15 October 2014

A masterpiece

Day 7 was a very exited day. If you ever watch Master Chef or any other cooking show you know that they sometimes get to watch the chefs working their magic in a masterclasses. We were very lucky to get a masterclass from the best of the best Mr Jeroen Goossens. He's been in the field for 40+ years and he's not only talented, but very humble as well. I think this is what stood out the most for me. Obviously his work is great and he makes very pretty things, but he doesn't think of himself as great. At least it didn't show and that was surprising. 

Jeroen had a whole day to make a chocolate show piece and he tried to incorporate a lot of techniques. First he started with telling us the 3 important things:
- materials
- tools 
- working method

The materials have to be correct and in the right conditions and the same goes for the tools. Working method is important because you will have to get everything ready and know step by step what to do and how to do it.

Obviously he had everything prepared for the master class. He made a drawing of the show piece, in actual size and he had a step by step plan on how to put the show piece together. 

Then he also talked about how to color chocolate. It's important to use a food color on oil base. This food color will have to be mixed with coco butter. The ratio is 1 part food color and 5 parts of melted coco butter. This has to be mixed together till the butter turns creamy. Then another 5 parts of melted coco butter has to be mixed in making it a 1 to 10 ratio. He used an airbrush for coloring the chocolate and before pouring the food color mixture in the airbrush he made sure that there were no lumps or anything by straining it first.

If he was going to color the chocolate without the airbrush then the food color would be mixed in the white chocolate first before tempering it. 
He started with tempering some white chocolate. With this chocolate and some orange food color he made bigger and smaller flower petals. Then he also showed us how to make little bows and small cigars. Here you can see him putting the flower together.

He also made drawings of butterflies and show us how to control the liquidity of the chocolate. Sometimes you need chocolate that is runny but still holds their shape and sometimes you need chocolate that is runny so you can fill in the caps. For more liquid chocolate all you have to do is add extra coco butter.  
One other technique he showed was how to make chocolate as flexible as clay. It was surprisingly simple. All he did was putting the chocolate in a blender and mix it till it clumped together. Then it was ready to be rolled out in any shape or form. 
He crafted the upper part of a women and made a mold so he could make a chocolate statue. 

Another cool thing he did was putting piece of chocolate in the fridge so they were cold before he paint brushed them. The result was a very velvety look. 

After he finished the different pieces of his show piece it was time to ensemble them. 
And this is the end result. It was a very beautiful chocolate show piece and although he made it look so easy to do it (probably because of the 40+ years experience) we would never be able to do the same. But we will try. In 3 weeks we will need to make a show piece of our own! 

PS: this show piece is Jeroen Goossens' own creation and out of respect these pictures should not be copied or used without any permission. 

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