Saturday, February 6, 2010

Tartelette's Poire D'Eve

Working in a restaurant has had a lot of influence on me. Aside from school, extracurriculars and life, I also happen to work at a restaurant as a server. Of course, right? Even more involvement with food for me! Well my obsession with Vietnamese food stemmed from my constant contact with well, Vietnamese food; both at home and at my job.
Which don't get me wrong, I love. For one, I love being able to sneak peaks in the kitchen and see how the chefs work their magic on the food. And shh, don't tell but sometimes they even let me in on their secrets! Well, another great perk? Dessert sampling, mmmmm. Tons of pastry chefs in the area send their delicious goodies for us to sample and hopefully purchase, and if I'm lucky, I get to eat 'em! That's what kinda inspired me to branch out and try something more risque, so to speak.
I've longed over Tartelette's gorgeous goodies for a while now but they were so complex that they freaked the hell out of me! But I got over my fears and tried her Poire D'Eve. Yes, there were many, many steps. Yes, it was a wee bit scary. Yes, it was amazing.

The feuillantine was my favorite! It had the crispiest crunch and was deliciously chocolatey. Next, the caramel mousse, oh my. So light and airy it just melted in your mouth. By itself, it was really sweet but when paired with the very light Bavarian cream, oh gosh, words cannot say. For me, the pear component didn't shine through much but that's probably because I didn't actually poach the pears in spices like Tartelette did but rather just used canned pears (please don't tar and feather me)! Anyways, what a great dessert!

Poire D'Eve

Yields: 8 - 10 servings

Original recipe from Tartelette, which can be found here.

For the Feuillantine:

5 oz. milk chocolate

4 tbsn. butter

1 cup corn flakes

2 oz. toasted and skinned hazelnuts

For the caramel mousse:

1/2 cup sugar

2 tbsn. water

2 tbsn. salted butter, room temperature

1 cup heavy cream, divided

For the Vanilla Pear Bavarian Cream:

4 canned pears, drained and chopped into small dices

4 egg yolks

1/4 cup sugar

1 cup whole milk

1/2 vanilla bean

1 tbsn. powdered gelatin, sprinkled over 3 tbsn. water

1 cup heavy cream

For the Pear Syrup Glaze:

1/2 cup reserved pear liquid

1 1/2 tsp. gelatin, sprinkled over 1 tbsn. water

Line a 8x8 square pan with foil and set aside. To make the feuillantine, put the cornflakes and hazelnuts in a small freezer bag, close the seam and roll with a rolling pin until finely crushed. On the top of a double boiler set over medium heat, melt together the chocolate and butter until they come together. Remove from the heat and stir in the cornflakes mixture. Immediately pat the mixture with your fingertips or the back of the spoon at the bottom of the line pan. Set aside while you prepare the mousses.

For the mousse, measure 3/4 cup of the cream and refrigerate. In a microwave or small saucepan, heat the remaining 1/4 cup until fairly hot. In a heavy bottomed saucepan, add the sugar to the water and cook over medium high heat without stirring until you get a dark brown caramel. Take the pan off the heat and add the butter and 1/4 cream. It will bubble like mad but it will not run over. Stir with a wooden spoon until smooth. Let it cool to room temperature. Whip the cold whipped cream to soft peaks in a stand mixer. Fold 1/3 of the whipped cream to the caramel to loosen it up and then add the remaining whipped cream. Spread over the feuillantine base and refrigerate until completely set.

To make the bavarian cream, in a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar until very pale. In the meantime, in a large saucepan set over medium heat, bring the milk and vanilla bean to a boil. Slowly pour the milk over the yolks, whisking constantly. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan over medium low heat and cook until the cream coats the back of a spoon (as if making a creme anglaise). Add the softened gelatin and stir until completely melted into the cream. Let cool to room temperature. Whip the heavy cream to soft peaks and fold it into the cooled cream base. Fold in the diced pears and pour mixture over the caramel mousse until set. If you want to add the glaze, freeze the cake to avoid melting the mousse.

To make the glaze, bring the liquid to a boil, add the gelatin and stir until completely dissolved. Let cool to room temperature, if the mixture gels, warm up over low heat until barely melted again. Pour over the frozen cake and let set in the fridge. Cut through the cake with a knife dipped in hot water to prevent breaking the glaze.


  1. Being a server at a restaurant definitely has it's perks.

  2. Gorgeous! Now I have to pick up some courage to make this myself...

  3. great recipe, and perfect execution! gorgeous pics too:) these look awesome! and they'd be perfect for my Valentine day giveaway! would you care to send them in for the event?

  4. What a beautiful, luxurious dessert!!! You did a great job! I love the fork shot with the description of the layers. Are you able to include French accents on the text in your photos?

  5. So, lovely! And very ambitious of you. YOu did a wonderful job with it.