FOOD & DRINK

La Pâtisserie des Rêves by Philippe Conticini – the recipe book

La Patisserie des Reves recipe book

Now you can recreate your own La Pâtisserie des Rêves “patisserie of dreams” at home

If you’ve ever marvelled at the fantastical creations inside La Pâtisserie des Rêves on Marylebone High Street and wondered just how one goes about producing such fine and indulgent cakes and pastries, well it seems master pastry chef Philippe Conticini may have just answered your prayers.

The English edition of his best-selling book, which features over 70 recipes, has now been published so you can finally have a go at creating classic French pastries such as the Paris-Brest (choux pastry with praline cream and praline sauce), Saint-Honoré (caramelised puff pastry, cream and choux pastry balls filled with crème pâtissière) and mille-feuille (caramelised puff pastry and vanilla crème pâtissière).

Here are two recipes to help get you started.

La Patisserie des Reves Chocolate Gateau

Chocolate Gâteau

For 8 people
Preparation time: 50 mins
Cooking time: 35 mins
Refrigeration time: 1 hour

FOR THE CHOCOLATE SPONGE
40g dark chocolate
20g milk chocolate
70g butter (+ for the tin)
90g brown sugar
40g flour (+ for the tin)
½ teaspoon baking powder
90g ground hazelnuts
20g icing sugar
1 generous pinch fleur de sel
1 egg
1 egg yolk
3 egg whites (90g)

FOR THE CHOCOLATE GANACHE
140ml semi-skimmed milk
170g dark chocolate
55g milk chocolate

FOR THE SPONGE

  1. Break up the dark and milk chocolate into chunks. Dice the butter. Melt the dark chocolate, milk chocolate and butter in a bain-marie. Stir evenly.
  2. In a mixing bowl, use an electric beater to whisk the egg whites and 15g of the brown sugar to frothy peaks that are not too stiff.
  3. Sift the flour and baking powder. Combine the ground hazelnuts, the remaining brown sugar, the icing sugar and salt. Add in the whole egg and yolk and whisk for 30 seconds.
  4. Add the melted chocolate then the sifted flour and baking powder in two batches. Now incorporate the egg whites half at a time to obtain a pliable, airy dough.

TO BAKE

  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C (gas mark 3).
  2. Pour the mixture into a buttered and floured cake ring (16 – 18cm in diameter and 4cm high) placed on a baking tray lined with baking parchment. If you don’t have a cake ring, use a loaf tin or a loose base sandwich tin.
  3. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes. Check to see whether the cake is done by inserting the blade of a knife which should come out clean. If it doesn’t, continue cooking for 5 minutes.
  4. At the end of the cooking time, allow the sponge to cool at room temperature then cut it horizontally in two.

FOR THE GANACHE

  1. Heat 120ml of milk. Take it off the heat just before it boils.
  2. Melt the chunks of both chocolates (dark and milk) in a bain-marie. Add the hot milk and whisk to obtain a smooth, glossy ganache.

ASSEMBLE THE GÂTEAU

Use a spatula (or the back of a tablespoon) to spread a third of the ganache over the halved sponge base. Cover with the other half and refrigerate for 15 minutes.

FOR THE ICING

  1. Mix the remaining milk into the rest of the ganache. Whisk for 1 or 2 minutes to obtain a fluid, smooth and glossy ganache.
  2. Put the chilled chocolate cake on a wire rack on the roasting tin of your oven. Pour the chocolate icing generously over the cake to cover it completely, including the sides. Tap the wire rack gently to remove the excess icing and put the cake in the fridge, taking it out 45 minutes before serving.

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La Patisserie des Reves Praline Shortbread

Praline Shortbread

For 6 or 7 people
Preparation time: 30 mins
Refrigeration time: 1 hour
Cooking time: 15 mins

FOR THE SHORTBREAD
250g flour
125g butter
2 pinches fleur de sel
2 teaspoons (11g) baking powder
3 egg yolks
100g caster sugar
1 vanilla pod

FOR THE GIANDUJA
140g shelled hazelnuts
60g icing sugar
35g milk chocolate
2 squares dark chocolate

TO FINISH
30g shelled hazelnuts

FOR THE SHORTBREAD

  1. Combine the flour, butter, salt and baking powder. Rub everything together with your fingertips to a crumbly consistency.
  2. Whisk together the egg yolks and sugar with the seeds from the split and scraped vanilla pod. Add this emulsion to the butter and flour mixture and stir to obtain a homogenous dough.
  3. Wrap in cling film and store in the fridge.

COOK THE BISCUITS

  1. Roll out the dough to ½cm thick and use a round pastry cutter to cut out discs 6cm in diameter. Allow to rest for 1 hour in the fridge.
  2. Bake in the oven at 170°C (gas mark 3 – 4) for about 12 – 15 minutes, according to your oven.

FOR THE GIANDUJA

  1. In a food processor, pulse the hazelnuts with the icing sugar to a fine powder. Wait 10 minutes for the powder to cool (the mixture will be hot from the processing), then blend again to obtain a thick but runny paste.
  2. In a bain-marie or in the microwave, melt the milk chocolate and dark chocolate, then pour the chocolate into the hazelnut paste and blend again to thoroughly incorporate everything and obtain the gianduja.

TO FINISH THE BISCUITS

  1. Using a piping bag with a plain no. 8 nozzle, pipe regular mounds of gianduja in the middle of each biscuit leaving a 1cm border around the edge. The paste will slowly spread out. Scatter finely-crushed hazelnuts over the top and put the biscuits in the fridge.
  2. Bring them out 10 minutes before serving.
  3. If you want, you can dip these biscuits in lukewarm dark chocolate to coat, as in the photo.

La Pâtisserie des Rêves recipe book by Philippe Conticini and Thierry Teyssier. £25, hardback.