Thomas Haas, Vancouver chocolatier, shares Easter recipe
Caramelized almond rochers are an Easter tradition at Thomas Haas' renowned patisserie
Whether in Germany or in Vancouver, the tradition of making chocolate and pastries for Easter has remained pretty constant for Thomas Haas.
The renowned owner of Thomas Haas Chocolates and Patisserie in Vancouver was born into the bakery business. His father owned a cafe and patisserie in Germany, and the family lived above the shop. The children were all expected to work in the family business.
"I think it was as [young] as six or seven years old, where we had little duties, and they became bigger duties, and they became Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, Friday duties," Haas told North By Northwest's Sheryl Mackay.
"It didn't do me any harm, that's for sure."
During Easter, Haas said his father would make a special sponge cake baked in lamb-shaped molds dusted with icing sugar. While Haas doesn't offer that in his shops in Vancouver and North Vancouver, he does offer other traditional treats like stollen, chocolate eggs, and caramelized almond rochers dipped in chocolate.
Chocolate Almond Rocher by Thomas Haas
- 150 grams granulated sugar
- 75 grams water
- 1 vanilla bean
- 500 grams slivered or diced almonds
- 300 grams dark, milk or white chocolate - tempered *
- Bring sugar and water and scraped vanilla bean to a boil. Pour over almonds and mix well.
- Spread tossed almonds on a baking sheet and place in a preheated 325 F oven. Toast until golden brown. (Make sure to turn and mix the almonds frequently during the roasting process. This will ensure the almonds do not cluster together.)
- Once cooled, mix and blend the almonds with the tempered chocolate.
- Spoon mixture onto baking sheet covered with parchment paper and let set for approximately 5 minutes.
- Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place — not in the fridge!
* To temper chocolate:
- Use finely-chopped, high-quality chocolate or chocolate discs. Heat in microwave in 30 second-increments until 50 per cent of the chocolate is melted.
- Stir gently and continue heating slowly until chocolate is melted and smooth.
To hear the full interview with Thomas Haas, listen to the audio labelled: Vancouver chocolatier shares Easter traditions