(This recipe appeared in the Winter 2022 issue of Pastry Arts Magazine)
This recipe, a cake fashioned to look like an éclair, comes from the beautiful new book Dark Side of the Bean: 150 Sweet Temptations (Roli Books, 2021) by pastry chef Kumud Dwivedi. Born to a Punjabi family in India, Kumud describes herself as a “dessert-obsessed insomniac” who believes that desserts are “the perfect combination of science and creativity.” As a child, she spent her pocket money buying second-hand international food magazines on the street of Delhi. Though she was drawn to the food industry, Kumud took the advice of elders and embarked on a career in the corporate world, where she worked for a decade. When her son was born, she left her job and opened a small, exclusive patisserie in Kolkata. It was when her family moved to Bangalore that she decided to get serious and hone her pastry skills by taking classes at École Nationale Supérieure de la Patisserie in France, the ZDS in Germany and the Christophe Morel Academy in Canada. Kumud went on to intern with Alfons Wachter, a third-generation baker in Zams, near Innsbruck, Austria, as well as top pastry chefs in Europe, Thailand, UAE, Canada and the United States.
Dark Side of the Bean is a collection of 150 professional level dessert recipes that reflects Kumud’s training and expertise and serves as a tribute to the people she has worked with or learnt from, and the countless desserts she has enjoyed over the years. Available from amazon.com.
Here’s what Kumud has to say about this dessert:
“My inspiration for this dessert was the chocolate éclair, which I wanted to turn into a cake, using the classic combination of chocolate, orange and hazelnut. The elegant smoothness of Chocolate Diplomat cream with the freshness of Orange Confit and crunchiness of Caramelized Hazelnuts, along with the exposed layers, is what makes this cake unique and one of my all-time favorites.”
Yield: 10 servings
- 170 g oranges
- 750 g water
- 2 g salt
- 3 g pectin NH
- 110 g superfine granulated sugar
- 25 g orange purée
- 100 g lemon purée
- Wash the oranges and cut into thin slices. Remove the seeds and white pith of the oranges. Bring the water and salt to a boil. Blanch the oranges for 3 minutes, strain and rinse with cold water.
- Mix the pectin and sugar together.
- Heat the orange and lemon purée, then add the pectin mixture. Add the orange slices and cook for 15-20 minutes, to obtain a soft confit. Chop finely or puré Refrigerate.
- 4 egg whites
- 80 g superfine granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 5 egg yolks
- 30 g invert sugar
- 25 g all-purpose flour
- 15 g cocoa powder
- 40 g ground almonds
- 20 g olive oil
- Whisk the egg whites and sugar to a meringue.
- In a separate bowl, whip the whole egg, egg yolks and invert sugar to obtain a creamy white mass. Fold the egg mixture into the meringue. Sift the flour and cocoa powder together and mix in the ground almonds. Carefully incorporate into the egg mixture. Finally, add the olive oil and combine. Spread the batter onto a parchment-lined baking tray. Bake at 338˚F (170˚C) for 12 minutes. After baking, immediately turn over and place onto a wire rack to cool.
Chocolate Pastry Cream
- 4 g gelatin powder
- 20 g cornstarch
- 250 g cold milk
- 75 g heavy cream 35%
- 50 g superfine granulated sugar, divided
- Seeds of 1 vanilla bean
- 2 egg yolks
- 75 g dark chocolate 60-70%, chopped
- Soften the gelatin in 20 g cold water.
- Dissolve the cornstarch with some of the cold milk; set aside.
- In a saucepan, combine the remaining milk, the cream, 30 g of the superfine granulated sugar and vanilla seeds and bring to a boil.
- In a bowl, combine the egg yolks, remaining 20 g sugar and the dissolved cornstarch mixture and whip to obtain a creamy white mass. Temper yolk mixture into the hot liquid and bring to a boil, whisking. Add the softened gelatin. Fold in the chocolate and stir thoroughly. Pour onto a tray covered with plastic film. Cover with plastic film and refrigerate immediately.
Chocolate Diplomat Cream
- 250 g Chocolate Pastry cream (above)
- 75 g heavy cream 35%, whipped
- Stir the pastry cream until smooth. Delicately fold in the whipped cream one-half at a time. Refrigerate.
- 75 g unsalted butter
- 90 g brown sugar
- Pinch of fleur de sel
- 70 g all-purpose flour
- 30 g polenta
- 15 g cocoa powder
- 40 g almond powder
- Cream the butter, brown sugar and salt together. Add the remaining ingredients and mix. Knead for a very short time to make a crumbly dough. Refrigerate to firm up.
- Bake at 284˚F (140˚C) for about 20 minutes.
- 65 g superfine granulated sugar
- 50 g water
- 180 g hazelnuts, skinned
- 5 g cocoa butter
- Make a syrup with the sugar and water and bring to a boil. Add the hazelnuts and simmer for a few minutes. Drain and roast in oven at 320˚F (160˚C) for 20 minutes. Add the cocoa butter. Separate nuts and allow to cool on a silicone mat.
- Chocolate rings, for garnish
- Using a cutter, slice the cake and place it inside an oval-shaped ring. Pipe some Orange Confit on top of the sponge and spread with a spatula. Pipe some Chocolate Diplomat Cream on top and garnish with pieces of the Chocolate Crumble. Decorate with some Caramelized Hazelnuts and chocolate rings.