So I met a chocolate rockstar

By: betsaronie

Feb 05 2010

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Category: chocolate

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On Monday, February 1st I volunteered through my school to assist Robert Bennett with a demo on chocolate basics. Robert Bennett is a chocolate Ambassador with Callebaut chocolates, owner of AHBFoods and has been in the chocolate and pastry business for 26 years. He’s also a really nice guy. Robert explained everything he was doing in full detail and answered all of our questions. He then told us that if we ever have any questions to just send him an email, neato!

I didn’t really get to do much for the volunteer gig, mostly just wash dishes afterward, but it was really cool to see him work with chocolate up close and hear some of his tips and ideas. Like about making tulip cups. Those things can get pretty pricy if you buy them pre-made but he showed us all how to make them ourselves by simply blowing up a water balloon as tight as you can and then dipping that in chocolate, hitting all the points of a compass to get the petals. After it’s hardened, don’t pop the balloon but cut it so it deflates gently, otherwise you’ll break the shell. Then voila! Tulip cup!
Another interesting trick, especially for using chocolate scraps – take food grade bubble wrap, pour chocolate over it, spread evenly, then harden. Peel off the bubble wrap, fill in the bubbles with your favorite filling and cap it with some chocolate that you place on acetate. Once it’s hardened pull off the acetate and break it into chunks or keep as a block and eat up!

For volunteering to help, the Callebaut sales rep brought us pastry tool kits from the company. It was a nice way to end the quarter.