Paul A Young has a reputation as an incredibly creative flavour alchemist who often develops flavour combinations that are original, experimental, sometimes daring, yet always perfectly balanced.
Students of Paul's online course The Art of Chocolate Making are demonstrating some real talent through their assignments.
We've highlighted the work of one of Paul's latest students, Steph, who has impressed Paul with her creativity both in flavour combinations and decoration.
Learning how to work with chocolate has been a blast! Doing the different assignments has helped reignite my creativity and love for learning. It was so much fun learning with Paul, he is an excellent tutor who provides an easy to follow methodology with his teaching, as well as being highly supportive and encouraging. Thanks to him and this course, I feel I have unlocked a true passion in chocolate making and I can wait to see where it takes me! - Steph
Lesson 1: Introduction to fine chocolate
During this lesson Paul will introduce you to the basics of chocolate. He will go into detail on how chocolate is made, its origins, uses and how to taste chocolate to identify the complexities of its flavour and texture.
You will then be guided through the process of tempering chocolate using both the seeding and tabletop method. You will cover all the skills required to create stunning chocolate bars, and also be shown frequent mistakes made by other chocolatiers and how to rectify them.
For your first assignment you can practice your tempering skills using either seeding or tabletop method. You should demonstrate a good temper by presenting a disc of chocolate whole with shine and no bloom, and one disk snapped in half to show the crisp texture.
Assignment 1: Steph
Steph: I wanted to create a bar that gives the same feeling of finding something really special and it making your day. I noticed the ingredients I wanted to use all had golden, light colours so I came up with the idea of ‘Struck Gold’ then used that to lead my ideas.
Steph: The mould itself was chosen because of the beautiful ridges that when snapped can be broken at any angle, so like when looking for gold you never know what way it will go and what you will find. By using the gold lustre on top it highlights the ridges and works with the theme.
I wanted to use ingredients that took you on a journey, so that’s why I decided to layers the flavours instead of mix through: the first flavour that hits your tongue is the crushed milk chocolate honeycomb, then as you start to bite the chocolate the darker chocolate comes into play with salts followed by the cinnamon and nuts.
Feedback from Paul: Your first bars look fantastic and sound delicious. Your tempering looks bang on, well done. One thing to remember is that honeycomb is hydroscopic meaning it attracts moisture, so it will become sticky and dissolve unless fully enrobed or incorporated in the chocolate. It looks very striking however. The name is great too, very sellable. thank you.
Lesson 2: Ganaches and Truffles
During this lesson you will learn to flavour and perfect cream and water based ganaches. You will then be led through creating hand rolled truffles, enrobing the truffles with tempered chocolate and decorating techniques.
For your second assignment you will be tasked with creating 30 evenly sized hand rolled dark chocolate truffles made with either water based or cream ganache (in any flavour/s).
Assignment 2: Steph
Steph: I wanted to make a truffle of some flavours a bit out of my comfort zone. I’m a big whiskey fan so I started there with Talisker Skye, then experimented with other flavours and found that honeyed peaches went well.
Steph: It was missing something so I tried a little black pepper and found it complimented the warming factors of the whiskey. I found the truffle quite strong so decided to layer the shell with white and then milk chocolate so the other flavours would be brought out and balanced a little more. I went with the gold lustre/alcohol mix paint and spattered yellow/orange/red colours to represent the colours of the peaches and honey and warming of the whiskey.
Feedback from Paul: A very creative combination, well done. How did the flavours balance for you? I like the vibrant decoration and use of different types of chocolate to balance the sweetness around the ganache. Im really liking your creativity so keep that strong through the assignments. Im excited to see what you create next. well done.
Want to see if you have what it takes to become a master chocolatier?
Join Steph in Paul A Young's online classroom and see what you could achieve with tuition from the groundbreaking and inspirational chocolatier at the forefront of the British chocolate scene. Join the class today
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