“Ganache is proof that God loves us,” exclaimed a student with pink and purple hair, as Neo Cocoa founder Christine Doerr rapidly whisked a bowl of melted chocolate and poured it into a metal frame for cooling. We all stood around a huge table at La Cocina, learning how to make Doerr's award-winning chocolate delights, essentially the soft and rich insides of a classic truffle without the hard outer shell. After a quick demo, it was time to get to work ourselves, rolling the chocolate in our hands to form balls and then dusting them in all variety of coatings, from fennel powder to cacao nibs.
Doerr, who originally started in the entrepreneur incubator program at La Cocina in 2008, now has her very own professional kitchen in Belmont and has been named one of the top ten chocolatiers in North America. No doubt today's class was excited to learn chocolatey secrets from such an expert in the world of sweets.
At the end of the night, we all came away with a little box of chocolate heaven, perhaps to share with that special someone for Valentine's Day. Even if you weren't at the class, you can pick up a wonderful assortment of Neo Cocoa for your honey at many stores in San Francisco, including Bi-Rite Market and Canyon Market (and even Whole Foods).