Chocolate Making Class at EH Chocolatier

bonbons ehchocolatierThere I was, inhaling the scent of chocolate in the air, clutching my camera, staring at Lucie.

Lucie is an enrobing machine. As in, she enrobes ganache (or any other bonbon fillings) in melted dark chocolate.

She has 50 lbs of chocolate in her belly. Smooth, silky, luxurious dark chocolate that perfumes the room with the aroma of heaven.

Oh, I love Lucie.

I was at EH Chocolatier for a chocolate-making class, and you bet I had the biggest smile on my face.

EHCh0colatier is an artisanal chocolatier, crafting beautiful confections that in my opinion are considered works of art. Each product is handmade in small batches, with the owners/chocolate-makers paying extraordinary attention to detail. Owners Elaine Hsieh and Catharine Sweeney originally had successful careers in medicine and education, respectively, but took a giant leap of faith and oepened EHChocolatier in Somerville in 2010.

catharine sweeney and elaine hsiehWhen people talk about following your heart, this is what they mean. And it’s hard not to feel Elaine and Catharine’s hearts in their products – each bonbon, bar, bark, mint, cluster, caramel, macaron is made with love and a great deal of care.

The night that we were there, we learned everything from the history of chocolate to making ganache, and a hands-on demonstration of dipping bonbons, all with plenty of chocolate-tasting in between. The kitchen is small and cozy, and Elaine and Catharine have wonderful energy between them that puts everyone at ease.

Disclaimer: I was invited to the chocolate making class and did not have to pay for it.

Here are some pictures from the chocolate making class I attended last week:

cocoa bean pod nibscocoa beans, cocoa pod, cocoa nibs

dark chocolate white chocolate tasting
ganache ganache squares

different kinds of dark chocolate chips; a tasting of white chocolate, caramelized white chocolate (I went crazy for this!), and milk chocolate; ganache (Catharine added a little butter – I’ve never done that before but will certainly try that next time), and shaping the ganache with what looks like something I expect to find at an architect’s office

catharine making ganache megan and elaine making chocolates
chocolate base ganache bonbon

Catharine spreading the ganache into a square; Elaine teaching my friend Megan how to dip the chocolates; spreading a thin layer of chocolate that will become the bottom of the bonbon; a dipped bonbon

eh chocolatier chocolates eh chocolatier confectionsmore bonbons and confections for sampling

And of course, there’s Lucie:

lucie chocolate machine

even with 50 lbs of chocolate in her belly, Lucie is still on the petite side when compared to other chocolate machines

By the end of the night, we learned about different kinds of chocolate and how to temper, made our own bonbons, and sampled plenty of treats (I really, really liked the caramelized white chocolate). I had such a fun time, and I have even more admiration and respect for chocolatiers like Elaine and Catharine.

EHChocolatier also operates a monthly Chocolate Club, where you can receive a box of handcrafted artisan chocolates, plus a bag of confections (pecan bourbon clusters, chocolate covered toffees, unique candy bars) month after month. It is one of the best things to ever exist. (Read about my first experience with the chocolate club here.)

EHChocolatier products are found in specialty food shops across Boston. The factory is located in Somerville, but they ship nationally. I’ve tried plenty of their delightful chocolate and can personally vouch for the quality, freshness, and flavor. If you need to send a gift to someone, consider sending a box of their chocolates!


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