As a kid, my post trick-or-treat ritual began with the annual sorting. I would sit down in my princess costume, my cheeks rosy and flushed from the cold, and begin to partition my candy into two piles: one with the decadent chocolate based treats and the other with the sickly sweet fruit flavored candies. For me, nothing was more satisfying than a dark chocolate peanut butter cup or a crispy Kit Kat bar. A decade later— despite my trick-or-treating career being over— not much has changed in terms of my preference for chocolate coated sweets. This year, my Halloween celebration has expanded to take up the entire week, and my annual celebration of chocolate began with National Chocolate Day on Monday.

Thankfully at this point in my life I'm not just hoarding a pillowcase full of sweets in my room until Christmas time. Now, I have a team of full-fledged chocolate loving Spoonies and the talented pastry chef, Jordan Zechman within the University of Michigan’s Dining Hall team, to help us spread the love of this precious culinary ingredient.

The Event

dining hall, mdining, Pastries, sweets, tempered chocolate, puff pastries, National chocolate day
Chloe Pawloski

The festivities for our chapter’s chocolate-based party began within the most newly renovated dining hall, where Chef Jordan had an entire tablescape constructed with 4 different kinds of ganaches, tempered chocolate, decadent brownies, and golden cream puffs (which were a unanimous favorite!) for us to learn about and try. She taught us the importance of tempering chocolate, how the tedious process of increasing and decreasing the temperature of the chocolate renders the final confection a perfect bite of smooth, shiny chocolate with an irresistible mouthfeel. She also demonstrated to the Spoon team how to craft delicate chocolate garnishes and even led us in the process of dipping our own chocolate covered strawberries. As a self-acclaimed chocolate aficionado, even I came away from this wonderful experience with a few new chocolate facts in my back pocket and a stomach full of delicious chocolate-covered treats. 

A New Holiday Tradition

dessert, strawberry, creampuff, brownie, chocolate
Grace Linenger

As I write this, it is now November 1st. Halloween has come and gone, but my mind (and growling stomach) continues to return to the chocolate celebration with my fellow Spoon members of Monday night, before the madness of Halloween. It sounds like betrayal to admit this in written word, but National Chocolate Day might just have replaced the favorite holiday of my youth. Call me crazy, but I have no doubt you would quickly join me if you could’ve tasted Chef Jordan’s ganache covered profiteroles and shared them in the presence of new foodie friends. So cheers to the deliciousness of chocolate and the start of a brand new Spoon holiday tradition

The Spoon Michigan Team would like to send out a special thank you to MDining and Chef Jordan for their hard work in helping us to organize this chocolate-covered event. We appreciate you like we appreciate chocolate— and that’s a lot!