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FLORIAN BELLANGER

Black Truffle Crémeux with Tahitian Vanilla Foam
Pastry Chef Florian Bellanger of Fauchon - New York, NY
Adapted by StarChefs.com

 

Pastry Chef Jean-Florian Bellnger On StarChefs.com

Florian Bellanger
Fauchon--New York, NY


Philosophy on Pastry:
Make customers happy. Make cakes as light as possible, not too sweet. I became a Pastry Chef because I always have been in love with sweets (I could live on sweets only!) and for me a great cake is a cake that I want to eat another slice of. As a chef, I also feel that is important to help pastry students by giving them knowledge and also transmitting the love of this profession. Working in pastry brings so much satisfaction and pride. I always encourage young chefs to keep going. It is a tough job, long hours, etc., but it is so rewarding. It is more than a job, it is a passion.

Formerly of:
Le Bernardin, La Maison du Chocolat, Fauchon Paris, and Fauchon Qatar.

Training:
Ecole de Paris des Metiers de la Table. I graduated in pastry after 2 years, trained there for another year specializing in chocolate and ice creams.

Awards:
One of the "10 Best Pastry Chefs in America " by the Pastry Art and Design (2 years in the row - 2003 and 2004). Nominated Best Pastry Chef by James Beard Foundation (2000 and 2001).

Essential Tools:
Hand tool: A small stainless steel spatula with a wood handle given to me by my parents when I was 16 years old and decided to train in pastry. I use this spatula all the time; it is always close to me and it is the only hand tool I am very protective of. I never lend it to anyone. It followed me everywhere for 20 years. Once I forgot it during an event in California. When I got back to New York, I became so nervous, I called the hotel 20 times to make sure they find it, and insisted they Fedex it back to me.

Heavy equipment: A whipped cream machine that works by an “Air Injection and Ozone” system. The whipped cream is so light, 20% more air in it than with the regular whipped cream machine. Mousse made with it becomes light like a cloud, and the Ozone system makes it bacteria -free.

Favorite Ingredients:
Chocolate - it is fun and versatile. It can be used in any recipe and 99% of consumers love it. We take chocolate for granted, but when you think of it, it is just amazing how a bean discovered 500 years ago became such a great product.

Top Tips for Dessert Success:
1) A great combination of flavors (2 to 3 flavors maximum in one dessert; otherwise it gets confusing).
2) Light and creamy (work on the texture and make sure the entire dessert is not too sweet)
3) Have something crunchy in your dessert.
4) Decoration has to be edible and has to be part of the dessert. (If you think the decoration on your dessert is not part of the dessert in taste and texture, that means it is useless.)

Mentor and Pastry Hero:
My mentor who became my friend and played a big role in my professional life is Pierre Hermé. I have a great respect for him as a professional and also as a person. He helped pastry to become recognized as an art all over the world. He is like part of my family.

Emerging Trends in Pastry Arts:
I see a big trend emerging especially for pastry boutiques. Cakes are getting modernized. The pastry chefs in restaurants are starting to look at desserts like cooks look at a dish, meaning they are cooking fruits à la minute, and using ultra-fresh product. We are far away from the crème brulée done 20 years ago in restaurants. Pastry retail stores will eventually become that way also. You see pastry shops emerging all over the city, and the cakes sold in these retail stores are getting much more interesting.

Restaurant Info:
Fauchon
442 Park Ave
New York, NY10022
212-308-5919




Chef Bellanger serves the crémeux in a shot glass. The white pepper enhances the vanilla flavor and makes the foam taste slightly "hot."

Black Truffle Crémeux with Tahitian Vanilla Foam On StarChefs.comYield: 12 Servings

Ingredients:

    Black truffle cremeux:
  • 450 milliliters (2 cups) heavy cream
  • 320 milliliters (1 1/3 cups) milk
  • 12 grams (1/2 ounce) fresh black truffles, chopped
  • 150 grams egg yolk (from about 8 large eggs)
  • 90 grams (scant ½ cup) granulated sugar
  • 2 sheets gelatin, soaked in 1 quart cold water

    Tahitian vanilla foam:
  • 450 milliliters (2 cups) heavy cream
  • ½ teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 Tahitian vanilla bean

Method:
For black truffle cremeux:
Bring heavy cream and milk to a boil in a medium sauce pan. Remove from heat and add chopped black truffles. Cover with plastic film and let mixture infuse for 2 hours at room temperature.

Bring mixture to a boil again. Meanwhile, combine egg yolks and sugar in a stainless steel mixing bowl. Whisk the mixture until a change of color (from yellow to light yellow color).

Add yolk-sugar mixture to the truffle infusion. Cook like a crème anglaise: heat , stirring constantly, until mixture reaches 84ºC (183ºF) and naps the back of a wooden spoon.

Stop cooking immediately. Add rinsed and soaked gelatin. Stir well to combine. Fill each shot glass half full and refrigerate.

For Tahitian vanilla foam:
Using a paring knife, open and scrape the seeds of vanilla bean into the heavy cream; add scraped pod also. Bring this mixture to a boil then refrigerate overnight.

The following day, discard bean pod and add white pepper. Whip this mixture by hand using a whisk to make sure to get the maximum volume.

Spoon some of the foam on top of the Truffle Cremeux and serve immediately with 2 sugared puff pastry sticks.

 

Biography

As Fauchon's Executive Pastry Chef in the United States, Florian Bellanger heads a team of fourteen pastry chefs to create the finest pastries, special occasion cakes, cookies, unique ice creams and sorbets for the legendary French epicurean emporium's cafe and flagship store in New York City. He has come full circle after serving Fauchon as second in command in Paris and other cities from 1991 to 1996.

"The most important thing for me is to keep the Fauchon tradition of quality, innovation and service," Florian says. "We are constantly playing with tradition, combining old and modern pastry-making methods to create interesting new desserts." Florian's innovations are evident in such tradition-shattering creations as éclairs flavored with orange zest, passion fruit or coconut; raspberry marshmallow cake; Toulouse violet ice cream and raspberry-chili pepper sorbet; and lavish three-dimensional holiday cakes and wedding cakes for which he continuously creates new molds and recipes.

A veteran of pastry kitchens from around the world, Florian was the pastry chef of Le Bernardin in 1996, where his desserts, described as "light and dreamy" by Ruth Reichl of The New York Times, helped bring the restaurant to its four-star status. In addition, he was the pastry chef in the French Military Officer's Club in French Guyana.

Growing up in Paris, Florian knew from an early age that his career would take a culinary path. Not only did he indulge in decadent cakes and pastries as a child, but he often spent his free afternoons in the kitchen, baking them for his family. While a childhood allergy to chocolate did ironically prevent him from relishing such treats for nearly six years, he fortuitously outgrew it and dedicated himself to the art of pastries even more passionately. At the age of fifteen, Florian applied to Paris's prestigious pastry school, L'Ecole de Paris des Métiers de la Table. Although his application was rejected because he was a year too young to enroll, in 1983 the future chef was accepted and graduated with an emphasis in pastry and a specialty in chocolate and ice cream.

Boldly inventive Florian was named one of the "10 Best Pastry Chefs in America" in 2004 and 2003 by Pastry Art & Design magazine. In 2002 and 2001, the James Beard Foundation recognized Florian's accomplishments with a nomination for Outstanding Pastry Chef. He and his collection of innovative cakes and pastries have been featured on Epicurious TV, CNNfn and Martha Stewart Living Television; as well as in numerous publications, including: House Beautiful, Martha Stewart Weddings, Forbes, Bride's, Modern Bride, The New York Times, InStyle, Pastry Art & Design, Food Arts, Chocolatier, PastryScoop.com, Delta Sky and New York Magazine.

Florian is a member of City Harvest's Food Council and a guest chef faculty member at the French Culinary Institute. He also donates his time to charities such as the Anthony Spinazzola Foundation and the Jean-Louis Palladin Foundation.


hotlinks_general_narrow
  • Pastry Chefs
  • For Chocolate Lover's Only-July 2005
  • Forum: Career Change to Pastry Chef

  •    Published: July 2005

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