Le Soleil Indien
Indian Sun or Mount Vesuvius’ recent eruption?
This has to be the most unphotogenic cake. Out of 30 profile shots I was able to choose one photo for the post that gives some desire to eat it. Le Soleil Indien is the name of this entremet, but for most of us it resembles a volcanic eruption. Non the less this entremet is quite delicious despite appearances. On first bite, we crack into the lava of toffee caramel to discover there’s a body of whipped ‘caramel supreme’ and cognac soaked pears. Caramel Supreme is a recipe of pastry cream, meringue, whipped cream, vanilla and caramel whisked together to give a heavenly foam. The only thing, this foam together with the pears looks like an inflated omelette. So, it seems for Indian Sun, he will require a make-over if he’s ever going to be on display in our luxury boutiques.
As my classmates and I devoured into the Indian Sun, we began asking the obvious question, why is he called Indian Sun? This time the question was not directed at Chef but to one of our classmates whos origins are in fact, Indian. She protests with some confusion, “I have no idea!” From what she knows this entremet has no relation to India, it’s not even a recipe remotely to anything she knows. There is certainly an origin for the name, but from where? For now, to be diplomatic to my dear classmate and now friend, I will rename the cognac pear infused dessert to, Mount Vesuvius.
Here is how Mount Vesuvius came to erupt:
We begin making a Dacquois, this is a soft biscuit base made up of: egg whites, granulated sugar, almond powder, icing sugar and crushed walnuts. We pipe the mixture in a spiral within a 22cm diameter ring.
The day before, we have prepared the the chopped pears by soaking them in their own syrup, plus sugar and cognac.
Caramel supreme, we start off by making almost like a pastry cream – in our book it says, ‘creme anglaise’ – with caramel. Seperately, we whip cream and make an Italian meringue. Finally, we put all the mixtures together including the cognac soaked pears, and we build a dome inside our Dacquois shell.
As you can see in the above photo to the right, the pears are peeping out. So, we’re going to make what’s called a Saint Honore cream to cover the peeping pears (this goes over the top of Caramel Supreme). Saint Honore cream is made up of: milk, granulated sugar, egg yolks, custard powder, vanilla bean, gelatin powder, water, egg whites (with granulated sugar). To start, we begin by making pastry cream and at the same time we beat egg whites (in a KitchenAid). We melange (mix) the two mixtures together and spread it over the dome of peeping pears trying to make a smooth surface.
We then sprinkle granulated sugar (below), and to caramelize this we take a heated iron to it.
Then, we caramelize a second time with the heat iron, only this time we sprinkle with icing sugar for a real caramilzed effect (this step begins with the photo directly below to the right).
The step by step photos you see here, particularly the finally photo (directly above to the right) are taken of Chef’s entremet, so perhaps you can say his resembles the Indian Sun.
[This recipe is the owner of Chef Patissier Averty from l’ecole FERRANDI. Last updated, February 2013].