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Ephemeral Art: $11,000 Chocolate Egg


Jacques Torres is hoping to get $11,000 for his  New York City themed chocolate Easter egg.

Jacques Torres is hoping to get $11,000 for his New York City themed chocolate Easter egg.

Would you spend $10,000 for a chocolate Easter egg? How about $11,000? Pastry chef Jacques Torres, aka Mr. Chocolate, is hoping to get at least that much for a 120-pound chocolate egg he decorated to look like the New York City skyline at night.

William Curley's Guiness world record $10,000 chocolate egg.

William Curley’s Guiness world record $10,000 chocolate egg.

His goal is to break the Guinness world record for “Most Expensive Chocolate Egg Sold At Auction.” The auction will take place at Rockfeller Plaza in New York City this Friday, April 18, with proceeds going to charity.

The current Guinness record-holder is William Curley, a London-based chocolatier, whose Gold Speckled Egg was sold at auction for $10,000 in 2012.

Unlike traditional fine art, which can reach prices in the thousands (and millions), what makes these artistic chocolate eggs decidedly different, is they are ephemeral. They do not last. Eat them or lose them. They can’t be preserved. Over time they will dry up and disintegrate.

So who is the buyer for these things? Certainly not your average parent looking for a sweet treat for their child’s Easter basket. Technology investor Cyrus Vandrevala bought William Curley’s egg. We’ll see who goes for Mr. Torres’, and at what price.

Lest you think making chocolate Easter eggs isn’t really “art,” consider what Enric Rovira of Spain goes through to create his very famous chocolate “Gaudi” eggs. Mr. Rovira’s creative process was the subject of an episode of the TV show  No Reservations featuring Anthony Bourdain.

Enric Rovira's chocolate "Gaudi" eggs.

Enric Rovira’s chocolate “Gaudi” eggs.

According to Gastronomista, to construct a single one-foot high egg, Mr. Rovira goes through numerous steps: Sourcing the chocolate, creating a mold, melting the chocolate, molding the chocolate, tempering the exterior, and then fastening four perfect pieces together to form a beautiful upright egg.

But he’s not done yet, here’s the good part.

He then takes the picture-perfect eggs outside to melt in the sunshine, each being pierced by the direct light and ambient heat, and degrading until it nearly crumbles in on its own weight. Then each egg is brought inside, re-tempered to hardness, and dusted with a velvety matte coating.

Fritz Knipschildt's chocolate truffle.

Fritz Knipschildt’s chocolate truffle.

The result — minimalist pieces of modern art. And as Mr. Rovira said on No Reservations, they are meant to be eaten.

If these Easter eggs are out of your price range, there’s another option. Fritz Knipschildt has a chocolate shop in Norwalk, Connecticut, called Chocopologie. He makes a truffle consisting of 70 percent Valrhona dark chocolate with vanilla at its base, and heavy cream, sugar and truffle oil.

The price? A mere $2,600.

A selection of chocolate eggs designed and created by Enric Rovira:

EnriCEggs2

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