HomeRecipes“RNR” Reflections and Revisions by Jim Hutchinson

“RNR” Reflections and Revisions by Jim Hutchinson

(This article appeared in the Spring 2020 issue of Pastry Arts Magazine)

One of my favorite flavor combinations is coconut and chocolate. In this dessert, I’ve livened up the pairing by incorporating a Black Peppercorn Dacquoise and a Vanilla Nutmeg Caramel into a dessert that is anchored by an Alpaco 66% whipped ganache. The spices complement both the chocolate and coconut and transform a classic flavor profile into an extraordinary one.

Yield: 24 servings

Alpaco 66% Whipped Ganache

  • 200 g Valrhona Alpaco chocolate 66%
  • 250 g heavy cream
  • 40 g trimoline
  • 40 g glucose
  • 2 g salt
  • 620 g cold heavy cream
  1. Melt the Alpaco chocolate to 113ºF (45˚C).
  2. Bring the 250 g of cream and the trimoline, glucose, and salt to 122ºF (50˚C).
  3. Emulsify the cream mixture with the chocolate using an immersion blender. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the container.
  4. Blend in the 620 g of cold heavy cream. Let mature in cooler for 12 hours, and whip when needed.

Vanilla Nutmeg Caramel

  • 500 g heavy cream
  • 50 g water
  • 200 g granulated sugar
  • 140 g liquid glucose
  • 30 g unsalted butter
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 0.5 g freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 g fine sea salt
  1. Bring the cream to a boil. Cover with plastic and set aside.
  2. Cook the water, sugar, and glucose to a dark caramel. Deglaze with the butter, aromatics, and salt. Stir until homogenous.
  3. In about 4-5 additions, add the hot cream, stirring until homogenous with each addition. Bring the caramel back to a boil and cook to 215ºF (102˚C).
  4. Pour into a tall sided container and blend with an immersion blender until smooth and shiny. Cool in an ice bath.

Coconut Streusel

  • 100 g almond flour
  • 170 g desiccated coconut
  • 130 g granulated sugar
  • 60 g brown sugar
  • 80 g rice flour
  • 3 g salt
  • 140 g coconut oil, melted
  • 40 g water
  1. Mix all the dry ingredients together until combined.
  2. Combine the coconut oil and water.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the liquid ingredients into the dry. Mix until combined, but clumps form.
  4. Place in a container and cover well. Refrigerate until ready to bake.
  5. Sprinkle on a sheet pan and bake at 320ºF (160˚C).

Black Peppercorn Dacquoise

  • 255 g confectioners’ sugar (10X)
  • 255 g almond flour
  • 20 g banana flour
  • 5 g black peppercorns
  • 325 g egg whites
  • 30 g granulated sugar
  1. Run all the dry ingredients through a food processor until thoroughly mixed.
  2. Make a medium-stiff meringue with the whites and sugar. In two additions, fold the dry ingredients into the meringue.
  3. Evenly spread meringue into a Silpat-lined half sheet pan. Bake at 375ºF (190˚C) until done.
  4. When cool, cut into 2” circles.

Crispy Alpaco

  • 225 g Valrhona Alpaco chocolate 66%
  • 65 g cocoa butter
  • 60 g organic virgin coconut oil
  • 230 g cornflakes, crushed
  • 70 g Rice Krispies
  • 1 g sea salt
  1. Melt the Alpaco chocolate with the cocoa butter and the coconut oil to 113ºF (45ºC).
  2. Mix together the cornflakes, Rice Krispies and the salt. Add the chocolate mixture at approximately 95ºF (35°C), and gradually mix together gently.
  3. Sprinkle onto baking sheets and allow to crystallize before use.
  4. Keep in a dry place.

Coconut Sorbet

  • 875 g water
  • 425 g granulated sugar
  • 215 g glucose powder
  • 1000 g coconut puree
  1. Heat the water, sugar, and glucose until the sugars are dissolved.
  2. Add the coconut puree and blend with an immersion blender. Continuing to use the immersion blender, gradually add the guar gum and blend until thoroughly combined.
  3. Process the mixture in an ice cream machine to 23˚F (-5ºC).
  4. Blast-freeze to set. Store in a freezer at 6.8˚F (-14ºC) until needed.


  • Chocolate discs, for garnish
  • Fresh herbs
  1. Whip ganache and place in piping bag.
  2. In the center of the plate, place the circle of dacquoise. Pipe 5 g of caramel in the center of the dacquoise. Pipe an even mound of the whipped ganache on top of the caramel and dacquoise. Dip a ¼ teaspoon in hot water, then use this teaspoon to make a well in the center of the mousse. Fill the well with the Vanilla Nutmeg Caramel. Sprinkle the Coconut Streusel and the Crispy Alpaco on top of the ganache. Top the caramel with a chocolate disc. Scoop the Coconut Sorbet on top of the chocolate disc.
  3. Finish with fresh herbs that complement the coconut and chocolate.
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