CHEFS Chocolate & Culinary School
Address: 12/F, 28 Hung To Road, Kwun Tong, Kowloon, Hong Kong
CHEFS Chocolate & Culinary School has, since its inception, set out to be the premium chocolate and cooking school in Hong Kong, and it never stops coming up with impressive activities to surprise its students.
CHEFS has invited guest chef Riccardo Magni, a world-class pastry chef and chocolatier as well as an Italy National Team Representative, to come for demonstration cooking classes in January 2014. Chef Riccardo has a wealth of experience from working at renowned establishments, including the Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni in Bellagio, Gualtiero Marchesi’s Albereta Restaurant, Cova pâtisserie in Milan and The pâtisserie”Balzer 1850″ in Bergamo, and he currently works as a consultant and professor at culinary schools in Italy and abroad.
The demonstration class cost $480, and there were around 12 students in each class. Chef Riccardo demonstrated making an Apple Dark Chocolate Cake and Ecuador Chocolates and we were invited to help out during the class.
(1) Apple Dark Chocolate Cake
The Apple Dark Chocolate Cake was comprised of 3 layers, and Chef Riccardo prepared the bottom layer first, which was the dark chocolate cake base, made with butter, cane sugar, eggs, 55% dark chocolate, cocoa powder, salt and vanilla.
The cake mix was spread out on a baking tray and baked at 170°C for around 20 minutes.
Chef Riccardo then prepared the middle layer of black tea and caramelized golden apple. The apples were finely diced to give the layer an even texture. This layer was prepared using golden apples, butter, sugar, black tea infusion, gelatin and water. Golden apples may be hard to come by in Hong Kong, but the chef doesn’t recommend using another type of apples, as other apples will have different tastes and levels of absorption.
The caramelised apple was spread over the dark chocolate cake base.
The top layer of the cake was a black tea and milk chocolate mousse, made from cream, black tea leaves, 33% milk chocolate and cream.
Chef Riccardo carefully piped the chocolate mousse over each slice of cake, in a spiral pattern.
Paying homage to the “golden” apples used in the recipe, the final touch was adding a small piece of edible gold leaf to each slice of cake. These cakes looked utterly irresistible, and I adored the refreshing taste of the golden apples, as well as the refined, lingering note of black tea. The apple, black tea and chocolate flavours tasted surprisingly harmonious – it was a job well done!
(2) Ecuador Chocolates
To prepare the Ecuador Chocolates, chef Riccardo heated cream, vanilla and black pepper to 35°C and then cooled down the mixture and removed the pepper. He heated the mixture again to 35°C together with glucose. Ecuador dark chocolate was melted with butter at 40°C, and this was mixed into the cream. The mixture was then carefully piped into the mold.
These dark chocolates had an intense and attractive cocoa taste, and also a tang from the black pepper!
The best part of the class was when we all came together to enjoy the freshly made delicacies together with chef Riccardo.
black n white
Address: Unit B&D, 88-102 Ivy Street, Tai Kok Tsui 大角咀埃華街88-102號B&D舖
Telephone: 2789 1330
To celebrate The Year of the Horse, my family and I enjoyed this lovely pot of mandarin tree as our post-dinner dessert. This pot of deliciousness, produced by black n white, was made entirely of chocolate – each “mandarin” was a piece of calamansi chocolate bonbon, and the flower pot was handmade milk chocolate. Everyone loved how adorable this madarin tree looked, and we had an amazing time picking off the “mandarins” with a little metal spoon. The lime-flavoured chocolate bonbon was a tad too sour, especially for the kids, but all of us enjoyed eating the milk chocolate flower pot. This was such a creative and pleasant gift for Chinese New Year!