One of my favorite events of the year, the Dessert Professional's 19th Top Ten Pastry Chefs in America, was held again this past June, at the Institute of Culinary Education. My only disappointment was that my dear friend and colleague Marcel Dessaulniers, this years honoree to the Hall of Fame, was not able to be present. He was busy opening his new café with his wife and partner artist Connie Desaulniers: Mad About Chocolate! Marcel was owner of The beloved Trellis Restaurant in Wiliamsburg, Virginia, and author of Death by Chocolate and several other wonderful cookbooks. Now people will be able to taste his favorite chocolate recipes without even having to make them!
In addition to tasting many delicious desserts, meeting the chefs, colleagues, and old friends, this year I brought back a very special recipe which was my favorite taste of the event: raspberry caramels. They were presented, along with the classic caramels, by pastry chef Marc Aumont of The Modern, NYC. I'm embarrassed to tell you how many times my hand dipped into these bowls of caramels! Chef Aumont also offered these beautifully presented little chocolate mousse desserts. Is it any wonder he works at The Modern (the top restaurant at the Museum of Modern Art)?
My dear friend, pastry chef Jean-François Bonnet of Tumbador Chocolate, introduced me to pastry chef Sandro Micheli who had once worked under him at Daniel, NYC and is now the Executive Pastry Chef. I was stunned by the beauty of his chocolate glaze and when I asked Jean-François for the secret of the amazing shine his answer was: "just perfect execution." For a complete list of this year's top ten pastry chefs and the recipe for the raspberry caramels read below.
Top 10 Pastry Chefs in America--2012 Jean-Marie Auboine, Jean-Marie Auboine Chocolatier, Las Vegas, NV Marc Aumont, The Modern, NYC Sally Camacho, WP24, Los Angeles, CA Chris Hanmer, The School of Pastry Design, Las Vegas, NV Craig Harzewski, Naha, Chicago, IL Damien Herrgott, Bosie Tea Parlor, NYC Angeli Pinkerton, 11 Madison Park, NYC Nathaniel Reid, Norman Love Confections, Naples, FL Christina Tosi, Momofuku Milk Bar, NYC Note: This recipe is written for pastry chefs. It inspired me to create a liquid version (sauce) that will be in my upcoming The Baking Bible.
Recipe yields 140 pieces
500gr raspberry puree (ravifruit)
400gr heavy cream
40gr butter citric acid
Cook cream, sugar, and glucose at 115°C. Deglaze with the raspberry puree (warm), and cook until 118 °C. Test in cold water and finally add the other elements. Pour into a frame. Next day, cut and wrap individual pieces.