Do you know the history of chocolate? Well, Miley Barcus does. She is the “Chief Confectionery Enthusiast” and chocolatier who brings us Nashville Chocolate Kitchen. She and Jill Smith, her “Lead Artisan Baker,” know everything that there is to know about chocolate.
From chocolate hinted steak rubs to chocolate ganache using locally brewed beers, Miley and Jill share some of their greatest not-so-secret-any-longer recipes with folks who attend their Chocolate University classes. Yes, you read correctly. CHOCOLATE University. I’m ready to pursue my Ph.D.
Last week, my husband and I attended one such class entitled: Real Men Eat Ganache. Our uniforms of baker’s hat and chef’s jacket ensured that our confectionery creations would be a success. We learned an amazing brownie recipe, and put our baking (and cooperation) skills to use! While our brownies were baking, we made our first chocolate ganache, complete with a dash of Jack Daniels. Once our brownies were ready, we topped them with the ganache and also a bit of salt for good measure.
Our fabulous instructors had different methods of making delectable chocolate ganache. I won’t give away any more special ingredients; you’ll have to see and taste for yourself!
For our second dessert, we made delicious shot-glass creations with a cake base, buttercream icing, and our second batch of chocolate ganache. We had pretzel sticks as just one of the garnishment options, and I may or may not have dipped several into the ganache to make sure that it tasted as delicious as it looked. (It actually tasted even better than it looked!) These mini trifles were excellent and I’m sad to say that I just polished off the last one today.
As a special treat, Miley’s husband had grilled some flank steak using a special chocolate and pepper rub and we had a mini feast as we learned even more about the versatility of chocolate.
Is your mouth watering yet? If you’re headed to a Predator’s playoff game you’ll likely see their “Nashville Little Cakes” and delicious chocolate pucks available for sale if you head up to the club level. Visit Miley at Nashville Chocolate Kitchen where she’ll inspire you with her passion, her contagious enthusiasm, and her delectable chocolates.