Academy Awards: Behind-the-scenes look at 6,500 chocolate Oscars
Hollywood’s biggest stars aren’t the only ones busy prepping for Sunday’s Academy Awards show. Wolfgang Puck’s pastry chefs, part of the culinary team behind the Oscars Governors Ball, have been on chocolate duty for the last three weeks.
Six full-time pastry chefs and Kamel Guechida, corporate director of pastry for Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group, are behind the 6,500 chocolate Oscars that will be served to celebrities during the annual post-show party. The ball will take place at the Ray Dolby Ballroom on the top floor of the Hollywood & Highland center.
The process starts with tempering 1,000 pounds of Cacao Barry bittersweet chocolate using a new tempering machine at 88 degrees until it’s glossy. The chocolate is poured into 250 polycarbonate mini and life-size molds (each mold makes two) and placed in a refrigerator to set. The larger ones take about four hours; the smaller ones take 30 minutes.
After the chocolate is set and removed from the molds, a total of 10 pounds of 24-carat edible gold dust is airbrushed onto the mini statues, one by one. And voila! Every celebrity wins a chocolate Oscar.
Members of the pastry team said they had about 500 broken chocolates this year. And if you’re wondering whether they get to try the fruits of their labor, they admit to sampling the chocolate Oscars before and after the gold armor goes on.
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