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Chocolate cake Entremet Recipes so good #23 Soft Caramel Yusuke Aoki

Milk Chocolate Earl Grey Caramel Orange entremet by Yusuke Aoki

Milk Chocolate Earl Grey Caramel Orange entremet by Yusuke Aoki

Photo: Noriko Carlow – Contents: Reiko Matsuno

Pastry-making is not easy in a tropical climate. Japan, though not located in the tropical zone, is noticeably hot and humid, especially in summer, and Japanese pastry chefs who come back home from their apprentice training in France are often annoyed with it saying that chocolate never gets set or icing never dries, missing the dry air in Europe. However, Yusuke Aoki, a 37-year-old Japanese pâtissier has worked to make desserts at Ritz Carlton in a dessert country, Qatar. It was his own choice, after the experience at Ritz Carton in Japan and Canada, with MOF chef, Stéphane Glacier. And now, where is he? He is in Bali, Indonesia as an executive pastry chef of Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran Bay, a luxurious hotel by the sea.

‘Oh, I didn’t particularly choose hot weather countries of course. My workplace in Qatar was fully air-conditioned and there was no need to worry about what to serve, but in this hotel where guests enjoy open-air dining, plated desserts start melting as soon as they are served. I had to adjust my recipes for temperature-controlled patisserie,’ says Aoki. Working in remote countries means you don’t get ingredients which you can have in Japan or Europe without efforts. You can’t find a wide range of gelatin and agar products, for example. He adds some pectin or cornstarch to keep the shape of jelly or crémeux in such hot weather. Or a limited selection of fruits encourages him to use exotic spices and homemade praliné instead of accenting the flavors and textures.

And Bali might have inspired him to participate in Valrhona’s C3 competition, too. After winning the regional semifinal in Asia, he became a world champion in Brooklyn, New York. All the experience, creativity and global mindset he gained from different people, different cultures and different countries made him a world-class pastry chef.

‘There is a saying here which says that if the god of Bali doesn’t like you, you don’t get a chance to be in Bali. Maybe he gave me a chance,’ he smiles. He came here by the Balinese god’s invitation, but now he seems to give Aoki another duty. Right after this interview included in so good 23, he was assigned to Four Seasons Otemachi in Tokyo. Back to Japan after three years in Bali. With his sense and skill sharpened in Asia, North America and Europe, he will show his ability to the fullest for sure in Tokyo, where people will gather from all over the world for the Olympic Games in 2020.

One of the challenges he poses himself is to create something unique without mold. in this Milk Chocolate Earl Grey Entremet he pipes the whipped ganache over the cylindrical cake in an irregular fashion.