Note: The entire set of photos for this post is done by my daddy
A quick introduction, Pastry Chef Stephane Glacier was awarded the prestigious Meilleur Ouvrier de France (MOF) in 2000, making him the Best Pastry Maker in France. In addition, he owned Patisseries et gourmandises located at the fringe of Paris in Colombes (66 rue du progres, 92700 Colombes, France) and a school "patisseries et gourmandises, l'école (20 rue rouget de l'isle 92700 colombes) for amateurs and professionals.
If Paris is out of reach for the time being, his five chocolate-themed desserts, which are served at Patisseries et gourmandises in Paris, are available at three Marina Bay Sands eateries, The Chocolate Bar, Sweetspot and Rise, the buffet restaurant.
Apart from being able to try some of Chef Stephane's signatures, we were elated to receive an invitation to Chef Stephane's Pastry Demonstration. This demonstration focus on the use of Felchlin Chocolates, a Swiss-based chocolate-maker which uses some of the world's finest and rarest chocolate in their production.
Setting aside the technicalities of single origin chocolate, Chef Stephane provided a sampler portion of a freshly-made Chocolate mousse made of Felchlin Maracaibo 65% during the course of the demonstration. The initial taste of the chocolate mousse leaves a distinctive milk aftertaste, which I would labelled it as a strong characteristics of Swiss Chocolates and in general, very balanced, light and pure in its taste.
I may not be a baker myself and don't deny a lack of culinary knowledge but the style of Chef Stephane focus mainly on the use of very basic components such as hazelnut to introduce crispy into chocolates, fruits for some tang in his summer creations, sometimes coffee to bring out the quality of the chocolates used. From making the chocolate mousse to chocolate glaze, it was an eye-opener to see Chef Stephane making the various components of his creations and assembling the cake live.
Chef Stephane shared with us the use of Italian meringue to make his signature pastry, macarons; this type of meringue is generally stable and resistant to mixing using a electric mixer. In addition, he also recommends the use of silicone mats for it will not absorb moisture during the course of baking, thereby maintaining the shape of the shells.
In addition, Chef Stephane is also a man of humour for he relates the application of chocolate glaze to applying make-up. The more rounds one attempts to smooth the glaze using a palette knife, the more smudges one can expect from the chocolate glaze.
Some other tips include the importance in boiling cream and raspberry puree separately for acidity of fruits will break down the cream during boiling. The pointers he gave goes on and on and I am simply astonished by the speed he worked at and also the knowledge he has in every step of pastry making.
While Pastry Chef Alex of Marina Bay Sands consistently pushed the boundaries with each creation, Chef Stephane tends to keep his creations simple to bring out the quality of the chocolates.
The above is the Hazelnut Croustillant Bar with Blood Orange Sorbet and what is splendid about it is the use of
- Praline Croustillant to give a crispy crunch,
- Hazelnut Dacquoise for a soft nutty texture,
- Praline cream for a hazelnut aftertaste to create the "noisette" effect,
- Maracaibo Chocolate Mousse and Gianduja Chocolate Glaze for the finishing oomph factor.
Le Petit Antoine (a bigger individual sliced is sold at $9.10 at Sweetspot) is a creation Chef Stephane has been making for the past 15 years and is acclaimed to be his best seller. Similarly to the Hazelnut Croustillant Bar, it contains the Praline Croustillant and Hazelnut Dacquoise as its base but instead uses the Maracaibo Cariolait 38%. The use of this chocolate allows one to enjoy the full-bodied milk taste with subtle note of honey and caramel, which is a strong characteristic of Switzerland chocolates (in general).
Similarly to the Hazelnut Croustillant Bar, the beauty of this lies in the extreme thinness of the chocolate sheets and its ability to diffuse the chocolately goodness rapidly across the palette.
Chocolate Tartlets (sold at $6.00 at Sweetspot) is outstanding in its pate sablee pastry dough. The crispy sweet crust with the smooth and rich blend of Maracaibo Cariolait 38% and Maracaibo 65% makes every bite an addictive one and once again, the tart finishes off with Chef Stephane's signature chocolate sheet.
Chef Stephane firmly believes that a good macaron does not only lies in the shells but also the filling and using caramel filling in his macarons, the chewy texture of the filling does bring out another dimension of textures in his macarons.
Praline Tendresses (as shown on the right) is also available at Sweetspot for $6.00.
It was fabulous to be able to spend an afternoon with two world-class pastry chefs, Pastry Chef Stephane Glacier and Executive Pastry Chef Alejandro Luna.
Many thanks to Executive Pastry Chef Alejandro Luna for his warm hospitality and time to share with me his passion and concepts in his pastries. Also our heartfelt thanks to Communications Officer, Ms. Venetia Chung for the invitation to this wonderful chocolate event at Marina Bay Sands.
As mentioned earlier, this is an exclusive collaboration between both Chocolatier Masters and one can expect an exquisite chocolate event from now till the end of September 2011.
Guests can experience a new array of confectionery at the Chocolate Bar, available nightly from 8pm at The Club at Marina Bay Sands.
Website for the Chocolate Bar
During the day, chocolate lovers can enjoy the indulgent bites at Rise Restaurant or pack home these exquisite works of art from SweetSpot.
Website for Rise
Website for SweetSpot
For more information on Rise Restaurant and the Chocolate Bar, please call +65 6688 5525 or +65 6688 8858 respectively.