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"Chocolate Desserts" by Pierre Herme (Part 1)


SethG
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I made the french banana split over the weekend.I wanted to try the Ice cream as it was very unusual.Once i made it,I had a few bananas and decided to give the split a try.

It is better than any split I have ever had.I did caramelise the bananas over high heat as he suggests,but they still were a little mushy.The ice cream is like creamy sorbet but very very chocolatey and light.Along with the rum soaked raisins and chocolate sauce, its very delicious and yet not too heavy.

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I just got my copy last night. SO hopefully I will be joining this discussions soon.

However, I am not going to invest in several different Valrohna varieties at the moment. My cooking chocolate and cacao of choice is Ghirardelli :shock:. It is affordable and tastes good. Am I banned from the PH Chocolate Desserts thread yet?

Elie

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

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contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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I just got my copy last night. SO hopefully I will be joining this discussions soon.

However, I am not going to invest in several different Valrohna varieties at the moment. My cooking chocolate and cacao of choice is Ghirardelli  :shock:. It is affordable and tastes good. Am I banned from the PH Chocolate Desserts thread yet?

Elie

You're fine. I've only used Valrhona once before and I've many of his chocolate desserts from the first book and the few on this thread from the chocolate book. Even Dorie mentioned that while Pierre prefers the specified chocolates, that doesn't mean you will too.

Glad to have you on board!

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Welcome, Elie. When you run out of your current stock, you might check with some wholesalers in Houston and see if they will sell you some Vahlrona. You would have to invest in bulk quantities, but the price comes down appreciably.

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I completed my black forest cake today. I was making the cake for my parents who were supposed to arrive today from Ottawa. Unfortunately, they didn't make it due to severe winter conditions in Ontario - guess my neighbours just got lucky...

It was really easy to put together. The only change I made was with the kirsh flavoured cream. I tripled the kirsh amount to three tablespoons. I consider it to be the best black forest cake I've eaten - the actual cocoa cake itself was really good as well.

Here's my pictures:

gallery_17088_467_1103859615.jpg

and

gallery_17088_467_1103859670.jpg

Great job on the apricot cake Richard and the grenobloise SethG. I think my next project in January will be the grenobloise.

Edit: picture references fixed.

Edited by lemon curd (log)

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Currently reading:

The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters

Just finished reading:

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

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Nice, nice nice! I am suddenly interested in black forest cake for the first time. Magnificent job, Lemon Curd.

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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Well, I think I actually did it. I'm still in a mixed state of disbelief that it came together and awe at the man who conceived this creation. Herme is pure genius in my book. In case anyone missed my post earlier in this thread, the dessert is called Pine Cone and it's from the pro book, not the Chocolate Desserts to which this thread is devoted.

gallery_7930_450_1103879973.jpg

I almost didn't make this. I'm sooooo glad I did. And having made the autumn meringue and carioca desserts from Herme's first book was a huge help as some of the components were very similar among the desserts.

The finish is supposed to be sprayed on chocolate. I had everything but the cocoa butter to make the chocolate spray mixture. So I just did a light dusting of cocoa powder instead. At 2:30 a.m., I'm sort of glad I didn't have the ability to spray on chocolate. Plus the kitchen's already a wreck. (So close to getting that tempering thing down.)

Needless to say, I think the family will be impressed though I have no idea how to cut this thing. And I made a bunch of mental notes on what to do differently, since I have a second one to make for Christmas Day.

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OMG kthull that is beautiful! Can you bear to cut into it? I think I would cry if I had to cut into it since it's such a beauty! :biggrin:

I still have a borrowed 'La Patisserie' at home and your pine cone cake is an absolute replica. Did you end up doing the scales the same way as described in the book (i.e. using a spatula to make the small tongues on acetate or parchment out of tempered chocolate). If you have time I'd also be interested to hear what you would do differently. You've motivated me to perhaps venture into actually doing some from the pro book (instead of just dreaming about making them) but I'd like to work my way through many more from the 'Chocolate Desserts' book first.

Swisskaese - I piped the whipped cream with a 11mm star tip on the top of the cake as close to the outside edge as possible. I then did an second row at a 45 deg angle beside the first row but right on the very edge of the cake.

Ling - I'm not a pastry chef, but I took a four month pastry/desserts course a while back. I rarely get to put much of what I learned about cakes and decorating into practice so this thread is great for getting me back into it.

Edited by lemon curd (log)

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

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Swisskaese, the pine cone leaves are just tempered chocolate spread with an offset spatula onto wax paper or acetate (in my case, I had neither, so I used foil). Ok...almost tempered chocolate (I swear I'm soooo close).

Lemon curd, I love cutting into stuff like this. For me there's a bigger payoff in people's reaction to the flavors than to the look of the piece. My goal is to get those two elements to be equal. And I want to make so many more desserts from La Patisserie. Quite a few have ingredients that will be a challenge to find since I don't have a commercial supplier available to me. But the desserts in that book just blow away the two 'mainstream' books.

Yes, the scales were done with a spatula. They definitely took some practice, but they worked out great. And I used the overlapping parts to cover the fact that about half of mine were seriously misshapen compared to the picture in the book. I'm so glad that I have cotton gloves for working with chocolates. A real necessity with this dessert.

What would I do differently? Well for sure I still want to try to spray the chocolate on at the end. The book doesn't give a size for the cake layers, and mine was too big (and I trimmed the second cake layer too much so that is too small). I couldn't cut a cardboard piece to sit under it, so I had to work on my serving platter ruling out pouring the ganache. I worried on that one for a while, but by the time I was ready to ganache it, it was a spreadable thickness which actually helped. I ended up using it as glue and gap filler for some of the top/back scales. And I have a better handle on how to place the scales. That took a couple re-dos to get close to the picture in the book.

Surprisingly, it's a forgiving cake to make. The decoration is more organic than most of the photos in the book. I'm still trying to fine tune my precision.

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I'm in awe of you guys. Your guests are very lucky.

Edited by bloviatrix (log)

"Some people see a sheet of seaweed and want to be wrapped in it. I want to see it around a piece of fish."-- William Grimes

"People are bastard-coated bastards, with bastard filling." - Dr. Cox on Scrubs

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Ditto! Richard, lemon, Kevin-- great stuff. That pineapple looks insane.

Happy holidays to all of you (and Pierre & Dorie, wherever you are).

I can't bake from the book this weekend (i.e., today or tomorrow), but next weekend I might be up for something.

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

but we like hot butter on our breakfast toast!"

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Ditto what SethG said -- great looking cake, Kevin. Maybe I missed it, but what sort of cake is under the pine cone leaves?

"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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lemoncurd and Kevin,

I just logged on to quickly check my forum and have a look at this thread and I was just flabbergasted by your cakes! Great work!

...and Kevin, maybe I'l curse you for this one day :wink: , but I have just decided I have to get the pro book :biggrin: !!

Il Forno: eating, drinking, baking... mostly side effect free. Italian food from an Italian kitchen.
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Sinclair, I thought only my mother owned all my books. Thank you.

Right now I'm working on a book which, for the moment, is called "Baking, From my Home to Yours" and will be published in 2006 by Houghton-Mifflin. It will have tons -- i.e. 300 -- recipes, mostly very simple, homey, make-em-everyday kinds of sweets, a fat glossary of terms, ingredients, techniques and gear, and some baking stories. It's been a while since I've done a book "sans chefs" and it's a very different experience, but one I'm really liking -- I'd almost forgotten how much I love recipe development.

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