I am finally able to peak out from under the blankets. I've been down with a horrible cold for the past week. No energy, a cough that rocked the house, aches and pains-you know the drill. My menu this week consisted of Tylenol,menthol eucalyptus cough drops, herbal tea, orange juice, water and chicken noodle soup. Today was the first day I felt like I could move around the house a bit. And it's really the first time I ventured over to my PC to catch up with the rest of the world.
I want to thank all of you for your support during my Project Foodblog Challenge. But sad to say, I didn't make to Round #4 . Boo Hoo.. Really and truly I have appreciated your support and kind comments-get over to Foodbuzz and vote for your favorite among some very creative people !
This is what I planned on posting for that challenge had I advanced-Pierre Herme's Faubourg Pave. I've narrowed down the photos and didn't include half of what I would have included for the photo essay-won't bore you with pictures of egg whites on beaters. And I won't lie to you-this is not a creation for putting together in an hour or two. It's Pierre Herme after all and nothing he creates is simple . And to not try and duplicate his perfection does him a disservice. After tasting this , God, I wish I had 1 millionth of the talent he has. The flavors of this creation are outstanding.
The chocolate cake is light and with just the slightest saltiness to it, it really brings out the chocolate flavor. The caramel syrup that's used to soak the cake-yummy. The apricots plumped then soaked in lemon juice and black pepper-exquisite contrast to the sweetness of the ganache. And the ganache-if you don't do anything else with this recipe-take the time to make the ganache. OMG, you will want to smear it on loved ones and lick it off slowly. It's chocolate meets caramel meets salty meets sweet meets heaven in your mouth.
Some people like to take his recipes and make them their own-not me. I want to challenge myself to his pastry perfection by duplicating his recipes. It's the best way to learn-I mean until this recipe I wouldn't have thought of adding black pepper to apricots . Following his recipes gets you into a creative frame of mine, a WHAT WOULD PIERRE DO frame of mind. It makes you look at your own recipes with a new set of eyes-how could I enhance that flavor ? What if I added a little salt or more cardamom ? He makes you want to be the best pastry chef you can be. Maybe someday I'll take one of his recipes and put my own spin on it by changing around something but right now, why mess with perfection. The only change I made to this was to take it from a "Pave" or paver shape to a "Mini Rond" or mini round shape. Only because I didn't have the proper size pans for his recipe so I improvised. With that I give you my riff on Faubourg Pave. I'm proud of the results. Since the recipe isn't published on the Internet I wrote to Pierre Herme for permission to publish and haven't heard back. So in the mean time go out and buy the book Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Herme. Or you can go to Google Books and find the recipe and instructions here.
Apricots chopped and soaked in lemon juice and black pepper
Cutting out the cake for my miniature version
Chocolate Caramel Ganache with apricots
Crumb layer of ganache
Bon Appetit ! Well worth the effort .
I hate to cut into it-it's so pretty !