What's Better Than a Present Wrapped in Chocolate?

Today, we finished decorating our layered Japonaise and Dark Chocolate Bavarian desserts we made some time ago.  Japonaise is a type of meringue cookie similar to a French macaroon only it is made with hazelnut.  The Bavarian is a pastry cream flavored with semi-sweet chocolate and folded with cream.  They were previously layered--bound within two-inch circular acetate bands.  Chef demonstrated a new technique of chocolate banding.  Mixing chocolate with a portion of vegetable oil and playing with temperature enables you mold the delicate pieces.  It's rather tricky, however, because the chocolate immediately starts melting as soon as it touches your fingers.

We melted the chocolate and then whisked in the oil.  We poured approximately five ounces on the back of a warm half-sheet baking pan and spread it evenly across the surface.  After a quick tap to remove the streaks, the pan was placed in the freezer until the chocolate set up.  Warming the chocolate to a perfectly pliable state, we rubbed the inside of the pan with our hands.  Using a pastry scraper, we released strips of chocolate pulling the strip with one hand and scraping with the other.  Fearing my hand's warmth would melt the chocolate, I set it in a bowl of ice that I kept at my station.  It worked rather nicely and the effect, beautiful!  Using the scraper, I made half-moons and formed petal-like pieces that I placed on top. 

Chef also wanted to teach us how to paint with chocolate.  He made another chocolate concoction that we used in an electrical paint sprayer.  This technique resulted in a somewhat of a suede-looking texture.  I used the sprayer on all of my desserts except one which I decorated with Chef's luster dust.  He had a beautiful gold color that I used to emphasize the tips of each petal and with a small brush I pulled the color inward allowing it to fade half way down.  It was a striking dessert!

Chocolate-banded Japonaise and Dark Chocolate Bavarian

Another View of the Luster Dust

The Suede-looking Texture

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