Friday, February 14, 2014

National Cream-Filled Chocolates Day - Feb. 14th; Chef Joe Randall

Chef Joe Randall
Randall is an Air Force veteran, and has been executive chef in a dozen restaurants. He's noted for his teaching ability and has worked in that capacity in four schools. In his over 50 years in the culinary and hospitality industry, he's seen a lot. His uncle was a caterer and restauranteur in Pittsburgh, and that's where he got his start. In 1995, he received a Lifetime Leadership Award from the Culinary Institute of America's Black Culinary Alumni for his work in advancing the contributions of African Americans in the culinary arts.

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It's Valentine's Day; naturally the foodie holiday would be something like cream-filled chocolates! There's a real art to making chocolate confections. Tempering the chocolate is a process that improves the quality and texture of the chocolate, and avoids the development of that odd greyish "bloom" that you might think means your chocolate has gone bad, but what's really happened is that cocoa fat has surfaced on the candy. You can read more about the science and how-to of tempering chocolate in an article by David Lebovitz, or more info in this Food Network piece. Eliminate the need for paraffin in your old candy recipes! Learn to temper the chocolate!

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