Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Chocolate Factory Tour

Barry-Callebaut Chocolate welcomed the Superior Pastry class with a tour of the factory, a visit to the laboratory and time in the boutique.   After donning lovely caps and jackets, we entered the factory floor (no photos allowed) and learned step-by-step the process of turning cacao beans into my favorite substance.  I wish I could send the smell of the factory via the internet, but trust me, it was heaven!  
Watching the chocolate beans become little pistoles (buttons) or batons (sticks for making chocolate croissants), all of us wanted to snatch a piece or twenty off the assembly line, but we all managed to control ourselves.  Until, we explored the laboratory, where one can create a customized chocolate blend: fruity, acidic, bitter, etc.  Many pastry chefs have done so, and we were able to sample their concoctions - the milk chocolate blend I am holding was my favorite: strong cacao taste with a creamy finish - like a blend of the best part of dark and milk chocolate.  Just a delicious day.  

Tonight - we have our last Class Dinner at Le Doyen - a three-star (that's as high as it gets for the Michelin Guide).

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