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LG Kitchen chocolate class

Warning: Lime ganache and loveheart-shaped chocolates were consumed during the making of this blog.

Address:
South Melbourne Markets
322-326 Coventry Road
South Melbourne

More information on LG Kitchen classes occurring throughout the year can be found here.

Cioccolate Lombardo can be found every Saturday at the Prahran Markets at stall 117 from 9am – 4pm.

Ever since the Global Financial Crisis there has been a rise in entrepreneurs. Self-made successful business owners are popping up everywhere. From self-confessed nerds hunching over a laptop in Silicon Valley to the rawest of fashion labels; the idea of owning your business and not climbing up the corporate ladder is an appealing one. The high risk / high return environment is often glamourised with only a few that really make it to the top. Success stories – no matter how small or large – are to be celebrated.

Tad Lombardo was a chemical engineer in the USA. After doing the hard slog without much return, he embarked on a new journey. Swapping a suit for chef whites, he went about creating his own chocolate company – Cioccolato Lombardo. The good people at Gram Magazine kindly offer us a ticket to his Chocolate Tempering Master Class as a part of the LG Kitchen classes. With Miss SL on strict dieting provisions as enforced by her personal trainer, it was Mr LB’s turn to step up to the (chocolate) plate.

Mr LB:
“Arriving on a Friday night, it was refreshing to do something different rather than the standard Friday night drinks. The class catered for twelve people and the staff at LG Kitchen were very friendly and chatty, getting the group excited for all the chocolate activities to come. The session started with a little history about Cioccolato Lombardo and the process of harvesting the coco bean into the chocolate we all know and love.

The aim of this class was to make our own ganache-filled chocolates using tempered chocolate. The process of tempering chocolate was a little different to what we were shown at Cacao. Instead of using a marble surface to cool the chocolate, an industrial cooling fan, a cooking thermometer and a lot of beating was involved. Lombardo mentioned this process could be done at home with a microwave or on the stove top with a pot of boiling water with a bowl on top (containing the chocolate).

Tempering the chocolate was a complicated process, involving good quality cooking chocolate, and seed chocolate (which, according to www.chocovision.com is “any pure tempered chocolate that is used to begin the crystallization process during tempering”):

  • First melt your cooking chocolate to remove the fat crystals (e.g. 750g worth) to a temperature between 47-50 degrees Celsius
  • Once melted, weight the melted chocolate (theoretically, still should be 750g)
  • Identify what is a third of that weight (e.g. 225g). This is how much seed chocolate you need to add to the melted cooking chocolate
  • Split the seed chocolate into thirds (e.g. 75g)
  • Add the seed chocolate one third at a time to the melted cooking chocolate, stirring until smooth each time
  • Once combined, allow the chocolate to cool to an appropriate temperature (white 29 – 30 degrees Celsius, milk 30 – 31 degrees Celsius or dark 31 to 32 degrees Celsius)

While some of the group continued to temper chocolate, myself and few others had the laborious job of polishing our molds. This ensured that there would be no dust on our chocolate and that it would be easy-to-remove from the mold once set.

Once the molds were done and the tempering complete, it was time to get creative. Styling the mold consisted of two steps:

  1. Using a small portion of the tempered chocolate, we created a pattern on the mold
  2. We then used a special coloured dust to decorate the molds. We had a choice of blue and gold, so I used both!

The process of creating the chocolate shells was exactly the same as Cacao. With a lot of finger strength, I proceeded to pour the chocolate into the mold. I then scraped off the excess chocolate from the top layer, hit the sides to removed any air bubbles and poured the excess chocolate back into the vat.

Whilst some of the group were making their chocolate shells, the others had the chance to taste Lombardo’s hand-made chocolates. The patterns of the loveheart-shaped chocolates were simply stunning, shiny and oh-so-alluring! Not only was the chocolate tempered to perfection with that distinct snapping sound, the filling was heavenly. Inside was a beautiful sweet, strawberry flavour.

White chocolate hearts with a strawberry filling

Once the shells were made and left to cool in the fridge, it was time to move on to the filling. We were lucky enough to be given the option of two fillings – Lime, Blood orange and Passionfruit ganache or Feuillente. My ears perked up when Lombardo mentioned feuillente. I had never heard of this before. He explained it to be a combination of burnt crepes mixed with a caramelised sugar. We all had a sample of the feuillente and it was simply to die for. It had a strong crunchy texture which could have easily been mistaken for crushed hazelnuts, laced with caramel. It seemed to be the favourite of the two amongst the group.

Feuillente

The citrus-flavoured ganache was significantly smoother and had a taste that lingered on my palate. Inside our take-home packs, Lombardo generously provide his recipe for the lime ganache. 

Lime Ganache

Ingredients:

  • 30g  caster sugar
  • 80g cream (35% fat)
  • 15g trimoline (inverted sugar) *alternatively can use honey
  • 115g lime puree *alternatively can use 15g lime zest with 100g lime juice
  • 10g cocao butter
  • 320g milk couverture
  • 25g unsalted butter, cut into small cubes, softened

Method:
Boil the cream, trimoline and caster sugar. Add the puree (or zest and juice). Reheat slightly.

Sift the mixture over the milk chocolate and cocoa butter. Mix with stick blender. Add butter when mixture has cooled below 35 degree celsius.

Add the ganache to a white chocolate shell mold that has been decorated with red and yellow cocao butter.

Suitable for molded chocolates. Approximately four week shelf life, produces 70 molded chocolates.

We filled our shells with ganache, joined the shells and left them in the fridge to set. It took roughly 10-15 minutes to set and then it was time to bash them out of their molds(literally!). Getting the chocolates out involved ‘bashing’ the mold on the kitchen top. The chocolates popped out and they were looking good.

The LG Kitchen experience was a fun event to get your hands a bit dirty. More importantly though, it was a great chance to make some take-home goodies and gain some skills along the away. The LG Kitchnen have an array of classes to choose from to suit all cooking needs and skill levels.

Final thought: “A fun event to grab a couple of friends to experience the kitchen in a new light”

Food in pictures

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