Monday, February 09, 2009

Ultimate Chocolate Treats I - Classes

I'll be teaching Ultimate Chocolate Treats I, a demo class, at Shermay's Cooking School on 14 March 2009 (Saturday), 15 March 2009 (Sunday), 28 March 2009 (Saturday) and 29 March 2009 (Sunday) - the March schedule has all the necessary details. For all inquiries, please call the school at +65 6479 8442 or email

The idea behind this series of classes is to present a collection of the kind of classic chocolate recipes you'll reach for hopefully time and again, the kind of recipes that become like familiar friends in the kitchen, that you can always fondly call upon to reliably bake a batch of delicious comfort. In short, a collection of recipes for the inveterate chocoholic, for whom there is no food that soothes like chocolate does, no salve for the soul like chocolate is.

It goes without saying that Heirloom Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies are in the lineup - is there any other chocolate recipe the mere mention of which conjures up in the mind's eye a vision as cosy? The key to a chocolate chip cookie's texture is the golden ratio of fat to flour to sugar. This particular recipe is special because it bakes up nicely every time, and doesn't spread excessively in the oven to become too thin. It is also chock-full of Valrhona Perles, the Rolls Royce of chocolate chips. As for the eternal debate of soft and chewy versus crisp and golden, it’s purely a matter of personal preference, and with regards to this recipe, a matter of adjusting the baking time.

It’s also a recipe that can easily be varied. My favourite variations include

Espresso Chocolate Chip & Pecan Cookies with Valrhona Perles & Illy Coffee and

White Chocolate, Macadamia & Orange Cookies with Valrhona Ivoire White Chocolate & Candied Orange Peel

As for that other eternal debate between fudgy and cakey brownies, I have to confess I feel fudginess is the greatest joy in eating a brownie. Hence Ultra Fudgy Brownies using Valrhona Equatoriale Noire 55% Dark Chocolate, a recipe that’s uncompromising, unmistakable, and unapologetic in all its fudgy glory.

Crème Chocolat is a velvety chocolate pudding based on Valrhona Equatoriale Noire 55% Dark Chocolate. Enriched with cream and egg yolks, it is wonderful served as it is, possibly accompanied by a crisp cookie-like thing on the side. For a glassy set, it can be poured into dainty demitasse or espresso cups whilst still warm and liquid before being chilled.

Or you can wait for it to cool to a thicker consistency before mounding into cups for the presentation like in the picture at the top of this post.

A very versatile recipe, it’s also delectable used as a filling for myriad layer cakes, cookie sandwiches and tartlets. But perhaps my all-time favourite use for it is as an elegant component in trifle-style desserts.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Squares using Valrhona Equatoriale Noire 55% Dark Chocolate is a super simple, no-baking-required, just-stir-together kind of number. Quite aside from being an inveterate chocoholic, I also have something of a candy habit. The PB+C combination is a crowd pleaser, as evidenced by the legions of ardent fans a certain peanut butter cup candy has. These moreish squares are very much inspired by that stalwart of the supermarket candy aisle, with the bonus of quality chocolate and roasted peanuts.

I’ll put up a separate post on the Bonus Section with Extra Recipes, Ideas & Serving Suggestions. This includes:

Malted Milk Chocolate Ice Cream with Valrhona Jivara Lactée 40% Milk Chocolate

Chocolate Chip Cookie & Ice Cream Sandwiches Heirloom Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies sandwiched with Malted Milk Chocolate Ice Cream

Fudge Brownie & Ice Cream Sandwiches Ultra Fudgy Brownies sandwiched with Malted Milk Chocolate Ice Cream

Black Forest Trifle Layers of Crème Chocolat, Kirsch Whipped Cream & Amarena (preserved wild sour cherries)

The Chocoholic’s Tiramisu Layers of Crème Chocolat, Mascarpone Mousse & Lady Fingers soaked in Dark Rum and Espresso


Blogger Jan said...

OK I'm begging you now.... please sell a cookbook! Some of us just live way to far away to make it to a class... Please. :)

4:45 am, February 10, 2009  
Blogger Claudia said...

Uaauuu! Fantastic.
Where do I sign?

I'm joking, not yet. Maybe sometime soon...

6:44 am, February 10, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

omygosh! this is soo mouth-watering! i'm definitely signing-up!

10:56 am, February 10, 2009  
Blogger Nithya said...

Wow! I wish I lived near there, so I could attend your classes. The food looks fabulous and your styling is amazing!

11:17 pm, February 11, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dearest Joycelyn, I so wish I could fly over to take this ultimate chocolate class - everything looks irresistible and I know I would love all of them. The bonus recipes sound fantastic too - looking forward to reading about them! kxx

2:01 am, February 12, 2009  
Blogger Luvena said...

O my goodness, I believe I started drooling when I see the cookies. The pictures are amazing! And the titles are mouthwatering.
I agree with the other commentors for this post, I hope you write up a cookbook or post recipes!

11:41 pm, February 12, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your photos are fantastic. I can almost smell the aroma of the chocolate. Very impressive.

2:20 am, February 14, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cooooookboook. I'll buy a dozen. Pleeease!

4:22 pm, February 16, 2009  
Blogger Scott at Real Epicurean said...

So much chocolate everywhere on the net...what are you guys trying to do to me?!

2:51 am, February 17, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As always, your blog is outstanding. A question- you mention there are more recipes in the bonus section. How do you access this area?
Many thanks

5:37 am, February 17, 2009  
Blogger Elaine said...

hi joce,
was wondering if u will be conducting any cookie or cupcake class soon? wanna learn and do the decorating bits!! :D

12:59 am, February 19, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

your pictures are really gorgeous !

12:44 am, February 23, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your pictures are practically edible.
I am so glad I have just had dinner - other wise I would be even more seriously joansing for those peanut butter and chocolate squares (and everything else...)

3:06 am, February 23, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the great class today Joycelyn, as usual your impeccable presentation amek everything look extra-delicious. For a 3 page discourse on chocolate chip cookies (and the 72-hour wait), check out I tried them, super good.

9:07 pm, March 15, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you planning to write a cookbook? i am not sure if i could ever come to singapore to attend a class.

6:44 pm, July 02, 2009  

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