panel

Sharing the Slice: Finding Balance

On Sunday, March 24th, 2019 the International Culinary Center hosted a jam-packed day of discussions and networking for pastry professionals at the second Pastry Plus Conference. Pastry Plus provides a unique opportunity to connect the innovative minds of pastry professionals to meet and discuss the changing landscape of the industry. As a community, pastry chefs, sous chefs, line cooks, bakers and pastry business owners address the evolving workplace, learn about industry innovations and expand the sphere of the modern pastry chef.

panelThe theme of this year’s conference, Sharing the Slice, focused on how the industry must consider the way in which we connect and share information. Cooking has always been a shared experience. As Emily Luchetti—Chief Pastry Officer of Big Night Restaurant Group & ICC Dean of Pastry—shared in her conference address, pastries and desserts are innately created to be shared at the end of a meal. The morning forum, presented by our partner Callebaut®, brought to light how chefs share ideas and communicate in today’s changing landscape of modern technology. The panel discussion moderated by Mitchell Davis, Chief Strategy Officer of The James Beard Foundation, featured Zoe Kanan (Head Baker of Simon & The Whale and The Studio), Rose Levy Beranbaum (Cookbook Author) and Ron Ben-Israel (Owner of Ron Ben-Israel Cakes). Everything from the future of cookbooks to the risks and rewards of increased connection through social media were discussed.

zoe kananPastry Plus also provides an opportunity for current ICC students to volunteer for the day’s events—sit in on panels, individual classes and meet their future colleagues in the industry. Current ICC Professional Pastry Arts student, Samantha Daily was one of 15 volunteers that attended the conference. Samantha began the day greeting guests; little did she know VIP guests and speakers would also be entering with attendees. She shared that this was her “first indication of just how much this conference drew professionals from the pastry industry together.” From industry legends like Elizabeth Falkner and Claudia Flemming, to rising pastry talents like Zoe Kanan and Eunji Lee, Samantha remarked that “everyone was treated equally”. “Everyone walked in the same door, had the same breakfast, and attended the same conference,” said Samantha. We asked Samantha to share some of her biggest takeaways from the panel and opening forum to hear from the next generation of pastry professionals. Read below to hear about her experience at Pastry Plus!

Social Media Promotes The Sharing of Ideas

rose levy barenbaumRose Levy Beranbaum, author of The Cake Bible, spoke about how cookbooks once sparked a change in the industry by pushing people to share what they know. Before cookbooks were widely popularized, chefs guarded their techniques and recipes as secrets. Cookbooks built the foundation of communication among professionals and home cooks alike.

Today, social media and the internet have completely changed the landscape. For better or worse, chefs are almost expected to share what they know. The positive is that often by sharing their ideas through posts on their social channels, they allow budding chefs to grow through their knowledge and connect with other colleagues around the world.

Ron Ben-Israel shared the story of how he met Rose years ago. At the time, there was no direct message on social media to contact someone you admired. Instead, Ron wrote to the publisher of Rose’s cookbook with words of admiration for her work. The letter made its way to Rose and she ended up meeting with Ron because he took the time to write to her. Nowadays, Ron commented that this has changed within the industry because of social media, and it’s not always positive. Instead of decorum and professionalism, people often message him on Instagram asking for his recipes. As someone who values teaching others, he would be willing to share helpful tips, but there is an air of expectation with this communication that does not promote growth in the industry. What is his suggestion to rising chefs? Strive to build relationships with chefs and learn from them in a different setting.

Giving Credit is Important

The panelists all agreed—giving credit where credit is due is essential to protecting other chef’s brands, hard work and promoting your own reputation. Many chefs post their creations and share their recipes, but it can be off putting when many people, other chefs included, use their ideas without recognizing who they took inspiration from. Innovation is something we strive for in our industry, so to discover a new way of doing something just to have it stolen by another can be disheartening. Giving credit shows integrity and respect, and in turn, builds your reputation within the tight-knit pastry community.

On the Topic of Following Others…

emily luchettiIn Emily Luchetti’s opening speech, she shared that “you won’t find your own style by following what everyone else is doing.” This speaks volumes about what is happening on social media today. It is too easy to see what others are doing and repeat their post. So, how can you be innovative without simply following what is trendy? Ron and Rose agreed with panelist Zoe Kanan when she spoke of trusting her instincts to follow those you admire. Use social media and cookbooks as a source of inspiration, but listen to “the mixing bowl in your mind” to create your own style and become who you’re meant to be as a pastry chef.

Trends vs. Innovation

Trends only last so long. Maybe a week, or a month, but they are fleeting and soon replaced by the next trend. Innovation is progression and evolution. It is something we should be striving for as a pastry community. Innovation is what will further the industry as a whole, ensuring that classic and modern pastry techniques are carried into the future. Innovation lasts—trends change.

About Samantha Daily

samantha daily and christina tosiSamantha Daily is a current student in the Professional Pastry Program here at ICC! She grew up cooking and baking with her mom and sister and has always had a passion for it. She was in school studying equine science and management when she got the amazing opportunity to compete on MasterChef season 9, going on to place 4th in the competition and was blessed with an amazing scholarship from Gordon Ramsay. While in school, she is getting the most out of her experience by attending almost all of the demonstrations & events and working part time at fellow ICC alumna Christina Tosi’s Milk Bar.

design in pastry

Defining Design in Pastry

By Valeria Pinto, 2019 Pastry Plus Next Gen Winner

One of the most important elements of pastry is the design and execution behind it. Throughout time, pastry chefs have been pushing the boundaries to create desserts that not only look beautiful, but tell stories about who they are and what they feel. At this year’s Pastry Plus Conference at the International Culinary Center, pastry chefs Francisco Migoya and Eunji Lee shared how their experience, background, and creativity impact the ideation process behind any of their creations. They discussed how different elements such as aesthetic, flavor, personal experience and new technologies all play important roles in the creation of their sweet results.

designFrancisco Migoya, Head Chef at Modernist Cuisine in Seattle, explained his thought processes when coming up with new ideas for a pastry. He highlighted how patterns are one of the most important aesthetic elements to think about. Thinking how things work as a group, rather than on their own will help any pastry chef be more creative. Francisco reaffirmed that imperfection in pastries can be very beautiful, and that traditional patterns can be offset by more asymmetrical ones to create different stylistic effects. In his passion fruit dessert, he positions each individual square in a different direction that doesn’t follow a specific pattern. This creates new shapes and shadows in the piece as a whole.

yuzuOn a different note, Francisco talked about thinking outside the box of how an ingredient can be represented in a pastry. Years before, he had created a Yuzu dessert in the shape of a Yuzu fruit, which he later realized was too big of a portion and not easy to share. When remaking this dessert, he thought about the letter Y and all the possible meanings it could stand for. It stands for Yuzu, but can also be interpreted for words such as Why or Yes, or any other personal connotation to it. Francisco mentioned how the actual shape of the letter Y lends itself to be shared, which is the purpose of most pastries. Thinking about shareability and typography can elevate the design and experience someone has with a dessert.

design moldsThe pastry chef panelists also discussed the importance of new technologies such as 3D printing in the process of developing an idea for a pastry. This technology opens up opportunities for unique collaborations between pastry chefs and 3D modelers, designers and artists like never before. By using techniques such as casting, 3D modeling and printing, and 3D scanning, artists and designers can work together with chefs to make their creations edible. Aside from these specific technologies, there are also increasing amounts of molds that open up new ideas for pastry chefs. Finding ideas for the molds you want to design does not have to come only from other pastries, but from unexpected places like tiles, walls, art, and everyday objects that are not associated directly with pastry. They concluded this topic by asking: “Or why use a mold at all?” as there as endless ways to use kitchen and organic objects to create a new pastry or concept.

bread dessertEunji Lee, Pastry Chef at Jungsik in New York, described how she goes from inspiration to the execution of her desserts. At Jungsik, she has a dessert tasting menu that integrates the 3 most important elements of pastry creation in her life: identity, seasonal ingredients and visual appearance. She mentioned how living in Korea and France both shaped her identity, and how now living in New York has brought new opportunities for her to get inspiration from. Eunji is inspired by traditional Korean shapes and symbols. However, her pieces are modern, clean and visually intriguing. She gives priority to seasonal ingredients in order to have the best availability for fruits and vegetables, along with the freshest flavors. For spring, she created a Bread and Butter dessert. One of the techniques she uses most is deceiving her eaters to think they are eating one thing, and having a surprising seasonal flavor on the inside.

banana'In another dessert, she uses a custom mold to create a banana and coffee dessert with a pastry shaped like an actual small banana. Her intentional use of color, design and element of surprise creates an unforgettable experience for anyone who tries her desserts. Eunji explains how she always starts with the flavors or ingredients she wants for her dish, inspired by her identity and the places she has lived in. Then, she develops an idea to render it in a new, unexpected way that will make the dinners experience the flavors differently.

Both Eunji Lee and Francisco Migoya agreed that inspiration for a dessert can come from unexpected places. For beginners, the best way to get better is to replicate while always giving credit to the sources of your ideas. Once you develop your own style, the most important thing is to make your own vision a reality and have fun with it. Francisco asked the audience: “Why go into such a beautiful career to go and do the same thing [as others]?”

Pastry design is going into new and exciting places with 3D printing, a wide variety of silicone molds and a new trend towards organic flavors and intentional uses of design. Both panelists agreed that color should be used deliberately and not out of wanting to represent the entire color wheel. Elements such as shareability, postion, asymmetry, inspiration from unusual objects, exploration of world flavors, and purposeful use of color can help a pastry chef explore all the possibilities in pastry design. There are no limitations to what you can create when you understand your identity and what you want your customers to experience.

vanilla

Vanilla: 5 Countries, 5 Flavors

beth and emilyOn March 24th, 120+ pastry professionals—pastry chefs, sous chefs, cooks, bakers, business owners and students—gathered at ICC for the second Pastry Plus Conference. In addition to the morning forum, panel discussion and keynote address, conference goers selected three breakout classes to attend from nine different topics surrounding craft, innovation and workplace in the pastry industry. One of the first sessions of the day, Vanilla: Anything But Plain, dove into the world of one of the most beloved, and difficult to source, ingredients.

Beth Nielsen—3rd generation owner & Vice President of Culinary for Nielsen-Massey Vanillas, Pastry Plus contributing sponsor—as well as Emily Luchetti—Chief Pastry Officer of Big Night Restaurant Group and ICC Dean of Pastry—offered up their expertise on the complex flavors, agriculture, production and varietals of vanilla.

In this sold out session, attendees tasted five different vanilla varietals, generously provided by Nielsen-Massey, in a dessert that relies on prominent vanilla flavors—pot de créme (basically a créme brûlée without the brûlée)! The vanilla samples all came from countries near the equator including Madagascar, Tahiti, Uganda, Indonesia and Mexico. Below, we’re sharing what we learned about the countries producing vanilla & how this impacts the differences in flavor.

BRUSH UP ON YOUR VANILLA FACTS

  • Vanilla is one of the world’s most labor intensive crops, second only to saffron.
  • Vanilla is the only fruit bearing orchid, but cannot pollinate on its own—every crop must be hand pollinated, or in the case of Mexico, have an indigenous bee to pollinate it.
  • The window for pollination is only 12-24 hours, one day a year!
  • Vanilla is grown within 10-20 degrees of the equator.
  • Similar to how the terroir of a vineyard affects a bottle of wine, the landscape of where vanilla is grown will give each bean a unique flavor.

Mexico

Although Madagascar produces 75% of the world’s vanilla, Mexico is actually the birthplace of the vanilla orchid, also known as Vanilla planifolia Andrews. For centuries, vanilla could only be found throughout Mexico because of an indigenous bee called the Melipona, which is the only insect to pollinate the orchid flower that produces the fruit. Vanilla was finally introduced to the rest of the world when the pods were brought back to Spain in the late 1700s.

Mexican vanilla has flavors of cinnamon, nutmeg and hints of spice—much like the delicious savory food from Mexico! This vanilla is great for fall flavors and pairs well with warmer spices.

Madagascar

In the late 1700s, vanilla was brought from Mexico to the island of Réunion in Madagascar. It took 50 years for vanilla to finally start growing consistently after a botanist realized the indigenous bees of Mexico were the ones pollinating the orchid flowers. After this was discovered, a Malagasy man perfected the method for fertilizing each flower by hand, which is still the method of fertilization today!

Madagascar vanilla is characterized by the familiar flavors that everyone recognizes it for—sweet, creamy and perfect in almost everything (yes, even savory food!)

Tahiti

Similar to Madagascar, Tahiti’s tropical climate is perfect for growing vanilla. In the mid 1800s, after a few years of various vanilla species being imported into the country, Tahitian Vanilla was born—Vanilla Tahitensis. While Madagascar, Mexico and Indonesia all produce the same species, the Tahitian variety are distinctly fruity and larger than other species.

Tahitian vanilla has distinct flavors of floral and fruity notes with a surprising punch of cherry at the end. Tahitian vanilla is great in heat-sensitive dishes.

Uganda

Uganda is one of the most recent countries to start producing vanilla in the year 1940. While other countries in the world can only harvest vanilla once per year, Ugandan vanilla can be harvested twice per year in December and June or July because of the unique weather.

Ugandan vanilla has flavors of chocolate and is most similar to vanilla from Madagascar. This may be due to the similar processing that the two countries use.

Indonesia

Indonesia produces a product that is most similar to vanilla from Madagascar. This country has become the second largest producer of vanilla, second only to Madagascar. Indonesia focuses on quantity production and harvests all of the beans at once, which saves time and yields a greater crop.

Indonesian vanilla has unique smoky and woody flavors that pair well with chocolate. Indonesian farmers use a different, complicated process for curing their beans. While you usually have to add vanilla in at the end of cooking to prevent the fragile flavors from disappearing, Indonesian beans are great for high-heat cooking.

The next time you reach for vanilla in your spice cabinet, consider using one from a different country depending on the application! The signature characteristics of each can help to bring out different depths of flavor in your cooking.

Sources:

Nielsen, Beth, and Emily Luchetti. “Vanilla: Anything But Plain.” Pastry Plus. Pastry Plus, 24 Mar. 2019, New York, New York.

Ruggiero, Jocelyn. “The 4 Kinds of Vanilla Beans to Know.” Food & Wine, 23 May 2017, www.foodandwine.com/blogs/4-kinds-vanilla-beans-know.

Spiegel, Alison. “It’s About Time You Knew Exactly Where Vanilla Comes From.” HuffPost, HuffPost, 6 Nov. 2014, www.huffpost.com/entry/vanilla-comes-from_n_5021060.

“Where Does Vanilla Come From? – Nielsen-Massey Vanillas.” Nielsen, 16 June 2018, nielsenmassey.com/where-does-vanilla-come-from/.

pastries

New York City’s Top Pastry Chefs Give Back At Pastryland

photography boardOn March 9th, the International Culinary Center held the second Pastryland Bake Sale benefiting Hot Bread Kitchen. More than 350 dessert lovers attended to taste exclusive pastries from 19 of New York City’s best pastry chefs, all while raising $5,350 for Hot Bread Kitchen, a non-profit organization providing culinary training to low-income women in NYC. The afternoon, which featured unique artisanal treats and re-imagined classics, showcased the talents and limitless imaginations of pastry chefs. Alumni of ICC’s Professional Pastry Arts program donated some of the day’s favorites including Tyler Atwell’s (Lafayette Grand Café & Bakery) Chocolate Ring Ding, Anna Bolz’s (Per Se) Toasted Coconut Layer Cake, Lindsey Farr’s (Restaurant Marc Forgione) Snicker’s Donut, Charlotte Neuville’s (Charlotte Neuville Cakes + Confections) Miniature Cake Tasting, and Shaun Velez’s (Café Boulud) Mini Pistachio Gateaux. Even our very own Stephen Collucci, ICC Pastry Chef Instructor, got in on the fun with a Chocolate Dipped Fluffernutter cookie!

 

 

The event would not have been possible without the support of our Partner, Callebaut®, who not only generously donated the chocolate for all 19 chefs, but also unveiled the new RB1 ruby couveture in limited-edition desserts to consumers for the first time ever in New York City. A selected group of pastry chefs and chocolatiers rose to the occasion and crafted original sweets featuring the rosy color tones and fruity flavor of ruby cacao. The Ruby Velvet Choux from Monica Ng of Great Performances, Ruby Bon Bons from Christopher Curtin’s Eclat Chocolates, Mexican Ruby Scribble Cookie from Fany Gerson of La Newyorkina, Ruby Snack Bar from Dimitriy Shurygin of The Key Patisserie offered attendees a beautiful visual.

ruby

Gold Sponsor, Beurremont Butter, as well as Nielsen-Massey Vanilla provided our contributing pastry chefs with product to use in their sweet creations. This came in handy for bakery specialties like the PB+J Kouign Amann by Rory Macdonald of Patisserie Chanson, Baklava Croissant by Scott Cioe of Bien Cuit, and Sprezzatura Sourdough by Daniel Alvarez of Daily Provisions.

golden egg cream station

Specialty beverages provided by Joe’s Coffee and Rishi Tea & Botanicals, as well as Evian and Badoit, were available for purchase. In addition, guests were treated to a free Gold Egg Cream shot featuring a housemade Callebaut® Gold Chocolate syrup with milk, topped with Badoit sparkling water dispensed from giant gold chocolate eggs!

joes coffee
rishi tea
evian
badoit

jacques torres and ron ben israelFinally, a day of pastry fun wouldn’t be complete without an Instagram-friendly moment, or two! ICC’s Dean of Pastry Arts, Jacques Torres and Guest Master Pastry Chef, Ron Ben-Israel surprised attendees with a photo op at our 8 foot piped royal icing wall (which used a total of 110 pounds of royal icing).

We would like to thank all of the chefs, restaurants and bakeries who participated (see full list below), as well as our partners and sponsors who made this afternoon possible (see the full list here). A special thank you to everyone who came to Pastryland this year and gave back to the NYC food community in the sweetest way! Check out the weekend’s sweet treats below!

Exclusive Pastryland Desserts

All 19 Desserts Pictured

Chef Dmitriy Shurygin | The Key Patisserie | Ruby Snack Bar

Chef Lindsey Farr | Restaurant Marc Forgione | Snickers Donut

Chef Scott Cioe | Bien Cuit | Baklava Croissant

Chef Daniel Alvarez | Union Square Cafe and Daily Provisions | Chocolate Hazelnut Tart

Chef Jin Capobianco | The River Cafe | Hazelnut Mocha Opera

Chef Rory Macdonald | Patisserie Chanson + Dessert Bar | PB+J Kouign Amann

Chef Stephen Collucci | International Culinary Center | Chocolate Dipped Fluffernutter

Chef Jeffrey Wurtz | Aureole | Dorayaki with Sweet Red Bean and Chocolate Sesame

The Bakers of Hot Bread Kitchen | Hot Bread Kitchen | Chocolate Babka

Chef Tyler Atwell | Lafayette Grand Café & Bakery | Chocolate Ring Ding

Chef Lindsey Bittner | Leonelli Restaurants | Cacao Nib Butter Cookies

Monica Ng | Great Performances | Ruby Velvet Choux

Chef Anna Bolz | Per Se | Coconut Layer Cake

Chef Charlotte Neuville | Charlotte Neuville Cakes + Confections | Mini Cake Tasting

Chef Fany Gerson | La Newyorkina | Ruby Scribble Cookies

Chef Shaun Velez | Café Boulud | Mini Pistachio Gateux with vanilla buttercream and raspberry pate de fruit

Chef Joe Murphy | Counter Hospitality | Meyer Lemon Madelienes

Chef Daniel Alvarez | Union Square Café and Daily ProvisionsSprezzatura Sourdough

Chef Christopher Curtin | Éclat ChocolateRuby Bonbons

Chef Julie Elkind | Bâtard Pate a Choux filled with Caramel Chocolate Ganache and Tropical Fruit Compote

Pastry Plus 2017: A Student’s Perspective

Article by Katie Malkin
Professional Pastry Arts Student

As someone who’s new to the professional pastry world, I was excited to volunteer for the International Culinary Center’s first conference for pastry professionals and listen in on some of the talks, panels, and conversations to hear what has the pastry industry abuzz.

As it turns out, there are a number of current trends that happen to be popular in the minds of top pastry chefs. While these are just the tip of the iceberg, please reference my takeaways on three of these trends below.

  • Sustainability and Wellness – Bill Yosses, Pastry Chef to the Obama’s while they were in the White House, discussed the need for pastry chefs to show leadership in considering the health impacts of their products, both to consumers and to the environment. Dessert has a place in our diets, but Bill asked chefs to encourage their customers to indulge responsibly.
  • Insta-worthiness – Magritte Preston, freelance food writer, talked about the struggle of pastry chefs to compete in the world of Instagram, on which followers tend to flock toward eye-popping, yet taste-devoid desserts. She explained that chefs could incorporate decadence, novelty, and nostalgia into their social media posts to get views while maintaining their professionalism.
  • High-Tech – Beyond the mobile technology that’s changed the way chefs promote their food, there have been a number of other technological advances that are changing the way chefs make their food. In one example, Oliver LeRoy from Sasa DeMarle discussed advances in manufacturing, such as 3D printing, that allows them to create custom molds for chefs. These kinds of innovations are helping to democratize tools for creativity throughout the industry.

Determining how to combine sustainable products and practices, Instagram-friendly desserts and experiences, and cutting-edge technologies is a difficult, yet exciting, challenge facing pastry chefs today. Pastry Plus offered industry leaders a platform for sharing ideas on how to tackle this challenge with their peers. Hopefully, there will be future opportunities and platforms for collaboration in the pastry industry. Aspiring pastry chefs like myself will keep our fingers crossed.

View the full photo gallery below with highlights from the full day of panels with some of the biggest names in the pastry industry including Emily Luchetti, Ron Ben-Israel, Jacques Torres, Miro Uskokovic, Jiho Kim, Kelly Fields, and more.

All photography courtesy of Krystal Spencer.

Highlights from The First-Ever Pastryland 2017 Charity Bake Sale

This fall, the International Culinary Center hosted the first-ever Pastryland Bake Sale, benefiting City Harvest. An afternoon for the ultimate sweet tooth, Pastryland celebrated the innovative talents and imaginations of pastry chefs, showcasing never-before-tasted desserts from the chefs of Per Se, The Modern, Del Posto, Patisserie Chanson, & many more. The event featured an 8-foot tall piped wall of royal icing (which used a total of 120 pounds of sugar), and an Ice Luge of white & dark chocolate shots presented Callebaut® and Five Acre Farms.

ICC would like to thank all the chef and restaurant participants for their delicious, one-of-a-kind contributions during the charity bake sale. As a result, ICC will be donating $5000 to support City Harvest in their hunger relief efforts.

The success of Pastryland would not have been possible without the generous support of our sponsors (listed below) and numerous attendees. In addition to the prestigious pastry chefs mentioned below, Pastryland also gathered social media curators such as Nina Joy of @TheFoodJoy and Sarah Merrill of @BigKidProblems as well as Dessert Professional, Dessert Buzz, The Wandering Eater blog, Union Square Hospitality Group and many others.


Caramelized White Chocolate Cake      | |    Daniel Alvarez – Pastry Chef, Union Square Café and Daily Provisions

PB + J     | |    Tyler Atwell* – Executive Pastry Chef, Lafayette

Marshmallo-licious Delight    | |    Anna Bolz* – Pastry Chef, Per Se

Assorted Linzer Cookies     | |    Stephen Collucci – Pastry Chef, Cookshop

Rhubarb Cake     | |    Douglas Hernandez – Pastry Chef, Oceana

Black + White Choux     | |    Daniel Keehner – Executive Pastry Chef, Union Square Events

Nusszopf     | |    Jiho Kim – Executive Pastry Chef, The Modern

Fudge + Dulce De Leche Bar    | |    Johana Langi – Executive Pastry Chef, The Lambs Club

Thai Tea + Coconut Tapioca    | |     Jason Licker* – Pastry Specialist & Author, Lickerland

Lemon Poppyseed Kouign Amann    | |    Rory Macdonald – Executive Chef, Patisserie Chanson

Schiacciata Con l’Uva    | |    Justine MacNeil* – Executive Pastry Chef, Del Posto

Blueberry Bundt Cake    | |    Michael Mignano – Executive Pastry Chef, Perrine at The Pierre Hotel

Chocolate Fig Cake    | |    Cynthia Peithman & Jansen Chan – Pastry Chef-Instructor & Director of Pastry Operations, International Culinary Center

Assorted Macarons    | |    Thomas Raquel – Executive Pastry Chef, Le Bernardin

Chocolate Chip Toffee Coffee Cookies    | |    James Rosselle – Corporate Executive Pastry Chef, iPic Theaters

Tarte au Chocolate au Sel et Sarrasin    | |    Daniel Skurnick – Executive Pastry Chef, Le Coucou & Buddakan

Sticky Toffee Drunken Donuts    | |    Tracy Wilk – Executive Pastry Chef, SaltBrick Tavern


Charity Partner: City Harvest

Platinum Sponsor: Callebaut®

Gold Sponsor: Sasa Demarle®

Silver Sponsor: KMT Waterjet

Bronze Sponsor: Innovative Sugarworks

Contributing Sponsors: City of SaintsFive Acre FarmsPalais Des ThésNY CakeMurray’s Baz Bagel & RestaurantMeyer’s BageriIce & ViceRenshawMichel et AugustinOatly

Pastry Plus Party Sponsor: Jacques Torres Chocolate

Leadership Partner: James Beard Foundation


All photos provided by Rachel Golden | Golden Raye Photography

Recipe: Chocolate Fig Cake Using Callebaut Chocolate

Our inaugural Pastryland charity bake sale, benefiting City Harvest, commenced on Saturday, September 9 as a part of the school’s Pastry Plus weekend. The generous Callebaut® Chocolate brand held the Platinum Sponsor title throughout the weekend, providing delicious variants of the finest Belgium chocolate. Making their product accessible to attendees, our bake sale also featured a chocolate luge where those who wanted to indulge chose between white and dark chocolate tastings.

Using Callebaut® Dark Couverture Chocolate, the International Culinary Center’s Director of Pastry Operations, Jansen Chan, created an exclusive dessert for the bake sale alongside ICC’s Pastry Chef-Instructor, Chef Cynthia Peithman, to sell to patrons of the Pastryland festivities.

My collaboration with Chef Cynthia Peithman was a celebration of two loves: chocolate and fig. We focused on creating textures with Callebaut’s dark chocolate – a tender chocolate sponge and a luscious chocolate buttercream – and pairing its flavor against the higher, sweeter notes of late summer figs.” – Jansen Chan, ICC’s Director of Pastry Operations

Watch the highlights from the weekend below and view the recipe to see how you could recreate this chocolate dessert at home.


Yield: 14 – 3” cakes

Components:

Chocolate Biscuit Dacquoise
Plain & Chocolate Buttercream
Fig Jam, about 250 grams
Port Gelée
Chocolate Décor, 3” discs
Black Mission Figs, 7 pieces


CHOCOLATE BISCUIT DACQUOISE
Yield: One half-sheet pan
Ingredients:

100 g. Callebaut® Dark Couverture Chocolate, 60.6%
130 g. Almond Flour
115 g. Sugar
115 g. Whites
¼ t. Salt
Powdered sugar, as needed

Procedures:

– Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C).
– Prepare a half-sheet pan by applying pan release and parchment paper to the bottom.
– Place the chocolate in a bain-marie over low heat and stir to melt. Remove from heat when completely melted, and allow to cool slightly.
– In a bowl, sift the almond flour and reserve.
– Prepare a French meringue: Combine the egg whites and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whip the egg whites on medium speed until foamy.
– Gradually add the sugar a little at a time, until soft peaks form. Continue to whip the mixture to stiff peaks.
– Using a rubber spatula, carefully fold the almond flour into the meringue in three additions.
– Add about a quarter of the batter to the melted chocolate and stir vigorously to incorporate.
– Return the chocolate mixer to the remaining meringue and fold gently.
– Evenly spread the batter into the prepared pan.
– Dust with powdered sugar.
– Bake the dacquoise in the preheated oven for 18-20 minutes, or springy to the touch.
– Let the dacquoise cool completely before unmolding.
– Release the dacquoise from the pan by running a paring knife along the edges.


SWISS MERINGUE BUTTERCREAM

Yield: 1050 grams 

Ingredients:

150 g. Callebaut® Dark Couverture Chocolate, 60.6%
165 g. Egg whites*
285 g. Sugar
¼ t. Salt
450 g. Butter, cut into cubes
½ t. Vanilla extract

Procedure

– Place the chocolate in a bain-marie over low heat and stir to melt. Remove from heat when completely melted, and allow to cool slightly.
– In the bowl of an electric mixer, lightly whisk together the egg whites, sugar and salt and place over a pot of simmering water.
– Lightly whisk the mixture over the simmering water until the mixture is hot to the touch or a candy thermometer reads 140° F.
– Place the bowl on the electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and whisk on medium-high speed until doubled in volume.
– Whisk until the mixture reaches medium stiff peaks and has cooled down.
– Remove the whisk and replace with the paddle attachment.
– Begin adding the butter a few pieces at a time as it beats into the meringue.
– Add vanilla extract.
– Raise the speed of the mixture and beat until the buttercream is light and fluffy
– Remove about 1/3 of the buttercream and reserve on the side.
– With the remaining buttercream, pour in cooled, melted chocolate and stir quickly to incorporate.

*pasteurized egg whites may be used, if desired


PORT GELÉE

Yield: 250 grams
Ingredients:
4 shts. Gelatin, silver
50 g. Sugar
200 g. Port wine

Procedures:

– Soak the gelatin sheets in ice-cold water for about 5 mins. Drain well and reserve.
– In a small pot, bring 50 grams of water and sugar to a boil.
– Remove from heat, and add drained gelatin.
– Transfer the mixture to a bowl and stir in port.
– Allow mixture to set in the refrigerator for 6 hours or overnight.
– Using a whisk or a pair of forks, break the gelée into coarse, snow-like consistency.

Reserve chilled.

ASSEMBLY:

– Trim the chocolate dacquoise into 3” circles.
– Fill a pastry bag, outfitted with a star tip, with chocolate buttercream. Pipe a border of teardrops just within the edge of each cut cake.
– Fill the center generously with fig jam and ½ tsp. of port gelé
– Top each cake with a 3” chocolate disc.
– Fill a pastry bag, outfitted with a star tip, with plain buttercream. Pipe a small rosette on top of the center of each cake.
– Place black mission figs, cut in half*, on top of plain buttercream.
– Just to the right of the fig, garnish with additional port gelé

*If preparing in advance, brush the cut side of the fig with warmed apricot glaze prior to using.


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