• LJS

Chocolate Architecture. Eek.

Updated: Apr 23

In a rare cross-over that actually was useful to my future as a pastry chef, my art class at school gave us a homework assignment that we would later be creating in the kitchen. Initially, we were to build a box out of chocolate to put more chocolates in, so we had to draw what we wanted to do.

Sounds sort of delicious in the end, but oh, God, art class. I gave it my best shot and came up with this.

Fine, done.

Except that our teacher neglected to mention we were to draw a holiday-themed chocolate structure, 30 cm x 30 cm base, which would include a box to hold approximately 15 chocolates. Ok, round 2 of drawing.

Considering art is not something I’m very good at (PS – thanks to my oldest sister, who conveniently decided to take the entire family’s art skills), and we weren’t sure what we could build or how long we would have to do it, I thought it was a valiant effort. My art teacher disagreed. So I tried again. Yes, round 3.

Pretty simple and straightforward, right?

Fail again. Still not acceptable to my art teacher, so I go for number 4.

Less stuff, pretty easy I thought. Ha.

Let’s just say I left art class, knowing this still wasn’t right and I would have to go into the kitchen with no real idea of what I was going to do and see what would happen. After drawing all of this (which is a lot for me – and embarrassing to post, but it was a lot of work for someone who will never get to be a struggling artist in this sense), I was still clueless.

First day of chocolate sculptures, we were simply making our cardboard molds to make the chocolate pieces. So, arts and crafts day. I used to be pretty good at arts and crafts; I remember some stellar pipe-cleaner structures that I was proud to have created. But me being me, I hurt my thumb cutting all the cardboard and am only now starting to have feeling again in my thumb. It may never be the same and keeps reminding me of this stupid art process. But that holds no bearing on my chocolate sculpture process, so let me continue.

Second day of chocolate sculptures, we tempered about 75 million kilos of chocolate (I’m not good with the metric system yet, so this could be a slight exaggeration) and filled our molds to be put together the following day. I had changed my mind on my base, making it a solid base with a relief of pine trees, so the theory being I would have one single tree with stars on the top, as if the tree was coming out of a forest. Sounds good, huh? I’m creative, if nothing else. Too bad it looked bad, so I took a hot knife to it, scared my chef with my recklessness, and cut off the sides to make it more like a slate slab. Creative, remember that. It just doesn’t always come out right…

Anyway, here’s all my pieces, ready and waiting to be put together.

The cone, to be covered. Looks a bit like a witch’s hat. I liked it.

And all my stars to cover my perfectly tempered and shiny cone. I put a little make-up on it all, because I like the stuff. Little known secret among my friends and family (it was even glittery make-up! I had to!).

Starting to build on day 3…looking more and more like a witch’s hat.

The tree is completed! Hot chocolate used as glue to put all my glittery, made-up stars on my cone helped keep it all together.

Then I put my box on the sculpture, which was my favorite part of the whole ridiculous looking thing. Yes, more sparkly bits were used.

At this point, I wanted to toss my tree out and just put the box, but that’s not an option. I did toss out the legs though, because they looked silly. But here it was, all together. Done in 3 days, start to finish, woohoo!

Here are some of my classmates. Their planning proved to be key, as their pieces are quite lovely. And by quite lovely, I mean gorgeous.

All in all, a fun thing to go through, but I needed more time to do what I wanted. At least I got to include glittery make-up and eat all the chocolate I could possibly stomach as I made the little guy. Yum!

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