Fritz Knipschildt is the new age Willy Wonka with a chocolate shop that obliterates La Céleste Praline. OK, I got the obligatory pop culture chocolate references out of the way. And hopefully you got the second one. Chocolat, anyone?
Every month or so at the extremely addicting Chocopologie, Fritz hosts Truffle Classes that I have wanted to participate in for some time. See, I have to face one simple fact…I am one of these addicts. My drug of choice is the white chocolate/coconut truffle named “Helena.” Props on that, by the way.
To fulfill my need to learn to make a truffle the Knipschildt way, I signed up for the December 4, 2013 class taught by the man himself. Included in the $59 plus tax and tip fee is a glass of wine, any entrée off the menu, and the class. Possibly the best part though, especially for all you chocoholics, you get to take home what you make!
At the beginning of the night I made a few new friends before the class and we chatted over a glass of wine as we glanced over the menu and placed our orders to be served at the end of the class. In some odd stroke of fate, everyone at the table ordered cheeseburgers with various toppings. It’s a miracle we didn’t all wear matching clothes. I went with bacon, cheddar, sautéed onions and mushrooms, and chocolate BBQ sauce on my burger; as if I wasn’t going to get enough chocolate on the evening.
After our orders were placed it was time to go into the kitchen and switch into truffle making mode. Upon entry we were greeted by Fritz one-by-one and we formed a half square around the tables for a bit of pre-truffle class story time.
|Before and during the class, Fritz has plenty of confections for us to snack on.|
Fritz told us his backstory and how he came to love the art of chocolate, something that he is so passionate about and how he came to make it in America. He even shared knowledge about different types of chocolate, truffle fillings and toppings, the dos and don’ts, and ultimately the recipe if you have the kitchen skills to wing it and try it out at home.
|Here. We. Go.|
|A master at work.|
|Giant ball of chocolate ganache.|
|So I was in front of this...|
|Fritz even has another chef whip up a batch of hot chocolate using the ganache! So freakin delicious!|
He started out by giving us an important tip when making chocolate ganache! Don’t add the chocolate to the pot of heavy cream but add the hot heavy cream to the bowl of chocolate and whisk to avoid separation. For other tips…looks like you’ll have to take the class for more of those :)
After the mixing, Fritz broke out a bunch of giant balls of ganache so we could pick at it (with gloves of course) and roll it into perfect balls of chocolate or as close to perfect as you can get. Don’t worry, he’ll show you the technique! The next step was to refrigerate the rolled chocolate because they tend to melt a bit during the rolling. A few minutes late they were ready to be coated with the chocolate that was running through the tempering machine and coated once again with either cocoa powder, crushed pistachios, or crumbled candy cane.
|Assorted "coats" for the truffles.|
|The beginning. BTW, mine was not that messed up looking one on the far right!|
|Mine were either perfectly round or damn close :-P|
|The bags afterwards.|
With all this chocolate around me, while making chocolate and also being right in front of a tempering machine, it was a miracle I was able to keep myself under control. I seriously thought about having a few folks in the class hold me upside down, dunk my head and force me to drink my way out. I managed to keep calm. I fought the urge to eat truffles as I made them and the result was good. But really though, I’m ready to go pro with my truffle making skills.
I easily bagged up about 30 of my creations and headed to the dining room with my burger buddies. We chatted about the experience over all the cheeseburger chomping, mushroom and onion slurping, and overall lip smacking and commented on what a wonderfully social and delicious time we had hanging out with Fritz and his staff and learning a few things throughout the process.
Unfortunately, all good and sweet things must come to an end, but I’d come back and take the Truffle Class again. I certainly hope you will join me!
12 South Main Street
South Norwalk, CT 06854