The Art of Chocolate Making
At Stein Eriksen Lodge, we have a dedicated pastry team led by Chef Jeremy Garcia. In addition to creating delicious desserts and pastries for the restaurants and First Tracks Kaffe, the team makes our delicious bonbons. When speaking to Chef Garcia, he told us that each and every chocolate made is something that is carefully crafted through multiple stages. As the chocolate flavors typically only change once a year with a few seasonal exceptions, the team has to be creative and achieve a balance through the flavors to ensure that they are relevant through all four seasons.
Chef Garcia, his sous chef, and the lead line cook all work together to choose the flavors they are interested in or have wanted to when crafting the new chocolates each year. They like to incorporate new and interesting flavors and textures. By experimenting with different shapes and color patterns, the team can give the guest a clue into what the taste of the bonbon might be.
Take the Coffee Hazelnut bonbon, for example. It features a coffee bean shape with a gold swirl pattern that represents the first pour of cream into a morning coffee. Or, the Sea Salt Caramel bonbon that has a pale blue color that is airbrushed with gold to represent the ocean meeting the beach.
The chocolate used in the bonbons is Valrhona chocolate purchased from a specialty food distributor in Salt Lake. Valrhona is a French chocolate company that produces some of the best chocolates. The ganache filling in each bonbon is made in-house by our talented team.
It typically takes one team member to make each batch of chocolates that produces 200-300 bonbons. The five-step process is straightforward.
1. The acrylic molds are prepared with a sprayed pattern of tempered cocoa butter to create the external design of the chocolate.
2. The molds are filled with chocolate then poured out after a few seconds to leave behind a thin shell.
3. The ganache for the bonbon is made by combining cream, milk, purees, infusions, and whatever other flavors are used for each specific chocolate.
4. The bonbons are filled with the ganache
5. The bonbons are “capped” by spreading a thin layer of more chocolate over the ganache in the molds. This seals the ganache inside and gives the chocolate its shelf life.
In addition to unique flavors and shapes, each chocolate also represents an aspect of Stein Eriksen’s life. For example, the sea salt caramel bonbon mentioned earlier is a nod to Stein’s birthplace, Oslo, Norway, at the head of the Oslofjord. To see how each chocolate ties into Stein’s life, the ingredients in each chocolate, and how the different colors and shapes hint at each bonbon’s flavor, visit www.steinlodge.com/bonbons
Next time you’re booking a stay at Stein Eriksen Lodge, consider adding the chocolates to your room, so they are waiting for you upon your arrival. Or, head down to Glitretind or First Tracks Kaffe and pick up a box to sample the many delicious and varied chocolates that Chef Garcia and his team so diligently created.