Snowballs, en francais, boules de neige.
I knew friends of mon cheri’s were coming from New York (to Paris) and that they requested to taste my creations. As I naturally like to experiment and because I’m still a newby in patisserie I prefer not to redo stuff but to try something new. Sometimes I have an idea because I’m inspired from somewhere else and then as I work the dessert evolves itself, sometimes from mistakes which forces me to think of alternatives.
My inspiration this time came from a Cafe Pouchkine dessert. I’d seen the recipe in the French magazine, FOU patisserie, however as I read the ingredients and methods I found them a little strange. I’m not sure if I trust magazines to give the correct recipes of well known patissiers, or patissiers to offer up their secrets. For example, the white glacage recipe looks alright from the Pouchkine recipe in FOU patisserie but then I see in the same recipe the coconut daquoise has measurements a little extreme (9 eggs!) which forces me to look elsewhere for another coconut dacquoise recipe that seems more reasonable – I can’t risk wasting ingredients on mistakes. Then as I work I tend to go off course from certain recipes. For example I added rose essence to the raspberries (not in the Pouchkine recipe) which is a perfect combination normally but then when I tasted it with the coconut cream I became doubtful. However, our guests from New York and the hotel staff of DUO hotel in Le Marais (where the guests were staying) liked the hint of rose. I agreed with one comment of a DUO staff member, the snowball needed not rose but perhaps something else that would lift the dessert, a sort of pinch. Rose is a medium note and so is coconut so for next time what I should be looking for is something in the notes of lime, ginger, rhubarb, mango, basil, etc to give that pick-me up. It’s all part of the training. This is what I love about patisserie, it’s like perfumery (I’m learning).
The hotel staff at DUO are of course French and the French don’t need to be patissiers to understand about saveurs and perfume notes, they are aware of scents and saveurs from a young age it’s a cultural thing and I welcomed their feedback. Our friends from New York also have a very sharp palette, they like the finer things and so I was very lucky to have them tasting my creations, it was really engaging and a lot of fun to share.
The base I use is simply biscuits crushed mixed in with baked coconut. I like very much the biscuit that’s a french favourite, it’s called Speculos. It’s a caramel cinnamon flavoured biscuit it can be over-powering in certain desserts so the answer to this is to mix Speculos with a standard tea bicuit. I finished the dessert off with a white glacage made up of white chocolate couverture, sweetened milk concentrate and glucose. But I wasn’t convinced, the white dome seemed void of personaiity which made me think to add shavings of coconut over the glacage and for that final touch toothpick a raspberry.
For more photos of this dessert I invite you to check out my facebook page, Miss Pirisi – Patissiere. And if you “Like” the page then that will make me even happier! 🙂
In case you’re interested:
11 rue du Temple
Tel: +33 1 42 72 72 22