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Tagged: Chocolate

Lessons 9 & 10: Chocolate Bonbons & Heavenly Chocolate


This week was all about chocolate, something that’s a key focus for the Intermediate course!

Prior to making my decision on whether I wanted to do the IP, I looked through a gazillion pics on the Le Cordon Bleu location tag. Of course, being in school to learn more about something I really love was the key propeller to making me register. But what really confirmed that decision was the exposure to chocolate work and entremets. With that, I was super excited for this week of lessons – lots and lots of tempering (something I’d never done before & was sure would be super challenging).

We started off demo with a new chef – Chef Fabrice Danniel, Assistant Culinary Arts Director
Head of Le Cordon Bleu Pastry Department. He’d just flown back from Bangkok, where he is the Technical Director, and was going to be taking us for most of the demonstrations to come. As it was his first lesson back in Paris, he had Chef Park as his assistant, rather than the usual alumni assistants. It was quite a sight to see 4 chefs in our demo – Chef Danniel & Park up there and Chef Guillaume & Verger watching the class as well.

Chef went through the basics of tempering chocolate, something that seems really simple in theory but extremely difficult to achieve. He completed 4 different kinds of chocolate bon bons, with us having to complete 2 of them in practical. Initially, we thought that it was rather strange that we’d only be doing two of the bonbons. But when practical came, it was clear why this was so.

Tempering chocolate and making bonbons by hand is no easy feat! We had to table the chocolate which is a lot more messy and complicated than it seems! Firstly, you need to closely monitor the temperatures of the chocolate at each stage. Secondly, you have to be super clean. Dirt & water are huge enemies to chocolate & any of these could spoil the temperage of your choc.

It seems really simple – melt the chocolate, cool it down, heat it up. At least that’s what I thought! When my chocolate finally set (after a mad rush of a practical), I realised that I’d not tempered it well at all! There were white streaks in my chocolate (cocoa butter, I’m quite sure), meaning that I did not temper the choc well. Furthermore, I was not neat at all. My apron had some chocolate stains at the end of it = more washing for me! The positive was that the choc was super yummy haha (supposed to be yummier if it’s tempered well haha). The difficulties I faced tempering choc in this class helped me realise why we were only doing two bonbons and scared me for the next practical – the heavenly chocolate.

As the name of the cake suggests, this is one that is heavenly. Created first by Pierre Hermé, this cake is super decadent, hazelnuts, milk chocolate, praline, basically a giant ferrero roche *slurps*.

What really scared me during the demo was how we’d have to create two circle discs of chocolate by tempering the milk chocolate, spreading it evenly on a plastic, and then assembling the cake. Chef Danniel made it seem so easy (again) but I had a bad feeling about how practical was going to be.

Again, I followed the temperage curves and tried my best to replicate what I’d seen during the demo. But many many many things went wrong this practical >< Firstly, I didn’t manage to get my dacquoise out of the ring smoothly. If you see the pic below, the sides of my cake aren’t so pretty 🙁 Secondly, I followed the curve but alas, my chocolate still wasn’t well tempered! Jianhua’s one turned out PERFECT, shiny and all, while mine had those beautiful white streaks again haha. Was so frustrated with myself as I couldn’t figure out what was wrong, and neither could Chef Guillaume (oh yes, we got him for the prev practical too), because chocolate is such a finicky little thing~ This propelled me to buy a laser thermometer from Amazon hahaha. Going to have like 3 thermometers the next time I temper my choc!!!

Still, the cake was yummy and being able to give it away and hear that people still enjoyed it was awesome.

Things I took away from this week of chocolate:

  1. Tempering is a pain in the butt
  2. I love chocolate. A lot.
  3. Tempering is a pain in the butt

Next week’s cakes are all gna be about mousse and entremets – super super super excited for that 😀 Till my next post!


P.S. pls pardon my shaky pics – I keep rushing to catch sunlight to photograph the cakes + my hands are always trembling after practical (with all that whipping) :'(



Dark Chocolate Moelleux

DSC_0219Hello everyone! So I missed my weekly posting last week due to the fact that I’ve been overwhelmed with truckloads of work (schools’s ending so I’ve awesome lot of presentations & finals ’round the corner).

I made a post on my Facebook page that there’d be a 5-week hiatus and that I’d be back when exams are all over.

However, I’ve still got one recipe to feed your hungry eyes.

It’s one from Master Patissier, Eric Lanlard, the Cake Boy himself!


This was a work stint for PoachedMag and a really enjoyable hands-on class. Lanlard was supremely friendly & didn’t hesitate to help out anyone who needed help. Yes, we didn’t have any machines. So everyone had to cream their butter by hand. I think I was the only female in the class who could do it. Three cheers for LCB no machine training back in June ^^

So if you’d like to see how this was made, feel free to head down PoachedMag for the Dark Chocolate Moelleux recipe!


Classic Chocolatey Brownies


Everyone loves brownies. I remember thinking that brownies were the easiest things to make back when I was about 11. It seemed like mere child’s play, melting chocolate and butter and then just combining all the ingredients together.

However, as I got older and experimented more and more in the kitchen, I realized that making brownies weren’t all that simple. Yes, you will (almost) always get something that looks like brownies coming out of the oven. But what is really tricky in perfecting your brownie is ensuring that it comes out at the right time. Bake it too long, it comes out dry. Bake it too short, it comes out too gooey. Another thing is when the eggs are added in. Overwhisk the batter and it just becomes kinda dense.


I could never ever find a brownie that I really liked till I tried this one from Cook’s Illustrated. It has that decadent gooey texture that is hinges on perfection. Furthermore, it tastes splendid by itself, meaning to say that the recipe is solid enough for it to be a standalone piece (yes, I like my brownie without nuts and frills).

Simple to make and easy to whip up, all you need to do is make sure that you have patience when making the brownies.

Serve these slightly warmed with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream and your entire day will be made.