Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

"Chocolate Desserts" by Pierre Herme (Part 1)


SethG
 Share

Recommended Posts

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!

Yes, you got that right. You can make your components in advance and then assemble on another date.

The yield on his recipes do vary. Most make 2 cakes..........but more like 8" rounds. Some of his recipes are based on full sheet pans and not individual rounds. I've made a fair amount from his professional books and this one by Dorie Greenspan. You can ask specific questions and we should be able to help you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sorry I've been absent from this thread, although it continues on quite well without me! I'll be making something this weekend. Mousse, macarons, I dunno. I've never been a big fan of macarons, but the pictures posted here look so impressive I may give them a try.

"I don't mean to brag, I don't mean to boast;

but we like hot butter on our breakfast toast!"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just got my copy of the book, and I made the deep chocolate cream (p. 224).

It was very dense and very rich and had a lovely texture.

When making the creme anglaise, it didn't thicken as much as I expected it to. However, when I combined it with the chocolate it was the right consistency, though not as "creamy" as I might've liked. I didn't strain the creme as the recipe directed, and it was fine, though I can see how this would make it even more smooth.

Because the chocolate is the main flavor base, the quality of chocolate you use is key (I used Scharfen Berger).

I took a picture but I am battling it out with Image Gullet (there is no option to "view URL" in my album), so I will post when I can- though it in no way compares to Patrick's artistry.

I plan on making the chocolate mousse tomorrow with my leftover egg whites.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've decided I'm making the Cinnamon Savarin au Rhum (p. 26) on Sunday. My savarin mold is smaller than the one called for in the book, it turns out. So I'll put some of the batter into muffin cups and call them Babas.

"I don't mean to brag, I don't mean to boast;

but we like hot butter on our breakfast toast!"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I made the Viennese Chocolate Sables yesterday. The recipe warns that the dough is stiff to pipe which is certainly true! Mine ended up just a little bigger than the recommended size of 2" x 1 1/4" but I got less than half of the recipe yield of 65 cookies.

gallery_17088_467_158996.jpg

The Pave is still on my ToDo list but I will wait till mid February and bake it for some eGullet friends (likely when Rob Feenie of Vancouver fame is on Iron Chef America). Patrick S has motivated me to try the mousse in the interim. Great job on the mousse and the picture taking Patrick S!

Support your local farmer

Currently reading:

The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters

Just finished reading:

The 100-Mile Diet by Alisa Smith & J. B. MacKinnon

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dang, lemoncurd, you make good cookies! Crossing my fingers that my stomach will be the recipient of some of your Pave at the Iron Chef get-together. :wub:

Joie Alvaro Kent

"I like rice. Rice is great if you're hungry and want 2,000 of something." ~ Mitch Hedberg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I took a picture but I am battling it out with Image Gullet (there is no option to "view URL" in my album), so I will post when I can- though it in no way compares to Patrick's artistry.

Artistry? Thanks, M. Lucia! Here's what you do for that image. When you are looking at the picture in your album you want to post, right-click on the image, select 'properties,' then copy the location or URL. You can do this by double left-clicking on the URL. This will 'select' the URL. The URL will be highlighted. While the URL is highlighted, right click on the URL, and select 'copy.' Then paste the URL into your post using the IMG button. Let me know if you still need help getting images uploaded.

LemonCurd - the sables look good. I may get around to trying those soon. I'm trawling through the book tonight thinking about what I might try next. Thank you for the compliments on the mousse photos. Its so much fun taking and sharing them with other dessertophiles -- almost as fun as cooking and eating.

"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
 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Patrick, thanks for the help. I have a mac and I found that if you click and hold on the image a menu pops up, you then choose "open image in new window" and the actual URL will be displayed.

So the pictures (quality courtesy of my cell phone), at least give an idea of the thing:

gallery_22248_438_10400.jpggallery_22248_438_8418.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I tried the chocolate sables today. You're right lemoncurd, these things were a pain to pipe! But they did get my right forearm all pumped up, like Popeye. I couldn't find the right tip, so I had to use one with more crenulations. Also mine seem a little darker in color.

gallery_23736_355_6376.jpg

They are not bad, but not my favorite either.

M Lucia, I'd like to try the deep chocolate cream too. So far Ive been happy with all of the 'base recipes' in Herme's book and this is one I think I might like.

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
 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Patrick, thanks for the help. I have a mac and I found that if you click and hold on the image a menu pops up, you then choose "open image in new window" and the actual URL will be displayed.

So the pictures (quality courtesy of my cell phone), at least give an idea of the thing:

gallery_22248_438_10400.jpggallery_22248_438_8418.jpg

M. Lucia, I'd be interested to hear what you think of the deep chocolate cream. I'm thinking of making it, though I might make it with a slightly less bitter chocolate. Do you think it would be good as a filling in eclairs or tarts?

"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
 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Once again, everything looks soooooooooooo good. Seeing the pictures of the mousse inspired me to make it again -- it had been a long time since I'd whipped up a batch. What I won't be making again any time soon are the Viennese Sables -- I'm just not strong enough. When I made them for the first time, when I was testing the recipes for the book, I called Pierre and said there must be something terribly wrong with the recipe because I can't push the dough out of the piping bag without huffing and puffing. He laughed, but said, no, that's just the way it is -- it's a stiff dough. After almost splitting a pastry bag, I waited for him to come to New York to make these with me. I made the dough and it was as stiff as ever and he declared it perfect. He then proceeded to pipe them out effortlessly. When he was finished, I gave his arm a little squeeze and, just as you'd expect, they were big. (He has the Popeye arms Patrick mentioned.) This is a cookie that takes strong arms, strong hands and a strong pastry bag. I made them once again as a re-test and then decided to leave them to the big boys.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Haha, great story Dorie.

I did wonder about the piping because I think of a sable as a very stiff dough.

Patrick, I don't think the texture of the chocolate cream would be right for eclairs or tarts. It was not creamy enough, at least not when I made it. I think if you didn't add quite as much chocolate as the recipe calls for it would be less dense and more creamy. It would be good with a less bitter chocolate, though it should still have some bite to it.

I think it would pair very well with something that has a contrasting texture, like the crunchy waffle (pictured on page 142) or some rice crispies (like the whisky capuccino). It was plenty enough for me to have it just with some whipped cream. I don't know if I'd pair it with ice cream though (like in the coupe malsherbees).

Go ahead and make the cream on its own and then see what you think.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I made the chocolate sorbet tonight. Very good and, um, chocolaty. But I think it needs to be paired with something -- a little raspberry or orange sauce of some sort. Next time I do it, I may add some orange zest to the mixture before bringing the ingredients to the boil.

Photos later. My batteries are charging.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So I was reasonably happy with the Cinnamon Savarin au Rhum with the chocolate whipped cream. It came out looking nice.

gallery_6941_401_304014.jpg

But I'm still mulling over how much I really go for these European-style dry cakes with sweet/alcoholic syrup. I really liked the results in the Pave, but here I'm just not sure it's my thing. There's nothing wrong with it, but I don't think I'll be making this cake again.

The chocolate whipped cream is another matter. This stuff is really really good. Dorie advises that it whips up best when you place the bowl in an ice bath, and when I did that, I was able to whip the chocolate/cream in a matter of seconds, by hand, with a balloon whisk. It thickened right up. I'll consider using the chocolate whipped cream in the future in places where I might otherwise put a dollop of plain whipped cream. Seems like it could fit in lots of places.

"I don't mean to brag, I don't mean to boast;

but we like hot butter on our breakfast toast!"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, it looks good Seth, even if you didnt find it particularly exciting. Good job with the photo.

"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
 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, it looks very good, Seth. I picked up the right size Savarin mold for this recently at a sale at the local Viking shop. I don't know if I will like it either, but it always sounded good to me.

Still no sorbet photos that look decent. I'll have to shoot and eat yet again.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So I was reasonably happy with the Cinnamon Savarin au Rhum with the chocolate whipped cream.  It came out looking nice.

I just got my book a while ago and said "oh darn no photo" on this one. You saved a recipe for me! It would be the last thing I want to make without knowing what it looks like. :smile:

....oh, BTW, now I am reading the recipe, did you use fresh yeast? If not, how much of the powdery stuff did you use?

edited for question[/SIZE]

Edited by TurtleMeng (log)
"Mom, why can't you cook like the iron chef?"
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I finally went round to preparing the tart Grenobloise. It was great having a few pinters from previous posts in the thread, especially regarding the caramel. I had no problems with crystalization but it took about 10 minutes for the caramel to reach the 108C indicated in the recipe, just as Seth wrote.

gallery_9330_174_23998.jpg

I'd agree with the over the top definition: fanteastic combination but almost too rich. I would do the tart again, maybe reducing the ganache of a fourth. I would have liked the caramel taste to be a bit stronger, instead I found the ganache dominated the aftertaste too much.

Having some heavy cream left, I also had a go at the szichuan pepperconr flavoured truffles (no picture). I definitely have to practice my truffle shaping, Dorie says it's OK if they look gnarly but mine were definitely on the "too much" side of that :rolleyes: . The truffles were fantastic, even if the chocolate used was a simple 70% cocoa Lindt bar. The spice taste, on the other hand, was really mild, just a citrus-peppery aftertaste note. Next time I'll try grinding the peppercorns in a mortar before adding them to the cream and see how they come out.

Maybe I'll try the savarin next, yours looks great Seth. I really like these sort of syrup/spirit soaked cakes... I'm European after all. And Richard, great looking sorbet, now I only need to convince my wife that we NEED an ice cream machine!

Il Forno: eating, drinking, baking... mostly side effect free. Italian food from an Italian kitchen.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

So last night my wife and I tried to make the chocolate covered hazelnut cookies from the Pierre Herme chocolate cookbook with mixed (yet still delicious) results. I'm wondering if someone here can point me towards what I might have done wrong.

The recipe calls for cooking a mixture of hazelnuts, powdered sugar, and egg whites (and some coffee) on the stove to a temp between I believe 130-140 degrees, laying it out in a pan to cool, de-panning the block of hazelnut mixture, cutting it into squares, baking the squares, then dipping them in chocolate.

Ours never solidified enough upon cooling to de-pan the mixture. When I picked it up it began fracturing and the sugar mixture between the nuts was still somewhat soft. I would have needed a spoon to portion it out as is, so I stuck it in the fridge for a while to firm it up.

An hour or so later I cut it into squares and laid the cookies out. I let them come to room temperature and then baked them off. The hazelnut part of the cookies stayed in it's square shape, while the sugar mixture spread, leaving a small mountain of cookie surrounded by a large circle of flat sugary goodness. In order to maintain their cookie-ness I've cut off the large circles, leaving only the cookie mountain.

The cookies are plenty good, and since I've never had them prepared I can pretend that this is what's supposed to happen. But I was wondering if anyone here had an idea what I might have done wrong?

Here are my deviations from the recipe:

The recipe calls for a stovetop temp between 130-140 "as read by an instant read thermometer". We don't have one, we have an old school candy thermometer. It read 137 when we took the mixture off the stove. I don't know if the thermometer could be off, or if the type of thermometer made a difference

The recipe calls for 1 T of instant coffee dissolved in 1 T of boiling water. We don't have instant coffee so I used a little bit less than 2 T (let's say 1 3/4 T) of strongly brewed coffee.

I've never checked whether our oven temp is accurate - however I've never had a problem before with it and this problem seemed to initiate pre-baking.

Lastly I put the cookie mixture in the fridge for a while. I have no idea how (other than temp) this could affect it.

Any thoughts?

Thanks,

Ben

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Seth, the savarin looks perfect. And you're right about the dry-cakes-with-syrup being a particular style and taste, and texture, too, since the cakes end up being so soft and wet after their soaks. Cakes like these are definitely more popular in Europe than in the States and, in France, at least, I find that the syrups are much more alcoholic than they are here. Just recently, in Paris, I had a baba-au-rhum that had been soaked lightly in rum syrup and was served with a big bottle of rum, so you could pour on as much of the stuff as you liked.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks everyone for your kind words about the savarin. I was very happy with the fact that I seemed to have done everything correctly-- it really looked impressive. And I don't want to knock it on the taste, either. It isn't too boozy, and the cinnamon, citrus peel and vanilla make for a sophisticated flavor profile. I did like it... but I think Dorie hit it on the head when she mentioned the texture. I didn't want to stop too soon on the syrup, so I kept patiently dabbing it on, and then at the end I found the soppy cake to be just not my kind of thing. And I wasn't sure I approved of how it paired with the chocolate.

There is one grocery that carries fresh/cake yeast near me, by the way, and the yeast is often past its expiration date. So I don't always have access. When I can't get fresh/cake yeast, I go ahead and use SAF instant. In its unadulterated state, cake yeast has a much headier aroma than the dry stuff, but I've never been convinced it makes much difference in the taste of the final product. I think both Fleischmann's and SAF's web sites have conversion info for subbing in dry yeast for fresh.

That sorbet looks really good, Elie, and so does the Grenobloise, albiston! I still don't have an ice cream machine, but I am getting one soon.

"I don't mean to brag, I don't mean to boast;

but we like hot butter on our breakfast toast!"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Your tart looks great, Alberto. That's one I'll have to make at some point.

Seth, in trying to imagine the Savarin, I also thought that chocolate whipped cream might not be the best match for it. Simple whipped cream and berries sounds good to me. I may make this in mini-Savarins and try it both ways.

Alberto and Seth -- this sorbet was made in an inexpensive Cuisinart ice cream maker. I would do it again with variations: walnuts or pecans, rum soaked raisins, orange or lemon zest.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I made the chocolate sorbet tonight. Very good and, um, chocolaty. But I think it needs to be paired with something -- a little raspberry or orange sauce of some sort. Next time I do it, I may add some orange zest to the mixture before bringing the ingredients to the boil.

...

Nice photo of the chocolate sorbet.

Can you comment on the texture?

Is it 'fudgier' than chocolate ice cream?

(I've been a little gun shy in trying to make chocolate sorbet after making one that came out disappointingly grainy in texture).

Thanks

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...