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Valrhona Chocolate Masterclass & Recipe for Chocolate & Sea Salted Caramel Tart

Heels to cooking class - a little silly!

There is lots of heavy snow outside my window again. One trip cancelled in a week is annoying, but a second would be horrendous. I am off to Amsterdam in the morning – I hope – please pray readers that London transport will be a little less wimpy.

Valrhona chocolate and honey marshmallows

As I look out the window I am thinking wistfully back to chocolate marshmallows, sea salted caramel and chocolate tarts, early grey chocolate truffles, perfect hot chocolate and a mouse shaped Easter egg crafted from iconic Valrhona chocolate. I still have some chocolate leftover from a recent Valrhona masterclass, and I must rush to my room and make something with it. It will help to defeat this bitter weather.

Making earl grey chocolate truffles

Valrhona have started running their covetted cooking classes in London, and I was one of the privileged few allowed to attend a preview. Valrhona is highly respected in the world of chocolate and graces the menus of the finest restaurants. Their courses for chefs have been running for years in France, and they have recently developed a one day course for consumers. This is the one I attended recently in London.

Valrhona chef taking us through the recipes

The course was led by Andrew Gravett of Valrhona and ran for a full day. We started at 10am and were introduced to the different types of Valrhona chocolate before moving to a very welcome perfect Valrhona hot chocolate.

Valrhona chocolate & sea salted caramel tarts

Andrew had a wealth of information and tips to share. We learned lots, had lots of fun, and at the end of it left with a copy of the book, and the chocolate treats that we had made plus some chocolate to work with at home.

My weird little creation! With a bow and a moustache

The class costs £230, and includes a welcome breakfast, lunch and tea as well as a goodie bag of all of your treats and the wonderful Valrhona cookbook with DVD with instructions on techniques and recipes – Cooking with Chocolate. The  next class is in March and is already fully booked but it will be running again on Thursday 14th June. Full details are on the Cookery School website.

I will leave you with the recipe for the sensational Valrhona Chocolate & Salt Caramel Tarts.

SWEET PASTRY

180 g butter
3 g salt
135 g icing sugar
45 g ground almonds
75 g eggs
90 g t’45 flour
265 g t’45 flour

Mix the cold soft butter, salt, icing sugar, almonds, eggs and the 90g of flour. Do not beat the mix.
When the dough is smooth add very quickly the 265g of flour, refrigerate for a few hours before rolling.
Mould the tarts and leave again to rest 30mins in the fridge.
Cook at 150/160C until the pastry is golden.

SALT CARAMEL LAYER

60 g 40% milk chocolate
100 g whipping cream
70 g caster sugar
30 g butter
2 g maldon salt

Part melt the chocolate.
Warm the cream and cover.
Place 1/3 of the sugar in a heavy based pan and slowly melt until it forms a light caramel, add the next 1/3 and do the same. Finally add the remaining sugar and cook all to a light caramel.
Slowly add the butter and the cream so as not to form a block of hard caramel and boil.
Pour the liquid onto the chocolate and emulsify.
Smooth with the hand blender and pour a thin layer into the tart cases.
Leave to set.

CHOCOLATE GANACHE

350 g Guanaja 70%
250 g whipping cream
15 g honey
50 g butter

Part melt the chocolate.
Boil the cream and honey and pour slowly onto the chocolate, emulsify and smooth.
Add the butter and blend.
Pour into the pastry cases and leave to set.

I attended the class as a guest. Many thanks to MsMarmiteLover for the photographs – I took mine on my phone, which was subsequently stolen :(

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I like food. I like to make food. Eat food. Photograph food. Write about food. Mainly in London but when I am lucky or organised further afield.

16 Comments

  1. How did you shape the tarts? Would it work to just use small flutes tart cases you think? How many tarts does the recipe make? #millionquestions

    They look awesome and I love your little creation!! :)

    Reply

    • They had little perforated moulds for the tarts. Tbh, can’t recall exactly how many we made but at least 8!

      Reply

  2. I’m soo jealous! Love Valrhona, it’s one of the chocolate I’d use for baking! It’s a shame I live all the way in Lancashire otherwise would have loved to attend a masterclass! Thanks for the recipe, must try :)

    Reply

  3. Your site has some of the whoopiest yup yup food in the whole of the galaxy!
    The tarts look amazing. My girlfriend and I get to the Roccoco shop next month, and possibly some others. Any recommendations welcome.
    I must learn more about chocolate. Making errors with Valhora is not clever if you’re as skint as I am. Valhora is a great chocolate, I have had great results with it.
    Another great post.

    Reply

  4. Pingback: Best of the Foodie Blogs: Ten at Ten (6) | Foodies 100

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