Madeleine Kamman’s White Chocolate-Chartreuse Bavarian

I don’t remember the first time I made this dessert, but I certainly remember being wowed by its flavors, and the creator of it, Madeleine Kamman. (Who I’ll get to in a minute…) I’d been making it for years and it’s a wonderful way to use white chocolate, which pairs remarkably well with dark chocolate, but also goes nicely with everything from berries and lemon,…

I don’t remember the first time I made this dessert, but I certainly remember being wowed by its flavors, and the creator of it, Madeleine Kamman. (Who I’ll get to in a minute…) I’d been making it for years and it’s a wonderful way to use white chocolate, which pairs remarkably well with dark chocolate, but also goes nicely with everything from berries and lemon, and caramelizes beautifully, which can be used in cakes, sorbets, and ice cream. (I learned how to make it at the Valrhona Chocolate School, and it’s become so popular that the company now sells it by the bar.)

What can’t white chocolate do?

Well, it can’t replace chocolate because it’s not chocolate. Milk chocolate technically isn’t chocolate; it’s chocolate with milk added. On a similar note, I’ve only had Home Fries served to me at diners, not at home. And I’m still perplexed that we call it Banana Bread, because some people have told me that Cornbread, if made with a few teaspoons of sugar, isn’t bread, it’s cake. Yes, some insist that white chocolate “…isn’t chocolate!” but herb tea, as it’s commonly called in the U.S., has no tea in it. So if you’ve ever sipped a cup of “chamomile tea” (or even if you haven’t), you are welcome to enjoy white chocolate!

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Flan Parisien

When people inquire about recipes from the pastries on offer in Paris pastry shops, I look at the recipes we used when I went to pastry school at Ecole Lênotre and it’s hard to imagine cutting down a recipe that makes a hundred canelés into a recipe that makes six or eight for a home cook, who likely doesn’t want to go out and buy…

When people inquire about recipes from the pastries on offer in Paris pastry shops, I look at the recipes we used when I went to pastry school at Ecole Lênotre and it’s hard to imagine cutting down a recipe that makes a hundred canelés into a recipe that makes six or eight for a home cook, who likely doesn’t want to go out and buy a hundred copper canelé molds at 35 dollars (or even €10-15) a pop. Professional bakeries don’t make a single gâteau Opéra or eight éclairs; it’s might be a dozen cakes, five or six dozen éclairs, and hundreds of caramels. So paring down a recipe that won’t overwhelm the oven, kitchen…or budget…of a home baker can be a challenge

Professional bakeries also make components separately as part of their schedule, and in large quantities, and will start the puff pastry or make the pastry cream for a cake or tart in advance, then assemble them over the course of several days. Often recipes depend on techniques learned over a period of time, such as macaronage, the proper stirring and folding of macaron batter, and aren’t just a list of ingredients. So as wonderful and generous as bakers tend to be, not all professionals can share (or in some cases, are willing to part with) the secrets of their success.

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