Last week, I was invited to attend an exclusive chocolate cooking demo and tasting hosted by Valrhona. The event was intended primarily for professional pastry chefs in Boston, but they had a few spots for bloggers and media as well.
The event introduced Valrhona’s newest variety of chocolate, Coeur de Guanaja. To illustrate ways in which Coeur de Guanaja can be used, Valrhona’s Corporate Pastry Chef Alex Espiritu demonstrated three elegant desserts.
The first dessert was called Pop Fresh: a square of chocolate studded dacquoise, topped with a layer of praline cremeaux, green apple sorbet, diced green apples and green apple marshmallow.
Because of the way in which this dessert was composed, especially the transparent Opaline, I ended up eating it in parts. I ate the sorbet with the diced apples and some of the opaline, and then I had the praline cremeaux with the dacquoise. It was definitely an interesting combination of flavors, and I liked it a lot. The praline complemented the tart apple components nicely.
During the demo, we had the opportunity to sample various Valrhona products. Below, the almond hazelnut praline Cremeaux made with Valrhona almond hazelnut praliné, which I would gladly eat by the spoonful if given the opportunity.
We tasted Valrhona Caraibe feves, which I have been meaning to use in chocolate chip cookies for ages.
Les Perles Craquantes, Crunchy Dark Chocolate Pearls, are tiny chocolate balls filled with crunchy puffed wheat. There are various applications for these in desserts, but these would make a fun snack as well, in my opinion.
The next dessert, Karalla, had a base of chocolate sponge cake with Nyangbo chocolate ganache, almond hazelnut praline mousse and mango jelly.
This was probably my favorite of the three plated desserts. There was just enough chocolate in the sponge, ganache, and Perles, without it being overwhelming. The chocolate, praline mousse, and the mango represented a nice flavor spectrum, starting with strong, dark, slightly bitter chocolate, and moving towards sweeter and fruity. Below, the full, plated Karalla, garnished with squares of mango jelly and cubes of chocolate sponge cake.
Hot chocolate drink
Chocolate ice cream push-pop (the same push pops used in the chocolate cheesecake push pop from Asana).