CHOC TREATMENT Lisa Fox, co-owner of Austin’s Asti Trattoria and a pastry chef in her own right, talked to us about the most coveted sweet treat for Valentine’s Day.
What makes a good cooking chocolate?
It should contain nothing artificial. Also, no added sugar or cocoa powder. I usually cook with Callebaut or El Rey. Valrhona is great but expensive. Lindt is nice too.
What is your most popular chocolate dessert?
The chocolate cannoli, which is a chocolate tuile—a thin rolled cookie—filled with chocolate mousse. I once tried to take them off the menu, but people started e-mailing us and leaving little notes begging us to bring them back.
Will you do a special chocolate dessert for Valentine’s Day?
I’ll probably do something for two people—like chocolate with either banana, coconut, or mint.
You have mentioned that chocolate desserts are difficult for you. Why is that?
I’m not a chocolate lover; I think it should be just one part of a dessert. But I have learned that people who like chocolate want total, pure chocolate, and they want it as decadent and rich as possible.
What are some of the trends with chocolate desserts?
The chocolate trio is one. For example, you might get a little cake, a small scoop of gelato or sorbet, and a miniature crème brûlé Pastry chefs have fun doing that kind of thing.