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"Chocolate Desserts" by Pierre Herme (Part 1)


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Richard, I'm so glad you didn't die. It's true, Pierre is a perfectionist and he wouldn't leave ganache in the fridge for more than two days, but we ordinary mortals can chill it for longer than that. In fact, as Sinclair said, ganache will last for a few days and maybe even a couple of weeks and, indeed, it will be just fine if frozen. There's no health danger in keeping ganache for more than two days, the problems are more esthetic. Because chocolate, like butter, is a magnet for odors in the fridge, ganache has to be wrapped really well and, if it's not, it could end up with an off smell. It can also dry out, which is not so appealing.

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You're not kidding on playing catch-up. Way to go! And I agree with you on hazelnuts. I have yet to try blanching them to get the skins off, but if I know enough in advance I order the skinned ones from King Arthur Flour.

So now that you've made all that you did, what is your take on all of it?

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brngckn- Both look great! what size is the Pave?

My wife requested Brownies for dessert tonight so naturally I turned to the Chocolate Walnut ones to give them a try:

gallery_5404_94_1106544252.jpg

They came out very good, with perfect texture. However I thought they were a little too mild. I like my brownies more chocolaty. This could be attributed to the fact that I am not using the recomended chocolate in the recipe. Next time I will add more chocolate.

My wife on the other hand enjoyed them very much!!

Elie

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

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

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So now that you've made all that you did, what is your take on all of it?

The Nutella Tart was my favorite - we ate that ourselves and didn't take it to our co-workers today! :raz: The caramels are quite tasty. I've never tried making caramels before, so it was very good experience. The Pave (I used 8" pans as it was all I had) is very light. I wish the ganache was more chocolately, but that may be related to the specific chocolate I used. I'd like to try it again with Pierre's specific chocolate recommendations.

P.S. - Thanks for lightening up my photo Josette!

Edited by brngckn (log)
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Hi there!

I'm new to the forum. I found it today via a link in Chocolate&Zucchini. I've made a few things in the CDBPH cookbook. Chocolate lemon caramel, macaroons, and chocolate mousse.

I've made the macaroons last year and they turned out great. I ground some blanched almonds in the food processor along with the sugar and cocoa... sifting out the mixture in a sieve.

Trader Joe's sells "almond meal" which I believe is just ground up almonds. I bought a couple bags because it would save me the grinding step in the process. The cookies turned out terrible... and I made them twice last weekend. The first batch turned out flat and crispy. The second batch was flat and chewy.

I can't seem to get the cookies to rise. There is no "footlet" on the bottom. In short, they are depressing and not worth the effort.

Can I use ground almond meal? They did have brown flecks which I assume is the skin of the nut.

Did I overbeat the egg whites? They were at room temperature, the bowl was clean/dry, and I whipped them by hand.

Did I drop the cookie sheet too hard on the counter and pop too much air out of the batter? PH says to do this in the instructions... so I did.

I'd appreciate any suggestions to get my macaroons back on track.

Thanks!

Gary

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I can't seem to get the cookies to rise.  There is no "footlet" on the bottom.  In short, they are depressing and not worth the effort.

Can I use ground almond meal? They did have brown flecks which I assume is the skin of the nut.

Did I overbeat the egg whites?  They were at room temperature, the bowl was clean/dry, and I whipped them by hand.

Did I drop the cookie sheet too hard on the counter and pop too much air out of the batter?  PH says to do this in the instructions... so I did.

I'd appreciate any suggestions to get my macaroons back on track. 

Thanks!

Gary

I use almond meal all the time.

You will get a 'foot' if you allow the macaroons to sit out for 30 minutes to form a skin. That way, when the cookies heat up and you have thermal expansion, the cookies will rise upward rather than outwards from the center (which also causes cracking).

"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

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Patrick,

I tried the "leave it for 30 minutes" technique with no measurable difference. The first sheet went in with a 10 minute rest and the next two sheets went in at 20 minute intervals thereafter. All three sheets of macaroons looked the same.

The difference between the two batches of cookies is that I did the Robert Linxe baking technique (20 min @ 350F) and the Pierre Herme method (10 min, start at 425, turn down to 350, wedge a wooden spoon in the door).

The Linxe method made them crispy. The Herme method made them chewy. Neither made them rise and get feet.

The obvious difference between this past weekend (failure) and last year (success) was the almond meal -vs- ground blanched almonds.

Perhaps my egg beating technique is questionable. I'm thinking that I overbeat or underbeat the whites. Not sure which one but I'll try it again. Maybe I need more volume of whites. It's about time for me to use that new copper mixing bowl I got for Christmas. First I have to strip the varnish off the interior before I use it. What a pain!!

Gary

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Patrick,

I tried the "leave it for 30 minutes" technique with no measurable difference.  The first sheet went in with a 10 minute rest and the next two sheets went in at 20 minute intervals thereafter.  All three sheets of macaroons looked the same.

The difference between the two batches of cookies is that I did the Robert Linxe baking technique (20 min @ 350F) and the Pierre Herme method (10 min, start at 425, turn down to 350, wedge a wooden spoon in the door). 

The Linxe method made them crispy.  The Herme method made them chewy.  Neither made them rise and get feet.

That's odd, becasue the first two batches I made were precisely the same in every way, except that the second batch I left out to dry, and the second batch had well-developed feet while the first did not. Your problem must lie somewhere else.

"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

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The obvious difference between this past weekend (failure) and last year (success) was the almond meal -vs- ground blanched almonds.

Perhaps my egg beating technique is questionable. 

I know its not the almond meal. I use Bob's Red Mill (I think thats what its called). As for whites, I always beat them as stiff as I can without overbeating. Hmm. . .

"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

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Well then. I'll try the super-duper egg white beating next time. Thanks for the input. I'll let you know how they come out.

BTW... I just finished eating my latest batch of chocolate mousse (CDBPH style). Yum yum. Got my 3 year old son hooked too. Another chocoholic in the making!

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How about leaving your egg whites out overnight? I do mine exactly like Patrick and they come out perfect each time. I do sieve the Bob's Red Mill almond flour and get it somewhat finer but I don't think that's what's affecting your rise.

I hope you are enjoying eating them nonetheless! These are without a doubt just about my favorite cookie. And whenever I serve them it is to raves :biggrin:

Josette

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Welcome to eG Gary!!

Thanks Wendy.

I'm a bit overwhelmed by the star power on this board. Seems like everyone is a professional Pastry Chef.

Reading the thread about opening the Criollo pastry shop killed any speck of interest I had in doing the same. I'll stick to being an amateur baker and leave the rough stuff to the pros.

I've just scratched the surface of eG. Much more surfing to do.

Gary.

ps. How did they come up with the eGullet name? Seems odd.

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I'm a bit overwhelmed by the star power on this board. Seems like everyone is a professional Pastry Chef.

...not everyone :smile:

Welocme to egullet, Gary. I am interested in how your macaroons turn out next. I had similar problems with other recipes but not with this one. I also use almond meal purchased in bulk from Whole Foods. however I think the brand is Bob's RedMill as well.

Elie

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

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

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I've made the hazelnut chocolate sables, the nutella tart and last night the simple chocolate mousse. All were greated with rave reviews. I haven't taken any pictures as nothing looks notably different than those already posted (and I'm lame) I made the sables as part of my Christmas cookies and ended up freezing some. Later I chopped them in my Cuisinart and used them as a crust for a chocolate cheesecake and also sprinkled on ice cream. Both were great.

I found an error in the recipe for the nutella tart. I always weigh my ingredients and my scale does either grams or ounces. The butter is speced at 3 1/2 oz and should read 97 grams not 200. (of course I could be wrong and my scale is off)

The mousse was wonderful and my guests couldn't believe it was so light. Last summer I pitted a gallon of cherries and put them up in cognac, sugar and vanilla bean. I dusted some with cocoa and dipped them in chocolate as a garnish for the mousse, served a bit of the cognac on the side and the whole table moaned with pleasure.

I also couldn't resist and got "La Patisserie". Beautiful book. CDBPH is certainly more accessable, however. It is quite inspiring reading this thread! I'm very lucky to live in Portland, OR - home of Bob's Red Mill - as their store is really fun to shop at. There is also a Bernard C chocolate shop fairly close and I buy 5# blocks of semi sweet and bittersweet from them. Supposedly it's one of the Callebaut sons who's product is of higher quality than regular Callebaut. I've found it melts smoother and I prefer the flavor.

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Another weak soul confessing here. I also got La Patisserie and want to try making some cakes out of it. Being a home baker though, I don't have some of the specialty equipment and ingredients. Most of the cake recipes seem to be finished with a glaze of some sort. Is this something that professional pastry chefs buy in large quantities? Is there an alternative I can use or make?

I've really enjoyed reading this thread and it's made me bound and determined to make some recipes this weekend. Here's hoping my macaroons turn out as well as everyone else's!

Edited by plunk (log)
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A lot of those glazes use a neutral glaze as a base. You can make it if you can get a hold of pectin. I can't remember exactly which type it is any more, but it's NOT apple pectin and it's not the fruit pectins you find in stores for making jellies. Otherwise you can probably buy tubs of neutral glaze online, though I imagine you'd end up buying a lot of it. I think that's probably why in Desserts, Pierre does a lot of the glazing with warmed apricot jelly...a neutral glaze seems out of reach for the general populous.

I could be wrong though.

(edited for clarity)

Edited by kthull (log)
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In the 'Dessert by Pierre Herme' book, the first one, there is a recipe for transparent glaze that used Oetker brand clear glaze. I know its used on some of the desserts in that book, the lemon tart for instance, though I doubt thats why you see on cakes in the La Patisserie book.

"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

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Those neutral glazes or 'glacages's with chocolate that use neutral glaze as a base are usually made with pectin NH.

Here's a link for those of you who might want to try some.

http://www.chefswarehouse.com/Search/Searc...ing=pectin%20NH

Good luck and don't be nervous!

Books like 'La Pattisserie..' are so solid that as long as you have a basic grasp, a thermometer and a scale, you can't really screw up too bad.

2317/5000

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Plunk, you can make everyone of Herme's recipes at home, equipment wise. Yes, there are a few ingredients that are hard to come across, but we can help you make pretty good subsitutions here. Don't get hung up on his glazes, I don't use glazes 99% of the time and nothing will be lost with-out it.

We can also help you break down his procedures so you don't have to complete a whole cake at one time. You can make them over many days and weeks.

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Here is Herme's simple chocolate mousse.

gallery_23736_355_8557.jpg

gallery_23736_355_1536.jpg

gallery_23736_355_7691.jpg

gallery_23736_355_7105.jpg

Edited by Patrick S (log)

"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

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Those neutral glazes or 'glacages's with chocolate that use neutral glaze as a base are usually made with pectin NH.

Here's a link for those of you who might want to try some.

http://www.chefswarehouse.com/Search/Searc...ing=pectin%20NH

Good luck and don't be nervous!

Books like 'La Pattisserie..' are so solid that as long as you have a basic grasp, a thermometer and a scale, you can't really screw up too bad.

I took an evening pastry class with Thomas Haas a while back and someone in the class asked about the clear glaze that he used on his cakes. At the time, I took down the recipe (I'm obsessive about taking notes) but didn't think I'd ever use it. I just realized this morning that his recipe and what La Patisserie refers to must be the same thing, or very similar. Thomas Haas's recipe is:

480 g sugar

250 g glucose @ 30 Baume

5 g powdered citric acid

490 g hard tap water

7 g apple pectin x 58

8 g apple pectin for nappage (NH)

Bring 400g sugar, glucose, water and citric acid to 75 C while stirring.

Combine rest sugar and pectins and add to mixture. Bring to a boil and cook

to 66 degree Brix by using a refractometer. Let cool and clarified with filtered water or fruitjuices to desired consistency/taste.

In regular recipes calling for glucose, I've always used corn syrup without ill effects. Anyone happen to know the Baume rating for regular old supermarket corn syrup?

I had no idea that there were different types of apple pectin. Is it perishable? If this recipe calls for 8g and chefswarehouse sells them in 16oz tubes... that's a lot of clear glaze. Why the two types of apple pectin?

Plunk, you can make everyone of Herme's recipes at home, equipment wise. Yes, there are a few ingredients that are hard to come across, but we can help you make pretty good subsitutions here. Don't get hung up on his glazes, I don't use glazes 99% of the time and nothing will be lost with-out it.

We can also help you break down his procedures so you don't have to complete a whole cake at one time. You can make them over many days and weeks.

Thanks for the encouragement Wendy! I'm not going to let the lack of glaze keep me from trying his recipes, I figured since a lot of fruit isn't in season I'll start with a chocolate one :) I'm a little uncertain about recipe yields though. The cake recipes don't say what diameter rings to use or how many cakes a recipe makes. Some of the pictures show two cakes and I guesstimated that most of the round ones are about 9" in diameter. Is that a close enough estimate?

I'm not sure what you mean about not having to complete a whole cake at one time. Do you mean the components can be made days/weeks ahead of time and I can assemble when everything is ready? If so that'd be great!

Edited by plunk (log)
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