When developing a recipe, Irish pastry chef Paul Kennedy starts with two simple questions: could the average person create this, and can it be made within the time constraints?
The teacher at Savour Chocolate & Patisserie School (Melbourne) recognizes that taste is what is most important, “however, to play with a concept or flavor combination, to challenge someone’s perception of what they are about to eat, is equally satisfying”.
In so good # 23, Kennedy pushes the boundaries with creations like this Sesame Lemongrass bar. It’s a perfect combination of chocolate, almond, and a kick of lemongrass, with a crunch provided on both sides of the ganache.
- q.s. acacia gum solution
- 100 g sesame seeds (a)
- 900 g almond praliné paste 50%
- 120 g caster sugar
- 180 g sesame seeds (b)
- 400 g Power 41 milk couverture, 40.7% cocoa
- 300 g 815 dark couverture, 57% cocoa
- 100 g pailleté feuilletine
Roast the sesame seeds (A) at 150°C until the desired colour is achieved. Simultaneously, heat a stainless-steel bowl in the oven. Transfer the sesame seeds to the bowl and toss through approximately one teaspoon of the acacia gum solution.
Spread out the sesame seeds on the tray and return to the oven until dry. Return the bowl to the oven. Transfer the sesame seeds back to the bowl and toss through approximately half a teaspoon of the acacia gum solution. Spread out the sesame seeds on the tray and return to the oven until dry. Reserve.
Roast sesame seeds (B) at 165°C for 18 minutes. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, dry caramelise the caster sugar, to a dark caramel (approximately 180°C). Add in the warm sesame seeds (B) and gently stir to combine. Transfer the mixture to a food processor and blitz until a smooth paste has formed. Transfer the mixture to a stone/wet grinder and process until the desired consistency is achieved, to create a sesame praliné paste.
In a bowl, combine the sesame praliné paste, almond praliné paste and couvertures and bring to 40°C. Pour the entire mixture into a stone surface and pre-crystallise to 27°C. Return the mixture to the bowl and add in the acacia sesame seeds and pailleté feuilletine. Spread the mixture into four large frames and allow to set. Remove the base from the frames, ready for assembly.
- 380 g bulla thickened cream, 35% fat
- 90 g lemongrass, chopped
- 20 g liquid sorbitol
- 80 g invert sugar
- 320 g Mexique dark couverture, 66% cocoa
- 60 g unsalted butter
In a saucepan, bring the cream to a boil and add the lemongrass. Cover with cling film and allow to infuse for 20 minutes. Strain the infusion and reweigh to 320 g. Add the sorbitol and invert sugar and cool the mixture to 30°C. Melt the couverture and butter to 40°C and combine the mixtures.
Emulsify with a stick blender. Spread the ganache onto a tray lined with a Silpat mat and cover to the surface with cling film. Leave the ganache at room temperature until it reaches a piping consistency. Place into a piping bag, fitted with a 12 mm round piping nozzle, ready for assembly.
- 250 g caster sugar
- 10 g water
- 250 g flaked almonds
In a saucepan, combine the sugar and water and bring to a boil. Add the almonds and boil for a further 3 minutes. Do not mix. Strain the almonds to remove the excess syrup.
Spread the almonds gently onto a Silpat mat and bake at 160°C for 20 minutes or until dried out and caramelised. Once cool, gently separate the almonds, if necessary, ready for assembly.
Cut the praliné base lengthways, with a width of 15mm.
Pipe the lemongrass ganache in long, full strips on the top of each bar of praliné.
Cut off each end of the bars to create a flush, flat finish.
Cut each strip into smaller, 80 mm lengths.
On a 45° angle, place 5 almonds, evenly spaced, into the ganache.
Enrobe or dip each bar with pre-crystallised extra bitter Guayaquil dark couverture.
Just before each bar travels under the fan, drizzle with pre-crystallised Power 41 milk couverture. Allow to set.