Throughout the duration of the iba trade fair, a leading event for bakery, confectionery and snacks Sept. 15-20 in Munich, numerous exhibitors showed off innovations and suitable solutions for confectioners — from raw materials and baking ingredients to machines, baking accessories and individual packaging solutions. The new innovations included the Ruby Chocolate, which is made by the chocolatiers of Callebaut. This is a new chocolate category that combines dark, milk and white chocolate processed from the Ruby cocoa bean and entirely without the addition of fruit aromas or colorings.

Callebaut also has introduced a new flavor and color to its finest Belgian chocolate range. Caramel chocolate “gold” joins the ranks of classic dark, milk and white chocolate. Gold chocolate is produced entirely in Belgium from the bean. With this new recipe, Callebaut offers chefs a chance to indulge their customers with the popular flavor of caramel. Cake decorators can create eye-catching products like gold cake pops.

Other chocolate manufacturers are introducing innovative and inspirational new ideas for chocolate. CÉMOI Chocolate is experiencing strong growth in the chocolate market for artisans, pastry chefs and chefs. CÉMOI offers tailor-made solutions for gourmet, snacking, sweets, hot drinks and festive products. The line includes couverture, decorations, powder, chocolate bars, chocolate sticks, marshmallow, molded chocolates, individual chocolate bonbons and chocolate assortments. Created in 1920 in Grenoble, France, the CÉMOI brand was acquired by the Poirrier family in the early 1980s, joining a family group whose origins and know-how go back to 1814.

Sponsored this year by Plugrá European Style Butter and CÉMOI Chocolate, the American Culinary Federation’s ACF Pastry Chef of the Year Award recognizes a pastry chef who displays a passion for the craft, has an accomplished reputation in the pastry field, and has helped educate others.

Pittsburgh-based chef William Racin won the honor of best pastry chef in the nation at this year’s event in July. Racin is a Certified Executive Pastry Chef with the American Culinary Federation who studied at The Culinary Institute of America and works for The Duquesne Club in Pittsburgh as its executive pastry chef. Racin’s winning desserts included a pistachio cherry spritz cookie and a buttermilk plum crescent featuring cornmeal cake, buttermilk panna cotta, buttermilk lemon sherbet and plum gelée. His showpiece consisted of dark chocolate, white chocolate and pastillage.

In other news, chocolate makers are introducing new products just in time for the holidays. The 2018 Norman Love Confections’ Holiday Collection “nice list” features five festively-named confections filled with the freshest holiday-themed flavors, including Santa (milk chocolate – S’more), Rudolph (dark chocolate – brandied cherry), Candle Light (milk chocolate – gingerbread), Christmas Carol (dark chocolate – java jingle) and Pumpkin Pie (white chocolate – pumpkin pie).

ifiGourmet is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2018. The family-owned company was born in the bakery business and has flourished into a leading importer and master distributor. Pastry chefs, bakers and chocolatiers know the proper garnish adds the grace note to your creation. A selection from ifiGourmet’s private label line of chocolate decorations is the little stroke of genius that elevates your pastry or confection. From a simple chocolate curl to an elegant filigree, it’s the perfect finishing touch. In addition, ifiGourmet offers more than 20 different prepared chocolate cups as the foundation for a myriad of delectable treats. Choose from dozens of shapes, from mini fluted-edge cups to almost 4-inch wide dessert cups. Other variations include white, dark, and marbled chocolate. Fill these with fruit, pastry cream, or mousse. Garnish with chocolate decorations, and you’ve created a professional looking and tasting dessert in minutes.