By Doug Picklyk
On Thursday, May 12 Cacao Barry, in cooperation with George Brown College in Toronto, hosted a demonstration by chef Ramon Morato, an award-winning cookbook author and the global creative innovation leader with Cacao Barry, based at the Chocolate Academy training centre in Barcelona.
Over two hours, Morato led a packed auditorium filled with chocolatiers and pastry chefs through six recipes, each featuring a unique flavour combination.
The first was the visually stunning chocolate caviar dessert, a multi-layer treat with a hazelnut praline emulsion, a layer of Cara Crakine filling mixed with hazelnut paste and salt, and a chocolate mousse layer, topped with a disc of passion fruit flavoured white chocolate and finished with a layer of passion fruit caviar.
Morato demonstrated the caviar-making process: using a heated blend of passion fruit puree, sugar, agar-agar and gelatine sheets, he gently piped the mixture into a container of refrigerated sunflower oil where the droplets form into round, gelatinous balls of passion fruit caviar. Emphasizing the importance of presentation, this dessert was served in a caviar-like tin.
Interspersed with his demonstrations, Morato shared advice and formulation ideas. He recommends always using fresh products to prolong the shelf life of chocolates. Among his tips, he adds glucose syrup to honey to avoid crystallization of the sugars.
For each truffle he added milk protein to the fillings to help emulsify the ganache, explaining that the addition of juice to the recipes lowers the percentage of proteins in the formulations (found in the cream, milk, and the chocolate) so the added protein (often whey protein) keeps the balance.
Again, to improve shelf life of the chocolates, he suggests the maximum amount of water content in the ganache to be 20 per cent, while also suggesting a minimum of 30 per cent sugar.
Morato also made a toasted maize praline, using dark chocolate and a hazelnut paste. The toasted corn bits added a nice crunch and flavour to the praline.
He ended the presentation with a cocoa-hazelnut-saffron cream, presented in crystal jars.
The chocolate making demonstration was followed by a chocolate tasting reception, catered by George Brown students.