SPOTLIGHT: Jennifer Earle on Making Chocolate
“Start now. Keep moving. If you don’t ask you’ll never know. What’s the worst that can happen?”
Jen told us these are the best pieces of advice she has ever been given. We think it is sound advice and is absolutely in line with our beliefs at Workshop. There is no point hanging around when you can be learning through doing, right?!
To help Jen keep her advice in mind, she keeps some Chinese Proverbs prominently on her desk:
“A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step”
“The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago, the next best is today”
And she has definitely stuck by them. When she moved back to the UK, from Australia, she was introduced to two separate chocolate shops by friends. These were near each other but not places she felt she would have found on her own. She figured if there were more she could create a unique tour of London that stopped to eat delicious chocolate. Twelve years on she has become one of the UK’s top chocolate experts, judging on panels for various chocolate and fine food awards and regularly speaking to the press.
Jennifer’s love for cooking and all things sweet started when she was a child. Jennifer grew up loving helping her mum in the kitchen, especially when she was making incredible cakes and desserts. Then one day, at eight-years-old, Jennifer begged her mum to become vegetarian. Her mum gave in on one condition – that she would cook all her own meals! Obviously, Jennifer accepted and as a result got good at playing around with flavours from a young age. Living on a remote farm, also meant if she wanted anything sweet, then it was down to her to make it from scratch!
Undoubtedly, Jen’s passion for cooking and chocolate stemmed from those experiences making sweet treats with her mum. And ever since, Jen, self-confessed chocoholic has followed her passion for chocolate and shared it was as many people as possible. In her Beginner’s Guide To Chocolate workshop, she not only shares her passion but her skills and insider advice on how to make stunning chocolates at home. If you are thinking of giving Jen’s workshop a whirl, she has a few tips before you get started:
“Invest in the moulds, the scraper, the silicon mat and good quality chocolate. These pieces of equipment will help massively and you’ll be able to use them again and again. Plus be relaxed about what ‘goes wrong’. Unless you burn the chocolate, anything you create will still be edible even if it doesn’t look neat or shiny!”
When we asked Jennifer what she loves best about Workshop, she told us “I love that it pauses for you! And explains things so clearly. And gives a list of everything that’s needed. It feels like a really personal way of learning.”
Jen also told us, she’d like to see some more unusual cuisines and complex patisserie in the cooking category in future and maybe yoga or dance in a new fitness category.