Anne Gerbaud, the free spirit of pastry.

story by Veliche™ Gourmet

The very talented chef Anne Gerbaud, worked with our new chocolate range : Signature origins and shared with us her exciting pastry ideas, her delicious creations and her experience. Happening soon: she is planning to open her own business soon!

1 – By the end of this year, you have kindly agreed to develop new recipes with our Signature Origins range which includes two dark couverture chocolates: OKAPI 65 and USULUTÁN 65.

Can you tell us about these two chocolates? What’s different about them?
The big difference between these two chocolates is the flavour. I really enjoyed working with them. For Usulután 65, which comes from El Salvador, it’s more about black fruit like cherry. It has an aromatic power with a touch of acidity. That’s why when creating the chocolate tart, I combined it with wild blueberries from the Vosges and summer budo sansho to find a beautiful balance and that Indian summer touch.

Okapi 65, which comes from the Democratic Republic of Congo, suggests herbaceous notes, spices and dried fruits with a small hint of honey. For the restaurant dessert, I thought of combining it with De la Rosée specialty honey that I discovered recently. It has the particularity of being mixed with a hot lemon pepper. As you will have understood, I really like to work with spices. And of course, in order to remind me of Brittany, my native region, I added a praliné made of buckwheat seeds and gavottes (rolled wafers) to the dessert to create a delicious crunchy texture and give ita gourmet look.

2 – Do you have any advice on their applications?

As they are single-origin chocolates, it is very important to taste them in order to know with which products and flavours they can be combined. These are very good chocolates to use for shop pastries or plated desserts. They can also suit perfectly while making chocolate bonbons, bars or tablets. They are fluid and easy to work with for moulding. They have their own aromas and can be transformed into ganache to fill chocolate bonbons for example.

3 – You have made several recipes with our Signature Origins chocolates. Which one do you prefer

I must admit one thing, it is very difficult for me to work with chocolate. It is a real challenge. Chocolate is already a finished product. When tasting, it develops a lot of aromas on its own. Transforming it into a dessert, keeping the right balance when combining the flavours and making sure that everything is delicious without being aggressive is a delicate process.

I really enjoyed working with Usulután 65, because I wanted to find the acidity that I discovered during tasting and highlight its dynamics in the initial mouthfeel, without making it permanent. That is why in the tartlet I made a rich and dense chocolate pudding with a cocoa biscuit on the side. The marmalade made out of wild blueberries from the Vosges (French region) addsacidity and freshness. And finally, I topped it off with an Usulatán 65 whipped cream to enhance the depth of this chocolate.

4 – How did you come up with these ideas?

I went to the local food markets. That’s where the spices are coming from. When I tasted them, I thought, it’s still Indian summer! Then I thought about the blueberries I had picked last summer during myvacation. I wanted to work with chocolate so that it would still feel a little bit like summer while keeping this gourmet aspect.

5 – If you had to dedicate specific moments to taste each one of your creations, which moments would that be?

When it comes to the cookie, I think about tea time. The perfect snack for this moment of the day.The pie is also a pure delicacy … so I can eat it anytime of the day!
In general, I am very greedy, so all moments are good to enjoy a treat.

6 – We know that your favourite dessert is pastry flan. A simple and timeless creation. What memories are tied to this dessert?

I don’t know why the Pastry Flan (traditionally a round puff pastry filled with vanilla custard), but I always remember going back to the bakery as a little girl and asking for a flan, so it has become a ritual. Every time I walk into a bakery, I absolutely want to taste a flan because everyone has their own way of making it. I like to know how the pastry chef prepares it: shortcrust pastry, puff pastry… very rich or a lighter version. I haven’t made my recipe yet! 🙂

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