Ever wonder what tempering chocolate is all about? Or why you need to do it? Know what polycarbonate candy molds and acetate sheets are? If you're staring blankly at the page, the answers await at two Artisan Chocolate Workshops offered by Colorado Springs Culinary Enthusiasts.
This home-based school, owned by Chuck Frazier and Jodi Halas Woodruff, will hold the workshops April 7 and 8, taught by Woodruff's longtime mentor, Jaxon Stallard, a Boston-based culinary instructor.
Stallard's and Woodruff's lives intersected at Stallard's cooking school in Park City, Utah. She was teaching year-round interactive classes and workshops, and Woodruff attended several.
Stallard's interest in food and cooking took her on an odyssey. She graduated from the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts in Boston and completed an apprenticeship in the Netherlands. Then she moved to California, where, in addition to teaching professional cooking classes, she opened a full-service bakery in San Luis Obispo. She has returned to Boston and continues to cook, bake, talk and write about food.
Frazier and Woodruff are excited to have Stallard teach these hands-on workshops. Participants will learn to temper chocolate to make it more malleable and glossy for beautiful bonbons and truffles. They'll learn about the polycarbonate candy molds, clear plastic molds with details and designs to create chocolates or hard candy. With clear molds, you can see when the chocolate has set and is ready for filling.
And those acetate sheets? Professionals use them to create chocolate cutouts and decorations and to transfer designs from the sheets onto truffle shells. These are pretty advanced techniques, but one of Stallard's claims to fame is her ability to make it all simpler.
"Although I love to spend time in my kitchen," she said, "I try to make food preparation easier by challenging myself to simplify cooking and baking and still produce delicious results."
Here's an opportunity to try your hand at making professional-looking bonbons, just in time for Easter. For $90, you get the class and a charcuterie board with cheese, fruit, marinated olives, pickled sweet peppers, focaccia and prosecco for lunch. Plus you'll take home plenty of samples to show off to family and friends. Each class runs from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Details: 569-5707, coloradospringsculinaryenthusiasts.com. You'll also find information there about a wide array of other cooking classes.