If life is like a box of chocolates, we made a living from putting this package together. Talking to the best chocolate artisans in town, visiting pastry shops, and tasting sweets and pastries – this is a difficult task, but we will do everything we can to get good coverage. And we found that Las Vegas is full of sweet things, from strip restaurants serving delicious desserts to neighborhood bakeries just waiting to be discovered. We also spent some time in an artisanal chocolate factory – a bean to bar experience unique to the city – watching the magic happen.
But really, the magic of chocolate is this: In a world with so many different opinions, the deliciousness of chocolate is one thing we can all agree on. It is a universal language that transcends culture, politics and religion. Give a 1 year old or a 101 year old a piece of chocolate and the answer is the same – pure joy. We hope you will benefit from it. When you’re done looking at the pictures, treat yourself to a decadent treat.
Heaven in a box
Jean-Marie Auboine, who has perfected the art of chocolate making for 30 years, is one of the few chocolatiers in the world who prepares his own couverture of handmade pralines from cocoa beans. Enter his shop in Las Vegas and be enchanted by candies and truffles that look too good to eat. And don’t you dare go without a box of salted caramels, hailed as one of the best in a blind taste test by the New York Times. 4780 W. Harmon Ave. # 1, 702-222-0535, jmauboinechocolates.com. – Genevie Durano
They know the Las Vegas food scene has reached a new level when Michelin star chefs are hiding in sight. This is the case with Michael Gillet, who has had an outstanding career in France and the USA and works with chefs such as Jacques Torres and José Andrés. Chef Gillet opened MG Patisserie & Cafe on Rainbow Boulevard a few years ago, where delicious pastries and chocolate treats line the glass shelves. Combine a chocolatine with a latte and bask in the sun on the tables outside or meet up with a friend over high tea, where Gillet’s mastery of pastries comes into its own. 6365 S. Rainbow Blvd. # 101, 702-831-1197, mgpatisserie.com. – Genevie Durano
Thanks to legalization, chocolate foods are no longer limited to the mysterious brownies that a hippie brought to your house party. Today they are real culinary cannabis creations with child-safe packaging. The Incredibles line of cannabis candy bars offers a mix of flavors like Mile High Mint, Peanut Budda Buddha and Black Cherry, a CBD / THC blend with cherries, milk and dark chocolate. Or for something different, try OMG THC’s milk chocolate coated almonds. Remember to start slowly.
Everything is available from Essence Dispensary, in multiple locations, at essencevegas.com. –C. Moon reed
The Strip House’s 24-layer cake, named America’s # 1 chocolate dessert by the Food Network, actually looks pretty humble. If you cut into it, you’ll see the magic – 24 layers of alternating cake and chocolate filling topped with a layer of semi-sweet French chocolate ganache. If there is such a thing as death by chocolate, this is the way to go. Planet Hollywood, 702-737-5200, striphouse.com. – Genevie Durano
Do not try to darken!
Leave it to the Venetian Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer to offer a chocolate dessert that is so outrageously indulgent that even the most jaded locals will take notice. The Brooklyn Blackout CrazyShake has a chocolate icing rim that is covered with mini chocolate chips. As if that weren’t enough, it’s then topped off with a completely different dessert: brownie, whipped cream, and chocolate sauce. Going crazy, guys, going crazy. Venetian, 702-414-2337, blacktap.com. –C. Moon reed
Chocolate dreams: confectioner Amaury Guichon creates showpieces that defy the imagination
Amaury Guichon is a pastry chef for the social media age. His videos – accelerated assemblies of his showpieces – have been viewed millions of times.
What took Guichon hours of painstaking work is summed up in less than three minutes as he creates hyper-realistic objects – a harp, a telescope, an elephant, the Empire State Building (with King Kong scaling) – and uses nothing but chocolate to make everyone Shape angles and cranny.
In these videos, Guichon’s ability is undeniable, his imagination limitless. And his medium of choice is one that is as spirited as it is delicious.
“I have a lot of respect for chocolate,” Guichon tells the weekly newspaper. “It is unique in its own way and it takes years to fully understand how it reacts, what properties it has and what composition it is. Despite having complete knowledge, you will need to work with chocolates for an extended period of time to get a full understanding. And I still surprise myself and discover new things every time I work with it. “
The 30-year-old pastry chef was fortunate enough to grow up in the French region of Haute-Savoie, a neighbor of French-speaking Switzerland, an area with an exceptional dairy farm. (The Swiss are known for their milk chocolate, while the French make the best dark chocolate, Guichon says.)
He began his education at the age of 14, but despite that early start, Guichon admitted that it had taken him over 10 years to fully understand the specifics of chocolate in its many forms.
After studying and receiving awards in France, Guichon found himself in the Jean-Philippe Patisserie in Aria. He has traveled the world teaching a master class in chocolate art. He has found a home in Las Vegas, where he opened his own downtown school, the Pastry Academy. There he teaches students, most of whom are budding pastry chefs, the techniques he has acquired over the years.
“I’ve always had a passion for pastries and have sacrificed a large part of my life to them. I still do that, ”he says. “But I was never really satisfied and fulfilled until I started teaching and sharing my passion with others.”
If you’ve checked out his Instagram page (which has 3 million followers) it seems like Guichon’s chocolate showpieces are next to impossible to make, but he assures us there is no trick – just technique.
“Every student who goes to my class is afraid of not achieving this. And I keep telling them, just follow and blindly trust the process and you will make it, ”he says. “Believe it or not, when I start a new challenge, I have to apply the same logic to myself because every showpiece is different. And for every showpiece there are difficulties and I don’t always know how to do things. I always need to calm down, just trust the process you are doing and you will get there. “- Genevie Durano
Chef Florent Cheveau is a chocolate master. The owner of the Burgundy French Bakery Cafe & Bistro (9440 W. Sahara Ave. # 105, 725-204-6557) even won the American World Chocolate Masters 2018 and was among the top three worldwide. The Weekly caught up with Cheveau to get that
Information on everything to do with cocoa.
Types of chocolate. Here’s a simple trick to understanding chocolate types: the darker the chocolate, the higher the cocoa content. Dark chocolate has more complex flavors, but milk chocolate is creamier. Think of it as the difference between black coffee and a latte. Cheveau says there is a chocolate that suits every mood. When he wants a sugar boost while watching TV, he goes for milk chocolate. When he longs for a more “sophisticated” dessert, Cheveau opts for a 66% to 72% dark chocolate.
Is White Chocolate Really Chocolate? “Technically, it is,” says Cheveau, explaining that when you grind a cocoa pod, you get cocoa solids (the dark part) and cocoa butter (the fat). Normal chocolate contains both parts; white chocolate only contains the cocoa butter. Although Cheveau describes white chocolate as “not the finest way in chocolate,” he says it has its uses. For example, Burgundy uses white chocolate as the base for its ganache macarons and for the little chocolate Bs that top its pastries.
A multifaceted ingredient. Only the potato can compete with this tropical plant in its versatility. At Burgundy Bakery, Cheveau uses standard cocoa powder for glossy chocolate toppings and a 99% cocoa mass to make dark chocolate macaron shells with a 60% chocolate ganache in the middle. A mix of chocolate, cream, and butter, ganache is just one of the many forms chocolate can take. Ganache, in turn, can be used in cakes, candies and as a base for chocolate mousse. “I love, love, love that chocolate macaron,” says Cheveau. “If I could eat them all day, I would. But I have to do it so I don’t have to work too hard. “
What is “tempering” of chocolate? To make this herbal product a pliable ingredient for making candy, one needs to heat and cool it. Tempering chocolate gives it its shiny sheen and allows it to coat things like strawberries and then apply satisfactory pressure as you bite into it. Cheveau compares it to a very strong snowball in which the chocolate molecules open their arms and catch each other.
How does chocolate go from bitter plants to sweet indulgence? Cheveau visited a cocoa plantation in Nicaragua to see the first steps up close. “[The process of making] Chocolate is very complex and should be enjoyed because it is the work of so many different people, ”says Cheveau. There are too many steps into detail here, but basically the chocolate is harvested, fermented, dried, roasted, and ground before being sent to factories that add sugar, milk, and more. It’s a delicate process that mostly has to be done by hand. “When you see the work that goes with it … you feel very humble,” says Cheveau.
Will chocolate die out (due to climate change)? The cocoa tree grows in the tropics and is sensitive to fluctuations in weather. To combat global warming, the chocolate plantation he visited has to plant trees at higher and higher altitudes, according to Cheveau. But at the moment he says that there is no shortage of chocolate. –C. Moon reed