“Aero”, Aerated Chocolate at Home

Who doesn’t love an Aero Bar, am I right? I’m not sure who came up with this technique… I first learned about it from John Placko many years ago when I was helping out with one of his modernist technique workshops. It’s a pretty easy technique: melt chocolate, thin it out, put it in an ISI, add nitrous oxide, dispense, and vacuum. But in order for you to do all those things, you need some equipment…

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“Snow”

Above is a dessert that Megan and I first plated together at Niagara College a number of years ago. We were still in the honeymoon phase of dating at the time, and Megan thought it was cool to tag along to these professional events. This plated dessert is composed of a flexible chocolate, mango and passion fruit fluid gels and meringue tear drops, tuiles, white chocolate “snow”, mango sorbet and some fresh herbs.

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Chocolate Equipment

When I started Shoko Chocolates with a couple of friends some time ago, it was on a budget. We didn’t have fancy tempering machines or even chocolate melters. With some bowls, spatulas, a microwave and some polycarbonate moulds, we were up and running. Below is a list that we’ve compiled about the tools required for different types of chocolate work. Note that these lists cover the absolute basics (this is just a fraction of the tools that you would find in a professional, production shop). Also, for the sake of brevity, we have omitted common items that you would typically find in the kitchen (scales, ladles, scissors, whisks, spatulas, etcetera).

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Yogurt at Home: 2 ways

We’ve been making our own yogurt at home for the last year or so. It’s really been more for fun than anything else. I have a hunch that it’s not exactly more economical (more on that at the end). But there is something that I find so exciting about the magic transformation that takes place. Another bonus is that we’re eliminating a lot of the waste that goes along with buying and eating yogurt on a regular basis (I mean, realistically one can only find so many uses for all of those plastic tubs).

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