Sunday, October 31, 2010

Baked macarons from Tokyo

One of the more peculiar things at the Salon du Chocolat was Sadaharu Aoki’s Tokyo Macaron Yaki. Qu’est-ce que c’est?

I wasn’t entirely sure, but since one of his bakers started cooking them right there, I couldn’t take my eyes off the process.

First, the patissier broke out a batter squirter, and injected dollops of matcha-flavored batter into muffin divets on a stovetop oven.

Then out came the chocolate macarons.

Plunk, plunk, plunk…

After a little cooking time, the squirter came out again, and he started baking the tops.

Voila, he then deftly sandwiched the two…

…and let them cook a little while longer.

That was it. Sadaharu Aoki’s baked macaron.

Of course after having invested the time to watch the full process, I had to sample one for myself.

Warm, melty chocolate cake from a master patisserier? Bien sur…

It’s a wonderfully balanced decadence: not too rich or sweet. Unusual and special.

In fact, I didn’t know it at the time but M. Aoki won the “International Excellence” award at the Salon du Chocolat for the second year in a row.

Will his Tokyo Macaron Yakis be the next Parisian sensation? Time will tell...

Friday, October 29, 2010

A chocolate orgy in Paris

This weekend is the Salon du Chocolat in Paris.

My advice is to go with a big appetite, big pockets and a big checkbook. There is lots of sampling and plenty of temptation.

There’s hot chocolate and chocolate spreads.

Chocolate bonbons in bright colors…

…pretty spheres

and shaped like animals and fish and vegetables.

There are chocolate truffles, chocolate mendiants and chocolate pavés.

Chocolate bars and chocolate tablettes.

There are giant slabs of chocolate with nuts and berries and candies…

…and chocolate treats by the ounce.

Chocolate fondant, chocolate pastries and chocolate macarons.

Plus, chocolate demos and sculptures.

There are chocolatiers and chocolate experts.

High quality chocolate…

… and sugary garbage.

I think there will be plenty of chocolate in my dreams tonight.