Mt. Clemens – It's almost Valentine's Day and many people will be buying boxes of chocolates for their loved ones, but did you ever wonder how they were made? Live in the D's Michelle Oliver stopped by Champagne Chocolates in Mt. Clemens to see what goes into making the treat they are known for, truffles.
Truffles are those scrumptious round chocolates that are filled with ganache, a cream and chocolate mixture. They get their odd name from a close resemblance to the truffles that grow underground, those expensive fungi whose oil is frequently put on fries in modern restaurants. A variety of flavors can be added to the truffle chocolates, and at Champagne Chocolates, they have quite a few, ranging from their signature champagne truffle to a lavender flavored one.
Owner Anna Rizzo says her favorite part is "tasting and experimenting with new flavors, bringing in different things that you wouldn't necessarily think would pair well with chocolate, but that does."
As an example for our behind the scenes excursion, Anna and her team showed Michelle how to make their milk chocolate heart truffle. They begin with a heart shape mold that they fill with pink-tinted white chocolate. They put it on a vibrating table so that the chocolate lays in an even thin layer across the mold, which is then put into a cooling tunnel to harden. Those steps are then repeated, but with milk chocolate so that there are two thin layers coating the mold.
Next, they pipe a milk chocolate ganache into the shells. The trick is to not overfill the molds because they are sealed in with yet another thin layer of chocolate. After another trip through the cooling tunnel, the chocolates are finally taken out of the mold and are ready for decorating.
Michelle and Anna brushed some edible gold dust over chocolate flowers and adhered them to the pink hearts with a small dollop of chocolate. Once dried, they are ready to take home and enjoy.
Anna shared that they spend about 10 hours a day making chocolates at her shop, and that each flavor of truffles takes about 4 hours to complete.
Champagne Chocolates also has other chocolate goodies besides truffles, including turtles, toffees and barks.
Champagne Chocolates is located at 65 Macomb Place # E in Mt. Clemens.