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Chapter 20 Plated desserts.



After reading this chapter, you should be able to

* discuss the factors that should be considered when creating a menu of plated desserts.

* describe the importance of representing seasons in a dessert menu.

* plan the production of a selection of plated desserts, using multiple components.

* prepare a selection of plated desserts that include multiple components, as described and presented in this chapter.


Plated desserts, typically served in restaurants and hotels, contain several elements that contribute to the flavor and presentation of the dessert. Plated desserts are different from a la carte desserts, those of which are composed of a single item, such as a slice of apple pie. The level of craft involved with plated desserts has risen substantially in the past 15 to 20 years. The elements of a plated dessert, such as sauce, tuile, fruit, and chocolate or sugar decoration add to the flavor as well as visual composition. A well-balanced plated dessert will contain several different textures as well as multiple temperatures. Dessert is likely to be the last experience of the customers at a restaurant and will possibly leave the final impression of the dining experience on their mind, thus the importance of dessert cannot be overstated.


To compose plated desserts as well as assemble them, the pastry chef must understand a range of base ingredients as well as processes for making everything from cake bases to meringue to mousse to ice cream. The most common categories for plated desserts fall into the following categories: frozen, warm and hot, custard- and cream-based, fruit-based, chocolate-based, and cheese-based.


Frozen desserts, which are covered in detail in Chapter 19, can be served or manipulated into many plated desserts. Combining frozen desserts with different textures allows for endless variations and flavor combinations. For example, ice creams or sorbets can be rolled in crepes or layered with puff pastry or short dough for mille feuille. Shapes like balls, quenelles, and even squares can be scooped, molded, or cut from most frozen desserts. Examples of common frozen desserts include:

* Coupe: Ice cream layered with a fruit sauce and whipped cream served in a bowl

* Bombe Glacee: Molded and cut ice cream bases and other bases, such as dacquoise assembled using specialty molds in much the same way as mousse cakes

* Vacherin: Airy and crunchy baked meringue with ice cream

* Profiteroles: Pate a choux puffs which have been split and filled with ice cream

* Baked Alaska: Layers of ice cream or ice cream and sorbet that have been sealed with thin layers of sponge cake, masked and decorated with Italian meringue, and baked in a high oven until the meringue is golden


Desserts that are served warm or hot allow for a great deal of personal interpretation. Because their flavors have no rules, this category is made up of basic techniques. Classic hot desserts include the classic souffle and table-side flambe like crepes Suzette and bananas Foster. Baked desserts include crumbles, cobblers, turnovers, and phyllo parcels, whereas fried desserts can include any kind of fritter.


Most custards served as desserts are variations of the basic creme Anglaise. They can be baked, cooked on the stovetop, poured into molds and set with gelatin, or whipped and served soft. Custard-based desserts can be served baked in specialized ramekins, molded, served in a tart shell, or served in a glass or bowl. Custard preparation and considerations are covered in Chapter 15.

Creme brulee is one of the most traditional and commonly found custards. It is a combination of cream, egg yolks, and sugar that is baked in a shallow dish until lightly set and then given a thin dusting of sugar that is cooked until the sugar is caramelized. Creme caramel is an inverted version of creme brulee that is made by placing caramel in the bottom of a baking dish before adding the custard. It is then baked in the oven.


Fruit generally finds its way onto a plated dessert as a secondary component or garnish, though it can also be a major part of the main component. However, when choosing fruit as a main component, many methods of preparation can be used. Ways to utilize fruit in a dessert include fresh, grilled, baked, dried, and poached.

* Fresh fruit: Fresh, ripe fruit can be cut, sliced, fanned, macerated, or molded in a gelee. It is commonly found layered with pastry bases to make up fresh napoleons and shortcakes. When cutting fruit, it is important to keep in mind that the shape and size of the final product will lend to the overall texture.

* Grilled fruit: Grilling fruit creates a smoky flavor and an original presentation. The fruit is most commonly sliced and skewered before grilling.

* Baked fruit: Fruit can be baked whole or used as a filling for pies, tarts, crumbles, and cobblers. It can also be baked in a custard or parchment parcel or with a batter, as is the case with upside-down cakes. Another example, tarte Tatin, is a caramelized fruit baked with puff pastry or pate brisee.

* Dried fruit: Dried fruit can add flavor and texture in many different ways. It can be made into stuffing, candied for compote, baked into a batter, and folded into a cream or mousse.

* Poached fruit: Poaching is a moist heat cooking method that uses transfer heat from a liquid to cook the food submerged in it. This method is best used on fruit that is a little firm. It can be poached whole or in pieces, depending on the final presentation of the fruit. This method also includes compotes.


Chocolate dessert is almost always the best seller on the menu and is also the most expensive to produce. It is used as a main dessert component in a number of ways, including:

* Mousse, which is commonly found in dessert cups, molded and formed into numerous shapes, or layered with cakes or biscuits

* Classic gateau and layered cakes

* Batter baked with a molten chocolate center Tarts filled with truffle-like filling and served warm and gooey or soft and dense

* Numerous chocolate-based custards, creams, and parfaits


Many dessert menus include a cheese plate or a dessert with some kind of cheese ingredient. For the latter, cream cheese, ricotta cheese, cottage cheese, curd cheese, fromage frais, mascarpone cheese, and goat cheese are all good choices. The most popular and well-known cheese dessert is cheesecake; however, others include filled crepes, phyllo dough parcels, puff pastry turnovers, souffles, and ricotta or goat cheese fritters.


Before plated desserts can be created, a dessert menu must be developed. The dessert menu should complement the main course menu in style, theme, and presentation to ensure the experience of the customer is guided along a smooth course. Many factors should be considered to create a balanced dessert menu, including venue, season, style of presentation, current trends, ease of production, and execution of service.

Only after these factors have been realized can the main component of the dessert and supporting flavors be chosen and the presentation of the plate begin.

When developing a menu, the pastry chef should establish a range of items whose textures and temperatures are diverse, to ensure there is a choice for everyone. The addition of low or nonfat desserts is well appreciated from health-conscious diners. Dairy-free or wheat-free specialty desserts may also be appreciated and can create a positive professional challenge for the pastry chef. Moderate portions are equally important: Dessert should complement the main course, not be the main course. No more than seven or eight dessert items should be available to make selection easier. A well-planned menu can include frozen desserts (ice cream or sorbet selections), warm or hot desserts, chocolate desserts, fruit desserts, custard desserts, cheese plates, or cheese-based sweet desserts. Fine dining restaurants or hotels also often include composed plates of petits fours (Chapter 18). The pastry chef should view plated desserts as an outlet for limitless creativity, with the goal of supplying a source of enjoyment and excitement to the guests.


The venue of the restaurant or hotel and the market it caters to has a direct effect on the types of desserts offered. Customers at fine dining restaurants have different expectations from customers at neighborhood diners. Guests at fine dining restaurants often expect more advanced and refined dessert service, and the skill involved with its preparation is notably more intricate and labor-intensive than plating simple desserts a la carte. To compose a dessert plate with several elements takes skill as well as time, both of which can only be carried out if the market has a desire for it and is willing to pay for it.

When taking into consideration the venue, volume and resources must be realized. A dessert menu for a restaurant that serves 100 tables a night will differ from dessert service for 1,000 at a hotel function. Both may require spectacular plated desserts; however, the approach should mirror the resources available to the pastry chef.


The season plays an important role in determining the ingredients and types of desserts to highlight on the menu. Each season has signature holidays, traditions, flavor characteristics, and fruits that can merit special preparations. Seasonal dessert preparation allows the pastry chef to have a selection of menu items that rotate out and help to keep staff and guests engaged.

Seasonal nonfruit items include chocolate, nuts, and alcohols. Also, warmer months merit cooler desserts and cooler flavors (mint, lemon); cooler months require warmer dishes using warmer components and heartier components.

Seasonal fruit (and, if possible, identity-preserved fruit) is one of the pastry chef's most important ingredients. Fruit enables the pastry chef to highlight the best of local flavors when they are at their peak. Farmer's markets are ideal venues in which to buy fruit. Fruit from these markets is typically picked when ripe and is usually organic.

What follows is a list of the seasons and the fruit and other specialties commonly available during those months.

* Winter: Even though winter is one of the busiest seasons for pastry chefs, it offers the smallest variety of fruits. The selection includes many varieties of apples and pears, along with pomegranates, citrus fruits, and imported tropical fruits like pineapples, lychees, mangoes, papayas, and passion fruit. During winter, dried fruits and preserved fruits are commonly used, with nuts, spices, wine, and liquor typically added to provide variety and depth of flavor.

* Spring: The true fruits of spring (where applicable), include local strawberries, rhubarb, and, later in the season, cherries. Also fresh herbs like mint begin to bloom as do flowers, which may be used for infusions or garnishes. The general characteristics of spring fruits are refreshing flavors that are more tart than sweet.

* Summer: Summer is by far the most exciting season for pastry chefs. Available produce includes berries like strawberries, blackberries, boysenberries, blueberries, and raspberries; stone fruits like peaches, plums, nectarines, and apricots; and melons like honeydew, cantaloupe, and watermelon. Along with their blossoms, fresh herbs like mint, lemon verbena, thyme, and lavender are also available during these months. They can be added to desserts by infusion or used fresh.

* Fall: Cooler weather brings slightly heavier desserts that utilize apples, pears, persimmons, quince, squash, figs, kumquats, and grapes. Spices, wines, and liquors are common ingredients at this time of year, as are dried fruits and nuts, marking a return to winter.


How each dessert will be served, who will prepare (plate) it, and who will serve it are additional considerations when writing a menu. The dessert menu can only be as good as the staff involved in the production and service of the dessert. If the restaurant lacks staff, the proper equipment, or time for the pastry chef's desired execution and plating, then the dessert menu should feature items that are easier to produce. For example, if a pastry chef wants to prepare chocolate or sugar decorations to garnish the plates, the kitchen cannot be too humid or too hot. Additionally, if the venue lacks the equipment, it could be difficult or impossible to create certain products. For example, to serve frozen desserts, there must be an ice cream machine as well as the proper amount of freezer space for storage of ice creams, sorbets, and granites.

As the menu is being written, the pastry chef should know how each dessert will be made, who will be responsible for making it (if they are not on site), how it will be "picked up" during service, and how these variables will affect the rest of the menu, staff, and consistency of the desserts.


After the market, style, and season are determined, the plate and its presentation can be created. The number of components per plated dessert ranges from two to five items, depending on the style. The main component is generally chosen first, and the rest of the plate is designed around it, including sauces and garnishes that add flavor, texture, shape, color, and style. Whichever elements are chosen, they should be complementary and balanced.

Flavor is largely considered more important than presentation. Achieving the best flavors in the plated dessert should be the ultimate goal of the pastry chef, and these flavors need to match the menu description of the dessert. When creating new plates, the components should be tasted alone and together to ensure overall quality and to determine the final balance of flavor. The sweeter dessert components can be enhanced by adding a little salt or an acidic ingredient. Tart or acidic elements can be enhanced by adding varying degrees of sweetness. Many flavors automatically complement each other and can be found regularly paired together; however, going beyond what we think goes well together to find new unexpected flavor combinations is exciting.

The texture of the components, individually and as a whole, is one of the most important considerations of a dessert plate. Mouthfeel can range from monotonous to surprising. Opposing qualities of texture complement each other in the mouth: creamy and crunchy, smooth and textured, moist and crisp, and firm and soft. A surprise element may be a crunchy component, such as crisp caramel bits here and there in a mousse. To add to the surprise, the caramel could be lightly salted. The ability of the pastry chef to combine texture and flavor is one of the most important achievements in the creation of desserts.

The shape of the plate, the material of the plate, the dessert components, and the garnishes all create an overall perception that adds to the quality of the dessert. Shape and size of the dessert components also create eye appeal. To achieve visual balance, round and circular items are often paired with linear or angular garnishes. Along with height and width, these different elements are used to create a pleasing effect.

In more intricate compositions, various temperatures are combined to entertain the palate. Warm or hot desserts are often served with a cold or frozen element, and cold desserts are complemented when served with warm ones. A scoop of ice cream or sorbet next to a warm tart will enhance the warmth of the main component. For desserts that are served hot, textures can be manipulated. For example, a sweet vanilla risotto with a (baked to order) ganache studded phyllo purse adds a surprise to guests as they puncture the purse and warm ganache flows out to add another dimension to the risotto.

The combination of colors provides one of the first impressions of the dessert plate. However, this does not mean that there should be one or more accent colors on the plate. Relying on the colors of the ingredients and components is the pastry chef's best way to keep the dessert in the realm of the natural while providing fresh colors. Introducing fruit, sauces, tuile, ice cream, chocolate, and sugar decorations all add pleasing colors.


The main component of a dessert is the star of the plate and is usually why the guest will order the dessert. The flavor of the main component should have a theme based on highlighting the predominant ingredient or ingredients. These theme-based creations, based on flavor, can be elaborated from all of the preparations the pastry chef knows. The final product is only limited by imagination (and ingredients and equipment). Once the main component is chosen, it is elaborated with more components (sauce, compote, ice cream, tuile, decor, and more) to complement the creation. Sometimes there may be no true main component, just a dessert base that is elaborated with several small main components.

Plated desserts can be created from existing lines of product and used as dessert bases. Dessert bases are considered items that can be paired with other preparations and turned into plated desserts. These items may be served or prepared a la carte or combined with other components to compose a plated dessert. Even though the dessert base may commonly be prepared to serve multiple people, finer dessert preparations can be assembled individually. The following are common dessert bases that may be served alone or assembled using components from here and there.

* Pies: single crust, double crust, baked, unbaked

* Tarts: assorted creams, custards, fruit, chocolate, nuts

* Cakes: roulades, gateaux, classic layered, pain de genes, upside-down

* Custards: pot de creme, creme brulee, bread pudding

* Pate a choux: profiteroles, Paris-Brest, eclair, St. Honore, fried for a fritter

* Puff pastry: mille feuille, turnovers, cookies (palmier)

* Frozen desserts: ice creams, sorbets, granite, frozen parfait

* Yeasted dough: baba, donut

* Assorted dough: phyllo (used for layering, rolling, making dessert containers and for crispy parcels and turnovers) and strudel dough


The components for plated desserts can range from simple to complicated. No matter what style is used, the goal is to add flavor, texture, spatial dimension, and color to highlight the main component. Common components for garnishes and decorations include various sauces, foams, tuile, fruit, flowers and herbs, and decorative chocolate and sugar work.


Sauces add texture, flavor, color, and design to desserts. The many varieties include cream-based (which may include chocolate and caramel), fruit-based, gelee, and syrup or oil. Textures can be smooth and creamy, heavy and rich, or light and delicate with colors that vary from vibrant to neutral. See Figure 20-1 for samples of each style of sauce.

Cream-Based Sauces Cream-based sauces can be thickened with eggs, caramel, starch, and/or chocolate. Many dessert sauces are based on creme Anglaise, the "master sauce" of pastry that can be infused with herbs, spices, coffee, nut pastes, tea, or alcohol to add flavor, and is thick enough to be variegated with other sauces to create decorative designs on the plate. Other sauces that use cream as a main ingredient include chocolate and caramel sauces.


* Chocolate sauce can have different variations in color and consistency. Dark, milk, and white chocolate or cocoa powder can all be used to flavor cream-based sauces, including creme Anglaise.

* Caramel sauce is made by caramelizing sugar and then deglazing with cream, butter, or water. Cream and butter produce an opaque sauce, while water produces a transparent sauce. The more liquid added, the thinner the sauce will be.

Fruit Sauces and Fruit Coulis Fruit sauces and coulis are used to incorporate flavor and color into a plated dessert. The method of preparation in conjunction with the type of fruit used will largely determine the quality of the sauce. Fruit sauces are sauces made from fruit that still contains some of the pulp from the fruit. Coulis are sauces that are clearer and contain no pulp. Whenever fresh fruit is being used for sauce or coulis, it must be washed and hulled as needed.

These sauces can be approached using several forms of fruit: fresh fruit, frozen fruit, or commercially available frozen fruit puree. Furthermore, the fruit or puree may be cooked to thicken or reduce it, it may be thickened with neutral glaze (add 10 percent neutral glaze to fruit puree by weight), or it may be used solely in its puree form. The level of sweetness in fruit sauce needs to be balanced with the flavors of the fruit, and caution must be used to ensure the fruit flavor, and not the sugar, is the focal point of the flavor. Use caution when cooking fruit puree because overcooking may damage the flavors and colors. The technique of cooking fruit for a sauce should be reserved for fruit that should be cooked to create a sauce (such as frozen fruit) or to thicken fruit purees with starch or pectin to achieve a thicker consistency.

Fruits most commonly used for sauces and coulis include the following:

* Berries: Used either fresh, frozen, or pureed, berries can add exciting flavor and color to desserts. The sweetness must be controlled, and the flavor of the berry should be well balanced with the sweetening power. Puree may be combined with neutral glaze or cooked with sugar and thickened with starch or pectin to control the thickness of the sauce.

* Tree fruits: Characteristic of summer and fall, the tree fruits include stone fruits. Tree fruits benefit from cooking with sugar and spices. The puree can be very thick due to higher pulp levels. When stone fruits are cooked with the skins, the puree can develop a deep, rich color.

* Tropical fruits: Either fresh or pureed, tropical fruits make a flavorful, colorful sauce. If precooking is required, roasting before pureeing creates a very appealing quality to most tropical fruits, especially pineapple.

Gelee In its simplest form, a gelee is a sauce made from liquid, sugar, and gelatin. When made with the proper proportions, gelee-based sauces have a very pleasant texture, mouthfeel, and appearance. Any sweetened puree, juice, wine, or alcohol can be used, and the sauce should "set" overnight before using. When making a gelee using certain fresh fruit puree, the pastry chef should know whether or not it contains proteolytic enzymes. These enzymes break down gelatin molecules into shorter chains, thus preventing gels from forming. Examples of fruits with proteolytic enzymes are pineapples (bromelain), mangoes, papayas (papain), figs (ficin), and kiwi (asctinidin). To kill the proteolytic enzymes, the puree must be heated to denature the proteins. The texture of gelee should be like a thicker fruit coulis instead of the gelee that is used for glazing a Bavarian cake.

Syrups and Oils Syrups and oils add flavor and color to a plate through the process of infusion. Thickened sugar syrup creates a canvas for vanilla beans, citrus zests, spices, and blanched blended herbs, which are used to subtly enhance the flavor of a dessert. The inclusion of "specks" of specific flavors that are used and the natural shine of the syrup gives it a pleasant appearance. Sugar syrup is a little thinner than other sauces, but should puddle naturally.

Oils are often used on the savory side of the kitchen, but if used properly, they can also enhance the appearance and flavor of a plated dessert. Like sugar syrups, oils may be infused with herbs, fruit zest, or spices. A range of oils (hazelnut oil, walnut oil, almond oil, and olive oil are just a few) already have an inherent flavor that may be beneficial to a plated dessert.

Sauce as a Decorative Element When using sauce for a decorative element, one of the most important rules is to make sure that the sauces to be used have similar consistencies. This makes sauces easier to arrange and combine into the many patterns and styles that lend to the overall look of the plate. The ways to use sauce on a plate include drizzling, pooling, decorative blending, outlining, and using bottle designs.

* Drizzling uses a spoon to apply the sauce to a plate. It is common to overlap a couple of different sauces.

* Pooling or flooding refers to pooling sauce or allowing it to flood the plate before placing the dessert on top.

* Decorative blending is done by combining two or more sauces in various amounts and styles, and using the tip of a knife or a toothpick to create beautiful visual effects.

* Outlines are made using a paper cone filled with chocolate and creating a design that is later filled with a sauce. These designs can range from simple to complex.

* Squeeze bottles allow for more control than a spoon and are best used when a controlled line or design on a plate is desired. They are best used for dots and straight lines but can produce any number of creative effects on the plate.


Foams are commonly used in pastry work, especially with egg products and whipping cream. There is a trend to include extremely light and delicate foam as part of plated desserts. These foams are usually prepared from dairy; however, they may be flavored with fruit puree, nut paste, or alcohol. By definition, foam is a dispersion of gas throughout a continuous solid phase (which may be liquid). The gas (air) is produced when agitation of the continuous phase solution occurs and is stretched into thin sheets. The gas becomes interspersed between them.

Common examples of foam used outside of pastry include milk foams used for coffee drinks. Foams for plated desserts require a similar process, though the agitation is not through steam injection. The prepared liquid should remain refrigerated at all times to ensure easy foaming properties. To foam, a small hand blender is used, which should be done to order. The foam will rise to the surface of the liquid and can be skimmed off to garnish the plate. See the Strawberry Foam formula in the Strawberries and Cream plated dessert later in this chapter.


Tuile, a decorative cookie made from a batter that can have a varied formulation, may include a thin batter based on egg whites, flour, and sugar, with corn syrup and nut or seed variations. The common theme to tuile batter is the creation of malleable, crisp, thin cookies. Tuile is easily colored, and piping can be applied with a paper cone to create an intricate design. Tuile batter can be prepared and stored in bulk in the refrigerator for several days. It is then easily spread into a template or portioned free form on parchment or a silpat and baked until golden, when it is formed into decorative shapes. Tuile, which absorb moisture easily, should be prepared in small batches. Their quality also needs to be checked regularly. Tuile can be stored in small containers to protect them from humidity. Larger production may merit storing tuile on a covered rack with humectants such as limestone or silica.


Fruit can be used in many ways to add freshness and flavor to a dessert plate and to heighten the presentation. Because fruit, in one form or another, is available year round, it is easy to incorporate into desserts all year. A brief description of the main types of fruit used in plated desserts follows:

* Fresh fruit: Common types of fresh fruit include berries and tropical fruits. They can be "marinated" to create a softer, more tender fruit.

* Dried fruit: Commonly used in the fall or winter, dried fruits may be used to make compotes. Additionally, they may be rehydrated in water, tea, or alcohol to soften the texture and create a surprise flavor.

* Cooked fruit: The cooking process, which may include poaching, roasting, or grilling, can bring out unique flavors and textures from fresh and some dried fruit.

* Candied fruit and zest: Boiled in salted water and then a sugar syrup, candied fruit and zest can be used to highlight flavors on the plate and make attractive garnishes.

* Frozen fruit: Frozen fruit can be broken into small bits in a food processor, spread thin over a silpat, and dried in a low oven to make a fruit powder. The fruit powder can then be ground in a spice grinder for powdered fruit flavor to garnish plates with (or add to formulas such as meringue).

Flowers and Herbs

Flowers, especially the many edible varieties available today, add a simple, elegant element to desserts. The flavor of certain herbs, such as thyme or basil, may be well suited to complement the rest of the dessert. Both flowers and herbs may be used fresh, dried, or as an infusion. Flowers and herbs can be used whole, or the leaves may be cut into a chiffonade and sprinkled around the plate. It is extremely important to know that the herbs or flowers are in fact safe and to obtain them from a reputable source. See Figure 20-2 for a reference of edible fresh flowers and herbs and their uses.
Figure 20-2 Edible and Safe Fresh Flowers and Herbs

Species          Taste

Anise hyssop     Licorice, sweet
Basil            Spicy and sweet; flower mild
Bergamot         Tea-like, fragrant, aromatic
Chervil          Citrus, tarragon, parsley-like
Coriander        Spicy, floral, fragrant
Dandelion        Bitter
Dill             Spicy, fragrant, earthy
Elderberry       Mild floral
Fennel           Licorice, sweet; flower mild
Lavender         Perfumy, floral
Lemon balm       Sweet lemony
Lilac            Perfumy, floral, bitter
Marjoram         Spicy, sweet
Oregano          Spicy, pungent
Mint             Spicy, sweet; varies by varietal
Nasturtium       Piquant, spicy
Orange blossom   Perfumed, citrusy
Plum blossom     Sweet, floral
Rose             Perfumed, sweet--bitter
Rosemary         Spicy, floral, delicate
Sage             Slightly musky, flowery
Pineapple sage   Slight musk, pineapple hint
Summer savory    Sweet, mild, peppery
Winter savory    Sweet, mild, spicy
Geranium         Slightly sour, bitter
Thyme            Sweet, floral, delicate
Violet           Sweet, mild, leafy green
Pansy            Sweet, mild, earthy
Kaffir lime      Aromatic
Lemon grass      Citrus, pungent

Species          Suggested Use

Anise hyssop     Herb best used fresh or infused
Basil            Leaves fresh, infused; flower mild, decor
Bergamot         Flower more aromatic than leaves; infusion
Chervil          Herb infusions, flower garnish
Coriander        Herb fresh, infused, decor; flower decor
Dandelion        Cooked or infused
Dill             Fresh, cooked, infused; flower garnish
Elderberry       Garnish, accent
Fennel           Candied, cooked, infused, garnish
Lavender         Infusion, fresh, garnish
Lemon balm       Herb, infusion
Lilac            Garnish, candies well
Marjoram         Herb, infusion, garnish
Oregano          Herb, infusion, fresh, chopped
Mint             Herb, fresh; flowers garnish
Nasturtium       Flower, garnish
Orange blossom   Candies well, garnish
Plum blossom     Candies well, garnish
Rose             Garnish, candies well
Rosemary         Infusion, flower--don't cook as garnish only
Sage             Infusion, candies well, flower garnish
Pineapple sage   Infusion, flowers garnish
Summer savory    Herb infusions, flower garnish
Winter savory    Herb infusions, flower garnish
Geranium         Garnish
Thyme            Herb infusion, flower garnish
Violet           Garnish, candies well
Pansy            Garnish, candies well
Kaffir lime      Infusion
Lemon grass      Infusion

Chocolate and Sugar Decorations

Chocolate and sugar decorations allow the pastry chef to show talent at two of the most difficult mediums to master within the pastry arts. Not only is skill required, but specific workroom conditions are essential as well. Restaurant pastry chefs often share small work areas with other kitchen staff and are often in close proximity to high levels of heat (ovens) and humidity (stocks, etc.), which both have detrimental effects on chocolate and sugar. Chocolate decorations are presented in Chapter 22, and sugar decorations are presented in Chapter 21.


Mise en place is a French term used to describe the preparation of all necessary ingredients and equipment for cooking. With plated desserts, mise en place is a critical part of preparing for service. It requires a well-planned menu, constant readiness of prepared ingredients, and the ability to plate desserts as needed. The scope of mise en place will determine production and storage requirements for each of the plated dessert elements. For example, fresh tuile may need to be baked every day; however, the batter is good for several days under refrigeration. Other desserts can be made in bulk, stored in the freezer, and pulled as needed before service. Balancing the production of dessert components so that not everything has to be prepared every day is a requirement for the pastry chef. Even so, the quality of all components must be closely monitored for intended flavor, texture, color, and more.

The preparation and service of desserts, as previously described in this chapter, is a critical planning point where timing, attention to detail, and mise en place are essential. The preparation of foods to order, also know as a la minute, is the ideal approach to dessert service. The planning, preparation, and execution of dessert are all carried out for the customer to have the ultimate flavor and presentation. Advanced preparation of foods sacrifices the freshness and quality of any food, and the pastry chef should strive to have control over how dessert is served. This last-minute preparation, drawing on the entire mise en place, enables the textures to be appropriate, the flavors true, the colors preserved, and the temperatures as desired.


This almond cake, rich with toasted almonds, is served with ripe
strawberries and a cloud of strawberry foam. A stroke of Marsala
reduction enhances the character of the fruit with a tart kick, while
clean ice milk unites all the flavors. A hint of pistachio on the plate
accentuates the bright color palette of this springtime dessert.


Toasted almond cake
Marsala reduction
Fresh strawberries
Ice milk
Strawberry foam
Blanched pistachio


The following formulas will yield 15 servings of Strawberries and Cream
plated dessert.

Toasted Almond Cake Formula

Ingredients         Baker's %   Ki1ogram   US decimal    Lb & Oz

Almonds, sliced       250.00     0.125        0.276          4 3/8
Almond paste          625.00     0.313        0.691         11
Granulated sugar       75.00     0.038        0.083          1 3/8
Salt                   10.00     0.005        0.011            1/8
Eggs                  575.00     0.288        0.635         10 1/8
Pastry flour           50.00     0.025        0.055            7/8
Potato starch          50.00     0.025        0.055            7/8
Butter, melted        175.00     0.088        0.193          3 1/8
Total                1810.00     0.907        2.000     2    0

Process, Toasted Almond Cake

1. Butter a 4 1/2 inch (11 cm) X 9 inch (23 cm) metal loaf pan. Set

2. Spread the sliced almonds into an even layer on a sheet pan and
toast in an oven until lightly golden, stirring occasionally. Remove
and cool.

3. Meanwhile, sift the pastry flour and potato starch together.

4. In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, mix the almond paste,
sugar, salt, and about one-fourth of the eggs on low speed until an
even consistency.

5. Increase the speed to medium, and add the rest of the eggs
gradually, scraping down the bowl occasionally, allowing each addition
to be incorporated fully into the almond paste base.

6. On low speed, incorporate the sifted flours, butter, and toasted
almonds; mix until just combined.

7. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and level with a spatula.

8. Bake at 325[degrees]F (163[degrees]C) until evenly browned and a
cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, approximately 30
minutes. Unmold immediately, and cool on a rack.

Marsala Reduction Ingredients

7 oz (200 g) Marsala wine

Process, Marsala Reduction

Reduce the wine to a syrupy consistency.

Ice Milk Formula

Ingredients            Baker's %   Ki1ogram   US decimal    Lb & Oz

Whole milk               71.11      0.503       1.110      1   1 3/4
Heavy cream              28.89      0.204       0.451          7 1/4
Dry nonfat milk           6.67      0.047       0.104          1 5/8
Sugar                    12.44      0.088       0.194          3 1/8
Dextrose                  3.11      0.022       0.049            3/4
Trimoline                 5.33      0.038       0.083          1 3/8
Ice cream stabilizer      0.62      0.004       0.010            1/8
Total                   128.17      0.907       2.000      2   0

Process, Ice Milk

1. Mix the stabilizer with approximately one-fourth of the sugar and
set aside.

2. Heat the milk, cream, dry milk, dextrose, Trimoline, and remaining
sugar in a heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring periodically to
ensure that the bottom does not scorch.

3. When the mixture reaches 110[degrees]F (44[degrees]C), whisk in the
reserved sugarstabilizer mixture. Bring the mixture to 185[degrees]F
(85[degrees]C), stirring constantly with a spatula.

4. Pour into a deep container, and mix with an immersion blender for 1

5. Cool in an ice bath, and then cover to the surface. Refrigerate,
covered, for at least 12 hours (up to 24 hours).

6. Process in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer's
instructions. Reserve at 0[degrees]F (-18[degrees]C) for best
conservation; for service hold at 5[degrees]F (-15[degrees]C) to 10

Strawberry Foam Formula

Ingredients        Baker's %   Ki1ogram   US decimal    Lb & Oz

Water                100.00      0.204       0.450         7 1/4
Sugar                 20.00      0.041       0.090         1 1/2
Lecithin powder        2.00      0.004       0.009           1/8
Strawberry puree     100.00      0.204       0.450         7 1/4
Total                222.00      0.454       1.000     1   0

Process, Strawberry Foam

1. Boil the water and sugar, and whisk in the lecithin.

2. Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature. Add the puree.
Reserve refrigerated.


1. Brush the Marsala reduction on the center of a plate.

2. Place three triangles of almond cake next to the brush stroke.

3. Slice the fresh strawberries into?/,e inch (2 mm) thickness using a
meat slicer.

4. Make a loose pile of the sliced strawberries behind the almond cake.

5. Line the chopped pistachios along with the brush stroke.

6. Cube the strawberries into 1/4 inch (6 mm) cubes; place on the right
side of the plate.

7. Mix the strawberry emulsion with an immersion blender, holding the
container at an angle; blend until frothy. Spoon the foam in front of
the almond cake, forming a nice dome. Make a quenelle of the ice milk
and place on the cubed strawberries.



A sophisticated take on an American favorite, this dessert features
two warm donuts dusted in sugar with a touch of spice, creating a
stimulating contrast of soft and warm, sweet and spicy. The donuts
nestle alongside a frozen parfait loaded with vanilla beans and a
tiny shot of hot chocolate. The miniature drink contains a trio of
luscious layers: rich ganache on the bottom, hot chocolate in the
middle, and a feather-light milk foam topping. The three layers can
be swirled together, adding an interactive element to this modern
interpretation of comfort food at its most tempting.


Spicy raised donuts
Chocolate donuts
Spiced sugar
Layered hot chocolate
Vanilla bean parfait
Dark chocolate plaques


The following formulas will yield 15 servings of Donuts plated dessert.

Sponge for Spicy Raised Donuts Formula

Ingredients       Baker's %   Ki1ogram   US decimal   Lb & Oz

Bread flour        100.00      0.124       0.274        4 3/8
Water               68.75      0.086       0.189        3
Yeast (instant)      3.75      0.005       0.010          1/8
Total              172.50      0.215       0.473        7 5/8

Process, Sponge for Spicy Raised Donuts

1. Mix all the ingredients until well incorporated with a DDT of 70
[degrees]F (21[degrees]C).

2. Allow to ferment 1 1/2 hours at room temperature [65[degrees]F (18
[degrees]C) to 70[degrees]F (21[degrees]C)],
or until triple in size.

Final Dough for Spicy Raised Donuts Formula

Ingredients    Baker's %   Kilogram   US decimal    Lb & Oz

Bread flour      53.33      0.124       0.274           4 3/8
Pastry flour     46.67      0.109       0.240           3 7/8
Eggs             66.70      0.156       0.343           5 1/2
Salt              2.70      0.006       0.014             1/4
Sponge           92.00      0.215       0.473           7 5/8
Sugar            26.70      0.062       0.137           2 1/4
Butter           33.30      0.078       0.171           2 3/4
Total           321.40      0.750       1.653      1   10 1/2

Process, Final Dough for Spicy Raised Donuts

Mix                  Intensive mix

DDT                  73[degrees]F (23[degrees]C) to 76[degrees]F (25

First fermentation   20 minutes at 65[degrees]F (18[degrees]C) to 70
                     [degrees]F (21[degrees]C), then 1 hour at 40
                     [degrees]F (4[degrees]C)

Shaping              Roll to 1/4 inch (6 mm) thickness. Cut out 2 inch
                     (5 cm) rounds, 3/4 inch (2 cm) holes.

Final proof          Proof on oiled plastic wrap for 15 minutes at 78
                     [degrees]F (26[degrees]C) at 65% rh. Place in the

1. Mix the flours, eggs, salt, and sponge on first speed for 5 minutes.

2. Turn the mixer up to second speed, and begin to develop the gluten.

3. Gradually add the sugar after the dough pulls from the side of the

4. When the gluten is well developed, add the softened butter all at

5. Mix to incorporate.

6. Line the dough on a dusted sheet pan; cover with plastic wrap.

7. Proof for 20 minutes at room temperature [65[degrees]F (18[degrees]
C) to 70[degrees]F (21[degrees]C)], then for 1 hour at 40[degrees]F
(4[degrees]C) .

8. Roll out the dough to 3/8 inch (1 cm), cut out to 2 1/2 inch (6 cm)
diameter donuts.

9. Place on an oiled, plastic-lined sheet pan, and cover with a large
plastic bag inflated with air to prevent skin from forming. Proof for
15 minutes, and then place in the refrigerator until needed.

10. For service, heat peanut oil to 365[degrees]F (185[degrees]C).

11. Fry the cold donuts in the oil for 1 minute on each side.

12. See the assembly instructions for plating direction.

Sponge for Chocolate Donuts Formula

Ingredients       Baker's %   Kilogram   US decimal   Lb & Oz

Bread flour        100.00      0.118       0.261        4 1/8
Water               68.75      0.081       0.179        2 7/8
Yeast (instant)      3.75      0.004       0.010          1/8
Total              172.50      0.204       0.450        7 1/4

Process, Sponge for Chocolate Donuts

1. Mix all the ingredients until well incorporated with a DDT of 70
[degrees]F (21[degrees]C).

2. Allow to ferment 1 1/2 hours at room temperature [65[degrees]F (18
[degrees]C) to 70[degrees]F (21[degrees]C)], or until triple in size.

Final Dough for Chocolate Donuts Formula

Ingredients           Baker's %   Ki1ogram   US decimal    Lb & Oz

Sugar                    26.70      0.059       0.131          2 1/8
Atomized couverture      16.00      0.036       0.078          1 1/4
Bread flour              90.00      0.200       0.441          7
Pastry flour             10.00      0.022       0.049            3/4
Eggs                     66.70      0.148       0.326          5 1/4
Salt                      2.70      0.006       0.013            1/4
Yeast (instant)           0.30      0.001       0.001          0
Sponge                   92.00      0.204       0.450          7 1/4
Butter                   33.30      0.074       0.163          2 5/8
Total                   337.70      0.750       1.653     1   10 1/2

Process, Final Dough for Chocolate Donuts

Mix                  Intensive mix

DDT                  73[degrees]F (23[degrees]C) to 76[degrees]F

First fermentation   20 minutes at 65[degrees]F (18[degrees]C) to 70
                     [degrees]F (21[degrees]C), then 1 hour at 40
                     [degrees]F (4[degrees]C)

Shaping              Roll to 1/4 inch (6 mm) thickness. Cut out 2 inch
                     (5 cm) rounds, 3/4 inch (2 cm) holes.

Final proof          Proof on oiled plastic wrap for 15 minutes at 78
                     [degrees]F (26[degrees]C) at 65% rh. Place in the

1. Combine the sugar and atomized couverture.

2. Mix the flours, eggs, salt, yeast, and sponge on first speed for 5

3. Turn the mixer up to second speed, and begin to develop the gluten.

4. Alternately add the sugar and the atomized couverture after the
dough is pulled from the side of the bowl.

5. Once the gluten is well developed, add the softened butter all at

6. Mix to incorporate.

7. Line the dough on a dusted sheet pan, and cover with plastic wrap.

8. Proof for 20 minutes at room temperature [65[degrees]F (18[degrees]
C) to 70[degrees]F (21[degrees]C)], and then for 1 hour at 40[degrees]F

9. Roll out the dough to 3/8 inch (1 cm), cut out to 2 1/2 inch (6 cm)
diameter donuts.

10. Place on an oiled, plastic-lined sheet pan, and cover with a large
plastic bag inflated with air to prevent skin from forming. Proof for
15 minutes, and then place in the refrigerator until needed.

11. For service, heat peanut oil to 365[degrees]F (185[degrees]C).

12. Fry the cold donuts in the oil for 1 minute on each side.

13. See the assembly instructions for plating direction.

Spiced Sugar Formula

Ingredients            Baker's %   Ki1ogram   US decimal    Lb & Oz

Coriander seeds           1.00      0.009       0.019             1/4
Szechwan peppercorns      2.00      0.017       0.038             5/8
Star anise                1.50      0.013       0.029             1/2
Sugar                   100.00      0.872       1.923      1   14 3/4
Cayenne                   1.00      0.009       0.019             1/4
Total                   104.00      0.907       2.000      2    0

Process, Spiced Sugar

1. Toast the coriander, Szechwan peppercorns, and star anise on a sheet
pan until very fragrant, about 15 minutes. Cool thoroughly.

2. Process as finely as possible in a spice or coffee grinder; sift
through a fine tamis.

3. Combine the spices with the sugar and cayenne, mixing all together
thoroughly. Reserve in a covered container at room temperature.

Layer 1 for Layered Hot Chocolate Formula

Ingredients     Baker's %   Ki1ogram   US decimal   Lb & Oz

Cream            150.00      0.218       0.480        7 5/8
58% chocolate     75.00      0.109       0.240        3 7/8
Unsweetened       25.00      0.036       0.080        1 1/4
Total            250.00      0.363       0.800       12 3/4

Process, Layer 1 for Layered Hot Chocolate

1. Bring the cream to a boil.

2. Pour over the chocolates, and let sit for 1 minute.

3. Stir the mixture with a whisk until forming a smooth emulsion.

4. Cover with plastic to the surface. Let cool. Keep at room
temperature for service.

Layer 2 for Layered Hot Chocolate Formula

Ingredients   Baker's %   Kilogram   US decimal    Lb & Oz

Milk           100.00      0.544       1.200      1   3 1/4
Layer 1         25.00      0.136       0.300          4 1/4
Total          125.00      0.680       1.500      1   8

Process, Layer 2 for Layered Hot Chocolate

1. Bring the milk to a boil.

2. Add layer 1, and whisk to dissolve. Reserve.

3. See the assembly instructions for plating direction.

Vanilla Bean Parfait Formula

Ingredients    Baker's %   Kilogram   US decimal    Lb & Oz

Milk            100.00      0.239       0.526          8 3/8
Vanilla bean      Each      1           1              1
Egg yolks        40.00      0.095       0.211          3 3/8
Sugar            40.00      0.095       0.211          3 3/8
Cream           200.00      0.477       1.053      1     7/8
Total           380.00      0.907       2.000      2       0

Process, Vanilla Bean Parfait

1. Bring the milk and scraped vanilla beans to a boil, remove from the
heat, cover with plastic film, and let infuse at room temperature for
10 minutes. Strain through chinois.

2. Combine the egg yolks and the sugar. Gradually mix in the warm milk
while mixing.

3. Place the mixture back into the pot and cook until the mixture is
thickened. Stir continuously with a heat-resistant rubber spatula to
prevent curdling. Strain through chinois and cool in the refrigerator.

4. Whip the cream to soft-medium peaks. Fold it into the cooled
mixture, and pour it into a 4 1/2 inch (11 cm) X 9 inch (23 cm)
cake pan lined with plastic wrap.

5. Freeze at least 6 hours until set. After it is set, remove from the
pan by lifting the plastic. Cut quickly with a hot knife into 1 1/4
inch (3 cm) cubes, and return to the freezer in a tightly covered

Process, Dark Chocolate Plaques

1. Temper the dark couverture chocolate.

2. Spread the chocolate 1/32 inch (1 mm) thick on a sheet of acetate.

3. When the chocolate begins to set, use two oval cutters to make oval

4. After the rings are cut, place a sheet of parchment paper over the
chocolate decor, and weight down the chocolate decor to prevent


1. Deep fry two cold donuts (one plain, one chocolate) in 365[degrees]F
(185[degrees]C) peanut oil, for about 1 minute on each side. Drain

2. Cut a slit on one donut, and link the two donuts together.

3. Dust in the spiced sugar, and then place on the center of a plate.

4. Rewarm layer 2 for the hot chocolate.

5. Carefully pour layer 1 into a glass to about one-fifth the way up
from the bottom.

6. Gently pour warmed layer 2 on top, leaving about a 1/4 inch (6 mm)
gap from the top of the glass.

7. Steam some milk to create foam, as for cappuccino. Spoon the foam in
the glass, forming a nice dome on top.

8. Place the glass on the right side of the donuts. Place an oval
chocolate plaque on the left of the donuts. Place a cubed parfait on
top of the chocolate, and cover with another oval chocolate plaque.



Chamomile and pear create a delightful harmony of flavors in this
cool-weather dessert. The pears are roasted with chamomile until
tender and served warm atop a buttery hazelnut financier. A pear
chip and caramel decor add a light crunch and refined appearance,
while lemony chamomile brings cohesiveness to the whole dessert.
Pear sorbet at the finish serves as a refreshing counterpoint to the
warmth and richness of the other elements.


Pear chip
Sugar garnish
Chamomile sugar
Roasted pear with chamomile


The following formulas will yield 10 servings of Roasted Pear With
Chamomile plated dessert.

Chamomile Jus Formula

Ingredients          Baker's %   Kilogram   US decimal    Lb & Oz

Water                 100.00      0.166       0.366         5 7/8
Chamomile flowers,      3.00      0.005       0.011           1/8
Sugar                  62.50      0.104       0.229         3 5/8
Lemon juice            15.00      0.025       0.055           7/8
Total                 180.50      0.299       0.660        10 1/2

Process, Chamomile Jus

1. Bring the water to a boil, and pour over the chamomile in a heatsafe
container. Cover and allow to steep for 5 minutes. Strain though a
coffee filter, and discard the solids.

2. Place the infused liquid into a small saucepan; keep covered.

3. In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, caramelize the sugar over
medium heat to a light brown, stirring constantly with a long-handled
heat-resistant spatula.

4. Meanwhile, bring the infusion back to a boil.

5. Remove the caramelized sugar from the heat, and very carefully add a
small amount of the hot chamomile infusion, stirring constantly. Place
back over low heat and gradually add the rest of the liquid, stirring.

6. Remove from the heat, and stir in the lemon juice. Keep covered, and
store at room temperature.

Pear Sorbet Formula

Ingredients          Baker's %   Kilogram   US decimal    Lb & Oz

Sorbet stabilizer       0.40      0.003       0.006            1/8
Sugar                  11.00      0.075       0.165          2 5/8
Dextrose                2.50      0.017       0.037            5/8
Powdered glucose        5.50      0.037       0.082          1 3/8
Water                  14.00      0.095       0.210          3 3/8
Pear puree            100.00      0.680       1.499      1   8
Total                 133.40      0.907       2.000      2   0

Process, Pear Sorbet

1. Mix the stabilizer with approximately one-fourth of the sugar and
set aside. Mix the rest of the sugar with the dextrose and powdered

2. Warm the water in a saucepan to 77[degrees]F (25[degrees]C).

3. At 86[degrees]F (30[degrees]C), add the sugar, dextrose, and
atomized glucose mixture. Stir well.

4. At 113[degrees]F (45[degrees]C), add the sugar and stabilizer
mixture. Stir well.

5. Bring the mixture to a boil.

6. Remove the pan from the stove, cover with plastic wrap, and cool as
soon as possible on an ice bath.

7. Let the mixture mature at least 4 hours.

8. Combine the mixture and the puree thawed at 46[degrees]F (8

9. Process in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer's
instructions. Reserve at 0[degrees]F (-18[degrees]C) for best
conservation; for service hold at 5[degrees]F (-15[degrees]C) to 10
[degrees]F (-12[degrees]C).

Hazelnut Financier Formula

Ingredients          Baker's %   Kilogram   US decimal    Lb & Oz

Hazelnut flour        125.00      0.093       0.205          3 1/4
Butter                234.38      0.174       0.384          6 1/8
Sugar                 203.13      0.151       0.333          5 3/8
Egg whites            250.00      0.186       0.410          6 1/2
Pastry flour          100.00      0.074       0.164          2 5/8
Baking powder           1.56      0.001       0.003            1/4 tsp
Baking soda             1.56      0.001       0.003            1/4 tsp
Total                 915.63      0.680       1.500      1   8


Use Demarle Fleximold, Savarin Shape, Ref. 2476.

Process, Hazelnut Financier

1. Toast the hazelnut flour in an oven until golden brown. Cool

2. Brown the butter in a sauce pot. Cool completely.

3. Mix half of the sugar and egg whites; whisk to a very soft peak.

4. Fold the sifted dry ingredients, the other half of the sugar, and
the hazelnut flour into the egg whites.

5. Incorporate the browned butter.

6. Pipe into the mold; bake at 350[degrees]F (176[degrees]C) in a
convection oven for 15 to 20 minutes.

Pear Chips Ingredients

Pear, sliced to 1/16 inch (2 mm) thick

Simple syrup, 30[degrees] baume

Process, Pear Chips

1. Dip the sliced pears in the syrup.

2. Place between two silpats, bake in a 225[degrees]F (107[degrees]C)
oven until the pears are crisp.

Process, Sugar Garnish

1. Cook the granulated sugar to a caramelized stage.

2. Using a fork, spin sugar over a silpat to create a fine mesh of

3. Place the silpat in the oven at 250[degrees]F (122[degrees]C), and
warm until the surface of the sugar is takky.

4. While the sugar is still soft, cut out with a 4 inch (105 mm) round

5. Place the rounds on a silpat, and place it in the oven to soften

6. Form the rounds into a cone shape, and let cool to set.

Chamomile Sugar Formula

Ingredients          Baker's %   Kilogram   US decimal    Lb & Oz

Sugar                 100.00      0.072       0.159         2 1/2
Chamomile flowers,     11.00      0.008       0.017           1/4
Total                 111.00      0.080       0.176         2 7/8

Process, Chamomile Sugar

1. Ina food processor, blend the sugar and chamomile together
thoroughly. Pass through a fine-mesh sieve, discarding any chamomile
that will not pass through.

2. Reserve the sugar in a tightly sealed container at room temperature
in a cool, dry place.

Roasted Pear With Chamomile Ingredients

5 firm pears, peeled, halved, cored

3 oz (80 g) chamomile sugar

1 1/4 oz (35 g) butter

Process, Roasted Pear With Chamomile

1. Toss the halved pears with the chamomile sugar.

2. Heat the butter in a saute pan; sear the cut-side of the pears until
golden brown.

3. Transfer the pears onto a parchment-lined sheet pan, and continue
baking at 350[degrees]F (177[degrees]C) for 20 to 25 minutes or until
the pears are softened.

Additional Components

Fresh chamomile blossoms (if available)


1. Place a financier off-center on a plate.

2. Place half a roasted pear on top.

3. Carefully place a sugar garnish on the pear to support a pear chip
at an angle.

4. Draw one streak of chamomile jus around the financier toward the
front of the plate.

5. Slice and fan out a piece of pear; place a quenelle of pear sorbet
on top.

6. Place one or two fresh chamomile blossoms on the sorbet.



Grapefruit-infused dark chocolate ganache lines a buttery and
tender sable breton with cocoa nibs. The tart is paired with juicy,
refreshing grapefruit segments marinated in a slightly bitter Campari
caramel sauce. A touch of grapefruit curd adds to the creaminess
of the ganache and the crisp flavor of the tender and crunchy
cocoa nib sable breton. Grapefruit tuiles contribute height and a
lovely pink shimmer to this unusual and arresting dessert.


Grapefruit-infused ganache
Cocoa nib sable breton
Grapefruit curd
Fresh grapefruit
Campari caramel
Grapefruit tuiles
Dark chocolate spray


The following formulas will yield 10 servings of Chocolate Grapefruit
Tart plated dessert.

Grapefruit-Infused Ganache Formula
Ingredients             Baker's %   Kilogram   decimal   Lb & 0z

64% couverture             100.00      0.319     0.703    11 1/4
Cream                      100.00      0.319     0.703    11 1/4
Glucose                     25.00      0.080     0.176     2 3/4
Salt                         1.00      0.003     0.007       1/8
Butter                      25.00      0.080     0.176     2 3/4
Grapefruit zest              1.00      0.003     0.007         0
Total                      252.00      0.804     1.764   1 12 1/4

Process, Grapefruit-infused Ganache

1. Pulse the chocolate several times in a food processor until the
pieces are no larger than a pea.

2. Bring the cream, glucose, salt, and grapefruit zest to a boil,
stirring so the glucose does not stick to the bottom of the pan. Remove
from the heat, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to infuse for
approximately 15 minutes.

3. Strain the infused cream through a chinois, discarding the zest.
Reheat the cream just to a simmer, and pour over the chocolate in the
bowl of the food processor.

4. Process the chocolate and cream mixture until very smooth, stopping
to scrape the bowl a few times. Add the butter at 95[degrees]F (35
[degrees]C), and blend until incorporated.

5. On a very flat sheet pan lined with acetate or alternatively plastic
wrap, pour the ganache into 3 inch (75 mm) X 3/8 inch (10 mm) ring
molds that are lined with acetate on the sides.

6. Cover thoroughly with plastic, without touching the ganache, and
refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

7. Remove from the refrigerator, and with a hot small spoon, scoop out
a small impression from the top of each ganache round.

8. Cover and refrigerate until hard, remove from the rings, and peel
off the acetate. Place in the freezer for at least 2 hours.

9. Spray the ganache with the dark chocolate spray. Wrap tightly with
plastic wrap without touching the ganache, then refrigerate. Allow to
come to room temperature before serving.

Cocoa Nib Sable Breton Formula

Ingredients             Baker's %   Kilogram   decimal   Lb & 0z

Butter                      88.00      0.121     0.266     4 1/4
Sugar                       70.00      0.096     0.212     3 3/8
Salt                         0.80      0.001     0.002         0
Egg yolks                   34.00      0.047     0.103     1 5/8
Pastry flour               100.00      0.137     0.303     4 7/8
Baking powder                4.80      0.007     0.015       1/4
Cocoa nibs                  30.00      0.041     0.091     1 1/2
Total                      327.60      0.450     0.992    15 7/8

Process, Cocoa Nib Sable Breton

1. In the bowl of a food processor, process the butter, sugar, and salt
until creamy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

2. Add the egg yolks and approximately one-third of the flour. Process
just until smooth, several seconds. Scrape the bowl, and add the rest
of the flour, baking powder, and cocoa nibs. Process just until the
mixture is homogenous, several seconds.

3. Pat the dough into a rectangle approximately 1/2 inch (12 mm) thick
on plastic wrap; wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours (preferably

4. Roll the dough to approximately 1/8 inch (4 mm) between two silpats.
Bake at 325[degrees]F (203[degrees]C) with the silpats on contact, for
10 minutes or until the edge of the dough starts to brown.

5. Cut out with 3 inch (75 mm) round cutters. Finish baking in an oven
until the cookies are golden brown.

6. Allow to cool, and reserve in a tightly covered container in a dry
place at room temperature.

Grapefruit Curd Formula
Ingredients             Baker's %   Kilogram   decimal   Lb & 0z

Sugar                      119.44      0.108     0.239     3 7/8
Eggs                        55.55      0.050     0.111     1 3/4
Egg yolks                   33.33      0.030     0.067     1 1/8
White grapefruitjuice       83.33      0.076     0.167     2 5/8
Lemon juice                 16.67      0.015     0.033       1/2
Grapefruit zest              3.00      0.003     0.006       1/8
Butter                      44.44      0.040     0.089     1 3/8
Total                      352.76      0.320     0.706    11 1/4

Process, Grapefruit Curd

1. Combine the sugar, eggs, egg yolks, grapefruit juice, lemon juice,
and grapefruit zest in a stainless steel bowl and place over a double
boiler. Stir occasionally.

2. When the mixture is done, it will be thick like ketchup.

3. Remove the mixture from the heat, strain into a clean container, and
add the butter at 90[degrees]F (32[degrees]C) to 95[degrees]F (35
[degrees]C) with an immersion blender.

4. Cover to the surface, and reserve in the refrigerator.

Campari Caramel and Marinated Grapefruit Formula

                        Baker's %   Kilogram   decimal   Lb & 0z

Water                       40.00      0.227     0.500         8
Sugar                      100.00      0.567     1.250       1 4
Vanilla bean                Each        1/2       1/2        1/2
Campari                     20.00      0.113     0.250          4
White grapefruit            Each           2         2          2
Total                      160.00      0.907     2.000       2 0

Process, Campari Caramel and Marinated Grapefruit

1. Prepare the grapefruit by cutting off the peel and then cutting out
the segments. Reserve.

2. Place the water into a small covered saucepan over low heat.

3. In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, caramelize the sugar over medium
heat, stirring constantly with a heat-resistant spatula until light

4. Remove from the heat, and very carefully pour in a small amount of
the hot water, stirring quickly.

5. Add the vanilla, place back over medium-low heat, and gradually stir
in the rest of the water. Bring just to a simmer, remove from the heat,
and add the Campari.

6. Pour over the grapefruit segments in a heatsafe container, cover,
and refrigerate for 24 hours. Remove the grapefruit, and reserve under

7. Reduce the liquid over medium heat until syrupy; remove and discard
the vanilla pod. Reserve covered at room temperature.

Grapefruit Tuiles Ingredients

White grapefruit

Simple syrup, 30[degrees] baume

Process, Grapefruit Tuiles

1. With a meat slicer, slice the grapefruit as thin as possible,
approximately 1/16 inch (2 mm).

2. Dip in the simple syrup, shake off the excess, and lay on sheet pans
lined with silpats. Dry at 225[degrees]F (107[degrees]C) until dry but
still pliable.

3. While warm, remove gently from the silpats, and manipulate into
abstract crumpled shapes.

4. Reserve in a tightly sealed container in a dry place at room
temperature until use.


1. Pipe a small amount of grapefruit curd into the cavity on the
surface of the ganache.

2. Place the ganache on a disc of sable breton.

3. Place the tart off-center on the plate.

4. To the side, arrange several marinated grapefruit segments into a
fan shape.

5. Arrange two grapefruit tuiles beside.

6. Spoon sauce on the plate around the marinated grapefruit.



This delicate dessert owes its unique flavor to chevre, which brings
a slightly tangy twist to the Italian classic. Veiling the panna cotta
are translucent slices of vanilla-infused Granny Smith apples, which
are then crowned with a tangle of crisp nutmeg tuiles. This panna
cotta's intricate flavors are complemented by the sweetness and
distinctive texture of an agar-based port sauce, along with a
surprising herbal accent from a bright green thyme gelee.


Chevre panna cotta
Tawny port sauce
Vanilla Granny Smith apples
Nutmeg tuiles
Thyme gelee


The following formulas will yield 10 servings of Panna Cotta plated

Chevre Panna Cotta Formula

Ingredients             Baker's %   Kilogram   decimal   Lb & 0z

Milk                       100.00      0.463     1.020    1 3/8
Chevre (fresh)              66.67      0.309     0.680   10 7/8
Sugar                       15.00      0.069     0.153    2 1/2
Gelatin                      2.00      0.009     0.020      3/8
Total                      183.67      0.850     1.874     1 14

Process, Chevre Panna Cotta

1. Warm approximately one-third of the milk with the chevre and sugar
over low heat, using a spatula to break up the cheese. Stir until
melted, and remove from the heat.

2. Soften the gelatin in cold water until completely bloomed.

3. Whisk the gelatin into the hot chevre mixture in a metal bowl; whisk
in the remaining milk.

4. Immerse the bottom of the bowl in an ice bath and stir constantly
until cool to the touch and slightly thickened.

5. Pour 3 oz (85 g) of the panna cotta mixture into the timbale molds.
Allow to set in the refrigerator, covered, for at least 4 hours.

Tawny Port Sauce Formula

Ingredients             Baker's %   Kilogram   decimal   Lb & Oz

Tawny port                 100.00      0.299     0.659   10 1/2
Powdered agar                1.00      0.003     0.007      1/8
Total                      101.00      0.302     0.666   10 5/8

Process, Tawny Port Sauce

1. Reduce the port by half over low heat.

2. When it is reduced, bring to a boil and gradually whisk in the
powdered agar.

3. Pour into a shallow heatsafe container and leave at room temperature
until firmly set, about 1 to 2 hours.

4. Process in a food processor until smooth, scraping down the sides
with a spatula as needed. Reserve under refrigeration in a covered

Vanilla Granny Smith Apples Formula

Ingredients             Baker's %   Kilogram   decimal   Lb & Oz

Simple syrup               100.00      0.907     2.000     2  0
Vanilla bean                Each       1          1           1
Granny Smith apples         Each       2          2           2
Total                      100.00      0.907     2.000     2  0

Process, Vanilla Granny Smith Apples

1. Bring the simple syrup and vanilla bean to a simmer. Lower the heat,
and keep the syrup hot.

2. Peel the apples, and slice them as thinly as possible. Immerse the
apple slices immediately in the hot syrup.

3. Poach the apples over low heat until the apples are cooked through
and semitranslucent, about 5 minutes. Store in the syrup under

4. After the apples have cooled, remove any visible apple cores from
the slices with a small round cutter.

Nutmeg Tuiles Formula
Ingredients             Baker's %   Kilogram   decimal   Lb & Oz

Butter                     133.33      0.239     0.526    8 3/8
Powdered sugar             133.33      0.239     0.526    8 3/8
Egg whites                 140.00      0.251     0.553    8 7/8
Pastry flour               100.00      0.179     0.395    6 3/8
Nutmeg, grated               2.00      0.004     0.008      1/8
Coffee extract               3.00      0.005     0.012      1/4
Total                      506.66      0.907     2.000      2 0

Process, Nutmeg Tuiles

1. Sift the sugar, and then cream with softened butter until light in

2. Gradually add the egg whites; mix to incorporation.

3. Sift the flour and nutmeg together. Add to the butter mixture along
with the coffee extract; mix to achieve a smooth paste. Cover and let
rest in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

4. Pipe onto silpats in thin, straight lines approximately 10 inches
(25 cm) long.

5. Bake at 325[degrees]F (163[degrees]C) until just golden brown on the
edge, several minutes. Working quickly, use an offset spatula to loosen
the tuiles and, with gloved hands, twist and fold to form abstract

6. When fully cooled, reserve in a sealed container at room temperature
until use.

Thyme Gelee Formula

Ingredients             Baker's %   Kilogram   decimal   Lb & Oz

Parsley or spinach           1.67      0.005     0.012      1/4
Water #1                    16.67      0.055     0.121    1 7/8
Fresh thyme                  6.67      0.022     0.048      3/4
Water #2                   100.00      0.329     0.725   11 5/8
Sugar                       10.00      0.033     0.072    1 1/8
Gelatin                      3.00      0.010     0.022      3/8
Total                      138.00      0.454     1.000      1 0

Process, Thyme Gelee

1. Blanch the parsley or spinach in the first boiling water until
bright green, for approximately 5 seconds.

2. Drain and plunge immediately in ice water. Drain again, and process
in a blender with the first water until smooth. Strain through a coffee
filter, discarding solids. Reserve the liquid.

3. Bring the thyme, second water, and sugar to a boil. Remove from the
heat, cover the pan with plastic wrap, and let infuse for 20 minutes.
Strain, discarding solids. Allow to cool to room temperature.

4. Bloom the gelatin in cold water. Melt in the microwave with a small
amount of the thyme infusion. Stir the mixture back into the remaining
infusion. Stir in the reserved parsley or spinach infusion.

5. Pour it into a flat shallow pan, cover, and refrigerate until fully
set, at least 4 hours.


1. On a plate, draw two curved streaks of port sauce using a spoon.

2. Gently ease away the panna cotta from the mold and dip the mold into
hot water for a couple of seconds. If it will not release, hold it
upside-down until the natural vacuum breaks and the panna cotta
releases. Place it on the plate.

3. Loosely wrap the panna cotta with 3 or 4 slices of vanilla apple.

4. Cut out a 3/4 inch (2 cm) circle of thyme gelee, and place it next
to the panna cotta.

5. Place a pile of tuiles on top of the panna cotta.



An ode to France's famous opera cake, this classic specialty of the
American South gets a stylish makeover here. Nutty pecan dacquoise,
subtly tangy molasses ganache, and rich milk chocolate
buttercream are layered with the strikingly colored flourless chocolate
biscuit from which the finished cake takes its name. Further
reinforcing the flavor profile, an airy bourbon sabayon incorporates
the gentle sourness of creme fraiche-a nod to the buttermilk that
would normally be present in a traditional Southern version of this
cake. Pecan croquant adds a subtly crunchy visual dimension to the
elegant appearance of the unforgettable Red Velvet Opera.


Flourless chocolate cake
Pecan dacquoise
Molasses ganache
Milk chocolate buttercream
Bourbon sabayon
Pecan croquant
Candied pecan
Dark chocolate decor


These formulas will make a half sheet of Red Velvet Opera, which yields
about 30 servings. For establishments that do not require a large
production of this dessert, the cake will keep well after it is
assembled and then frozen.

Flourless Chocolate Cake Formula

Ingredients             Baker's %   Kilogram   decimal   Lb & 0z

70% couverture             100.00      0.375     0.826     13 1/4
Butter, melted              24.00      0.090     0.198      3 1/8
Egg yolks                   20.00      0.075     0.165      2 5/8
Egg whites                 200.00      0.750     1.653   1 10 1/2
Sugar                       34.00      0.127     0.281      4 1/2
Red food coloring             SQ
Total                      378.00      1.417     3.124       3 2

Yield: 1 full-sheet cake and 1 half-sheet cake

Process, Flourless Chocolate Cake

1. Melt the chocolate in a microwave. Combine with the butter and egg

2. Whip the egg whites and the sugar to a stiff meringue.

3. Add the coloring to the whipping egg whites to make a very bright

4. Fold the chocolate mixture into the meringue. Deposit the batter on
a parchment-lined sheet pan: 2 Ib 1 1/4 oz (945 g) for a full sheet
pan, and 1 Ib 2/3 oz (473 g) for a half-sheet pan. Spread evenly.

5. Bake at 340[degrees]F (171[degrees]C) in a convection oven for 10
minutes. Once cooled, cover and store in the freezer until needed.

Pecan Dacquoise Formula

Ingredients             Baker's %   Kilogram   decimal   Lb & 0z

Pecans, toasted             80.00      0.199     0.438         7
Powdered sugar              80.00      0.199     0.438         7
Egg whites                 100.00      0.249     0.548     8 3/4
Sugar                       32.00      0.080     0.175     2 3/4
Cream of tartar              1.60      0.004     0.009       1/8
Total                      293.60      0.730     1.609   1 9 3/4

Yield: 1 half-sheet

Process, Pecan Dacquoise

1. Process the toasted pecans and powdered sugar in a food processor.
Sift the mixture.

2. Whip the sugar and egg whites with the cream of tartar to a stiff

3. Fold the egg foam and pecan-sugar mixture together, and spread the
batter on a parchment-lined half-sheet pan.

4. Bake at 350[degrees]F (177[degrees]C) in a convection oven with the
vent closed for 5 minutes.
Open the vent, and continue baking for another 25 minutes.

Molasses Ganache Formula

Ingredients             Baker's %   Kilogram   decimal   Lb & 0z

64% couverture             100.00      0.137     0.302     4 7/8
Milk                       100.00      0.137     0.302     4 7/8
Molasses                   125.00      0.171     0.378         6
Butter                      40.00      0.055     0.121     1 7/8
Total                      365.00      0.500     1.102   1 1 5/8

Process, Molasses Ganache

1. Bring the milk to a boil. Pour it over the chocolate, and form an

2. Add the molasses, stirring to incorporate. Next, add the soft butter
when the mixture reaches 95[degrees]F (35[degrees]C).

3. Cover to the surface with plastic wrap and reserve until needed.

Italian Meringue for Milk Chocolate Buttercream Formula

ingredients             Baker's %   Kilogram   decimal   Lb & 0z

Sugar                      200.00      0.067     0.148     2 3/8
Water                       60.00      0.020     0.044       3/4
Egg whites                 100.00      0.033     0.074     1 1/8
Total                      360.00      0.120     0.266     4 1/4

Process, Italian Meringue for Milk Chocolate Buttercream

1. Heat the water and sugar until it reaches the boiling point.

2. Wash down the sides of the pan with water.

3. When the sugar reaches 241[degrees]F (116[degrees]C), start whipping
the egg whites on medium speed.

4. When the sugar reaches soft ball stage 246[degrees]F (119[degrees]C)
to 250[degrees]F (121[degrees]C), slowly pour it into the whipping egg

5. Whip until 104[degrees]F (40[degrees]C). See the final buttercream
formula for finishing instructions.

Final Formula

Ingredients             Baker's %   Kilogram   decimal   Lb & 0z

Milk                        40.00      0.161     0.354     5 5/8
Egg yolks                   24.00      0.096     0.213     3 3/8
Sugar                        5.00      0.020     0.044       3/4
Butter                     100.00      0.402     0.886    14 1/8
Milk chocolate              50.00      0.201     0.443     7 1/8
Italian meringue            30.00      0.121     0.266     4 1/4
Total                      249.00      1.001     2.205   2 3 1/4

Process, Final

1. Bring the milk to a boil. Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks and sugar

2. Temper the hot milk into the egg yolk mixture. Place the mixture
back in the pot; cook until the mixture reaches 180[degrees]F (82

3. Place the cooked mixture into a mixing bowl. Whip on medium speed
until cooled.

4. Add the soft butter, and mix until fully incorporated. Then add the
melted milk chocolate, and mix until fully incorporated.

5. Fold in the Italian meringue.

Assembly, Red Velvet Opera

1. Place the dacquoise on a parchment-lined sheet pan.

2. Spread 121/4 oz (350 g) of buttercream evenly over the dacquoise.

3. Place a half-sheet of flourless chocolate cake over the buttercream.

4. Spread 171/2 oz (500 g) of molasses ganache over the cake, and then
place a half-sheet of cake over the ganache.

5. Spread 121/2 oz (350 g) of buttercream, and then place the last
sheet of cake over the buttercream.

6. Next, spread 10 1/2 oz (300 g) of buttercream over the top cake
layer and smooth evenly. Then decorate the top layer with an icing
comb, creating grooved lines that run the length of the cake.

7. Place the cake in the freezer for at least 3 hours.

Bourbon Sabayon Formula
Ingredients             Baker's %   Kilogram   decimal   Lb & 0z

Egg yolks                   35.56      0.198     0.436         7
Sugar                       26.67      0.148     0.327     5 1/4
Bourbon                     17.78      0.099     0.218     3 1/2
Creme fraiche              100.00      0.556     1.225   1 3 5/8
Total                      180.01      1.001     2.205   2 3 1/4

Process, Bourbon Sabayon

1. Prepare a double boiler.

2. Combine the egg yolks, sugar, and bourbon, and cook over the double
boiler while whisking until the mixture has a pale yellow color and is
fully thickened.

3. Fold in the creme fraiche. Reserve in the refrigerator until needed.

Pecan Croquant Formula

Ingredients             Baker's %   Kilogram   decimal   Lb & 0z

Pecan flour                  8.00      0.018     0.039       5/8
Pastry fondant              60.00      0.133     0.294     4 3/4
Glucose                     40.00      0.089     0.196     3 1/8
Total                      108.00      0.240     0.529     8 1/2

Process, Pecan Croquant

1. Toast the pecan flour. Cool completely and reserve.

2. Cook the fondant and glucose to a desired level of caramel. Add the
pecan flour; stir thoroughly.

3. Pour over a silicone mat, and make it leveled.

4. Once cooled, break the caramel into 1/4 oz (8 g) pieces. Place the
pieces between two silicone mats on a flat sheet pan, with a 4 inch (10
cm) gap between each piece.

5. Warm it up in the oven at 350[degrees]F (177[degrees]C) until
softened. Using a rolling pin, roll out the caramel very thin.

6. Place the sheet pan back in the oven for a few minutes to soften the
caramel again. Roll out again, and then peel off the top silicone mat.
Wait until slightly cooled. Using gloved hands, form the caramels into
abstract shapes.

7. Once cooled, keep the croquant in an airtight container at room

Process, Caramelized Pecans

Melt a small amount of sugar in a saucepan, stirring constantly. Once
all the sugar is melted, add 30 pieces of pecan halves. Keep stirring
until the sugar around the nuts caramelizes. Reserve until needed.

Process, Chocolate Decor

1. Spread tempered dark chocolate onto a sheet of acetate 12 inches (31
cm) long.

2. Using a comb, create a straight stripe pattern lengthwise.

3. Before the chocolate is set, curve the sheet using a 6 inch (15 cm)
cake ring. Wait until set, and reserve until needed.


1. Slice the red velvet opera lengthwise, 3/8 inch (8 mm) wide. Cut two
short sides to form a parallelogram. Place it on a rectangular plate at
an angle, the cut-side down.

2. Place loops of the chocolate decor on one
side of the cake, placing the ends of the
chocolate strips underneath the cake.

3. Make a small indentation on the cake with a
small knife, to allow the pecan croquant to
stand up by the chocolate decor.

4. Place a piece of caramelized pecan on the
other end of cake, and pipe a small round of
the Bourbon sabayon sauce on a corner of
the plate.



When dining out, dessert is the final course and is intended to offer the diner a sweet, pleasurable moment. This course is often shared with a companion and enjoyed with coffee, a sweet wine, or liquor; it can be seen as a time of slight indulgence. The pastry chef can and should tailor the plated dessert to the diners' needs and provide them with something memorable that complements the previous courses, as well as the experience of being in the restaurant. Dessert is not just about eating something sweet and sharing it with another; it is also important that the power of the course allows feelings of satisfaction and the inclination to reflect on the past and to remember similar flavors, textures, and company.

To produce plated desserts and plan a menu for a restaurant or hotel, the pastry chef must have significant knowledge of the pastry arts as well as a developed ability to plan and artistically present creations. Plated desserts always include multiple components, and the organization of the workplace, production schedule, and service is part of ensuring that the dessert makes it to the table as the guest envisions it as well as how the pastry chef and chef envision it.


* Actinidin

* A la carte

* A la minute

* Bromelain

* Coulis

* Ficin

* Foam

* Fruit sauces

* Gelee

* Infusion

* Mise en place

* Papain

* Plated desserts

* Proteolytic enzymes

* Tuile


1. What are the main concerns of the pastry chef when planning a dessert menu?

2. What impact do the market and venue have on the presentation of plated desserts?

3. What are the different ways in which fruit can be used as a plated dessert?

4. What is the range of components involved for plated desserts?

5. What is the purpose of having all appropriate mise en place completed before service?
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Title Annotation:PART 4 PASTRY
Author:Saus, Michel
Publication:Advanced Bread and Pastry
Date:Jan 1, 2009
Previous Article:Chapter 19 Frozen desserts.
Next Article:Chapter 21 Advanced decoration.

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