I’ve gotten to know that the French love one particular saveur and that’s pistachio. In Paris, there are boutiques dedicated to selling only this tiny rustic green nut. So, I shouldn’t be surprised that the flavours of pistachio pop-up regularly in the list of French desserts like in the menu of entremets.
San Marco is a melange (mix) of chocolate parfait, chocolate mousse and pistachio bavarois sitting on a base of dacquoise. For finishing the entremet we used a chocolate glaze with a few drops of red colouring to brighten the chocolate colour. Spray of chocolate cocoa and some chocolate pieces prepared earlier and of course the final touch of pistachio nuts.
RECIPE FOR SAN MARCO :
3 entremets D 18cm
Chocolate joconde 2 sheets for 14 pieces
Dacquois 2 base D 16cm : This dacquois as a little Kirsch alcohol added, Kirsch is a cherry liqueur and we use this only to brush it onto the sponge dacquois.
MIx the tant pour tant (almond powder + icing sugar) with the pistachio paste in a food processor. Note: If you don’t have a food processor then substitute it for a handheld mixer.
Beat the egg whites and when the whites begin to mousse add the granulated sugar slowly (5gms then 5grms).
When the egg whites reach a soft peak gently fold into the pistache mix maintaining volume.
Brush dacquois with Kirsch alcohol.
Parfait chocolate : is a pate a bombe this is egg yolks beated with syrup poured over it and it becomes like a mousse.
First to make a Parfait we need to make a *pate a bomb, this is eggs yolks plus syrup and there are two methods to make this, choose one:
*First method: Heat and whisk the egg yolks in already made syrup 1260 over a bain maire until it starts to get creamy. It’s best to have the egg yolks and syrup in the electric bowl mixer then it’s easy to transfer to the electric mixer where you continue to mix until the pate a bombe has cooled down (comfortable to touch the side of the bowl, it’s not hot).
*Second method: Heat water and sugar (this becomes syrup 1260 )in a casserole to 118 -121C. In the meantime start whisking the egg yolks in electric mixer (KitchenAid, Kenwood, KRUPS) until it’s creamy. When the syrup has reached 118C-121C pour it in a stream over the mixing egg yolks (they should be creamy in texture), leave to mix on high for 4 to 5 minutes or until the pate a bombe has cooled down (you should be able to touch outside of bowl comfortable).
The parfait is when we add the whipped cream to the pate a bombe.
Melt the chocolate at 55C in bain marie. (Petit astuce: Remove the chocolate off the heat when you see half or 3/4 of it has melted. The heat from the bowl should melt the rest of the chocolate. I fold the chocolate with a rubber spatula (maryse). This way you avoid temperature of chocolate escalating over 55C.)
Whisk the liquid cream to soft peak.
Add the chocolate into the pate a bombe.
Add a little of the whipped cream in the chocolate pate a bombe and mix with whisk. Then fold in the rest of the whipped cream with a rubber spatula.
Petit astuce for pate a bombe + melted chocolate: If the pate a bombe has cooled down and your chocolate is too hot, when you combine the two the chocolate will harden, and you will get tiny little freckles of hardened chocolate. So make sure that the temperatures of the two are similar to get a smooth homogene texture.
Pistachio bavarois : is a cream anglais folded in with whipped cream but because this is a “pistachio bavarois” we’ve added some pistachio paste.
Swell the gelatin in water for 20 minutes.
You’re going to make a creme anglaise:
Heat the milk with the pistachio paste in casserole.
Cream lighty the yolks and sugar in a bowl.
Add a little of the hot milk to the yolk mixture while mixing and pour all back into the remaining milk in casserole.
Heat to 83C while stirring with a spatula, thickend to coat the back of the spatula. Note: depending on the stove you may have to turn of the heat, the creme anglaise will continue to thicken and heat and if need turn the heat back on low.
Drain and add the gelatin to the creme anglaise.
Whisk briefly and cool over ice (or change bowls and put in fridge).
Whip the cold liquid cream starting the electric mixer on medium then moving it to high, this way you obtain a texture very creamy soft and moussy (not firm) in order to fold into the pistachio creme anglaise.
Chocolate mousse : a classic chocolate mousse using a dark chocolate, 64% couverture. But you use the chocolate percentage as you want, 64% is not too dark, not too light, meaning it’s not too sweet and not too bitter. Just right!
Melt the chcolate to 50 – 55C
Whip the cream liquid with sugar to soft peak.
Add the yolks to the chocolate.
Mix a little of the whipped cream in the hot chocolate.
Pour all back into the whipped cream and fold in with a rubber spatula.
This very soft chocolate mousse is used as final mousse before decoration.
Glacage chocolate: there are many recipes for this and this glacage is made up of liquid cream, glucos, red colourant, cacao powder and chocolate couverture 55% and gelatin.
Soak gelatin in water 20 minutes.
Make syrup with water and granulated sugar. Bring it to 110C.
Boil cream, glucose, red colourant and sifted cacoa powder.
Pour them slowly into the syrup. Boil mixture.
Add the chopped chocolate and gelatin.
Mix with a handheld mixer and strain the a sifter.
Glacage used at 30C.
Notes: I can’t emphasise enough on the quality of ingredients. Best brands of chocolate to buy are (available in France): Valrhona, Cacao Barry, Callebaut. Liquid creme 35%: Elle et Vire, President, Montaigu