From melting to tempering and making a ganache, there are many tricks of the trade for working with chocolate.
We asked sweet treat Chef extraordinaire, Connor Bishop from The Kitchen at Bec Hardy for his top five tips plus he dishes up a delicious and unusual dessert, perfect for the festive season and holiday time.
English-born Connor oversees the kitchen at one of the most private and peaceful pockets of the iconic McLaren Vale wine region; nestled on Hunt Road, guests can take in the serenity while admiring native flora and fauna paired with stunning views across the vineyards.
Here are Connor’s top five tips for chocolate:
Opt for premium brands:
Selecting top quality chocolate such as Valrhona or Cacao Barry is paramount. Renowned for their meticulous sourcing and processing, these brands offer rich flavour profiles, consistent quality, smooth textures and versatility in applications.
When melting chocolate, use a gentle heat method such as a double-boiler to avoid overheating and seizing. Stir frequently and remove from the heat just before fully melted, the residual heat will complete the melting process.
For a shiny, snap-worthy finish, practise and master the art of chocolate tempering. Follow precise temperature guidelines provided with each chocolate to ensure stable crystallisation and a polished appearance.
Experiment with complimentary flavours to enhance your chocolate creations. From spices and herbs to fruit and vegetables, thoughtful pairing can elevate the taste experience and add depth to your desserts.
Properly store your chocolate! You want to store it in a cool dry place away from strong odours. Keep it sealed to avoid moisture absorption and contamination.
Experience a symphony of indulgence with Connor’s Jerusalem artichoke and 64% Manjari chocolate dessert recipe - a true celebration where the richness of Manjari chocolate meets the humble elegance of Jerusalem artichokes.
"This exquisite pairing transforms the ordinary into the extraordinary, proving that when exceptional chocolate and vibrant vegetables unite, magic happens on the palate,” Connor says.