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This book was developed to share the knowledge I have gained from more than thirty-five years in our profession and more than twenty-five years of teaching in hotels, schools, and kitchens. To achieve success in the pastry kitchen, it is essential to gain exposure to a wide range of chocolate-working techniques with practical applications for making candies and showpieces. This book will guide you in learning all the skills you need to make beautiful, delicious chocolate creations in a professional hospitality environment or even in your own home.
Part One provides a basic overview of chocolate, including the equipment, ingredients, and basic techniques needed to work with this much-loved substance. Part Two covers all types of small chocolate candies, and Part Three outlines the techniques needed to create large-scale chocolate showpieces. It is very important to focus on both types of chocolate work, as they complement each other. Mastering the techniques and recipes for basic candies in Part Two first will give you a strong foundation in working with chocolate, which will help you immensely as you move on to creating showpieces for competition or display.
While techniques and hand skills are very important for success as a chocolatier, I believe taste is the most important element of all. To provide something that looks exquisite is one thing, but once the consumer tastes your work, nothing else matters. The recipes in this book provide a solid foundation for understanding the way different ingredients can be combined and can work together to create wonderful flavors. Flavors and smells bring memories to life, and it is this power that can help you build a connection with those who will relish your delicacies.
Of course, your chocolate candies and showpieces should also look as wonderful as they taste. As I learned early in my career, if you create something that is pleasing to the eye, your customers will be inspired to try your products and come back for more. It is a wonderful thing to be able to use your creativity to provide joy to people of all ages and from all walks of life. Through diligent practice and use of this book as a permanent reference, you will soon develop the artistry and technical skills needed to delight and amaze your customers, and you will be on your way to a most satisfying career.
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