If chocolate is your passion, sign up to learn more. Classes are available at culinary schools and are given by individual chocolatiers in their workrooms—which is of even greater interest to their fans. Others are given right in the front of the shop. These beauties are from Boston’s Temper Chocolate
Updated December 2006
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Take A Gourmet Chocolate Class
These are classes no one wants to cut!
There are two kinds of chocolate classes: chocolate scholarship, where you’ll increase your knowledge of how chocolate is grown, bean varieties, the process of chocolate manufacturing, et al; and hands-on chocolate making.
While most culinary schools offer classes, we’re developing a list of top chocolatiers who share their knowledge through regular classes. To recommend a class for this list, click here.
Ecole Chocolat. That’s right: you don’t even have to leave your house to become a chocolatier. We were impressed when we read that a Massachusetts carpenter made a career change to artisan chocolatier via online courses. Ecole Chocolat is the only chocolate-making school of its kind where one can study, learn and practice professional chocolate making-from home. Learn more at Ecole Chocolat’s website.
Downey’s Chocolates. This artisan chocolate studio and café offers five levels of classes for beginners through experts. Classes are for both adults (Monday nights) and children (Sunday afternoons). Phone 1.877.815.0814 for more information.
Richard Donnelly Chocolates. The prominent chocolatier gives two classes: Working With Chocolate, the first Saturday of the month; and Truffles and Assorted Chocolates, the first Sunday alternate months. Check the website for the schedule or phone 1.888.685.1871 for an updated list. Private classes can be scheduled at other times for groups of three or more (Working with Chocolate) or two or more (Truffles and Assorted Chocolates).
Norman Love Chocolates. Norman Love was one of only 26 people selected to appear on the 39-part series “Baking with Julia,” a Julia Child cooking show, which aired on public television. Norman Love was also rated as one of the top chocolate makers in the country in the February 2005 issue of Consumer Reports. Classes are held at their state-of-the-art facility in Ft. Myers. Check the website for details or call 1.239.561.7215.
Temper Chocolates. The chocolatier and coffee bar, located at the Hotel Commonwealth in Kenmore Square, 500 Commonwealth Avenue, holds chocolate tastings, including pairings of wine and chocolate. Check the website or call for information: 1.617.375.2255.
New York City
La Maison du Chocolat. The New World outpost of the famed Parisian chocolatier holds weekly classes on understanding chocolate for those who want to learn more. Classes are at the uptown boutique, 1018 Madison Avenue between East 78th and East 79th Streets. Call for more information (1.212.744.7117 or toll-free 1.800.998.5632). View the product line on their website.
Valrhona. Combine vacation and study. Famed international chocolate house Valrhona gives classes in English for non-professionals. Classes are typically a full day and are given in January and April. For registration or any other information, please contact l’Ecole du Grand Chocolat: Ecole@Valrhona.Fr.
CHOCOLATE EXPERIENCE. Discover traditional pastry recipes based on chocolate and the techniques behind them. This course is aimed at those who have little or no specialized background in pastry or chocolate, but who desire to improve their knowledge and skills with experienced chefs eager to share their know-how in a friendly atmosphere. You’ll learn to make various versions of the chocolate biscuit (the Sacher, lady fingers, brownies, macaroons, cake, madeleines, pâte à choux), a perfect chocolate ganache and chocolate mousse, classic desserts (the Opera Cake, the truffé, the baba, the chocolate tart and the Paris Brest), caramels, ice creams, and how to temper and work with chocolate. Limited to 8 participants. Price: 1032- € (lunch included). Price was verified at publication but is subject to change.
CHOCOLATE BONBONS. Learn all about how to make pralines (chocolate bonbons) and other confections. This course is aimed at those who have little or no specialized background in chocolate or praline making, but who desire to improve their knowledge and skills with experienced chefs eager to share their know-how in a friendly atmosphere. Learn how to make a basic ganache and understand the importance of the emulsion process; the production of different kinds of chocolate bonbon fillings, and interiors with praliné and almond paste; the production of various pralines (nougat, soft caramel, marshmallow and pâte de fruit); how to temper and properly work with the chocolate couverture, and how to enrobe pralines by hand. Limited to 8 participants. Price: 794- € (lunch included). Price was verified at publication but is subject to change.
|Chocolate—The Consuming Passion: A New York Times bestseller with over a half-million copies in print, this book continues to delight chocoholics everywhere. $7.48. Click here for more information or to purchase.
||The Totally Chocolate Cookbook: Chocolate and nothing but chocolate in this cookbook. $4.95. Click here for more information or to purchase.
||Chocolate Bar—Recipes and Entertaining Ideas for Living the Sweet Life: A delicious ode to the sweet that entrances so many, with more than 20 recipes. $16.47. Click here for more information or to purchase.
|Deluxe Chocolate Heaven Fondue Pot: This pot holds up to 24 ounces of chocolate, from there the uses are endless. $14.99. Click here for more information or to purchase.
||Chocolate Chipper: This sturdy tool converts even the biggest chocolate bars into chunks, sparing your precious knives. $9.99. Click here for more information or to purchase.
||Silicon Spatula Set: Silicon spatulas are perfect for stirring tempering chocolate. $16.50. Click here for more information or to purchase.