Have you ever wondered why most of us crave chocolate that much? For starters, a comforting bar or three releases a dose of much-needed endorphins, especially during that time of the month. Fun fact: It’s billed as one of the seven ‘miracle foods’ that may help to alleviate the pain during your period.
Other than that, chocolate contains a number of interesting ‘psychoactive’ chemicals like anandamide, a neurotransmitter whose name is derived from the Sanskrit meaning for ‘joy, bliss and delight’; as well as tyramine and phenylethylamine, both of which work like caffeine as natural stimulants.
Bottomline: Chocolate contains trace amounts of chemicals that, together with its velvety texture, seduces our senses and lifts our moods. We think the dark stuff in particular is a great guilt-free snack you can munch on when you’re feeling peckish at work. (May we also offer you best five places for chocolate ice cream and best 10 places for chocolate fudge cakes?)
So when we found out that we were attending a chocolate-making session with chef chocolatier Phillippe from Godiva at its first and newly-opened lifestyle cafe in ION Orchard, you bet we were excited; we won’t just be eating copious amount of chocolates, we would be making them as well. You’ve got to agree, there’s something very precious about handmade goods, amiright?
Here’s what we learnt from our masterclass that might come in handy when you’re trying to make some chocolates yourself:
1.Very tedious steps needed to make just one small truffle
First, we had to coat the template, gently tapping the mold to remove air bubbles from the mixture. Next, we drained the chocolate to create the shell. Let the shell sit at room temperature before filling it in, levelling the ganache and letting it harden at room temperature. Seal the deal with more chocolate once the ganache is hardened, then coat it with a fine layer of chocolate and toppings to create just ONE piece of truffle.
We’ll admit that we couldn’t really wrap our heads around the steep cost of artisanal chocolates but now we totally get it – you think you know just how tedious it can be, but you really don’t until you’ve tried making it yourself.
2. Humidity and temperature is crucial
Singapore is incredibly humid and hot, which is far from ideal when it comes to the cooling of chocolates out in the open. So, why not just put it in the fridge to cool?
We discovered that we should never put our chocolates in the fridge while cooling, simply because it may tamper with the shelf life of the chocolates and its taste as well. Who knew?
3. Templates used to make chocolate can not be made of silicone
Silicone is so much more convenient; you can freeze it or bake it without the risk of breakage. So why not use it for the making of chocolates?
You can’t because when the chocolate truffles are setting, they tend to ‘shrink’ from the template. If we were to use silicone as the template’s material, it will retract together with the truffles, deforming them in the process.
Instead, choose a clear chocolate mold made from polycarbonate. That way, your chocolate shells will turn out shiny and in perfect shape.
4. Please appreciate handmade chocolates more than you usually would
Let’s just say that after the session, we finally realised how tedious it can get – and how skillful you have to be – to perfect that small pop of truffle. There are just so many details to consider. For instance, each tiny vibration is vital; you can’t afford to be slow because the chocolate ganache might set before you get your chance to coat it – and the list goes on. So believe us when we say you ought to appreciate handmade chocolates more.
If you’re now convinced to check out some quality chocolate of your own, we recommend browsing the selection at Godiva’s first-ever lifestyle concept dessert cafe at ION Orchard. Bonus: There are Singapore-exclusive sweet treats like Belgian waffles and Chocolate Fondant with Soft Serve.
Besides, studies have shown that chocolate-eaters have a lower body mass so… happy indulging!