Monday, January 23, 2012

Chocolate Dipping with Oh! Chocolate


My weekend involved chocolate, lots of it. My fellow chocolate lover, Debbie, and I attended a much anticipated chocolate dipping class at Oh! Chocolate in Seattle and it was divine.


Our evening began with sipping little cups of French inspired hot chocolate. The drink was thick and intensely chocolate, with a dollop of whipped cream to enhance the richness. I would return to Oh! Chocolate for this bit of bliss alone, but there’s more.


Our gracious hosts, brothers Chris and Nick, were entertaining and informative as they shared their family’s chocolate history, spanning three generations and resulting in the creation of Oh! Chocolate. They learned to make their hand-crafted chocolates from their grandmother and their display cases are filled with an enticing selection of truffles and chocolate confections.


They also taught us the origin and process of chocolate making, from harvesting the cacao pods (which grow from the trunks of trees) to its arrival on our market shelves. We were all given a generous plate of different varieties of chocolate and tasted the spectrum of unsweetened, bittersweet, semi-sweet, milk and white chocolates. The unsweetened was so good – bitter, creamy, flavorful – I kept eating it and brought some home. I can’t wait to bake with it.


Chris made an interesting point – just because chocolate contains a certain percentage of cacao (i.e. 80%) doesn’t guarantee it will be good chocolate. There are many factors involved such as the quality of the beans, the roasting, etc. which influence the flavor and texture of the chocolate. I prefer dark chocolate, the darker the better, and tend to buy based upon the percentage of cacao. I have to say, though, I will be more particular now and not rule out chocolates with lower cacao contents, even milk chocolate. The milk chocolate I sampled is the best I’ve ever had ... the texture was creamy and almost cheese-like with a smooth caramel finish. I appreciate being exposed to more chocolate options.


The class then moved to the hands-on portion of the evening. Platters of biscotti, potato chips, pretzels, marshmallows, strawberries, raspberries, graham crackers and Oreos were set out, along with pitchers (!) of dark and milk chocolate to pour on the tables. Nick showed us how to mix and swirl the chocolate with our hand to temper it, bringing it to the ideal temperature and viscosity to dip in. And then the fun really began.


Dipping and chatting, dipping and tasting ... My favorite morsel to dip? The potato chips. The crunchy, salty, sweet combination is sublime. While we dipped, Chris and Nick shared funny anecdotes and tips and were delightful to hang out with. They clearly love what they do and they do it well.


I came home in a state of chocolate-coma happiness and shared my big box of dipped treats with Bob, Sam and Isaac. I look forward to popping in to Oh! Chocolate again soon for a cup of hot chocolate and to indulge in some tiger butter, or perhaps a habanero mango truffle.

16 comments:

  1. Nice sharing! This is something I was looking for. Thanks for making my day.

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    1. Thank you for stopping by! Chocolate brightens the day - especially a rainy one like we're having here.

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  2. You always do the neatest stuff! And whatever tiger butter is, I need some. Like, yesterday...

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    1. Tiger butter is the best, Brooke - it's a white chocolate and peanut butter confection with chocolate swirled through it. Now I need some...

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  3. How fun! I never can resist a chocolate-covered pretzel--now I'm going to have to try a chocolate potato chip!

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    1. If you like the salty-crunchy-sweet of chocolate pretzels, I'm sure you'll like potato chips, Lauren! Just snacked on a few more this morning... We dipped thicker cut potato chips, which hold the chocolate well.

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  4. What fun! I did a chocolate tasting class a couple years ago, and we were all amazed at the difference in flavor between chocolates that had the same % cocoa content. I agree too that the combination of sweet and salty just can't be beat!!!! Love the idea of chocolate dipped potato chips.

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    1. It was very fun, Susan! I'm going to be paying more attention to what brands of chocolate I prefer rather than the percentage. Sounds like you had a good time at your chocolate tasting class, too!

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  5. What a fun class! The goodies you made look so professional. I'd love to do a class like this, it looks fabulous.

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    1. Thank you, Katherine! It was indeed fun - you can't go wrong with chocolate, can you? We've been nibbling on chocolates all week.

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  6. Hi Hannah!
    How exciting that you enjoyed our chocolate class so much and even more so that you blogged about it! We are so glad that you had such fun and we look forward to seeing you back at Oh! Chocolate very soon!

    regards
    Clare@OhChocolate.com!

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    1. Thank you, Clare! I plan to return to Oh! Chocolate very soon. :)

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  7. OMG...chocolate dipping class!!! I want to go! That has to be a must do if I ever get to Seattle :) That Tiger Butter looks incredible and potato chips in chocolate would so work for me love the salty with the sweet.

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    1. Definitely a must - so much fun to indulge in chocolate.

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    2. PS Any plans to be in Seattle? :)

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