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Science and Sweets Make the Perfect Mix

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Karen Morley

Mapmaker and tech whizz Karen Morley became interested in chocolate after moving to Canada from the USA and being diagnosed with cancer. She was given only a 30% chance of survival, but survive she did, and she’s now combining her passion for the sweet stuff with art and science to create intricate, elaborate, edible concoctions.

She could not go back in to the tech industry she’d come from thanks to the enforced 2-year period of unpaid leave she had to take. She also could not legally work in Canada immediately because her permanent residency had not come through, and this process was also delayed due to her illness. So, she spent her days looking for something that she could do.

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Chocolate Starts the Ball Rolling

Morley started off by blowing sugar, which is very similar to blowing glass, but is done with the sweet crystalline substance instead. She then started following winning entries for Top Chef Canada, and blogging about these dishes. One of these chefs ended up sending her a homemade bar of chocolate during an exchange they’d begun, and this was the point where she found something to do.

Because she didn’t think it was possible to get to grips with the process on her own, Morley made the decision to attend Vancouver’s École Chocolat, and she is now a certified chocolatier. Earlier on in 2018 she attended the Montreal Académie du Chocolat as well, and she continues to explore the possibilities of her new profession and create delicious designs that are a visual feast as well as an actual one.

Karen Morley makes heavenly chocolate sculptures
Karen Morley makes heavenly chocolate sculptures

Sweet Dreams Are Made of This

Chocolate is much more complex than it may seem to the layman, and requires knowledge of how moisture migrates, and the chemistry of fat and sugar. Morley has described it as a meeting of art and science, and is having a wonderful time exploring her new field of study.

As a former photogrammetrist who worked in the tech industry, and a veteran of the American Air Force, Morley has said that there’s a lot more to it than just microwaving chocolate in a bowl and having fun making shapes out of it. Her edible sculptures are a testament to this, and she’s happy combining her skills to create art that relies on a heavy dose of science.

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