**What kind of environment will I need to complete the assignments in ‘Fun With Belgian Chocolate’:**
Chocolate can be temperamental and in order for you to get the best results with your projects, you’ll need to work in an environment in which the room temperature is between 68-70 degrees Fahrenheit (20-22 Celsius) and the relative humidity below 50%.
I want you to know this because when I first started working with chocolate in Belgium, I had some ‘messterpieces’ due to the fact that we lived in a home with no air conditioning. So if you can’t control the temperature of your home, find a place where you can; or do the course projects at a time of year when your home is near the range of room temperature mentioned above.
**How much will ingredients,supplies and equipment cost me?**
If you’ve seen photographs of my chocolate, you’ll notice that I use a lot of different molds and some that require decorative transfer sheets made with colored cocoa butter.
My goal with this course is to teach you the basics of working with chocolate. Molds and transfer sheets are expensive, and the process to use them requires some production steps that would be challenging in the beginning. Therefore, we won’t use them in this course.
We’ll keep our chocolate projects simple so that you can have fun with Belgian chocolate without breaking the bank!
I would rather that you spend your money on quality Belgian chocolate.
Regarding the costs of ingredients, supplies and equipment, you probably already have much of the equipment you’ll need. The costs of ingredients will depend on how much chocolate you use (under normal conditions, you should need about 10-11 pounds of chocolate for these assignments which should cost you about $100 or so with shipping). The costs will also depend on your preferences for toppings (nuts, dried fruit, candies, sprinkles, etc.) and other ingredients such as dipped items (cookies, pretzels) clusters (nuts, etc.). The good news is that you won’t need all of this at once. You can spread the costs out over the 12-week period and work them into your weekly grocery budget. And with so much chocolate lying around your house, you’ll probably save money on desserts and snacks!
**How Much Chocolate Will You Need?**
When tempering chocolate, it is recommended that you use 24 ounces of chocolate (1.5 pounds) in order to have enough mass to work with and hold temper. You may not use all of that chocolate in a project and if not, you can simply store it and re-temper it another time. But just to be on the safe side, I’d like you to estimate that you can get about 4-5 assignments out of a 5.5 pounds bag (2.5 kilos).
You will have nine assignments. So I think you will only need two bags of the chocolate chips of your choice – but it may take more depending on what you do with your chocolate (if you re-use whatever chocolate you don’t need for an assignment) and whether or not you decide to try assignments more than once.
But for the purposes of this course, I would say budget about $100 for chocolate.