Photo Credit: P. Fong, Ganache Patisserie
Chocolate can be a girl’s best friend, no matter what shape or size. And that’s what Peter Fong, Canadian pastry chef and owner of the French-styled Ganache Patisserie, set out to do when he created the chocolate version of Ilanaaq the Inunnguaq, the official logo for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games. (Ilanaaq is the Inuit tribe’s word for "friend.") The human-shaped brown beauty, also known as an inukshuk—originally a stone landmark built by native North American tribes—extends a sweet, welcoming message to the athletes and foreigners (and their taste buds!) who are visiting the host city.
Chocolate Ilanaaq the Inunnguaq
Total time: About 4.5 hours
5 pounds of dark chocolate
1.Place the chocolate in a double boiler over simmering water. Heat it until it reaches 115 degrees F.
2.Gently stir with a spatula as the chocolate melts. Once it’s melted, remove the pot from the stove and let it cool down to 81 degrees F.
3.Warm the chocolate for 5 to 10 seconds, stirring, until the temperature reaches 88 degrees F.
4.Remove it from the stove and pour into a square cake pan, frame or even a casserole dish lined with plastic wrap. Set aside a small bowl of melted chocolate.
5.Allow the chocolate to fully set. After it has solidified at room temperature, place in the fridge for half an hour and it will contract and separate from the cake pan or frame. Then let it come back to room temperature for another hour before carving into it. Cut the chocolate slab into long, narrow pieces.
6.Slice two long pieces for the arms so they are 2 to 3 inches wide and 1.5-inch thick. Create a straight, dashed line with a heated knife down through the slab. Then, use a larger chef's knife and cut, so the chocolate will break off to look like a piece of stone.
7.Cut smaller pieces from the long, narrow slab of chocolate to make up the legs, body and head.
8.Carve the edges at different angles. Chop at the edges and sides with short, sharp strokes, letting the chocolate fracture and chip away naturally. Then, use the melted chocolate to glue the chiseled pieces into the shape of the Innunnguaq and let dry.