Thursday, May 26, 2011

Chocolat with 100% less Johnny Depp!

Hi all! So sorry it took so long for me to get this up (that's what she said), but it's been crazy around here trying to juggle everything. Well, here we are, two months to go until my graduation, which is insane to think about, and I think I've made real, honest-to-goodness progress! Between school and my internship, I'm actually beginning to think I can be a real professional chef. Or baker. Or chocolatier. Clearly, my mind's not 100% made up yet. Anyway, here is everything from our second chocolate unit.

First I'm going to start at the end, which doesn't make sense, normally, but I wanted to start on a high note. It's the chocolate project. Our theme was movies, and I had a hard time narrowing anything down. So, thankfully, Adam gave me a great idea: Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this gem, it's the classic tale of two prehistoric creatures out to destroy humanity and each other. Oh, and it stars Debbie Gibson and Lorenzo Lamas, so you know it's gonna be good. I decided to capture a specific, and iconic, scene from the movie. In this scene, the Mega Shark, for no reason at all, decides to eat the Golden Gate Bridge. It's glorious, and I only hope I did it justice. Remember folks, this is 100% chocolate, and I'm pretty proud of how it came out.

Not bad, right? Anyway, I was happy with the outcome.

On with everything else.

The big technique we learned in this unit was how to make bonbons, and our class got a huuuge surprise when we got to class....we were going to learn this technique from Mr. Chocolate himself, Chef Jacques Torres. It was truly an honor, and it was just so much fun to get to spend a class with him. He really took the time to walk around and talk with everyone, offering pointers and helping us season our fillings. Mine was the chai spiced ganache, and it was really good! Here it is!

Oh, and of course I couldn't let the opportunity pass, so here's a picture of me with Chef Jacques!

Now, in the next class, we got to invent our own bonbon flavor, adapting recipes we already had to fit the flavors we were looking for. I took a bourbon pecan recipe, switched out bourbon for maple syrup, added a little molasses for the bitterness, et voila! I'm not going to was really good. Poor Chef Tai had to taste all of them...that's a lot of bonbons!

The other bonbon we made was a cherry cordial, which is always a hit!

We also got to practice other techniques, such as dipping. Here is a peanut butter nougat, which was not unlike a certain popular peanut butter cup. It was delicious!

These are butter caramels

Here are some pecan toffees, with fun transfer sheet designs:

These are caramel mou, dipped in chocolate!

Not only were these rocky roads delicious, but they had me quoting Goonies all day...because I am a loser like that. Oh...and the marshmallows are homemade, too. Er...schoolmade.

Here you can see the Branchlis, both finished and unfinished. These were chocolate hazelnut branches from Heaven. Yum!

My personal favorite, the peppermint pattie. Who knew they'd be so simple to make!?

Ok, this is the Cardinal Cake, aka Brett Couldn't Care Less. It's a chocolate genoise with a chocolate raspberry mousse. However, we decorated the outside with chocolate. On the top is a dark chocolate cage, and on the bottom we made our own designs. You can see that I am a terrible artist, as a 5 year old could've done a better job. However, this cake is notable in that it's our first tiered cake. Bring on the wedding cake project, bitches!!

Well, that's it for chocolate. I truly loved our two chocolate units. Chocolate is tempermental and messy, but it's so interesting to see all you can do with it. We'll see what that means for me in my future, but I'm definitely considering it as an option.

We moved onto our second plated dessert unit, and I promise not to take so long to get those pictures up! Pinky swear!


  1. THESE PICS WERE GREAT!You must've had a lot of fun making and tasting them!Any recipe giveaways? My fave is peppermint patties too. Can you pass on the recipe please? Keep those blogs happening, cause without your uploads of your chocolate adventures, life would be boring...take care!

  2. Keep up the good work.