The worst advice you can be given about Chocolate in the kitchen is that it is too hard to Continue reading “The Worst Chocolate Advice You’ll Hear!”
Maybe it’s time to give white chocolate a chance? Or you not a fan? This week at Dello Mano we’ll celebrate White Chocolate in everything from Hot White Chocolate to Pancakes with White chocolate Mousse and fresh raspberries.
White chocolate looks different and doesn’t taste like regular chocolate. It doesn’t have the bittersweet taste that makes regular chocolates addictive. That’s because it isn’t really chocolate after all. But it does have a few selling points.
We’ve talked before about tempering chocolates so, a process necessary in order to achieve a smooth, glossy finish for your chocolates and chocolate dips. But even when chocolate is in temper, blooming can still occur. Bloom is that greyish or white coating on the chocolate that usually occurs when chocolate is not stored correctly.
We all have that one friend who will always have that special spot in our heart. They’re our best supporter and at the same time, our honest critic. They are someone who laughs and cries with us, and stays by our side through thick and thin.
If it isn’t dark, it isn’t chocolate! You may beg to disagree. But for dark chocolate fanatics, this is basically the rule of thumb.
Chocolates come in different types, and among the most popular are the sweet, semi-sweet, milk and dark chocolates. They differ mostly in the content of cocoa. Dark chocolates have the bitter sweet flavour, but some brands have really intense chocolate taste (70% to 99% cocoa percentage). These chocolates are mostly used for baking since sugar and other sweeteners and flavours are added to the recipe.
Working with chocolate can be both fun and frustrating, especially for home bakers. Chocolate is without a doubt one of the greatest culinary inventions. Despite the increasing number of flavours available now, chocolate remains a timeless classic. And really, it’s hard to imagine life without chocolates. Cakes, brownies and pastries would surely be not as enjoyable as they are now without this magic ingredient.
5. Knipschildt’s La Madeline au Truffle ($250)
Forbes Magazine recognized Knipschildt’s La Madeline au Truffle as one of the priciest chocolates in the world. This decadence is made from a rare French Perigord truffle (which is worth $1,000 a pound) and a rich chocolate ganace (of heavy cream, Italian truffle oil, sugar and 71% single-bean Valrhona dark chocolate) and very fine cocoa powder.
The packaging is equally extravagant as the chocolate comes in a silver box with sugar pearls. Each Knipschildt’s La Madeline au Truffle is made to order and has a shelf life of 7 days.
4. To’Ak Chocolates ($260)
Luxury is often equated with exclusivity. Exclusivity and the finest ingredients is why a 1.5 ounce bar of To’Ak Chocolate is considered to be the world’s most expensive pure chocolate bar. 574—this is the number of To’Ak bars produced in 2014. It is a small number for chocolate, mind you.
To’Ak is an 81-percent dark chocolate (ordinary chocolate contains just 5%) that is Fair-Trade and USDA organic. The name comes from the To’Ak cacao bean, which is found in the center of the chocolate. The beans are rare because the 1,000-acre forest where the beans come from is the only survivor of a 1916 “Witch’s Broom” disease.
Presentation and novelty is anything but your usual with To’Ak chocolate as it comes in a wooden gift box that has an Arriba Appelation map and wooden tongs (used to eat the chocolate bar).
3. DeLafée of Switzerland’s Gold Chocolate Box ($331.50)
The DeLafée Gold Chocalate box is part of the company’s line of edible gold creations. The set is a silk-draped wood box that contains 8 Swiss chocolates hand-decorated with 24 karat edible gold and an antique cold collectible (from the Swiss central bank from the years 1910 to 1920 valued at $133).
2. Golden Speckled Egg ($11,107)
In 2012, William Curley was awarded the Guinness World Records for his masterpiece—the Golden Speckled Egg—the World’s Most Expensive Chocolate Egg (non-jewelled).
The egg was about 3×2 feet tall and weighed 50 kilograms. It was made with Amedei chocolate, edible gold leaf, 12 smaller couture chocolate eggs, 20 mini chocolate bars, and 5 white flowers. The outside looks delicious enough but the inside is equally luxurious with chocolates of different flavors (like muscovado carame, juniper berry and rosemary).
The record-setting chocolate creation took 3 days to make and was sold at the Royal Courts of Justice, London, UK, on March 20, 2012.
1. Frrrozen Haute Chocolate ($25,000)
Serendipity 3 is known for delicious desserts and comfort food. But perhaps with a price tag of $25,000, this hot chocolate would be the most comforting of all. This combination of haute couture and chocolate is made from 27 cocoas from different locations around the globe, Le Madeline au Truffle shavings, and 5 grams of 23 carat gold to name a few.
The Frrrozen Haute Chocolate is served in a goblet lined with edible 18 carat gold crown and diamonds, and it comes with a golden spoon too.
These chocolates sure delight the senses, don’t they? But if you like luxury you can enjoy without the massive cost (and cost of travel too), why not try something from Dello Mano? We’ve got truffles, cakes, luxury brownies and so much more.
Over the past few weeks we’ve had the pleasure of Elizabeth visiting our store and sharing some stories about her family history. Since we love a food history story here at Dello Mano, we thought we’d share it with you.
Elizabeth is the grand-daughter of William Love, a Scottish Chocolatier who settled in and around Woolongong NSW. He was friends with Edwin “Ted” Street (of Streets Ice Cream) and according to Elizabetsh family legend, was in fact the person to teach Ted how to dip his vanilla ice cream heart shapes in chocolate to create the Streets “Heart” Ice Cream. Ted started his ice cream business in his shed and the two men apparently tinkered around together, each sharing their own knowledge and expertise. In 1946, Ted opened a factory in Turella and launched his soon to be very popular first stick ice cream called the “Heart”. On weekends Elizabeth recalled Ted travelled extensively in the region with his cart selling ice cream in the streets.
Edwin Street (1891-1975), by unknown photographer, 1900-10
Today, Streets is Australia’s largest ice cream producer. Today most of the ice cream products are made in Minto a suburb of Sydney and the ice based products are made in Asia.
Streets was taken over by an international company called Unilever in the early 1960’s . I found a great Heart commercial from the 1960’s on You Tube .
As a girl I am quite positive the Heart Ice Cream was my favourite …or at least on of my favourites :).
Thanks Elizabeth for your kind visits and for sharing that wonderful story.
If anyone else has a food history story we’d love to hear it.
Chocolate Sculptor Extraordinaire
No chocolate lover’s trip including our Dello Mano expedition to Paris would be complete without a visit to one of Patrick Roger’s signature stores. And what a wonderful experience it was to visit this winner of the Meilleur Ouvrier de France(2000). The store is filled with amazing displays of chocolates, the most gorgeous packaging colour and a constantly updated chocolate sculpture.
The Patrick Roger Story
Contrary to popular belief, Patrick Roger apparently didn’t start out being a fan of museums and works of art. Instead he did an apprenticeship in pastry making and moved to Paris to further his skill.The story goes that he quickly realized that pastry making held no interest for him and he was about to move on to something new when he came upon chocolate. Suddenly he was captivated. The fabulous properties of chocolate most specifically its ability to be moulded into literally anything, held great interest for this artisan and it quickly became his signature. From the age of 18 he was creating chocolate sculptures for such names as Jean Paul Gautier and singer Yannick Noah and before long, Patrick’s chocolate sculptures became a fabulous inclusion for many events.
The Patrick Roger Boutiques
Patrick Roger has a number of chocolate boutiques in Paris offering chocolate gifts and other chocolate delicacies. He has a strong interest in developing and including new flavours in his creations and it is said that he will go to extraordinary chocolate lengths to grow the herbs and breed the honey himself in order to get his delicacies just perfect. He is often considered the pioneer of adding chilli to chocolate ( I guess in the contemporary world) and is constantly innovating with new ingredients as he conceives unique offerings.
Breaking Boundaries in the Culinary World
His store windows are often very controversial, whether it’s chocolate moulded nude women for Valentine’s Day or rats posing as chefs for his Easter display-On the day we visited the elephant was perhaps a very subdued subject, although noteworthy that the sculpture was linked to a fund raiser for elephants.
Patrick is forever working on new designs and flavours and during our visit we tried several of the unusual combinations. I was particularly keen to try the “Bejiing” which is flavoured strongly with root ginger.
I have to confess though that because the cute little chocolate came presented in the most gorgeous little box (see above and below) almost like a “solitaire” that I have been unable to eat it and have instead kept it to admire. So, the Bejiing flavour remains a mystery to me!
……and although still yet to be tried, i just couldnt resist showing you a close up of this beautiful little “specimen”
The Patrick Roger Boutiques
Patrick Roger has several stores and each of them is an experience on their own. Look forward to interesting sculptures combined with unique chocolate flavours and combinations. Store details are provided below and the website is http://www.patrickroger.com.
- Madeleine – 12 cité Berryer
- Faubourg – 199 rue du Faubourg Saint Honoré
- Rennes – 91 rue de Rennes
- Saint Germain – 108 boulevard Saint-Germain
- Victor Hugo – 45 avenue Victor Hugo
Ile de France
- Saint-Germain-en-Laye – 2 rue de Paris
- Sceaux – 47 rue Houdan
If you are in the vicinity of the Musee D’Orsay you must pop by to this amazing artisan pastry store. Located in a beautiful angular corner position on the very grand Boulevard St. Germain in the 7th is Gosselin Phillipe.
Gosselin are Patissier/Boulagere par excellence. They are also listed as a Traiteur which in the local parlance can mean a few things such as eating house or restaurateur . Their Pastries are simply works of art.
Take their eclairs as a benchmark for instance .Their chocolate offering is a light choux finger filled with a firm creamy chocolate delight. When you savour one it leaves you with that “just right” feeling ( not over indulged) It rates with Patissier Stroher ( more on Stroher Later – the Queen is a VIP client of Stroher) and Laduree eclairs. In one word, their Patisserie is fabulous.
And we haven’t even talked about their ornate and mouth watering Chocolate , fruit tartes etc ….etc . In fact the fruit tarts were just so beautiful.
Their skill is also carried over to other Parisian favourites such as meringues.
I really dont know where to stop with the photos from this amazing store – here is another one as you just need to see the excellence. Simply stunning I am still overwhelmed by the store as I write this blog.
One thing that really stuck with us was the amount of baked produce still available in the afternoon. Parisians seem to take the time to enjoy their pastry and have a wonderful selection available to them all day.
As a Patissier and bolulanger this is well worth a visit and a purchase!
258 Bvd St. Germain