Sunday, February 27, 2011


I recently went on a trip with my parents to Bangkok. It was our first time to go to Thailand and we were all excited to go shopping, sightseeing and most especially - dining! Usually, my parents and I would go to Hong Kong, but this time I insisted to go to Bangkok because I've been dying to attend the chocolate class of famed Pastry Chef, Eric Perez.

the cacao bean

Being right here at the Macaron Pastry School with Chef Eric Perez would be every chocoholics' dream. For the past week, I've been getting up early, curious and excited about the next amazing 3 days of mouthwatering, sinfully rich and decadent chocolates, truffles, pralines and bonbons that we'll be making. On my way to school, I would eat little breakfast, taking a mental note that I will be tasting many kinds of chocolates in a couple of hours. I know I should be on a diet ASAP but it's just hard to resist these treats....

coconut and raspberry truffles

I must admit that I was like a little child in a huge candy store as I first entered Chef Eric's school. You would first see his dessert cafe shop with displays of assorted classic French desserts--indeed, I was in a happy place! Adjacent to the store is our classroom where you could see his pristine kitchen. Chef Eric and his wife greeted all of us and they offered espresso or tea with his freshly baked pain au chocolat and croissant paired with his homemade candied ginger jam! What a treat!

our classroom

First day was all about the history of chocoloate and its origin; how it is derived from the bean of the cocoa tree (Theobroma cocoa); the kinds of cacao beans; the three groups of chocolates; tempering the chocolate according to its kind and finally determining the percentages or appropriate chocolates for dessert and/or baking purposes. Chef Eric allowed us to taste the different Valrhona niblets so we can better understand its taste profile. Day 2 and 3 were devoted to making ganaches, casting and enrobing our chocolates.

no guts! no ganache!

"Blending a chocolate is just like making a perfume---seeking the balance is everything. In fact, I have even made perfumes with a hint of cocoa in them. And, like the chocolate-maker, the art of the perfume-maker is entirely manual: I'm not a chemist, I'm more like a cook, experimenting with flavors and mixtures.....And if you close your eyes, what trace does a woman leave? A scent, a taste...." Jean-Paul Guerlain

Graduation Day

yours truly with Chef Eric Perez

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