if the chocolate gets too hot, the ballon does pop, spraying gobs of hot deliciousness in every single cranny in the kitchen. I won’t specify how long it took to get all the chocolate out of my hair – i have a feeling I’ll be chocolate flavored for a good week. But it was all worth it when it came time to eat! And after 2.5 hours of licking the spoons and bowls clean and polishing it off with a huge melty moelleux, even this chocolate fanatic was in a sweet, sweet coma.
In brief: recommended!