Google+ Rawfully Tempting™: Advanced Raw Chocolate Class With Amy Levin - aka Ooosha

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July 8, 2012

Advanced Raw Chocolate Class With Amy Levin - aka Ooosha

When Master Chocolatier, Amy Levin invited me to her Advanced Raw Chocolate Class, I was ecstatic. It was one of the most informative workshops I've had the pleasure to attend. Those who meet me in person, know how passionate I am about what I do. What I love about Amy is you can clearly see and feel her own passion about chocolate making, and you know she has put in the time to master her craft. Much like me, she takes great pleasure in teaching this craft to others.

The class was a combination of instruction and hands-on, and even though the group ended up being pretty large (24), everyone had ample opportunity to have their questions answered. It was held at Brad's Raw Chip Factory in Pipersville, Pa.

Making good chocolate, is an art that is mastered over time, but it is based on science. This can be overwhelming to anyone venturing into this arena for the first time. Every attendee received Amy's book, which helps when they go home and begin to experiment with all they learned in the class. Amy also teaches lots of tricks and tips to help make the process easier. I've dabbled with a bit of chocolate making in the past, with some success, and some failure, but I wanted to learn from the expert, herself, and she had much to offer. Amy enlightened us with some very creative ideas to get us started.

The class began with Amy explaining the actual science behind chocolate making, and answered many questions I've had muttering around in my head. She covered which kinds of molds are good to use, and the importance of tempering chocolate correctly in order to achieve the best results. 

We worked with white chocolate, milk chocolate and dark chocolate, and explored a wide variety of fillings, flavors, colors and textures, sweeteners, and more. OH WHAT FUN! I tasted incredible blends of citrus and ginger, minty crunchy candied buckwheat,  and a scrumptious praline concoction. I was not surprised to see Amy using one of my favorite product lines: Medicine Flower extracts and essential oils.

We learned how to color chocolate and were encouraged to experiment on our own. See my very first colored chocolate creations (on left). Pretty eh? Like me, Amy encourages her class to use her recipes only as a base or starting point, and to experiment and create new and exciting recipes from there. She definitely left the class with a wide variety of ideas and inspirations, and the confidence to begin.

After a bit of play, and lots of information...we took a quick lunch break. We had a delicious zucchini pasta and marinara, coupled with some fabulous "meat"balls, and an amazing dessert that I enjoyed immensely. We connected with the other attendees and socialized ever so briefly...and then it was back to work/play!

I can't remember all of the recipes we made, but the Raspberry Ruffle Bonbons, Mango Jam Filled Chocolates, Almond Praline, and Crunchy Rainbow Bark were amazing! I just gave our Rawfully Tempting Official Taste Tester, W, a few samples of chocolates to try, and his response was - "You made these?" I nodded yes to him, but it was as if it did not register. He looked at me, bewildered, and asked again, "You actually made these?" haha! I guess he really liked them, and he has not been a fan of most raw chocolates we've tried. He truly thought they were the best he's tasted.

If you are a professional chef who would like to master the art of chocolate making, Amy is the one to see. If you are someone who just loves chocolate, and you enjoy making gourmet treats to serve your family and friends, a class with Amy will arm you with more than enough information to get you on your way. If you have ever considered making your own chocolates and selling them, I would definitely suggest taking Amy's classes. And, for those of you that have no desire to make your own chocolate, you can always order from Amy's site. Ooosha, Raw Culinary Artistry.  This class was the Advanced 1 - and I'm hoping we can get Amy back here to do part 2!!!

For more information on Amy's classes, click here. 

Tiffany - who's love and commitment to the raw food lifestyle is demonstrated in her support and organization to make this class happen, bringing Amy from the UK here to the East Coast! Thanks Tiffany!

Our friend and raw vegan author, Lisa Montgomery, watching intently as Amy instructed us on the art of using colored chocolate.

Tempered chocolates. Yum!!!

Making Colored Chocolates (all raw)

Bonbon making...Work that VitaMix!

For more information on Amy's classes, click here. 


Tiffany said...

Thanks Barbara!!! You really captured the energy of the class with this lovely article and beautiful pictures! You are a treasure trove of information.

Russell James - Weekday RAW Mini Course



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