By Chef Julie Biba

There are dozens of reasons why I chose to go to culinary school, but my love for the culinary arts can be summed up in one word: chocolate. Who doesn’t love chocolate? There are so many to choose from: different variations of dark, milk and white (which is technically not chocolate, but we’ll let that slide). When I started my culinary journey at the Art Institute of New York, I quickly learned that it was my favorite ingredient to work with and to eat! After my time at the Art Institute, I landed an internship working with the pastry chefs at Chanterelle’s in Manhattan. With this under my belt, I went on to work as a pastry chef at Rosemary & Sage in Riverdale, NJ. All of my previous experience has taught me everything I ever wanted to know about chocolate and the different ways to use it.

Every year, I’m anxious to see what the predicted dessert trends are for the coming year. Lo and behold, the number one trend according to Examiner.com is “bolder chocolate.” Deeper, darker chocolate is satisfying the palettes of adults everywhere. They also mention smoked chocolate…think bacon meets chocolate chips. It’s no surprise that people everywhere are experimenting and getting creative with chocolate. According to Slate.com, chocolate is a 20 billion dollar industry and expected to grow to over 22 billion by 2017.

Culinary Chronicles: Smorgasburg

Salon du Chocolat, which is held in Paris, is the world’s largest annual chocolate fair. Here you find the emerging trends in the chocolate world. According to market research group Mintel, these are some of the top flavors you will find there this year: dessert flavor chocolate (ex. Milkshake, tiramisu, ice cream), chocolate covered vegetables (ex. Edamame, sweet potato), floral scented chocolate (hibiscus), chocolate with pistachios or fruit (peach, lemon). So while you’re making your significant other some chocolate covered strawberries this Valentine’s Day, why not get creative and dip some sweet potatoes?

If you’re looking for a culinary adventure, there are tons of gourmet chocolate shops to explore in NYC. You can find decadent handmade desserts at places like Jacques Torres Chocolate, La Maison du Chocolat, or Vosges Haut-Chocolate, just to name a few. One of the newest additions to the city is Stick With Me Sweets, found in Nolita. Here you can find chocolate that truly looks like a work of art. They are following current flavor trends, with offerings such as Raspberry Rose, Sea-Salt Caramel and Speculoos S’mores. You can see more flavor offerings and pictures of their chocolate jn the Grub Street article below.

Culinary Chronicles: Peruvian Cuisine

If you’re like me, you don’t look forward to waiting on a line for 5 hours in 20 degree weather to try one of Dominique Ansel’s Cronuts, have a bite of a Magnolia Bakery cupcake, or sip some of Serendipity 3’s Frozen Hot Chocolate. This is why recreating these iconic desserts at home is a viable option. All the high-quality, natural ingredients are found at your local grocery store and the creativity lies in your mind. All you need is some patience, determination and a reliable recipe. Baking is a science, after all. See some of my favorite recipes below.

To explore more chocolate trends and for more information on places to visit around NYC, please click through the links below.

CLICK HERE to view all of our Culinary Chronicles posts on in-sight!

 

Here Are All 24 Bon-Bon Flavors From NYC's Newest Chocolate Sensation

22 hours ago

Raspberry rose, sesame and passion fruit, bourbon maple pecan, and more.

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Dominique Ansel's At-Home Cronut

22 hours ago

Cooking Directions Two Days Before Make ganache: Prepare one of the ganache recipes below and refrigerate until needed. Make pastry dough: Combine the bread flour, salt, sugar, yeast, water, egg whites, butter, and cream in a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Mix until just combined, about 3 minutes.

more »

Frrrozen Hot Chocolate: Serendipity's Best-Kept Secret Recipe | Epicurious.com

22 hours ago

It's famous, it's infamous, it's notorious. It has destroyed diets and led to love affairs. Marriages have been proposed over it, couples have been wed in it, princes have been made from it. People have traveled from all corners of the world for just one sip of our creamy, dreamy, icy blend of chocolatey goodness.

more »

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