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L'Austral Cruise Photos

From: L'Austral cruise review

Gastronomy (4)

Gilles Marchal, pastry chef and chocolatier

Gilles Marchal, Pastry Chef of the Year in 2004, is both a pâtissier and a chocolatier. He has co-authored two books, one about chocolate and the other with a strawberry theme. (According to an article in Athens News, M. Marchal has been called "Monsieur Chocolat" by no less a personage than the legendary chef Paul Bocuse.)

During our cruise, Gilles Marchal presented a dessert-making demonstration in L'Austral's Theater. The chocolate dessert had a title that was nearly as elaborate as the finished product: "Truffes à l'infusion de thé plongée dans un Champagne rosé."

Gilles Marchal on L'Austral

While scores of chcolate-loving gastronomes (and a sprinkling of children) watched attentively, M. Marchal went to work onstage.

The recipe involved making a chocolate ganache that was infused with red tea--or, more precisely, thé aux 4 fruits rouges.

After 15 minutes of chilling, the ganache was sliced into small squares. M. Marchal then inserted a toothpick into each square, dipped each square into dark chocolate, and plunged the coated square into a glass of pink Champagne.

L'Austral chocolate-making demonstration

Passengers were invited to come onstage and sample the finished truffles.

Truffe à l'infusion de thé plongée dans un Champagne rosé

Voilà: A chocolate truffle infused with red tea and dipped in pink Champagne.

(At the demonstration, teetotalers and children could request a version made with apple juice instead of wine.) 

chocolate ganache infused with red tea

But wait, there was more! After everyone had enjoyed a truffle (or two, or three), passengers were given spoons for scooping up the remaining ganache.

Bon appetit and tchin tchin

Thanks to Gilles Marchal's solid-meets-liquid truffle recipe, we were able to say "Bon appetit" and "Tchin tchin" in a single toast.

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L'Austral photos
Ship tour

L'Austral Adriatic cruise - day by day
Day 1: Venice Departure
Day 2: Zadar
Day 3: Trogir
Day 4: Dubrovnik
Day 5: Mouth of Kotor, Mljet
Day 6: Hvar
Day 7: Rab
Day  8: Venice Arrival

Also see:
L'Austral cruise review (8 pages)