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"Chocolate Desserts" by Pierre Herme (Part 2)


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I didnt make much yet but one thing I did today was trying PH chocolate puff pastry ( I am used to make regular puff pastry ).It turned very very well , I am happy with the flakiness and its very easy to handle, the flavor is very strong with cocoa , definately a keeper ( I did few cream cheese raspberry /jalapeno jam fans ).

Vanessa

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Lannie - love that mini Pave. I'm going to have to steal that idea for my son's first birthday. In the meantime I made my first PH tart - using the raspberry chocolate recipe from the Patisserie book rather than the Chocolate Desserts one.

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Couldn't find a tart ring the right size, so the shell was a complete mess (I just hope my old pastry teacher doesn't see this), and I'm not entirely convinced the flourless chocolate cake layer was really worth the effort, but everyone sure ate it fast enough.

restaurant, private catering, consultancy
feast for the senses / blog

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Lannie - love that mini Pave. I'm going to have to steal that idea for my son's first birthday.

Oh, I'm sure that your son will love the Pave. My daughter wailed like a lunatic when we took it away from her (of course, we gave it right back so that she could enjoy the delectable treat). The Faubourg Pave has to be the single, richest treat that I have made so far - love the smoothness of the caramel ganache. :wub:

BTW, your raspberry chocolate tart looks delicious! Great job!

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  • 2 months later...

Yay! I got the book for the reasonable cost of PhP500 (about $10) recently. Since I'd just made cake, I thought I would start out by making something no one here's commented on, the Triple Creme.

It was the first time I would make creme brulee and creme anglaise, and I was nervous, but the creme brulee set like a dream (had to cook it for longer as my ramekins were deep). However, I had a problem with the deep chocolate cream. I didn't know if it was ever supposed to set up (the description of Coupe Malsherbes implied that it could be scooped), but it never did. I'm not sure if I should have added another egg yolk (one of them was smallish) or if I should have just measured with my existing candy thermometer (the track test for the anglaise worked out fine). Part of me was afraid of cooking the anglaise too far.

Anyway, I was disappointed that the texture (one of the three 'T's of Pierre Herme... ha ha) didn't work out for the dessert as a whole. Not good for the confidence of a starting-out dessert guy! Now I'm afraid to tackle the ganaches. Which means I'll probably make a nude Faubourg Pave next, ha ha :laugh:

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Edited by jumanggy (log)

Mark

The Gastronomer's Bookshelf - Collaborative book reviews about food and food culture. Submit a review today! :)

No Special Effects - my reader-friendly blog about food and life.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I know I'm 3 years behind the rest of the world, but I made the Faubourg Pave! Finally!

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I didn't want to just plop a dried apricot on top, so I sliced it (a la Wok with Yan) in the hopes of making a flower. Instead, I got a luminescent dead starfish... :laugh: It was my first time to eat a dried apricot. I found it's not really to my liking. Next time I may sub dried mangoes instead, it's a more familiar flavor.

Some of the ganache melted. It was my first time to try the hair dryer trick and I enjoyed it too much. In my hot climate (33-37 degrees celsius this time of the year) the ganache would lose its "moundiness" after only a few minutes so it kept going back in the fridge, but I still couldn't get it to mound as high as you guys. I work too slow. The caramel aspect of it I found too heady so I may cook it not to a deep brown next time.

The cocoa cake made more batter than I expected, so I made a mini Pave in addition to 2 loaves. It rose over the pan, but sank during cooling. After i trimmed a lot of excess, though, the crumb was great.

I'm on a high! I don't know what to try next.

Mark

The Gastronomer's Bookshelf - Collaborative book reviews about food and food culture. Submit a review today! :)

No Special Effects - my reader-friendly blog about food and life.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I made the Viennese Chocolate Sables last night and photographed them in the morning. I don't know if it's our humidity but I didn't have any problems piping it, strength-wise. (Thought #2, maybe working out works!) Aesthetically... welllll... I'm nowhere near lemoncurd's super-amazing piping skills.

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I was surprised that they weren't dry or hard at all, really "sandy." I would make these again (but only as gifts; eating 60 cookies is difficult!).

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Mark

The Gastronomer's Bookshelf - Collaborative book reviews about food and food culture. Submit a review today! :)

No Special Effects - my reader-friendly blog about food and life.

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It never ceases to amaze me how lovely the Paves come out. This has to be one of my all time favorite decadent chcocolate cakes! great job.

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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  • 3 weeks later...

Thanks, Elie! All I need to do is whip cream properly and I'm on my way to a Black Forest Cake. But we don't have griottes here, the only widely available cherries are Maraschino cherries (but I love them, so I may use them). Rare but find-able are canned black cherries and some kind of red cherries in syrup.

I actually gave away my frozen Pave and my recipient now wants to buy 2 loaves! I wonder how much I stack on top of the price :biggrin:

Mark

The Gastronomer's Bookshelf - Collaborative book reviews about food and food culture. Submit a review today! :)

No Special Effects - my reader-friendly blog about food and life.

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Today I made the chocolate éclairs.

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They tasted great, but I wasn't happy at all with the lift of the choux pastry. Plus, some of them were still eggy in the center after I was done. :sad: I just might go ahead and buy a $10 oven thermometer now (though it's hard to choose-- I broke my candy thermometer, so that's $4, I want an instant-read thermometer, which is $26, I want a scale, which is $25-$60... so on so forth..... AUGH!)

They are getting geometrically soggy even though they haven't been filled. Oh well. But I'm having my doubts with the specified temperature in the book, though-- isn't 190°C (375°F) too low? :sad:

Edited by jumanggy (log)

Mark

The Gastronomer's Bookshelf - Collaborative book reviews about food and food culture. Submit a review today! :)

No Special Effects - my reader-friendly blog about food and life.

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  • 5 months later...

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I tried the Linzer Tart, and I swapped the ground almonds in the crust for the same volume of Valrhona cocoa. It was only 2-1/2 tablespoons and we never have almond meal here, so I improvised that. Even if I had the appropriate-sized tart pan (3/4 inch high), rolling out the dough to slightly less than 1/4 inch turned out a very small crust. I had to roll it to half that thickness, so as you can imagine I had an even bigger problem transferring it to the tart pan.

Also, since I'm in the Philippines, as you roll the dough it exponentially becomes softer! Really hard to work with.

I should have used my head blind baking it-- I misinterpreted the instructions and used a parchment circle to cover only the bottom of the crust and filled it with rice. Naturally, when I removed the blind bakers, there was rice stuck everywhere on the inside of the crust and I had to flick them all away with the point of a knife.

When I unmolded the tart, I was hoping the ganache and sticky jam would keep all the insides together, but naturally a little bit of the edge of the crust came away on one of the sides. Nothing major and I didn't photograph that part obviously :)

In any case, the crust was still pleasantly crumbly and the combination truffle + jam was quite luscious. I described it as "like eating a Valentine's box of chocolates."

Mark

The Gastronomer's Bookshelf - Collaborative book reviews about food and food culture. Submit a review today! :)

No Special Effects - my reader-friendly blog about food and life.

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Very nice! I have that book and still haven't done a single thing out of it but I'm going to get around to it eventually.

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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  • 1 month later...

I made the Riviera from the Desserts book for a friend's birthday party. I don't have a picture, but the cake mostly turned out great. I didn't have a problem with the mouse (which was utterly delicious) or the lemon cream (which I've made before). One of the people that tried the cake said "Wow. It has something like 13 different flavors!"

I did have a problem with the thin flourless chocolate cake layers. The first time I made a batch, I burned the bottoms of the layers. The second time, I used two baking sheets for extra insulation on the bottom. That turned out much better, but I still had problems removing the layers from the parchment paper without breaking them. With one of the layers I experimented by spraying the parchment with baking spray first; that seemed to aid in the release.

I think the parchment + spray + double baking pans + added time in the oven seemed to give me the most success, but it still wasn't perfect.

Anyone have any tips on those layers? I notice that they're completely absent from the chocolate desserts book...

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  • 6 months later...

This thread is so old I'm not really expecting anyone to read my post... but given my totally embarrassing actions that's probably for the better. I fear I will not be welcome here going forward!

I just got the CDBPH from the library, after reading about 10 pages of this thread a few days ago. What pictures! What raves of the recipes!

Anyway, I made the Pave. End of story first: it was FABULOUS! It looked awesome, tasted fantastic and while it took me time to make it all, no single part was hard. Love it! I served it for dessert to new friends... and they came back the very next day and we ate the 2nd cake too! They think I am a genius :wub:

Anyway, the back story to the Pave is that I could not have tried harder to RUIN the cake if I had purposefully set out to do so. I found out about the friends coming over very late so had no time to go shopping and simply made due with what I had on hand AND I was baking late at night/tired. I should have baked some cookies but I WANTED to make the Pave so bad.

I used Hershey's cocoa. I grabbed the 1/3 cup for measuring the flour instead of the 1/4 cup. My eggs were huge so I decided to eliminated one egg. I used Hershey's milk chocolate bars and some of their Special Dark in the ganache. I didn't know about not having the caramelized sugar send up more than wisps of smoke (I had plenty of wisps) so probably cooked the sugar too long, but it was definitely NOT burnt. I failed to totally incorporate the whipped egg whites to the point that my batter totally filled both cake pans to the brim - which were amazingly the odd size called for in the recipe. Realizing that I was in trouble, I scooped out batter, finding the unincorporated egg whites and proceeded to fold them in using a tablespoon right in the pans. Lord. I still had too much batter so pulled out a tiny cake tin and baked that along with the 2 regular loaves. Despite watching the baking times carefully, I think I overbaked the loaves a bit as there was a thin top layer of much lighter cake visable when I unmolded them.

The rest (har-har) went well. Cakes froze up well, torted easily, soaked up the syrup (I used it all per Patrick's suggestion), and the chocolate-caramel ganache was a dream to spread after warming up on the counter for a bit (it was a rock right out of the fridge). Oh, I left out the apricots totally on the first cake, on purpose. On the 2nd cake I added sliced fresh strawberries to one layer (I was going to do it between both layers but was under pressure to get it done and forgot until I got to the 2nd layer). As the same group ate both cakes, some liked it better with the strawberries and some didn't. All want me to try it with bananas!

Moral of the story is that this recipe can take a total moron making it and still come out totally awesome! I even sorta wonder if I need to spend the $$ on getting better chocolate!

I hope Dorie doesn't see this post; she'll ban me from buying the book, which I intend to do :sad: I really want to make the mousse next! Dare I try??!!

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I did not read the whole thread, but is this book still available?  I am not seeing it on Amazon for new.

Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Hermé on Amazon.com

John DePaula
formerly of DePaula Confections
Hand-crafted artisanal chocolates & gourmet confections - …Because Pleasure Matters…
--------------------
When asked “What are the secrets of good cooking? Escoffier replied, “There are three: butter, butter and butter.”

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I'm guessing the book is no longer in print and fewer and fewer stores have any stocks remaining.

Some of those vendors are outrageous! $178 for a new copy? (or $112 for a used one in VG condition?) The new one for $25 is an awesome deal.

But I have seen it at "surplus"/used bookshops here for about $16, and it was practically new-- that was snapped up really quickly. I got mine on discount because it was slightly weathered on the dustcover for about $12.

Mark

The Gastronomer's Bookshelf - Collaborative book reviews about food and food culture. Submit a review today! :)

No Special Effects - my reader-friendly blog about food and life.

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Well, I did make the chocolate mousse yesterday... AWESOME! I even almost followed the recipe, which is quite a trick for me. I had a few more egg whites hanging around than what was called for in the recipe but they added in easily.I upped the chocolate and sugar amounts just a touch to compensate for the extra egg whites. I even used what I understand is decent chocolate this time - Callabaut Bittersweet, which I bought Friday at Whole Foods. I also bought Valrhona but at $16 a pound I didn't want to use it on a first time trial of a recipe. I will make the mousse again with Valrhona but it'll have to be pretty stinking amazing in order to justify the price difference over the batch made with the Callabaut.

Now to re-read this thread and pick another recipe to try!

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Amazon has (had??) a few copies that were priced ok.. $25 and $30. I was talking myself into buying a copy but wanted to check out the local bookstores first. Ebay didn't have any copies listed right now (I did however buy the Baking From My Home to Yours cookbook for under $11 all in! Yeah!). Didn't get to the booksore due to dealing with TS Fay. Checked again last night after power was restored and the $25 copy was no longer listed. Drat!

Until...

I went to my girlfriend's house today and she told me that she bought the book for me as a thank you gift off Amazon! Can't wait to get it so I can add in my notes... can't do that on the library copy I am using now. Those librarians are not to be trifled with!

Also got an order today for the Chocolate Pave cake from an acquaintance who overheard me rhapsodizing about it. Gotta love it!

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  • 7 months later...

well, i made the nutella tart...and loved it! before, i had made the choco-raspberry tart, (also fabulous) and froze the rest of the dough, and this dough was just as perfect as fresh dough!

i also, at home, make my version of nutella s'mores (take baguette, cut in 1/2 lengthwise, broil till crispy, spread on nutella thickly, cut big marshmallows in 1/2, lay on nutella, broil again till crispy and browned, so its like it was cooked on a fire!) anyway, i did not add as many hazelnuts as called for, and also topped the tart with marshmallow icing, so it seriously tasted like a s'more!

*icing recipe if you want to try: put 1 1/3 cup sugar with 1 T corn syrup and 1/3 water in a bowl over a double boiler. use hand mixer and mix (with the double boiler at a simmer) till firm peaks are formed. Then stir in 1 cup of mini marshmallows and 1 tsp vanilla. pipe on tart, and torch it baby! top with chopped hazelnuts *

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