Ramon Morató, Cacao Barry Technical Advisor and Director of Chocolate Academy
“As soon as I started out in the pastry-making sector I realised that this was a marvellous trade. The possibility of mixing several ingredients and creating with your own hands something that can be eaten and enjoyed by people, giving them a moment of pleasure, is a lovely feeling.
But it was really when I bought my first book on the subject, called A Passion for Chocolate, by Maurie Bernachon, when I fell in love with this magical product,” says Ramon, one of the best pastry chefs and confectionaries in the world, who remains incredibly humble and kind.
When asking him what he enjoys best in his work, he said: “The moments I enjoy the most are when I finish a course or presentation in which I offer the audience the chance to try my latest creations. If people like them, it’s a priceless feeling, really lovely. Being in touch with people and being able to communicate is what gives me the drive to keep going.”
His greatest success is his book Chocolate, best chocolate book in the world, awarded by Gourmand World Cookbook Awards. Ramon says it has changed his life.
What does chocolate mean for you (technically, taste and/or special memories related to it)?
For many years chocolate for me it has been a manufactured product, a special product of course, the leitmotiv of my gastronomic discourse and the product that has enabled me to grow professionally and to do what I most enjoy doing: learning, learning and more learning!
But chocolate for me today is also about cocoa and cocoa means people, an army of strangers around the world whose efforts make it possible to use this product in our creations.
Why have you chosen this dessert? What is in your opinion so special about it?
It’s been extremely easy to choose the dessert; it’s a petit four and I’ve chosen it for lots of different reasons: for its aesthetic appeal, for its flavour but above all because thanks to this dessert I had the chance to visit London for the first time and fall in love with it forever.
I created it years ago for a promotional campaign for rum. Later on I had the chance to give a talk at Harvard University as part of its “Science & Cooking” days and the photo of this dessert was chosen to illustrate the poster of the talk, entitled “The many faces of chocolate”.
Tell us please about the flavours, temperatures and textures that describe this dessert.
It’s a classic combination of a special chocolate, Fleur de Cao 70% cocoa, with coconut, lime and Cockspur rum.
What has inspired you to create it? How was it born?
As I explained earlier, the dessert was created for the True Rum promotional campaign.
Does it require any special technique?
Not necessarily; it’s a very straightforward dessert. The important thing is to execute it well so that it looks like a perfect coconut. The other techniques involved are simple.
What was the special challenge with it?
The main challenge was aesthetic, to make it look like a real coconut without making the production process too complicated in a restaurant. I was also looking for a clear and powerful rum flavour in the granita that was also stable for production purposes.
Any final message for our readers?
If they are readers of London Chocolovers, then they must like chocolate!
Apart from the purely gastronomic pleasure it offers, I’d like to encourage them to discover and appreciate everything that surrounds this magical product: its history, culture and, above all, the people, the huge number of people involved in every stage of the production process, from when the cocoa is picked to when the final product reaches consumers for their enjoyment.
The recipe will be published tomorrow, here instead is a video of Ramon’s Harvard lecture: https://londonchocolovers.wordpress.com/2014/11/12/the-many-faces-of-chocolate-a-harvard-university-lecture-by-ramon-morato/