After the chocolates & praline level 1 class - I was so excited to practise what I learned in class, at home. I was under the impression that these should be easy to recreate at home but my first home experience proved to be quite the opposite.
I underestimated the level of difficulty in making chocolates at home without a chocolate tank and proper understanding of chocolate tempering.
One of the main issues of my first attempt was not tempering the chocolate correctly. There are ideal working temperatures for each type of chocolate and I relied too heavily on my thermometer instead of the proper techniques of tempering. As a result, the chocolates did not contract properly from the mould and I had to bang the mould on my bench quite vigorously before the chocolates came off the mould.
Of course, I had too high of an expectation for my first attempt at home - I had hoped for my chocolates to unmould easily and have beautiful shine. Instead, I got dull looking chocolates with fat bloom.
I did make the mistake of making too much in my first attempt - couverture chocolate isn't cheap and I wasn't going to just throw them out since the taste was acceptable, so I decided to enrobe them in white chocolate to conceal the fat bloom.
Lesson learned: Tempering correctly is key!