Chef Jacques Torres Sugar

3 Tips For Working With Sugar from Jacques Torres

Chef Jacques Torres and his Sugar ShowpieceDean of Pastry Arts, Chef Jacques Torres stopped by ICC’s New York campus this month to show our students how to work with sugar. Working with sugar is no simple task—it takes years of practice, skill and patience. Watching Chef Torres work with sugar is like watching Picasso paint; it is awe-inspiring, and he makes manipulating and shaping the difficult medium look easy.

For this demo, “Mr. Chocolate” decided to work with something a little different than chocolate—sugar! He created a showpiece featuring a shimmering sugar swan and a lifelike sugar rose. Throughout the hour and a half demo, he shared his insider tips to working with sugar after many years of experience. Below, we highlight some of our favorite tips from him to help you pull and pour sugar like the pros!

1. Sugar Becomes Shiny Through the Process of Satiné

Through the process of pulling the sugar, air is incorporated. As you continue to work with it, a sheen appears. But, be careful not to pull it too much, or else it will become dull!

Chef Jacques Torres Satinizing sugarChef Jacques Torres Satinizing sugar

2. Silicone Molds Will Mold Sugar, but...

…dough will work too! The fat in the dough makes it so the sugar and the dough will never stick together. The temperature difference of the two help to mold the sugar into the desired shape. This is what pastry chefs used before silicone molds were invented!

Chef Jacques Torres pouring sugar

3. Be Sure to Move your Sugar

When your pulled sugar is under a heat lamp, be sure to move it around every so often. This will ensure it keeps the right temperature. Because the heat is on the top of the sugar, it is important to continually flip the sugar so the temperature stays consistent.

Chef Jacques Torres moving his sugar under the heat lamp

If you’re inspired to learn how to make a sugar showpiece like Jacques Torres, check out ICC’s Professional Pastry Arts program where 60 hours of instruction are dedicated to sugar-focused décor, including showpieces like this!

Chocolate

Where Health Meets Decadence… 7 Reasons Why Dark Chocolate Can Be a Healthy Choice

Written by: Trees Emma Martens, Owner of Emma’s DelightsEmma

2013 Chocolate Candy and Confections Class

Emma’s Delights’ owner-chocolatière, Trees Emma Martens, was born and raised in Belgium and like most Belgians, she grew up with fine chocolates. Her mom was a great cook and a fabulous baker-pâtissière, and from a very young age, Emma spent countless hours helping her mom measuring and mixing ingredients in the family kitchen, and most importantly taking care of the ‘quality assurance’ of the finished product by tasting it at all the different stages of production. No wonder she claims that crafting chocolates must be ingrained in her DNA. 

Emma has been experimenting daily in her own kitchen since her college years. After moving to the Bay Area in 1996 with her family, she eagerly included a variety of culinary elements from the many cultures surrounding her into her own recipes. Emma’s Delights continues that tradition.

We‘ve all heard the saying, “dark chocolate is good for you,” and there are many studies claiming just that. Here are my top 7 health benefits attributed to a high cocoa percentage dark chocolate*:

  1. Fights Free Radicals: Dark chocolate contains plenty of antioxidants that reduce free radicals (unstable atoms that can damage cells).
  2. Protects Your Skin: The flavanols, a plant-based nutrient, found in dark chocolate absorb ultraviolet rays thus protecting your skin against their damaging effects. Please note that it’s still good to wear sunscreen!
  3. Improves Blood Flow: Dark chocolate is said to lower blood pressure and may even improve brain function by increasing blood flow, which can help you perform better on intellectual tests.
  4. Lowers Risk of Heart Disease: Dark chocolate (together with exercise and a healthy diet) can lower the risk of heart disease because it raises the HDL (good cholesterol) and decreases the oxidized LDL (meaning “bad” cholesterol has reacted with free radicals).
  5. Increases Productivity: Dark chocolate contains stimulants like caffeine and theobromine (a blood vessel widener), but at a low enough level to not keep you awake at night.
  6. Reduces Stress: Apparently, dark chocolate also helps reduce stress hormones that can lead to collagen breakdown (wrinkles) and excess oil production (acne).
  7. Lose Weight: Eating a piece of dark chocolate as a snack will lower your craving for sweets and fatty foods and reduces feelings of hunger. This will make it easier to stick to your regular diet plan and help you to reduce body weight.

* If 90% cacao mass is too bitter for you, try a 70%. Just make sure that sugar is not the first ingredient listed and that your plain dark chocolate is truly dairy-free.

If all these scientific reasons cannot persuade you to include dark chocolate into your diet, just think of how good eating a piece of chocolate can make you feel… to indulge without guilt!

With Emma’s Delights, my goal is to handcraft high quality chocolates in small volume with emphasis on the uniqueness of Belgian chocolates. I want to stay as close as possible to the original art of Belgian ‘praline’ making, using traditional molds and soft fillings. I am also passionate about eating healthy so I use only ‘real’ ingredients for my fillings. I avoid any coloring or preservatives, I never use glucose or any other sugary syrups, and I only use organic cane sugar for caramelized fillings. Many of my customers are also happy to know that my fillings are dairy free and all are gluten free. In staying true to my motto, “where decadence becomes healthy,” I offer a large selection of gourmet products made with 70% cacao mass Belgian chocolate, nuts, seeds, or dried fruit.

While Emma’s Delights is mainly an online store that concentrates on “order only,” you can also find me at holiday markets and corporate pop ups. As a small business owner, my job description includes everything from janitor to CEO. In one day, I can go from purchasing ingredients and developing recipes to, fulfilling customer orders and making my chocolates and fillings. There is also a lot of administrative work and marketing involved, i.e answering emails and sending out quotes, writing newsletters, taking pictures for Instagram and, of course, there is always a lot of clean up.

Although maintaining such high standards for my products takes much effort, the “farm to table” movement has always been a way of life for me. In fact, I grew up eating healthy meals cooked from scratch, using fresh vegetables and fruit mostly grown in our own garden. I also have fond memories of assisting my mom every Saturday, baking cakes, pastries, and pies that we would deliver to our neighbors on Sundays as gifts. Even though my mom was an amazing amateur baker/pâtissière, the dessert ‘par excellence’ for me was definitely chocolate, and more specifically our famous Belgian chocolates.

Growing up in Belgium, we always had chocolate in the pantry and after moving to the United States, I especially missed those Belgian ‘pralines’ (hard shell chocolates with soft fillings). One particular year, my craving for them was so great that I decided to make them myself. I did a lot of research online, bought some chocolate molds, and started making my own chocolates. My first attempts didn’t always work out well, but I was intrigued by the process and wanted to learn more about tempering and the whole chocolate making craft. I began taking some amateur classes and became hooked. Since I wanted to really master the art of chocolate making, I was fortunate that the ICC was offering a 5-week course and eagerly signed up for it. Meanwhile, I had to practice a lot and shared my first results with friends and family. Even though my chocolates were still far from perfect, they were a big hit and people often encouraged me to start a business. I knew it would be tough, but the idea of becoming a chocolatière was appealing to me because I saw a niche for it: Belgian chocolates made by a Belgian in the Bay Area, using Belgian couverture chocolate.

Learn more about Emma’s Delights on her website [http://emmasdelights.com] and be sure to follow her on Instagram @emmasdelights!

2017 ICC Holiday Gift Guide

The holiday season is officially in full swing with Channukah approaching next week and Christmas just weeks away. Wondering what to gift the culinary student or food enthusiast in your life? ICC has you covered with an array of options from our community featuring gift ideas from alumni, deans, and more!


Bonbons from Stick With Me Sweets
Photo Credit: Evan Sung

Susanna Yoon was the recipient of our 2017 Outstanding Alumni Award for her excellence in Pastry Arts. The queen of bonbons has been featured in several publications for the meticulously crafted chocolate creations found in her NYC store, Stick WIth Me Sweets. Just last month, Yoon was featured in Forbes’ Ultimate Chocolate Gift Guide for the artisanal chocolate bonbon Christmas tree featured above. The festive ‘Christmas in NY” box is filled with 25 bonbons with flavors like Santa’s Milk and Cookies, Gingerbread S’mores, Peppermint Cookie, and Spiced Eggnog treats. Stick With Me Sweets is currently accepting pre-orders and will begin shipping on December 10. Give this sweet gift to the chocolate lover in your life — they will not be disappointed! Visit www.swmsweets.com to place your order today!


A Recreational Class at the International Culinary Center

ICC offers a wide variety of one-day and multi-day recreational courses designed specifically to educate home cooks and professional chefs alike, incorporating techniques used throughout the industries of culinary and pastry arts. Curated and scheduled throughout the year, the school’s recreational courses appeal to men and women of all ages and interests. Gift your favorite aspiring chef with our upcoming Culinary Techniques (multi-day) course beginning January 4 to get a taste of the ICC curriculum. Looking for something shorter? Try Cooking The New Delicious on January 27th where you’ll be instructed to craft a full seasonal meal that’s sure to impress any and all dinner guests. Or, perhaps the carb-lover in your life will appreciate a 4-hour course in Croissants or Homemade Pizza, both being held on January 6th. Sweet tooths are welcome at our upcoming Chocolate Treats and Truffles course on the afternoon of January 27th.

For our full multi-day class offering list, click here.

For our full one-day recreational class offering list, click here.

 


Anything from Just Hit Send Gifts! 

Dallas events planner and ICC Culinary Entrepreneurship alumna Annie Shamoon created JustHitSendGifts.com to help people celebrate small moments with effortless yet thoughtful gift sending. Gift sets are available for birthdays, new babies, ‘The Entertainer’, your favorite ‘Grillmaster,’  the ‘Fancy Foodie’ in your life or even for someone to enjoy a  ‘Lazy Sunday’ — each packed with different tailored goodies. Look for essentials such as chocolates, coffees, candles and more. Head to JustHitSendGifts.com to check out their carefully crafted holiday gift sets and place your order in time for the holidays!


Cookbooks from our Alumni + Deans!

There are a plethora of cookbooks to choose from authored by ICC’s esteemed alumni, deans, chef-instructors, and friends from over the years. It’s so hard to choose just one, or even a few, to purchase for your loved one(s) this holiday season. Here are just a few recently released cookbooks to add to Santa’s list!


This September, ICC’s Dean of Special Programs released a brand new cookbook, different from his 20+ other instructional books. This time around, Jacques Pépin brought his granddaughter Shorey to the spotlight and focuses more on simple recipes that could be made at home and enjoyed by all generations. Expect to learn to create curly hot dogs, spinach with croutons, sushi salmon cakes, skillet bread and homemade butter, raspberry cake and more — surely to become irresistible new classics for kids!

 

Purchase your copy, here. 

 


Prior to opening his latest venture, Du’s Donuts in New York City this year, ICC alumnus Wylie Dufresne also released WD~50: The Cookbook in October. The cookbook pays homage to the Dufresne-owned cutting-edge New York City restaurant which opened back in 2003.  Providing a glimpse of NYC culinary culture from 2003 through the final dinner at WD~50 in 2014, the cookbook fills the void left behind by the gastronomic artistry at the restaurant.

Purchase your copy, here.


This month, Bobby Flay helps you get fit ahead of your New Year’s resolutions with a brand new cookbook entitled, Bobby Flay Fit: 200 Recipes for a Healthy Lifestyle. With this latest cookbook, the FCI alum helps the home cook transform lean proteins, whole grains, and fresh produce into crave-worthy meals at home.

Purchase your copy, here.


The Pastry Chef’s Little Black Book is a comprehensive collection of nearly 500 professionally formatted recipes covering all aspects of the pastry arts. Authored by award-winning pastry chefs Michael Zebrowski (ICC alumnus and former Pastry Chef-Instructor) and Michael Mignano. The foreword is written by ICC Master Guest Pastry Chef, Ron Ben-Israel, with gorgeous photography by Battman. Whether you’re just thinking of attending culinary school or a tenured professional chef, this is the one sweet ‘little black book’ you’ll find useful for any occasion that calls for desserts!

Purchase your copy, here. 


Merch from the ICC Shop! 

 

It’s never too early to join the ICC family, and our store will have you covered from your littlest foodies through your eldest. Stop by our shop to show your school spirit with hats, hoodies, onesies and more! Click here to shop all options!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Not sure which recreational class your loved one would prefer? Want to contribute to their culinary education? Purchase a gift certificate for our New York Campus today!

Recipe: Chocolate Crumble Focaccia

Within our NYC pastry kitchens, Director of Pastry Operations, Jansen Chan, is always coming up with new recipes and techniques to propel the creativity of Pastry Arts students and inspire them to develop recipes of their own. Learn how to recreate his latest recipe below, and join our next Open House to catch a live demonstration by Chef Jansen. CLICK HERE to learn dates and register one of ICC’s upcoming Open Houses.

 


CHOCOLATE CRUMBLE FOCACCIA 
Yield: 9” x 13” pan, about 12 servings

img_4655-copy

INGREDIENTS:

¼ cup + 2 tablespoons cocoa
½ cup coffee, hot
3 ¼ cup flour, all-purpose
¼ cup sugar
7g. yeast, dry (1 sachets)
1 ½ cup water, lukewarm
1 ½ teaspoon salt
1 c. dark chocolate, 55%-65%, chopped
Crumble (see next)
Powdered sugar, for garnish


PROCEDURE: 

-In a bowl, whisk cocoa with hot coffee. Reserve and let cool slightly.

-In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, mix cocoa mixture, flour, sugar, yeast and water at a low speed for 3-5 minutes, or until thoroughly mixed.

-Add the salt and increase the mixer speed to medium and allow to knead until the dough comes together on the hook, about 12-15 mins.

-Add chopped chocolate.

-Transfer the dough to a large, oiled bowl and wrap well in plastic wrap.

-Place in a warm spot, such as over a hot oven, until the dough doubles, about 1-2 hours. Or, place the wrapped dough in the refrigerator and allow to proof overnight, for at least 12 hours.

-Grease and parchment line a pan.

-Punch down the proofed dough, transfer to the prepared pan, and push and stretch the dough down evenly.

-Sprinkle the crumble on top.

-Cover the dough loosely with plastic wrap and allow the dough to proof again in a warm spot until doubled about 1-2 hours.

-Preheat the oven to 400 F°.

-Bake at 400 F for 35-40 mins. or until 185 F°, if using a thermometer.

-Allow cooling for 15 mins. before cutting.

-Dust with powdered sugar, if desired.

-Wrap well to keep moist.


INGREDIENTS FOR CRUMBLE

1 ¾ cup flour, all-purpose

1 ½ cup brown sugar

¾ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

3 oz. (¾ stick) butter, unsalted, cold


CRUMBLE PROCEDURE: 

-Combine flour, brown sugar, salt, and sugar in a mixer bowl.

-Cut butter into smaller pieces.

-In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, combine butter and dry ingredients until sandy.

-Reserve in a refrigerator until needed.

 

Inside ICC: Creating Chocolate Truffles with Chef-Instructor Michael Zebrowski

Celebrate Valentine’s Day by creating your own chocolate truffles —and a heart-shaped box made of chocolate. Watch below as Pastry Chef-Instructor Michael Zebrowski shares some of the techniques learned within ICC’s Professional Pastry Arts program.


Ingredients Needed:

  • 454 grams (1 lb) Heavy Cream
  • 70 grams (2.5 oz) Invert Sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon Salt
  • 680 grams (1 lb 8 oz) Chocolate (58-64%)
  • 227 grams (8 oz) Butter (softened)
  • 114 grams (4 oz) Liqueur
  • *Use a good quality liqueur like Cognac, Armagnac, Grand Marnier or dark rum.

Procedure for Chocolate Truffles: 

  • In a saucepan, bring the cream, sugar and salt to a boil
    Pour the hot mixture over the chocolate. Allow to stand for one minute, then emulsify, from the center out, until smooth
  • Stir in the softened butter and emulsify until homogeneous.
  • Gradually pour in the liqueur, stirring continuously to maintain an emulsion.
  • Cover the surface of the ganache with plastic wrap and allow to set up at room temperature.
  • Pipe the ganache into rounds that are as spherical as possible.
  • Roll the ganache into spheres by hand and chill again. At this point, the rolls may be refrigerated for several days before being finished.
  • Allow the spheres to temper from the refrigerator before coating twice in tempered chocolate.
  • After the second coating, roll the truffles in sifted cocoa powder before the chocolate sets. Once set, sift the excess cocoa powder off the finished truffles.

 

Create a chocolate heart-shaped box using techniques from Chef Michael! Learn more about ICC’s Professional Pastry Arts program, click here. 

 

Chocolate Demo with Dean of Pastry Arts, Jacques Torres 2/1/2017

To kick off the month of February, Dean of Pastry Arts Jacques Torres prepared the ICC community for the upcoming Valentine’s Day holiday. Sharing words of wisdom on chocolate trends, the business side of Valentine’s Day and advice on how the famous Jacques Torres Chocolate locations handle one of the busiest seasons of the year.

Watch the full Facebook Live video, here. 

Want the ability to use the techniques shown here by Dean of Pastry Arts, Jacques Torres? Click Here to learn more about ICC’s Professional Pastry Arts program.

View the full gallery, here: