We recently took a chocolate making class at Tache Chocolate and had a delicious 90 minutes of composing and nibbling on incredible chocolate creations. Located on the Lower East Side in NYC, Tache Chocolate is owned by the talented and lovely Aditi Malhotra, who was recently awarded Zagat’s “30 Under 30″ Award. Aditi trained at the French Culinary Institute and named her shop after the French word for “smudge” to commemorate the chocolate marks she often finds on her chef’s apron at the end of the day. In addition to her impressive foodie credentials, Aditi is a great teacher–engaging, effusive and clearly in love with her work.
We started off by getting a rundown on some of the ingredients we’d be using: coconut flakes, various spices, nuts, raisins, strawberry wafers and jasmine tea! Aditi also shared with us what some of her favorite chocolate brands are, recommending Valrhona and Callebaut. Then, we got to peek at some of the machines Tache uses in the chocolate making process. We couldn’t wait to get our hands on one of the machines that reminded us of the infamous “I Love Lucy” episode where Lucy starts stuffing truffles into her mouth off of an assembly line. Aditi demonstrated what the machines were used for and how they worked. We also got to taste Aditi’s dark chocolate grignotines, spicy chai truffles and jelly fruits. Delicious!
Our first assignment consisted of making white chocolate grignotines and mendients. We learned that white chocolate isn’t actually chocolate. In fact, it’s made mostly from cocoa butter and milk solids. Because of its more neutral flavor, it can serve as a nice base for additions such as various nuts and spices. This was all news to us! After heating the chocolate to the working consistency we set to making our chocolates. Aditi encouraged us to get really creative with our toppings, even showing us how to use pan masala supari mix at one point!
Next we got to work with some yummy, glossy dark chocolate. We started out by making dark chocolate coated marshmallow lollipops with toppings. Here, you can see Aditi neatly demonstrating how to top the lollipops. What you don’t see is what our versions looked like. Hint: definitely not like hers!
The final part of the class was our favorite – we used molds and filled them with chocolate using one of the machines. We chose an Eiffel Tower and skulls and topped them with edible glitter and sea salt. The glitter ended up looking like sparkling lights on the Eiffel Tower and the red glaze on the skulls made them look super badass. We both agreed that this might’ve been one of the best food-related classes we ever took–it involved making and eating chocolate, after all!