Lessons 80-82: Patience

For the past week, Guns n' Roses' Patience has been playing like a soundtrack in my mind during some of the most frustrating moments of my day. Moments like waiting 45 minutes in line to buy a bottle of champagne at 6:00 pm on New Year’s Eve, finding out my train is late or making molded chocolates in class.

The process of making molded chocolates is fairly simple in theory: temper chocolate, fill shell of mold, prepare filling, fill molds, temper chocolate, cap molds and unmold. It's the temperature and timing of it all that make this seemingly simple process complex and potentially frustrating. I am getting better at tempering, but I still have not perfected the art and craft of working with chocolate. I bring my melted chocolate’s temperature to 115ºF then down to 84ºF, using both my thermometer and the parchment snap test to prove that I have tempered my chocolate correctly.

Around the room, I hear, "Oh, look how beautiful it looks but since the room is so darn hot, it should probably go in the fridge, but not for too long because it may be too moist in there.” It’s such a tricky balance of managing the right temperature with the right timing, considering the various variables like the temperature and climate of the room, the type of chocolate, your thermometer, and so on. But, I want to give chocolate the benefit of the doubt, and I think all it will take is a little patience. I sang “Patience” to myself like a mantra during our last lesson, which was our chocolate practical.

We individually made molded chocolates and presented our best six to Chef Kathryn. After inspecting the shine of the outside shell and the smoothness of the bottom, she cut into a few to check the consistency of the filling and the evenness of the chocolate shell. I struggled with getting my chocolates out of the mold, but managed to present a decent six pieces to Chef Kathryn and after giving me my grade, I made a mental note to thank Axl Rose, for I was one of those students who needed some immense patience working with chocolate the last few lessons.

Next up: I may need to extend my patience a few more days, as we will continue working with chocolate for the next few lessons. But, we’ll be creating a showpiece with a Valentine’s Day theme. I’m excited for this process and what is sure to be a new challenge. Anyone have any ideas for a design that they’d like to share?

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