Sunday, October 14, 2012

Literary chocolate - Chocolate in Literature 1


If you are a reader from the Philippines and know the answer, post your answer in the comment section which novel/author this quote was lifted from and its context. The best answer gets a bar of Theo and Philo chocolate. Answers will be accepted until the end November 2012.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Chocolate Class at Shangri-La Makati with Chef Anthony Collar

Upon arriving at the lobby of Shangri-La Makati, Cecile our host ushered us in to the labyrinthine  ground floor where food and dishes are  prepared. It also serves as offices of the chefs and cooks. We were greeted enthusiastically by Chef Anthony Collar to his class. He informed us that the place where we were serves as his laboratory where he experiments and create chocolates and pastries.

We introduced ourselves and I learned that from among us seven members we had some foodies, a former Shangri-La staff with her  sister (an HRM student),  moms learning to bake and a budding chocolatier. 

For our first exercise Chef Collar made us sniff a container and guess the aroma and flavor in it. Of the four flavors I was able to guess 2 although the scents were somewhat familiar but I was not able to identify it, my classmates were able to identify those other flavors.

He believes that the terroir or region where cacao is grown would also have the distinct flavor of its beans. He considers cacao locally grown would have mango flavor in it.  He showed us how to smell chocolate and how to properly taste it – not biting the chocolate but rolling it under the palette and allowing it to melt inside the mouth. 

Chef Collar gave us a cute recipe book with him on the cover and a personalized dedication and signature. 

Dear Pete,
Thank you for attending the chocolate cooking class. Hope this book helps you make wonderful chocolate.
                       Chef Anthony Collar

There were four chocolate recipes demonstrated to us:1) Cold Drink:Toffee (made of Cream, Milk, Chocolate and Coffee), 2) Hand Tolled Chocolate Truffles, 3) Chocolate Caramel and 4) Dulce de Leche 

While demonstrating Chef Collar gave details on how to best deal with chocolate. Particularly on the proper temperature to work on the substance as well as the temperature of the place where chocolate is prepared. Chocolate works best in a not too humid but cool place or air-conditioned room is the most desirable place especially here in the country. 

Belcolade was the chocolate brand that he used for the demonstration. Although they also have a Felchlin pan where they heat their chocolate. So, Shangri-La Makati  uses both Belgian and Swiss chocolate covertures. 

Fantastic buffet lunch at Circles was inclusive of the fee we paid for the Chocolate Class. It was an opportunity to get to know and exchange with our classmates and so we did talk more about food while eating. 

After lunch Chef Collar introduced us to his technique of tempering chocolate and making ganache as chocolate filling. Then after he allowed to do a hands-on filling chocolate shells with ganache, dipping caramel to make a chocolate coating and the best part – making our own truffles!

Midway through the class most of us were already asking the schedule for the next class.  And our batch is hoping that will all be classmates again next class. Finally, Chef Collar gave us our certificate and a bag of chocolate goodies, our own made chocolates and we had our group foto.

Sunday, October 7, 2012


Envious, it is a week long National Chocolate Week in UK. This is the kind of festival that I would like to see happening here in the country in the near future as more artisan chocolatiers are coming up and the cacao industry continues to develop.

Chocolate Unwrapped from ALI RAFI on Vimeo.

More info here -

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Curio Chocolat: Northwest Chocolate Festival Logo

I'd like to share this magnificent logo by the Northwest Chocolate Festival. Below are info about the festival.

We are proud to feature craft chocolate artisans from around the country in our city for the tasting and talks at the Northwest Chocolate Festival. 

Visit the website for more details about the hands-on workshops, tasting chocolate from around the world, chocolate classes, the celebration party, and keynote panel presentations featuring voices from the chocolate world. 

Company Overview
The Northwest Chocolate Festival is on September 29-30, 2012 and presents two days of pure chocolate magic and decadence! Taste Chocolate from around the world, watch demonstrations in chocolate, listen to lectures, watch slideshows and be a chocolatier for a weekend at the best festival for chocolate lovers in the world! Welcome to the Northwest Chocolate Festival at the WA State Convention Center in Downtown Seattle.

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