By now, I hope you’ve read up on my Culinary Retreat at Ste. Anne’s Spa. Nestled in a private cottage just a stone’s throw away from the main inn, my husband and I enjoyed the many delights of the property, in addition to a private lesson with their celebrated Pastry Chef Khushroo Khambata.
Interested in learning a few new culinary tips while you’re at Ste. Anne’s Spa? Join Pastry Chef Khushroo on Monday, Wednesday or Friday at the Bakery for a complimentary demonstration. The topics of these demonstrations vary from day-to-day, but could be on anything from moulding chocolates and bonbons, to creating marzipan fruits, to designing artistic sugar creations. On our visit, we made colourful handmade moulded chocolates.
First, we melted only the best dark chocolate over a double boiler. I resisted stuffing the bag under my sweater, though I’m sure you’d be contemplating the same crime if you were in the presence of such indulgence. Chocolate in its raw form? Yes please.
While the chocolate cooled to the perfect temperature (the science of which was explained to us by Chef Khushroo), I was assigned the very important task of prepping the moulds with a blend of edible paints. I worried that my artistic skills were not necessarily up to par, but Chef Khushroo assured me that there was no wrong way to create edible art. Encouraged, I painted three moulds: one for bar chocolates, and two for filled chocolates.
Allowing chocolate to ooze, drizzle and slide over a mould is a thing of beauty. Delicious, drool-worthy beauty.
Once the chocolate shells had set, Chef Khushroo began to pipe a caramel-based filling inside the perfect confectionery wells. With precision and care – coupled with a professional’s speed brought on by years of training and practice – the delicate candies were ready for their final chocolate bath.
Once the final chocolate layer was applied, the bonbons were laid in the freezer to set quickly. While we waited, my husband and I had a chance to get to know Chef Khushroo – his love for cooking began at a young age, experimenting with raw ingredients in his mother’s kitchen. Khushroo’s interest was never lost and from there he travelled the world, from India to Austria to the Caribbean, where he mastered his craft.
Along the way he earned his honours from a Catering College, received his Red Seal Certificate in pastry and bakery as well as taking on the daunting task of completing his CEPC from the American Culinary Federation. He truly is a culinary genius.
Et voila! Our beautiful handmade caramel-filled chocolates. If I wasn’t there, I wouldn’t have believed we could create something so extraordinarily delicious.
Visit Ste. Anne’s Bakery from 2:00 – 2:30 PM on Monday, Wednesday and Friday to participate in a baking demo with Chef Khushroo. Be sure to sign up quickly, as there are only 12 spots available per day on a first come, first served basis. You must have a reservation in order to attend these events. Special thanks to Chef Khushroo for taking the time to offer us a private demonstration outside bakery hours; the lesson was enlightening, informative, and most of all, satisfied my sweet tooth! Click here to visit Ste. Anne’s Spa.