Johanna Le Pape, queen of healthy pastries!

story by Johanna le Pape

Before I became a pastry chef, I wanted to pursue a career in sports, but after spending some time working in a bakery I decided to end my sports studies. I passed the CAP in Pâtisserie and joined the Alain Ducasse school a few months later. I worked at the Lutetia and Le Meurice luxury hotels in Paris, won the 2014 competition for the Mondial des Arts Sucrés with Gaëtan Fiard, worked as a chef instructor at the Alain Ducasse School and became an international chef consultant. However, a burnout led me to rethink my career and outlook on life: I wanted to combine a love of delicious food and wellbeing in pastry.

My goal is to get people to reflect on their choice of ingredients, and the impact their choices have on our organism and eco-system. People are looking for ways of being more responsible in taking care of their bodies and our planet. This is essential to the philosophy I am conveying.

It’s important we do away with recipes that are too high in sugar and fat and replace these ingredients with natural, beneficial alternatives to nurture our body. My customers and followers on social networks frequently ask for wellness recipes. This led me to start sharing lots of advice on these topics, and recipes that use natural ingredients. Most people aren’t aware of the value natural ingredients can offer. For example, you can add a sweet potato to a hot drink, or use natural apple sugar to make caramel.

When using Veliche™ Gourmet chocolates, there is often no need to add sugar. For each type of couverture chocolate, the specific taste profile can be easily read from a graph. By combining ingredients in a smart way, this sweetness can be enhanced and emphasised, without adding more sugar.

Of course, reducing the use of sugar in your recipes doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use sugar at all. There are many alternatives to refined sugar. I make my creations by substituting refined sugar with coconut, birch juice, vegetables, honey, or even agave syrup – there is something for everyone!

Looking for some inspiration? Check out these recipes created by ambassador chef Johanna le Pape.

  • Baba: a baba with a unique thyme, black tea ganache and caramelized apricot flavour combination.
  • Eclat: a masterpiece for all coffee lovers by our chef, featuring coffee and vanilla crémeux and crunchy almond chocolate.
  • Perle de Tahiti: the perfect spring recipe with the delicious taste of mango, vanilla, coconut and our white chocolate.

Do you have any Veliche™ Gourmet recipes that replace fat and sugar with alternative ingredients? Let us know! @velichegourmet on Instagram and Facebook #velichegourmet

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