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.
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!