Gianduja chocolate

Going Nuts for Gianduja

Every once in a while, a technique or a preparation will inspire me to reflect on some of the philosophical aspects of cooking. If I were to reduce the act of cooking down to the simplest of concepts

Popcorn Choux Pastry

Popcorn Choux Pastry

Years ago, while working as the pastry chef at Le Bernardin, I began giving serious thought to the role of nostalgia and the sense of memories tied to taste. I still enjoy finding playful yet subtle

gem cakes

Behind the Product Development Process

I was grateful to have my former chef-instructor from ICE's Pastry & Baking Arts program, Penny Stankiewicz, share some wisdom about the process. “With recipe testing, the first thing I do is research

vessels of cocoa powder

Cocoa: The Forgotten Ingredient

For years I have been passively using cocoa powder. Very rarely is cocoa powder the main ingredient in products I make so I rarely give it much thought. I always focus on the type of chocolate, the

taffy in Pastry & Baking Arts class

How to Make Taffy

Growing up, Pastry & Baking Arts Chef-Instructor Stephen Chavez and his family would take a perennial summer pilgrimage to Catalina Island, about 20 miles off the Southern California coast. “Dead

chocolates made with an alphabet block mold

Giving New Life to Vintage Chocolate Molds

In its earliest modern form, in the days of the 19th-century Industrial Revolution, chocolate would have been sold unsweetened in rough blocks and cakes, to be ground or broken up by the end-user for

Pastry & Baking Arts students decorate ombre cakes

How to Make an Ombre Cake

Ever since ombre cakes became fashionable, the colorful trend has filled inspiration boards on Pinterest and flooded foodies' social media feeds. While the ombre hair trend emerged in the early part

Traditional Mexican wedding cookies

This History of Mexican Wedding Cookies

More than just a sweet treat, Mexican wedding cookies date back to centuries worth of history and traditions spanning the world. In addition to delicious flavor, these cookies carry more history and

Christmas cookie trees

Christmas Cookie Tree

To start, you need a great sugar cookie recipe. I’m including one, and you can use any trusted one you like. There are many secrets to successfully decorated sugar cookies, and the first one is it

A kitchen scale with a bowl for measurements

Why We Measure by Weight

Using a kitchen scale is so important that it's the first lesson for Culinary Arts and Pastry & Baking Arts students at the Institute of Culinary Education. In the video below, Chef Jeff gives a sneak

Chef Chavez demonstrates making a parchment paper piping bag

How to Make a Parchment Paper Cornet

In a pastry chef’s toolbox, you may find items like a candy thermometer, a bench scraper and an offset spatula that professionals simply can’t live without. You may be surprised to find out that one

Sweet Potato Tart

Sweet Potato Tart

Working with fresh pumpkin can be a frustrating exercise due to its inconsistency, and I always feel a bit guilty resorting to the canned variety. The choice of sweet potato as an alternative is an

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