(This recipe appeared in the Fall 2020 issue of Pastry Arts Magazine)
In this article we feature a dessert called ‘Poire en Deux’ from Chef Richard Hawke. Asked about his inspiration for this dessert, Chef Hawke says, “The idea of pairing lemongrass with pears came to me when I was preparing for a competition a few years ago. The freshness of the lemongrass gives the musky pears an interesting flavor profile. I like to keep my flavor combinations quite simple in order to bring out the best in each creation. I also like to use raw ingredients in my recipes – this recipe contains a dark chocolate gianduja, which is used in various elements of the petit gateau. This creation is also completely lactose- and gluten-free. The French phrase ‘couper la poire en deux’ means to meet halfway; with two separate pear inserts, this phrase comes to life.”
‘Poire en Deux’
Yield: 12 servings
Hazelnut Praline Pain de Genes Sponge
- 70 g egg yolks
- 110 g egg whites
- 6.5 g super-fine granulated sugar
- 47 g grapeseed oil
- 235 g hazelnut praline
- 10 g brown rice flour
- 10 g fine corn meal
- 10 g potato starch
- 2.5 g baking powder
1. Whip the egg yolks to a ribbon texture.
2. Whip the egg whites and gradually add the sugar to form a meringue.
3. Melt the butter and add the praline. Gradually fold in the whipped egg yolks. Fold a small amount of meringue in, the fold in the remainder, with sifted the powders.
4. Spread batter 1 cm thick onto a silicone mat and bake at 356˚F (180˚C) for 10-12 minutes (closed vent). Cool on wire rack, then cut 5 cm inserts.
Chef’s tip: Make sure that the sponge has baked through; after 10 minutes check, then, if necessary, turn the trays and give it another 2 minutes.
- 100 g diced pears
- 3 g lemon juice
- 200 g Capfruit pear puree
- ¼ vanilla bean
- 24 g inulin (90% fiber)
- 7 g super-fine granulated sugar
- 3.5 g pectin NH
- 1 drop lemongrass essential oil
1. Combine pears and with lemon juice to avoid oxidation.
2. Heat puree with vanilla bean to 122˚F (50°C), then add inulin mixed with sugar and pectin. Blend and heat to 185˚F (85°C). Pour onto diced pears and add essential oil. Pour into insert molds and blast-freeze.
Chef’s tip: Make sure not to add too much essential oil. This recipe also works just fine without the diced pears and lemon juice (as a coulis instead of a compote). If the pears are not ripe enough, cook them in a saucepan with a little water to soften. Strain before adding into recipe.
Dark Hazelnut Gianduja
- 260 g Weiss Couverture Galaxie Noir 67%
- 32 g cocoa butter
- 97 g confectioners’ sugar
- 260 g hazelnut paste (Weiss)
1. Melt couverture with cocoa butter to 113˚F (45°C). Stir in confectioners’ sugar and add hazelnut paste. Emulsify with a hand blender or process in a Robot-Coupe.
Chef’s tip: If hazelnut paste isn’t available, it is also possible to make it with whole hazelnuts. Roast them at 302-320˚F (150-160°C) for 30-35 minutes. Cool before blending in a Robot-Coupe. Add remaining ingredients and continue to mix. The end result will be grainier than a commercial hazelnut paste, but still very interesting.
- 35 g gelatin mass (1:6)
- 250 g water
- 250 g Dark Hazelnut Gianduja (from above)
- 7 g citrus fiber
- 105 g pasteurized egg whites
- 50 g inulin (90% fiber)
1. Melt gelatin mass to 104˚F (40°C) and pour onto water.
2. Melt gianduja to 104˚F (40°C) and stir in citrus fiber. Pour gelatin water on top and emulsify with a hand blender.
3. Blend egg whites with inulin and whip to form a creamy meringue. Fold into gianduja base at 75-77˚F (24-25°C).
Chef’s tip: If making a large quantity of mousse, it is important to adapt the mixing temperature accordingly. Blending the egg whites with the inulin ensures that there are no lumps in the final meringue. By doing this the meringue will take a little longer to whip, but the final texture should always be the same.
Dark Gianduja Cream
- 330 g water
- 30 g inulin (100% fiber)
- 1.8 g fine sea salt (fleur de sel)
- 6 g modified potato starch
- 9 g citrus fiber
- 220 g Dark Hazelnut Gianduja (from above)
1. Heat water to 122˚F (50°C), then add inulin, salt, potato starch and citrus fiber. Blend to ensure that there are no lumps. Heat to 158˚F (70°C) and pour onto gianduja. Emulsify with a hand blender and refrigerate overnight to set.
Chef’s tip: Make sure when blending the liquid with the powders at 122˚F (50°C) that there are no lumps. By heating to 158˚F (70°C) the inulin will be hot enough to dissolve. This will ensure that they final texture is ideal.
Dark Hazelnut Gianduja Glaze
- 215 g water
- 100 g glucose
- 2.5 g pectin (acid-free)
- 20 g super-fine granulated sugar
- 50 g neutral glaze
- 110 g Dark Hazelnut Gianduja (from above)
- 2.5 g liquid sunflower lecithin
1. Heat water and glucose to 122˚F (50°C), then add pectin mixed with sugar and heat to 185˚F (85°C). Pour onto remaining ingredients and emulsify with a hand blender.
2. Heat to 104˚F (40°C) to glaze.
Chef’s tip: Make sure to weigh the lecithin into the final mixing container. Emulsify well to ensure that the final texture is ideal.
- Chocolate feather decor
1. Pipe gianduja mousse into 2” (5 cm) diameter rings that are 1.3” (3.5 cm) high and place frozen pear compote insert in center. Pipe a little more mousse on top and finish with sponge disc. Smoothen and flatten the rings with mousse and blast freeze.
2. Unmold and glaze before placing onto a cake board or a plate.
Chef Richard Hawke is a gluten-free guru whose pastry quest is constantly evolving. His current research has him focused on lactose-free and various vegan products. Find more information at richardhawkepastry.com or on Instagram at @richardhawkepastry.
Photos courtesy of Chef Richard Hawke