Gourmet desserts: 5-star recipes to close a meal

Gourmet desserts: from ancient Greece to the present day

Gourmet desserts are not simple desserts, but small works of art made for special events and impress your guests.

In the kitchen the term “sweet” refers to any type of food, often served at the end of the meal, and holds a component of sugar or honey. This category includes pastry products such as biscuits, cakes and desserts, cocoa products, and ice cream.

Information about the first consumption of confectionery products dates back to ancient Greeks who cooked, among others, a type of cake prepared with oatmeal mixed with honey and cheese. Sweets were also on the tables in ancient Rome, mostly for important events such as the confarreatio, the religious rite with which the Roman weddings were celebrated. During the ceremony, the couple shared a spelt focaccia (panis farreus), a symbol of their future life, and then offered a sacrifice to Jupiter.

During the last four centuries, the use of sweet ingredients in the kitchen has grown because it’s easier to find them in the market. Since 1500 A.C, sugar has been imported from the Americas and has d the use of fruit, must and honey, becoming the principal element of the many European confectionery production recipes.

Today, gourmet desserts are essential to end a meal. They bring happiness and represent a worthy conclusion of a great lunch or a romantic dinner.

If you want to conquer the eyes, seduce the palate, and go straight to the heart of your diners, you have to discover the secrets of the ten recipes signed by the professionals of haute cuisine.

Gourmet desserts: 5-star desserts for a delicious and colourful ending to a meal

Technique and art, precision and love, the contrast of taste and texture, creative and colourful compositions, precious and brilliant decorations, the magic of tradition that meets a contemporary flair and celebrates the ancient art of pastry: gourmet desserts are this and much more.

Here are the ten-star recipes to prepare unforgettable desserts:

1) Heinz Beck

Chocolate (serves 12)

For the milk foam

  • 600 ml fresh milk
  • 100 g cocoa powder
  • 25 g glucose syrup
  • Cocoa butter
  • 70% Guanaja dark chocolate

Bring the milk to a boil, pour in the cocoa, and leave to infuse for 5 minutes. Filter through a fine strainer and add the glucose syrup. Heat in a bain-marie to obtain a very thick foam. Let it rest for 1 minute, remove the foam, pour it into the molds, and put it into a blast chiller. Remove from the mold and sprinkle with a 1:1 mixture of cocoa butter and dark chocolate 70% Guanaja

For the cream

  • 250 ml Milk
  • 250 ml Cream
  • 80 g of egg yolks
  • 65 g sugar
  • 5 g animal gelatine
  • 250 g Guanaja dark chocolate, 70%

Bring the milk, cream, sugar, and egg yolks to 82 ºC. Add the gelatine previously softened in cold water. Pour into the melted chocolate, emulsify, filter, and store in the refrigerator. Once thickened, mix with a whip and store in a sac a poche.

For the cocoa sablé

  • 230 g butter
  • 200 g sugar
  • 350 g flour
  • 100 g cocoa
  • 2 g salt

Add the butter, sugar, flour, cocoa, and salt. Pour into a food mixer until crumbly. Pour into a pastry tray and cook at 160 C for 10/13 minutes.

For the rice chips

  • 2200 ml of water
  • 250 g Carnaroli rice
  • 4 g salt
  • 10 g cocoa powder

Bring the water to a boil with the salt, add the rice and cook for 24 minutes. Filter, add the cocoa powder and blend until creamy and smooth. Spread a thin layer on the Silpat, dry in the oven at 60 º C for about 6 hours, remove from the oven, and leave to rest at room temperature for two days. Fry for a few seconds in boiling oil (about 200 C).

Plating

Place a spoonful of cocoa sablé in the middle of the plate and gently place two rectangles of frozen milk foam on top. Decorate laterally with chocolate cream spikes, cocoa rice chips and garnish with edible flowers.

2) Alessandro Breda

Chocolate, star anise, and lime with sparkling milk ice cream (serves 1)

For the soft chocolate biscuit

  • 375 g egg white
  • 125 g sugar
  • 75 g egg yolks
  • 375 g dark chocolate
  • 90 g butter

Beat the egg white with the sugar until firm, add the previously melted chocolate with the butter and mix in with the egg yolks. Cook on a baking tray covered with baking paper at 180 º º C for 13 minutes, let it rest in the fridge, and then bake.

For the custard with star anise and lime

  • 700 g cream
  • 170 g egg yolks
  • 85 g sugar
  • 2-star anise
  • 2 lime peels
  • 85 g gelatine foil

Put the cream in infusion with anise and lime peel, then proceed as for classic custard.

For the dark chocolate ganache

  • 190 g cream
  • 185 g dark chocolate
  • 145 g semi-whipped cream
  • Heat the cream, melt the chocolate, and cool before adding to the whipped cream.

For the glossy chocolate icing

  • 600 g cream
  • 500 g dark chocolate
  • 100 g soft butter
  • 300 g glucose

For the fior di latte ice cream

  • 800 g milk
  • 200 g cream
  • 200 g sugar
  • 5 egg whites
  • vanilla
  • 4 g stabilizer

Cook like custard and then pour into the Pacojet pots.

For the sesame cream

  • roasted sesame
  • sugar syrups

Put the sesame in the thermomix and gradually pour the syrup until you get a paste, keep in the sac a poche.

Plating

Begin with a layer of coagulated custard. Cover with the ganache and then with the soft biscuit. Turn it out on a cooling rack and cover with icing. Put it on a plate and add the sesame cream on the side with a quenelle of ice cream. Decorate at the end with gold and serve.

3) Carlo Cracco

Lemon tart (serves 6)

For the short pastry

  • 180 g flour 00
  • 100 g butter
  • 60 g sugar
  • 30 g yolk
  • 20 g almond flour
  • 1 untreated lemon
  • salt

Mix the 00 flour with the almond flour then add the sugar and the grated lemon zest. Work the butter with the yolk and a pinch of salt and knead quickly with the flour. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and let it rest in the fridge for 2 hours.

Roll out the dough to obtain a thickness of about 3-4 mm and lay it in a tart tin (22-24 cm). Pierce the bottom with a fork and let rest in the fridge for 30 minutes. Cover with baking paper, fill the mold with dried beans or with the appropriate balls for cooking and bake at 180 º C for 20-25 minutes.

Remove from the oven, remove paper and beans and let it cool.

For the syrup and cream

  • 350 g sugar
  • 150 g milk
  • 100 g butter
  • 100 g egg yolks
  • 75 g of lemon juice
  • 2 untreated lemons

Remove the ends of the lemons and make zest shavings leaving a bit of pulp attached. Put in a small pot with cold water, bring to a boil, cook for 1 minute, drain and repeat the operation twice more. Cut the shavings into very small pieces before transferring them to a pan with 250 g of sugar and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the juice of the 2 lemons and continue cooking the syrup for another 15 minutes. Simmer milk and butter for 5 minutes, then remove from heat and add 100 g of sugar mixed with the egg yolks. Bring it back to the stove for 2-3 minutes, add the lemon juice and cook for 1-2 minutes. Pour the warm cream into the pastry shell and let it cool. Complete the decoration of the tart with syrup and candied fruit.

4) Andrea Berton

Chocolate, mint and liquorice mousse

For the chocolate mousse

  • 150 g milk
  • 10 g glucose
  • 15 g isinglass
  • 225 g dark chocolate
  • 10 g cocoa butter
  • 310 g cream

Bring milk and glucose to a boil, add the previously softened isinglass, add dark chocolate and cocoa butter. Bring to 45 degrees and add the cream. Mix well, then let it rest for 24 hours in the refrigerator. Assemble with the food mixer and pour into a pastry bag.

For the liquorice crumble

  • 50 g almond flour
  • 44 g flour 00
  • 50 g brown sugar
  • 50 g butter ointment
  • 5 g powdered liquorice

Mix butter and sugar, add almond flour, then the remaining ingredients. Crumble in your hands and bake at 160 degrees for 20 minutes.

For the liquorice cream

  • 8 g powdered liquorice
  • 250 g milk
  • 250 g cream
  • 2 isinglass sheets
  • 225 g 70% dark chocolate
  • 50 g sugar
  • 100 g pasteurized egg yolk

Mix the egg yolk with the sugar, melt the liquorice in the milk and cream then boil, pour in the egg yolks, mix well and add the chocolate chopped into small pieces and the previously softened isinglass gelatine in cold water.

Leave to rest for 12 hours in the refrigerator at +4# and then beat with a food mixer.

Plating

With the sac a poche, create a chocolate cream disc on the bottom of the plate and place the liquorice crumble on top. To one side, lay the liquorice cream and complete by placing a quenelle of mint ice cream on the cream.

5) Iginio Massari

Fruit charlotte

For the Sponge cake

  • 300 g sugar
  • 360 g eggs
  • 2 vanilla berries
  • 2 lemons (grated peel)
  • 200 g egg yolks
  • 200 g white flour 00
  • 200 g starch

Enter the first four ingredients in a planetarium and incorporate the egg yolks little by little; sift the flour with the starch: mix gently with a spoon spatula pouring it in little by little. Cook at 190 º C for 18-20 minutes in traditional moulds, 4 cm in height.

For the vanilla soak

  • 200 g water
  • 200 g sugar
  • 1 orange (peel)
  • 100 g NavanFare liqueur

Boil water with sugar and orange peel: add the liqueur when the liquid has cooled.

For vanilla-lemon Bavarian cream

  • 30 g rice starch
  • 200 g egg yolks
  • 200 g sugar
  • 500 g cream
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 500 g milk
  • 10 g gelatine
  • 2 lemons (grated peel)
  • 50 g lemon juice
  • 600 g whipped cream unsweetened

Mix egg yolks, sugar, and rice starch and boil the milk with the cream and vanilla pods. Combine the two mixtures, cook “cottura alla rosa” (82 C) and add the jelly previously softened in cold water. Finally, add the grated lemons and the juice. When the mixture has reached a temperature of 30-32 C, incorporate the glossy whipped cream. In each cake with a diameter of 22 cm, add 100 g of mixed berries.

For the round savoiardi cake

  • 190 g egg yolks
  • 120 g sugar
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 380 g egg whites
  • 95 g sugar
  • 180 g white flour 00
  • 65 g starch

Whip the egg yolks, sugar and vanilla pods with a food mixer. Beat the egg whites with the sugar, combine the two mixtures gently, then stir in the flour and starch and put through a sieve. Shape the ladyfingers on Pavonflex with a pastry bag and a nozzle of 10 mm in diameter, creating attached sticks 4 cm long. Lightly dust the surface with 50% of granulated sugar and 50% of powdered sugar before cooking at a temperature of 210- 220 C, open the valve for 10-12 minutes.

Plating

For the round cake, use a steel ring and place the ladyfingers all around. Then place the Sponge Cake soaked in vanilla on the bottom of the ring and add the vanilla-lemon cream and berries on top. Put more sponge cake and then some cream. To be kept in the freezer. To decorate, fill the inner empty spaces of the round-cake biscuits with berries and sprinkle with neutral jelly. For the base of the fruit Charlotte,  it’s recommended to use a cardboard disc of not more than 5 mm.

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