Michael Laiskonis' Origin dish

Michael Laiskonis’ Journey Back to Chocolate’s Origin

I certainly sought out quality, flavor and functionality in the chocolate I chose to work with, but beyond that, I would have to admit I gave little further thought to where it came from, how it was

Cacao beans

Raising Theobroma

The use of cacao at the time was still limited to drinks, but within one hundred years it would evolve into the sweet confection we know today. The ICE Chocolate Lab strives to explore not just the

Coffee ice cream

Four Factors for Perfecting Ice Cream

I’m obsessed with ice cream’s inner workings, and a little technical know-how can help us perfect our frozen creations. What follows is a brief primer on key factors to consider with ice cream: how to

Michael Laiskonis' Balsamic Vinegar Gelato

Michael Laiskonis' Balsamic Gelato

Using balsamic in a gelato is a novel way to incorporate its flavors into a composed dessert and one that I've enjoyed for years. I like to utilize both the Balsamic Vinegar of Modena and Aged

Michael Laiskonis’ Balsamic Caramel Bonbons are served on a round platter.

Michael Laiskonis’ Balsamic Caramel Bonbons

I love the way in which the depth of balsamic vinegar marries with the bitter complexity of caramel and dark chocolate. The tartness of balsamic combined with the raisin-y sweetness of the aged

ICE Creative Director Michael Laiskonis experiment with PolyScience equipment.

The Transformative Potential of PolyScience Tools

Inside these mobile display cases are a rotary evaporator and ultrasonic homogenizer, both secured through the school’s partnership with PolyScience, a key driver of the accessibility and popularity

raw cocoa with handpainted chocolate in the background

ICE Hosts 'Roots of Cacao'

Leading the technical side of the day’s conversation with his talk, “How Chocolate Gets Its Taste,” Clay Gordon, publisher of TheChocolateLife.com, broadly laid out the basic processing steps of

chocolate straining through machine after being made

Roots of Cacao

Over the years, we’ve opened up the lab to chocolate and pastry professionals of all stripes, not to mention scores of guests who just love tasting our efforts. As we’ve learned to make better

hot chocolate

The History of Hot Chocolate

For much of its history, chocolate wasn’t something we would eat out of hand or find in a dessert recipe. The modern chocolate bar didn’t emerge until the mid-1800s, when technology and inventiveness

anise hyssop parfait

Sweet Collaborations from the Chocolate Lab and Hydroponic Farm at ICE

Every time I walk past the brightly lit farm, I can almost taste the dozens of flavors growing within and my imagination immediately starts to stir. This first in a series of posts traces some

pistachio chocolate balls made at ICE chocolate lab in New York

The Secret of Bean-to-Bar Chocolate

These observations may be old hat to professional chocolate makers, but they are rarely — if ever — considered by chefs and consumers. Raw Beans Straight out of the bag, fermented and dried beans

ice cream cone

Sweet Inspiration: A Back-to-School Reading List for Pastry Chefs

The autumn publishing season also means a shelf-load of new releases. Below are a few of those just-published books I am looking forward to, as well as one or two that I’m finally catching up on

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