The Indian Sun or Volcanic Eruption?


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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

Miss Pirisi

[This recipe is the owner of Chef Patissier Averty from l’ecole FERRANDI. Last updated, February 2013]. 

Cheesecake with Christmas fruits


Cheesecake with Christmas Fruits

The original name of this entremet is, Fruity White Cheese Squares, at least that’s what it says in our recipe books. Perhaps it’s one of those lost in translation, French to English things but I’m not exactly thinking cake when I read the title. So, I’ve evolved the name and calling it, Cheesecake with Christmas Fruits. I wanted to call it, Grandmother’s Sara Lee Cheesecake with Christmas fruits, but too long and I think I would be stepping on some kind of copyright law with the whole Sara Lee name. But, it’s a compliment I think because when I took a bite of this entremet I was reminded of the Sara Lee cake I so often had during the hot Sydney summers and my impatience for it to defrost, eating the whipped cream first while I worked down the hardened cream cheese and to the frozen strawberry centre… ooohhhh… However, with this entremet, Cheesecake with Christmas Fruits, I found it lacking something. I don’t know if it’s an unhappy marriage of the fruits and white chocolate, or the white chocolate mousse being a little dull. This recipe asked us to use Creme Fraiche and I have a feeling using mascarpone &/or cream cheese would have given that X factor it’s missing. Creme Fraiche of course is lighter. It’s certainly appealing to the eye but like my Mon Cheri said diplomatically, “It has potential”. I would like to revist this entremet because I do believe also it has potential.


The base is an almond biscuit. But what does that really mean when pretty much most of the sponge bases in French patisserie is made of almond? The ingredients for this almond biscuit base is: almonds, hazelnuts, pistachios, icing sugar, flour, egg whites, brown sugar and granulated sugar. The base wasn’t too bad.

Over the base we spread a generous layer of what’s called in our recipe book, Pears Marmalade, which for me is a little confusing because it’s more than that, it’s bascially a basket of Christmas goodies: Cranberries, Pears, Dried apricots, Currents, Orange grated zest/juice/liquor, granulated sugar, and cinnamon powder (recipe also contains gelatin and water).

The “White Cheese Cream”, is made up of the ingredients: Cream Fleurette, Cream cheese or Creme Fraiche, Brown sugar, and yolks (recipe also contains gelatin and water). The French tend to use Creme Fraiche mostly but it’s just not as inviting as using mascarpone or cream cheese. This is really only my opinion coming from my own tastes and the information taken from chit chatter amongst our group during taste testing.

Find recipe for the CHEESECAKE mixture below.IMG_3808_2

A wonderful look into how large productions are made. Once frozen we cut them into indivdual sizes.


Sweet Chérie

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This post I dedicate to my Sweet Cherie,

I can’t even begin to tell you how beautiful she is. How delicious. Her red and chocolate colours, her moussy textures, her layersings of sweet cherries and chocolate, and the saveurs of those sweet cherries with a parfume of kirsche. Oh, and she wears those macarons so well, not too much just a couple to decorate her glacage. Ooh la la la!  She is why I want to become a patissier. I almost had a fit when a student said Entremets aren’t her thing, “Don’t say that over my Sweet Cherie!”

It has taken days to complete Sweet Cherie because each time we add a layer we need to put that into the freezer before we add the next. Also, we alternate the completion of other entremets (cakes). You can imagine how I anticipated her arrival home. I didn’t want to be too selfish and have her all to myself, so I shared her with my neighbours who have said she is their favourite so far.

Sweet Cherie is a perfect marriage of the saveurs of chocolate and cherry (and a little part kirsch), and this is certainly one to keep on the menu.

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Feuillantine noisette croustillante au chocolat


Feuillantine noisette croustillante au chocolat

A whole lot of chocolate, a whole lot of mousse and whole lot of crunch deserves attention. I can’t believe this is school work. This is by far what I call learning how to make food porn. Totally delicious. It’s why this recipe in one variation or another is frequently on a restaurant menu. Perhaps it will come in a petite round form on your plate beautifully decorated with chocolate syrup or even a raspberry coulis. The one made at school was prepared as a huge slab. Don’t blame me for wanting it all. And, in fact, a classmate of mine confessed to me she did have it all! It took her 5 days to get through it, “It was so delcious!”.

A 1 large frame 60/40, 35 mm high is used to make the cocoa biscuit which in fact is a recipe for biscuit a cuilliere with cocoa powder added.


Chablonage: Once sponge has cooled (if I recall we removed from freezer). Melt choclate and spread on the biscuit sponge, then turn it over so that the melted chocolate spread is underneath the sponge. This will become a nice thin chocolate base.

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Feuillantine Praline is made up of milk chocolate, hazelenuts, praline and feuillentine which is crispy wafer flakes. You will not find in the supermarket feuillentine, instead look for Gravottes in the biscuit section, once you put the wafers in the bowl crush them with your hands to make small flakes which then becomes “Feuillentine”.

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Praline Chocolate Mousse is a combination of praline, dark chocolate and liquid cream which made to a chantilly, that is, whipped cream.

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With a patisserie tool called a comb, with one stroke or one comb move through the mousse, it will create ribs (kinda like ribbed stockings only in mousse). Freeze.

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Out of the freezer, we need to remove the ring/frame and we do this with a blow torch/dryer. Refer below, then we take the spray gun/hose and spray chocolate. That’s fun!


Decor: We take noisettes, hazelnuts and almonds and dip them in cooked sugar (250g sugar, 60g glucose and 60g of water over the stove). Keep on stove the cooked sugar and keep at low temperature or even turn off stove. Put toothpicks into the nuts dip them into the cooked sugar, creating a toffee exterior.

A similar recipe to this is Pierre Herme’s Carre from his book The Best of Pierre Herme.

G.Detou in Paris: is where I buy my ingredients such as feuillantine, couverture chocolates, praline paste, hazelnut paste, hazelnuts, cacoa powder.

Supermarket, any: gravottes (feuillantine), cream 35%, sugar, eggs, cocoa powder, flour, and milk.

Utensiles/equipment such as the entremet frames “cadre”: MORA in Paris and EMB Mora in Versailles.

The Opera is more tastier than it sounds


Coffee butter cream
Granulated sugar, 400g
Water, 120g
Egg yolks, 60g
Eggs, 140g
Vanilla bean, 1
Butter, 720g
Coffee essence, 40g
Caramel*, 10g

Cook the sugar with water to 121C
Beat the eggs and yolks lightly, add the contents of the scraped vanilla bean
While whisking, add the cooked sugar to this mixture
Whisk till cool
Incorporate the softened butter in ‘pommade’ consistency
Flavour with the cafe essence and caramel
Whisk together
For use it is preferable to soften the butter cream in a bain-mairie
If the cream will be stored in the fridge, it is preferable not to whisk it to volume now but just before use.

*How to make caramel? 200g sugar in a casserole and heat until it’s caramalized (almost a burnt colour), add 10g of water

[This recipe is the owner of Chef Patissier Averty from l’ecole FERRANDI. Last updated, February 2013]. 

San Marco

IMG_4003IMG_3998I’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.


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


Miss Pirisi



Equateur is an entremet with a layering of chocolate mousse and creme brulee with a subtle infusion of orange. Your first bite is into a fine layer of crunchy toffee. Yum! Yum!

2 entremets diameter 20cm

Creme Brulee
Milk, 100g
Liquid heavy cream, 280g
Granulated sugar, 60g
Egg yolks, 80g
Vanilla bean, 1/2

Heat the milk, cream and vanilla
Whisk yolks and sugar together
Pour heated milk over the yolk mixture and whisk
Pour into 2 moulds of D 20cm (250g)
Bake in oven of 100C maximum
Freeze after baking


Creme brulee in professional usage silicon moulds. After baking we freeze. The silicon enables us to pop out the creme brulee with ease.

Coffee Dacquoise 20cm
Egg whites, 200g
Granulated sugar, 15g
Tant pour tant, 320g
Nescafe, 4g
Orange zest, 4g

Mix together the almond powder, the icing sugar, the instant coffee and orange zest in a blender
Beat the whites and add the sugar in a 3 step phase: 1 at the beginning, 1 halfway and the last at the end
Fold in the almond powder mixture, the instant coffee and grated zest with a spatula
Pipe with a pastry tip No.8 or No.10 in the form of a tart base
Bake at 180C
Remove from oven when it is still moist, lightly coloured and firm.

Coffee Genoise Diameter 18cm
To be made the day before
Eggs, 200g
Granulated sugar, 100g
Coffee essence, 8g
Flour (sifted), 100g

Whisk the mixture of eggs and sugar on medium speed for 20 minutes
Add the coffee essence at the end
Delicately fold in the sifted flour with a flexible spatula or a skimmer
Bake in an 18cm diameter ring minimum height 4.5cm at 180/190C
Cool completely before removing from the ring
Make this genoise the day before

Imbibage Coffee soaking
Syrup 1260, 140g
Water, 60g
Nescafe, 10g

Coffee Saint-Honore cream
Milk (heated), 350g
Granulated sugar, 135g
Egg yolks, 160g
Custard powder, 35g
Gelatin sheet, 8g
Water, 40g
Egg whites (whisked in KitchenAid), 270g
Granulated sugar, 15g
Orange zest, 10g
Coffee essence, 20g

Stick the creme brulee to the dacquoise bse with the cream the assemble cream
Then stick a layer of coffee soaked genoise

Assembly cream
Pastry cream, 250g
Liquid heavy cream, 100g

Make a pastry cream (creme patissier) paste
Add the flavours
Add the beaten egg whites delicately
Smoothen the entremets slightly dome shaped
Finish with 2 layers of icing sugar caramalised with a heating iron.


[This recipe is the owner of Chef Patissier & Professeur Averty from l’ecole FERRANDI. Last updated, February 2013].