La Crème de la crème ~ White Challenge
Pastries are a space for pastry chefs to express and experiment, incorporating and developing their favorite combinations in their creations all along. Cream is their guilty pleasure. La crème de la crème challenged 10 chefs to create pastry creations that are a charming blend of tradition and modernity based on a theme of the color white and published in a book titled : La Creme de la Creme.
We’re featuring two recipes which are in the book.
Al Huda ~ Serenity
“I think my prettiest cream pastry is the one I have made for this book. I call it “Al Huda” meaning “Serenity”, but it is also named after my aunt who was a terrific cook! It is a vacherin with the creaminess of ice-cream, surrounding a soft gooey centre of coffee and cardamom, covered by a rose meringue. It is a light and creamy dessert that you just can’t put down once you have begun!” – Mayada Badr
Chef MAYADA BADR
Chef Mayada Badr, from Saudi Arabia, first studied design before pursuing her passion and enrolling at the Cordon Bleu in Paris. After she returned to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, she went on to open her own pâtisserie: Pink Camel. She is commonly known as the Macaroon Queen.
Cream is extremely important in my cooking: it gives my pastries a certain lightness, puffs them up and gives them a soft texture. This sensation of lightness is crucial for me, and cream is the ingredient that truly helps me create the right feel.
I use cream in almost all my recipes. Be it meringues, ganaches or icing… I’ll let you in on a little trick I use! I use lots of cream to make my macaroons lighter and tastier. Honestly speaking, you just have to use cream for a scrumptious pastry!
Al Huda – Serenity
- 250 g sugar
- 120 g egg whites
- 70 ml water
- 1 l whole milk
- 300 ml single cream
- 100 g egg yolks
- 200 g sugar
- 250 g “Halawa” paste
- 5 g salt
- 200 g hollow white chocolate balls, Ø 2.6 cm
- 100 g single cream
- 100 g white chocolate
- 5 cardamom pods (ground)
- 50 g roasted coffee beans
- 120 g ground almonds
- 120 g butter
- 120 g sugar
- 2 eggs
- 40 g flour
- 1 g vanilla pod
- 200 g single cream
- 10 g orange blossom essence
- Heat the sugar in the water until the temperature reaches 116°C.
- Start beating the egg whites and slowly pour in the sugar mixture.
- Beat for another 10 minutes and put it into a piping bag.
- With half of your preparation, make raindrop shapes and smooth them out until 2 mm thick, leave to dry for 24h.
- Keep the remaining meringue preparation aside.
- Bring the milk and cream to a boil.
- In another bowl, mix the sugar and egg yolks.
- Pour half of the milk and cream mixture into the egg mixture, and mix until completely blended.
- Pour over the remaining milk mixture and cook until the temperature reaches 80°C. Remove from heat and pour over the halawa paste and salt.
- Mix and let it rest in the refrigerator overnight before putting it into an ice-cream maker.
- Place the chocolate balls on a tray in the refrigerator.
- In a saucepan, heat the single cream, roast and grind the coffee beans and place them in a muslin cloth with the ground cardamom pods.
- Add the mixture to the cream and bring to a boil, let it simmer for five minutes, and then put it in the refrigerator for approximately four hours for it to infuse.
- Filter the mixture and then heat it together with the white chocolate until the chocolate melts completely. Let cool before putting it into the chocolate balls using a piping bag. Keep chilled.
- In a mixer, mix all the ingredients and spread the pastry mixture onto a baking tray.
- Let it cool in the refrigerator for half an hour, and cut it into the desired sizes. Bake at 180°C until golden brown.
- Whisk the cream with the orange blossom essence.
- Place the ice-cream in a cone mould and insert an Arabica pearl in the centre.
- Cover with the biscuit and freeze for approximately four hours.
- Mix the whipped cream and the remaining meringue mixture, place the preparation in a St. Honoré piping bag and cover the frozen cones.
- Decorate the dessert with the dry meringue and gold leaf. Keep in the freezer until it is time to serve.
Chef Mayada’s recipe “Al Huda” can be found in the 2017 Edition of LA CRÈME DE LA CRÈME – European Cream & European Pastries A publication by Cniel and the European Commission within the framework of the CREAM of EUROPE programme.
[Recipe and Image provided].