There are few places as high-end and exotic sounding as a restaurant with a “Chocolate Lab.” Had this been part of my high school science class, I would have never left. Would a place devoted to luxurious confections and desserts, one that uses only top quality ingredients to churn out delicious bars, truffles, and edible works of art, be willing to inject a little ghetto into their kitchen?
Pastry Chef David Chow is the chemist in charge of the Chocolate Lab at Trump International Hotel & Tower Toronto. He’s the same guy who made memorable pastries during his time at the Drake Hotel, and he was more than willing to mix a little dirty “ghetto” with his top-notch “gourmet.”
Sweet Chili Doritos were going to share lab space with David’s smoked olive oil truffle and famous peanut butter and jelly chocolate bar. “I’m really familiar with Doritos. I love them,” says the chef of his not-so foreign ingredient.
The end result was a truly beautiful balance of salty and sweet. A chocolate bar with a bottom layer of salted caramel studded with chards of Doritos, and a top layer of dark chocolate ganache infused with honey, lime, and tequila. The bars were dipped in 70-percent Valrhona dark chocolate and sprinkled with lime-infused Maldon salt and a sprinkle of piment espelette chili (a variety of pepper grown in the town of Espelette, France).
I was hoping the scientist of the Chocolate Lab would tell me of the challenges of working with a homely bag of chips, but his only concern when making the candy bars was that he might run out of Doritos. “I kept eating them,” David admits. Tortilla chips, chili, tequila and lime seem like a great warm-up to a Mexican feast — of course they’d go together…with chocolate.
I suggested STOCK restaurant should put David’s ghetto tortilla chips caramel bar on the chocolate cart. Oh, yes, the restaurant has a heart-stopping chocolate cart (think of a dim sum cart with multiple offerings, only much classier and richer) with various truffles, bars, and sweets. If the demand is there, the Doritos bar might make it to a second round in the Lab.
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