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Like kids in a sweet shop!!
When Vanessa Kimbell asked if I'd like to take part in the December gift swap and it was to be at Rococo chocolates in London I felt for a moment I had won THAT golden ticket!!!
I was sent an e-copy of the book and then began the task of shortlisting a recipe or two to gift. The book is filled with the most beautiful photographs and recipes, it was hard to choose just one.
My copy of Mastering the art of Chocolate personally signed by Chantal Coady
I'm a sucker for a good brownie so when I saw this recipe I just had to try... As an alternative to adding plain chopped pecans or almonds the recipe suggests caramelising them to make a praline, so I did!
Another recipe that caught my eye was the Chocolate Salami. I thought this would be great turned into a Yule log (given the Christmas theme) so added a handful of dried cranberries and a little Christmas spice.
After we had registered our gifts and enjoyed a lovely rich hot chocolate we were treated to a bit of a masterclass with Rococo's Principal Chocolatier, Barry.
First up, and a recipe from the new book, goat's cheese ganache. The flavour of the cheese was subtle and the creamy texture of the ganache was to die for... served on salted chocolate wafers we went back for seconds!
Next up, Barry gave us a tempering demonstration. I've always found excuses not to try this at home... let's face it, who would want it to go wrong and end up wasting all that lovely chocolate!? Doesn't he make it look so easy...
With the tempered chocolate a few of us had a go at dipping Hazelnut Praline Rochers...
Here's some they made earlier... and we got to scoff!!
The gift table laden with lovely chocolate lushness! Those judges sure have a hard job...
While the judges made their final decisions we were treated to some Creme Anglaise Chocolate Mousse and mini mince pies with mulled wine.
I just wanted to share these last pictures of the Rococo Advent Calendar, filled with 24 gorgeous chocolates, I certainly would love to find it in my Christmas stocking!
Thank you to Vanessa & Chantal for organising such a wonderful event; Barry for his expertise on chocolate; Judges Lucas Hollweg, Sophie Conran and Richard for making Let’s Make Christmas 2012 a day to remember.