Masterclass by Chef Koichi Izumi

I stumbled upon this quotes on the internet one day. It says “Criticism is part of learning and growth. It means that you are taking initiatives to learn something new and grow over from your current state. If you are not getting criticised, it means you are not taking enough risk to learn something new and to grow.” I couldn’t agree more, because this was exactly how I felt after attending a masterclass by Chef Koichi Izumi at the Chocolate Academy. Actually, the students were not really “criticised” in a disapproving manner, but I like the fact that Chef Izumi pointed out our mistakes and provided practical tips.

Over the 3-day masterclass, we worked from 9am to 5pm to churn out 10 types of French petite gateaux and entremet, including chocolate decorations. Can you imagine the amount of work that needs to be completed? But after looking at the products, there was great satisfaction. It was not only a feast to the taste buds, but also a feast to the eyes.

Bamboo – Biscuit jaconde layered with ganache and matcha French buttercream. As a fan of matcha, I couldn’t resist the cake, even though it was rather sweet because of the matcha syrup.
Cote d’ivoire – Coconut sponge with passion fruit cream, berries compote and creme d’ivoire.
Tiramisu – A contemporary looking Tiramisu, with hazelnut sponge, white chocolate coffee mousse, and mascarpone mousse; topped with vanilla chantilly cream.
Nouveau – It exhibited creativity in both presentation and taste. The white “egg shell” was made of white chocolate, subsequently filled with coconut mousse, mango cream and strawberry compote. The taste was complex but it was a harmonious blend of all the components.
Nuage – A tart that would bring you on cloud nine. As suggested by its name (nuage means cloud in French), the white chocolate lemon mousse was as light as cloud. Strawberry compote, orange poele and raspberry cream added a fruity dimension to the tart, and neutralized the sweetness of Italian meringue as well.
Chocolate souffle – I always have the impression that chocolate souffle should be served hot, straight from the oven, but this cake has absolutely reformed my perception. With just two components – souffle and chantilly cream, the souffle is nonetheless one of the best sellers.
Uji – Matcha almond biscuit with Matcha mousse, strawberry compote and yuzu cream. Another favourite of mine not just because of matcha, but also the acidity and slight bitterness of yuzu cream which add some zing to the cake.
Banana strawberry – Banana mousse with layers of chocolate sponge, strawberry compote and chocolate lemon mousse. I would love the cake more if the banana flavour was stronger.
Parfume – The most elegant cake of them all, I reckon. The entremet has a pain de gene base with raspberry, and layered with strawberry white chocolate mousse and sauteed peach. The most exciting layer is the white chocolate ginger and lime mousse on the outer. The taste of ginger cuts through but not overpowering.
Castagna – Can you imagine having a tart with 10 components on it? It’s definitely first time in my life. It consists mainly of milk chocolate mousse and chestnut mousse.

After tasting the cakes, I would like to visit Chef Izumi’s patisserie in Tokyo one day. Asterique, here I come!


  1. Kathi Lorenzetti

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