Saw these little beauties at my loyal green grocer while shopping for ingredients for Buche 2012 before Christmas.
It is rare enough to find fresh raspberries in Western Australia, near impossible to acquire them retail for the general public. Fresh Australian raspberries only work well in the climates of Tasmania and to a small extent some regions of Victoria; so if you are like me on the west coast of this big red land, we only get them from Tasmania during the summer months. So if I see such rare gems, I HAVE to use them to pay proper respect to them.
That’s right, $8 for 125g, you do not fuck around with this stuff. Local strawberries are $4 per 250g punnet or $16 per kilogram, while the fresh raspberries are $64 per kilo; yes, Don’t F’ Around type numbers. I can find retail frozen raspberries for about $5/kg; there are top end garnish quality IQF raspberries out there, but none that I know a source of in Australia.
So the plan for these raspberries will be Ispahan Mk II, I remember Ispahan was one of Pierre Herme’s Fetish specials. Fetish periods are where they exhibit a specific flavour combination in as many of the products they do at PH, so that can start from macarons, to tarts, to millefeuilles or 2000 Feuilles in Pierre Herme land, to pate de fruit, biscuits, chocolate bars, and so on. I botched an attempt at Ispahan with voodoo use of hydrocolloids, inexperienced overdosing on Indian Rosewater that made the mousse taste soapy and thus unusable.
As tempting as it is to break out the homemade puff pastry from the freezer from Buche 2012 to make a Millefeuilles Ispahan, I decided to go with choux and there is only one traditional format to not hide the fresh raspberries and that will be with the Paris-Brest choux ‘doughnut’. Since I lost two boot SSDs since the time I may have screencapped the Ispahan Fetish page, my Picasa screenshots defaults to dumping on my OS drive, I had to trawl the web to find out whether a Ispahan Paris-Brest has been made during one of these Fetish Ispahan specials. This blog post from How Do I Live Without Foods packs more than enough in Ispahan magic.
Before I get lost into Ispahan Mk II, a reminder as to what Ispahan is, it is Pierre Herme’s signature flavour combination of raspberries, roses, and lychee.
Unfortunately in the process of typing out the draft of this post, the fresh raspberries on sale at my local green grocer sold out, as did the two other supermarket in the same shopping centre who also had brought out fresh raspberries for the festive season. So until I can find fresh raspberries, Ispahan Mk II will be on hold, and I will not compromise with frozen raspberries.
If I can find the fresh raspberries in time before the season is over, this is the composition of Ispahan Mk II:
- Choux piped through fluted nozzle, baked with slivered almonds. Halved horizontally.
- Soft set jelly/gel of pureed canned lychee inside the baked choux. I prefer not to use lychee pieces fresh or canned instead of pureeing and passing the fruit because they have a skin that is stuck on the flesh next to the seed. Fresh lychees are a pain in the arse to work with to get a good yield for unnoticeable better flavour or texture.
- Raspberry and rosewater cream piped in balls on the circumference of the inside of the choux ring.
- Fresh raspberries arranged in between the cream blobs.
- Dusted icing sugar on the choux top.
- A rose petal laid in the Paris-Brest centre.
A week to Christmas, the ball is rolling for Buche 2012. It’s the end of the world, might as well make good.
- I still can’t find bakable log tins, I may have to weld two tomato cans together. If the fails, square loaf Buche it has too be.
- Caramelised white chocolate is done, it smells amazing.
- The puff pastry recipe I am using has me worried with a amount of white wine vinegar, it makes up roughly 10% of liquids. Hopefully a test bake will settle my fears of sour pastry.
- The basil and mint sauce I deliberately placed above the strawberries to make it unavoidable, even if it would look prettier under the strawberries.
- Due to the use of fresh strawberries, it cannot be frozen, and the finishing of the mousse cannot be done more than three days before serving.
- I am trying to limit the amount of dark chocolate used as it interferes with the light fruity flavours of the lemon and strawberries.
- The airy puff pastry has to be coated with white chocolate to limit the permeation of moisture, making the puff pastry soggy.
- Things that can be prepared in advance are the milk chocolate and nuts ‘bark’ bars, the dark chocolate ‘kinderling’, raw puff pastry, basil and mint fluid strip, and the dacquiose foot.
- If I can, I must try to find a source of Bees Knees strawberries as they have been consistent the best strawberries available in WA. Maximum flavour, beautiful aroma.
Everything else is no biggie, I just hope the dark chocolate flocage sticks to the caramelised puff pastry outer shell.
Three months to type up a recipe, you like? I’m such an efficient blogger, aren’t I? Almost all the photos were uploaded in private three months ago, but typing out is hard work.
The arrangement of the chocolate and banana tuile circles got lost in translation after I placed the first caramel coated banana slice. Later on I think a better more organised layout would have looked neater like this.
Ten components spread over six recipes, should we begin?
- Banana Tuile
- Sweet Pastry
- Caramel Butter Glazed Banana Slices
- Confiture de Lait
- Dark Chocolate Creme Chantilly
- 1:1 Dark Chocolate Ganache