The past week or so we have been going through an overhaul of our dessert offerings at the APBC. Since I am done with the bulk of my book work and the class I taught in Barcelona is now behind me, I have been able to have time to develop new desserts that I have been wanting to get out there. There are more coming out this week and next, which translates to almost 90% change in our menu. It's very refreshing.
Item 1: "Opera" Inspired by the flavors in the classic opera cake, with a dark chocolate mousse, whipped espresso anglaise, chocolate pearls, a quenelle of creme fraiche and a morsel of espresso genoise.
Item 2: White Chocolate Chantilly, coated in red velvet cake crumbs, chocolate pain de Genes and foam sugar pieces.
Item 3: Maple Sugar Pound Cake, coated in pecan marzipan (absolutely delicious).
Item 4: Still in the test/concept stages, this is a bergamot orange cream with a pistachio streussel, Earl Grey genoise, cassis macaron and pistachio joconde crumbs. The sphere is a distilled Earl Grey clear gel. The ring is pulled sugar.
A couple of weeks ago while in Barcelona we were taken to Dolc, YannDuytsche's patisserie 30 minutes away from Barcelona in San Cugat by our hosts from the EPGB (the school I taught at). I own a copy of Yann'sSweet Diversions and have heard so much about his work that I was very curious and frankly excited to see his shop. I went with Robert Howay, one of my MIT's and Bryan Graham, my former sous chef now in the process of starting his own chocolate shop and Olivier, director of the EPGB. Yann was completely gracious and could not be more welcoming. His shop is spartan in simplicity, and his kitchen is so efficient in and clean, you have to see it to believe it.
He shared a few of his desserts with us and was kind enough to allow us to photograph the moments we spend there. Thank you Yann.
On a side note, Yann's sous chef was part of team Spain which won the World Pastry Cup this past January in Lyon, France. Kind of a huge deal.
I have always enjoyed the flavors of a classic black forest cake: chocolate, cream (Chantilly) and Cherries. The cherries make this dessert complete. We have taken these flavors and put all of the components (dark chocolate mousse, creme chantilly, chocolate blackout sponge cake and Amarena cherries, hands down the best preserved cherries) inside a pop mold. The mold is originally intented for frozen pops, but I don't see why it cannot be used for this purpose, which is simply a chilled dessert.
It is dipped in a "magic shell" of white chocolate combined with vegetable oil and green cocoa butter. The pop is sitting on a bed of "soil", which is a baked mixture of almond flour, cocoa powder, sugar and butter. The small plaque is a silkscreened tree we make with dark chocolate and the plaque is white chocolate.
So easy to eat as well. No fork or spoon. Liberating.