Archive | Chocolate RSS feed for this section

Finding Equilibrium

24 Feb

It has been a week since Valentines past and has definitely been an interesting ride. To begin, I first started to promote my chocolate hobby again on facebook. Little did I know I would get enough orders to keep me on my toes for about two weeks. If there were two words that could describe how I felt, it would be exhilarating and exhaustion. Yes, I was happy to do the chocolates as I saw it as an creative outlet; however, it was also tiring on the same side to meet the orders, work, family and friendship all at once. Nonetheless, I enjoyed the4 experience as people liked them, a comforting thought. As an experience, next time I will stagger the production while keeping an eye on quality.

It is during this time, when I realized how much I really liked baking. It is comforting, peaceful, therapeutic and liberating. To me I see things like a blank canvass and I just go crazy in creativity. This may well be in terms of combinations of flavours or appearance wise. Just a thought for now, I may continue taking courses in Baking/Pastry Arts in the future to home in my skills but to find balance in my life. More importantly, I realized something and it includes focusing back on me…..equilibrium. Over the years I noticed that I have been focusing more on people, not that it’s a bad thing, but less on myself. I grew up looking towards certain individuals for approval. Does obedience ring a bell…. and consequently neglected myself. I felt an ant, toiling away with X amount of weight on its shoulders and as time rolled on, it strained my emotions and eventually relationships. I felt as if I was being torn apart in all directions. Stressed for lack of better word. A friend from church hinted that to me,“You don’t need others for approval”, in other words trust in oneself. I have drastically forgotten about that. I contemplated about it the last a few days and reflected on what is important in my life, peace and self-acceptance. The only thing I came up with was baking or nature,except with nature you can’t bake. Like an artist who uses the brush to make strokes to build a masterpiece, I use ingredients and utensils to bake the cake or product. It is something I am happy with. Friendship and family are also important but without me in the equation, it is unsuccessful. From now on I will try a new experiment by add new variables into the equation, me. I am hopeful it will lead to a positive resolution.

Which brings me to the next page. I had originally wanted to share a recipe from my chocolate making course. With chocolate making, temperature and tempering is the key in making a successful chocolate but that is for another post. Voila!!!

Salted Caramel Ganache

Cream 240 g
Glucose 120 g
Inverted Sugar 60 g
Sugar 220 g
Milk Chocolate 240 g
Coco Butter 40 g (optional)
Butter 120 g

Results: Very Creamy and chocolatey.
~Bon Appetiti~


Christmas Chocolate Project- Caramelized Gianduja Hedgehogs-Curley

17 Dec

Brrrrrr it is freezing in Vancouver. The city has been hit with minus temperatures this week and to top it of more snow will be coming tonight and tomorrow. Yippee more snow to welcome the holiday season. With approx 1 week left to go, the city has gone into full swing with decorations and festivities. One of the rich traditions is the Gingerbread Town held at the Hyatt Regency in Vancouver. Every year participants create wonderful masterpieces and display them in the hotel.



During the holiday season, I tend to bake alot for friends and family. For the last couple of weeks or so, I have been flipping through recipes to see what I can make. Well I stopped at praline again. Nothing brings more joy to my heart than to see the perfectly coated glistening nuts. It makes my heart sing as friends and I munch on the sweet and crunchy morsel. A good accompaniment to chocolate. I decided to create caramelized parline hedgehogs.

To make the caralized Gianduja
First toast some nuts until golden. Note: do not over toast them as they will have a bitter taste. Then make the simple syrup by boiling the water with sugar. Once the sugar mixture comes to the rolling boil add the nuts and stir. Keep mixing. As the syrup boils the water will evaporate leaving the sugar coating the nuts. Eventually the water will boil off leaving the sugar crystals coating the nuts.


It will look granular and coarse but not to worry, this is the process of making sugar coated nuts. Keep stirring and mixing until the left over sugar crystal caramelizes and have coated the nuts entirely. Remove from heat and spread out on silicone mat to cool.


Once the praline has cooled a bit place into food processor to grind to a paste. In the beginning it will look like chopped nuts but eventually it will become a paste.


Melt the milk chocolate and dark chocolate and add to mixture. Once the praline/chocolate has been mixed well. Pour onto silicone mould for setting.

To make the chocolates
First melt some milk chocolate, temper it and fill into chocolate hedgehog molds. Pipe the praline into the molds and set. Finally fill the chocolate.



Caramelized Gianduja

150 g almonds lightly roasted
150 g hazelnuts lightly roasted
150 g caster sugar
50 ml water
150 bittersweet chcocolate
150 g milk chocolate

Results: This is a very good recipe for making hedgehogs. The praline although time consuming was excellent.

Happy Holidays!!!

Pierre Herme-Truffles au Chocolat au Lait et The Vert Matcha

3 Dec

Christmas is around the corner. The city gets prettier and prettier each coming year with Christmas decorations around every corner and in every department store there is Christmas songs playing. Christmas would not be Christmas without snow and we are blessed as snow is on the mountains.

It has been almost 4 months without posting and now is the time as never to post as it is Christmas time!!! I have been busy with work and school and now that I have finished my final mid-term I am free till the final exam. I recently bought a book, “Chocolate,” from my favourite pastry chef Pierre Herme and flipping through its mouth watering pages I stopped at some of his chocolate recipes. I have always loved the taste of pistachio and matcha but am curious how they would work together. IMHO, Pierre Herme used the flavour combination so it can’t be so bad heheheh. Off I went to make the recipe.

To make the ganache, I first measured the ingredients. Herme mentioned to combine the chocolate together with the matcha and then pour the hot cream on it the mixture; however, how will that melt (for lack of better word) the matcha? You would get granules of matcha. Instead, I combined the cream together with the matcha and heated it up. Once heated up pour onto the chocolate and whisk out from the middle. Cool and set the mixture when it is homogenized.

Pierre Hermes truffles called for roasted pistachios thankfully I had some in the fridge. The ganache was quite soft hence after I scooped it out I froze them for a firmer texture to be rolled into chocolate. Once they were more firm, they were rolled in melted chocolate twice and on the third time coated with roasted pistachios.




200 g whole pistachios skinned

Milk Chocolate and Matcha Green Tea Ganache
95 g butter
610 g milk chocolate 45% cocoa ( I used Valhrona Jivara)
30 g matcha green tea power
600 g cream

Result: This is an interesting combination. The ganache is not that sweet and has a hint of bitterness. However when combined with the enrobbed chocolate it becomes sweet. To top it off one get the roasted pistachios flavouring with the matcha. I would suggest this recipe for matcha lovers.

Let the holiday baking begin.


25 Dec

Christmas is finally here. Vancouver is beautiful with the snow capped mountains. I am typing this while I munch on dimsum. Been baking up a storm in anticipation of the holidays this year. I made chocolates and cookies for gifts and finally hosted my first chrismtas cookie exchange. A memorable Christmas to remember with all the work involved.

First off, I made some roasted pistachio truffles


Pistachio Truffles
White Chocolate

Coconut Truffles
Toasted Coconut
White Chocolate

To make truffles, first chop the chocolate into pieces. Next boil the cream and when the cream has boiled pour into the chocolate. Stir until the cream and chocolate become mixed together and develops a sheen. Add the butter and cool to set. Once set use a spoon or mellon baller to scoop out ball sized ganache. Dip into melted chocolate and set. Once set dip the chocolates again and into the toasted pistachio or coconut.

Next I made some Chocolate Kisses or Baci di cioccolato. To make these cookies, hazelnuts were toasted and ground finley. The dry ingredients were next measured and set aside. I then creamed the butter and icing sugar until light and fluffy. Once fluffy, the rum and vanilla was added in and mixed. Finally the dry ingredients, such as flour, salt, baking powder, cocoa, nuts were added in. At first the cookie batter seemed dry but once some kneeding and squeezing the ball of dough came together. Using a spoon, spoon out the dough and roll into spheres. Roll into granulated sugar. Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes.


Chocolate Kisses (Baci Di Cioccolato)

1/2 cup whole blanced almonds ( I used hazelnuts)
1 tablespoon granulated sugar plus more for rolling
1 1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/4 teasp. baking powder
1/2 teasp. salt
1 cup unsalted butter softened
1 cup icing sugar
2 teasp. vanilla
1 tablespoon dark rum

The truffles and cookies came out well. The Chocolate kisses had a subtle hazelnut flavour to them and is a keeper. I definitely chose the right cookies to give as gifts.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!

Chocolate Lovers Rejoice-Dark Chocolate Ice Cream

8 Jul

You know Summer has arrived when the mercury reaches high twenties, the birds are chipping and people basking under the sun. The city has come alive when individuals ride along the sea walls, play beach volleyball, swim and lining up for a decadent ice cream scoop. In light of the recent heat, I decided to make some ice cream again. As mentioned before, ice cream starts off with a good custard first. I can’t emphasize on the temperature enough as the custard was the key to the ice cream. Heat the custard till 82 C and immediately take off the heat. If one doesn’t the eggs will curdle. Aside from the egg yolks curdling, rest the custard overnight as it mellows out.


Chocolate Ice Cream

400 ml milk
80 milk
4 egg yolks
75 trimoline (I used honey)
100 g sugar
200 g dark chocolate
18 g cocoa powder
240 ml whipping cream

Results, the recipe was smooth and had a prominent chocolate taste. A baked alaska would be my next project. Bon Appetit.


5 Jul

Time for another treat. I have always been fascinated with Hedgehogs. Now that I got the appropriate chocolate mold, I made some.

a good chocolate mold
temperature of the chocolate
to prevent large grainy pieces, ground the nuts to a fine texture.

Making the praline was the time consuming part. First one needs to toast the hazelnuts and then grind them into a paste like consistency. Next came the molds, make sure the mold is covered by a thin layer of chocolate. Once the chocolate was set, fill the chocolate with the praline filling. Place in the fridge for setting. Finally cover the top with more filling. ***Temperature was crucial in setting the chocolate.







250 g hazelnuts
100 g milk chocolate
30 g cocoa butter
250 g confectioners’ sugar

OMG, nothing taste better than homemade gianduja filling. This recipe is a keeper. I certainly hope readers will make some too as they are of better quality.

Sicilian-Frederic Bau

24 Nov

I have always wanted to make truffles again. Christmas would be the best excuse as everyone enjoys little box of chocolates right :). For me, my favorites were the European kind, in particular french pastries and chocolates. European chocolates contained a higher percentage of cocoa mass contributing to a higher quality chocolate. Naturally when I decided to make some chocolates, I gravitated towards French chocolate recipes. I came across a recipe book at VCC a while ago and was blown away by the mouthing watering photographs and recipes. Ironically, the book also included recipes from Valhrona. Valhrona have established themselves to be a high end quality chocolate. Imagine my surprise when the book called Au Coeur des Saveurs was written by Frederic Bau. Bau apparently is one of the best pastry chefs in the world and one of the founders of Valhrona Pastry School. While my skills are far in comparison to Bau, I am paying homage to his talent by making his Sicilian. Hopefully he approves 🙂


First boil the cream and then add the pistachio paste into the hot cream. Add in the cinnamon stick and let the mixture of cream, paste, and cinnamon infuse a few minutes and then pour the hot mixture onto the white chocolate. Add the butter and whip the mixture until fulling emulsified and creamy. Once cool, scoop into balls and coat with milk chocolate.

Sicilian Ingredients:

Pistachio Paste
Whipping Cream
White Chocolate
Unsalted Butter

As an option to this marvelous tasting recipe of Bau’s, I opted to toast some pistachios and ground them for topping. Happy Chocolate Making.

Butter Baking

A blog of baked goods, custom cakes and desserts

Jo the tart queen

food, travel & photography


Teresa Floyd Food & Photography

Hello Sweet Dessert

baking . cooking . et al

Jay Voclain - A sweet story

A Young pastry chef who aspires for more, decides to push her luck by moving to Los Angeles and starts her own company.


Life is short. Eat well.

Mon Voyage Culinaire

Nana's Culinary Journey

My Baking Cottage

where sweet & savory meets!

The Curious Baker

Gluten Free . Seasonal Recipes . Alternative Flours . Interesting Combinations



Cooking Without Limits

Food Photography & Recipes

My husband cooks

A tasty look at the food he makes, and I eat

The Pleasure Monger

Telling It As It Is


adventures in food, travel, and photography

Liege Waffle Recipe / Gaufre de Liège Recette Blog

Liege Waffle Recipe / Gaufre de Liège Recette

Bicil The Baker


My kitchen of love ~

What's behind my kitchen door


Homemade Memories

Leelabean Bakes

Cakes, cookies, dessert! Learn how to bake!

%d bloggers like this: