Death by chocolate
BY ELISE MINNICK
Last Sunday a host of UMW students, faculty and Fredericksburg community members gathered in the Dome Room of Seacobeck Dining Hall to attend a three-hour Chocolate Creations Seminar led by executive Chef Fred German.
The room, smelling of chocolate and full of cookies, strawberries, and other sweets, was warm and inviting on a freezing Sunday afternoon.
Rose Benedict, a UMW marketing manager, greeted the participants and gave them name tags.
After that, it was down to chocolate-creating business.
On the tables initially were three bowls, one with nuts, one with powdered cocoa, and the third filled with powdered sugar. After German introduced himself, bowls filled with truffles were brought to each table. The participants covered their truffles with the three different toppings.
The truffles were then returned to a cooler and the second project, which was chocolate scrapings, was started.
Chocolate scrapings are, to put it simply, thin layers of chocolate drawn across lightly greased parchment paper, then placed in a cooler until they are hardened. They can be used to decorate cakes and the like. The participants of the seminar used them to make flower shapes in chocolate pudding.
The next project the participants of the Chocolate Creations Seminar started was “tuxedo” strawberries. These strawberries were sold at the Eagle’s Nest for Valentine’s Day. They are strawberries dipped one half in white chocolate and the other half in dark chocolate, then ideally painted with a bow tie and buttons. The seminar participants could not paint on a bow tie and buttons due to a lack of paintbrushes.
“The tuxedo strawberries were my favorite part of the seminar. Every girl loves them,” said sophomore Katherine Bednarek.
The seminar participants also made butter creams, a sweet made from butter, cream cheese, vanilla and sugar, then covered in melted chocolate.
The participants also created homemade “Goobers” by dipping raisins in melted chocolate.
All of the different chocolate creations the participants made were available to be taken home, whether they were put on plates provided by German or taken home in bags or containers brought by participants.
Bednarek believes that this seminar was “well worth the price of admission,” which was $25.
Seminars such as this one occur about once a month. Last semester, a course was held weekly in the Dome Room, with the focus on a different creation every month. German said he changed the set-up this semester in case people did not like what was being created that time.
The seminar before this, “Decorative Fruit Carving,” was cancelled due to insufficient enrollment.
This, according to Bednarek, is “ridiculous. Something this much fun shouldn’t have to be cancelled because of enrollment issues.”
Madeline LeCuyer, sophomore, said she loved the chocolate creations class.
On Mar. 22, a Sensational Sushi Culinary Seminar will take place from noon to 3 p.m. in the Dome Room of Seacobeck.
LeCuyer said she was planning to take the sushi class.
“If the sushi seminar is half as educational and entertaining as this chocolate creations seminar, it’ll still be a great time,” Bednarek said.