Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Cocoa Veil Envelopes

I placed the veil from the previous post, made with gellan gum, cocoa bean stock, cocoa powder and sugar inside a dehydrator to see what it did. Set to 120 degrees Fahrenheit for five hours, the veil became crispy and very brittle. Which opens up other possibilities, such as an edible envelope. This envelope is filled with Earl Grey chocolate, but it can be filled with many other components, so long as they are dry. I think that popcorn powder and malt powder could work very well flavor-wise.

Photo: Bryan Graham.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Chocolate Veil

Gellan gum (low acyl) is the Rolls Royce of gelling agents. I used it to gel this liquid which is a mixture of cocoa bean stock (cocoa nibs steeped in hot water), cocoa powder and sugar. It is boiled slightly with the gellan gum then poured into flat tray to set. Its flavor becomes more pronounced as you chew it, which means that it has a milder flavor at first and it increases as you chew. It not only tastes good, I also happen to think it is visually arresting. This particular veil will be used in a plated dessert, covering all of the components, but showing their silhouette (for example, a quenelle of ice cream underneath it should be clearly distinguishable).
Photo by Bryan Graham

Monday, July 5, 2010

Monsieur Point

Fernand Point is, well, if you don't know who he is I suggest you look him up. I am a big fan even though he is mostly known for his culinary side (and incredible appetite). In spite of this, he was also inclined towards dessert. One of his best known desserts was named "Marjolaine" (marjoram in French) after his daughter. It is a layered cake with meringue, chocolate ganache, praline buttercream, all coated with ganache that he spent years trying to perfect. The dessert in this photo was inspired by those flavors and texture combinations, but I went lighter on the buttercream. It is composed of a hazelnut dacquoise (which is a meringue with hazelnut flour), crispy praline, praline cream, chocolate ganache and a light-as-air chocolate mousse. The cake is an individual portion, and is glazed with a chocolate glaze and topped with a chocolate tile brushed with edible gold dust.

The image of Point is 100% edible, made by stenciling his image on rice paper using melted chocolate as ink.