Let’s Make Christmas 2012 – Rococo Gift Swap

Recently I attended Let’s Make Christmas 2012, a Christmas food gift swap, which was organised by the fabulous Vanessa Kimbell of Goddess on a Budget and author of cookbook, Prepped.  It was hosted by Rococo Chocolates, winner of Chocolatier of the Year in 2011, and the talented Chantal Coady, author of the new Rococo Chocolate cookbook, Mastering the Art of Chocolate, that can only be described as a feast for the eyes!  We were given an electronic copy of the cookbook in order to make some items for the gift swap and to give us a bit of a teaser before seeing the book in person.

DSC_0186

After arrival at the Rococo factory and having hot chocolate,

we were given less than fashionable but necessary blue hair nets to wear.  We were then led to a room with machines that were designed to keep chocolate at any given temperature and provide a fountain of chocolate on demand.  I will call these the machines from heaven!

You can see the impressive chocolate machine behind Barry; notice the chocolate fountain effect.

You can see the impressive chocolate machine behind Barry; notice the chocolate fountain effect.

Once in this room, Barry, Master Chocolatier at Rococo Chocolates, demonstrated one of the delectable recipes in Chantal’s cookbook, Goat’s Cheese Ganache.  He allowed us to taste the warm chocolate before it set and offered us a tasting of the recipe made previously so that we could contrast the flavours.  Both were delicious but I would choose to wait and go for the finished recipe.

Barry talking to us about the recipe

Barry talking to us about the recipe

Goat's Cheese Chocolate Ganache in process...

Goat’s Cheese Chocolate Ganache in process…

Claire, Assistant Chocolatier, offering us the warm goat's cheese ganache to taste - oh and Jude on the side there

Claire, Assistant Chocolatier, offering us the warm goat’s cheese ganache to taste

Jude from A Trifle Rushed takes it all in.

And then Livi offers us the finished Goat’s Cheese Ganache.  It was utterly delicious.  There was a hint of the creamy goat’s cheese and a peppery finish balanced by the lemon zest you can see on top.

 

The lovely Livi with the Goat's Cheese Ganache

The lovely Livi with the Goat’s Cheese Ganache

Impressive tray....there is no doubt that they were all eaten!

Impressive tray….there is no doubt that they were all eaten!

Next, Barry showed us how to temper chocolate

Showing us the best tools for tempering

Showing us the best tools for tempering

and gave us a chance to dip chocolates with specific techniques. 

Hand-dipped chocolates

Hand-dipped chocolates

Fruits of labour

Fruits of labour

His stories of doing this for hours and hours every day whilst working in a restaurant made me ache!  It is really an art and some take for granted all of the work that goes into such beautiful handmade foods like this.  We were reminded with samples which everyone seemed to happily take.

Learning to temper chocolate

Learning to temper chocolate

Chocolate on marble

Chocolate on marble

We also got insight into the new products hitting Rococo retail shops.  An example is below.

Beautiful for a stocking stuffer or hostess gift

Beautiful for a stocking stuffer or hostess gift

As if we were not on enough of a sugar high, we were then moved to the gift area for mulled wine and more chocolate treats. 

Chocolate soil - a mousse-like treat

Chocolate soil – a mousse-like treat

Whilst we were learning from Barry, judges had the difficult job of tasting the gifts brough for the swap to choose winners.  Sophie Conran and Lucas Holleweg were among the judges.

Sophie Conran with Vanessa Kimbell

Sophie Conran with Vanessa Kimbell

Lucas Hollweg, Sunday Times food writer and author of Good Things to Eat, with Vanessa Kimbell

Lucas Hollweg, Sunday Times food writer and author of Good Things to Eat, with Vanessa Kimbell

Lucas Hollweg, Sunday Times food writer and author of Good Things to Eat.  He spoke so passionately about the treats he had sampled and really seemed to enjoy them.

The winners were announced and I was unable to get all of the winners but know Laura from How to Cook Good Food won making Chantal’s White Chocolate, Campari, Orange & Cherry cake, Selina from YummyChooEats with Chantal’s Chocolate Salami, Rosie at Freycobcakes with Chantal’s Honeycomb Crunch, Jude from A Trifle Rushed with her own Peppermint Bark.  Congrats to all of the winners and apologies to those I unintentionally left out!

Chantal Coady signed one of her beautiful books for each of us.

Chantal Coady of Rococo Chocolates

Chantal Coady of Rococo Chocolates

For the gift swap, I prepared Chantal’s Flourless Cake with Raspberries which was straight forward to prepare. 

Books for signing

Books for signing

It was made folding whipped egg whites in just before baking making it quite light and almost airy. 

DSC_0123

I also learned using frozen berries keeps the colour from bleeding. 

Flourless Chocolate Cake with Raspberries

The cake turned out beautifully I think and I will most definitely make it again….but only after trying many of the other amazing recipes such as White Chocolate and Lime Tart, Olive Chocolate Tapenade, Cesar’s Salted Caramel Ice Cream to name a few in Chantal’s cookbook which I am lucky to have been given as a participant in the gift swap!

Chocolate Fig Spread

Chocolate Fig Spread

Impressive Christmas Tree cupcakes

Impressive Christmas Tree cupcakes

Winning Chocolate Salami from YummyChooEats

Winning Chocolate Salami from YummyChooEats

Advertisements

2 Comments

Filed under Recipes

2 responses to “Let’s Make Christmas 2012 – Rococo Gift Swap

  1. You’ve made me realise what a great event I missed. It sounds wonderful. I’m going to have to buy Chantals book-definitely! GG

  2. Pingback: Warming Spice Cookies by Yottam Ottolenghi « Tales of pigling bland

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s