Chef of Sweet Bribery
Meet Houston Chocolate Hero Sharon Leonard of Sweet Bribery
'On Sunday, January 20 from 2 to 4 p.m., enjoy a special Galaxy Pop — a chocolate cake and ice cream pop — made with Callebaut chocolate from pastry chef Sharon Leonard (formerly Gofreed) of Sweet Bribery at 250 West 19th. It’s available for all of Houston Chocolate Heroes Month, which runs through February 10. The month-long showcase is sponsored by Callebaut, maker of a wide range of fine chocolates chosen by top pastry chefs around the world for its consistency and high quality. During the January 20 event only, guests can buy one and get one free — so bring a friend! Sweet Bribery debuted in September 2018, making it one of Houston’s newest craft ice cream and pastry shops. However, its chef-owner, Sharon Leonard (formerly Gofreed), worked on her craft for nine years at top restaurants, including Uchi, Main Kitchen at the J.W. Marriott and State of Grace.
“We focus on making everything in-house, including quality ice cream and baked goods,” says Leonard. We make a wide variety, including our Crème de Menthe Brownie, chocolate chunk cookies and Tailgate Cookie with pretzels, potato chips, butterscotch chips and caramel M&Ms. It has a little salty and sweet for everyone.” There are also nine ice cream flavors, two sorbets and one frosé.” In addition, Sweet Bribery has a wine and beer program, some of which Leonard uses to make adult ice cream floats.
Leonard says that she’s used Callebaut chocolate for over a decade, starting in culinary school. Both milk and dark chocolates are used in her chocolate ice cream, and Callebaut is being used for the Galaxy Pop as well. “Everybody seems to have a cake pop but not many have a cake and ice cream pop,” explained Leonard. “The Galaxy Popis going to feature the Callebaut dark chocolate ice cream and strawberry Crispearls™, then it will also have cake inside made with Callebaut cocoa powder. Then, it all gets dipped in more Callebaut chocolate to make the shell!
When selecting a chocolate to use, as an ice cream maker Leonard says that it’s important that it freezes with good texture. However, it has to melt well, too, for toppings and dips — and she’s found that Callebaut does both. “I’ve always had success in whatever format with Callebaut, whether it’s baking it into a brownie, using cocoa powder or using the chocolate to make the ice cream. It’s consistently good,” she said.
Leonard says she personally is a “dark chocolate girl.” “I think when you’re a kid you like milk chocolate. It’s sweeter and more accessible, but then as an adult, when your palate is refined, you can pick out specific notes in the different chocolate origins. I love when you melt a piece of chocolate on your tongue and get first fruity cherry notes and then bitter chocolate notes.”