Friday, December 2, 2011

J'adore le Chocolat

It's been about five months since I started at Kakawa Chocolate.  I've learned so much even though I'm only there a few days a week.  Tempering chocolate, making caramels, nut brittles, and marshmallows are all something I do on a regular basis.  I've recently been able to start hand dipping chocolates, something I still need to practice. 
Slow kick chilli.  My first attempt at hand dipping chocolates.  I made a small mistake on the top left hand corner.

Top:  Mango Passionfruit  Bottom:  Fresh Mint
Working with chocolate was something I wanted to focus on for the past few years.  I choose to work at a chocolate shop for a variety of reasons.  First of all, I wasn't really good at it.  I've tempered chocolate many times, but still need to understand it on a deeper level. Second, it was a good start for me to shift my focus from working in restaurant kitchens.  I want to have more time for myself, see my family and friends, and most of all, start taking care of myself.  (Which involves going to the gym and running consistently again.)  Restaurant kitchens demand such long hours (sometimes working upwards of 16 hours) that after some time now, I've realized I need to start changing my lifestyle.  Third? I just love it!

Kakawa Chocolates is owned by a couple, David Ralph and Jin Sun Kim.  Their philosophy is to produce good quality chocolates with no preservatives or artificial flavours.  It's a philosophy I really stand with and one of the main reason I chose to work there.  The shelf life of their products is between ten days to two weeks, so everything is always fresh.
Salted crispy praline chocolate bars.
This is my first chocolate focused environment and it is really different.  There's no chaos and running around and trying to do five recipes at once.  Each product is made one at a time to allow that attention to detail that is so important in a chocolate shop.

Gingerbreadless man:  crystalized ginger, honey, spices.
One of the few luxuries of working in a chocolate shop?  It might sound silly, but for me it's being able to work in a temperature controlled environment.  Chocolate is so sensitive and needs the right environment to react how you want it.  So the room is kept to about 22'C.  Restaurant kitchens?  Well that depends.  In the summer with the oven and burners on, it can go up to 35'C.  (Believe me, it's uncomfortable!)  Another perk?  Well, you get to eat chocolate of course!

Rocky road:  cherry marshmallow rolled in chocolate, topped with nuts, and freeze dried raspberry.

A few of my favourite products at Kakawa:

Rocky Road
Ice Cream Sandwiches, all homemade, and comes in four different flavours of chocolate
Fudge, the creamiest fudge you ever had
Individual Chocolates- mango passionfruit, salted crispy praline, peanut butter triangle

I'm so thankful that David and Jin Sun allowed me to work with them as their apprentice and sharing their passion for the craft with me.  This is only the tip of the iceberg, and it's made me hungry for more. 

Kakawa Chocolates
147 William St.
2010 NSW 

Sydney, Australia

1 comment:

  1. I heart your chocolate making job!

    Tanya xo