Wednesday, September 23, 2009

La Maison du Chocolat - Ganache

 Yesterday I had to take a night class at La Maison du Chocolat. Life is tough sometimes..

Especially when your first assignment is to taste a perfect La Maison bonbon, filled with the silkiest, smooth, intensely chocolatey ganache. Ganache is that divinely, "infused" chocolate filling in most French bonbons.
La Maison du Chocolat specializes in these precisely made perfect ganache-filled chocolates, infused with flavors of menthe du Maroc, citron d’Andalousie, vanille, or framboise
Our instructor Michael Olsen, formerly a tea taster and now the guru of the Madison avenue shop, shows us how to make ganache ourselves. Always the boiled light cream is poured into the chocolate (here shavings of a variety of La Maison bars), and never the other way around.
The hot chocolate is whipped and then "infused" with a puree of peche de vigne - a special French peach that only grows in the vineyards.
This tasting dish of the still warm ganache, is really quite small, I promise you. Just a hint of peachiness comes through at the end. The overall mouth feel is luxuriously...what? Words elude me. Heaven on earth?
Michael then shows us how to make an insanely easy chocolate mousse for guests simply by whipping into the ganache some whipped cream and voila! No raw eggs required!
Just a still life of the mousse, the bowl and ready-made ganache La Maison sells.
Remembrances of things past. Of course no one got to lick the bowl at this elegant class...ahem
Another tragedie gone to waste. Although I'm absolutely certain no PB reader has ever been remotely near a chocolate-covered kitchen utensil.
The origin of all this divine chocolate is the homely cocoa bean. In La Maison's case, only the best Criollo, the creme de la creme of beans are used and then extra specially processed for them by top of the line chocolate maker, Valrhona.
Night class ended with a Q & A - asking Michael a gazillion chocolate questions. Our take-home assignment was to try out the new special limited edition box of chocolates.. Since I'm still hung over from tasting last night's mousse etc., I will wait a bit before I tackle our homework.
La Maison has regular chocolate classes anyone can attend.


  1. Patricia9:21 AM

    Did you get the recipe for that yolkless mousse?And, if I were you, I would have hung around after class and snuck away with that bowl and whisk!
    Thanks for all the wonderful Paris breakfasts...

  2. Louise9:23 AM

    I love your Paris Breakfasts-
    Many thanks for your lovely work- Louise

  3. Louisa9:27 AM

    Another post sending me madly searching for scraps of anything chocolate in the house.

  4. Mmmmm, thanks for taking us to school with you today! That egg yolkless mousse sounds wonderful. I thoroughly enjoyed my Paris Breakfast today! Thanks!

  5. Loved that post, love your art, love your Paris photos...thank you for sharing your Paris life with us...I subscribe to your blog and am so pleased when I get a notice of a new post from you...always brillant posts!!!
    Regards, with a hug...Carol Ann

  6. drôle je suis passée devant hier !



  7. Almost worth flying to NYC for that.

  8. I am speechless. And jealous... very jealous!

  9. And you did not leave with that whisk under your jacket? You are a better person than I. :D

  10. Madison Ave and Maison du Chocolat in one place...perfection, xv.

  11. It sure looks like you had fun - and you present it perfectly!

  12. Yorkshire1:34 PM

    Hi, The class looks heavenly. How does one find out about the class specifically?
    Do you have an e-mail site? Thanks

  13. I added links in the post at the end. Just click on DO COME! and the previous link Yorkshire...

  14. Love Maison du chocolate. They also have great macarons! I might have to go take a chocolate class

  15. Daniel4:05 PM

    Hey Carole
    I LOVE Paris Breakfasts...
    Enjoy the chocolate while you can...the older you get (me) the cafeine is a killer as far as sleeping at night!

  16. oh my goodness "YUM"!! I'm so glad technology has not yet found a way to enable virtual tasting. I don't know how I'd even fit in my chair after reading your blog, LOL!!

  17. YUM! I met my sis in Sarasota today and passed a macaron shop and instantly we thought of you....we had just bought a large piece of fudge, time I will head there first! XO

  18. Hi Carol,
    Do they/you give out their recipe for ganache and mousse ?

  19. sounds heavenly - must go sometime - in the meantime i'll try to speedy mousse at home

  20. Those chocolates look divine. I've actually made a chocolate mousse that way, (and a lemon mousse, too, which is great in summer.) But I am dying over the smooth, gleamy surfaces here. Yummmmmmm.

  21. My son's french teacher introduced her students to Maison du Chocolat and we went on a field trip--
    now we are so spoiled, no other chocolate can compare. La Maison... sure can make one want to speak french.

  22. I had to mop the keyboard from too much drooling! I simply cannot understand HOW nobody has dared to clean" that bowl!! such a shameful waste!!!

  23. Oh joy! After commenting about the sad state of my larder, I went downstairs to do a little research (paris breakfasts style) on those sad and lonely choc chips....and behold! One bar of couverture Valrhona remains! That annual chocolate sale can't come soon enough!
    As for that sample and you homework - BUCK UP! STIFF UPPER LIP! CLOSE YOUR EYES AND THINK OF ENGLAND! (Or paris!)

  24. Love, love, love your blog. As a baker in a Long Island home kitchen (so far I have mastered the chocolate macaron!) I was startled to read that your teacher used light cream for ganache? Oui? I have been using heavy cream seulement. The lighter cream is good? What proportions? Merci! Toby

  25. Anonymous5:43 PM

    Very nice! Could you share the proportions and any tips they shared with you? Light cream..not heavy?


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