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More on Trailing at Co Co. Sala

Since trailing at Co Co. Sala over the summer (click here to read about that), I’ve been coveting a number of amazing pieces of equipment. The amazing guitar cutter is one; if you haven’t seen one, it’s a tool used to cut perfect squares of chocolate, chocolate, or other confections. It’s called a guitar cutter because of the strings. Basically, it’s a frame of strings set at your desired width that cuts a product into even strips. If you use a metal sheet to turn the chocolate strips, you can cut perfect squares by cutting the strips again on a perpendicular.

If you look at the uncoated Linzer chocolate squares in the gallery, you can see just how crisp and beautiful the edges are. WANT! The enrober was also incredible. It’s a tool which coats anything you want in chocolate. It rains down a waterfall of tempered chocolate over whatever items you’ve placed on the conveyer belt – in this case, squares of set chocolate ganache. You can then allow it the coated squares cool, or decorate them using a beautiful, patterned transfer sheet as the chocolate sets up.

The colors on their chocolates are really striking. Some, like the ones in this gallery are decorated using acetate paper, but a lot are filled chocolates hand-decorated with different colors. The colors never take the place of flavor – they just make the end result really stand out.


Trailing at Co Co. Sala

Chocolate’s always been a big part of my life. After a ton of truffle making this year, I decided I wanted to dig in a bit and learn more about how to make artisanal chocolate. In Washington, D.C., Co Co. Sala and its incredible chocolate master chef Santosh Tiptur spring to mind immediately when you think about really great chocolate. The store and incredible chocolate-centric restaurant do everything from savory dishes to beautiful, hand-decorated chocolates. If you haven’t already been, go check it out; their showpieces, strewn around the restaurant and store for decoration, are pretty incredible. Tiptur and the co-owners were kind enough to allow me to trail at Co Co. Sala for a week over the summer. What followed was a revelation.

In what was apparently the slow season, Katie, who heads up the chocolate-making program (there’s a whole other team dedicated to the chocolate dishes for the restaurant) and Marisol, who is a key part of making the chocolates happen, churned out chocolate decorations, truffles, bonbons, bars and all manner of incredible confections. They graciously included me and explained what they were doing as they went. These photos are a few shots from the day Marisol (pictured) and Katie were working on chocolate garnishes for the restaurant dishes, and chocolate curls for cocktail garnishes and hot chocolate.

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