1ST BEAN TO BAR ATTEMPT
So, I had my first go at creating chocolate from cocoa beans (cocoa because it was already pre-roasted, as far as I can tell, if they weren't pre-roasted it'd have been cacao).
Cocoa beans + sugar + £13 coffee grinder = something that tastes like chocolate.
Obviously, the end product is *very* gritty. A £13 blade coffee grinder (wouldn't work in a proper coffee burr grinder) will never be as smooth as a £700 melanger, so you can still feel some sugar crystals and cocoa nib pieces.
This is 66% dark.
So, needed to make a larger batch for a family birthday, whipped up 24 pralines (and 6 prototypes for creme eggs...).
Used the seeding method to temper the chocolate again because of time constraints, but it seems to have worked well. Only major issue was that the empty shells had cooled too much, as so there's a very real failure point around the base when you take a bite. Not usually an issue, but with runny praline inside, it's not ideal. Still, the taste is there, and it's a good lesson.
Need more chocolate now - that's another 1.5kg of dark chocolate alone since the start of January (on top of the 400g of milk and 500g of white already gone)...
More milk for the next load I make, seems that 70% can be quite divisive. Might try and find some 55% to strike a balance.
I LOVE GT3, BATHURST AND MOTORSPORT
Pic from the official Twitter account
If you've been following me on Twitter, you'll know I might have gotten a bit overexcited about the Bathurst 12 hours that finished this morning. The truth is, it was a perfect example of why we love motor racing, and a good reminder early in the season about what the sport is all about.
I watched the first 3/4 hours or so before needing to catch some sleep, but set a 6.30am wake up call to watch the end, and boy was it worth it.
Bathurst is one of the "exotic" tracks which we all know about, but rarely get to see much of in our usual programming (along with, I'd say, Laguna Seca, Tsukuba and others in that style), but seeing GT3 cars hurling their way around the mountain is something we need to see much, much more of.
AUTOCAR DRIVES THE MCLAREN P1
Autocar magazine gets a hold of a McLaren P1, and unleashes it on the Bahrain Grand Prix track.
The 903hp machine impresses all round, and takes the hypercar top spot until such a time as Ferrari let journalists have a go in the LaFerrari. Impressively, considering all of that aero awesomeness, the P1 can also do some drifts as well.
CHOCOLATE MAKING: WHITE SHELLS, DARK GANACHE
If you've spotted a few of my tweets in recent months referencing my journey into moulded chocolate making, you might be interested in a few action shots as to how it's done.
This set is white chocolate shells, with a dark chocolate ganache (the domes also have ground almonds). The designs on the top are done using chocolate transfer sheets, attached at the end using a thin layer of tempered chocolate spread onto the flat surface.
These white ones have bloomed quite a lot. White chocolate is harder to work with for tempering I've found, and they don't appreciate being put into the fridge. Still, learning.
Enjoy, and drop me a mention if you'd like to ask a question!