Welcome to the universe of François Perret, pastry chef at the Ritz Paris. Savour sumptuous pastries and cakes: the famous honey madeleine, or the Poire BelleHélène en cage, and explore too this legendary hotel on the Place Vendome.
Perret writes about his inspiration for his top ten creations, and then five haute pâtisserie desserts are each interpreted in three different variations: as an appetizer (la touche), as a main dessert, and as a light, sweet finishing flourish (la sucrerie).
The book concludes with Perret’s favourite: marble cake nestled in its pretty box stamped with the name of the famous hotel; the dessert unveils itself like a precious gem.
Prep: 50 min. Cook: 1 hr. 20 min.
LIGHT SAVOY SPONGE CAKE
1 cup plus 1 tbsp. (5 oz./145 g) cake flour (type T45)
½ cup (2½ oz./75 g) potato flour
1¼ tsp. (6 g) baking powder
½ cup (4 oz./112 g) butter
Scant 1 cup (7 oz./220 g) egg
(about 4 large eggs)
1 cup (7 oz./200 g) superfine sugar
RASPBERRY IMBIBING SYRUP
½ cup (125 ml) water
2½ tbsp. (1 oz./30 g) superfine sugar
½ tsp. (2 ml) raspberry vinegar
½ tsp. (2 ml) raspberry eau-de-vie
1 lb. 2oz. (500 g) frozen raspberries
Scant ¼ cup (13⁄4 oz./50 g) brown sugar
MAKE THE LIGHT SAVOY SPONGE CAKE
Preheat the oven to 325°FoF (160°FoC°F/Gas mark 3), ventilated setting. Sift the flour, potato flour, and baking powder together. Melt the butter. In a stand mixer, whisk the eggs with the sugar. Add the hot melted butter (the temperature is important) and then fold in the sifted dry ingredients with a flexible spatula. Transfer the batter to a pastry bag. Butter and flour 10 individual Parisienne brioche (brioche à tête) Flexipan® molds and pipe 2 oz. (55 g) batter into each. Bake in the oven for 14 minutes. When the sponges come out of the oven, cover them, still in their molds, with a sheet of parchment paper and then place a board on top and let rest for 10 minutes to flatten the surface. Unmold while still warm.
MAKE THE RASPBERRY IMBIBING SYRUP
Bring the water and the superfine sugar to a boil. Allow to cool and then add the vinegar and raspberry eau-de-vie. Set aside.
MAKE THE RASPBERRY JUICE
Put all the ingredients in a round-bottomed bowl in a bain-marie. Cover with plastic wrap (cling film) and heat for 1 hour. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve without pressing down on the fruit. Put the juice in the refrigerator and keep the raspberries for making the conserve.
MAKE THE RASPBERRY CONSERVE
Weigh the raspberries reserved from straining the juice and add 60% of their weight in sugar. Add the lemon juice and carefully mix everything together. Pour into a saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Pour the conserve into jam pots and store in the refrigerator.
Strained raspberries (from the previous step for making the juice)
Sugar (see step in the method for making the conserve)
4 tsp. (20 ml) lemon juice
3½ oz. (100 g) fresh raspberries
2 oz. (60 g) raspberry conserve
RASPBERRY CREAM SAUCE
1/3 cup (51⁄2 tbsp./80 ml) raspberry juice
¼ cup (1 oz./32 g) confectioners’ sugar
1 1/3 cups (320 ml) crème gastronomique
from Étrez, 40% butterfat
MAKE THE RASPBERRY COMPOTE
Crush the fresh raspberries with a fork and then mix them with the conserve.
MAKE THE RASPBERRY CREAM SAUCE
Mix the raspberry juice and confectioners’ sugar together. Add the cream, mixing it in with a flexible spatula. Strain through a fine sieve and keep in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
TO ASSEMBLE AND FINISH
Using a 1 1/3-in. (3.5-cm) cookie cutter, cut a round from the top of each sponge, centering the cutter and making a neat hollow, 3⁄4 in. (2 cm) deep. Using a brush, moisten the sponges with the imbibing syrup and then dust them generously with confectioners’ sugar before placing them in a 425°F°FoF (220°FoC°F/Gas mark 7) oven (non-ventilated setting) for 4–5 minutes. When they come out of the oven, dust the sponges again with confectioners’ sugar and allow to cool.
Fill the raspberries with raspberry compote. Pile them generously on top of each sponge (using 13⁄4–2 oz./50–55 g filled raspberries for each). Serve the raspberry cream sauce separately.
Recipe reprinted with permission from Abrams Books.