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BigHospitality’s live chocolate masterclass provides top tips for customers, chocolatiers and chefs

By Luke Nicholls , 26-Mar-2012
Last updated the 26-Mar-2012 at 16:16 GMT

Related topics: Business, Events & Awards, People, Restaurants, Food

Chocolatier and pâtissier Will Torrent took part in a live and interactive chocolate masterclass hosted by Michelin-starred chef Alan Murchison on Friday, in what was the first event of its kind aired live on BigHospitality. 

Will Torrent and Alan Murchison hosted BigHospitality's live chocolate masterclass on Friday

Will Torrent and Alan Murchison hosted BigHospitality's live chocolate masterclass on Friday

Nearly 700 chefs, restaurateurs and dessert-lovers have watched the masterclass so far, which demonstrated how to create a range of exciting and innovative desserts using Barry Callebaut chocolate. For those who missed out, a full recording is now available to watch for free (see link below).

Torrent, who is currently pastry chef consultant at Waitrose and started his career working under Heston Blumenthal , hoped that the event would provide an in-depth insight into the world of desserts for customers and businesses alike.

Speaking to BigHospitality just before going live, he said: “We wanted to host a live streaming event that would reach out to customers, chocolatiers and chefs in a new and more unique way, not just on a DVD or in a brochure, but something a bit different.

Maximising dessert sales

“For restaurants, we are certainly seeing a growing trend, particularly in big chains, where customers are choosing to just have a starter and a main course, so we wanted to show how restaurateurs can make the dishes smaller, but full of more flavour.”

Murchison, who uses Barry Callebaut products at all of his 10In8 fine dining restaurants , agrees that the masterclass could be an effective way of maximising dessert sales.

“The dessert can be the final piece of the jigsaw,” he said. “Portion size is really important. One of the most common reasons that customers choose to avoid dessert is because they are too full up and they can’t actually manage it. So you’ve got to be really careful with the balance of your menu.

“For me, so much of a successful business is all about the education and training of the staff, so this masterclass has got a lot of mileage. It’s often really difficult to get a message out to lots of people at one time, so hopefully this video does just that.”

The one-hour masterclass saw Torrent ‘taking simple and original flavours, and giving them a new lease of life.’ Participants were able to pose questions to him during the demonstration and receive answers in real time. Photos of the day’s action, including all of Torrent’s dessert creations, can be found exclusively on BigHospitality’s Facebook page.

Desserts that Torrent prepared included:

  • Spiced honey and chai chocolate truffle
  • Golden ‘Aztec-style’ chocolates
  • Sea-salted caramel chocolate bars
  • Entremet Gateau

A full re-run of the day’s action can be watched here.

For additional top tips on working with desserts, including how to store and temper chocolate, presentation suggestions and recipes, you can download Barry Callebaut’s Essential Guide to Chocolate here.

And if that's not enough, Torrent last month featured in a video with BigHospitality , providing recipe ideas and revealing some of his own easy and tasty tips, including making a ganache using water instead of cream, at a ratio of 1:1 with the chocolate. 

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