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Less Coeur de Guanaja is required than traditional
dark chocolate, so it’s not a simple swap in recipes. It
requires testing and tasting to adapt. And that’s one of
the many things the Cercle de Chefs Class was designed
to do.
But Cœur de Guanaja was just the tip of the
proverbial piping bag. Chef Givre and his assistants
from Valrhona, Derek Poirier, Corporate Pastry Chef
North America, and Alex Espiritu, Corporate Pastry
Chef East Region USA, had more revelations to share.
And those would unfold as they guided the class through
12 sophisticated recipes.
On Day 1, the participants were divided into four
teams. Each team was assigned three recipes, some of
which included as many as eight components. The
Cœur de Guanaja would be used in a chocolate ice
cream and mousse to showcase its functionality in two
universal applications. The remaining recipes were
nothing short of high art, from a meticulous reinvention
of the classic opera cake, to the pop art inspired,
brilliantly hued Pop Fresh; both Givre signatures. There
was even an homage to New York City artfully
constructed inside a glass tube and aptly dubbed Subway
Each recipe showcased Valrhona products as well
as inventive techniques and flavor profiles.
“It’s inspiring and rejuvenating to learn new ideas,”
said Joshua Needleman, Creator of Chocolate Springs
Café in Lenox, MA, and a two-time attendee of
Valrhona’s l’Ecole du Grand Chocolate. “Production is
one piece of running a business but the creative process
is another. And it’s important to return to that focus.”