Pastry chef techniques for making the best chocolate desserts

Calling all chocoholics! In celebration of National Chocolate Pudding Day, we’re indulging ourselves in five dessert techniques every pastry chef needs to produce the best chocolate delicacies around. So, if you have a pastry chef dream, grab something sweet and stick with us for a bit. (And while you’re at it, check out our culinary diplomas.)

5 techniques for making the best chocolate desserts:

1. Creams and fillings

Chocolate mousse – a rich and creamy filling in cakes and pastries, and a decadent dessert when enjoyed on its own. The dessert consists of a dense chocolate base, typically milk or white chocolate-flavoured, and aerated with whipped cream or egg whites and sugar. The folding process is key to the mousse consistency, with the best mousses turning out light and smooth. At 1000 Hills Chef School, our chef students master the art of creams and fillings in first year, developing the skills required to produce the perfect chocolate mousse. (Learn more about our First Year Foundation Diplomas.)

2. Chocolate pastries

Three-choc brownies, chocolate-filled danishes, bitter dark chocolate tarts. Have we said enough to get you drooling? Every pastry chef needs to perfect the process of whipping up delicious chocolate desserts such as these in order to please their customers (and encourage repeat orders.) 1000 Hills chef students try their hand at baking all kinds of chocolate-infused pastries, but when it comes to tasters – the classic choc-chip brownie always seems to take the cake! Some other winning brownie fillings we’ve seen over the years include fudge, fruit, nuts, and even cream cheese. (If you’d like to taste pastries prepared by our brilliant young cooks, visit The Classroom deli.)

3. Chocolate sauces

What would the best chocolate dessert be without a generous drizzling of chocolate sauce on top? A professionally prepared chocolate sauce has a base of cream or milk, butter, and melting chocolate. And what’s great about a chocolate sauce is it can be the perfect complement to both hot and cold desserts. Our chef students have the opportunity to develop interesting sauce flavour profiles in hands-on culinary training sessions, as well as practise professional piping techniques. Discover our Second Year Advanced Course in French Patisserie.

4. Chocolate cakes and sponges

Every professional chef needs a killer chocolate cake and sponge recipe up their sleeve. We know what you’re thinking – aren’t cake and sponge the same thing? No, in fact, they are entirely different desserts. A cake has a denser consistency due to the liberal use of butter, and is usually sumptuously moist. A sponge, on the other hand, has very little fat content and a lot of egg, allowing it to rise into a light and airy confection. Our second-year students develop their pastry skills in the Advanced Course in French Patisserie, and produce some of the best chocolate cakes South Africa has to offer – from classic varieties to Petit Fours and gateaux.

5. Chocolate ice cream

What’s a constant on arguably every dessert menu? You guessed it – ice cream. And usually of the vanilla or chocolate variety. Ice cream is traditionally made with milk or cream, sugar, and vanilla or cocoa flavouring. But these days (as we’re sure you’re aware), ice-cream is a dessert of exploration! Our students have opportunities to experiment with different flavour combinations, and impress our chef lecturers with semi-frozen emulsions that display their unique palates and presentation skills. (Follow us on Instagram to see photos of amazing desserts produced by our talented young chefs.)

best chocolate desserts

Chocolate dreams can come true

Are these techniques inspiring you to make the best chocolate dessert the world has ever seen? Apply at 1000 Hills Chef School and master the confectionary arts in just two years.