Maison Massena’s cooking school in Turin
I haven’t really set foot in a cooking school, since the age of the cauldron, so I was really excited to sign up for Maison Massena’s chocolate cooking school in Turin.
Maison Massena is a newly founded and very well equipped cooking school offering a wide range of courses for professionals, trainees and amateurs. In addition, Turin boasts some of the best chocolate artisans in Italy, and I’d looked forward to learn some wicked professional tricks or at least a written recipe from the true chocolate masters, Giovanni Dell’Agnese and Costantino Guardia.
The history of chocolate in Italy
However, two hours is not a long time for the history of chocolate in Italy which started in a drinking cup in 1560 along with a short presentation of the production, processing and culinary qualities of cocoa beans from Latin America, The West Indian Islands and West Africa, respectively.
Giovanni Dell’Agnese and Costantino Guardia demonstrated how the beans were fermented, dried and ground. We had a taste of the raw nibs, heard about scrupulous temperature control, and saw expert handling of cocoa paste and cocoa butter to make delicious chocolate-coated cherries. A lot of sweet entertainment.
And just before our time was up, a hands-on experience was brought forward. We all had to decorate a plate of chocolate mousse that had been prepared in advance. Lack of utensils (and skill) made the result a sorry sight (as you can see on the top-picture), but the taste was fantastic.
And next time I’m serving a chocolate dessert for my guests, I can say that I have been trained by the ‘maestri cioccolatieri’ of Turin.
Italian Notes was a guest of #BITEG and the Piedmont Tourist Board but opinions and mistakes are my own.