‘All About Belgian Chocolate’ Workshop with Le Chocolatier, Laurent Bernard

Emilie was designated as the host for bloggers workshop held by Prisma PR on August 4, 2010. The show ran by the chocolate/pastry expert Chef Laurent Bernard and he’s to show his might in creating the original Belgian chocolate and tell the audience everything about it. Why at Emilie? Because Emilie proved to be the best place for the workshop since it owns a special kitchen designed solely for cooking class on the 2nd at Le Bar.

Before that upon arrival at the scene, the bloggers were served with French dejeuner menu consisting of Le Caesar Salade, Le Poulet, and Le Profiteroles. Lovely designed dishes created by the prodigy Chef de Cuisine Ivan Duchene seemed to be more than enough introduction of Emilie’s presence within the small population of French bistro in Jakarta. In a separate post, I took the liberty to do a bit restaurant review on Emilie.

I also encountered several media people such as Mr. Burhan Abe, an editor-at-large with many years of experience in several big Indonesian media and Ms. Rahmayanti, an Indonesian traveling journalist based in Japan. This chance meeting proved to be a fruitful experience where Mr. Abe turns out to be an ex editor-in-chief of a certain food magazine Appetite Journey and currently a contributor for The Jakarta Post. He now owns a creative syndication site called Vox Populi. While Ms. Rahmayanti accompanied by her Canon Rebel camera, travels here and there between Indonesia and Japan sharing her life as an Indonesian who lives in a foreign country.

About the guest star, Chef Laurent Bernard hailed from France and after many years of experience being a pastry chef and chocolatier all over the world, he anchored in Singapore to establish The Chocolate Factory which he renamed into Laurent’s Café & Chocolate Bar. The very manifestation of his body and soul passion, in Laurent’s Café & Chocolate Bar he dedicates his two decades of immense expertise in chocolate to create delicious and delicate confectionaries.

The workshop started with the video presentation about the history of chocolate, how and who originally brought it to Europe, how nowadays chocolate brought from the plantations, and the basic processes before the final shipment to be created into the chocolate we know and consume nowadays. Afterwards, introductions made and now Indonesia ready to witness the skills of Mr. Bernard had inside his sleeves. He was at that time assisted by Karen Carlotta, an Indonesian rising star pastry chef stationed mainly in Singapore.

He began by explaining about tempering the chocolate. This is an exact procedure where a chocolatier should rise and lower the temperature of the melted chocolate in several phases. Mr. Bernard prefers to rise it first to 40 degrees Centigrade then lowers it to 28 degrees and finally to 31 degrees. Other chocolatiers may have their own preferences in temperature. That sounds simple but the procedure’s a bit complex than that and it is imperative to own a temperature measurer device in order to know exactly when to rise and to lower the melted chocolate. Rising the chocolate temperature would not be trivial but to lower it actually requires a certain low temperature room so that the chocolate will get cold ideally. Instead Mr. Bernard used the fridge to lower the temperature, but he didn’t recommend it at all saying that keeping it in a fridge can make the chocolate moist due to the matter of low humidity. Since it’s for quick class presentation sake, he had to do so.

Before Mr. Bernard successfully returning the chocolate to 31 degrees by pouring it over the marble table and mixing it, Ms. Carlotta quickly prepares the chocolate mold and Mr. Bernard pour the melted chocolate into it over several times. Solidifying it with the special hammer and finally using the fridge again to freeze the chocolate a bit. Afterwards Ms. Carlotta helps him to prepare the fillings for the chocolate.

Next, the chocolate which Mr. Bernard currently refrigerate will be filled with praline and ganache. Praline here is a filling made of mixture between chocolate, nut, and sometimes added dried fruits. While ganache is a mixture of chocolate and milk/cream. He can’t help but notice that people usually misinterpret the meaning of praline with any small chocolates other than chocolate bars they encounter. Praline is only a filling and doesn’t represent the whole chocolate. It’s just a flavor in a sense, it’s like your daily milk flavored with chocolate, strawberry, or mocha.

After reaching the desired temperature from the fridge, Mr. Bernard filled the chocolate with praline and then ganache in the next round. Then he showered again the gaps with the 31 degrees chocolate, hammered it to ensure the fullness, and then refrigerating it again. Seems quite difficult and it’s easier to just buy your usual box of chocolates at your favorite stores right? But if you know the whole process then we might appreciate a bit about the effort.

Later, using the rest of the unused chocolate, he also demonstrated of how to create a good ol’ hot chocolate. What made the hot chocolate interesting was that he had added a small scoop of vanilla ice cream into the base of the glass and after the glass filled, he topped it with a fresh cream and thin almonds.

The testing time has arrived at last! Each and every one of the bloggers expressed a joyful mirth when they savor Mr. Bernard’s creations. The chocolate was so fragrant and inviting. When you bite, it crumbles elegantly. Next all you gotta do is to experience the harmony between the filling and the chocolate. The praline chocolate was divine and tasty, not fully mild because you can feel the texture of the nuts there which was either hazelnuts or almond. Not to mention also the ganache. The proportional balance between the chocolate and milk created this perfect mildness and sweetness. Enjoy it with a glass of warm water and Mr. Bernard assured that every elements inside the chocolate will get rejuvenated somehow and you’ll feel the maximum taste of it.

This new concoction of hot chocolate was also interesting and taste really good. Sometimes you might get bored of your usual hot chocolate. Try to add the ice cream, topped it with whipped cream and almonds. Next, you’ll see the difference. I can safely say now that whenever you come to Singapore, don’t forget to visit Laurent’s Café & Chocolate Bar. Good job you did for us in Indonesia, Monsieur Bernard!

Now after he introduced and shared the beauty of Belgian chocolate, being the country that produced finest chocolates in the world, to Indonesia. Whether one day he wish to also compete in growing local chocolatier industry or not. The idea about opening one here will be most anticipated by any bubbling foodie and chocolate lovers in Indonesia. I love chocolate, do you?

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Restaurant Review: Emilie

A few weeks after my visit to Java Bleu, I often wondering about other French bistros around the J-Town. The population is small but certainly not diminishing! Fans are still around and they even let these elegant genre of food ripped them off but made them happy nonetheless. No matter how bad the experience, they might gonna proudly say, ‘I’ve been to a French restaurant!’. Good for them then! But for me, it won’t be that simple.

It was sunny day that day and I was invited for a workshop from a certain chocolatier named Laurent Bernard from France in Emilie. He’s the master of chocolate so they called. Opened up his choco cafe back in Singapore and now he’s gonna counsel us about how to make a good, simple chocolate praline and ganache.

But first thing first, it’s the lunchtime at Emilie!

I was seated among other journalists in a table for four. It was an exciting moment when for the first time I exchanged gestures with people of immense experience in journalism and one of them turns out to be Mr. Burhan Abe, ex editor-in-chief of Appetite Journey. I remembered that I used to apply as a freelance contributor there but then again, it was not a masterful move if I got myself admitted since they’re now closed. For good..

Also I was seated with Ms. Emi, an Indonesian journalist and a blogger based in Japan. Also another blogger named Rere arrived afterwards. So over lunch, we were all engaged in conversations about what we do daily. Not wholly about food though. The thing is, that workshop was designed wholly for bloggers and not necessarily about foodie bloggers but also about home and living.

Le Salade Caesar

We were served with lunch first before heading for the workshop. Emilie has graciously served us a lunch set of what they called Menu Du Dejeuner, the creation of Chef de Cuisine Ivan Duchene. Foremost, as a teaser, I was served the usual bread and butter. It’s just ordinary, perhaps because it’s not warm anymore but luckily not long after that, the first dish of the course arrived. Le Salade Cesar.

The salad was good though mainly consists of lettuces with thinly sliced cheese and vinaigrette dressing. Alongside of the salad, a very big prawn, sautéed, teasing me. I had high hopes about this certain prawn and I used the small knife to cut through nice and easy. It’s big enough for 3-4 times of small chews but the taste was strange. I feel as if the prawn’s not fresh, but it’s not smelly. The taste was strange as well and thanks to the lettuces, it appears the flaws from the prawn can be disguised somehow.

Le Poulet

The main dish for the lunch would be what they called Le Poulet. It’s a roasted chicken breast, savory jus, and mashed potato. I figure out that since this is a free event therefore the cheapest course will be using chicken. There’s no way events like this, if we’re not paying a dime, will use lamb or even beef. As for the taste, the chicken proved to be a bit less than satisfactory. I appreciate the effort where they pulled all the bones to give us this bare breast and although the jus was there to help the chicken, it’s not worth the effort.

I felt a bit strange seeing the sidekick of the dish. It’s the sauteed spätzle and mushroom with foams. The last time I had a spätzle dish was in Mama’s German Restaurant in Bandung and no matter how boring the taste, it’s still better than this one. Spätzle is, most likely judging from the spell, originated from German/Austria/Swiss alike. In short, it’s the pasta of those countries but not necessarily cultured like in Italy. In this dish, it tastes so weird and makes me hoping in an instant that I was better off served with carrots or beans instead of this strange mixture of foamy spätzle and mushrooms.

Thank God that the mashed potato and the thin potato chips tasted good! I liked the design of the dish by the way. The mashed potato was lined thinly cutting through the plate and it’s probably the best thing on it also aside from the very ordinary chicken and the weirdo, spätzle I mean.

Le Profiteroles

What’s good left and the last chance would be the dessert, Les Profiteroles. I had to say that I was thinking highly of Java Bleu’s profiteroles and I assume that Emilie would do exactly the same to appease my standard. Here in Emilie, the choux pastries were a bit bitter and no matter how warm and good the dark chocolate sauce was, the dish failed to deliver itself for my contentment.

Though I know that Java Bleu mostly serves hearty, countryside dishes adapted with Indonesian size. Should be big, tasty, and not too expensive.

On the other hand here in Emilie, it’s completely different. Emilie emphasizes on the presentation. French dishes may be complex in its presentation and preparation in which we have to appreciate. But then again, no matter how small the size or the portion, people will always wonder inside their minds about the taste. They may become hypocrites when they say, ‘It’s beautiful!’ but inside, they’re yearning and swearing. So once again, gastronomy is a very hard thing to do for just ordinary people. I have to be balance but also unforgiving here.

I was forced to leave in a hurry manner since the Laurent Bernard’s class is about to begin. It’s too bad that I can’t really feel everything about this place. Further research needs to be done in the future. Chef Ivan Duchene actually has many things else behind his sleeves. I have to admit that everything’s here is beautiful but you need to work on the taste, Chef. I’ll be sure to come here again later and ‘force’ you to show what you got from all those years of experiences.

Ah by the way, the Laurent Bernard chocolate workshop? I’ll tell you later about it. ^^

EMILIE

Jalan Senopati no. 39, Kebayoran Baru, Jakarta – 12910

RSVP : 021 – 521 36 26

Website: http://emilierestaurant.com/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Jakarta-Selatan-Indonesia/Emilie-French-Restaurant-and-Bar/112366157207?ref=search

Chef: Ivan Duchene.

Halal Meter: Imported meats but no lards at all. Some pork dishes but available for substitution.

Ambience & Interior: Conversational. The restaurant decorated with elegance and luxury. Hidden behind the bushes and making it very comfortable and a quiet haven from the busyness and noise from Jalan Senopati. The VIP rooms upstairs are nice with a superb and warm kitchen for cooking class.

Service: Neatly dressed, friendly and knowledgeable about the elements in the dishes.

Pricing: A La Carte Entrees IDR 70,000-IDR 300,000, Poissons & Crustaces IDR 220,000-IDR 310,000, Viandes IDR 280,000-IDR 790,000; Dejeuner 2 Plats IDR 240,000, 3 Plats IDR 300,000; Decouverte Discovery Menu IDR 820,000, Wine Pairing IDR 680,000; Desserts IDR 50,000-IDR 90,000

Recommended Dishes: I wouldn’t recommend anything for now.

Reservation: Recommended for dinner especially weekends.

Operating Hours: Daily 11.30 AM to 10.30 PM.

Payment Methods: Cash, Debit Cards, Credit Cards.

Flavor Updates: Opera Cake (Hunny Bear Cakery, Jakarta)

My old colleagues and I used to buy cakes and gifts for any departing colleagues in our department. We sometimes pick between Dapur Coklat, Harvest, Cheese Cake Factory, or any good cake shoppe in Jakarta. This time, it was me who’s leaving them. So I wasn’t picked anymore in the selection process but trusting my colleagues in food can be the best decision in my life. Well, that’s a bit too much but they do pick the extravagant things only. Credit for you, guys!

Anyway, today’s pick for Spitter & Chewer™ would be the Opera Cake from Hunnybear Cakery. A few days earlier, I had another opera cakes from Hotel Intercontinental. Both cakes were good but the one from Hunnybear seemed to be more delicate in taste. It was better to be sure but they still can maintain the level of sweetness into something balance and it’s not a kind of cake that would make you suffer from getting full too early. You know that there are plenty of cakes that get too heavy because of the sugar level or the cheese level was too much. Like donuts for example but let’s leave the discussion about donuts later in FCK™.

The price was quite expensive, probably because it’s an Opera Cake. Made with a certain level of difficulties. Even so it was quite fulfilling and enough for everybody at the cost of IDR 220,000 for 20×20 size. Fair enough.

Opera Cake

For other cakes from Hunnybear, I recommend the Avocado Chocolate Cake. It’s not gonna be reviewed here for now, but it’s way better than the Opera Cake. To wrap it up, Hunnybear deserves the credit for creating good cakes, not the best, but it’s still one of the best in Jakarta. As for my colleagues, I give you my many thanks for everything. Thy all shalt be in my heart always! ^^

PRODUCT EVALUATIONS:

Taste : 6.5/10

Price : 6.5/10

Result : OK for me.

ADDRESS:

Lobby Graha Iskandarsyah
Blok-M, Jakarta Selatan

WEBSITE:

http://www.hunnybear-cake.com

EMAIL:

windy@hunnybear-cake.com

ORDER & DELIVERIES:

Phone Number: +62-21-7566624

Contact 24 hours prior to delivery time.
Free charge for Jabodetabek (Jakarta, Bogor, Depok, Tangerang, Bekasi) Area.

OPENING HOURS:

Weekdays: 09.00 – 21.00

Weekend: 09.00 – 13.00

QuikSkoop™: Aro Aroy

Aro Aroy can be a good savior if you get tired of injuring your wallet or you’re not in a mood for hawkers food around Midplaza Building and Intercontinental Hotel.

The cause for your wallet injuries would either because spending too much on Japanese restaurants around there such as Taichan and Sakana which notably would cost you more than IDR 60,000 in average or spending too much unneccessary expenses on Coffee Bean or Baskin & Robbins.

Also you might get tired of hawkers food around, since I vouch that almost none of the hawkers can provide a consistently decent taste. Not to mention the cleanliness which some people may find it disturbing. Nevertheless, the clean version of Indonesian hawkers can be found beneath Intercontinental Hotel just nearby called Kantin 99. Well.. the thing is, you can get bored sometimes right?

So plenty of reasons why people might pick Aro Aroy for an alternate lunch. Not only because of wallet problem, but Aro Aroy surely offers different genre among the dominating Indonesian and Japanese cuisine in the premise. Although Aro Aroy doesn’t emphasize the fullness of Thai cuisine only in the menu, but also tries to embrace everybody’s daily appetite such as several options for Fried Rice or some Chinese cuisine dishes.

Pla Pad Pong Galee

So other than the dominating usual dishes like Fried Rice, I decided to pick a ‘native’ dish (I couldn’t be too sure though they named it in Thai) which was named Pla Pad Pong Galee (IDR 37,000) and already added with rice and clear soup. So, this dish is actually a good combination between seafood with a hint of curry, not really dominating like Padangnese, Indian, or even Japanese curry rice. A bit hot and sharp since they use also sauteed it all together with capsicums and red chilis.

I always believe that an egg in its full nature (not separating the yolk and the white) will always enhance the taste of the food. Take a simple example of the hawkers that sell fried rice. They’ll always ask you about what to do with the eggs. To mix it all up or to fry it or to make it an omelette. Personally, I’d say, ‘Hey, mix it up!’, since my previous experiences told me that by not doing that, the taste of your fried rice would be not as good as it supposed to be. It’s even better if you add an omelette over the mixed fried rice but hey, you gotta watch your cholesterol, dude.

In Pla Pad Pong Galee case, the egg was added as a mixture when the stirring process happened. Definitely adds the flavor into a savory and spicy grade. The seafood consists of cut fish, squid, and small shrimps. The rice portion was suffice as well. Reminds me of seafood with Padangnese sauce if you happen to visit seafood hawkers in Indonesia. As for the clear soup, however, was not really worth it. No matter how savory it might taste, you’d only find a small amount of vegetables and only several small blocks of chicken.

Though dining in Midplaza I Building might be quite expensive, eating in Aro Aroy can be a perfect alternative for that. No matter how unworthy the soup is, the rest of the dishes prove to be far better than just your adequate Thai dishes you can find anywhere in your usual place.

LOCATION:

Midplaza I Building, B1 Floor. Jl. Jend. Sudirman Kav. 10-11, Jakarta

QuikSkoop™: Bakoel Manna [CLOSED]

I’ve never been a fan of Manadonese food since it’s too hot for me. My stomach will gone haywire at the end of the day. I have to admit that I’m lacking at this but people can learn right? And the moment has arrived at last for me to really test the consistency of their serving and taste. In this case, the ‘lucky’ establishment would be Bakoel Manna. Residing in a small space under Midplaza Building, Bakoel Manna can contain at most around 25-30 people at best which is around lunch.

Make no mistake, fans of Manadonese food in the building are indeed plentiful, notably women of course who fancy hot, spicy dishes more than men do. Dunno why but I heard even a certain celebrity always buy her lunch here. Ever heard of Dian Sastro? I, myself, haven’t encountered her and I don’t care actually but well, it’s already written anyway. Harharhar..

For the past few months, Indonesia seems to be in a brim of chaos. The fear of sky-rocketing price for foodstuffs is brewing. Why’s that? It’s because one of the most important ingredients in Indonesian culinary is undergoing a crop problem. The shortage due to failed crops made the price of chili soaring up to IDR 50,000/kg!! This prove to be fatal for businesses but they just can’t increase the price that easily. So in this case for Manadonese restaurants, presumably, they will reduce the spiciness of their dishes down to the level of my stomach acceptance which is good of course!

The dishes in Bakoel Manna are made in package, such as Paket A, B, C, and so on. Each package consists of different main dish and additional side dish of your choice. For example, I always pick Paket A (IDR 20,000) which consists of Cakalang Pampis (spicy skipjack tuna) and Tumis Bunga Pepaya (sautéed papaya flowers) which you can substitute with Bayam Crispy (spinach fried until crispy like crackers), capcay, sautéed veggies, and several other choices. There’s also other genuine Manadonese main dishes you can pick such as Ayam Rica, Ayam Woku, Ayam Tuturuga, Ikan Tude, Ikan Woku, Ikan Kuah Asam, and many other unfamiliar names that I need to research first.

Cakalang Pampis and Tumis Bunga Pepaya

About the consistency test I told you earlier, well.. you see, the biggest hindering factor would be the high degree of spiciness in Manadonese cuisine. I can safely say that some of my friends who really really like very hot dishes said that Bakoel Manna’s is not the hottest one. As for me, that’s a very discriminating joke since I’m gonna need extra iced water just to cool down my red tongue and sweat!

But then again, since the chili crisis, at last I can study a bit what’s inside the dishes since the spiciness doesn’t cover up the taste anymore. Well.. the combination between the tuna and the papaya flower really does the magic. They manage to keep up the standard though the degree of the spiciness my vary from day to day. The skipjack tuna was plentiful and has the savory taste which will be better though if added with the Manadonese style sambal like Sambal Dabu Dabu (diced tomato with a little bit chili, tastes sour) or with Sambal Rica Rica. As for the papaya flower (better vocab anyone?), it helps to reduce the pain from the hotness of the skipjack tuna but then again, I chose it because it’s genuinely from Manado or I can always pick the crispy spinaches.

I’m still a bit illiterate in Manadonese cuisine, more tests are indeed needed. A friend of mine used to say that Bakoel Manna only boasts the spiciness but not the taste. Here, I prove her that they are consistent and the taste was good anyway. Plenty of Manadonese restaurants in Jakarta though mostly I warrant that they’re not halal. As for Bakoel Manna, you’re good to go. Come and try. See whether you might encounter Dian Sastro or a gastronomy aficionado in training to become the master of spicy foods there. Haha.. Not a chance!

LOCATION:

Midplaza I Building, B1 Floor. Jl. Jend. Sudirman Kav. 10-11, Jakarta

The exciting gastronomic escapades of a foodie journo!

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