Category Archives: Recipes – Entrement: Mousse, slices, tarts

6 recipes/ideas to start your amazing journey with Paneton French Bakery’s new chocolate pastry


If you have ever tried making short crust pastry, you would know that while it isn’t very difficult (at least when compared to making puff pastry), it does take a bit of time to make and rest before you can roll it out for baking. Add to that my preference for a chocolate shell to go with a dark chocolate ganache – I end up making far fewer tarts than other desserts.

Cue Paneton French Bakery. Their short crust pastry has always been, in my view, an exemplar of pastries.  When they released the ready-rolled chocolate pastry, I felt as if a weight has lifted off my shoulders – I can finally make tarts quickly!!! I then went about challenging myself to see how many things I can make using this gem! Here are my 6 recipes/ideas, for now 😉

1. Chocolate tarts – Solomon’s Gold 70% smooth dark chocolate ganache with Lewis Road Creamery double cream

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The pastry is not very sweet and it serves as a very good base for any dessert tart. Here are my favourites:

– Solomon’s Gold 70% smooth dark chocolate ganache with Lewis Road Creamery double cream

– Solomon’s Gold dark orange chocolate ganache with Lewis Road Creamery double cream and Fresh As Freeze dried mandarin segments

– Forty Thieves‘ salted macadamia butter with chocolate ganache

– Forty Thieves‘ cacao hazelnut butter with chocolate ganache

Makes 10 individual tarts

Ingredients:

  • 500g roll of Paneton French Bakery Chocolate Pastry,
  • 300g Solomon’s Gold smooth dark chocolate or dark orange chocolate, chopped into small pieces in a heat proof bowl
  • Forty Thieves nut butters
  • 375ml Lewis Road Creamery double cream
  • Decorations – Valrhona crisp pearls, batons, Fresh As Freeze dried fruits, Solomon’s Gold cacao nibs

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Instructions

    1. Thaw pastry overnight in the fridge.
    2. Carefully unroll the pastry to prevent any breaks (but it is ok if it breaks! Just push it back together)
    3. Using a sharp knife, cut out squares or circles of pastry to fit your tart mould.
    4. Push the pastry into the moulds carefully, be sure to mend any breaks. Prick the pastry all over with a fork.
    5. Blind bake in 180C oven for 9 minutes. Let cool on a rack.
    6. Make ganache by heating cream in a pot till just starting to boil, then pour over the the chocolate pieces.
    7. Let is sit for a minutes for the chocolate to soften, and then mix it till the mixture becomes glossy and thick.
    8. If using nut butter, add a dollop onto the baked shells before the next step.
    9. Pour ganache into individual tart shells, and decorate!

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2. Ice cream bowl – individual dessert bar

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Here the pastry is shaped into a bowl (I used the Wilton’s cookie bowl mould ) and used to serve up Kohu Road Cookies and Cream ice cream. Perfect with a tray full of garnishes for you to decorate to your heart’s content. Halzelnut praline, freeze dries raspberries and Manuka honey, Valrhona chocolate crisp pearls and batons…hmmmm

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3. Ice cream sandwich with Kohu Road Cookie and Cream

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Scoop the ice cream into a flat container and refreeze to solidify the ice cream again. Cut out rectangle slices of ice cream and sandwich them between rectangular shaped pastry cookies.

4. Biscuits with Fresh As freeze-dried powders
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J made some rocket ship and butterfly biscuits here with cookie cutters. We then dipped them into melted chocolate, followed by a sprinkle of Fresh As freeze dried raspberry powder. The acid tang was sooo good with the bitter pastry biscuit.

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5. Tim tam cheesecake

Instead of lining the whole mould with the pastry, place a disc of it on the bottom of the mould. Bake and after cooling, pour in your favourite no-bake cheesecake filling (see my Tim Tam cheesecake) and let it set in the fridge.

6. Chocolate soil

This is as simple as baking the chocolate pastry and then crumbling them in a food processor or by giving them a good bash in a zip bag with a rolling pin. Sprinkle over or on the sides of desserts and voilà you have a Masterchef style dessert 🙂
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Hope this gets you going with your adventure using Paneton’s Chocolate Pastry!

Peanut butter parfait, chocolate feuilletine crumb, salted caramel and butterscotch sauce


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Having had the most amazing dessert at The Sugar Club, I set about recreating this dish. Turns out it isn’t as difficult as I imagined it to be, albeit slightly simplified. The flavours and textures are all present though.

The parfait recipe here is an adapted version of Geoff Scott’s (Vinnie’s) and the Cordon Bleu cookbook. It doesn’t contain gelatine and I will make another one later that uses gelatine to test the difference. The rest of the elements are things I make quite often for my macarons, cakes and entremets. So while it may seem like a long list, there are often at least 1 or 2 elements readily made in my fridge at any time. I encourage you to follow suit in case of dessert emergencies.

Peanut butter parfait

  • 120g caster sugar
  • 80ml water
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon Equagold vanilla paste
  • 150g best crunchy peanut butter (I used Pic’s from Nelson, New Zealand)
  • 500ml cream

Instructions

  1. Lightly whip the cream until soft peak stage. Set aside. (I do this step first as I only have 1 bowl for my mixer. If you have alternate means, do this step after step 3 below).
  2. Place sugar and water and in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Cook for 7-10 minutes until it reaches the soft boil stage at 118°C on a thermometer.
  3. While the sugar syrup is coming up to temperature, whisk the yolks and vanilla paste with an electric beater until pale and thick, continue whisking and slowly pour the hot sugar syrup in a trickle down the side of the bowl (like making Italian meringue). Whisk till it has cooled, about 6 minutes. The mix should be thick and aerated. Mix in the peanut butter paste.
  4. Take a third of the cream and gently fold into the yolk mix. Add the remaining cream and gently fold through. This step is crucial, do it gently to maintain the lightness in the mixture.
  5. Line a large loaf or square pan with greaseproof paper then pour in the mix. Freeze overnight. Tip out onto a board and remove paper. Pre slice into thick slices and keep in the freezer until ready to serve.
  6. Tip: I found it hard to cut through a deep solid block. Using a square pan would help as the parfait would not be as high as it would reach if it was in a loaf pan. Far easier to cut neat rectangular slices out this way.

Chocolate feuilletine crumb

  • 125 g 70% cocoa dark chocolate (I used Equagold)
  • 1 cup Feuilletine

Instructions

  1. Melt chocolate over a pan of simmering hot water.
  2. Remove from heat.
  3. Add feuilletine, stir to mix and pour in a baking paper-lined tray. Cool in fridge.

Salted caramel (this produces a large quantity, feel free to reduce if you have to, but I would suggest keeping to the quantity as you would *always* need salted caramel available, right?)

  • 200g castor sugar
  • 125ml fresh cream
  • 50g butter, cubed
  • 5g good quality salt flakes
  • A few drops of vanilla essence

Instructions

  1. Heat the sugar in a wide saucepan until it is melted.
  2. Be really careful and wait for it to turn amber/ golden and slightly smoke.
  3. Carefully add the cream in slowly, continuing to whisk but be aware of the resulting vigorous bubbling.
  4. Add the butter in gradually until it is melted and combined.
  5. Add in salt flakes and vanilla essence.
  6. Cool in the fridge for a few hours.

Butterscotch sauce

  • 60g butter
  • 60ml glucose syrup
  • 1 can condensed milk (320g)
  • 290g brown sugar
  • 180ml cream

Instructions

  1. In a large heavy saucepan, melt the butter and add rest of ingredients.
  2. Stirring constantly, bring to a boil over medium high heat till it reaches 118C at the soft ball stage.
  3. Pour half into a jar for another time or onto a baking -paper lined tray to make toffee squares, like the Mckintosh Toffees.
  4. Add cream to the remaining butterscotch toffee in the pan and stir till it becomes homogenous.
  5. Pour into jar to cool.

Assemble

  1. Put a dollop of the salted caramel near the top of the plate, off centre.
  2. In a quick motion, “schmear” it straight down or across confidently.
  3. Place a piece of the parfait on the schmear.
  4. Scatter over the chocolate feuilletine crumb and pour the butterscotch sauce over.

A tale of two tarts: salted caramel or hazelnut?


1. Chocolate mousse, hazelnut and nutella tart 2. Salted caramel, chocolate mousse and strawberries tart

It’s the school holidays and J wanted to make chocolate mousse, while I wanted to test out my newly purchased Gobel tart rings. I usually make tarts with ganache but thought hey I could use mousse! We discussed the elements and J came up with a plan, a cross-sectional drawing of her mousse design.

After a bit of debate, we had two ideas:

  1. Chocolate mousse, hazelnut, Nutella tart
  2. Salted caramel, chocolate mousse and strawberries tart

For the hazelnut tart, a thin layer of Nutella (you can of course use chocolate ganache) was spread on the base of the tart, then a thin layer of roasted hazelnut paste and then topped with the chocolate mousse.

For the salted caramel tart, a thin layer of salted caramel was first spread on the base of the tart, then topped with chocolate mousse. Some freeze dried strawberries were added to give a contrasting taste to the sweet and salty caramel.

For both, cocoa nibs, crunchy chocolate pearls and feuilletine shards were added for texture.

I like how I can do the components separately (to fit in with school holiday activities) and then assemble right before serving.

Hope you will enjoy these!

Sweet almond tart base
Makes 10 x 9″ ring tart bases
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200g all-purpose (plain) flour
40g ground almonds
100g icing sugar
100g butter, cold and cubed
1 egg (I use size 8)

  1. Sift and combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Add the butter and ‘rub in’, working the butter into the dry ingredients with your fingertips until it resemble small crumbs
  3. Add the egg and incorporate it into the dry ingredients.
  4. Work the dough lightly by gathering the dough with your fingertips and folding it over with a downward push of your palm. Work quickly and lightly, till it comes together.
  5. Wrap up the dough inside a folded sheet of baking paper, gently roll flat with a rolling pin and refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.
  6. While the dough is resting, prepare the tart rings by buttering them.
  7. When the dough is ready, lightly sprinkle some flour on your bench or chopping board.
  8. Roll out the dough on the board with a rolling pin to a thickness of 2-3mm. You may need to add more flour to keep it from sticking as it is a very soft dough.
  9. Cut out a circle of dough larger than your ring and place onto the buttered tart ring or mould.
  10. Press well onto the sides. Use a glass to flatten the bottom and sides to ensure you have straight edges.
  11. Cut off excess dough by going over the top of the tart ring with the rolling pin.
  12. Pinch the edges up slightly.
  13. Prick holes at the base with a fork.
  14. Rest in the fridge for 30 – 60 minutes to stop it from shrinking.
  15. Preheat the oven to 180C.
  16. Using ceramic baking beads or rice, blind bake at 180 degrees C for 15-20 minutes or when browned all over. Set aside to cool completely

1. Chocolate mousse, hazelnut and nutella tart 2. Salted caramel, chocolate mousse and strawberries tart

Putting it all together
Chocolate mousse, hazelnut, Nutella tart

  • Cooled tart base
  • Nutella (or melted chocolate)
  • Roasted hazelnut paste (Equagold)
  • Chocolate mousse (Mousse recipe)
  • On the top – Chocolate crunchy shards, pearls, cocoa nibs

Salted caramel, chocolate mousse and strawberries tart

1. Chocolate mousse, hazelnut and nutella tart 2. Salted caramel, chocolate mousse and strawberries tart

These turn out more rustic than elegant 😉 still delicious regardless!

Glorious Tiramisu with Bailey’s


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This is how I make Tiramisu – for as long as I can remember. 
Trouble with making Tiramisu is what do you do with the left overs. I’ve learnt that if I used a narrow based bowl that opens up to a wider top, while aesthetically pleasing, I would have half-used packets of lady fingers and left over mascarpone cheese filling yet wouldn’t quite be enough to make another! I’ve found that if I use a straight edged rectangular bowl (20cm by 15 cm straight edged Pyrex bowl) it would be close to perfect, with just enough left to also make some cute little deconstructed pots of Tiramisu. 
This also won me the top prize at my previous job’s departmental cooking competition so it has truly been tasted and approved by many. My current colleagues love it. My point of difference is the use of Bailey’s – lots of recipes call for rum or brandy but I love Bailey’s and have always preferred Tiramisu made with Baileys. Airy and pillowy; velvety and light; a glorious pick-me-up dessert.

Ingredients

  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 400g mascarpone cheese (2 packets of Tatua Mascarpone cheese)
  • 350ml cream, whipped
  • 22 Italian Lady fingers
  • 1 cup cold instant coffee (Moccona)
  • ½ cup Baileys 
  • 1 tbsp of your best cocoa for dusting

Instructions

  1. Combine egg yolks and sugar in the top of a double boiler, over boiling water. Reduce heat to low, and cook for about 10 minutes, whisking constantly. This is your sabayon, remove from the heat and whip yolks until thick and lemon colored.
  2. Add Mascarpone to whipped yolks, beat until combined.
  3. In a separate bowl, whip cream to stiff peaks.
  4. Gently fold the whipped cream in the mascarpone sabayon mixture and set aside.
  5. Mix the cold espresso with the Baileys and dip the lady fingers into the mixture just long enough to get them wet, do not soak them! Do only several at a time.
  6. Arrange the lady fingers in the bottom of your bowl.
  7. Spoon half the mascarpone cream filling over the lady fingers.
  8. Repeat process with another layer of lady fingers and mascarpone cream.
  9. Dust with cocoa.
  10. Refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight. It tastes better the next day.

If there are any leftovers, I often make up small individual servings, as shown here.

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(Styled by J)

Chocolate hazelnut crunch bar with feuilletine


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Oh dear something as addictive as macarons and needed to be available in the fridge at all times! I’m just glad these are super easy to make and can be whipped up within the hour. Didn’t even need to use the mixer.

What makes these chocolate bars so irresistible? Two things: the hazelnut taste and the biscuit crunch. Devine combination, if you ask me.

If you are unsure what ‘feuilletine’ is, here’s a photo of them. A pile of crunchy ‘leaves’. These are quite hard to source – I’ve found recipes for making them so would be giving that a try next. In its place you can use Gavottes crepes or by crumbling waffle ice cream cones. It will be similar in taste and texture.
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Regarding the hazelnut-chocolate combination, you can certainly change it to suit your latest cravings. I know I would be trying peanut butter, salted caramel, macadamia butter, almond cacao and also peppermint to name a few.

You can dress the bars up with whatever you like: a dusting of cocoa powder; hazelnut; hazelnut praline crunch; fresh-dried berries. Or left naked. Your options are endless which makes this an ideal ‘bring-a-dessert’ that *potentially* satisfies everyone.

Makes one square tray, cut bars sized to your liking. I got 39 (3 rows of 13 bars of  about 1.5 cm by 8cm)

For the crunchy Bottom layer:
250g milk chocolate (33% cacao), melted

100g roasted hazelnut paste (Nocciola from Equagold)

125g (about half cup) chocolate-hazelnut spread (instead of the hazelnut paste and chocolate-hazelnut spread, you can use the same amount of Forty Thieves’ Cacao Hazelnut butter instead.)

2 cups feuilletine (crunchy leaves)

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For the filling:
300g dark chocolate (70% cacao) broken into small pieces, (I used Equagold)
300ml cream
50g unsalted butter, cut into small cubes

  1.  For the bottom layer, line a square tray with 2 pieces of baking paper, with the paper hanging over the sides of the tray. (This will help you lift the slab off from the tray effortlessly.)
  2. Melt chocolate over a pot of simmering hot water. Once smooth, add the roasted hazelnut paste and  chocolate-hazelnut spread; stir until smooth. 
  3. Fold in the feuilletine until the chocolate is combined with the flakes (It should look like a mess!) Scoop the chocolate mixture to the prepared tray. Press the mixture down into a smooth, even layer. Let it chill in the fridge while you make the filling. 
  4. To make the ganache, place the broken chocolate pieces in a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream till it is just simmering and pour over the chocolate. 
  5. Shake the bowl a little and let this sit for about 2 minutes, this is so that the chocolate melts smoothly, avoiding any lumps in your final product. 
  6. Add the cubed butter and whisk until ganache is smooth. As you whisk, the cream will magically homogenize with the melted chocolate to form a shiny smooth, pourable ganache.
  7. Pour the ganache over the feuilletine and smooth with a spatula. Leave in the fridge to set, about 1 – 2 hours. 
  8. Decorate with whole hazelnuts, hazelnut praline crunch or anything you wish! Slice into bars before serving. 

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*if you prefer a sweeter bar, you can make your ganache with a combination of dark and milk chocolate. The total chocolate to cream ratio will need to be altered for the ganache to work, to about 1: 0.8. (for example, 100g  total chocolate to 80g cream.) This ratio will work if you keep the milk chocolate in a smaller proportion to the dark chocolate. I would suggest for 200g dark chocolate and 100g milk chocolate to 300ml cream.

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Styled by my little chef.