ORLANDO, Fla. – Executive pastry chef Josh Cain credits his great aunt with fostering his sweet tooth.
“For me, chocolate and sweets is something that I didn’t realize until I got older, that I did this a lot with my great aunt,” Cain said. “My grandmother was cooking, but my great aunt was the one who always made all of the desserts and I was right there, helping her out.”
Cain later graduated from Johnson and Wales culinary school in North Carolina to pursue his career as a pastry chef, eventually making his way to Caribe Royale in Orlando.
[ADD YOUR BUSINESS TO THE FLORIDA FOODIE DIRECTORY]
While Cain makes a variety of sweet treats, he has a deep passion for chocolate.
He has become known for creating elaborate displays out of chocolate, such as a 32-foot-long model train and an 11-foot-tall replica of a Saturn V rocket.
Watch News 6+ in the player below for live news and original programming:
“I actually make molds as well,” Cain said. “So if I want to make something out of chocolate, and I maybe want it to have certain details, I’ll create my own molds. So I use silicone, I use different thermoforming techniques to make different plastic molds and stuff like that to create what I want to out of chocolate.”
For the model train, Cain said he used 1,600 pounds of chocolate.
Check out the Florida Foodie podcast. You can find every episode in the media player below:
The chef said the most stressful part of making these massive confections is moving them.
“The biggest thing with that is it really, that’s when everybody comes around and gets in your way,” he said.
Cain added that he works to make sure his large-scale displays will last, some as long as eight years.
“I build these things really substantial so that they can last the test of time,” he said.
While his enormous creations are a quite the sight, Cain is bringing something even more unique to Caribe Royale; a proprietary chocolate formal that will only be found at the resort.
“In October, I was I had the chance to go to France and the company I was with, they approached me. They said, ‘Hey, would you be interested in formulating your own chocolate?,’” Cain said. “I pitched it to my boss. And he’s like, ‘That sounds amazing. Like who’s doing that around here?’”
The chef described the trip as a fully immersive experience.
“It’s really cool. So we start the process, we work on the flavor profiles, we take those and then we kind of start a formula,” Cain said.
The formula then went through several revisions before he landed on a product he was happy with.
“The one that I actually landed on was it had beans from Venezuela and Madagascar. It has a really nice flavor profile and what I was trying to do is tie in what happens in Central Florida, what grows in Central Florida, and some of those notes,” he said. “So they have a lot of fruity notes, red berry kind of notes — kind of like Plant City strawberries — citrus notes, the honey that goes along with that. So I wanted to kind of tie that into my chocolate so it really brings it all home for what we have in Central Florida.”
In addition to this special chocolate formula, Caribe Royale is also expanding its chocolate-making facilities.
“I’m working on expanding that to make it where we can do actual classes and bring guests and they can pay to take these classes and come see what we do and create these things,”
On the latest episode of Florida Foodie, Cain explains more about the different kinds of chocolate and how he uses them in his work. He also shares some of his favorites from Caribe Royale.
Please follow our Florida Foodie hosts on social media. You can find Candace Campos on Twitter and Facebook. Lisa Bell is also on Facebook and Twitter and you can check out her children’s book, “Norman the Watchful Gnome.”
Florida Foodie is a biweekly podcast from WKMG and Graham Media that takes a closer look at what we eat, how we eat it and the impact that has on us here in Florida and for everyone, everywhere. Find new episodes on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher or wherever you download your favorite podcasts.