Sugar and Chocolate

Most pastry arts classes can spend more than 8 weeks talking just about chocolate and almost 10 weeks talking just about sugar. Trying to shove both of these items into just one week has been exciting but also exhausting. This past week we barely stopped moving once we got into the kitchen. We were running around like crazy people mise en placing and baking and frosting and candying (new word I just made up). All of our hard work has been totally worth it though because we have been creating some beautiful and not to mention delicious desserts.

I apologize that I don’t have too many photos this week. With moving around so quickly and boiling sugar or chocolate covering my hands and our station 90% of the time, I thought it wise not to pull out my phone or camera. I was able to get a few videos of Chef Velasco demonstrating how to make a piping bag out of parchment paper as well as a video of her showing us how to pipe a rose. We started the week learning about the different stages that sugar goes through while over heat.

  1. Thread – 215*-230* F
  2. Softball – 240*F
  3. Firmball – 245* F
  4. Hardball – 250*- 260*F
  5. Soft Crack- 265*-270*F
  6. Hard Crack – 295* -310*F
  7. Caramel – 320*F

How to be able to tell where your sugar is at while it’s boiling without using a thermometer is to have a glass of ice water with you. You take a spoon and pour some into the ice water. If you can manipulate the sugar into a soft ball, you’re at soft ball. If it hardens and you can hear it crack as soon as it hits the water, you’re probably at hard crack. Chef made us some soft salted caramels this week to dip into the chocolate we would be melting another day. The recipe will be posted below. We made some designs with our sugar and our tempered chocolate that could be used for decorating.

Later on in the week we made a chocolate butter cake with chocolate mousse and chiffon cake with Italian buttercream. (Needless to say, we used a lot of butter this week). Our chocolate butter cake was amazing. The textures were delicious and the mousse just sort of melted in your mouth.  For our chiffon cake we layered it with buttercream and then made some roses based off of chef’s demonstration. 




Soft Salted Caramels

750 grams cream

355 grams sugar

100 grams corn syrup

2 grams salt

100 grams butter

7 mL vanilla X

1. Mix cream, sugar and corn syrup and bring to a boil, do not stir or touch the mixture, you can cause the sugar to crystalize. Bring the temperature to 245*. Turn off the heat, add the salt and slowly start to add the butter.

2. Grease a 1/4 inch sheet pan very well with butter and pour the caramel into it. Place into the fridge for at least a night and enjoy!

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