German artisan-Mafia: Handwerkskammer

During a week in East Germany I had my fears of German regulations for artisan production confirmed. Unfortunately :cry: .

Handwerkskammer advertisement

Smells like…

Researchers find that we can distinguish more than one trillion odors. Now, is that much or not?

Testing mixtures of odorsOut of a set of 128 basic odors (I only depicted 100 boxes here), 10 (as shown here), 20 or 30 were mixed so that test persons could compare the smell of different mixtures. Two entirely different sets of flavor compounds were easy to distinguish (left), but if a substantial part of the compounds were identical (violet squares) it quickly becomes difficult to sense a difference (middle) or at about 90% overlap mixtures can not even be distinguished at all (right). Figure inspired by figures made in Bushdid et al. (Science, 2014).

Not fancy. Not bad! Holtkamp.

The patisserie Holtkamp is another well-established Amsterdam location. In particular their pastries and –very Dutch- their “croquetten” can be found in many cafés and restaurants in Amsterdam, but also their handmade chocolates enjoy great popularity.

Patisserie Holtkamp in AmsterdamPatisserie Holtkamp in Amsterdam

The sweet, the bitter.

Last Sunday I enjoyed another chocolate tasting at Chocolátl.

Chocolate tasting bitter and sweet at Chocolatl, Amsterdam
Chocolate tasting “bitter/sweet” at Chocolátl in Amsterdam

Pretty pastry- Patisserie Kuyt

When entering this place it’s hard to focus on chocolates, bonbons, candy only, because there is this huge amount of glamorous cakes and tarts in all colors and sizes. But even if you do focus on the chocolates only, it’s clearly worth a visit.

Pretty tarts and chocolates at Patisserie Kuyt in Amsterdam
Pretty pastry (and chocolates) at Patisserie Kuyt in Amsterdam

Perfect non-sustainable chocolate mousse

Howdy. I first wanted to entitle this post “the perfect chocolate mousse”, but that seemed to claim a little too much, right? Modest as I am, I consider it possible that some people might make even better (or at least equally good) chocolate mousse. But “quite good chocolate mousse” is simply not such a catchy title…

Perfect non-sustainable chocoalte mousse experimental test series
Systematic test of slightly different chocolate mousse recipes. From left to right: 0.5% iota-carrageenan (filled in canister at 80-90°C) | 1% iota-carrageenan (filled at 80-90°C) | 1.5% iota-carrageenan (filled at 80-90°C) | 1% iota-carrageenan (filled at 65°C). Each beaker contains 70g of chocolate mousse.

Hidden chocolates: Van Velze’s

I wrote about some of Amsterdam’s most known chocolatier such as Puccini or Unlimited delicious. There is a far less known –but not less interesting- place in Oost: Van Velze’s.

Van Velze chocolatier in Amsterdam Oost
Chocolatier and Patissier “Van Velze’s” in Amsterdam Oost

Moelleux au chocolat

Some call it molten chocolate cake, some moelleux au chocolat, or fondant au chocolat, or coulant au chocolat… Some claim that they invented it, others deny it.

Moelleux au chocolat fresh from the oven
Moelleux au chocolat fresh out of the oven… eat…

Exploring your dark side

Sometimes I like making things dramatic, saving the best until last. In food as well. I save the asparagus heads until the end and finish my favorite side dish last, if you know what I mean.

Chocolabs - chocolate tasting at Chocolatl in Amsterdam
‘Exploring your dark side’ chocolate tasting at Chocolatl in Amsterdam

Chocolate beyond the basics II

To the technical stuff. What did we do/learn in the course?
I told you that I recently enjoyed a ‘Beyond the basics” course at the chocolate academy in Wieze, Belgium. Here are some more details and pictures for those of you interested in what we technically did in the course.

Chocolate Academy course 'Chocolate beyond the basics' in Belgium
Precoating different ganache fillings made at the Chocolate Academy course ‘Chocolate beyond the basics’