Thursday, June 06, 2013

Franschhoek Artisan Food Route: African Chocolate Dreams

African Chocolate dreams shop is just off the Main Road in Franschhoek
A selection of chocolate boxes in the shop
You can build your own selection and select individual chocolates in your favourite flavours.
Joshua Juries, the proud Chocolatier and owner of the shop
The chocolate conching machine, which keeps the chocolate at the correct temperature and makes it smooth and silky. The hairdryer is for drying the moulds
The ingredients needed to make chocolate.  65% dark Belgian chocolate, milk chocolate and white chocolate. The latter is mainly cocoa butter and vanilla, but contains no chocolate. In front of that, cocoa powder, cocoa nibs, cocoa beans and a block of cocoa butter
Joshua tells us how to make chocolate
The milk chocolate conching machine
Chocolate must be kept a very specific temperature or it will seize or split
Raw cocoa beans
Raw Belgian chocolates that go into the making
Some delightful chocolates for us to sample
They use very specialised and expensive Perspex chocolate moulds that make perfect chocolate shells.  This one is many years old and still makes perfect chocolates, but only if it is treated with the utmost respect
Joshua shows us how to pour a shell ...
...which strangely sets on its side and, no, the liquid chocolate does not flow out of the moulds. 
Sophisticated fluid mechanics at work. This means the chocolate does not pool in the bottom or on the side of the mould.
Perfect shells on the right, filled with walnut gianduja on the left
When the chocolate cools and hardens, it automatically releases itself from the mould with a sharp tap on the counter.  Here you can see the air has reached the base of the shells
And a perfectly formed shiny chocolate shell, just awaiting its filling and tne topping off with more chocolate
Filled with caramel
The mould gets ‘topped’ with more liquid chocolate and the mould is scraped clean with a large palette knife
We get to try them
Joshua making more chocolates. He is very fast and neat
And some caramel cups are filled  and decorated for us to try
The fine art of the Chocolatier
© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2013

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