Culinary Demos from the Chocolate Show

I’m still getting over my sugar rush from this weekend’s 11th Annual Chocolate Show. Now that the chocolate dust has settled a bit, I wanted to post some pics from the culinary demonstrations. Some might regard the demos as secondary to all the chocolate samples from the show, but personally, I think they are valuable experiences in themselves. And you get desserts at the end!

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Pictured above are Fran├žois Payard and his domed layer cake with chocolate ruffles. I caught the tail end of this demo so unfortunately, I’m not sure what the actual creation was. The recipes from the show are supposed to be up on the Chocolate Show site soon.

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Jacques Torres is always a popular attraction. Here he is making a chocolate bowl, dipping a balloon in chocolate in a tulip-like pattern to create the bowls pictured below. They were filled with a chocolate sauce and chocolate caramel popcorn. The man works with such lightning speed, he also demonstrated this tiered chocolate cone with two-toned shortbread cookies. (Pieces were assembled beforehand, of course, but I’m still in awe over what he accomplished in under an hour.)

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On Sunday, a representative from the Italy based Amedei presented a guided tasting of some of their chocolates. Amedei is regarded as some of the best chocolates in the world, and is relatively difficult to find in the US. It was created by quality-obsessed brother-sister team Alessio and Cecilia Tessieri, with Alessio scouring the earth to source the best cacao and Cecilia creating the chocolate.

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We were instructed on the proper way of tasting chocolate: 1. Look at the piece -the color should be uniform with no trace of grey, or cocoa butter separation 2. Snap – there should be a sharp snap. 3. Smell the aroma. 4. Taste

Some of the aromas/tastes evoked from the various chocolates were tobacco, green tea, forest, exotic fruits, spices, nuts, etc. The Madagascar chocolates are one of Amedei’s more exotic types, with traces of minerals from the volcanic soil from which the cocoa is grown.

Another highlight was watching Rich Capizzi from Bouchon Bakery and famed restaurant Per Se. He demonstrated an uber-sophisticated “Chocolate S’mores” dish. In the photo below, he is making marshmallows and gauging the temperature of the boiled sugar by dipping his hand in cold water, and then into the melted sugar which he rolled into a ball to test its pliability. I think I’ll just use a thermometer, thank you.

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Rich brough a very generous sampling of five of Bouchon Bakery’s cookies: Nutter Butters, TKO’s (Thomas Keller Oreos), Oatmeal, Shortbread, and Chocolate Chip. (It wasn’t until we were halfway into the cookies that I remembered to take photos, as you can see.)

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Afterwards, we sampled the exotic s’mores plated dessert. There are several components here including a chocolate brownie, graham cracker crunch, marshmallow, chocolate cremeux shaped into quenelle and dipped in “magic crack” or chocolate shell, cocoa nib coulis, and chocolate emulsion. Phew – I hope I got it all. I’d say the cost of the desserts we sampled in this demo alone were equivalent if not more than the entrance fee to the Chocolate Show.

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I also managed to squeeze in one more demo from Kate Zuckerman from Chanterelle restaurant in New York, and author of The Sweet Life. Kate demonstrated a chocolate caramel tart with crushed caramel decorations.

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A very edifying and inspiring show! Now that I’m about armed with all this new found knowledge and inspiration, I’ve got to make use of the ahem, over 20 pounds of couverture that I purchased from the show…

9 Responses to “Culinary Demos from the Chocolate Show”

  1. Dragon Says:

    Sounds like it was an amazing time. I’m so jealous! Thanks for the recap.

  2. Joanna Says:

    i can’t even pic which one is my favorite treat! they all look so delectable! especially the oreos. yummy.

  3. Arlene Says:

    How did I miss this event??? I’m drooling.

  4. Joie de vivre Says:

    How lovely. I think one would get a sugar rush just breathing the air in that show!

  5. dulzuramagica Says:

    Hi! today was my first visit to your blog and i love it thanxx for sharing all this wonderful info!!

  6. prettytastycakes Says:

    Dragon – Glad I could share the recap, if not the desserts, sadly.
    Joanna – I don’t think I could pick either, but I’m dying to try making the cremeux with “magic crack”
    Arlene – The show is held annually in several cities throughout the world. What a great excuse to travel.
    Joie de vivre – um yes, I ate a lot of veggies for a while after the show ­čśŤ
    dulzuramagica – Thanks for visiting! So glad you enjoyed my blog.

  7. Hallie Says:

    Wow, yum those look so good. I bet it was such a good event, I wish I could have gone.

  8. sally bersonda-ocampo Says:

    Hi! Is it ok if you share recipe for Bouchon SSmores dessert and Chanterelle’s chocolate dessert from demo? would really appreciate it. Thanks!

  9. prettytastycakes Says:

    Sally, the recipes are on the chocolate show site here
    http://www.chocolateshow.com/home.php?titre=3&id_code=7&cat=1&sscat=
    and here
    http://www.chocolateshow.com/home.php?titre=3&id_code=8&cat=1&sscat=