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Chocolate Petit Gateaux with Caramelised Cider Poached Pear Centre



I'm thrilled that Josophan's has been included in a new book, launched this week called 'Flavours of NSW'. This seriously beautiful book (and I'm not just just saying that because we're in it!), showcases the incredible diversity of food producers and chefs across our state.

Most of those included also have a highlighted recipe, and I've included my petit gateaux with a surprise poached pear centre. We have an amazing local producer of cider, Hillbilly Cider, and I've used their Crushed Pear Cider which is seriously stellar, to make a caramel pear cider poaching liquid. The recipe amount for the poaching liquid is quite large - you could reduce this and use a small saucepan, but I like to use the larger amount and then reduce the poaching liquid down further into liquid gold dessert syrup that is super great drizzled on things like ice-cream.

I initially created this dessert for our local Leura Harvest Festival, to be served on the Chef's Table marquee, a concept where local chefs create little tasters of their dishes for the public to sample.

A little biscuit/sponge base is good on this as well, if you'd like to make the effort. A hazelnut/almond dacquoise or joconde sponge would work really well. Just cut out rounds with a cookie cutter slightly smaller than the mould, and place on top, squishing into the cremeux when it's piped into the mould. If you don't want to make that effort, the crunchy contrast from the caramelised hazelnuts and cocoa soil make it a well balanced dessert anyway.

I've made the little chocolate twigs by piping tempered chocolate into a tray of cocoa powder, letting them set and dusting them off. The hollow moulded chocolate I've decorated with gold, and the decor behind it is a Ferran Adria recipe for a chocolate 'handkerchief'.

I hope you have as much fun making this as I had putting it together! Whilst it looks like a lot of work, when you break it into steps, it's not a lot of work at all, and the final product makes it all worthwhile! This is a dessert that is dressed to impress, and will wow at dinner parties. As the whole thing is made ahead of time, it's also great to simply be able to pull it out the fridge and sprinkle the crumbs around to serve.



For a print friendly recipe, CLICK HERE!

Makes 12


Caramel/Cider Poached Pears

2 kg caster sugar

350g water

500g crushed pear cider

6 pears, peeled

Chocolate Cremeux

560g cream

125g egg yolk

60g caster sugar

250g dark couverture chocolate (callets, or chopped)

150g milk couverture chocolate (callets, or chopped)

Caramelised Hazelnuts

150g roasted hazelnuts

175g sugar

¼ cup water

Chocolate Soil

85g caster sugar

85g almond meal

50g plain flour

35g cocoa powder

pinch salt

40g unsalted butter, melted

Cocoa Glacage

1 cup (250g) water

440g caster sugar

175g thickened cream

110g cocoa powder

18g Gelatin


Caramel/cider Poached pears

. heat sugar and water in a saucepan over medium high heat until caramelised and deep amber in colour

. deglaze by adding heated pear cider to sugar/water mix

. bring to gentle simmer, place pears in liquid, covering surface with cartouche (round of baking

paper, touching surface to stop pears bobbing out of the liquid).

. poach pears until desired consistency is reached (soft when a knife is inserted into them, but not

overly squishy.

. remove from liquid, cool, then dice flesh into small pieces, discarding core. Cool completely.

Chocolate Cremeux

. Beat sugar & egg yolk until pale and creamy

. Bring cream to boil, then pour slowly onto egg mixture while slowly whisking, to temper the eggs

. Return mix to saucepan, heat whilst stirring continuously until 82°C is reached

. Pour, passing through sieve onto chocolates, and gently stir to create custard textured cremeux

Caramelised Hazelnuts

. Heat sugar and water in saucepan until caramelised and deep amber in colour.

. Pour over hazelnuts on oiled baking tray. When set, blend in food processor until fine crumbs are


Chocolate Soil

. Combine all dry ingredients, stir through melted butter

. Spread onto baking tray, and bake at 150°C for 15mins

Cocoa Glacage

. Soak gelatin sheets in cold water until bloomed (squishy)

. Bring water, caster sugar and thickened cream to boil in saucepan, stirring, then boil for 2 minutes

. Whisk in cocoa powder until combined

. Whisking continuously, bring back to a simmer and simmer, bubbling, for 4 minutes.

. Remove from heat and let sit for 1 minute.

. Add softened (bloomed) gelatin sheets, after squeezing out excess water and whisk gently until


. Pass glacage through sieve into clean bowl, let cool to 35-40°C.


. Pipe cremeux into silicon flexi moulds, 1/3 full, and place in freezer until cremeux is slightly firm.

Make a slight well in the middle of each gateux by using a spoon to push some of the cremeux up

towards the sides of the mould, creating a space for the pears.

. Remove from freezer, and place a spoonful of cool diced poached pear onto the centre of earlier

piped cremeux

. Pipe remainder of cremeux on top of pear mixture, completely flood filling the mould and encasing

the pear

. If desired, place a thin disc of sponge/biscuit on top of cremeux, to create a base when unmoulded

. Return flexi mould to freezer for at least 12 hours.

. When set hard, unmould from flexi mould, and position right way up, on small upturned cups (like

a dariole mould) or place on a wire cooling tray, ready for glazing

. When glacage is between 35-40°C, using a ladle or pouring jug, pour glaze over petit gateaux, that

have been taken straight from the freezer.

. Sprinkle caramelised hazelnuts and chocolate soil around base of petit gateaux, and garnish with chocolate decorations of choice.



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