The latest chocolate picks and trends for pastry

The latest chocolate picks and trends for pastry

Deciding which chocolate to use in pastry can be tricky. We asked four chefs what influences their chocolate choices and the trends they are following.

How do you select the perfect chocolate to use in your pastry dishes?
The choice of chocolate is personal, since it depends above all on the tastes of each one: dark, milk or white. There are several factors we take it into consideration, namely: the viscosity and fluidity of the melted chocolate; the cocoa percentage; and the taste, which comes from the terroir, fermentation and roasting the cocoa beans.

What are the latest chocolate trends in pastry?
The latest chocolate trends are focusing on three main areas: organic, natural and health. In fact, we as chocolatiers are innovating to keep up with these trends.

How do you select the perfect chocolate to use in your pastry dishes?
I choose my chocolate according to the dessert I want to make and the power I want to give: sweetness or bitterness. The origin of the chocolate, the cocoa percentage and the brand are the main criteria. In the same dessert, I might use different chocolates in different forms, such as mousse, ganache and chocolate sauces.

What are the latest chocolate trends in pastry?
Since Covid-19 started, people want to escape and find comfort in a good bar of chocolate. New chocolate segments have emerged, such as vegan chocolate, some new snacking chocolate and chocolate cocoa bombs.

How do you select the perfect chocolate to use in your pastry dishes?
I have been a fan of Valrhona chocolate for many years. Choosing chocolate is like choosing wine; it’s so important to pair it with the right ingredients when making your dish. The first thing I pay attention to is balance, so if you are using other sweet ingredients in your dish, I would go with a darker chocolate that contains a higher percentage of cocoa. One of my favorites is Valrhona’s Guanaja 70%, which works perfectly with things like salted caramel, condensed milk and desserts with fruits. Other important factors now are allergies and healthy choices. For example, Valrhona just launched a vegan milk chocolate, which is a total game changer. Indeed, many vegan fruit chocolates, like raspberry, strawberry, yuzu and passion fruit, have emerged over the past few years. Sugar-free chocolate and organic chocolates have become more popular too, and the great news is that now most are available in convenient sizes for home bakers.

What are the latest chocolate trends in pastry?
Pairing chocolate with wines, organic chocolates, fair trade chocolates, roasting white chocolates in the oven to caramelize milk solids to create a caramel taste, artisan filled chocolate bars and creating your own chocolate using small portable machines, from bean to bar, are just a few trends we are witnessing.

How do you select the perfect chocolate to use in your pastry dishes?
The secret behind choosing the right chocolate is to first assess the intended sugar level. For pastries where sweet fruits are the star, I would choose more acidic chocolates, like those from Madagascar. If I were to develop a caramel or vanilla-based dessert, then I would go for chocolates with a more smoky undertone, like those from South America.
The second thing to consider is the percentage of cocoa butter. Only when you find the perfect balance can you develop a pastry that excites the palate upon first taste and lingers to leave you wanting more.

What are the latest chocolate trends in pastry?
Vegan and sugar-free chocolates are two of the most requested desserts today, and experimenting with them is proving to be quite an exciting journey for me. The history behind chocolate making is tremendous, and learning about the different origins of the cacao bean has inspired the traveler in me. I hope that my creations will do the same for others.

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