Posts Tagged ‘Pierre Hermé’

Recipe For Luxury Chocolate Gateaux Or Pavé

Friday, September 3rd, 2010

This is another recipe that I have followed from Pierre Hermé’s inspirational cookbook “Chocolate“, which I have reinterpreted for a British audience.  The only tweak I have made to it was in the use of edible gold as a garnish on top of the chocolate ganache.

While a long drawn out process to make, this is a real cake that you might expect from a top restaurant or bakery in Paris, so make it for an indulgent occasion rather than expecting to rush this one out day-in-day-out.  It is a truly rich and luxurious cake that should be savoured with a calm cup of tea or a rich coffee; it’s not finger food mind you, but needs a cake fork or a spoon to savour the flavour.

Stage 1 – baking the cocoa cake

40g 1(½ oz /1/3 cup plus 1 tbsp) organic cocoa powder
35g (1¼ oz / ¼ cup) organic plain flour
3½ tbsp organic potato starch
75g (5½ tbsp / 2¾ oz) unsalted butter
9 large egg yolks, at room temperature
150g  (5¼oz / 1¼ cups) organic Fairtrade caster sugar
5 large egg whites, at room temperature

1.  Preheat the oven to 180oC (350oF).  Butter two 18 x 9 cm (7½ inch x 3½ inch) loaf tins and line with baking paper.

2.  Sieve together the organic cocoa powder, plain flour and potato starch into a mixing bowl and set aside.  Melt the butter and set aside to cool until it is barely warm to the touch.

Sieving Together Cocoa, Flour And Potato Starch

Sieving Together Cocoa, Flour And Potato Starch

3.  Using a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment or in a food processor, beat the egg yolks plus 75g (2½ oz) of the caster sugar on a medium speed.  Scrape down the sides as you go along, and the mix should be thick and pale after about 5 minutes.  Scrape the thickened egg yolks into a large bowl, wash and dry the mixer.

Mixing The Egg Yolks And Sugar

Mixing The Egg Yolks And Sugar

4.  In a new or cleaned bowl, whisk and whip the egg whites at a medium speed until they form soft peaks.  Gradually add the remaining sugar and beat until the peaks are firm and shiny.

Whipping Up The Egg Whites

Whipping Up The Egg Whites

5.  Working with a large rubber spatula and a light hand, fold the sieved dry ingredients and a quarter of the beaten egg whites into the yolk mixture.  Stir a few tablespoons of this mixture into the cooled and melted butter, stirring to incorporate as much as possible, then add the butter and the remaining whites to the yolk mix. Working quickly and yet gently, fold everything together.

Mixing In The Whipped Egg Whites

Mixing In The Whipped Egg Whites

6.  Pour the batter into the prepared loaf tins, then bake for 25 to 30 minutes.  They are done when a slender knife or skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.

7.  Leave the cakes to cool in the loaf tins for about 3 minutes, then gently remove them from the tins, remove the parchment paper and leave to cool on a cooling rack.

Two Chocolate Cakes

Two Chocolate Cakes

8.  You can wrap these in airtight plastic and store frozen for up to a month.  This is what I did, making the cakes during the week and finishing them off at the weekend.

Stage 2 – creating the elements for the gateaux or pavé

The soaking syrup:
40g (¼ cup) organic granulated sugar
10g (2tsp) salted butter
100g (6tbsp) warm water

Put the sugar in a saucepan and over a medium heat, melt the sugar.  When it starts to melt, stir it with a wooden spoon.  Keep heating and stirring the sugar until it turns a rich brown.  Then standing away from the pan, drop the butter into the pan, then as it melts, stir it into the caramelised sugar.  Stand back again and add the water.  When the mixture comes to the boil, pull the pan from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature.

Caramel Syrup

Caramel Syrup

The apricots:
170g (6oz) organic unsulphured apricots
250g (1 cup) water
Juice of ½ lemon
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper

Put the apricots and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a gentle boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer for 4 minutes.  Drain and let apricots cool.  When cooled down, chop the plumped up apricots into a small dice.  Toss the apricots with the lemon juice and black pepper and set aside until needed.

The Apricots

The Apricots

The ganache:
185g (6½ oz) dark or bittersweet chocolate, chopped or broken into pieces
120g (4½ oz) milk chocolate, chopped or broken into pieces
140g (2/3 cup) caster sugar
20g (¾oz) salted butter
275 grams (1 cup plus 2 tbsp) double cream (or heavy cream in USA)
335g (12oz) unsalted butter

1.  Mix the two types of chocolate together in a heatproof bowl.

2.  Put a heavy bottomed saucepan over a medium heat and sprinkle a third of the sugar over the bottom of the pan.  As soon as the sugar starts to melt, stir it with a wooden spoon until it melts and caramelises.  Sprinkle over half the remaining sugar and, as soon as it starts to melt, stir it into the caramelised sugar in the pan.  Repeat with the last bit of sugar and cook until it all has a nice deep brown colour.  Stand away from the pan and, still stirring, add salted butter and then, when the butter is incorporated, add the cream.  The caramel might seize up but do not worry as the stirring and heating will even it out.  Bring the cream to the boil, then remove the pan from the heat straight away.

3.  Pour half of the hot caramel over the chopped chocolate and using a rubber spatula, stir gently to melt the chocolate through.  When the chocolate is melted, add the remaining caramel and stir through.  Set the ganache aside to cool for about 10 minutes.

4.  While the ganache is cooling, beat the unsalted butter until it has the soft consitency of mayonnaise, using a spatula or mixer.  Then with a rubber spatula or whisk, gently stir the butter into the cooled ganache.  You will need to cool it down further so put it into the fridge, checking it regularly, until it reaches a soft butter consitency.

Stage 3 – building the pavé

1.  Get one of the cakes made in the first stage.  Working with a sharp serrated knife, cut each cake loaf into three even layers, removing any doming on the top and slice any uneven bits of the edges. Place the bottom layer onto a cake plate.

2.  Using a pastry brush, moisten the bottom layer with the caramel syrup (remember that the syrup needs to be used for each layer so do not overdo it at this stage).  Spread a thin layer of ganache over the top, then dot some of the apricots over the ganche and press them in (once again remember these will be used in each layer).  Place another cake layer on top of this and press down firmly.  Repeat the assembling of the filling and place the final layer on top of that.  Moisten the top layer with caramel syrup.  Check the shape of the cake and move it around to straighten if necessary.  Spread a thin layer of ganache over the top and sides of the cake and put into the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Building The Layers Of The Pavé

Building The Layers Of The Pavé

3.  Remove the cake from the fridge and spread another thin layer of ganache all over the cake.  Try and get the top as smooth as possible, then you could use a fork to striate the sides.

4.  Sprinkle some edible gold over the top of the cake.

Chocolate Pavé

Chocolate Pavé

5.  Repeat the process for the other cake or do it at the same time.  We actually wrapped the second cake tightly in film, froze it, then ate it a couple of weeks later and it was still delicious.

Pierre Hermé’s Recipe For Raspberry And Chocolate Tart

Friday, July 9th, 2010

Pierre Hermé continues to inspire me. 

For me, I spent last Saturday in the perfect place – in the kitchen, listening to sport on BBC Radio 5 on our digital radio and baking.  It was the turn of Hermé’s Raspberry And Chocolate Tart.  The end result was sheer perfection – bittersweet flavours from 72% cocoa dark chocolate  from Trinatario cocoa beans (a natural cross between the traditional Criollo and Forasteros cocoa beans), with the succulent, melting richness of the chocolate filling that only just holds itself together; these are balanced against the tart, fruitiness of raspberries.  What is perhaps even more amazing is that it is actually really quite simple to make. 

I don’t have much more to say, except just make it for someone special and wow them, but make sure it is for someone you want to impress.

For the crust:

Prepare and bake a 22cm / 8¾ inch tart shell from Sweet Tart Dough, cooled to room temperature per previous blog

For the filling:

55g / ½ cup ripe raspberries
145g / 5oz bittersweet chocolate (I used Green & Black’s dark cooking chocolate)
115g / 4oz unsalted butter, chopped into cubes
1 large egg, at room temperature, stirred lightly with fork or whisk
3 large egg yolks, at room temperature, stirred with a fork
2 tbsp caster sugar

Preheat oven to 190oC / 375oF.

Sprinkle the raspberries into the cooked tart crust.

Baked Tart Pastry With Raspberries

Baked Tart Pastry With Raspberries

Melt the dark chocolate in a bowl over boiling water and carefully melt the butter separately in a pan.  Allow them to cool to a touch warm temperature or 60oC / 104oF.

Using a small hand whisk, gently stir the egg into the melted chocolate; don’t be vigorous as you are not trying to get air in, just to mix thoroughly.

Pouring egg into melted chocolate

Pouring egg into melted chocolate

Mixing eggs into melted chocolate

Mixing eggs into melted chocolate

Next, add the caster sugar and stir that in.

Finally, work in the melted butter.

Pour the chocolate mixture over the raspberries in the tart shell.

Pouring chocolate ganache over raspberries

Pouring chocolate ganache over raspberries

Bake the tart for 11 minutes.  This gives you a tart that is still a bit wobbly in the centre.  Leave to cool on a rack.  Serve warm after settling for about 10 minutes or cool and have cold.  I actually prefer it cold and a bit more dense the next morning – great for breakfast on a Sunday morning!

Raspberry & chocolate tart just out the oven

Raspberry & Chocolate Tart Just Out The Oven

Serve with extra red raspberries and/or cream or crème anglaise.

Raspberry & Chocolate Tart With Raspberries & Cream

Raspberry & Chocolate Tart With Raspberries & Cream