One of the main highlights of my trip to Lausanne was experiencing a chocolate making masterclass at Durig, one of the city’s best loved chocolatiers, hosted by its founder himself, Dan Durig. If anyone knows how to make incredible chocolate, it is the Swiss and with a group of foodies in tow, we simply couldn’t wait to get hands-on and stuck in!
Our visit to the chocolatier kicked off with a brief look around the the Durig shop, which is located in Ouchy. There were delicious displays of cakes, chocolates, nougat and all manner of sweet things.
Finally it was time to head to the back of the store to where the magic happens, to meet Durig’s team of master chocoliateers and try our hand as creating a chocolatey creation of our own. The art of chocolate making is taken very seriously in Switzerland which is largely why the country as a whole has gained such a reputation for its world-class chocolate. Many Swiss chocolatiers have to study for a degree level qualification in order to become a fully qualified chocolate practitioner.
We were given a selection of animal moulds to chose from – naturally I went with the penguin as it’s my favourite animal. We started by painting on the fine details in white chocolate onto the inside of the moulds using small brushes. It’s a pretty intricate job and you have to work fast as the chocolate sets fast as you spread it.
Next it was time to dip the whole mould into the fountain of molten chocolate to coat the inside of it. This is done twice to ensure that the coating is thick enough. It’s incredibly satisfying.
The moulds were set aside to set for about five minutes before we eagerly opened them up to reveal the stunning, glossy, chocolatey creation that laid within. We were pretty chuffed with how they turned out.
Next Dan showed us how to make some lovely heart truffles with a passion fruit filling.
They were utterly decadent and melt-in-the-mouth and were stunningly glossy when they were revealed from the moulds. By this time we were starting to see why hand-crafted artisan chocolates are so special.