All About Belgian Chocolate with Laurent Bernard

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Who doesn't love chocolates? IMHO there's something wrong with a person who doesn't like chocolates - lol. Anyway, a couple of weeks ago I received an invitation to a blogger workshop with a guest star: a renowned chocolatier from Singapore, Laurent Bernard.
Although I was on temporary chocolate ban (my therapist suggest me to avoid chocolate for a while) but I couldn't resist the invitation when mbak Lintang from Prisma PR contacted me and asked if I could come to the event. Hell yeah I would! -lol


The event was held at Emilie restaurant, it's a fine dining restaurant located in Senopati street, Jakarta. The event started at noon by lunch (too bad I was very late due to the lunch traffic) so I didn't get a chance to taste the famous fine dining menu from Emilie. Oh well, maybe next time..

After the lunch we all moved upstairs to the second floor where there's a room complete with big kitchen just like the ones you saw on TV. There I met Desy, fellow blogger from Living Daisy - I got free InStyle and Fortune magazines from her - thanks so much Des! I also met another fellow blogger Nuniek from Nuniek.com downstairs, I also saw some familiar faces there, bloggers I've met before at previous blogger meet-up events.

Anyway, here comes Laurent Bernard with his black chef outfit, stunning! He's actually French but he's residing in Singapore right now and opened a shop there. And he's so young..



The subject of the workshop is "All About Belgian Chocolate". Mmm...yumm...I love belgian chocolate...I love chocolate...any chocolate.. ^o^
And yes I get to taste all the yumminess that were served right there on the spot. Laurent and his pretty Indonesian assistant (i can't remember her name) made some fresh chocolates (Praline and Ganache) and some hot chocolates with creams and garnish...oh I thought I'd died and gone to heaven.

When it comes to chocolates, there are the everyday candy bars we consume every day, the exotic Belgian chocolates found in coffee houses and specialty stores. Belgian chocolate is considered to be the gourmet standard by which all other chocolate confections are measured. Even the Swiss, known for their own high quality chocolate, imported the basic recipe from French and Belgian chocolatiers.

What makes Belgian chocolate unique is the quality of the ingredients. Belgian chocolate may be expensive, but those who have sampled it say that there is no comparison between a standard chocolate bar and a Belgian praline. In other words, they're from a different class so can not be compared to each other. It's like comparing Prada and Gap ;)


Laurent and his pretty assistant

Despite the myth that chocolates could make you fat and will trigger acne, they actually have lots of benefits for your body. Did you know that chocolate contains a wide range of vitamins (vitamins A1, B1, B2, C, D, and E) and essential minerals?
Cocoa also contains both anti-oxidants and flavonoids which fight free radicals that form cancer, and anticoagulants which are one of the most natural properties of aspirin and prevent blood clots.
Cocoa also has some essential oils that are good for strengthening the bones, hair, nails, and also feeds the skin in a manner that delays the signs of aging.

See? chocolates are actually good for you. It makes you feel good, it elevates your mood, reduces anxiety and probably the world's most pleasant anti-depressant :) No wonder all the ladies loves it ^o^

We also learned the difference between Praline and Ganache. Praline is cocoa with caramelized nuts/fruits filling, while Ganache is cocoa with cream/milk. I've tried them both at the workshop and I love them both! Ganache is sweeter than Praline though, it must be because of the milk that was added to it.

Anyway, at the workshop we get to see Laurent works his magic. We saw Laurent and his assistant made this..

into this..

and then to this:

That's the Pralines.
He also made us a fresh batch of Ganache, it looked the same as this one but the difference is in the filling.

And then he made us these stunning hot chocolates.
First, he melt some chocolates and then added some milk. He then pour the mixture to the jug:

And while he's cooking the choco mix above, his assistant made these:

Those are chilled glasses filled with frozen vanilla ice cream.
And then Laurent pour the warm mixture into the glasses:

And then he added cold whipped cream on top and sprinkled some almonds as garnish too:

And all those prep comes down to this heaven-on-earth yumminess:

The warmth of the chocolate milk mixed in with the cold of the vanilla ice cream and icy whipped cream is like HEAVEN to my mouth. Oh thy delicious cocoa...how i'd give up anything to drink you again...

One tip that I got from Laurent is to sip only warm mineral water between tasting chocolates, that's the best way to enjoy it.

Laurent Bernard has more than 20 years experience in pastry & chocolate. After graduating from culinary school in France, Laurent did work in some of the most prestigious 5 stars hotels in London, Middle East and Caribbean. It's in 2003 that Laurent lands in Singapore where he opened "Laurent's cafe & Chocolate Bar".


The stores are located in:

The Pier at Robertson Quay 80
Mohammad Sultan Road #01-11
Singapore

And another branch in:

5B Portsdown Road #01-02
Singapore


You can also order his chocolates from the online store:
http://www.thechocolatefactoryonline.com


Oh, I almost forgot, the goody bag! This is probably the cutest paper bag ever, I love the robin's egg color with a hint of brown. What a lovely packaging!


And here's what's inside.. a bag of Orangette (another Laurent's yummy creations) and a chocolate bar engraved with flower, almost too pretty to eat!


The Orangettes (the pic was taken after we ate half of it ;p):


And the choco bar which is my favorite (!) :


Oh boy...oh boy...oh boy... The goody bag didn't last long, me and hubby were munching it down right out of the package ^o^ We did saved some for our family to try but our portion only lasts less than a half day ;p

Me and the chef:


Me and fellow blogger Desy:

Group photo:



A big thanks to Prisma PR (mbak Lintang, mbak Puti & mbak Fira) for the invitation!

2 comments:

dsy said...

it was a nice event!
I love the hot chocolate the most! :D
My mom loves the Orangettes, I finished the choco bar at once :p
Wishing for more workshop like this :D

TigerLily said...

yes Desy, me too :)

 
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