Creative crunch in your desserts

Discussion in 'Professional Pastry Chefs' started by w.debord, Oct 22, 2001.

  1. w.debord

    w.debord

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    After sampling someone elses tiramisu torte last year I quickly followed their lead and started placing a thin disk of fieutine (which of course I can't spell) mixed with praline paste and semi sweet chocolate under my torte. It's a really nice addition. It worked fine under my torte and so I wanted to finish the top with shards of it too. But I wasen't prepared for how hard it was to cut (using a hot knive) it wasen't so easy. If you doing anything along these lines how are you handling your chocolate fieutine garnishes? Can you get any detailed shapes out of it? Are you attempting to mold with it at all? Or use it in candies?

    I also use fieutine to finish the sides of carrot cakes since cream cheese frosting doesn't hide my layers. Instead of using chopped nuts which quickly went bad in my high humidity cooler. I also use croquant as garnish, but until now it's always been on the exterior of my items.

    TBH mentioned he liked the (was it carmelized?) rice crispy addition in a dessert Herme just published in his new Chocolate book. Slowly were seeing more examples and uses of 'crunch' decorator items being used in desserts. I find it rather interesting, do you?

    Last year I made a dessert from Marcel Desaulniers chocolate cake book that had whole oatmeal mixed with chocolate as a layer in a torte. It was horrible! In retrospect I feel pretty stupid for even trying it. So I was wondering if any of you are doing anything new along these lines? If so, what, how and in which items...just to share and spark creative uses you might not think of on your own?

    All responses are welcome.
     
  2. angrychef

    angrychef

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    I use a croquant which is a mixture of crisped rice and caramelized hazelnuts(purchased product which is quite good), toffee bits, crushed oreo bits, and daquoise crumbs. There are so many possibilities --- and I LOVE crunch in sweet stuff. Crushed sugar cones would be a comparable to using feulletine(sp?), and even corn flakes could be used.
     
  3. w.debord

    w.debord

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    Have you also noticed the increased use of cereals in desserts in current publications?

    I make several candies that have cereal in them, that are pretty good. I like toffee and bits in semi-fredos and tortoni. But I've never added them to mousses with-in my torte layers. Carmel mousse and chocolate mousse have tons of possiblity so does adding croquant to layers of ganche with-in the torte.....

    I used to struggle with nuts (too add or not), the camp who don't like them tend to be loud, so I'd omit them from items where they were gratuitous. But then everything is smooth.....I wonder if their complaining about texture or taste? Cause most of the time you can hardly single out the nut flavor.


    I know I asked this before, but I forgot....where do you put your daquoise crumbs inside what?

    Have you done anything using them with your garnish? I'd like to figure out how to do something other than cut out shapes.
     
  4. momoreg

    momoreg

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    Other crunchy stuff:

    Cocoa nibs
    Toasted seasoned coconut
    Granola
    Crunchy dehydrated fruits

    I think that people who don't like nuts are nuts,
    :) but that said, I think it's the taste they don't like. It seems that the number of people with nut allergies is growing, too.
     
  5. pastrychef_den

    pastrychef_den

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    Hi,

    I used to make a dessert called Chocolate Chiboust Dome from this place I used to work at. It's made with chocolate chiboust, thin sacher biscuit, toasted whole hazelnuts, and praline disc (made with white chocolate, praline paste and Paillette Feulettine from Patisfrance).

    It was really pretty good. It freezes well too. I used to make it in those individual flexipan molds. I then glaze it with ganache and serve it with a caramel and praline anglaise.

    The praline disc is made by combining the white choc, praline paste and PF then rolled in between parchment to about 1/4" thick. I then freeze it then cut using a ring cutter.

    This is such a good dessert. It's quite rich though.


    :roll:
     
  6. compassrose

    compassrose

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    Yes, the nut allergy thing is a biggie. Also, I can certainly taste nuts such as walnuts or pecans (which I very often don't like depending on my mood) or hazelnuts.

    I had good luck in one recipe for squares that called for nuts; I used wheat berries cooked al dente. Very similar in texture to a post-baked walnut - that same kind of chewiness.
     
  7. isa

    isa

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    I'm very interested in your candy recipes Wendy. What kind do you make?

    I saw cocoa nibs at a somewhat fancy store, 13.50$ for a box. I sure I won't be able to resist it for a much longer.
     
  8. monpetitchoux

    monpetitchoux

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    I like to use french meringue crumbs as well. Unfortunately, they will sog out so I don't add them until just the last minute. Some times, if I make cocoa meringue, I'll use that too, for chocolate items.

    Ditto Momoreg's dried fruit. Pineapple, small red bartlett pear, apples all sliced on the meat slicer is what we usually use. To add extra crunch, we sprinkle the pears with chopped caramelized nuts. Sometimes, we make apple shards on the mandoline and dry those, too, to make a haystack on desserts. There's also freeze dried fruits (and veggies) that are often sold as snacks. They taste great though I haven't used them in any desserts yet. A little costly still.

    And now that we have so many different kinds of grain products on the market (granted they are mostly in the health food markets), we can depend on things other than nuts for crunch. Almong the same lines, I was wondering what grains, other than corn, can be popped like popcorn. I saw an episode of Iron Chef where one of them put plumes of wheat in the deep-fry and they blossomed right on the stalk. It was beautiful and dramatic. But I wonder whether it was eaten at all.
     
  9. w.debord

    w.debord

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    Your chocolate Chiboust Dome is exactly where I'm going and trying to think more about. It's the white chocolate version of what I'm doing under my tiramisu torte. I had a hard time cutting thru the chocolate with a hot knive(it wanted to chip off and not cut straight). Didn't you with a cutter?

    For instance, I have been adding sort of thick layers of ganche with-in my chocolate mousse cake layers for that extra gooie richness. Mousse and cake is fine but it seemed kind of plain to me and I think more texture pulls it into a new decadence. All the turtle and candy bar based cheesecakes and pies you see in every restaurant is along the same lines..., but I'd like to keep some class to it and not be a total candy bar.


    I think adding croquant would be a nice idea in my ganche layers. I have used toasted nuts in my ganche layers many times to compliment the paticular item. Mainly stuff I followed from Marcel Desaulniers 2 books on choc. desserts (death by choc....) And again my thoughts basicly stem from his last book on chocolate cakes where he really goes a step further. Tying back to the cake of his I tried with raw oatmeal.

    My brief attempts with coconut haven't been that sucessful. Either it got soft by what ever surrounds it or it actually stayed too crisp and was sharp and unpleasant to eat.

    I haven't found a audience for candied or dried fruit and pretty much avoid them all together, except in x-mas cookies.

    For nut haters I've substituted granola with success in pecan pie and pecan bars. It probably would work well for pie bottoms but I would think you'd have to put a soft filling ontop of it so it would absorb some moisture or it would be hard to get your fork thru the crunchy crust...? But I'm really more interested in putting crunch where I haven't had much (in tortes, even ala carte desserts).

    What about croquant in studel? sound good?

    I made a chocolate peanut butter crunch cake a couple years ago from a Wolfgang puck pastry chef Diane Kirsch that was pretty good. It was chocolate cake soaked w/coffee syrup, then peanut butter mousse and a layer of (milk choc., peanut butter and finely crushed cornflake cerel) then coated in galze. I loved the crunch enough that I used it as garnish on the plate too. It didn't sell much at the time. But I think it has mass appeal and could easily be make into a large torte.
     
  10. w.debord

    w.debord

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    Most of the candy recipes that use cerel come from ads placed housewife magazines by the cerel manufactors. How about checks-mix, people like that alot? I guess it's precieved as a heatlhy snack, but I'm not sure if it is?

    Candy recipes I make w/cerel or other crunchies:

    1.Peanut Butter Balls w/rice crispies in them, dipped in chocolate.
    2.Fudgy banana rocky road clusters, have dried banana chips.
    3.Hopscotchers, have chow mein noodles in them.
    4.My sister makes a chex mix, choc., peanut butter and xxxsugar candy.
    5.She also made a great candy w/ white choc. bark, peanut butter and cerel last year (I better remember to get the recipe).
    6.Chocolate pizzas have rice crispys in their base.
    7.Peanut butter butterscotch crispies, have corn flakes.

    There all rather good and they cross the adult vs child tastes in candy. Meaning their good enough for adults too.


    Looking thru my candy file I noticed I have a peanut butter fueillete recipe, which would be the childrens version of fueillete, praline paste and chocolate (either white or dark) we were talking about earlier. I'll have to dust that off!
     
  11. nancya

    nancya

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    Don't forget Puppy Chow!
     
  12. isa

    isa

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    That chocolate pizza sounds great Wendy. Something my nephew would love. Would you mind sharing the recipe?


    Thanks!
     
  13. w.debord

    w.debord

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    Chocolate pizza it's self is extremely basic, what make it special is how you decorate and finish it to resemble your favorite toppings.
    I've seen housewives make it in foil pie pans (for bake sales) but it should be bigger and flatter on a real pizza pan for total affect.

    The pizza is:

    12 oz. semi sweet melted with 1 c. rice crispies folded into it. You can also add peanuts or peanut butter into your chocolate. Spread it on you buttered pan or foil lined pan. Let cool before decorating.

    For the cheese topping you use white chocolate and you can either drizzle it on a cold chocolate base or if you grate your white choc. it looks more like cheese and you'd sprinkle it onto your base before th chocolate sets so the loose pieces of white choc. adhear to the pizza. Don't do it so thick that you can see any of the base. Because after you put your toppings on you should drizzle somemore 'cheese' on top to make it look more authentic.

    Then you garnish your pizza with other candies to 'mock' typical pizza toppings.

    For instance:
    Red gum drops mushed around look like sausage.
    Cut circles of red fruit leather to resemble pepperoni.
    Green candied cherries look like gr. pepper poking thru.

    P.S. You can also do this with a cookie bottom or a brownie bottom and use fresh fruit as your mock toppings.
     
  14. isa

    isa

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    Thank you Wendy. I'll have to make it for my nephew, he'll love it Im sure.
     
  15. pastrychef_den

    pastrychef_den

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    The key in cutting the discs is cutting it right after taking it out of the freezer. I normally cut it in 2 sizes, one that goes in the middle of the dome and the other as a base or directly uabove the sacher disc. I don't warm the cutters anymore since gentle pressure is usually enough to cut through the rolled mixture. I would suggest re freezing the cut discs after cutting them they are easier to ahndle during assembly...
     
  16. w.debord

    w.debord

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    I got your recipe Dennis, thanks! I'm having a hard time thinking I can cut thru the chocolate and not have it shatter with-out a hot cutter. I think I need a demo for that.... But I'll try your proportions next time, for sure! Maybe I had too much crisp and not enough praline?...

    What does freezing do that refridgeration doesn't?
     
  17. pastrychef_den

    pastrychef_den

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    Freezing will give you more time to cut more discs. Refrigerating it will only yield a couple. It's recommended to freeze the discs after cutting them then take them out right before final assembly to keep the shape and prevent them from getting deformed. It gets pretty soft sometimes. Good luck..

    d
     
  18. kylew

    kylew

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    I like crunch in my sweets too. Did you know that the reason Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream has so much crunchy stuff in it is because one of them (I can't remember if it's Ben or Jerry) has lost his sense of taste? His only pleasure is from the feel of the crunchy stuff. The other night I had pumpkin ice cream with toasted pumpkin seeds blended in. How simple and delicious :lips:
     
  19. isa

    isa

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    I love their rainforest crunch ice cream. Just thinking about it and I'll crave it all day.