because I can't bake
Lindt Chocolate Appreciation Evening at the Collins St Cafe.
|Address||271 Collins Street||
|Visited||9 August 2011|
Notes on chocolate:
1. The Five Senses of Chocolate:
Look – premium chocolate should have silky matte sheen and even texture.
Touch – smooth, silky feel, not rough and grainy.
Listen – distinct audible snap when you break a chocolate piece, and the edge of the break should be smooth hand without crumb.
Smell – creates impulse to say that it smells like chocolate and also aroma identification (red fruit, caramel, vanilla, spices, earth, etc), and
Taste – premium chocolate should not stick to your palate, but should melt easily on your tongue, and even on your hands as the melting point of chocolate is below body temperature (if you are handling a piece of chocolate that is not melting in your hands it indicates the use of other plant fats).
2. Aussies rank 11th when it comes to consuming the most chocolate (average 5.8 kg per person per year but ranks 1st when it comes to eating the most Easter eggs!).
3. South American nations produce the best cocoa beans.
Received the invitation the night before at the Chapel Street cafe launch and wanting to learn how to umm… appreciate chocolate, I attended the Lindt’s Chocolate Appreciation Evening held at the Collins Street café hosted by Lindt’s Melbourne-based chocolatier, Thomas Schnetzler. The above were some of the quick facts I learned during the session, but there were much more to the session:
Prepped with the history of chocolate and Lindt as a company and propped with cocoa beans, cocoa nibs, cocoa butter, and other cocoa-related materials, Thomas taught us the different aspects of chocolate; the processing of chocolate; the history of chocolate, the various flavours and characteristics of chocolate (ever put a block of half-consumed chocolate in the fridge and when you got back to it it tasted like everything else in the fridge? Yes, unfortunately chocolate absorbs scents around it), and of course, existed was the chance for more chocolate and cake tastings!
The tastings consisted of a few plates; plate 1 was of Lindt’s well-known chocolate blocks (70%, milk, sea salt, chilli, 70% Madagascar, I Giandujotti/Hazelnut, Mousse Au Chocolat/white chocolate mousse), plate 2 consisted of Lindt’s luxurious chocolate truffles, and on plate 3 were cakes and delice/macaron.
Who knew that sweetness and saltiness could go so well together? Lindt did, and that’s why they created Sea Salt; one of the latest in their product range, it was very eccentric which started sweet as it melted in my tongue and closed salty. Thirty percent of chocolate is required for a choc bar to be called ‘dark chocolate’ but Lindt has plenty of 70%, 85%, even 99% in their dark chocolate range! Although this generally resulted in more bitter chocolate, the 70% Madagascar was much sweeter than ‘regular’ 70% due to the higher quality of the cocoa beans. Also added to my favourites were the classic hazelnut chocolate (I Giandujotti), the truffles (especially the ‘expensive’ one with gold leaves on it ), and their plain vanilla ice cream that was unexpectedly creamy.. sweet.. velvety.. simply elegant.