Tips from a chocolate master
February 27, 2012 By Bakers Journal
Feb. 27, 2012, Toronto – Chef Phillippe Vancayseele, worldwide technical
advisor for the Barry Callebaut chocolate academy in Belgium, recently
demonstrated tips and tricks for chocolate mastery at Humber College in
Feb. 27, 2012, Toronto – Chef Phillippe Vancayseele, worldwide technical advisor for the Barry Callebaut chocolate academy in Belgium, recently demonstrated tips and tricks for chocolate mastery at Humber College in Toronto.
Vancayseele’s demo was part of Barry Callebaut’s 100th anniversary celebration on Feb. 23. Pastry chefs, chocolatiers and students were treated to a demo and evening reception featuring a delightful array of fine Belgian chocolate, beverages and savoury treats. This was Vancayseele’s first demo in Canada.
Vancayseele shared a few of his tried-and-true secrets with the audience through a demonstration of chocolate bar plated dessert, Gioia cut praline and Just Belgian moulded praline infused with Leffe beer ganache. The plated dessert brought together chocolate ganache, marinated baby pears in white wine, chocolate opaline, apricot jelly, pistachio sponge cake, liquid chocolate ganache and chocolate almond crumble. Here are some words of wisdom from the sought-after chocolatier:
- Use a heat gun to pre-heat polycarbonate moulds to avoid shocking chocolate.
- When using beer or other alcohol in your recipes, heat makes the flavour of the alcohol
- disappear. Add 95 per cent pure alcohol back to the dish at the end to add the flavour of alcohol back.
- Often, chocolate pellets will have a grey coating to them. This is just the cocoa butter separating itself from the chocolate (often due to temperature change).
- The best way to tell when chocolate has crystallized is by using your eyes. Crystallized chocolate will be thicker than melted chocolate and will have a nice glossy sheen to it.
- When caramelizing sugar (for a mousse, for example), caramelize it to a blonde colour. Any darker will make it too bitter and throw off the taste of your recipe. Don’t deglaze caramelized sugar too quickly, or you will notice lumps of sugar.
- Adding a little bit of milk chocolate to a dark ganache can help avoid the excess acidity that can cause it to separate.
- Sorbitol is a great product for when you need very fine particles.
- Glucose is a great product for working with chocolate because it is non-crystallizing.
- After filling your chocolate molds, shake and tap on the counter to eliminate air bubbles.
- When working with beer and chocolate, heat beer to 70 C so you kill the enzymes that make it a living thus growing thing in your product.
- The quicker you close your praline, the better the flavour you will get.
Visit the Bakers Journal Facebook page to view photos from Vancayseele’s demonstration.
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