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Truffle making @ Sweetgems (final product)If you’ve been reading my blog, then you know how much I love to cook and search out food-related events. At a recent (free) wine pairing discussion at the gourmet grocery store Morgan and York , I saw a sign announcing that Sweet Gem Confections has truffle making classes. I knew immediately that a class would be in my future.  

Sweet Gem Confections is a chocolate store run by Nancy Biehn, the chief executive chocolatier. She makes the most perfectly paired flavors, from Pear with Pink Peppercorns to Balsamic Vinegar in Milk Chocolate to Deep Dark Ginger with Vanilla. The list goes on and on. I don’t tend to like “fussy” food, but these combinations are delightful. (You don’t have to be in Ann Arbor to try them. You can order online, too.)

Nancy offers classes to groups of four to six. For $70.00, your group will be provided with the finest quality chocolate, learn how to temper chocolate, create ganache centers and decorate your truffles. Wouldn’t that be a fun bridal party gathering? (If I were a bridesmaid, I think that would be a fine thank you instead of the traditional piece of jewelry.) The final chocolates could be great gifts or wedding favors, too.

I quickly emailed everyone I’ve met in Ann Arbor and gathered together a group of people. For two and half hours, we worked together in Nancy’s space inside of Morgan and York and made truffles.

Nancy prepared the ganache fillings the night before (dark chocolate and Grand Marnier) and was melting the untempered dipping chocolate when we entered. The smell was what I imagined when I used to watch Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

The class started with a quick lecture on the history of chocolate. Then we turned to working on tempering the chocolate by mixing in a seed – tempered chocolate.

Stirring the chocolate, I wanted to become a tiny fairy and swim in the bowl of warm chocolate.

Nancy patiently showed us how to shape the filling, dip our creative shapes in dark, milk or white chocolate and then decorate them with the various options she spread out before us. There were large grains of blue sugar, little chocolate balls, heart shapes and then a box of transfers. Transfers are mini-sugar tattoos for you chocolates. You press them into your wet truffles, wait for the chocolate to cool and then peel them back. Voila! Your truffle has a beautiful design on top. (I always thought those designs were hand painted. Silly me.) She also had fine colored sugar that we could use to paint onto our truffles to give them a slight iridescent glow (red, silver or gold.) 

When I grow up, I want to be a chocolatier.

Thanks, Nancy!

 

Truffle making @ Sweetgems (pre-dipped chocolates)Truffle making @ Sweetgems (dipping chocolates)Truffle making @ Sweetgems (decorations)

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