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I recently picked up 3 books from Jean-Pierre Wybauw called Fine Chocolates: Great Experience (books 1, 2, and 3). I wanted to make some recipes but I don't have all the ingredients yet. In the mean time I wanted to know if anyone here has tried the recipes that he provides in these books. My questions are:

  • I am really interested only in the truffles (not others).
  • Are the truffle recipes any good? 
  • Would you say these truffle recipes are some of the best you have every tried? If yes, which are your favorite?
  • Is Jean-Pierre Wybauw considered the best chocolatier in the world?

I look forward to everyones input!! : )

Tags: Jean-Pierre, Wybauw, book, chocolate, chocolatier, decorations, ganache, recipe, taste, truffles

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John:

I think you are asking the wrong questions.

Are the recipes any good? Technically yes. They are, however, traditional and tend to be on the sweet side according to many. The real answer to that question is ... do you like them?

JPW is not considered one of the best chocolatiers in the world. However, he is a very good technician and an extremely good teacher. His recipes and books are a foundation, a guide; not a bible to be followed literally. You want perspective, so also get Greweling and Shotts. Compare different approaches. You will learn a lot of technique.

In the end, do you really want to be known as a Wybauw clone? Just duplicating his recipes? Go out and make them - over and over again - learn what works for you and then apply your own taste sensibilities to the technical lessons you have learned and the market you serve.

Mr. Gordon, thank you for the reply.

The reason I am asking these questions is because we are looking for a consultant to reformulate our recipes. Our recipes taste great, but do not have a very long shelf life and we need it to be at least 2-3 months. Since I have not tried the recipes in the book, I am looking for advice to screen out who we should contact for consulting. 

My assumption is that if JPW is world-renowned and published books on extending shelf life, that he would be a great consultant. My questions then are this:

  • Would Grewling or Shotts be good consultants? Is JPW better as a consultant?
  • I am located in the US, so would working with somebody in the US be better because it is closer? Or is this irrelevant? 
  • How would you approach this problem we are having? Are we going about it the correct way?

I am familiar with the Grewling and the Wybauw books (not the Shotts book, though). I would also clearly prefer the recipes presented by Grewling (more original, more finesse...), but the 2nd volume of Wybauw's books on extending shelf life presents more principles and knowledge if it comes to changing recipes to make them last longer. If you are mostly looking into ways to extend the shelf life of your product, then this technical knowledge might be more useful.

But on the other hand: Ways to increase shelf life in confectionery follow very general principles. In most cases it comes down to reduce the free water content or adding preservatives (such as alcohol). I would guess that many different experienced chocolatiers and consultants will probably be quite familiar with those techniques, and not only the 'famous' guys from the books :)

Good luck!

(by the way, the Wybauw books were translated very badly. I really find all those mistakes quite annoying, but anyway...)

Hi,

Do those mistakes affect recipes (amounts, missing ingredients)?

Thanks.

So far I haven't actually tested too many of the recipes and the ones I tested had not such mistakes. The mistakes were more like rather stupid text errors such as saying that something contained "x% egg whites" where it should have been "protein" (in Dutch you use the same word for egg white and protein), and some funny google-translate-like phrases. I guess it's not crucial, just annoying.

Thanks for the input. 

We have been to many food scientists all to no success. The way we see it now is that we should go to the best and just get this over with already. When we began on this journey we did not know of any of these authors and because of this we kept going to mediocre food scientists who claimed to know it all but didn't. 

JPW's second book has lots of good advice about how to increase shelf life using a variety of techniques. You can use the techniques and the recipes in the book(s) as starting points.

If you are looking for a consulting chef/chocolatier, I would be happy to make an introduction to someone based in the NYC area. He is classically trained in Spain with much practical experience (and with a great flavor sensibility and work ethic) and can help you in your recipe development. 

If you are interested, please send me a PM and I will respond with the contact information after checking in with him.

:: Clay

Mr. Gordon, 

Thanks for the assistance. I'm sure that any recommendation you give will be great. My only concern is that would your consulatant be better at this project than JPW? 

John:

Have you contacted Mr Wybauw? Is he available to consult? Can you afford his rates? Is he interested in helping you?

There are many consulting chef/chocolatiers who can help you in this regard. Professor Greweling is one - Drew Shotts is another. They, and the person I am thinking of, are in the US and are more likely to be available than JP is.

Other than a few food scientists, we have yet to contact any of these top chocolatiers. We do have to find out if they will be a good fit for us still (they may or may not). I will keep your referral in mind --- as always, thanks for helping out. 

The best recipes I found are the Marco (Cognac & marzipan) which I think is in book 1, the coconut caramel and banana from book 2 and the blueberry from book 3.  They are all beyond fantastic.  FYI: I omit the sorbitol.

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