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Le concorde, un entremet tout chocolat – Aller simple pour Londres

[Concorde, an all-chocolate entremet – A one-way ticket to London]

pierre herme concorde

Strangely enough, the past couple of days have – unlike the thousands that came before – felt soothing.

Almost like a slow motion picture.

entrevaux moments

In fact, this has sort of become a common fact. Every day spent in Entrevaux – a small village surrounded by mountains, and where wearing a Peruvian hat makes it to the local news (well, gossips) for at least a fortnight – seems to last forever.

Definitely a good thing in my book. Especially since Guillaume and I booked our plane tickets to a new life.

london made of wood

On the 7th of November, we’ll be landing in London, scouting for the cutest little flat, and more importantly to the sweetest little jobs as pastry cooks. Any hints are more than welcome!

A one-way ticket. And a promise of busy days ahead. Come what may.

pierre herme concorde

Somehow, the Concorde seemed fit for the occasion. Even though I suspect its name comes from the Parisian place de la Concorde, I can’t help but remember that express Paris to NYC flight.

New and exiting. Just how I feel right now.

pierre herme concorde

Concorde
Adapted from Pierre Hermé.

This entremet might be: 1. from Pierre Hermé, and 2. pretty delicious, it’s nonetheless very easy to make. Picture a simple chocolate mousse sandwiched between crisp yet soft (due to the freezing) chocolate meringue disks.

For both components, the tricky part is getting the meringue right. In the case of the chocolate meringue fingers, it should be very firm, although not grainy (egg whites should never ever get grainy). As for the mousse, I’d go for softer whipped egg whites.

Then comes the montage [assembling], which requires special care so you have a smooth entremet, reading for glazing. The secret lies in gently pressing down the disks of meringue into the mousse before piping some more mousse, just so that the mousse coats the edges of the disks and don’t form any air bubbles.

Concorde

serves 8

for the meringue
100g cocoa powder
200g icing sugar
4 egg whites, at room temperature
50g caster sugar

for the chocolate mousse
250g dark chocolate, chopped
250g unsalted butter, diced
6 egg whites, at room temperature
30g caster sugar
3 egg yolks

for the glaçage mirroir
75g water
150g caster sugar
150g glucose syrup
100g sweet condensed milk
70g masse gelatine
(soak 10g gelatine leaves into cold water then weight the soaked gelatine leaves and make up to 70g with the soaking water)
150g dark chocolate

Preheat the oven to 120°C.
Sift the cocoa powder and icing sugar together into a bowl, and set aside.
Whip the egg whites until foamy, then still whipping, add the caster sugar a little at a time, until the meringue forms firm peaks.
Gently fold in the cocoa/icing sugar mixture. Using a 10mm wide plain nozzle, pipe the chocolate meringue into three 18cm wide circles, and use the remaining batter to pipe long stripes.
Bake for an hour, transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool down.

Now onto the mousse. Get a 22cm wide cercle ready by lining it with rhodoid. Place it on a baking paper-lined small baking sheet.
Melt the chocolate and butter over a bain-marie.
Whip the egg whites with the sugar until they hold stiff peaks, then quickly – but delicately – incorporate the yolks.
Using a rubber spatula fold in the melted chocolate/butter.

Place one meringue disk at the bottom of the prepared cercle, then pipe one third of the mousse. Place another disk on top, pushing slightly so the mousse comes well around the edges. Pipe some more mousse, top with the last disk of meringue, then pipe the remaining mousse, and using a long spatula, flatten the surface of the entremet.

Freeze the entremet for at least 6 hours, up to 24 hours. Unmould the entremet and place on a wire rack. Return to freezer until the glaze is ready.

Put the water, sugar and glucose syrup into a pan and bring to the boil. When the syrup reaches 103°C, turn off the heat and mix in the condensed milk and masse gelatine. Pour over the milk chocolate and mix with a rubber spatula until smooth.
Coat the entremet with this miroir glaze three times (if the miroir becomes too sticky, reheat in the microwave for 30 seconds). Freeze for 10 minutes, then trim the ends with a hot and sharp knife, and place back in the freezer for an hour.

Put the entremet into the fridge six hours before you’re ready to serve.

We’d lie around in bed all day – Tarte à la citrouille

pumpkin pie

I won’t lie. There are many advantages to having a boyfriend who’s a pâtissier.

First, he loves 6pm slumbers parties à deux since he – like me – knows how a 3am wake-up feels like.

Second, he whips some pretty nice dinners in a matter of seconds, leaving the kitchen deliciously shiny even though he is – like me – one of the messiest people on earth.

Third, he tends to get as excited as I do when the following words are mentioned in no special order: AFTERNOON, PÂTISSERIE, NEW FLAVOUR COMBINATION.

pumpkins

It all seems quite logical. I mean, we met while working for Pascal Lac, so it’s the very essence of our daily – exciting and sweet – routine.

This past Sunday we hence decided to explore the autumnal classic: the pumpkin pie.

pumpkin pie large

It’s a favourite of mine. But, well – let’s get it out straight away – not a favourite of Guillaume’s. Yes, you read right.

Guillaume. Does. Not. Like. Pumpkin pie.

pumpkin hand

I initially thought of finding another boyfriend, but I seem to be in like with him way too much to do so.

After a – not so – lond period of – not so – intense reflection, I went for the other option: eat a slice of tart by myself and bring the rest to my family.

I’m pretty glad I did.

Tarte à la citrouille
Indeed, this tart is perfect. Raw sugar and fresh pumpkin.

The raw sugar brings lovely caramel undertones, that in my opinion, brings out the earthy flavour of fresh pumpkin.

First you start by making your own purée, by roasting the pumpkin, then blending it. The roasting part of it helps to get rid of the moisture naturally present in pumpkin flesh, and thus, creates a smooth (bubble free) pumpkin flan.

In this recipe, I call for pâte sucrée which you can easily make in advance from the recipe here.

Tarte à la citrouille

makes one 28cm wide tart

for the pâte sucrée
a 28 cm wide fond, baked blind

for the pumpkin purée
500g pumpkin flesh
1 tbsp butter

for the pumpkin flan
2 eggs
70g raw sugar
170g double cream
1/2 tbsp cinnamon
1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
seeds from half a vanilla pod

Preheat the oven to 180˚C. Place the diced pumpkin flesh into a baking pan and roast until tender, approximately half an hour. Blend in a mixer, adding the butter. Then allow to cool until it reaches room temperature.

When the purée is cold, mix in the eggs, sugar, cream, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and vanilla seeds. Pour into the blind-baked fond, then bake at 160˚C for 45 minutes, or until set.

Serve cold.