Chuck Siegel of Charles ChocolatesIf you’ve always wanted to learn how to work with chocolate, you’re in luck. Chuck Siegel of Charles Chocolates will be giving chocolate classes. Head into the Charles Chocolates factory kitchen to learn the basics of working with chocolate through an entirely hands-on, intensive class led by Siegel himself.

Starting with the basics of working with chocolate, the curriculum will also include more technique driven skills like preparing ganaches, rolling truffles, tempering, shell molding and more. “People are curious about working with chocolate, and I get asked for tips and lessons all the time,” said Siegel. “Once you know the basics, there are so many ways to creatively use those skills.” Recipes are fine, but nothing beats hands-on experience.

The classes will take place on Saturday afternoons, and last approximately five hours. You must wear closed toed shoes in our factory kitchen and please wear clothing that you don’t mind getting a little bit of chocolate on.

Charles Chocolate Factory

What: Chocolate Classes at Charles Chocolates
When: Saturday, June 14 from 1-6pm, other dates to follow
Where: Charles Chocolates Chocolate Bar, 6529 Hollis St., Emeryville
How: Purchase tickets $300
If you have any questions, please call 510.652.4412 x311 or email
Why: Learn to make chocolates from a master chocolatier and take home all of the confections you make, plus a deluxe kit containing molds, an offset spatula, sheet pans and several recipes developed by Siegel — everything necessary to use what was learned during the class at home.

Here’s a sample recipe you can try at home:

Perfect Chocolate Truffles

Perfect Chocolate Truffles (untempered)
courtesy of Chuck Siegel, owner of Charles Chocolates

250g/2 cups 65% Bittersweet Chocolate
250g/2 cups 41% Milk Chocolate
345g/1 1/3 cups Heavy Whipping Cream (not ultra-pasteurized) – When infusing cream with herbs or tea, increase by 50% to 518g to allow for evaporation. Use only 345 total grams of infused cream in recipe.
1 Vanilla Bean
150g/5.5 oz. Unsalted Butter – softened
453g/4 cups 65% Bittersweet Chocolate for dipping
225g/2 cups Natural (not Dutch processed) cocoa powder for rolling

1. Melt chocolates together to 120°

2. Slit vanilla bean in half and scrape seeds into cream – Heat cream to 120° (note that variations like infusions of fresh mint, Earl Grey or Jasmine Tea or the addition of fruits like raspberries or mangos would be integrated into this step).

3. Add melted chocolate to cream and, starting from the middle of the bowl, stir with a silicone spatula to start the emulsion. As the emulsion forms in the center of the bowl, move to the edges to completely blend the ingredients.

4. Add the room temperature butter and mix with immersion blender

5. Pour ganache into a saran wrap covered ¼ sheet pan and smooth out with an offset spatula – cover with another sheet of saran to prevent a skin from forming on the ganache.

6. Refrigerate until firm (at least 2 hours, or preferably overnight)

7. Remove ganache, remove saran and invert ganache onto the back of a second ¼ sheet pan. Using a steel ruler, mark edges of ganache in 1″ increments.

8. Using a pizza cutter or sharp paring knife, using the ruler as a guide, cut ganache into 1″ squares. Roll each square in latex gloved hands into a smooth ball and refrigerate for 1 hour.

9. Melt bittersweet chocolate for dipping. In latex gloved hands, alternately place small amounts of melted chocolate and truffle balls in your hand to coat.

10. Drop coated truffles in natural cocoa and roll to coat. Place coated truffles on a saran covered ¼ sheet pan and refrigerate until ready to eat.

Events: Chocolate Classes & Chocolate Truffle Recipe 12 June,2008Amy Sherman

  • I know it’s not in the Bay Area, but that reminds me that the owners of Chuao Chocolatier also do classes that cover the same basics. They’re only two hours long, but you get to take home a good deal of what you make (no deluxe kit, though), and have a great bit of fun getting messy in the process. 🙂


Amy Sherman

Amy Sherman began blogging in 2003, because all her
friends and family were constantly asking her where
and what to eat. Three months after it launched,
Forbes chose her blog, Cooking with Amy, as one of the
top five best food blogs, praising her writing as
“smart, cozy and witty”. Since then her blog has been
featured and recipes reprinted in many newspapers and
magazines in the U.S. and the world.

In addition to regularly updating her blog, Amy is a
guest contributor to the blog, and
Contributing Editor of Glam Dish. She also writes
restaurant reviews for SF Station.

Her focus on Bay Area Bites is primarily cookbook
reviews along with some interviews and current events.

Amy is a recipe developer and freelance food writer.
She is author of WinePassport: Portugal and wrote the new introduction to the classic cookbook, Jane Grigson’s Vegetable Book, published by the University of Nebraska Press. She recently completed 45 recipes for a Williams-Sonoma cookbook and wrote her first piece for VIA magazine.

She is currently serving on the board of the San Francisco Professional Food Society and is a member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals. Amy lives in San Francisco with her husband, tech journalist Lee Sherman.

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