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Inspiring entremets

The Baking Association of Canada, in partnership with the Canadian Pastry Chefs Guild presented Jeroen Van Helvoirt demonstrating pastries and plated desserts incorporating Callebaut chocolate. The event included an informal networking session, featuring appetizers prepared by Centennial’s culinary students and samples of Chef Van Helvoirt’s creations.

The chef crafted petit gateaux, plated desserts and chocolate snacks, using multifunctional components to minimize ingredient inventory and reduce waste.

Chef Jeroen has more than 20 years of international experience to the pastry field in Canada. As a Dutch pastry chef. He represented the Netherlands in international competitions, which led to stints at leading patisseries in Europe, Asia and North America. His specialty is combining traditional European pastry fundamentals with modern techniques – often balancing textures and establishing a united look through the use of elegant decorations – producing a style that challenges palates with innovative flavour combinations.

Centennial College’s Event Centre in the School of Hospitality, Tourism and Culinary Arts provided the perfect setting for skilled pastry chef Jeroen Van Helvoirt to craft European pastry making techniques featuring Barry Callebaut chocolate.

The innovative chef whipped up and plated three luscious desserts – Granny’s Apple Pie, Evocao Spiced Mango and Burgundy Fig – for an audience of about 75 bakers, baking and pastry students, instructors, corporate chefs and others who work in professional baking.

Chef Jeroen worked extensively in Asia and enjoys Asian and other distinctive flavours. “It’s very important that people be able to recognize the flavours,” he said during the demonstration.

For entremets, repurposing ingredients makes it easier to manage product in the kitchen and allows you to get the most out of favourite ingredients. “When I like an ingredient, I really like it,” the chef said.

He shared tips and techniques for achieving flavourful, appealing and consistent results: <bu>

  • Chef Jeroen uses different techniques to cool down the ganache: “It will be runny and that’s what we want,” he said. “The higher temperature creates a smooth mould.”
  • He likes to add all ingredients at once so that the contrast between hot and cold does not split the ganache.
  • Celery juice and fresh Granny Smith apple make a great, fresh flavour pairing.
  • Apple gel cream is used as a thickener, a cold application that helps prevent you losing flavour as you would when boiling it first.
  • Gelatin is one part gelatin powder and one part water. This saves you time. Gel sheets absorb a little water and thus can lead to slight inconsistencies in the products.
  • When measuring out fresh lime, the rule of thumb is one gram equals one lime.
  • Alternating between medium and stiff peaks when mixing helps to crystallize the chocolate and helps prevent air bubbles in the mould.
  • Freezing pieces as soon as possible can make it is easier to get them out of the mould.
  • For the Burgundy Fig he made a walnut crunch made up of walnut, feuilletine, crushed Maldon salt, self-designed Cruz milk chocolate and almond-hazelnut praline. He enjoys making feuilletine (essentially finely crushed crepe) to create a delicate crunch.
  • Evocao, he explained, is made up of the whole fruit not just the cacao bean and so is free of additives. Mango is a distinctive flavour and a favourite.
  • He used wildflower honey in the fig red wine jam to evoke an herbal taste. </bu>


The chef treated everyone to a taste of two chocolates he designed and named for his children: Kai dark chocolate with 72 per cent cacao and Cruz milk chocolate with 46 per cent cacao.

Assisting with the demonstration was Joel Latiff, who earned a spot in the North American National Selections and will compete in Montreal in May for a chance to compete in the World Chocolate Masters in Paris in 2025. Centennial College professor of culinary management Alison Iannarelli, baking and pastry arts professor Michaela Hapak and their students ably assisted behind the scenes.

The event was hosted by Centennial College and sponsored by the Baking Association of Canada together with the Canadian Pastry Chefs Guild as part of its education programming aimed at inspiring and benefiting BAC current and potential members.

Barry Callebaut provided chocolate from the Cacao Barry line including Evocao, Zephyr and Ruby, for the demonstration. Michael Levesque, national sales manager gourmet for Barry Callebaut Group, was in attendance.

The BAC has planned a full slate of demonstrations, networking and fundraising events in 2024, including a Farmer-Miller-Baker demonstration day at Calgary’s SAIT on April 22. Learn more and register at


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