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About erik

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So far erik has created 14 blog entries.

The Chocolatier’s brownie

  Brownie base Cuba 70% chocolate  316g Butter 354g Whole eggs 312g Sugar 622g Vanilla extract 27g T45 flour 352g Cocoa nibs 150g Glucose Syrup 117g Maldon salt 6g Method: • Blend Cocoa nibs into sugar. • Whip eggs, salt & sugar for approx. 5minutes. • Melt the butter & chocolate t o50degrees Celsius. • Heat the glucose to 50 degrees Celsius and add to the whipping eggs. • Slowly Incorporate melted fats into the egg-mix while mixing at low-to-medium speed. • Carefully mix in the sifted flour. • Pipe into silicone moulds and place in the fridge for 24hrs. • Before baking, insert some small pieces of toffee (recipes below) and top with hazelnut crumble. • Bake at 175 degrees Celsius until the centre

By |2022-03-07T14:51:23+00:00March 7th, 2022|Uncategorised|

Road to the World Chocolate Masters pt.1

Erik Van der Veken will compete at the World Chocolate Masters UK & Ireland selection representing Ireland, find out more about the competition and why he is embarking on this journey.

By |2022-03-07T14:51:42+00:00September 28th, 2020|News|

Chocolate, percentages and varieties: an introduction

Chocolate, percentages and varieties: an introduction     Very often people will come up to me and say to me that they only enjoy dark chocolate with a high cocoa percentage as if it is some kind of badge of honour. But is the cocoa percentage really an indicator of quality? The answer is: not really.   What if I told you that there are three families of cacao beans? Forastero, Trinitario and Criollo. And if we dig even deeper, that there are dozens of different sub-varieties within those families… Then there is, much like the case with wine grapes or coffee beans, the factor of the region, soil, climate, fermentation procedures and processing such as roasting, conching and refining that all play a part

By |2022-03-07T14:52:12+00:00May 17th, 2020|Ingredients|

“Pure Irish” bonbons

The best of what Ireland has to offer in a bonbon Ireland is home to some great products, Irish whiskey is an obvious one, perhaps lesser known is the honey. In this bonbon, I'm combining three of Ireland's foodie treasures! I chose "Yellow spot whiskey" from Mitchell & Son, which spicy, peachy and honey aromas. For the honey, I'm using Michael Dickson's raw honey from his hives on Ballagh Honey Farm in Co. Tipperary Which I genuinely find one of the best honey I've tried, on a par with the Yemeni ones I tasted while living in Saudi Arabie.  (Yes, Yemeni honey is also excellent.) Finally, of course, we all know about the Irish dairy from grass-fed cows, I prefer Glenilen farm butter for my

By |2022-03-16T08:49:25+00:00July 2nd, 2019|Recipes|

Food colourings, do you know what you are using?

Which food colourings are you using? A colourful chocolate or pastry display is bound to attract attention, but do you know where your colour is coming from?  In the last few weeks, the issue of food colouring has come up quite a few times: During my conversations with Michael Zorin, the Sosa Ingredients chef who did a demonstration with us a few weeks ago and during my IBC Belgium factory visit subsequently.  Sosa Ingredients is making a push to move away from synthetic food colourings. (The ones we are currently using the most) Instead, Sosa is promoting the use of freeze-dried fruit and vegetable powders to colour chocolate, cocoa butter etc. Of course, using freeze-dried fruits isn’t going to work everywhere. IBC, one of the

By |2022-03-07T14:52:41+00:00May 21st, 2019|Ingredients|

Composing a dessert

Coming up with a dessert from scratch So as someone had requested me a while back through Instagram, I'm going to talk here about how to compose a dessert. I'm going to address this as per my opinion of course. Depending on which pastry chef you speak to you will probably find slightly different views, and that is what makes our industry so interesting! So let's dive in and discuss what in my opinion makes for a tasty dessert! Quality ingredients. This is where it all starts; you can go and make the technically most incredible dessert; if it doesn't taste right, all the effort will have been in vain. We need to work with excellent quality ingredients. You can't make an excellent dessert with cheap

By |2022-03-07T14:53:01+00:00April 14th, 2019|Recipes, Techniques|

The ultimate chocolate lovers tart!

The ultimate Chocolate lovers tart! This is one for the real chocolate lovers or 'chocoholics' out there! It's simplicity in its purest form, but usually the simple things done well are best things in life. For this tart I'm using Cacao Barry's 75% Tanzanie single origin, it is one of my favourite chocolates out there. When tasted blindfolded, I doubt anyone would guess this chocolate is 75%. It has delicate fruity notes with a floral perfume. Of course, you can use whatever chocolate you prefer, although you may have to adapt the recipe ever so slightly when substituting for a chocolate with a lower %. Like the Baileys tart I posted a while back, I'm using the Silikomart 80mm tart kit, which for the Irish

By |2022-03-07T14:53:13+00:00April 7th, 2019|Recipes|

Water ganaches

Water ganaches A few of you have asked me to write about ‘water ganaches’ and I found this an interesting topic. There is a lot of mystique attributed to water ganaches, people talk about them as if they are somehow ‘special’ and only “super knowledgeable chocolatiers” can make this work and get a shelf life out of them. Well let me get a little bit controversial here: Every ganache is a water ganache!  Let me repeat that: Every ganache is a water ganache! So… what is a ganache? Whenever I teach, I tend to ask my students: What is a ganache? Typically I will get this response: “Cream and chocolate”. A ganache consisting of cream and chocolate is an example of what could be the

By |2022-03-07T14:53:27+00:00March 17th, 2019|Recipes, Techniques|

How to pick the correct chocolate for your creation.

All chocolate couvertures are not created equal, there is a choice between many different flavour profiles, single origin chocolates, different cacao percentages, different cocoa butter percentages, etc. So how should we decide which chocolate is right for the creation we intend to make? Let’s break it down! Based on application: moulding and coating When we want to decide on a couverture that is suitable for enrobing or moulding, I want my choice to meet the following criteria: High fluidity (high cocoa butter content   -> 39 - 41%) Balanced cocoa flavour  Cost effective I want the couverture to be fluid to ensure I have a very thin coating or chocolate shell, there is nothing worse than having to bite through half a cm of chocolate

By |2022-03-16T08:48:05+00:00March 6th, 2019|Ingredients, Techniques|

Vegan Alto el Sol chocolate Macaron

Vegan chocolate macaron After my vegan demo in Ljubljana a lot of people requested me for the recipe of the vegan chocolate macaron I posted up on my Instagram story and today I'm giving it to you. While I am the one writing this post, I can't take the credit for this one: The recipe is from my good friend Jonathan Deddis, a fellow pastry chef, Sosa ingredients demonstrator and vegan patisserie wizard. I myself was a little skeptical of potato protein based macarons, but I gave this macaron to several friends and colleagues last week and not one of them guessed it was vegan. That says a lot and shows how far vegan dessert has come. For the ganache I could even argue that chocolate

By |2022-03-07T14:53:53+00:00February 12th, 2019|Recipes|

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