Are you a foodie fan looking to add an extra layer of sweetness to your Valentine’s day menu? Why not try upping your game with some exquisite variations on tradition themes? Two of our top pastry chefs, Julien Boutonnet from EHL Lausanne and Lars Hellenbrand from EHL Passugg, have submitted elegant alternatives to the classic toffee apple and the Swiss nut tart. Surely an impressive and memorable way to show love to those dear to you!
Julien Boutonnet is a Senior Lecturer Practical Arts teaching pastry and dessert courses at EHL. He earned France’s top distinction, the Meilleur Ouvrier de France (MOF) award for pastry and desserts in 2015. His passion for pastries has earned him numerous awards: Runner-up as best apprentice in France (2000), the Pascal Caffet award (2004), European Championships of Sugar runner-up (2005) and the Charles Proust award (2006).
Julien wanted to make a tradition sweet treat with a twist in celebration of this year’s St Valentine’s Day.
“The idea comes from the famous “Toffee Apple” coated with red caramelized sugar that everyone knows as the love apple! I wanted to revisit this great classic with a healthier version. This small dessert is made with caramelized apples in a tatin style, a crispy granola shortbread, a biscuit with almonds and caramel pieces, and an airy Tonka bean cream.”
For the Granola
- In a pan, add the honey, syrups, coconut fat and cocoa butter, and bring to gentle boil.
- Assemble the rest of the ingredients on a tray and pour the hot mixture on top.
- Bake at 145°C for 5 minutes.
- Mix all the ingredients well and bake again for another 5 minutes.
For the Granola shortbread
- Mix together the butter, sugar and salt.
- Add the flours and mix well.
- Incorporate the cooked and basic cold granola.
- Press into a 100g ring.
- Bake at 145°C for 5 mins. Press down and bake again for 10 mins.
For the Almond Daquoise sponge
- Whip the egg whites with the sugar, salt & powedered egg whites into stiff peaks.
- Boil the cream and pour onto the dry ingredients. Then add the egg yolks.
- Gradually add half of the meringue mixture into the batter.
- Pour the batter into the remaining other half of the meringue. Mix well.
- Spread into a ring measuring D16cms and bake at 190°C for approx 6 mins.
For the apple compote
- Peel, gut and roughly cut the apples. Cook in water and blend.
- Weigh them to make sure they come up to 200g.
- Add the gelatine and grated Tonka. Mix well.
- Peel the apples and cut them into eighths.
- Place the 8 pieces & the powdered caramel into a vacuum-sealed bag.
- Cook ‘sous-vide’ with the steam set at 83°C for 1 hour.
- Press out any excess liquid before using.
For the Tonka cream
- Whip the eggs whites with the sugar (meringue base).
- Mix the egg yolks & 1st dose of sugar.
- For the custard: add the milk to the cream, followed by the grated Tonka, the egg yolks & sugar, and cook at 83°C.
- Add in the gelatine and leave to cool.
- Add the whipped cream to the custard mixture.
- Mix everything into the meringue base.